No amount of words can properly express just how amazing Michael Del Mundo layouts and panels are in each and every issue of ELEKTRA. In this latest chapter, Del Mundo (Marco D'Alfonso helps with colors) once again offers us a brilliant visual ride. The opening sequence is handled masterfully as it juggles the thoughts of two different characters and everything that follows is presented superbly. The amount of effort put into every panel and the way they're laid out is immediately noticeable and every single page has plenty of things that are worth gazing at. Whether it's the bright colors as Elektra emerges from the water or the riveting action scene that takes place in the sky, this is a book that delivers and then some with the artwork in each and every scene. Some of the facial expressions in the opening scene were impressively effective, too. It's truly praiseworthy stuff.
What good is spectacular art if the story is lackluster, right? Thankfully for Del Mundo, writer W. Haden Blackman is also doing great work with the script. This fourth chapter manages to provide massive insight into the two main characters -- Elektra and Bloody Lips -- and moves the plot forward. Does Elektra regret killing all of those people over the years? Could Bloody Lips be redeemed? The last cliffhanger paved the way for an excellent and totally immerse look into their minds and tells us everything we'd need to know about these individuals. This experience doesn't overstay it's welcome and delivers just enough to enhance our connection and appreciation for these two characters. It's also fascinating seeing a "what if?" possibility for the famous assassin.
Once the focus on who these characters are and what makes them standout comes to an end, Blackman goes full speed ahead with a brief yet absolutely thrilling action sequence. In Del Mundo's hands, it feels like pure cinematic bliss as we observe an aerial chase which has an explosive and exciting conclusion. And then when it seems like we can finally relax for a moment and take a breath, we're hit with a big ol' cliffhanger. The next issue is looking very promising and will apparently move forward with an important part of the narrative.
Maybe it's because I'm enjoying the experience so much, but the ending felt like it was pretty abrupt. Still, it's exciting and has me beyond anxious to read the next issue.
Do yourself a favor and make room for ELEKTRA on your pull list. Del Mundo's pages are awe-inspiring and do a magnificent job turning Blackman's commendable script into a fascinating and exhilarating journey. This issue is paced so well, too. We're treated to just the right amount of character-driven scenes and then we're thrown into some gorgeous and fast-paced chaos. And if you've been following along (if not, go play catch-up right now!), you're sure to be excited about the final page.