Review by Frank Plowright
Dark Reign occurs during a period when the criminal Norman Osborn is riding high, having redeemed himself in the eyes of the public for his crimes as the Green Goblin. He’s been placed in charge of the superhero community, but although he’s pulled the wool over the eyes of those in authority, he’s as corrupt and twisted as he ever was. This then, might seem an atmosphere in which one of the world’s greatest assassins could thrive.
It might have been the case had Osborn not kicked things off on the wrong foot by keeping Elektra captive and having her tortured for several months. This was just after she’d returned from similar treatment at the hands of the alien Skrulls who’d previously captured her. The result is Elektra considerably below par, therefore providing a lesser challenge for those who’d not wish her well. They’re almost queuing up for a a shot, and Zeb Wells sends several calling on her.
Clay Mann’s art is a mixed blessing. The pages are dynamically laid out, and he’s good at head and shoulders shots and facial expressions, but as a ninja Elektra thrives on full figure action poses, and with these Mann’s shaky figurework lets him down. His figures often look stiff and twisted. Not that he’s got an awful lot to work with. Wells prolongs almost every scene way beyond its natural lifespan in order to fill a five chapter allocation, and the nice touches are swamped by the decompression.
The purpose of the story appears to have been to reconstitute Elektra for use in the wider Marvel universe, and Dark Reign does that, but without any compelling reason to buy it.