Elektra has had a solid start thus far. Moving the Elektra away from all the madness in New York City and giving her a city of her own in Las Vegas has been a refreshing change of pace. The setting has brought all new challenges for Elektra in the form of Arcade’s new twisted version of Murderworld. This is a setting that is very unfamiliar for an assassin like Elektra who has never been known for playing games. Will Arcade’s new Murderworld prove to be too much for Elektra? Let’s find out with Elektra #3.
Writer: Matt Owens
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colorist: Antonio Fabela and Jordan Boyd
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Arcade announces the all-star line-up for Murderworld including Buffalo Ball, Hikari, Chip Edendale and Elektra.
The four participants run into a building for safety. Elektra says they must come up with a plan but before she can say what the plan is building they are in is destroyed.
Elektra and the others are suddenly forced to fight Murderworld team. Chip Edendale is the first to fall to Murderworld’s team.
In the high rollers suite Arcade throws the money of the person who bet on Chip to survive and announces bets can still be placed.
Elektra, Buffalo Ball and Hikari are able to hold their own. Arcade stops the fight when Elektra breaks a rule and pauses Murderworld’s game for a quick intermission. Elektra is shocked for breaking the rules as it is explained that she is not allowed to steal participants weapons.
During the intermission Elektra reminisces about a time when she and Daredevil went to bust a Triad operation. While Elektra was prepared to punch and stab people Daredevil reminds her they are there to save people.
Back in the present Elektra, Buffalo Ball and Hikari are teleported to the next level of Murderworld, which is a dogo in the middle of a bamboo forest. Inside the dojo the three are attacked by arrows coming out of the wall. One of Murderworld’s combatants is able to stab Buffalo Ball with a sword, taking him out of the game.
Elektra and Hikari are able to make it outside the dojo where they are faced by another Murderworld combatant. While Elektra fights him Hikari is somehow mesmerized by some cherry blossom petals.
Elektra once again reminisces back to when she and Daredevil took down the Triad. After knocking out all of the Triad members inside the warehouse Elektra finds a room filled with the dead bodies of the women the Triad kidnapped.
Back in the present Hikari has been taken out and Elektra is surrounded by the Murderworld team. Elektra picks up a pair of bamboo sticks and begins fighting off the Murderworld team on her own.
As she systematically takes down each member of the Murderworld team she is reminded of how she found and beat to death the Triad operations leader with her bare hands. Elektra then swears to kill everyone.
Arcade suddenly shows up. Elektra says she won Arcade’s dumb game and he should face her himself. Arcade reveals that she has yet to win the game. He then says that Elektra is his golden ticket after winning him so much money and is now putting Elektra on the next level.
Arcade reveals that the next level will involve Elektra trying to save her new friend Lauren with a thirty minute time frame, including a collar on her neck that’ll explode if she does not win.
As people place their bets Arcade introduces the newest challenger in of Murderworld to be Screwball. Screwball teleports in and instantly knocks Elektra out from behind as the timer on Elektra’s neck starts counting down. End of issue.
The Good: As each issue of the series progresses Matt Owens continues to establish Elektra’s voice at this stage in her career. Elektra #3 furthers that by integrating Elektra’s past experience working alongside Daredevil to highlight her way of handling situations. In choosing this time to give us a glimpse at her past we are able to see how much Elektra puts on her shoulders.
Right out of the gate Elektra #3 shows us how Elektra goes about taking on situations she is not familiar with. Having her surrounded by Buffalo Ball, Hikari and Chip Edendale put a bigger spotlight on how she is able to remain calm no matter the situation. Even when her anger builds there is a sense that she is always in control of the situation. That fact made her shift into using deadly force in both the past and present day scenes even more effective.
There was a terrifying Terminator aspect to Elektra once she made that shift. In making that shift Owens reminds us how when Elektra is in a position to not care about anyone but herself she is an unstoppable force of nature. That made the fear the Triad leader and Murderworld’s final member showed even more powerful moment when Elektra found and took them out. That all elevated her line of dialogue where she declared she would kill everyone that got in her way.
Elektra’s approach to being placed in Murderworld was complimented by how much Arcade was enjoying his high roller game becoming much more of a success. With Arcade being a character that continues to have a smile on his face as he sees money keep rolling in he provides Elektra with a great adversary to play off of. That glee in Arcade’s face makes you hope that Elektra does get her hands, or sais, on Arcade so he gets what is coming to him. Especially after kidnapping Laura as a game piece for the next level there is an even greater reason for Elektra to get her hands on him.
Juann Cabal continues to impress with his work on this series with Elektra #3. Cabal does a very good job getting over how Elektra has found herself in a video game world with how he portrays the digital world. The unique designs of Buffalo Ball, Hikari and Chip Edendale helped elevate the level of strangeness as they stood next to Elektra in Murderworld. It was also a cool move on the part of Antonio Fabela and Jordan Boyd to go with a black and grey color palette to help the flashback sequence standout from what was going on in the present.
The Bad: Though the pacing for Elektra #3 was well executed it would made the issue even better if we got to see more from the other Murderworld participants outside of Elektra. Because as it stands everyone Arcade rounded up for his new Murderworld looked absolutely weak outside of Elektra. It made you question why anyone would bet on them since we didn’t get an understanding of what they brought to the table. Even adding a page where we got to see what Buffalo Ball, Hikari and Chip Edendale brought to the table would helped what Elektra was up against.
Overall: Elektra #3 did not waste anytime in moving the story in Murderworld forward. By doing so Matt Owens is able to highlight what makes Elektra such a kick ass character no matter the situation. With the dialogue being kept at a minimum Owens was able to give Juann Cabal more than enough space for his artistic abilities to showcae Elektra’s abilities and the dangers of Murderworld.