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'Elektra: Black, White & Blood' #1 is bloody good
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Elektra: Black, White & Blood’ #1 is bloody good

Get to know Elektra even better with only red in the color palette.

Marvel’s Black, White & Blood line of anthology comics is kicking off its next series with Elektra this week, and she couldn’t be a better choice. Following in the footsteps of the first-ever Black, White & Blood series featuring Wolverine, Carnage, and Deadpool, this series tends to feature a lot of action and a lot of blood. In Elektra’s first outing, Charles Soule, Mark Bagley, Leonardo Romero, Declan Shalvey, and Simone D’Armini do very different things in an entertaining opening issue.

This issue opens with Soule and Bagley’s “Red Dawn”, which is inked by John Dell and colored by Edgar Delgado. This story drops readers into a bloody mess as Elektra is bitten by vampires in a snowy, remote place. Similar to previous iterations of this series, the story focuses heavily on the action which Bagley pulls off well.

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There’s a great double-page layout featuring eight panels across the two pages that highlights the little moments in battle like spearing a vampire in the back of the head or reflecting on her bloody neck. The play of red works well thanks to the vampire theme through red eyes and blood running through veins. It’s the kind of story that could only work in an anthology format like this, and it has a striking ending that’s fitting to the character.

Next up is “Not the Devil” by Romero, which involves gangsters and a hell of a car chase. It’s a gripping chase that’s well blocked out and exciting from panel to panel. The use of red on the car, Elektra’s costume, and some striking all-red moments utilize the color well. It’s a great piece of gangster fiction in line with greats like Frank Miller’s Sin City. Of the three tales, this is the most literal take on the character, which should delight fans.

Elektra: Black, White & Blood #1

The middle story is has a great car chase.
Credit: Marvel

Wrapping up the book is Shalvey and D’Armini’s “The Crimson Path” which uses a Greek tragedy theme that features a stark-white Elektra facing off against endless bad guys. It’s almost like Elektra is in a fugue state as she battles killing hundreds. The story is spiritual in tone and ends in a somehow beautiful way, which is tough to reckon with given all the blood and death.

D’Armini’s rendering of the Roman guards is haunting and weird with some smiling and others gasping at the air through their smudged masks. The red is used well here with a purpose rather than being thrown in due to the series’ theme.

If we’re lucky, Marvel will keep printing these series, as Elektra: Black, White & Blood will make you want more. Comics is a visual medium, and once again this series shows off the artistry of storytelling from three greats. It also supplies meaningful takes on the character, which is particularly great since historically she’s been rather one-note.

'Elektra: Black, White & Blood' #1 is bloody good
‘Elektra: Black, White & Blood’ #1 is bloody good
Elektra: Black, White & Blood #1
If we're lucky, Marvel will keep printing these series, as Elektra: Black, White & Blood will make you want more. Comics is a visual medium, and once again this series shows off the artistry of storytelling from three greats. It also supplies meaningful takes on the character, which is particularly great since historically she's been rather one-note.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9.3
This series continues to delight if you're a fan of stripped-down pencils and ink
The opening and closing stories are a surprising risk for a character who is traditionally very literal
Great mid-story gangster chase
The opening and closing stories aren't as traditional and might have served better if they didn't appear in the same issue
8.5
Great

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