Dark Reign: Elektra #1Elektra Natchios has had a pretty rough go of things the past few years in the Marvel Universe: she was killed and brought back to life by The Hand; it turns out she’s the reason the Kingpin knows Daredevil’s secret identity; and she ends up as the leader of The Hand. What’s worse? It turns out that she’s also been replaced by an agent of the Skrull invasion of Earth…
Well, Marvel’s resilient assassin is in pretty bad shape post-Secret Invasion; and now, with Norman Osborn’s grab for power, things seem to be getting worse. Starting in March, Dark Reign: Elektra, a five issue mini-series written by Zeb Wells with artwork by Clay Mann, is going to provide readers with answers to Elektra’s condition but—at the same time—it’s not going to pull any punches or waste any time throwing Elektra back into the muddled mix of the Dark Reign era of the Marvel Universe.
Newsarama contacted Zeb Wells to talk about Elektra’s condition and some of the new (yet old) threats she is going to be facing during Dark Reign.
Newsarama: The last time anyone saw Elektra...or something that looked like Elektra--there was a dead Skrull on a metal table with an Elektra outfit on. The real Elektra was a prisoner of the Skrulls. Just how bad of shape is she in?
Zeb Wells: Broken bones, inner-ear damage, nano-descructive injections. Elektra is a mystical ninja and incredibly strong mentally. The Skrulls had to do a lot of damage just to keep her docile.
NRAMA: Will you be exploring much of the torture/study Elektra had undergone at the hands of the Skrulls?
ZW: We'll be moving forward quickly, so the book is more about her recovery and dealing with things back on earth. But Norman Osborn is very interested in what happened to her, and why she was experimented on while other captives were not, so yes, this will eventually come into play.
NRAMA: Skrull-ektra did a lot of heinous things in Elektra's absence; are there a lot of people looking to exact vengeance on Elektra—regardless of who did what?
ZW: Yes. She's made a lot of enemies and now she's in a position where she's being hunted for reasons she doesn't even understand. That's her goal, to survive long enough to "clear her name."
NRAMA: Who are some of the villains readers can expect to see in the pages of Dark Reign: Elektra?
ZW: Well you could make a case that Elektra is one, and everyone she's fighting are the heroes. She is an assassin after all, and I don't want to lose that. But let's just say that one of the "heroes" she'll be facing uses a bow.
Dark Reign: Elektra #2NRAMA: With a 'Dark Reign' banner on this title, will Elektra be coming in contact with Norman Osborn and/or his new band of cronies?
ZW: Oh, yes. From issue one it will be quite clear what Elektra's relationship with Osborn is.
NRAMA: Is this project going to be a transformative moment for Elektra as a character? Or are you trying to return some semblance of order to a character who has been "all over the place" in terms of stories until the big reveal of, "Hey! She's the first Skrull we've uncovered?”
ZW: I'm trying to take Elektra back to her roots. I recently reread Miller and Sienkiewicz's Elektra: Assassin, and its just shockingly good. The closer I can get back to that tone, the better.
NRAMA: How's it been working with Clay Mann?
ZW: Clay's great. He's made a few choices in the layouts that have really blown me away. He gets it. I knew he was the right man for the job when I saw his cover sketch for issue #1 (he does one of the two covers for issue #1...Lee Bermejo does the other one, which I won't talk about because I might become aroused.)
NRAMA: What can you tell readers about the developing Dark Reign storyline? Is the Marvel Universe set for even darker times?
ZW: Depends on your Marvel politics and your allegiances to certain characters. Let's just say thing are getting really, really gray.
NRAMA: What else are you working on currently that you can tell readers about?
ZW: I'm not sure what I can talk about right now.
NRAMA: Will Elektra be a character to watch in 2009 following this project?
ZW: If I do my job right, yes.