Comics : Backlash/Spider-Man #1

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This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

As Ben Reilly picks up the strands of his life after "the Clone business," the Cabal's assassin Pike looks for the psi operatives Backlash and Taboo, and Venom hunts for a woman rumored to be bonded to a symbiont life- form not unlike his own...

In Detail...

Backlash/Spider-Man #1
Aug 1996 : SM Title
Editor:  Mike Heisler
Writer:  Brett Booth, Sean Ruffner
Pencils:  Brett Booth
Inker:  Al Vey, Tom McWeeney
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 Reprinted In: Backlash/Spider-Man (TPB)

When Venom interrupts Pike's search for Taboo and Backlash, Pike proposes an alliance. Venom agrees. They ambush Taboo, whom Venom believes to be a Carnage symbiont. Spider-Man (Ben Reilly, not Peter Parker) leaps in to try and help her, but is distracted when Pike pushes a baby into danger. He returns in time to push Marc Slayton away from a wiggling piece of Venom's suit, left behind in the melee. Returning to the scene of the crime that night, Spidey finds Backlash waiting for him. The two agree to try and track down the kidnapped Taboo.

In General...

First off, I don't know the Image heroes at all, so there is no point in my commenting on whether or not they were accurately portrayed. As far as they are concerned, the most confusing part was that the hero "Backlash", AKA Marc Slayton, was constantly referred to as the old man and apparently has a grown-up daughter; the way he was drawn, he looked the same age as Ben Reilly. Pike struck me as being very like Deadpool; similar costume, mannerisms and wisecracks. Taboo, Amanda Reed, was your basic female-psi- in-distress throughout the story, and basically served as a vehicle for the team- up rational. One of the oddest lines was Spider-Man debating whether or not to go look up DareDevil and make a night of it; although he would have memories of DD, it was Peter Parker's Spider-Man who was friends with DD, and whom DD actually trusted with his secret identity; I can't help but think Ben would be more likely to find the Human Torch if he wanted to kill time with a buddy. I liked the way individuals were drawn, and I especially liked Venom's look in this, but I did find the fight scenes disorganized and a tad confusing. Some great poses, but lackluster action.

Overall Rating...

Decent set up and no glaring errors (apart from that odd DareDevil bit); three webs.