Sunday, January 16, 2005

By the way, the League is thrilled to see that nobody much wanted to see the Elektra movie released by Marvel Studios.

Elektra was introduced by Frank Miller into Daredevil comics back when having hordes of ninjas in your comics seemed like a swell idea. Miller's Daredevil/ Elektra stories still hold up very well. THe trick is, at the end of these stories, Elektra pretty much took a dirt nap.

So long, Elektra.

Elektra's best appearance was in a spin-off limited series called "Elektra: Assassin", a comic which featured cyborgs, ninjas, shady government agents, blue alien dwarfs and massive government conspiracies.

(ed. note: It appears Marvel actually let Elektra: Assassin go out of print again prior to the release of the movie. Fearing, I guess, that somebody might find some interesting Elektra material out there.)

On top of this, the incomparable Bill Sienkiewicz illuistrated the comic, creating an 80's pop art masterpiece, the likes of which have barely been seen since.

it is important to note that Elektra's one big character trait in the Miller-scribed Elektra comics was that Elektra was completely nuts. She might kiss you, she might shove a sai through your ear. THe point in the Daredevil comics was that Daredevil falls for the wrong kind of dame. In the Elektra: Assassin comics, the point was that their was method to her madness.

Once Marvel Comics and Frank Miller had parted ways, Marvel decided Elektra was too hot of a property to pass up. Unfortunately, virtually nobody at Marvel seemed to know how to handle the character. In the late 90's, when Bill Jemas took over the reigns at Marvel, he decided to reinvigorate Elektra by hiring Greg Horn to do cheesecake Elektra covers on the lackluster comic series, and give lonely comic nerds a sort of fetish idol of their own.

Even more bizarre, Jemas tried to market Elektra as a sort of spokesmodel to the highest bidder. So, you know, if Guess Jeans wanted Greg Horn to paint Elektra in Guess Jeans, there she'd be. It seems as if the idea never took off.

Just to add to the bizarre-o universe which jemas was creating, Marvel had a spin-off company which would allow you to hire actors in their characters' costumes to come to your mall opening or birthday party or whatever. So, one of the characters you could invite was blood thirsty, S&M ninja Elektra. 'Cause that's always fun at your birthday party, right after you blow out the candles.

The Daredevil movie decided to capitalize upon the popularity of the Elektra storyline from the 80's Daredevil comics and included TV's only spy played by a Peep, Jennifer Garner.

The Daredevil movie, of course, managed to utilize the important plot points from the Daredevil comics while managing to drain any life from the story. Meanwhile, it managed to ham & cheese up what parts it did keep, making Elektra both unbelievalby boring and kind of a dullard.

I am pleased to see that the rest of the country also seemed to believe an Elektra spin-off film was a terrible idea (it grossed a whopping $12.5 million, comin in #5 this weekend at the box office). Funny how people aren't that interested in a story which is apparently pulled from patchwork bits of Marvel Comics' B and C list of characters.

Unfortunately, from what I hear, the Marvel movie I was looking forward to, The Fantastic Four, released it's first trailer with Elektra and is looking to be a big old stinker along the lines of Daredevil. Maybe rushing these things out wasn't the best option for anybody.

I would have loved to have seen somebody try to tackle the Elektra: Assassin story into a movie, but that's not going to happen. So, until then, I'll just hold onto my comics and enjoy them all the more.

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