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Elektra-fying the Crowd

The sai-wielding Marvel assassin with an attitude returns courtesy of Marvel Knights and Brian Michael Bendis

By Arnold T. Blumberg     July 21, 2001
Source: Comic-Con International

ELEKTRA #1 from Marvel Comics
© 2001 Marvel Characters Inc.
For many fans, the Elektra crafted by living legend Frank Miller is a memorable Marvel character that looms large in the history of comics, and even though she's been absent from center stage for some time, the new Marvel Knights series that reintroduces her to a whole new audience is certain to draw old fans back to her unique brand of hard-edged (and sharp-pointed) excitement as well. She's been through a lot, even for your average international assassin facing death and returning to tell about it (not a unique situation for a comic book character, we grant you) and now she's under the guidance of powerhouse scribe Brian Michael Bendis of POWERS and ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN fame. But if fans wonder about this new incarnation of Elektra living up to the memory of the Frank Miller rendition, imagine how Bendis feels.

"When I was first offered the job, I turned it down," said Bendis in an exclusive chat with CINESCAPE. "I said, 'Look Frank Miller,' and Joe [Quesada] said 'If you're chicken, you should do it.'"

Despite being daunted by the expectations built into Elektra and the memory of Miller's definitive work, Bendis took to the task and has already completed his six issue stint on the title, although fans have only seen the first issue of his run so far.

"My six issues will re-establish the character in the Marvel Universe. No offense to the people who have [handled the character] since, but I'm letting people know that this is Frank Miller's Elektra, tip a hat but bring her into this generation of comics with a fresh new voice."

"The other part that was important to me was an artist team that was as unique as Miller or [Bill] Seinkiewicz," says Bendis. "We're not doing a rip-off; it looks like a European comic in almost every way."

Bendis will also play on one of the most fascinating aspects of Elektra's history namely, her death.

"Here's a woman that's been dead, like twice! No one has touched this stuff! And the opening with her father's killer I was shocked to find out no one had done it already! I'm not going to get to do that with Spider-Man."

The ELEKTRA stint meant working with Stuart Moore, group editor of the Marvel Knights line, for which he's writing several titles in addition to all his other projects. One wonders how he manages it all, but then to Bendis, his impressive output is old news.

"I've been doing this for ten years, but no one was paying attention! I'm not even sweating it," says Bendis.

Temperatures are rising, however, at the San Diego Comic-Con, where Elektra is captivating attendees or at least, an uncanny live-action version of Elektra, one of several flesh and blood Marvel representatives thrilling the crowd at the Marvel booth. With Elektra walking the floor of the Comic-Con, and with Bendis guiding her sais in the new comic book, Elektra looks like she's set to take the Marvel Universe and the comic industry by storm.

...Besides, I've met her in person, and I can tell you, she's not someone you want to mess with. Trust me.


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