on 1 January 2013
By the time I had picked up this beautiful hardcover, I had read pretty much everything on Daredevil by Frank Miller. I own it all- apart from this hardcover and a short story from Bizarre Adventures. I was really looking forward to this for a few reasons- it's Frank Miller; it's Bill Sienkiewicz; it's Elektra; and it's been reviewed amazingly. Seriously, I was really looking forward to reading this, especially since it had been out of print for a few years. Now that it was in print, I bought this and the matching copies of Born Again and Man Without Fear. But I was really disappointed in this volume. I respect it as a piece of art, but it is by no means Miller's best story from his tenure on Daredevil and Elektra. For that, I would suggest either Gang War or Elektra Lives Again. I really wanted to like this but found it really difficult to digest. And this is mostly, unfortunately, because of Miller. His writing is atrocious in this book- it's really all over the place and incredibly hard to follow. I wasn't sure what was going on for the first four or so issues- only after that was I able to piece together what was going. Even after finishing it I had only a vague idea what it was about. Something about Elektra and a bionically-enhanced S.H.I.E.L.D. agent called Garrett, who is being influenced mentally by Elektra, are trying to assassinate democrat presidential candidate Ken Wind because he has been taken over by "The Beast" through drinking poisoned milk. And re-reading that sentence, it sounds like a rip-roaring, explosive adventure, doesn't it? But it's the complete opposite unfortunately. So much of the book is taken up with S.H.I.E.L.D. debriefs that it sucks the vitality out of the book. The only scenes that really grabbed me were the scenes in which we saw the Beast- the writing here is pure poetry- and the final issue in which everything comes down. The twist ending was also enjoyable. It's a shame, though, because the story is really good and so is the villain (Perry? The Beast? WHICH?), and if Miller had told the story in a more conventional manner then this might be his definitive work on Daredevil and Elektra. The one saving grace of the book- massively- is Sienkiewicz' artwork. It's stunning, all throughout. Everything looks rich and beautiful, and on more than one occasion I was reminded of the artwork of Klimt. This entire work is a showcase of Sienkiewicz' artistic sensibilities. The scenes with the Beast, with the crazy red lettering, are breathtaking, and when we finally see the Beast at the end of the volume I was blown away by Sienkiewicz' design. Also the pages displaying nuclear apocalypse were great. Overall, I'd only recommend this volume for hardcore Miller fans like myself- otherwise, I'd recommend reading Love And War as an alternative collaboration between the creative team (collected in one the Daredevil by Miller and Janson trades) or in my opinion Miller's definitive work on Daredevil, Gang War (collected in the first Miller/Janson volume) or Elektra Lives Again. Whilst flawed in prose, Elektra Assassin is a brilliant showcase of Sienkiewicz' artwork.