After escaping the ruins of Shicheng, Elektra corners the elusive Cape Crow at the edge of the world where she must finally decide his fate. Will the deadliest assassin in the Marvel Universe defeat Cape Crow and collect the biggest bounty of her career, or help the hardened killer and his son escape the psychotic assassin Bloody Lips?
Brought face to face with their earliest victims, Elektra and Bloody Lips find themselves on a strange journey in the depths of Shicheng inElektra #4. Confronted by their pasts, each looks into the faces of the innocents they’ve slain, Elektra her mother and Bloody Lips his wife. There they see the lives they would have lived in other circumstances, had her mother not died in childbirth and had he not murdered his family, and the fates that might have awaited them. These visions are false, however, some kind of psychic trick that Elektra is able to escape from, with Bloody Lips still hot on her heels.
Aided by the Matchmaker, Elektra is able to get the wounded Kento back on the plane to leave Monster Island, only for Bloody Lips to attack again. A brief aerial battle ends as Elektra jumps from the plane to crash into the other’s cockpit, killing Bloody Lips and flying to safety. Matchmaker’s plane is heavily damaged in skirmish and goes off-course, crashing into the Antarctic where Elektra comes face to face with Cape Crow.
While this series loves to stick to standard assassin fare, it does so in visually exciting ways. Blackman’s scripting is strong with prose-like dialogue and narration, some of the best I’ve seen from any Marvel title, but the true strength of the book lies with Del Mundo’s impressive art. From energetic line work to compelling page design, grim grungy textures paired with delicate palettes and painterly strokes, this book is beautiful start to finish.
Some reviewers have been critical of the arc’s pacing, especially with the somewhat metaphysical detour of this issue and the last. The action is frequently broken up with memories and flashbacks, often a mess made gnarled by Bloody Lips’ cannibalism of thoughts and experiences, and this issue repeats that pattern. However, given the nature of Elektra’s mental and emotional history, this contrast between internal reflection and external action works. The story itself has little novelty but the way it’s told, with the dual narrative of Elektra and Bloody Lips coming to a violent close, makes for another entertaining read.