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Trimming the Collection: Ultimate Daredevil Elektra

Ultimate Daredevil Elektra #1–4
by Greg Rucka & Salvador Larroca

This Ultimatization is essentially a new version of the origin of Elektra; Daredevil does appear, in the form of Matt Murdock in a mask, but it is definitely how the Ultimate Elektra came to be. I’m not sure why they did this. It seems a strange mix of things. The covers have Daredevil and Elektra in costume, when DD doesn’t use it in the story, and Elektra doesn’t use hers until issue 4. Even then, it is still a strange outfit she has, presumably to make it more ‘real world’, like the Ultimate X-Men leathers. Is this mini-series supposed to be picking up on buzz from the film? Is it supposed to make Elektra a viable character for the Ultimate universe? And why does it never once explain DD’s powers in the book, even though he uses them extensively at one point?

Basically, instead of a rich daddy’s girl, Elektra is the daughter of a dry cleaner from Queens, who has done karate since she was 6 years old when her mum died from breast cancer, under the tutelage of Sensei Stone, an old white woman. She is starting her studies at Columbia University, meeting new friends and becoming smitten with Matt Murdock. The reason for her turning to the dark side in this world is the rape of a college friend by a stereotypical rich jock, and his escape from justice due to his father’s political connections to powerful people.

After threatening Stereotypical Rich Jock Raper, after which she has a classic heroes-meet-and-fight with Matt dressed in black, the Rich Jock Raper gets people to bomb her father’s business. While Matt finds the bombers and gets them to confess, Elektra has planned a trap for the Stereotypical Rich Jock Raper where she will kill him. DD finds out and goes to stop her, revealing himself to her, as she had suspected, but she turns away from DD after sticking a sai in the Raper’s thigh.

It’s not quite as powerful an origin story as the few pages of Miller’s version, is it? Rucka does good dialogue and strong female characters, and Larroca’s art is very pretty, pleasing on the eye while telling the story; I particularly liked his use of blurring for the Elektra-Stone sparring. But it serves a weak story idea, that feels like a waste of their talents.

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