Elektra once defined herself by the men in her life: She was the daughter of a powerful Greek diplomat and the girlfriend of blind American law student Matt Murdock. Her father's assassination, however, left her emotionally shattered, and she withdrew from the world. Her choice led her to Japan, where she attempted to penetrate the secret fraternity of martial artists known as the Chaste. Befriended by the organization's leader, Stick, Elektra honed her fighting skills. However, Stick saw that her hatred of the world was all-consuming and ultimately asked her to leave the Chaste. Determined to prove herself to her mentor, she infiltrated the rival organization known as The Hand. Wise to her plan, the Hand instead tricked Elektra into killing the sensei with whom she had studied before Stick. Elektra continued to serve the Hand thereafter, becoming corrupted by their ways. Eventually, she rebelled against her handlers and fled Japan.
For years, Elektra worked as a bounty hunter and assassin for hire. Having undertaken a contract in New York City, she crossed paths with the blind adventurer Daredevil, whom she learned to be Matt Murdock, her former lover and a former student of Stick. Daredevil disapproved of Elektra's chosen profession, but the two still cared deeply for one another. Together, they fought the Hand, until the Kingpin, the most powerful figure in East Coast organized crime, hired Elektra as his chief assassin. In that role, Elektra clashed repeatedly with Daredevil. Finally, she was contracted to kill his best friend and law partner, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson. When Foggy recognized her, Elektra realized she could not carry out the contract and spared his life.
Soon after, the psychotic criminal Bullseye determined that the only way to regain his status as the Kingpin's chief assassin was to kill Elektra. Bullseye impaled Elektra on her own sai, and she died in Matt's arms. Unwilling to part with one of its most talented operatives, 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. Now purged of the Hand's corruption, Elektra left Matt's side, determined to find her own place in the world.
At one time, it appears that Elektra has joined the Chaste in their mountain. The Snakeroot, a part of the Hand, used John Garrett to get Elektra's essence because John has merged minds with Elektra. The Snakeroot took Elektra's essence from John and placed it in a corpse of which they name Erynys. Erynys was tasked to get the About Face Virus for the Snakeroot in order that the merger of the corpse and Elektra's essence can become permanent. Stone goes to help Daredevil find the About Face virus but Erynys was able to stab Stone from behind preventing him from using his invulnerability against known threats. But before Erynys could end it, Elektra arrives forcing Erynys and John Garrett to flee. Upon finding the virus, the Snakeroot arrives to take it. Daredevil and Elektra fought to prevent the virus from being used by the Snakeroot. The Daredevil Hellspawn joined in since it is also interested in the virus. During the battle, Daredevil decided to use the virus on Hellspawn. As the Hellspawn transforms into a real person, Erynys, angry at the loss of the virus, stabbed the Hellspawn as he comes to life, killing him. Erynys then seek to complete her life by killing the original, Elektra. During the battle, as Erynys chokes Elektra from behind, she asks Daredevil to kill Elektra so that she could be his lover again. Daredevil, thinking Elektra will find a way, threw her two sais at her. Immediately, Elektra using her skills, was able to reverse their position. However, the sais pierced Erynys body and into Elektra's shoulders. The evil essence that is Elektra returned to her.
The Hand, under Gorgon, attacked both Wolverine and Elektra, placing them in their service. Elektra assumed control of the Hand.
Elektra was replaced by a Skrull who took over The Hand, the goal of which was to attract the attention of the "heroes" and provoke them into discovering the Skrull infiltration.
After the invasion was stopped, Elektra emerged from a downed Skrull ship with other people who had been abducted and replaced, and was taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. protective custody. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. was replaced by H.A.M.M.E.R., and she was not dealt with well in custody. She initiated a break out when Paladin attempted to collect an $82 Million bounty on her head, and she was able to defeat him and escape.