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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 204

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at the Frank Miller-Bill Sienkiewciz mini-series, Elektra: Assassin…


Elektra: Assassin was an eight-issue exercise in Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz just basically cutting loose. The series opens with Elektra in an insane asylum, dealing with the traumas of her life. Sienkiewicz uses a water color style that is out of this world bizarre, but awesome at the same time.

Check out some of her childhood memories…

The other major character in the series is Garrett, a SHIELD agent who Elektra almost kills (he is brought back by SHIELD’s cybernetic division as a cyborg), but he soon gets caught up in her web.

Here we see Garrett’s obsession with Elektra grow…

There’s a great sequence where Garrett and Elektra are attacked by ninjas, and we also see the “big bad” of the series, the “Beast” – who is seeking to control the world by first getting its agent, Ken Wind, elected President of the United States (check out the Beast talking trash to Elektra as she’s battling the ninjas)…

Here’s a quick page showing you Ken Wind’s involvement – SHIELD sends other agents after Garrett and Elektra, including one pyscho who ends up going off the reservation and joins the Beast….

Really, the whole series is more a satire of action books than anything else, making fun of the concept of super-ninjas and cyber-agents of SHIELD.

Released in the mid-80s, it was very much ahead of its time. As critically acclaimed as it was then, if it were released now I could see it being a big mainstream success.


Oh…my god.

Why don’t I OWN this?

Definitely my favourite of Miller’s Marvel works.

Absolutely amazing artwork by Sinekiewicz! It completely changed how I looked at comic book art.

Frank Miller in ’86-87:

The Dark Knight Returns
Elektra: Assassin
Daredevil: Born Again
Batman: Year One

Just crazy.

An interesting pick,Brian.Some comments:

Sienkiewicz: His art is breathtakingly good in this series, possibly his finest work.

Miller: I’m conflicted over his scripting in this series. Some of the writing (for example, the flashback to Elektra’s birth) is very good, fully equal to his work on, say, BORN AGAIN. Some of the other stuff (e.g., Perry, Chasity McBryde, etc.) is just awful, adrumbating the terrible decline that we see in DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN and ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN.

I’d hear of this, but I’ve never read it. I had no idea that David Mak was homaging a previous DD related story with his first Echo arc.

When I first read this in the eighties, it was one of my favourite works of Miller’s, up there with Dark Knight and Born Again…

I’m curious how it’ll hold up when I finally read it again someday. The crazy violence probably won’t impress me as much, but Sienkiewicz will probably seem as amazing as ever.

Perhaps I should confess I didn’t exactly read it as satire back in the eighties, so from that angle the violence may delight me more than ever.

However you read it, I find that underwater skirmish was and still is pretty darn cool.

Ugh. This is terrible. Just looking at the pages made my eyes hurt.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I really hate this artist’s style.

For a long time I believed there were projects that interested Frank Miller the writer (Dark Knight, Daredevil) and Miller the artist (Ronin). I’ve always placed Elektra: Assassin as a Miller-the-artist project even though he just wrote it, because I think clearly it’s about the artistic experimentation more than anything.

I’m not sure if that dichotomy exists anymore because I haven’t seen Frank Miller produce anything I’ve found any good since about the mid-1990s.

I love Sienkiewicz so much I even learned how to spell his name. Just fantastic work. Miller’s smartest move on this book was just giving Bill plenty of cool shit to draw and staying out of the way for the most part.

The scene with Nick Fury and the giant gun has been parodied in Warren Ellis & Stuart Immonem’s “Next Wave” …

Lord, that’s beautiful.

Fantastic book, but even now I find the first issue or two almost unreadable. By the third issue though it’s just big crazy fun and I love it!

To me, this is the literal apex of Miller’s career – the tipping point between the genius he was and the frothing lunatic he is now. Some of it I love, some of it I can’t stand: the only thing that keeps it on my shelf is abject adoration of Bill Sienkiewicz’s art.

Fun Fact: one of the panels from Elektra: Assassin is a direct homage of Cynthia Brimhall’s Playboy centerfold, and this was years before Greg Land…

This is great stuff. I wasn’t a strong Marvel or Daredevil fan at the time but this work changed my mind.

If you like this work, you should check out Daredevil: Love and War, also by Miller and Sienkiewicz.

The first three pages of Elektra: Assassin are better illustration of the possibilities of graphic storytelling than every comic released in the last six months.

I agree with Diggity. I think Miller just outlined the plot and let Sienkiewicz go crazy.

Speaking of which, will Stray Toasters make the list?

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