A Look Back at Backlash #3 (1995)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back superhero enthusiasts, 1990s arts and culture enthusiasts, Image Comics fans and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the wild 1990s and explore a part of the WildStorm universe through a tale of Backlash!  

In my previous retro review, Backlash and Taboo went on a mission infiltrating a special social event that attracted the rich and powerful. Jacob Marlowe, the founder and leader of WildCATs, was targeted by S’ryn and Pike who were at the said event disguised. Backlash took action but got wounded while fighting S’ryn. As the chaos continued, the Savage Dragon entered performing police duty.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at Backlash #3 published in 1995 by Image Comics with a story written by Sean Ruffner, Jeff Mariotte and Booth. Booth was the artist.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins Jacob Marlowe trying to escape away from the party. While trying to summon his team, he gets cornered by Pike. Pike noticed that Marlowe is not fully aware about the powers he has as a Kherubim. Shortly after Marlowe gets hit, Taboo suddenly jumps in and hits Pike to free the WildCATs leader. Taking advantage of Taboo’s help fighting Pike, Marlowe calls his team by phone.

At the party venue, Savage Dragon tells S’ryn that he is under arrest. Backlash is down on the floor bleeding…


You will get to see Backlash and Savage Dragon fight each other.

If there is anything very notable here, it is the fact that the creative team not only ramped up the superhero spectacle but also emphasized crossovers by having Zealot and Void of WildCATs involved in the action as well as having Savage Dragon participate heavily during the events. This story continues what started in issue #2 and along the way, you will see Marlowe’s Kherubim heritage emphasized as he is a high-level target of the Daemonites represented by S’ryn here.

While the plot is rather light, the high amount of action turned out to be very entertaining to see while the interactions between the characters were pretty engaging to follow. It is fun to see Backlash and Savage Dragon (Erik Larsen’s creation) conflict with each other over S’ryn. For Backlash, S’ryn is too dangerous to be handled by the local law enforcers while Savage Dragon sees him as a suspect who has to be jailed due to the chaos caused within the local jurisdiction. It should be noted that Savage Dragon was more than capable on bringing down S’ryn which essentially makes Backlash look like a failure.

Pike here noticeably became a more prominent villain. Not only was he dead serious with his mission to kill Jacob Marlowe, he proved to be a formidable foe against Taboo and even the highly proficient Zealot. This is interesting to see since Pike’s participation in the WildCATs mini-series was not too great and the dialogue the creative came up with emphasized his personality a lot.

As this is an action-heavy story, I can say that Brett Booth’s visual work here is very good. He knew how to set-up the action sequences as well as how to frame the action in sequence. There were even moments in which some aspects of his art resembled that of Jim Lee. Speaking of crossovers, Booth’s artistic take on Zealot, Void and Savage Dragon was nice to see.


Zealot and Void of WildCATs got involved in this story.

Backlash #3 (1995) is another fun ride but on a higher gear and with stronger emphasis on crossover elements. To really enjoy this, one must be oriented enough with Savage Dragon and WildCATs to grasp this comic book’s concept and how the guest characters fit into the narrative. This is a meaningful crossover within the WildStorm universe. Fans of Backlash will have a lot to be engage with in this comic book.

Overall, Backlash #3 (1995) is recommended.


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