Comic Review – “Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra”

This was designed to appeal to the new Daredevil fans that will appear following next month’s movie. Fortunately, it turns out to be a good story, too.

General Information

Title: Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra
Author: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Salvador Larroca
Original Publication Date: January 15, 2003 reprint of a miniseries
begun in November 2002.
ISBN: 0-7851-1076-3
Cover Price: $11.99US, $19.25 Can
Buy from:

The Issues

This was pitched and solicited as a four-issue miniseries. All four
of those issues are here, and no further issues have been solicited.
However, it’s still labelled “Volume 1.” I suspect Marvel don’t plan
to make more, but they’ve left the door open in case the upcoming
movie is a big success.

This also contains the first David Mack (ie. first post-Kevin Smith)
issue of the Daredevil title from the regular series. (That’s volume
2, issue 9.) It’s not what I bought the issue for, and although it’s
interesting enough to tempt me to buy the trade paperback with the
entire story, I’ll leave it out of consideration while writing this


Elektra Natchios and Matt Murdock meet for the first time in the
Ultimate Universe. Matt’s not quite Daredevil in it, but he’s well on
his way. This is Elektra’s origin story.

High Point

Listening to the city.

Low Point

Matt should have known better than to conclude that a particular
individual wasn’t involved in something. Absence of evidence is not
evidence of absence. He’s much to smart to ignore that possibility.

The Scores

This feels more original than the other Ultimate titles I’ve
read, primarily because they’ve completely redrafted the history of
the characters involved. It may also help that I haven’t yet read
anything in the mainstream line with Elektra yet. (I’ll probably give
in to the temptation that is Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller
Volume 2
when the movie arrives.) The plot itself deals with
more mature issues than I’ve seen in a lot of the comics I’ve read.
(Well, until the next issue of Spider-Man / Black Cat: The Evil
That Men Do
finally comes out.) It also avoids the redemption
cop-out that would be tempting. Still, the underlying themes of the
title are a lot like a few other comic origins (like regular
Daredevil, for example.) I give it 4 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. Salvador Larroca has done an
excellent job. There’s some great expression and emotion in the
faces, and a nearly animated feel in some of the action sequences. I
give it 5 out of 6.

The story, while based on stock themes, is well written and
plotted. The pieces add up, and we can see how these events would
shape these lives. The only problem I had was the romance between the
two characters. It just developed far too fast. It was love at
first sight, but one of them can’t even see. It needed more time to
develop. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is nearly perfect. We see the naive
Elektra mature through life experience. we see Matt in a much more
carefree, teenage mindset than he had in Ultimate Marvel
. We see Foggy, and he’s Foggy. We get to know the
characters well, and we get to know them quickly. I give it 6 out of

The emotional response this produced was good. Rucka was
good at throwing out events that I wasn’t expecting, such as the end
of the first issue. Still, there was little suspense, and little real
pleasure. The ending is written as though they were trying to leave
things open for more issues in the series, which left me unsatisfied.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow, thanks primarily to Larroca, was excellent. The
segueways between scenes were written into the script, but Larroca’s
art gives such an animated quality to the art that things run
extremely well. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a good story with great art. It could
become the foundation for a large part of the Ultimate universe, and I
hope it does. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra receives 33 out of 42.

2 replies on “Comic Review – “Ultimate Daredevil and Elektra””

  1. Question
    What’s the deal with these “Ultimate” titles anyway? They’re just re-doing origins stories for kicks are they going somewhere with this?

    • Re: Question

      What’s the deal with these “Ultimate” titles anyway? They’re just re-doing origins stories for kicks are they going somewhere with this?

      A poll found that fourty years of continuity made it hard for new readers to get into comics. They found two ways to deal with this. The first is the Essential line, which makes the key parts of the continuity available for a very low price. The second is the Ultimate line, which is a new Universe of continuity based on the old one. The characters have been altered to fit more easily with the current times. So far, the majority of the stories and characters are rewrites of the old stuff. The exceptions are Ultimate Adventures, Ultimate War, and the next Ultimate Spider-Man storyline, which will feature a completely new villain. I’ll review each of these as soon as trade paperbacks become available.

      The Ultimate Universe is also meant to be small, with around four titles available in any given month, so that they have small creative teams with tighter continuity than the original universe had. (There have been rare instances with five titles available per month, but that’s a result of two new miniseries starting while and old one shipped late and didn’t finish when expected.) Rumour has it that the next Ultimate title will be Ultimate Fantastic Four, written by Grant Morrison.

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