Tuesday’s Tragic moment in comics – Daredevil #181 – The Death of Elektra

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There is probably no other comic book character outside of Batman or Spider-Man that is the kiss of death for any woman who loves him; than Matt Murdock the Daredevil. So when that brutal bastard Frank Miller gets his hands on the series, we know we are in for one of the most violent and bloody battles we will ever see. What makes it even more impressive is that the main character, Daredevil isn’t even in the fight.

The caption for DD #181 reads – Bullseye vs. Elektra…one wins…one dies.

A little history on the tale. At the time, Elecktra, is working as an enforcer and assassin for the Kingpin when she is given her next target. Foggy Nelson. She cannot bring herself to carry out the contract on the law partner of the man she loves and lets Foggy go. Expecting this betrayal, Kingpin had sent the killer Bullseye behind her and what follows is one of the best drawn battles in comic book history. Six pages of choreographed fight scene with the minimum of dialogue ending in the death of Elektra.

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Though the stabbing with her own sai is what people remember, prior to this Bullseye had sliced her throat open with a playing card. An act he had done to a cab driver just pages before. Elektra does not die on the spot either. Instead she crawls, stumbles and barely walks to the apartment of Matt Murdock to die on his doorstep. This sets up the next battle between Daredevil and Bullseye which only goes two pages.

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Elektra was created by Frank Miller and issue #168 in January of 1981. She is killed 14 issues later in #181, April of 1982. As for Daredevil, it could be argued that the death of Elektra is the single most powerful event in the life of the character. Elektra as a character barely lasted a year in the comic book world but Miller did too good of a job with Elektra and she would return a decade later and become one of Marvel’s best Femme Fatales.

Sidenote – when she first appears in DD#168, her name is misspelled on the cover as Elecktra.

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