Comics: Rogue’s Revenge #2

Heat Wave Unleashed

Heat Wave Unleashed

Admittedly I’m a bit behind on my reading as of late.  I’m behind on both DC and Marvel books as things such as work tend to get in the way.

On a related note, I really don’t know what to say about DC right now.  With all the hype of Final Crisis, the main arc hasn’t been able to hold my interest and so far hasn’t delivered like I was hoping for or what it was hyped up to be.  It doesn’t help matters either that the book is shipping late, and there is quite a bit of time between issues 3 and 4 right now for readers to follow closely enough.

Since I personally consider Final Crisis a ‘bust’ so far, I’m really banking on the upcoming Green Lantern maxi ‘Darkest Night’.  Perhaps that will be DC’s redemption.

With that being said, the best tie-in book so far has to be Rogue’s Revenge.  I commented on issue one a few weeks back and was so impressed with the tone and story direction that I was really looking forward to issue two.

And it totally lived up to my expectations.

Once again, this book delivered more insight and action into the [The Flashes] Rogue’s mythos and lore in one issue than many regular books do over the course of many arcs. 

Libra draws the battle line as he and the Secret Society he now leads mount an ultimatum to lure the Rogue’s into his fold.  Libra musters up a ‘replacement squad’ of Rogue’s who imitate our wary villains in both powers and looks to take out Captain Cold’s estranged father and taunt them into action.  What the replacements don’t figure into their initial plans is that Captain Cold and his allies have been pushed too far and really don’t care so much as to the fate of Cold’s father.  The original Rogue’s (with the help of Mirror Master) track down the ‘new’ Rogue’s and unleash a very brutal and lethal ass whooping unlike what the reader usually sees in monthly books.  Devoid of compassion, empathy, and emotion the original Rogue’s maim, destroy, and kill their would-be replacements before the ‘new’ Rogue’s even know whats going on.  Of course Libra seemed to know this would happen and this fits into his plans nicely.

Cold is able to confront his father, and in a great flashback scene and strong dialogue between the two, new readers who may not even know the history of Captain Cold are quickly brought up to speed on his background and motivations.  In a sudden twist of self-morals, Cold can’t end his fathers life, but turns to Heat Wave who does so both willfully and unsympathetically.  All this action is a way for the Rogue’s to mentor the ‘new’ Trickster (Alex Walker) in their ways, a sort of ‘trail-by-fire’ to see if he has the mettle to hang with the boys.  It’s a hard lesson for Trickster to swallow at first…but he does, and thus we are witness to the ‘hardening’ of the new Trickster.

Meanwhile Zoom continues his forceful tutelage on the futuristic young villain of Inertia (who Zoom helped escape from captivity at The Flash Museum) and forces him into the deceased Bart Allen’s Kid Flash costume for his own designs.  It appears that Zoom is working for Libra and that Inertia will play a big part in issue 3.

The Rogue’s want Inertia dead for his role in having them ‘accidently’ kill Bart Allen.  Inertia is now with Zoom.  Zoom is in league with Libra.  Libra has plans for the Rogue’s.  The Rogue’s who wanted to be left alone feel that they have been pushed back into action, and aren’t gonna hide any longer.  They are coming for Libra.  Wow!  Oh, and lets not forget Pied Piper…it seems Libra has plans for him as well.  How is this going to pan all out in one more issue?  I don’t know.  This is so good, I would like to see it pan out over the course of 4 issues instead of 3.  This is the best thing Final Crisis has going for it right now, and Geoff Johns really elevates the Rogue’s here into a force you can get really excited about and be fearful about at the same time.  Who needs hero’s when you have some bad ass villains going after each other?

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Comics: Rogue’s Revenge #1

Cold as Ice

Cold as Ice

I finally got my hands on a copy of Rogue’s Revenge #1.  I had an idea it was going to be pretty popular if it was anything like arc of Rogue’s War, especially since it would be a tie into both Final Crisis, and return of Barry Allen (The Flash who sacrificed himself during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths).

I was more excited to actually get the alternative Captain Cold cover (pictured) as opposed to the Barry Allen crisis like cover.  Isn’t it a beauty?  Very powerful image and it simplicity in color and art style makes this cover just iconic in my opinion.

I can very happily report that Rogue’s Revenge #1 by writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins was everything I was hoping for and perhaps a tad bit more.  Again, in my opinion, this one book so far (two more to go) does more for the excitement of Final Crisis arc than Final Crisis itself.

I felt it revealed much more about Libra, his mindset and his attitude, than the core series is right now and felt that Libra came across as a much more potent villian here than elsewhere.  (On a side note, I still feel that Libra is someone we know in the DC Universe who just hasn’t revealed his true identity yet.  Wouldn’t it be something is it was Ralph Dibney himself, or some other hero who turned traitor?  I’m expecting a surprise on his origins soon enough.).

Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave and the new Trickster (Trickster II, Alex Walker) are on the run from their part in the death of Bart Allen (Kid Flash).  The reformed Pied Piper is after them, as well as the hero’s and even the newly formed Secret Society of Villains (headed by Libra).

It just seems these four rogues have great chemsitry together, and Captain Cold’s authoritative roll as default leader of this band of cons on the run is great.  His moral compass is both strict, unforgiving yet compassionate at times makes Snart a very complex character and is way beyond one dimensional.  That is the strength of writer Johns here.  He takes these B and C list characters and reveals so much they truly take on their own unique humanistic identities and the reader can really begin to get in their heads and begin to understand their motivations.

Cold’s message to Libra, and Libra’s reaction just sets the stage for yet another Final Crisis subplot I’m actually very eager to get my hands on moreso than than what’s happening to Green Lantern, Batman, and Wonder Woman right now.

Let’s not forget Inertia who masterminded the death of Bart Allen, and the jarring way he is brought back into this book as well.  I won’t spoil the surprise right now, but the means behind bringing Inertia back and what he is thrust into the very last two pages just amps this alrady solid book up to an eleven!  There’s plenty of cameo’s from the Flash-verse as well, but they aren’t thrown in for cameo’s sake,…clearly each has a purpose and al the groundwork was laid out masterfully in this opening issue.

Get this book!.