Elektra Natchios is a Marvel Comics anti-hero created by Frank Miller. Making her debut in Daredevil #168 (January, 1981) as Matt Murdock's college love-interest-turned-assassin, Elektra is one of Daredevil's most dangerous, unpredictable enemies. Originally a college student at New York's Columbia University with her boyfriend, Matt Murdock, the Greek-born Elektra left for Japan after the accidental death of her father. Encountering Stick, leader of the secret martial arts organization known as the Chaste, Elektra's fighting skills were honed to peak human levels. Unfortunately, the hate in her heart got her expelled from the Chaste, so Elektra joined their rivals, the Hand. Corrupted by the Hand, Elektra became the organization's top assassin until breaking free from their control and returning to New York.
After the Man Without Fear saves her from mobster Eric Slaughter and his hit-men, Elektra learns Daredevil's secret identity and tries to rekindle their relationship, only to be rejected because of her killing ways. Together, the former lovers battle and defeat the Hand after the organization attempts to kill members of the Chaste. After Elektra became The Kingpin's chief assassin, Elektra and Daredevil battle continuously until she was ordered to kill Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Matt Murdock's best friend. Unable to kill Foggy, who recognized her as "Matt's girl", Elektra was forced to battle Bullseye, the Kingpin's former chief assassin. Elektra fought hard but was defeated by Bullseye after he impaled her on her own sai. Mortally wounded, Elektra crawled to Matt's doorstep and died in his arms. Resurrected thanks to Daredevil and Stone, an associate of Stick, Elektra traveled the world as a freelance assassin/bounty hunter. After aiding S.H.I.E.L.D., Wolverine and her former lover Daredevil, Elektra was replaced by a Skrull agent named Siri prior to the Secret Invasion event. Once freed, she became more involved in the superhero community and began walking a careful line as an Anti-Hero — not evil, not good, just herself.
She is currently acting as the new Daredevil in Chip Zdarsky's Daredevil.
Jennifer Garner played the character in the 2003 Daredevil and her 2005 spinoff, Elektra. Most recently, in the Netflix adaptation of Daredevil (2015) and The Defenders (2017), she has been portrayed by Élodie Yung. Not to be confused with Elektra Records.
Elektra appears in:
- The Elektra Saga
- Elektra: Assassin
- Elektra Lives Again
- Elektra: Root of Evil
- Elektra and Wolverine: The Redeemer
- Elektra: Glimpse & Echo
- Elektra: The Hand
- Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra (set in the Ultimate Marvel universe)
- Chip Zdarsky's Daredevil
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (2016 — present), played by Élodie Yung:
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter: Elektra makes a cameo appearance in the background of Apocalypse's stage along with other Marvel and Street Fighter characters.
- Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects: One of the playable characters, Elektra battles a mind-controlled Daredevil on the roof of the Daily Bugle.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance: Elektra is a playable character on all versions of the game. Teaming her up with a combination of Ms. Marvel, Invisible Woman, Spider-Woman, or Storm nets players a 5% attack bonus.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order: Elektra returns as a playble character in this game as the Token Evil Teammate of the Defenders.
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance: Introduced as a boss character and leader of the Hand, she eventually switched sides to join the Agent (and become playable), offering no apology and very little explanation beyond "Nothing is permanent."
- * Marvel Heroes: She originally appeared both as a boss and as a summoned character for Daredevil's ultimate ability. She was later added in as a playable character.
- Marvel Puzzle Quest: She is one of the Legendary-rarity characters that you can recruit, and she can be teamed up with any superheroes and an villains in a trio.
- Marvel Future Fight: Appears as a playable character.
Tropes seen in these series include:
- Action Girl: Elektra is an Olympic-level athlete and gymnast, proficient in many martial arts and master of many different weapons.
- Affirmative Action Legacy: When Matt voluntarily goes to prison Elektra, to atone for her many past actions, decides to don her own Daredevil costume and protect Hell's Kitchen in Matt's place.
- And Show It to You: Elektra is strong enough to rip out a man's heart with her bare hands.Elektra: His heart is warm and strong. I let him see it.
- Ax-Crazy: If you catch her on a bad day, RUN.
- Back from the Dead: After she is killed by Bullseye, the Hand attempted to resurrect Elektra and place her fully under their control through a magic ritual. Stone, a member of Stick's order, completed the process, bringing Elektra back to life after Daredevil had purified her spirit through sheer force of will.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Elektra once caught a knife out of the air before breaking the blade with her bare hands. Can also lead to Catch and Return situations.
- Blood Knight: Some writers have depicted Elektra as getting a thrill from killing. One story had an antagonist who had been victimized by her condemning her to a Fate Worse than Death by making it so she could not be hired as an assassin again.
