Wolverine: Enemy of the State is a Must-Read Elektra Comic

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Wolverine: Enemy of the State is a Must-Read Elektra Comic

Elektra by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts
Elektra by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts. Marvel Comics

Writer Mark Millar, artist John Romita Jr., inker Klaus Janson, and colorist Paul Mount's Wolverine: Enemy of the State is easily one of my favorite stories about the adamantium-clawed and deadly X-Man. For me, it's right below Millar and Steve McNiven's phenomenal Old Man Logan arc. They're both great stories for totally different reasons, but there is one advantage that Enemy of the State has over Old Man Logan: Elektra Natchios, a.k.a. one of Marvel's most lethal and interesting assassins.

Enemy of the State's story is pretty straightforward, but it's overflowing with exciting action and has a solid amount of focus into the immensely popular antihero from Marvel. There's a ton of stabbing, slashing, shooting, and all kinds of thrilling madness, but there's also a nice look into Wolverine's psyche and it gives the reader a strong connection to the guy. In the 12-issue story arc, James "Logan" Howlett, a.k.a. Wolverine, is violently taken out by a new - and absurdly formidable - villain named Tomi Shishido, a.k.a. Gorgon. After Wolverine's vicious and swift defeat, he's brainwashed by The Hand. To make matters even worse, the Hand is now working with another villainous organization: HYDRA. Now, these two twisted groups have Wolverine as their puppet. In case you haven't heard by now, Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, but what he does best isn't very nice.

Wolverine being the villain is a really, really scary thought. Logan's clashed with heroes plenty of times before, but not quite like this. The man's unleashing and pretty much anyone and everyone in his path is understandably afraid, or at least they recognize the fact that they're up against a seriously dangerous threat. While some may joke that Wolverine's power is just having some silverware sticking out of his hands and he can heal fast, that's overlooking just how frightening the guy can be.

Thanks to years and years of training and his enhanced abilities, Wovlerine's ability to slaughter his enemies is beyond impressive. He's stealthy, he's skilled, and very few things can slow him down. It doesn't matter if you're a powerful telepath or if you have superhuman physiology; taking on Wolverine is something that very few characters should take lightly.

So, why did I take so much time praising Wolverine's abilities as a combatant? It's so you fully recognize just how impressive it is that Elektra doesn't hesitate - not even for a moment - when she realizes that Wolverine is on the loose and she has to go after him. Seriously, she's that talented and that badass. Millar most definitely does the character justice in Enemy of the State. Elektra may not be the star of the comic, but she plays an unforgettable role and it's a story that every Elektra fan needs to experience.

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Elektra vs. Wolverine

Elektra vs. Wolverine by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts
Elektra vs. Wolverine by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts. Marvel Comics

Elektra vs. Wolverine is undoubtedly an uphill struggle for Elektra. She's incredibly skilled and very agile, yet Wolverine's accelerated healing factor and the virtually unbreakable adamantium that laces his skeleton makes him ridiculously difficult to keep down for the count. Wolvie's taken hits from the "strongest there is" (Robert Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk) and he's held his own against Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, multiple times. He's tough as nails and he's a gifted fighter. Despite Wolverine's advantages, Elektra's able to have the killing-machine at her mercy twice in Enemy of the State! To be fair, Wolverine is distracted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents the first time Elektra sticks her two sai in him, but the fact Elektra's able to incapacitate Wolverine with a single move is totally stunning. After that, she's able to incapacitate Wolverine again, and that's when she has his full attention. If it wasn't for Wolverine's literally plan, it's clear that Elektra had the edge in the fight and she could've been the one to take Logan down. She didn't succeed in stopping Wolverine from escaping, but she sure did succeed in looking like

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The Hand

Elektra and Wolverine by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts
Elektra and Wolverine by John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts. Marvel Comics

To some fans, the Hand is a joke; a group of villains that don't pose a significant threat. Sure, the group of ninjas look cool, but to some, they're basically fodder. They can be a threat to ordinary people, but if a single hero is around, dozens of them are going to get dropped. Elektra and Wolverine slice and dice their way through a bunch of them in this story arc (Wolverine rips through literally dozens of them), but Millar and Romita Jr's story shows there's so much more history to the Hand, and they are by no means an organization that should be underestimated.

Elektra made her debut back in Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's Daredevil run. If you've read it - and it's obviously mandatory reading, so you should - then you know the Hand and Elektra go way back. Elektra and the Hand have a long and bloody history, and this is yet another action-packed chapter in their bleak story.

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A focus on Elektra's skill AND personality

Elektra and Wolverine by John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts
Elektra and Wolverine by John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts. Marvel Comics

Millar gives Elektra a ton of love in Enemy of the State. Even when she goes up against the shockingly dangerous big bad in the comic, Gorgon, he states she is even better than he expected. In addition to schooling Wolverine (which is a hugely impressive feat, by the way) and slaughtering her enemies with ease, Millar makes sure Elektra's personality is equally badass. Being a ridiculously good combatant is cool and all that, but without a solid personality, there just isn't much depth to a character, is there? While Elektra doesn't have that much time on her own, Millar does manage to give her the spotlight in one very amusing scene. It also shows just how far she's willing to go to accomplish her mission. No matter how dark and terrible the road may, she's the kind of person who will do what must be done to achieve something important. It's clear the writer had a bit of fun with the dynamic between Elektra and Logan, too.

Oh, and fun fact: S.H.I.E.L.D. pays Elektra more in just one day than they pay the President in an average year. Not shabby, Elektra.

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A hugely entertaining story

Elektra vs. Wolverine John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts
Elektra vs. Wolverine John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, and Paul Mounts. Marvel Comics

Whether you love or loathe Elektra, Enemy of the State is a story arc that you should absolutely check out. Maybe it'll give you a newfound appreciation for the astonishing assassin. Maybe it won't. But what it more than likely will do is keep you thoroughly entertained as it highlights Wolverine psyche and then throws you into an action-heavy story that's full of familiar faces and simply refuses to slow down. It really does feel like one exciting and absorbing scene after another. All in all, Enemy of the State is a total blast, and Elektra being so great in it is just a very awesome added bonus.