Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 (REVIEW)

Jan 10, 2022

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When I originally started reading Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1, I wasn’t quite sure what it was. For once, I didn’t read the solicit! Was this issue going to be in current continuity or something in the past/future? Good news folks- this series is a Devil’s Reign tie-in! Whattt?! It’s a tie-in to that event I am reading that you should also be reading?? YES! If you aren’t reading Devil’s Reign yet, you should check out my reviews on the first two issues here and here. I think they might be convincing!

Marvel Comics
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Rafael De Latorre
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Why A Woman Without Fear Book?

Ever since Elektra took up the Daredevil mantle, I’ve been more excited than ever for her character. Finally, she is not just Matt’s hot assassin on-and-off girlfriend- she’s her own hero as well! Her taking the Daredevil name for herself says a lot both for her independence and for her unity with Matt. While they are forever intertwined in life, Elektra will still be her own person with her own ways… right? Can she be the Daredevil Matt is, living by his laws and rules, or will she become her own Daredevil?

A Necessary Inner Monologue

These questions really become the theme of Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1. Zdarsky’s narration of Elektra Natchios’ inner thoughts continues to astound me. He completely understands who Elektra was as a character before, who she is now, and understands where she can go as a character. Elektra is a buoy pulled two different ways, unclear with which way she will eventually go. However, neither of those ways includes her being a villain. It’s refreshing to see a writer truly understand that Elektra was never truly a mindless assassin, so why would she ever become one now or in the future? Zdarsky understands Elektra’s layers!

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A WOMAN WITH A STORY

This issue reminds me of an ongoing theme from Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine run with Laura Kinney’s Wolverine. Daily, Laura struggled with her past and learned to accept that she is more than someone’s weapon. We see this theme continue in Elektra’s world. Elektra DOES have morals. She DOES want to do good. Yet, she battles her own past, thoughts, and instincts daily to ensure she does the best good she can. She is NOT a weapon for The Hand anymore and she is NOT a soldier in the war of Devil’s Reign.

A Worthy Tie-In?

I loved reading the flashbacks in this story and seeing how they connect with current events. It creates a fuller picture not only for Elektra’s character but also as to why the events of Devil’s Reign matter to everyone, even characters more “gray” like Elektra. I will say, the big let down of this issue was the ending. I’m not completely thrilled with the surprise at the end, though I’m sure some fans will be. That said, I am still interested to see what comes of it next issue!

Beautiful ARt, perhaps misplaced at times

The art in this issue is a toss-up for me! While the environments throughout the issue are drawn well and look great, at times certain characters’ faces look… almost too young. In particular, there’s a scene between Elektra and Matt Murdock where they look almost like 22-year-olds. This may just be the artist’s personal style, which is quite lovely overall, but I would’ve liked to see Elektra and Matt look a bit older in their faces.

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Other than that, the action scenes are drawn great and, as mentioned earlier, the environments all look rad! I really appreciate the color palette of this issue as well. Most of the book is a darker palette, with lots of grey and brown undertones, but the moments where great pops of bright yellows and reds are used perfectly balance with the action currently happening.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been missing Elektra’s point of view since Matt got out of prison, this is the limited series for you! A beautiful tie-in to Devil’s Reign, Daredevil: Woman Without Fear #1 is sure to set up Elektra Natchios’ future well. Whichever way she decides to go, we’re sure to find out in this line. If you read any Devil’s Reign tie-in, this should be it!

Looking for more comic book content? Go check out the latest episode of Geeks WorldWide Radio‘s TLDR podcast, where Joseph Gilmore and Nick Friar discuss comics weekly and talk to creators from the industry — available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify! For more from Zdarsky, check out his interview with TLDR.

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