Although superheroes like X-Men and Batman still hold lots of readers in thrall, there is now a whole new world of comics with more on its mind than space invaders and mutant outlaws. Available in chain bookstores, as well as in comics and science-fiction specialty shops, the best of the alternative comics are showcasing some of the quirkiest and most original storytelling talent in America today.
With the publication in 1986 of Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the caped crusader of Gotham City was recast as Ronald Reagan in baggy purple tights. Though the story had all the logic and nuance of a fever dream, it was still quite a ride. Ever since, Miller has been the darling of slash-and-burn-comics fans, though nothing he’s produced in the past five years has achieved Dark Knight‘s phenomenal success.
Elektra Lives Again isn’t likely to boost his reputation as a writer, though it does contain some of his strongest drawing in years. The problem with this graphic novel is that the story is a continuation of Miller’s brief work on Marvel Comics’ monthly Daredevil series. So if you don’t already know who Elektra is, or why Matt Murdock is so taken with her, this installment won’t make a lick of sense. Even if you do know, the story is still pretty inscrutable.