Friday, May 4, 2012

Elektra Assassin #1-8

Written by Frank Miller
Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

I'm more than a little embarrassed to admit that I've never read Miller and Sienkiewicz's classic Epic comics mini-series Elektra: Assassin.  In my defense, I was eleven at the time it began, but was already a fan of Miller's writing on Daredevil and Sienkiewicz's crazy work on New Mutants.  I don't remember why I didn't read this book then (probably because I was a dumb kid), or why I never got around to reading it since.

This is a pretty insane comic.  The comic opens with Elektra institutionalized in San Concepcion, a small South American country that appears to be more or less run by the United States.  Within a short amount of time, she has escaped, assassinated an American ambassador, infiltrated a SHIELD base where work on creating cyborg agents is done, and has more or less exerted control over the mind of Dan Garrett, a SHIELD agent with a dubious past.

This comic has all sorts of things going on.  There is a devilish Beast who controls a Democratic Presidential hopeful (only in the 80s would it be the Democrats who are devilish), cyborg psychopaths, cloned blue dwarves, ninja, weirdly-shaped helicopters, big hair, and lots and lots of stream-of-consciousness text boxes.

It feels like Miller used this series to try out some new techniques and ideas about comics writing.  I'm not sure just how successful it was in terms of story, but this is the type of comic that gets judged more as an experience than as a linear story.  Sienkiewicz is at the absolute top of his game with this book.  His art is very 80s (just look at the character of Chastity McBryde), but also incredibly inventive and exciting. 

This is a canonical comic, even if it doesn't get discussed as much as Miller's other work. 

No comments: