Nov 18, 2016

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 632: Backlash #7, April 1995

So, Backlash has done it. It's sucked me in. It was inevitable, I suppose, though this issue did it for a couple of reasons.

The story, though I feel it's more prologue than story, was pretty good, and made nice use of different artists to tell different parts of the comic. It's interesting that the section with Backlash and Diane was by far the least impressive, both from a story and art perspective. Brett Booth's Taboo section was better, but basically came down to a giant fight scene. Good, but kind of typical. But the last bit, illustrated by Dan Norton, was excellent. I feel it's a set-up for the "Wildstorm Rising" crossover, of which Backlash is a part in the next issue. I checked my collection to see how much of that crossover is in it, but it's not nearly enough to warrant pulling them out and reading that as a part of my Backlash experience.

The final section of the comic follows an unnamed protagonist, a were-person of some sort by the looks of things, as he travels through the Australian outback and visits the grave of his adoptive father, an Aboriginal man who rescued him as a young man. Considering I've never read this character before, it was surprisingly touching, and most definitely did that thing that serialized fiction does when it sucks you in and makes you REALLY WANT to know what's going to happen next. Good think I have the next issue, I suppose.

But the most interesting part of this comic was the survey in the back. For those familiar with the era, you know exactly what this comic is like. Grim'n'Gritty (TM). Lots of boobs bouncing about in barely believable costumes (alliteration!). Comics aimed at adolescent hetero males, really. Today's issue has a survey in the back in which the company is trying to get a sense of its demographic. It makes me feel old, as one of the systems listed under the question of video games you play is the Atari Jaguar. As I was chuckling to myself over this, I came to question 10, which is the one that asks about gender. It was surprising.
"10. I am predominantly known as: male__ female__."

It was that "predominantly" that caught my attention. An attempt at some kind of recognition of the non-binary nature of gender from a comics company notorious for reinforcing horrendous stereotypes, both of men and women? Just after eight in the morning, and already the world has surprised me. This bodes well!


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