Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ultimate Elektra: Devil's Due Issues 1-5 Review

I continue my journey through the Ultimate-verse today and it brings me to Elektra: Devil’s Due; which serves as a sequel to Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra. While the second outing into Ultimate Elektra’s history is a lot better than the first mini-series the follow up isn’t without its faults; some of which are intentional some aren’t, and some are just victims of the plot device.

Most of the cast from the first mini-series is back, obviously Elektra, her father and Matt return for this run. Foggy is back too, this time with a little more to do than simply being Matt’s college roommate and tag along, on the flip side Phoebe is back only to be reduced to a brief cameo like appearance in which she serves as a decoy for all of two seconds. Trey is no where to be seen or mentioned and neither is Melissa which I find odd considering the events surrounding those two characters were the catalyst for Elektra’s actions as well as the conflict between her and Matt.

While I complained in the first mini-series about Melissa and Trey having too much time and energy devoted to their plot I actually found myself wanting to read a little about what happened to them. Even if I didn’t agree with the plot you just can’t build something up then never bring it up again. They sort of did the same thing with Phoebe, at the end of the first series she was furious with Elektra and now all of a sudden she had apparently gotten over her anger enough to be willing to risk her life for Elektra. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if they simply stated how much time passed between the first mini-series and the second.

Another victim of plot devices happened to be Elektra’s father. In the first series after Trey had their dry cleaner shop and the home they lived in above it destroyed by arsonists they had to go to Elektra’s Sensei because they had no where else to go. Now to move the plot along in the second series Elektra and her father are suddenly flush with family, and not just family but ‘Family.’ So we’re stuck going through the motions with her father getting money from their family and the store being used as a front for the mob, nothing new here and it wasn’t even written in a way to make this particular point exciting.

Elektra continues to throw herself onto grenades for people she cares about and tries to work off a deal in order to work off her father’s debt. Eventually she meets Benjamin Poindexter aka Bullseye who was sent by the Kingpin to murder a man who was going to testify against her cousins and the Kingpin. Naturally the man was tied to the case Matt and Foggy were working on, so this causes Elektra to interact with him, more as Daredevil than Matt though. Elektra ultimately goes to the Kingpin and is forced to face off with Bullseye. As part of her deal since she defeated Bullseye the Kingpin will produce evidence that clears Elektra’s father’s name while implicating her cousins.

The series ends with Matt and Elektra more at odds than ever. He still wants to follow the law, and actually found a way to clear her father’s name that wouldn’t have involved her coming in contact with the Kingpin and now it appears that Elektra has earned a place inside the Kingpins organization.

I’m not sure what to think about this run. The pacing was a little better, but that’s because it had an extra issue to deal with that the first series didn’t. The writing is good, but considering they’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here, just rehashing more overused plots and preexisting plots being sacrificed or simply thrown away just to move this new story arch along; the writing could be considered average. The art is okay, but a lot of the times the proportions seem a bit off, especially on the women in the issues, they seem to be pinched and bloated at the same time, but it’s not the overtly sexualized unrealistic art that’s quickly becoming the normal in comics. I don’t mind a bit of retroactive continuity but considering the first series ran from 2001-2002 and the second one ran in 2004; add to that the fact that anything in the Ultimate universe is sort of a combination of retcon and reimagining I think it’s a bit too soon to be changing the fact that Elektra and her father had no family in the first series, and suddenly is overrun with family in the second.

Devil’s Due was by far better than Daredevil and Elektra, but so far D&E has been the worst I’ve read (which is sad considering she’s my favorite character out of Elektra, Daredevil and Iron Man) the fact that Devil’s Due was better is kind of like saying it’s the best of the worst.

Rating: B -

No comments:

Post a Comment