Moral ambiguity hasn’t been this enticing since Tuco and Blondie.
Let’s just start with this; The Rogues are the most under appreciated thing about the New52. They managed to get a face lift yet keep the intricacies of what makes them great characters.
The Rogues live in the shades of grey between hero and villain and Rogues Rebellion #1 hits that tone. Writer Brian Buccellato sharply distinguishes the monetary gain nature of Captain Cold and company from the dark evil that is the Crime Syndicate. Issue one opens with Central City in ruins after Grodd and his army rain destruction down upon the place. As the Rogues come back after being at the big Crime Syndicate meeting, what’s left of the police immediately peg them as being the second wave of terror. The Rogues never choose between being good guys or bad guys and that just works for them. In one of the most character defining moments in comics, Cold expresses why the rogues are different from any group of characters out there, “Our powers were never about superhero and supervillain crap . . . we’re about the score.” Those simple words set the tone for the story and get us anxious to see just how they intend to not only survive, but rebel against the established authority of evil.
Rogues Rebellion’s visuals are solid, but don’t feel 100% in sync with the tone of the book. Patrick Zircher and Scott Hepburn shared art duties, and their styles are different enough for the shift to be noticeable. Zircher has the stronger more inline visual in the book. His Rogues have a weight to them that pops on the page. When combined with Nick Filardi’s consistent coloring; they make up for any missteps in art.
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion is a must for everyone who is enjoying Geoff John’s Forever Evil. It does what great tie-in’s do; it makes itself feel vital. This book has the makings of something worth calling a show stealer.