Mind Capsules – The Shadow #0 and Elektra #4

The Shadow #0

Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Colton Worley
Colours – Marc Rueda

The Shadow is hunting down a group of magicians and while doing so, he reminisces about his time spent training with Harry Houdini.  That training included many forms of escapism that Houdini was known for and more, preparing Cranston for his fight against evil.  During this story, The Shadow is facing The Society, a group of magicians that have perverted Houdini’s teachings into something evil for personal gain.  Cullen Bunn does a fantastic job of not only capturing the feel of our costumed hero but of having him cross paths with the greatest magician of all time.  The book is reminiscent of the old Elseworlds crossovers teaming Batman up with other historical figures and this could have fit right in if the line was still running.  Colton Worley’s artwork has a great pulpy and noir feel to it which really suits the grittiness these evil magicians give off in the story Bunn is telling.  The Society is a perfect villain for The Shadow and it would be great to see them make a return in future issues of the book.  Houdini himself is made quite interesting in the short time he appears and if Dynamite were to feature the man in a miniseries or ongoing title of his own, there would be no objection.  This was an extremely powerful and fun issue from Dynamite with a wonderful creative team at the helm.

4.5 out of 5

Elektra #4

Writer – W. Haden Blackman
Artist – Michael Del Mundo
Colours – Mike Del Mundo, Marco D’Alfonso

After some crazy dreams, Elektra just manages to save herself from drowning.  She also happens to save Kento as well, which is probably for the best.  After a few seconds of recuperation, they head off after Cape Crow to finish the mission.  As they take off in their ship, Bloody Lips surfaces from the water, still alive and just as determined to take out Elektra, Cape Crow and anyone else in his way.  A chase ensues with Bloody Lips in Scalphunter’s ship and an air-battle takes place with his ship exploding and Elektra’s crash landing in the Arctic.  On the ground, she is confronted by a man with a gun.  It is nothing she has not faced before.  This book is still one of the most beautiful titles that Marvel puts out, not only with its lush artwork by Michael Del Mundo, but also its story which is almost like a violent poem that W. Haden Blackman scripts each and every month.  Elektra has always been formidable, but seems even more so here in this series than she has ever been before.  She is absolute grace even in the midst of violence and that can only be attributed to the expert craftsmanship of Blackman and Del Mundo.  Tons of action takes place, full of suspense and excitement and there is nothing more you could ask for in such a great book.

4.5 out of 5

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