this is exactly what I wanted right now from a graphic novel--nothing too deep or cerebral, nothing that redefined the form, but I knew that Milligan would still manage to get away with some weird, atypical shit when it comes to following the superhero formula...or not. he has not topped my Milligan favorite--the Human Target stuff--when it comes to his superhero stints, but Human Target was part of the Vertigo line, and so there would be more freedom there to break rules and upset the established order, without worrying about shaking the foundations of an entire super-people universe. Milligan's Batman stories, as collected in Dark Knight, Dark City, also probably outrank this Elektra material--again, breaking a few rules in terms of strange, often supernatural foes for Batman, plus an atypical Riddler story that works REALLY well! Infinity Inc. shows that Milligan maybe should have done more teen/team-based books; too bad the characters didn't have better powers, but again, great team chemistry.
then it's mainly non-superhero Milligan weirdness, so I'll leave that alone, and just say that maybe this isn't where Frank Miller would ever take Elektra, but it's not so far away. she kills when necessary, she works through missing Daredevil--I liked his three-part guest-appearance here--and she fights like the samurai she is. the art will likely mean this book gets a full extra star in my final Rating--damn she look good!--and Milligan even sneaks in his preoccupation with gender roles and gender rules broken, by turning a man into a woman, and giving this new lady a boyfriend, and marriage(!) at breakneck speed. I guess she likes her new self--or it's just a sign that Milligan rushed things a tad as he exited this series; yes, all I have left is the section written by Larry Hama. I don't know his trademarks the way I know Milligan's but it looks like Wolverine's back, Shang-Chi too, Kingpin, and a friend gone villainous. so, goodbye Milligan...but I'm excited for the home stretch. more Elektra!
a lot of fun, partly due to that Milligan weirdness, that doesn't just go away merely because he's writing a trad superhero series instead of one of his unclassifiable gonzo efforts. guest-stars so far: Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Stick...and it looks like I get Daredevil later, which is no surprise. the more impressive villains have been: Bullseye (of course), Taskmaster (the man with the "photographic reflexes" simply has to fight like Daredevil to throw Elektra off her game), and Blacklash (used in a bizarrely emotional subplot). the new mystery-villain orchestrating much of what has gone one: The Architect. I know Milligan steps aside and there's a different writer in the back half--Larry Hama--but overall, I have a feeling that the tone of this is set, pretty much. art is flashy, sexy, energetic; if this is not considered a "classic" then, well, at least I've been entertained.
I was browsing the vast graphic novel section at the big bookstore, looking to do a whim purchase if anything really leapt out at me. I spotted the spine of a thick Elektra book, which would not normally be a top priority for me--although I like Elektra--and was thinking, as I read all the words on the spine, of heading down to the Wolverine area. but then I saw a writing credit for Peter Milligan; that was totally off my radar. I was very DC-centric by the time this series was happening over at Marvel...by the looks of things, during their troubled era that culminated in a "Chapter Eleven" bankruptcy declaration that protected the company from being broken up into smaller pieces (imagine Spider-Man not being able to team up with The Avengers--oh wait, the movies taught us what that would be like...until now!) I also wasn't a Peter Milligan fanatic then, like I am these days. soooo, as the comics companies seem to make sure that more and more old and neglected material gets re-packaged into graphic novels, it means stuff like this suddenly makes my day, while browsing at the bookstore. I have no idea if this is any good--again, Marvel was on shaky ground, financially and creatively, way back when (late 1990s), and the product was a bit suspect. BUT! Milligan on Elektra. Milligan wrote Elektra? Milligan wrote Elektra!!
a further whim: I ran Milligan's name on one of the bookstore's public-use computers and, unlike the last few times, didn't just see a few things I already own. this Elektra collection was shown...and a Valiant graphic novel, called Britannia. looks terrific, but before that, it's been a while since I've dipped into Marvel. good to be back (though DC became my comics home-base a long time ago). and, not just Marvel. Milligan! Milligan, writing Elektra! (PS. cover love to the nth degree; that is some gorgeous picture.)
This is all set up: The Punisher is tracking criminals, and will eventually get suckered into going up against Wolverine. How? They have him tracking down someone Wolverine is sent to track down as well.
Gorgeous. Even though a lot of this is setting up Castle tracking down these criminals, it shows his will, his dedication to his methods, his patience, and his cunning. It shows just how far he'll go to get to one man.
And I'm hoping it will be explained that Wolverine is just as deadly, but to be honest, this was mostly Punisher-centric. It was all about Castle slowly taking out cells in one man's empire, how that man escaped, where he went to, and how someone in that encampment set up Wolverine and Punisher going at each other.
The settlement, Erwhone, is full of escaped criminals, and they all want to kill the Punisher for driving them into hiding away from society. They've living in the jungle, and not quite in the style they're used to.
So when Harvey Long is driven towards Erwhone, with the Punisher on his tail, everyone is excited. Except how to keep The Punisher alive, how to drive him further to Erwhone, how to make sure he doesn't just kill Long and leave? Make sure that those who want Long alive to testify against his former employees hire someone to make sure he stays alive. Someone like Wolverine.
Well, things are about to get interesting. I'm going to track down and read the rest of this at some point!