Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Rafael de Latorre
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Letter: VC’s Clayton Cowles
This Review Contains Spoilers
Chip Zdarsky and Rafael de Latorre are back with another beautiful installment of the Devil’s Reign event. With the narrative setup of Woman Without Fear #1 out of the way, #2 is a tightly wound affair.
Following a tortured, romantic, opening, Elektra squares off against Kraven the Hunter. Kraven is seemingly after Elektra for the thrill of the hunt, but Wilson Fisk’s plans always run deeper than that. The art team comes together to render a fantastic fight sequence set against a snowy, pine forest backdrop. There’s a particularly dynamic shot of Elektra evading Kraven’s blades with an artful back flip.
As the fight scene evolves into a chase, Elektra suffers a number of unusual hindrances. She’s shot by a common police officer, she’s distracted by sentimentality, and ultimately, she’s outwitted. Suffice it to say that while a bullet-wounded Elektra would still stand a strong chance against Kraven, the hunter will have the law on his side in #3.
The issue moves at a frenetic pace, but remains grounded by Elektra’s adoring yet morose thoughts of Matt. However, when it comes to the exact nature (and future) of their relationship, Woman Without Fear is playing its cards close to the vest.
Let’s back up a bit. Before Matt went to jail in Daredevil, a flashback with Stick and a bit of internal dialogue revealed that Elektra has plans to take down The Hand for good. To do this, she must complete a sort of ritual involving a King and Queen. She is the Queen, of course, and wants Matt to be her king. The problem? One of the two must die for it to work.
There’s been no further insight into Elektra’s plans or how the ritual destroys The Hand. But the idea of Elektra killing Matt seems less plausible with every page. She bought Hell’s Kitchen on his behalf, took on the mantle of Daredevil while he was incarcerated, and made good on her vow not to kill. She even rescued and trained a young girl who had nothing to do with her plans for The Hand.
Honestly, it had reached a point where I figured Zdarsky had thought up a better angle for Elektra and dropped that thread. But it comes back into focus in Woman Without Fear.
In #1, Fisk threatened Elektra with her secrets, which spurred her into action. However, #2 implies that Elektra has come clean and shared her plans with Matt. But then why has she let Fisk manipulate her? And how does Elektra plan to end The Hand once and for all without a King and Queen?
The endgame must relate to the massive “sea-change” that warrants a new #1 for a Daredevil run that hadn’t cracked 40 issues. That said, expect the final payoff to come not in the highly anticipated Woman Without Fear #3, but as part of the Devil’s Reign grand finale.
Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #2
An action packed issue will leave readers guessing as to what Elektra's secrets really are.