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Review: Elektra: Always Bet on Red TPB

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Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:55 pm

Should you bet on this Elektra tale to be good? GLX gives you his opinion.

Publisher - Marvel Comics

Writer - Matt Owens

Artists - Juann Cabal with Martin Morazzo

Color artists - Antonio Fabela with Marcio Menyz and Jordan Boyd

Letterer - VC's Cory Petit



Going into this trade, I did not know what to expect. There was not much hype about this story, when it came out. Still, an Elektra versus Arcade tale had potential to be fun, so I gave it a shot at my local library. What I discovered is that Elektra: Always Bet on Red lived up to some of that potential.

Matt Owens' script has a good bit of fun in it. He places Elektra into some crazy situations that are entertaining to see play out. Arcade's characterization is handled well with a nice balance between the absurdity of his style with the real danger of his skill set. There is not that much depth in the rest of the cast, but they fulfill their roles without being annoying.

The art by Juann Cabal and company is easily the highlight of the comic. Cabal's art reminds me of Jamie McKelvie, especially when it comes to how faces are depicted. An artist rocking a similar style to one of their peers can be distracting, but the way Cabal handles the action scenes makes it a non-issue. In fact, there's one flashback in the beginning of the story that acts as a shout out to classic Elektra moments. Cabal and the color crew make each bit of that flashback look distinct and appropriate. Everything is executed as needed without feeling out of place.

Martin Morazzo handles a brief section of the story, and leads to the most noticeable shift in artistic style in the story. That said, Morazzo's work is strong, and the shift back from his style to Cabal's style is handled smoothly.The color art backing Cabal and Morazzo is also really good. Mainly handled by Antonio Fabela, the colors make the art pop out without hurting the tone of the story. While multiple colorists were involved in the final product, the art itself does not reflect it that much.

The lettering by VC's Cory Petit does a good job of giving the action on the page an extra punch without getting in the way. I really love the call backs to different pop culture references. When Arcade welcomes Elektra to Murderworld, the logo is reminiscent of Disney, and the Super Mario series. Petit also handles a Mortal Kombat reference with a fine balance between being familiar, while not being too blatant. Even when the story is in its less chaotic moments, the lettering stays clean and consistent.

Elektra: Always Bet on Red is worth a look, at least for the art. It is not a comic that is deep or game-changing, but it's entertaining despite its flaws. Sometimes, that is enough.

Written or Contributed by GLX


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