Review: Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

I’ll admit I didn’t keep up with Chip Zdarsky‘s run on Daredevil. I know the basics and read the first arc or so but I fell behind and never caught up. And, from my understanding, I missed out on a solid run. One of the major events was Elektra taking over as Daredevil while Matt Murdock was in jail, again, I got that basic bit down. With the “Devil’s Reign” storyline now a focus of the characters and quite a few others, Elektra as Daredevil gets her own miniseries which kicks off with Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1.

Written by Zdarsky, the miniseries spins out of Devil’s Reign #2 where Elektra’s history is used against her by the Kingpin. We learn there’s some secrets she holds and her past is being dredged up by an unknown force. The questions are who, why, and what is that past? Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 answers that as it picks up after her encounter with Kingpin and she begins a mission to find out what’s going on.

Elektra’s history with Matt is complicated and feels like it’s been switched so many times, I’ll admit I can’t keep up with it. She knew him in law school. They were an item. Then she dropped out due to a family emergency. There’s also Elektra’s past which also feels like it’s been shifted around a lot. That one, I’m honestly not sure where it stands. But, Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 keeps things focused and feels like it streamlines things in a way. We are taken through a “this is your life” type exploration as Elektra in modern times attempts to figure out who is after her. We get to see her training with Stick, her recruitment into the Hand, and some of her relationship with Matt. It makes things clear as to her focus and the abuse and training she endured through the years.

The issue’s story is fantastic as Zdarsky takes us into Elektra’s head. It’s mostly her thoughts as she attempts to piece together what’s happening to her while also reflecting on her life. Zdarsky brings a tinge of paranoia along with regret in a story that’s tense and sad in so many ways.

Rafael De LaTorre‘s art is fantastic. Along with color from Federico Blee and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the comic looks fantastic. There’s a general look to the comic of a dark cloud hanging over Elektra as she scrambles. This isn’t a flashy comic with lots of splash pages but instead there’s a tightness about the panels and focus of each of a woman whose world and past is closing in on her. The style and look perfectly captures the tone of the story and in many ways brings so much of the tension and reflection. LaTorre perfectly nails down close up shots of Elektra’s face as she looks out and ponders what’s happening.

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 is a fantastic issue. Far too often, event tie-in miniseries feel cheap and thrown together. This is a comic that’d stand on its own without the event. The story and art combine for a fantastic debut that has me wanting to go back and read what I have missed of Zdarsky’s run.

Story: Chip Zdarsky Art: Rafael De LaTorre
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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