Apr 26, 2014

The Sand Saref/Elektra Connection

In the documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked, Frank Miller says he stole the introduction of Elektra in his acclaimed Daredevil run, structurally, from Will Eisner's The Spirit, specifically the introduction of Sand Saref. Let's put some panels together and check out how they compare.

The Sand Saref/Elektra Connection
by Duy 

First, both stories start out in the rain.

Next, the Spirit discovers a clue, in writing, that points to Sand Saref, while Daredevil's mission is interrupted by Elektra, whose voice he immediately recognizes.


Then we go into flashbacks. Sand Saref knew the Spirit, Denny Colt, when they were kids. Denny's uncle killed Sand's dad, who was a police. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock and Elektra Natchios were lovers in college, until Elektra's dad was killed and she left the country.

Then, both Denny and Matt say they have to bring these girls from their past to justice.

The climaxes of both stories take place by the waterfront, where both women are caught in a bind (Elektra a bit more so).

Our heroes come to the rescue.

The girls get their hits in.

The girls recognize the masked men.

And then they walk away.

Well, that's pretty clear-cut, but considering that this was the height of Miller's initial run on Daredevil, the storyline that really put him on the map, I wonder what would have happened if things had turned out just a bit differently. See, Eisner didn't create Sand Saref for The Spirit. He created her for a new strip about a private detective named John Law. The first strip was all about Sand Saref, but for several reasons, John Law didn't push through and Eisner just adapted the John Law stuff into The Spirit.

There's a What If question for you. What if things had gone as planned and Sand Saref, which has been reprinted more than any other Spirit story I've seen, in my experience, was not there to influence a young Frank Miller. Would he have taken off as quickly as he did?

(Okay, I'm sure the answer is yes. Sue me, I'm trying to end the column here.)

You can read Elektra and Sand Saref here.

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