Thursday, December 22, 2016

Like a Beatles show without John and Paul, here.


I recently picked up the concluding chapters to a bunch of fairly recent mini-series; most of which I didn't have any of, some of which I scarcely recalled at all. Like today's book! From 2014, Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #6, "Forever Rogues" Written by Brian Buccellato, art by Scott Hepburn.

Did I read any of Forever Evil? With the Crime Syndicate, ended up with Dick Grayson's secret identity revealed and him presumed dead, and Lex Luthor on the JLA? But while most villains are on-board for the Syndicate's new world order, the contrarian members of the Flash's Rogues resist. Except I think Captain Cold was also in JLA and the main crossover book; so this series was without him and Heatwave, which is like when you go see a band playing at a nearby casino and the two original members that you might've recognized are nowhere to be seen...The remaining Rogues are up against a pile of villains including fellow Flash foe Gorilla Grodd, who seems out of sorts this issue, like he's being controlled, or is super-high; and others like Parasite, Amazo, and Black Bison. (Black Bison is an obscure Firestorm villain-slash-crowd filler. Come to think of it, the Hyena, another Firestorm baddie, is here too; which feels like more of his villains than Firestorm had appearances in the New 52 to that point.)

Admittedly, I didn't read the prior five issues, yet it still feels like this is missing something. Part of that is from the art and the redesigns; and part is the continuity: this is New 52 territory, but some things are still recognizable from older books, like the Pied Piper: still gay, still sort of a Rogue but not really. (They're plenty inclusive, but Piper's not really a crook like them.) But the tone is a bit off: describing the Rogues as family seems not quite right to me. Remember Reverse-Flash's funeral? I see them as a bunch of guys with similar likes and interests, willing to work together or double-cross each other at the drop of a hat, who both enjoy each others company but wouldn't shed a tear if any of them bit the dust? And they're usually more dangerous and more likable than this book.

4 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Johns really pushed or re-interpreted the Rogues as a family in the loosest sense of the word, since like you said, they're fucking criminals.
Apparently in the NU52 that concept was more adopted by the writers.

As I remember the Rogues were like Hipsters in this situation during Forever Evil, going against the popular mentality and belief that the Crime Syndikate's approach was best for business, much like Luthor and co.

I hated and still hate those redesigns which made them look stupid and generic-looking, especially Mirror Master.

Fucking Hyena and Black Bison!?!?
Oh man that's both cool due to these being super obscure villains, and sad that also like you said, they rated more face time than their main antagonist, Firestorm.

SallyP said...

I like the Rogues, but I only read the first issue of this before dropping it like a hot potato.

googum said...

Y'know, I think I've pitched them some crap before, but you kind of have to respect Firestorm villains. Most of them have terrible powers, if any; but are willing to throw down with a guy who's head's on fire and throws nuclear crap out of his hands. Whether you need a crowd filled, or someone to get killed on a Suicide Squad mission to show you mean business, Firestorm villains are there for you.

90% sure Slipknot was a Firestorm villain, before his turn in the Squad. Now I'm picturing Firestorm's villains like the Rogues, only sad. Probably smell like burnt hair and cancer.

Dale Bagwell said...

Ha ha ha ha ha! Point, point. Especially guys like the Hyena or Weasel.
At least villains like Killer Frost and Multiplex could hang better tho and had better street cred.