Elektra - Wolverine: The Redeemer
Written By: Greg Rucka
Illustrations: Yoshitaka Amano

The Redeemer is a great change of pace for your average comic book reader. Instead of being laid out in illustrated panels littered with dialog bubbles and boxes, it is given to the reader like an illustrated novel. People familiar with the Gaiman/Amano project The Sandman: The Dream Hunters should instantly be familiar with the format. I mention the Gaiman/Amano story for more than one reason: Yoshitaka Amano, famed Final Fantasy and Vampire Hunter D artist, has lent his artistic talents to this tale.

The story begins as Elektra is sent on a job to assasinate a man, only to have the daughter of her target witness the killing. The story then turns to Wolverine, whose silent wooden abode is interrupted when a certain official visit brings him a job to protect the daughter. Along with the job is a promise to divulge information which Wolverine so wishes to have. The story on it's own is well written and is just deep enough to be enticing without being overly wordy. There is an excellent pace for the combination of stealth and action that is required from these two characters.

Artistically, Amano's works are well done. Fans of American comics (mainstream) may take a step back to the less traditional designs of the characters. Both Wolverine and Elektra are illustrated in a less superhero fashion and more in a dark fantasical style. Their representations are more believeable, especially in light of the simplified tone of the story. This is not a world littered with glorified superheroes. The people are dark and gritty, and all too real in their depiction. Amano's illustrations do manage to keep a looseness that keeps the tale from turning too dark and gritty, though.

Graphic tales like The Redeemer come along very rarely, lending quality and diversity to a genre that steadily is working its way towards mediocrity and complacency. The format, illustrative works and story are a wonderful change of pace that adds fresh blood to the market. Fans of Amano owe it to themselves to own this.

- - Kinderfeld

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