Nov 14, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 628: Backlash #3, January 1995

Backlash continues with exactly the sort of shenanigans you'd expect from an Image/Wildstorm comic at the end of the 20th century. Guest star Savage Dragon is joined by Zealot, Emp, and Void of the WildC.A.T.s. As I was mentioning yesterday, this is a remarkably well-integrated superhero universe, and I feel like the guest spot of the WildC.A.T.s is a bit like how Superman ends up guest-starring in most new DC titles, or Spider-Man in Marvel titles.

Anyway, this whole issue is pretty much a fight sequence. The fact of this betrays one of the primary problems with early Image comics as far as I'm concerned. Having an entire comic be a fight sequence is just bad storytelling. Since one is limited to a single issue per month, a well-constructed story is going to offer not only action, but also plot development, characterization, and, most importantly, variety. This comic doesn't really do that. Yes, the fight is exciting, though there are some strange notions in Brett Booth's art of how the human, or semi-human, body actually works, but we get very little characterization of our focal character - he spends about half the comic being unconscious while Dragon takes on the villain, and then half the comic fighting Dragon when he tries to arrest him. Maybe that shows that he's kind of a badass, but I think we already got that from the rippling muscles and constantly gritted teeth.

So I guess we'll see tomorrow where things go. And that's actually another of the problems I have with these Image comics - they're entirely predictable. This comic is going to continue to be about a character (or characters) that are grim 'n' gritty, and there'll be espionage and action, but they never quite ask those same kind of questions that the superhero comics of the other publishers do. It's like every character in the universe is Wolverine.

*sigh* Onward.

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