Elektra (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
September 1997
Story Title: 
Flowers & Flamethrowers

Peter Milligan (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (pencils), Scott Koblish (inks), Christie Scheele (colors), Jack Morelli (letters), Bobbie Chase (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

Elektra wakes up and attacks McKinley Stewart, who she believes is an impostor. She turns the lights on and relaxes when she realizes who it is. He wants to make their relationship a little more solid, but Elektra doesn’t really know what to do about it at present. She departs and finds Wolverine waiting outside the dojo. Shortly after, Mac arrives and thinks Logan is the reason Elektra wanted to be alone tonight. The two men lock horns with one another until Elektra breaks them apart and explains to Mac that Logan is just an old friend. Mac apologizes and leaves. Elsewhere, Konnie is struggling to adjust to being a woman, and Nina whisks her off for a makeover. She emerges later with an entirely different look and Nina likes it. They visit the dojo for some training from Elektra, and Konnie meets King Lau, who asks her for a date. After their session, Elektra goes out on a job, threatening a mobster unless he leaves town and doesn’t come back. She then goes to meet Morrissey in a bar and he hands over her payment for the job. Returning to her apartment, Nina complains about Konnie’s success with men, and her lack of it. The next morning, she finds McKinley Stewart handing her a hot drink, and realizes they must have spent the night together. Elektra and Mac then take a stroll in the sunshine and, after giving her flowers, Mac notices a blind man looking at her. Elektra turns to see who it is, but doesn’t notice anyone. Nearby, Matt Murdock is out with Karen Paige, and the notion of Elektra carrying flowers makes him think that perhaps it wasn’t her after all.

Full Summary: 

Elektra is in bed but not quite asleep. An inner voice cuts through her dreams and tells her that she is not alone. An eye opens and adrenaline kicks in. Elektra leaps from the bed at a large shadowy figure, wondering if this is a dream. She doubts it. A kick is accompanied by a loud crack, as the shadowy figure hits the floor. Elektra clicks a lamp switch and relaxes.

Lying on the floor is McKinley Stewart. He looks up at her and says that she was asleep and he didn’t want to wake her. “I think you did,” she replies. Stewart gets up and checks the scratches on his face in the bathroom mirror. He tells Elektra that sometimes, sleeping with her is like sleeping with a tigress. Elektra dresses. She doesn’t hear any complaints. Stewart asks if she can stay the night. They can catch some breakfast. Elektra reminds him that she always sleeps alone. The scratches on his face should tell him why. Stewart says he’ll take his chances, but Elektra makes for the door. “If the arrangement doesn’t suit you, we’ll call it… oh. I don’t know Mac,” she replies, “We’ll see. See you at the dojo.”


Elektra heads to the dojo and notes that Wolverine is there, leaning against his motorbike. Without looking at him she asks if he’s staying there or coming up. Logan asks if she saw him waiting. She jokes that she smelled him from a block away. He asks if it was his after-shave, or his animal charisma. She tells him it was a little bit of both. Logan takes that as a compliment.

Watching from across the street, hidden in the shadows, is the martial artist known as Shang Chi - the Master of Kung Fu. Though he has fought alongside Elektra in the past, recent events have made him question her. He longs for peace and tranquility; the simple life of a fisherman, but he fears that Elektra is in some way still bound to the Hand. Until he knows the truth, he can not return to China, and can know no peace.

Elektra and Logan relax. Elektra informs him about her and McKinley Stewart’s conversation, and she thinks she might have been a little direct. “If you wanna dump him, you should just say so,” replies Logan. Elektra smiles and says that she doesn’t want to. Mac is decent and kind. He’s trustworthy and good company. Logan crushes a beer can and asks what his last name is - Lassie? Elektra laughs and tells him for that, he can go.

Logan starts to depart, but tells Elektra that, all joking aside, he thinks he knows what’s going on inside that head of hers. Elektra doubts that. Logan continues to say that since she was reborn, she’s had to relearn how to do stuff that other people take for granted. If a guy comes at her with a flame-thrower, she instinctively knows what to do. She’s in control. But, if the same guy comes at her with flowers, she’s all at sea. Logan checks out the flowers in the vase. He didn’t think she liked cut flowers anyhow. Elektra holds the door and replies that they were sent by, “Mac!”

