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When we last saw our heroes this book was a chauvinist wreck being scripted by man-children. I wonder what will happen next!
No matter what I say about the lumpy scripting on this book, it’s definitely in the upper half of good looking WildStorm ongoings as Stormwatch wobbles through multiple artists and Deathblow switches away from Tim Sale.
While Brett Booth is a large part of that, so is a set of DC-esque vibrant colors from Martin Jimenez. Together, they make what could be a spy book feel like a superhero adventure. That lends a lot of implied joy to the proceedings that the script isn’t bringing to the table. Even spitting the three chapters of issue #7 between Melvin Rubi, Booth, and Dan Norton doesn’t change that – each of them delivers, especially Rubi on the intro.
Plotwise, the trio of scripters continue to be hapless. Issue #6 neatly ties up the book’s raison d’être in a neat little bow, with the VR device leading Backlash right to S’Ryn and having him neatly resolve her broken psyche with the help of Voodoo. That story probably deserved more than just one issue.
I’m not sure what the point of the title will be after WildStorm Rising, but luckily that’s not my problem this month!
Then, issue #7 finds the quickest possible route to dispose of that new status quo, while pitting a still unsympathetic Taboo against a term of mercs who I was rooting for 100%.
(The letters columns in #7 include a cascade of praise for the one-note evil sexbot Taboo. I’d ask what book they were reading, but then I remembered some stuff about teenage boys and just shook my head.)
Also, there are some intractable continuity problems here – Backlash visits the WildCATs headquarters with a recovered Voodoo in Backlash #6, placing it after WildCATs #18. Then Backlash #7 begins with two weeks elapsing. The trouble is that WildCATs #19 happens just seconds after #18 and immediate moves into the start of WildStorm Rising, which puts Backlash #8 way into the crossover (but not really, since Backlash’s #8 is one of the chapters).
These issues needed some kind of reshuffling to extend the story in #7 – perhaps by inserting the disconnected Australian Outback in #8 to displace the big finalé with S’Ryn into #8, leaving Slayton and Diane’s sudden breakup to end this pair of books.
Want the recap? Keep reading for the details of this pair of issues. Here’s the schedule for the rest of this month’s WildStorm re-read. Tomorrow brings us a new arc sans Tim Sale on Deathblow #13-15, followed by the start of new Union and Gen13 ongoings on Monday.
In Backlash #6 the VR device that Backlash and Taboo swiped proves great for eavesdropping on S’Ryn’s base, and Backlash calls in a favor to have Dane and Grail from Wetworks do the infiltrating with him. They seem to still be on good terms with Mother One (which probably places this prior to Wetworks #6).
Backlash succeeds in nabbing S’Ryn and blowing up his base, but his powers briefly ebb in the process. Dane and Grail also escape safely, though they briefly tangle with Pike and a Coda on the way out. An escaped Pike looks over the wreckage and ominously implies that Backlash might not know “the truth about himself.” Meanwhile, Cyberjack and Taboo whisk Diane away from her hospital (but not before Taboo daydreams about eviscerating her for fun). That trio, Backlash, and S’Ryn all meet back at Marlowe’s Halo Building in NYC after #18 (because Voodoo is up and about), which makes no sense whatsoever since the entire team immediately deploys to capture Hightower in #19.
Not only does Voodoo manage to heal Diane’s psyche, but she expels S’Ryn’s Daemonite from from his human host. The Daemonite considers possessing Backlash, but not before Backlash can possess him… sort of. Backlash actually turns to mist and rematerializes inside of S’Ryn, causing him to explode. His head and torso live on long enough to reveal Backlash has Kherubim blood in his veins, which Void surmised back in issue #4.
Backlash #7 begins with Slayton training with combat droids on loan from Marlowe in the woods behind Marlowe’s upstate New York cabin. I guess now that Backlash is a Kherubim he’s on Marlowe’s permanent good side? He’s tucked away at the remote location to test the limits of his powers and also to get Diane back into shape after her long coma. They flirt in a broadly sexual manner the entire time, and Backlash finally gets to finish proposing over dinner (he was interrupted back in Stormwatch #4).However, Diane can’t accept – she’s disturbed by all the laws he broke to save her, and she can tell there is something between him and Taboo. Backlash storms off, and Diane hangs up on a desperate call from Taboo so she can call in to Stormwatch for a pickup.
Taboo is on the run with West Virginia with multiple law enforcement agencies on her tail. A team of mercs catches up with her and she makes quick work of three of them, but a massive wall of a man named Brawl drops her in her tracks.
Then, in Australia, a character I totally don’t recognize who might be the WildStorm version of a ThunderCat is visiting the grave of his adoptive father, who broke him out of an IRA assassin program. Uh, sure. He’s seemingly on this road trip with Defile, which must be tons of fun. There’s the implication that he might be a stowaway Kindred raised away from their isle, as he’s definitely meant to hunt down Backlash.