This week, with the ongoing Daredevil series on-hold for the duration of the Devil’s Reign event, current hornhead Elektra Natchios takes center stage with her own title, Daredevil: Woman Without Fear! How does the title tie in to both the current event and Elektra’s overall arc?

We’ve got a review of that title, along with your regular Rapid Rundown of other newly-released Marvel Comics titles, all ahead in this week’s installment of The Marvel Rundown!

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 Cover
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Rafael De LaTorre
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Chris Bachalo

It’s a great time to be a Daredevil fan. Writer Chip Zdarsky and primary artist Marco Checchetto have crafted an ongoing series run for the character that pulls from the character’s history and feels like a natural extension of themes that have been present for Matt Murdock and co. for decades. With the character’s regular title on hold for the duration of Zdarsky and Checchetto’s Devil’s Reign event miniseries, the new Daredevil: Woman Without Fear tie-in miniseries puts the focus on the regular DD titles unofficial co-lead, Elektra Natchios, who adopted the identity of Daredevil after Matt Murdock voluntarily went to prison for manslaughter. The first issue of the mini lays out nicely how the series will tie in to Devil’s Reign and continue the character work Zdarsky has been doing with Elektra for the past year.

Zdarsky crafts a story that is successful in nearly every way. Woman Without Fear springs right out of a scene from the latest issue of the Devil’s Reign series, giving it the feel of an essential event tie-in, while still standing fairly solidly on its own throughout the rest of the issue as a contained and accessible story. Readers unfamiliar with Elektra, or who know of her but not What Her Whole Deal Is, also get some great characterization throughout the issue as she continues to grapple with the choice she’s made in taking on the Daredevil mantle, and how that conflicts with her upbringing as an assassin and member of The Hand. Zdarsky also establishes some new characters from Elektra’s past, both of whom are sure to play a big role as the miniseries progresses. It’ll be interesting to see how one of them in particular figures into the larger story for Elektra and those around her.

Page from Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1
From Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Artists Rafael De LaTorre and Federico Blee bring a solid energy to Woman Without Fear #1. De LaTorre’s lines capture Elektra’s movement beautifully, infusing her with the grace of a dancer and the brutal efficiency of a trained killer. The quiet moments of the issue are also nicely done, including an interaction between Elektra and Matt that brims with sexual tension – the pretty people do pretty people things prettily. Blee’s coloring is excellent throughout, the red of Elektra’s DD costume standing out well against the frequent darkness of her surroundings. Color is also used cleverly to indicate flashbacks vs. present-day scenes, which is a pretty common technique that’s still always a pleasure to see executed well.

Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 is an extremely satisfying read. Bonus Zdarsky-written Daredevil material is honestly a gift given how strong his run on the character has been, and it’s nice to see Elektra, an already-complex character with a long history, have new layers revealed and unpacked. The issue’s cliffhanger is exciting, even if it’s hard to believe the character revealed will be any match for Elektra, but either way it should be fun to watch their confrontation play out.

Final Verdict: Buy.

Page from Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1
From Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1

Rapid Rundown!

  • Star Wars: The High Republic – Eye of the Storm #1
    • The High Republic line of Star Wars novels and comics has been an interesting, if not frankly slightly dull, affair. Aside from the major novels by Charles Soule and Cavan Scott, there hasn’t really been a creative splash in the whole endeavour. I do think The Eye of the Storm #1 counts itself among those major endeavours, mostly because it centres on one of the more fascinating characters introduced during this whole story, that of Marchion Ro. There hasn’t really been a Star Wars character like him that I’ve read before; more of a villain and mercenary that the usual crop of Sith villains, which makes him more engaging to learn about. This is, I believe, only the first of a second part story so the narrative is a little more piecemeal than I think people will expect, but it’s genuinely a refreshing change of pace for the franchise to see this character get this kind of focus, which I know is a strange thing to say considering Marvel is also publishing Darth Vader and bounty hunter comics, but you get what I mean. Guillermo Sanna’s artwork is a little rough but eschews from the traditional Star Wars look, offering to the more outside-the-box thinking of the story. Even formally, this story is differently told. I’d recommend this to Star Wars fans who haven’t dived into this multimedia experiment, but fans of The High Republic novels in particular would find this to be required reading. —HW
  • The Thing #3
    • In the third entry in this stellar series from the all-star creative team of Walter MosleyTom ReillyJordie Bellaire, and Joe Sabino, Ben Grimm and Tryco Slatterus, the Champion of the Universe, have a rematch of their battle from Marvel Two-In-One Annual (1983) #7! In one page of gorgeously rendered comic book action after another, the well-matched opponents smash their way from one New York City landmark to another. Aside from the main event, we get more development on the Thing’s relationship with love interest Amaryllis Dejure as well as his friendship with the young (and very clever) Bobby. How does this all tie in with Mot? I’m not sure yet, but you can certainly hear the gears turning beneath the surface. I’m looking forward to seeing how this story turns out, and I recommend you pick it up for yourself! —AJK

Next week, the next stage for the X-Men begins in X Lives of Wolverine #1!