From her introduction in 1981, Elektra stood out as a different kind of character. Beautiful yet lethal, she possessed a violence and skill sufficient to challenge the deadliest men in the Marvel Universe, yet a more complex persona lay beneath her sharp exterior.
Elektra became in many ways the avatar of Frank Miller’s acclaimed run on DAREDEVIL, and remains an integral part of the Marvel Universe to this day. As part of the 75th anniversary of Marvel, we look back on her tumultuous saga.
Born into tragedy and trained first as a ninja and then as an assassin, Elektra Natchios saw her entire life became an unending circle of life and death. Striving for peace, though dealing in violence, her story remains one of a person trapped between worlds and searching for herself.
Operating as an assassin for hire, Elektra crossed paths with her college-days lover, Matt Murdock, in DAREDEVIL #168 and discovered he operated as a masked crusader in direct opposition to her goals. Daredevil’s arch-enemy Bullseye entered the picture soon after, as well as the Kingpin, both of them complicating things for the duo.
Elektra teamed with Murdock to confront the Hand’s master killer Kirigi in DAREDEVIL #175, and ended up killing him in DAREDEVIL #176. The Kingpin took notice of the incident, hiring her for his own purposes against his enemies in DAREDEVIL #178. Elektra’s first mission for the crimelord sent her after reporter Ben Urich, and then Matt’s partner Foggy Nelson in DAREDEVIL #180.
When Bullseye uncovered Daredevil’s secret identity in DAREDEVIL #181, he went after Elektra to hurt Matt at his most vulnerable spot and ended her life during a brutal showdown. The Hand, Elektra’s old teachers, stole her body with the intent of resurrecting their prize assassin. This came to pass in DAREDEVIL #190, though Matt’s love spoiled their plans by purifying her soul and making Elektra useless to them.
Much later, Elektra found herself locked away in a mental institution in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #1, and with disjointed memories of her dark past. Sensing the presence of an evil entity known as the Beast, she escaped from the hospital to try and stop its plans for nuclear Armageddon. This put her in the path of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent John Garrett in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #2, a twist of destiny that would ultimately test them both.
After a series of encounters with S.H.I.E.L.D. and as her connection with Garrett grew, Elektra sought to stop the Beast’s presidential candidate Ken Wind from gaining power in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #7. However, it took a mind-swap between Garrett and Wind in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN #8 to turn the tide against the Beast and save the day.
Daredevil sought answers to the question of Elektra’s resurrection in ELEKTRA LIVES AGAIN, but when he finally overcame his nightmares and tracked her down, he stood in horror as a reborn Bullseye murdered her all over again.
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