Written by: Peter David, Al Ewing, Greg Smallwood
Art by: Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Rod Reis, Greg Smallwood,
Colors by: Frank D’Armata, Rod Reis, Greg Smallwood
Letters by: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover art by: Adam Hughes (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: February 23, 2022
Elektra: Black, White & Blood #2 continues the three tales of the world’s deadliest assassin as she intervenes in a quarrel between a pregnant prostitute and the bay’s father,
Was It Good?
Elektra: Black, White & Blood #2 is the latest entry from Marvel to cash in on the “what’s black and white and red all over?” motif with three tales featuring Elektra Nachios and her very unique set of skills. For the sake of clarity, I’ll break down each short separately.
Cut and Run
Patch (Wolverine in disguise) asks Elektra to check in on a “regular girl” to his establishment who’s gone missing. The girl, Joon, is pregnant and a world-class assassin has come to claim her away from her boyfriend before she has a chance to terminate the pregnancy. However, not all assumptions are proven correct.
The story from Peter David is fine. Joon is the focus of the story wherein Elektra acts as a force of nature, so you may not get a showcase feel from what’s going on. This short has Greg Land and Jey Leisten on art. Greg Land may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to the outright traced-from-photos feel of the characters, but it works well enough here.
Police detectives investigate a parking garage murder. when they examine the security cameras, the victim is seemingly killed by an invisible blade. when one of the detectives takes a cue from his love of cinema to slow down the surveillance footage, he sees something he’ll later wish he hadn’t.
In stark contrast to the previous short, this short by Al Ewing projects Elektra again as a force of nature but in a way that maintains an almost supernatural air of mystery to her prowess. Everything about this short works except the lettering. The dialog isn’t integrated well into the smoky art, and it was sometimes unreadable.
Elektra arrives in a small Japanese village by invitation to deal with an unnamed threat. When the sun sets, chaos erupts as a malevolent being runs off into the night with a stolen child. When Elektra tracks down the being, what she finds is the stuff of nightmares.
Before we critique the story, let’s address the elephant in the room. This is the story that generated controversy when Marvel editorial decided to modify the depiction of Japanese villagers to look “less stereotypically Asian.” The copy we received is the digital version restored to Smallwood’s original art, and it looks fine. There’s nothing remotely offensive or off-putting about the character designs, so I would advise Marvel editorial to stop smoking the wacky tobacky
The story is good to very good. It’s a wordless story, which speaks to the quality of Smallwood’s art and how strong enough it is to carry a story without dialog. That said, there is a down point in the plotting when Elektra catches up to the demon in a cave. It appears the demon is already eating the girl, but then the girl is returned to the village safely. The eating scene could have been handled with better clarity.
Elektra: Black, White & Blood #2 is a strong entry in the anthology series with a general focus on treating Elektra as a force of nature or a plot device rather than as a central character. The art is generally good in all shorts, but nothing particularly stands out as a clear winner in the bunch. In other words, this issue is just okay.