Review – The Wild Storm #13: Backlash Gets a Makeover

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Wild Storm #13 variant cover
Image via DC Comics

The Wild Storm #13 – Warren Ellis, Writer; Jon Davis-Hunt, Artist; Steve Buccellato, Colorist

Rating: Ray – 7.5/10

After a two month break, The Wild Storm, the core title of the Wildstorm line returns, but it feels like it’s been largely eclipsed by the exceptional side title Michael Cray. While that book has a tight focus and fascinating characters, The Wild Storm tries to juggle too much and often finds up feeling like it’s lacking any sort of focus.

The issue opens with the discovery of a murdered IO agent, as the leadership realizes that Skywatch is coming after them and all their agents will be targeted. Meanwhile, Miles Craven is lurking up in the sky, planning to escalate his war and target IO’s most valued agents and properties. The issue doesn’t really get going until John Lynch shows up, now a grizzled old man who is checking up on his old agents, after a creepy encounter with a malformed man in a diner. One of those agents is Colonel Marc Slayton, better known as Backlash to 90s fans. He’s one of the lesser-known Wildstorm properties, and he gets a pretty dark makeover here.

Best known for his famous lashes, Backlash is reinvented as host to an alien entity that manifests in the form of energy whips. Wildstorm was always known for its half-alien characters and its alien invasions, but Ellis is doing a good job of capturing the body horror and paranoia of the concept more than the previous creators did. The problem is, after a tense and effective scene with Backlash, the story goes right back to speeding through character introductions. Voodoo, best known recently for her failed New 52 series, makes a brief appearance that will only be noticed if you look closely at the details. Jenny and the Doctor appear again, but only for part of one page. And the issue ends with a character revealing their true face, but they’ve had so little page time that it blunts the impact. This is a well-written, gorgeously drawn comic that completely lacks any focus.

Wild Storm #13 page 3
He seems fun. Page 3, image via DC Comics

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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