Monday, September 19, 2011
Moments That Made the Bronze (and Modern) Age: The Death of Elektra
I grabbed this one off a spinner rack in a strip mall in Birmingham while my mom was shopping (yeah, I read a lot while mom shopped), read the entire issue, but for some odd reason didn't buy it. I loved the story, but neglected to spend my precious allowance on this issue. Given the current value of it now, it was a big mistake on my part.
Frank Miller and Klaus Janson were magic in this time of the series. Their gritty art styles worked perfectly for this down-and-dirty fight to the death between two warriors.
The biggest kick-in-the-face moment of the fight for me? That had to be Bullseye using Elektra's own sai to kill her with.
Of course, Daredevil got his revenge later in the story. If this story had been published today it would have taken him the better part of six issues to find Bullseye, confront him, and deal out his brand of justice. In the 80's though, we were blessed with a complete story in that one double-sized issue.
But reading that comic at the time, I was stunned by how Daredevil just let him drop. Actually, I was stunned by how graphic Elektra's death was drawn. Seeing it today in light of the gore-filled comics you find everywhere it looks tame, but back then it was a powerful moment simply because you didn't see that sort of stuff unless it was one of Marvel's magazine titles.
As I mentioned, this storyline led to DD becoming involved with ninjas galore and a guy named Stick, and even to eventually bringing Elektra back to life. That was good stuff and I followed this comic for a while after this issue. When Miller left, I did too. It was hard to imagine this gritty character being drawn by anyone else for me.
That Marvel moment grabbed me and didn't let go. I just regret not purchasing that issue when I had the chance. Even though I didn't buy it, I consider it a pivotal issue in Marvel history.