- Body Swap: Elektra can throw her mind into another person's body for as long as four months. She has also demonstrated the ability to swap other peoples' minds.
- Breakout Character: Elektra's popularity, which stretched beyond the traditional male population and drew a large female readership, would eventually ensure her own miniseries and in 1986 she would star in Elektra: Assassin. She was supposed to stay dead after her death in Daredevil, but she was resurrected because of her popularity and frequently used since, despite Marvel's initial promise to Frank Miller that the character would not be used in any other publication.
- Car Fu: Elektra hit the Made of Iron Kirigi with a truck during their fight in a parking garage. Set ablaze after the truck explodes, Kirigi is finally defeated after Elektra cuts his head off.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Born an ordinary human, Elektra developed her powers through years and years of training.
- Chronic Villainy: The most obvious example of this was at the end of Greg Rucka's run, when Elektra suddenly backslid on all the moral progress she'd slowly and painfully made throughout the run because of... something or other. This was rumoured to be due to Status Quo Is God editorial fiat.
- Combat Pragmatist: Tactics used by Elektra include: Bulletproof Human Shield, Eye Scream, Groin Attack, In the Back, Killed Mid-Sentence, Neck Snap, and Playing Possum. In one story she held a dog hostage (albeit as a distraction from her real strategy).
- Contract on the Hitman: Three businessmen who once hired Elektra had this as official policy. They would routinely "retire" hitmen after they performed three jobs, using their replacements to do the deed. One of the three was smart enough to avoid trying this with Elektra. Too bad one of the others didn't get the memo...
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her father was murdered before her, and she joined the Chaste, only to get kicked out. So she became a professional assassin, and then she was hired to kill her former lover.
- Dating Catwoman: The Catwoman here, as she was the toxic influence to her relationship with Daredevil.
- Death Is Cheap: She has a reputation for coming Back from the Dead on par with Jean Grey.
- Death by Origin Story: Her death and resurrection is easily the most famous thing people know about the character, so in adaptations this tends to be treated as her origin story.
- Designated Girl Fight: With Catwoman in DC vs. Marvel.
- Dodge the Bullet: Handguns... machine guns... sniper rifles... no problem.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Her original costume had her wearing thigh-high boots, but years ago she switched over to ankle wrappings and bare feet. Now she's back to wearing shoes.
- The Dragon: To Kingpin in Frank Miller era and in Punisher Max.
- The Dreaded: It's really telling when even Wolverine admits he's a bit scared of her. SHIELD's official protocol for any unfortunate agent who happens to notice her is to get the hell out of there and pray she doesn't follow.
- Dual Wielding: Two sai, usually, though she'll break out two swords every now and then.
- Fanservice: Of the Bare Your Midriff, Clothing Damage, Lingerie Scene, Most Common Superpower, She's Got Legs, Stripperiffic, Vapor Wear variety. Yeah, she's hot and her clothes show it.
- Femme Fatale: Elektra is not above using her looks to get to a mark.
- Foil: To Black Widow. Both are assassins and love interests to Matt Murdock. Both were also ballerinas. However, Black Widow is The Atoner while Elektra flips between being a hero and a villain depending on what she wants. Black Widow relies on conventional weaponry and spy gadgets while Elektra relies on ancient weaponry such as sais and katanas and her Supernatural Martial Arts. Even their looks are a contrast; Elektra has black hair and wears a red Leotard of Power while Natasha has red hair and wears a black Spy Catsuit.
- Gorgeous Greek: A Greek beauty with typical Mediterranean features such as dark hair and olive skin, she is also a very sexualized Love Interest to Daredevil.
- Guard Stations Terminally Unattended: Elektra does this in her own series, reproducing a scene from The Movie.
- Guns vs. Swords: Subverted. She is a master of both and will use either. She normally relies on bladed weapons, but that doesn't means she isn't going to pull out an Uzi.
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: Disguising herself as a stripper, Elektra's assets were hidden by her arms and, later, feathers.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Depending on the story, Elektra can be a villain or hero or something in between.
- Heroic Second Wind: Elektra gets one during her rematch with Bullseye.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Elektra is one of Daredevil's most well-known supporting characters and antagonists but she didn't appear in the books until Frank Miller's run in the 1980s, two decades after Daredevil's debut.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: By Bullseye in her famous death.
- Improvised Weapon: Gardening shears, shards of ice, her waist sash, her own teeth... yes, she's very good at improvising weapons.
- Improbable Weapon User: Taking a cue from Bullseye, Elektra once spit one of her own teeth into the mouth of Paladin, choking him long enough for her to break free from her bonds.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Elektra is one of Marvel's greatest martial artists and all of her superpowers are Ki Attacks.
- Lady in Red
- Lady of War: Elektra is as graceful in battle as she is deadly.
- Leotard of Power: Her iconic costume of red color. She also a white variant after her resurrection.
