The first Marvel Minimates we reviewed, back in September of 2003, were a two-pack of Daredevil and Elektra. Here we are, eight years later, doing the same thing.
Matt Murdock returns to Hell's Kitchen from Japan a changed man and seeks to utilize the Hand as a force for justice. As the new
leader of the Hand, Daredevil builds Shadowland, a prison temple constructed upon the ruins of a Hell's Kitchen building destroyed along with numerious lives by Bullseye. Only later is it revealed that Matt has been possessed by the demonic Beast of the Hand, forcing his heroic friends to gather together and battle him.
That right there sums up Daredevil's biggest character flaw: despite all the horrible crap he's seen and had done to him in his life, he always believes that he can overcome any evil and bend it to his will; and more than that, he thinks he can get neck-deep in the dirt and always wash himself clean. Shadowland was about breaking him of those illusions.
Since Daredevil was dipping into dark forces, his costume is updated
to reflect that. Suiting his ninja background, it's black (or at least dark grey with black shadows), retaining red only for the eyes, the band on his leg and the DD on his chest. The D's have a fluid look to them, almost as if they were made from blood. That, coupled with the new blades he's wearing on his forearms, really sell the idea that Daredevil isn't afraid of spilling some blood to achieve his goals. However, the costume is still close enough to the old design that someone who hadn't been following the story could still easily recognize who the character is.
The character's mask is new, with larger horns than the old mask had. If you take it off, you'll see Matt's blank white eyes - they don't have the fleshtone pupils of the original. He doesn't have painted hair, like Zombie Daredevil sported, but he does get a new hairpiece, molded in a slightly
dark red that really looks good.
For accessories, Matt has two red batons. He doesn't have a holster for them, like previous versions sported, just a red band that fits down onto his thigh. His weird arm-swords are new, of course, and they're held on by his hands. The straps on his wrists are red and have painted silver buckles.
In the Shadowland storyline, Elektra joins the Hand
so she can gain intel on the Shadowland fortress to help the gathering heroes infiltrate it. She later helps the superheroes gain entry to the building, in order to stop Daredevil from resurrecting Bullseye. A fight erupts and the Demon of the Hand finally possesses Daredevil. While that was happening, Elektra entered Matt's mind to encourage him to fight the evil presence of the demon.
Well hey, if anybody's going to know how to throww off the Hand's influence, it's going to be Elektra, isn't it? She's already done it, what, two times? Thrice? A bunch. More often than anyone else has, that's for sure. If there's one thing a good Catholic boy like Matt Murdock likes, it's a girl with experience.
This is only the third Elektra Minimate: the first two were in Series 1, and here's this one in Series 38. She's wearing her traditional
costume. Granted, it's not like she's worn a ton of different outfits over the years, but this is the classic: you know, long loincloth, strap running up over the left shoulder, all that. Well, except that the strap doesn't actually run over her shoulder: they skipped that paint app. I've no doubt it saved money, but it's also stands out blatantly as an error. The rest of the apps? All fine, crisp work. But we would have sacrificed one of her armbands in exchange for a complete dress.
Naturally, Elektra has a new, more detailed face. The old figure was almost cute by comparison! This figure has the hard, cold look you'd expect from a professional killer. Her bandana has natrual wrinkles, and the knot where it's tied in the back looks great. Her hair is mostly straight, but it hangs away from her shoulders to keep it from blocking the joints.
Though she's been known to use swords, guns or whatever else is at hand, Elektra's weapon of choice is the sai. She comes with two of them, using the same mold as the old figure. Her loincloth is new piece, not only more detailed and dynamic than the old one, but also thinner in the front so she can still pose her legs.
Minimates Series 38 was the first in a long time that I didn't order a complete set of - Daredevil and Elektra was the only set I wanted, but the local comicshop didn't order the series, and the pair didn't make it into the Toys Я Us assortment. Luckily Luke's Toy Store came through for us. These are both really good Minimates: one in a new costume, and one that really needed an update.