Standing in the doorway is the hulking figure of McKinley Stewart. He scans Wolverine and thinks he gets it. This is why she wanted to be alone tonight. She wanted to be with whiskers, here. “Hey,” snaps Logan. “That’s Mister Whiskers to you.” He grabs Stewart by his pullover and tells him he should be grateful Elektra even looks at him. Stewart thrusts Logan against the wall and asks who the heck he is. Logan clenches his fists and replies that he’s the new breed of relationship counsellor. “C’mon Lassie. Let’s see if you think she’s worth fighting for!” Elektra places her hands on her hips. “Boys.” Stewart throws a right which Logan easily stops. Stewart prepares to throw the left, but Elektra steps between them and pushes them apart.

Elektra assures Mac that Logan is just an old friend. He apologizes for making such a jerk of himself and acting like a jealous kid. She asks him not to worry and she’ll see him tomorrow. Once he has departed, Logan says he was just testing his mettle. He’s okay. Elektra thanks him for the endorsement with a smile. Logan bows. “Glad to be of service, o-sensei!”

Meanwhile, in the park, Nina McCabe and Konnie (formerly Konrad) Weiss are taking a stroll. Nina still carries the memory of her seeing her dad being killed by Bullseye. Konnie still carries the memory of being a man. She doesn’t think she’ll ever get used to it. Even walking around feels peculiar. Nina asks if she means anatomically or psychologically. Konnie would rather not go into details.

A guy named Frank approaches them and gives Konnie a hug. He calls her Judith. He tells her that she’s not due back from India for weeks. Konnie stumbles over her reply, but says she had a little business to settle. Frank introduces himself to Nina, explaining that he’s the only guy Judy’s ever really loved. Konnie tells Frank that she’s a little busy right now. Frank says they’re all busy, and when she’s through with the slacker she dumped him for, he’ll still be busy for her. He waves adieu and departs.

Nina reckons he’s kinda cute in a Eurotrash sort of way. Konnie thinks he’s a jerk… a jerk that’s taught her a valuable lesson. She never stops bumping into people she knows in this town. She’s got to change her looks completely. Nina likes the idea of a makeover and drags her away, asking what her size is. Konnie has no idea. She’s never been a woman before. The comment elicits a strange look from a passer by.

Six stores, five piercings and a few tape measures later, and Konnie is a new woman. Wearing camouflage trousers, a tight fitting T-shirt and with her head shaved… in Nina’s words, “You rule!” Konnie wonders if she should have gone for the DKNY businesswoman with a touch of chic look. It might go down better at the theater.

They enter the dojo where Elektra begins their training. Konnie can’t even pronounce the moves she’s putting in, let alone do them. Elektra finishes with a da hu yuan jiao. She tells them that they’re the basic foot techniques of Kung Fu. She’ll start them off with something a little simpler. King Lau enters the room and Elektra notices that Mac’s not with him. Lau inform her that he’s working at a project in Bed-Stuy. He doesn’t believe he’s had the pleasure of an introduction. “This is Konra… Konnie,” Elektra replies. Lau holds out his hand and says hello.

Soon, the three women are outside and Konnie says she is not ready for that in any sense of the word. Nina asks her not to get her knickers in a twist. He only asked her out to dinner. Konnie thinks they don’t understand. She’s a spy! She’s a cold war operative in the sex-war - caught behind enemy lines! She’s under cover. “I’m an impostor!” She doesn’t even speak their language properly.

Elektra packs them off in a cab and goes to work. She climbs up the outside of a building and encounters some bodyguards inside. She takes them out with ease before entering an apartment. A large guy wearing only a towel asks what all the hullabaloo is. He looks out the door and notices his guys lying prone on the floor. He figures they must have sent an entire army after him.

