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"Elektra came into existence simply because I wanted Daredevil to have a femme fatale," said Frank Miller, and the character he came up with is one of Marvel's most fascinating villains. Elektra, daughter of an ambassador who was slain during a terrorist attack, was so embittered by the experience that she turned to a life of senseless crime. After extensive training in martial arts, she returned to New York as a paid killer unaware that the man she had loved in more innocent days had become Daredevil. Their subsequent clash seemed inevitable.
"The idea of the girlfriend gone bad was a lot different from what was coming out at the time," says Miller. In fact, the idea went beyond the particulars of the plot and perhaps symbolized the battle of the sexes, which was in a particularly confrontational phrase during the early 1980s. Elektra may have been an emblem of the independent modern woman, or perhaps she was a projection of male suspicion and hostility. In any case, the deck was stacked against her - after all, she was a guest in Daredevil's comic book. Ultimately, she was killed by another criminal and died in her blind lover's arms.
Good bad guys are too valuable to toss away, however, and before long, Elektra was revived. Miller brought her back, working with artist Lynn Varley, in the best selling graphic novel Elektra Lives Again (1990).
Excerpted in part from MARVEL, Five Fabulous Decades of the Worlds Greatest Comics
By Les Daniels
© 1991 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.