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Elektra Reading Order, Marvel’s most deadly assassin

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Created by Frank Miller, Elektra Natchios is a dangerous woman and a true antihero. The daughter of a Greek ambassador with a troubled childhood, Elektra is a highly trained assassin and martial artist who never goes out without her pair of sai. She is also known as a love interest to Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, both of them having a very complicated relationship, where love, passion, violence, and ideals merge and collide.

As a character evolving in a gray area, between a hero and a villain, Elektra has been associated with a number of groups, one of the most important being the Hand, an order of evil mystical ninjas who are heavily involved in organized crime and mercenary activities. Since her first appearance, she has also been part of Hydra, The Shield, The Thunderbolts, and Heroes for Hire. Whatever the team she’s part of, Elektra is a deadly character who will prefer to die than show you what she feels.


  • Elektra’s history is intertwined with Matt Murdock/Daredevil’s life, so we invite you to check out our Daredevil reading order!

Elektra Natchios by Frank Miller (1981 – 1993)

Elektra Natchios first appeared in Daredevil #168 (January 1981), in what was to be a filler issue and Elektra’s only appearance. But things have gone differently, and like most good characters introduced without any big plans, she became a recurring figure in Daredevil, including her iconic death in issue #181, the aftermath, and her resurrection in Daredevil #187-190.

After his official run, Miller came back to Daredevil and Elektra with several mini-series/graphic novel stories.

  • Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
    Collects Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #1-5. This classic retelling of Daredevil’s origin story by Frank Miller, with art by John Romita Jr. can also serve as an introduction for Elektra, as the improbable Matt Murdock’s college girlfriend.
  • Elektra by Frank Miller Omnibus
    Collects Elektra: Assassin #1-8, Elektra Lives Again, Bizarre Adventures 28, What If? #35

    • the limited series Elektra: Assassin has also been collected in Elektra: Assassin
    • Elektra Lives Again (mostly out-of-print but available on the second-hand market) is the last Elektra’s story by Frank Miller.
    • What If? #35 is an alt-story exploring what would have happened if Elektra didn’t die.
Elektra Assassin #6 by Bill Sienkiewicz

  • Elektra: The Hand by C. B. Cebulski. This story has been published in 2004-2005 but it’s a flashback story with a very limited presence from Elektra. Worth reading if you want more information about The Hand’s formation and growth.

Elektra, back from the dead and into the Marvel Universe (1993 – 1998)

Frank Miller didn’t want Elektra to meet Daredevil again, but this decision was not really in his hands. The character shows up in a dream in Daredevil #228, but she made her official return after almost a decade’s absence, in the Fall From Grace story arc by Daredevil writer D. G. Chichester. She soon takes her place in the Marvel Universe, having a supporting role in Wolverine and headlining her first solo series.

Elektra by Peter Milligan, Larry Hama & Mike Deodato Jr.

Elektra is on the path to redemption in her first solo series written by Peter Milligan, Larry Hama and Mike Deodato Jr.

  • Devil’s Reign (Top Cow/ Marvel crossover). Mephisto attempts to gather all the souls of the Top Cow Universe so that he may return to the Marvel Universe. Elektra participates in this crossover, in Witchblade/Elektra #1 and Elektra/Cyblade #1, respectively parts six and seven of this crossover.
  • Over the Edge #8. A Stand-alone issue not collected anywhere.

Marvel Knights Elektra (2001 – 2006)

The Marvel Knight imprint was created in 1998 by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, and would help redefine Daredevil. Elektra was a perfect character for this line focused on more realistic elements, dealing with violence and trauma. She was then the star of her own ongoing series written by Brian Michael Bendis (#1-6), Greg Rucka (#7-22), and Robert Rodi (#23-35), while Scott Morse penned the stand-alone limited series Glimpse & Echo.

  • Elektra and Wolverine: The Redeemer by Greg Rucka. Just before becoming the regular writer on Elektra, Rucka wrote this story illustrated by Yoshitaka Amano (it’s not a graphic novel), which takes place shortly (apparently) after Wolverine gains his adamantium claws. Haunted by her own father’s death, Elektra finds that killing her latest target’s daughter — the only witness to the murder — is more difficult than expected, especially after Wolverine is hired to protect the girl.