Elektra steps up quietly behind him and whips his towel off with her sai. “Feeling a little… exposed?” she asks. “I’ll be brief.” She shoves him against a bathroom mirror, cracking it with his head, and tells him that he’s been burning down tenements in the barrio. He’s been responsible for the hospitalization of several welfare families and runs several extortion rackets. Today is his lucky day, because she’s giving him one hour to pack his bags. If she hears of him again, she’ll come after him. If she does, he’ll lose more than a bath towel. There’s one other thing. “What?” he asks, nervously. “Don’t forget to wash behind your ears,” she quips.


Elektra meets Morrissey in a bar. He’s a cop, and sometimes he’s proud of the fact. He slides over an envelope containing her payment for tonight’s business. They couldn’t touch the guy legitimately. He hates all this underhand vigilante stuff, but it’s a dirty world and you gotta get dirty too if you want results. He asks Elektra if he could see her sometime, but not on business. She replies that she never mixes pleasure with business. He grins, and says she admits that dating him would be a pleasure. She strolls away and replies that what she did tonight was pleasure. The rest is just business. She wishes him a good night.


King Lau is out on a date with Konnie. Lau admits that in the past, he has dated both men and women. Does it shock her? Konnie smiles and replies that the truth is, she’s had a thing with one or two girls in the past herself. Lau holds her hand and says that he’s pleased that they can be honest with each other. “Isn’t it,” replies Konnie.

Meanwhile, Elektra meditates, but her concentration is broken by a scream coming from the bathroom. She enters to find Nina complaining about her hair, her spotty skin and her pudgy figure. Konrad’s been at the woman game for just a few weeks and he’s already better at it than she is. Why is that? she asks. Elektra assures her that she is not much help in that department. Nina replies that her dad used to say that. Whenever she mentioned sex he’d go a violet color and start talking about baseball averages. At the time it drove her insane, but she never thought she’d actually miss his awkward and silly ways.

Elektra informs Nina that her father lumbered her with bodyguards. He said they were to protect her from assassins. Their real purpose was to keep boys at a safe distance. Nina replies that she used to tell her dad, “Everyone knows all there is to know by the time they’re thirteen in this country.” She guesses you don’t really know anything until it actually happens. “And sometimes not even then,” replies Elektra.

(the next morning)

Nina is in brighter spirits, and wonders how Konnie’s date went. She needs to speak to him/her, and see about her working at the theater. It’s time she started doing something. A hot drink is placed in front of her, courtesy of McKinley Stewart. Nina realizes that it’s not Elektra’s hand and she looks up to see them both sat there, grinning. “How do you like your coffee?” asks Stewart. Nina smiles back. “Just the way it comes.”


Elektra and McKinley Stewart take a stroll. Stewart apologizes for getting jealous. It’s like a little switch inside of him. Elektra asks him to forget it. Nobody’s perfect. He suddenly runs off and returns a few seconds later with a bunch of flowers. She asks if he has a flame-thrower, too. Obviously, he doesn’t understand the reference. She admits it’s a private joke. She then adds that she doesn’t like cut flowers. They’re like corpses slowly rotting away. Stewart doesn’t take it personally.

He then notices a guy looking at her. She asks if he’s getting jealous again. He knows that she is right. The guy is blind anyway. Elektra turns but sees no one. There are a lot of blind men in New York, she thinks. It could have been anyone.

Nearby, Karen Paige asks Matt if he’s okay. He’s suddenly gone all sweaty. Matt rubs his neck and says that he’s fine. He thought he sensed someone he knew, but guesses he was wrong. The person he knew never walked around with flowers in her hand.

Characters Involved: 




Nina McCabe

Konrad ‘Konnie’ Weiss

King Lau and McKinley Stewart


Gangster and several goons



Karen Paige

Story Notes: 

Konrad Weiss was transformed into a woman in Elektra (1st series) #8. He had made a deal with the Architect in which he would have his foot cured so he could dance. Konrad pulled out of the agreement but, during the confusion, his body was killed leaving his spirit trapped in the body of a woman named Judith.

Bed-Stuy is short for Bedford-Stuyvesant, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City.

Nina’s father died in Elektra (1st series) #2

Issue Information: 
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