- Literal Split Personality: Elektra was split into good and evil aspects after being resurrected by Stone. Calling itself Erynys, the entity was defeated by Elektra, returning the evil to Elektra's soul.
- Made of Iron: The amount of things that she's shaken off or gotten up from that would have killed or crippled anyone else is truly jawdropping even by MU standards.
- Magic Knight: Has some minor Ki Attacks and magical abilities, most of which are used to enhance her battle prowess, as well as some low-level Psychic Powers. Most of these come from training with the mystical evil ninja sect The Hand.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The Silent Shout, an powerful ki attack used by the Chaste that leaves the user mute for a few days. Elektra can use this power as well, though not with the same intensity.
- Male Gaze: Elektra's body is prominently featured during fight scenes. When she dodges, artists usually draw her from behind to emphasize her ass. Flying kicks are drawn from the front, effectively becoming full-page crotch shots.
- Master of Disguise: Sometimes Elektra wears disguises to get close to her target.
- Master of Illusion: Elektra can project illusions into her opponents' minds.
- Master Swordsman: She is also proficient with the katana.
- McNinja: She is a Greek ninja.
- Missing Mom: Elektra's mom died shortly after giving birth to her. Maybe.
- Mole in Charge: Part of Elektra's plan to take down the Hand and HYDRA simultaneously in Wolverine: Enemy of the State.
- Mooks: Hundreds of security guards, hired goons, bounty hunters, and Hand ninjas have met the business end of a sai over the years.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Elektra is one of the few characters in the Marvel Universe that Wolverine considers more dangerous than himself.
- Ms. Fanservice: She is a red-clad Femme Fatale whose outfits are Stripperiffic in nature, and she is often drawn in many provocative poses as seen in Male Gaze.
- The Paralyzer: She can locate different pressure points on a person's body. She can incapacitate, paralyze, severely injure, or kill a person
- Parental Incest: In Elektra: Assassin #1 (August 1986), the adult Elektra has vague memories of being raped by her father as a five-year-old. Years of counseling and medication had convinced her this was a false memory, but the doubt remained.
- Professional Killer: For years, Elektra worked as a bounty hunter and assassin for hire until meeting Daredevil.
- Psychic Block Defense: Elektra has demonstrated an ability to remain hidden and undetected by other telepaths. By using a telepathic technique that she learned during her time with the Hand, Elektra can create a mental shield around her mind keeping herself hidden from not only other psychics but mind locating machines like Cerebro
- Psychic Powers: Elektra has demonstrated low-level telekinesis and telepathy.
- Race Lift:
- Who do you cast to play the olive-skinned, raven-haired, Greek-born assassin? Apparently the American-born, light-skinned, brunette Jennifer Garner...
- The Darker and Edgier Punisher Max series makes Elektra Japanese, instead of a white woman who dresses up in ninja gear.
- In the Daredevil (2015) live-action series, she's played by French-Cambodian actress Élodie Yung. To be fair though, she can pass as Greek based on facial features.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Elektras has striking black hair and wears a red outfit. She is also one of the deadliest assassins in the Marvel Universe.
- Red Is Heroic: When she is a hero.
- Red Is Violent: She is a killer so this crops up from time to time.
- The Rival: She and Bullseye competed for the position of Kingpin's top assassin. Bullseye won by killing her.
- Roof Hopping
- Sai Girl: Her Weapon of Choice. (Jennifer Garner even cut her leg with one shooting the movie).
- Self-Harm: Elektra grew up close to her father but was plagued by dark visions and voices with no known source. Because of this, she occasionally reacted to them with self-harm.
- Series Continuity Error: Two contradictory accounts of her family history have been given. In Elektra: Root of Evil #1-4 (1995), her mother, Christina, is killed by assassins hired by Orestez, while in Elektra Volume 2 #18 (1998), she is killed by an insurrectionist during the Greek Civil War. In both accounts, she gives premature birth to Elektra just before dying.
- Sociopathic Hero: Even when she is on the heroic side, Elektra is incredibly ruthless.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Elektra knocked a man unconscious for saying that being a hero "ain't a girl's job."
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Due to her ninja training, she can blend in with the shadows and remain undetected by most humans.
- Super Reflexes: Elektra can react fast enough to block machine gun fire with her sai.
- Super Speed: Elektra is fast enough to disarm half a dozen men before they can fire a single shot, gut a man from across the room before he can complete a sentence, and run so fast that security cameras can't record her movements.
- Super Strength: Elektra is strong enough to punch through a man's torso, topple a brick wall with a single kick, and lift a grown man above her head with one arm. She once compared the human skull to an eggshell during a fight.
- Throwing Your Sai Always Works: Her aim is so good it works for her.
- Waif-Fu: She's capable of lifting twice her body weight.