Elektra during Secret Invasion/Dark Reign era (2009 – 2010)

This is the Secret Invasion, where some Marvel characters reveal they are not what we thought they were and this Brian Michael Bendis’ event will lead us into the Dark Reign era – see our Dark Reign Reading Order for more info about this era. Elektra plays her part in it, a more prominent role that could have been suspected, mostly as a casualty of it than as an active member. For the whole event, go check out our Secret Invasion reading Order.

Until that point, Elektra’s place in the Marvel Universe was restrained, as she had interactions with Daredevil, and on occasions with Wolverine. After Secret Invasion, a shift happened, as the character becomes a member of a team called Code Red in a Hulk/X-Force crossover, then appears in a few issues of Black Widow.

Elektra during Shadowland and The Heroic Age (2010 – 2012)

Daredevil is the leader of the Hand Ninja clan and his extreme methods put him in conflict with other New York street-level super-heroes in the Marvel event Shadowland, written by Andy Diggle and penciled by Billy Tan. Elektra is part of it, and to be more precise appears in the following issues: Daredevil #508-511, Shadowland #2-5, Shadowland: Elektra, Shadowland: After the Fall.

For more details (with a reading order by issues and all the collected editions), go check out our Shadowland reading order.

  • Shadowland
    Collects Shadowland #1-5.
  • Daredevil: Shadowland
    Collects Daredevil #508-512; Shadowland: After the Fall.
  • Shadowland: Street Heroes
    Collects Shadowland: Daughters Of The Shadow #1-3, Shadowland: Bullseye, Shadowland: Elektra, Shadowland: Ghost Rider And Shadowland: Spider-Man

Or, the event can be found in omnibus form:

  • Daredevil: Shadowland Omnibus
    Collects Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil #1; Daredevil (1998) #501-512; Shadowland #1-5; Shadowland: Elektra, Bullseye, Ghost Rider, Spider-Man, After The Fall; Shadowland: Moon Knight #1-3; Shadowland: Blood On The Streets# 1-4; Shadowland: Daughters Of The Shadow #1-3; Shadowland: Power Man #1-4; Thunderbolts (1997) #148-149; Daredevil: Reborn #1-4.

Following Shadowland, Elektra became a member of Heroes for Hire and appears in Fear Itself (see reading order) before being part of a storyline in Herc.

Elektra during Marvel NOW! (2012 – 2015)

Marvel relaunched its universe in October 2012 with Marvel Now, a time in which Elektra is part of a strike team quite similar to the Code Red Team. Red Hulk gathers Punisher, Deadpool, Elektra, Agent Venom, and others, a group of people ready to do bad things for the greater good.

After Thunderbolts, Elektra is once again on her own and the star of a new series, penned by Haden W. Blackman and Mike Del Mundo and taking place after her Thunderbolts stints. With only 11 issues, it’s a short title but considered her best solo series.

 

Elektra #1 by Mike Del Mundo

Elektra during All-New, All-Different Marvel (2016 – 2018)

The Marvel universe has been destroyed (see the Secret Wars event), a new universe was established, but not a particularly interesting period for Elektra who makes mostly guest appearances for a few issues in different titles (Daredevil including) and her own title only last for five issues. It’s generally skippable for the character.

Elektra Fresh Start (May 2018 –)

We enter the Fresh Start era (the last Marvel relaunch) with a celebration of the Marvel Knights imprint before following Elektra in a new team series, Savage Avengers. She will reconnect soon after with Daredevil in Chip Zdarsky’s run, still ongoing…

It’s time for the Devil’s Reign event (see reading order). Wilson Fisk has risen from Kingpin of Crime to mayor of the biggest city in America. Now he’s going to bring his full criminal and political power to bear on the superheroes who call NYC home!

The story continues…

Last Updated on January 2, 2023.

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