Backways #5 Advanced Review: A Rushed and Ill-Explained Conclusion

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The Mourning Wolf, Jacob, and Wendy are right on the tail of Anna and Coyote Bones. However, Anna is so close to getting Sylvia back, and she'll let nothing stop her. Coyote Bones tells Anna to tap into her abilities to commune with the dead. She does, and she finds power unimaginable.

Backways #5 cover by Eleonora Carlini and Silvia Tidei
Backways #5 cover by Eleonora Carlini and Silvia Tidei

Backways #5 speeds to a conclusion, and, unfortunately, it doesn't quite earn anything it presents in this installment.

I've deeply enjoyed Backways so far, but this ending to the first volume disappointed me just as greatly. This is one of those weird instances when a comic's art should have been longer than. The conclusion feels so rushed, and the depths of Anna's powers are ill-explained and jarringly sudden.

This is surprising given how thoroughly Backways explained the way in which its universe works. It did this, arguably, at the expense of fleshing out Anna. I was under the impression that this would be building up to dark reveals about Anna, but, instead, she turns out to be a dedicated cypher. It's one of those instances where the ending to a story can leave its prior installments somewhat soured.

Eleonora Carlini's artwork holds up to the gorgeous standard of previous issues. The hybrid manga-western style continues to impress, especially in the wild and surreal occurrences of the comic. Silvia Tidei's color art is similarly brilliant in this issue with an array of vibrant shades adding a lot of energy to the book.

Backways #5 is a disappointing ending to the first arc of the series. Justin Jordan's modern fantasy tale had a lot of promise in its first few installments, but the conclusion to this volume is painfully rushed, does little to flesh out its thin lead characters, and its elements are ill-explained. Carlini and Tidei's artwork is still excellent, but it's not enough to save the comic. Unfortunately, this one doesn't earn a recommendation. Give it a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.