Thursday, December 22, 2016
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.