Elektra: Assassin is a seminal eight-issue miniseries published by Epic Comics, an imprint of Marvel Comics, between 1986 and 87. It was written by Frank Miller and illustrated by Bill Sienkiewicz. This series is part of the mainstream Earth-616 continuity.
Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz were at their most popular level with comic book fans when this series was released. The Elektra series was received well by fans around the same time that Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
This series is the first time famed Sienkiewicz illustrated using water colors as opposed to the traditional pencilling then inking method. His exaggerated art is unique amongst recognized comic book artists of his time.
Miller's plot was considered too adult in content to be approved under the "comic book code" rating system. Instead, it was released under Marvel's affiliate Epic Comics
, known for producing material that would not be appropriate for children. It was also not sold on newsstands, but only through specialist stores, to keep it away from children.
The story starts out with Elektra in a mental institution in South America, attempting to recover her memory. (It is deliberately left vague whether this takes place prior to her appearances in Daredevil
, or whether it details a subsequent resurrection; subsequently, the series has been dismissed from continuity altogether.) The first issue is very disjointed, as she pieces together jumbled memories ranging from the murder of her mother, molestation by her father (which she says is actually an invented memory), to more recent events such as an assassination she carried out. This led her to discover the existence of The Beast, which controls people by forcing them to drink its milk. At first, The Beast's motives are unclear, but it is gradually revealed that it is attempting to bring about a nuclear war. When its initial plans fail, it launches the presidential campaign of Ken Wind (with a face resembling a grainy Dan Quayle
photograph, whose resemblance is a coincidence, according to Sienkiewicz
). Wind proves extremely popular through various platitudes which disguise his evil nature; when Wind takes over, he intends to launch a nuclear attack on Russia, bringing about mutually assured destruction
Elektra uses her psychic powers to escape, running afoul of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Garrett. Garrett, an alcoholic, feels ashamed and becomes obsessed with Elektra, but she manages to stay one step ahead of him. She traps him in a building which is blown up, and most of his body is destroyed. S.H.I.E.L.D.'s experimental cybernetics division builds him a robotic body and attaches his head. His psychic bond with Elektra continues to grow, and he eventually realizes he is powerless against her. She sets out to stop the Beast, killing various subordinates and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the process. In response, Nick Fury sends Chastity McBryde, a strictly by-the-book agent. Perry, a sociopath who was Garret's former partner, has now also been turned into a cyborg. Chastity learns of Perry's suppressed sociopathic criminal history, and informs Fury, but Perry manages to escape before S.H.I.E.L.D can deactivate him. Perry is extremely dangerous and eventually comes under the service of The Beast. The Beast manages to get Wind elected president, but Elektra thwarts the plan with her psychic powers and ninja skills. In a final confrontation, Elektra manages to injure the beast, terminate Perry and transfer the mind of Garrett into Ken Wind and vice versa before she and Garrett are captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. As Chastity is giving her final report to the president about what happened, we realize that in the end, Garrett, in the body of Wind, is the president, and Elektra, using her psychic powers yet again, manages to escape S.H.I.E.L.D after she has recovered by placing her mind in one of the blue helper dwarfs, knocking out Chastity and then releasing her own body.
George Olshevksy's Avengers Index#3. In that issue, he discusses Avengers I#61, and notes that some freak weather conditions, such as the abnormally premature snowstorms seen in Elektra: Assassin, were caused by the battle between Ymir and Surtur in Avengers I#61, as well as by the events of Incredible Hulk I#109-110 (in which a large machine that affected the Earth's rotation existed in the Savage Land — this machine was the Planet-Destroyer, which was a weapon of the Sagittarians, used in the service of the Galaxy Master. It is seen in the profile for Umbu the Unliving). Thus, some of the events of Elektra: Assassin took place around the time of other stories with premature snowstorms, such as Amazing Spider-Man
I#85, Incredible Hulk I#115, and Daredevil I#52-53. These premature snowstorms came ever now and then during a period of two or three months following the events of Avengers I#61. Further, Avengers I#61 took place towards the end of the third week of September of Peter Parker's sophomore year in college.