Thursday, July 17, 2008

Final Crisis: Rogue's Revenge #1 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Scott Kolins

Let me preface this review by confessing that I have never read Geoff Johns' critically acclaimed Flash run and, as such, I don't have the same love or understanding of the Rogues or the Flash mythos as other people. I am aware of the events and know the characters, but have little first hand experience with any of their stories.

Furthermore, I picked up Rogues' Revenge mainly for the Final Crisis tagline on the book. On that regard, this was a wasted purchase. There is a panel or two with Libra and the Rogues rejecting his offer to join the new Secret Society and that's about it for Final Crisis related material. Yes, that also means there was no Barry Allen featured in this issue either.

However, as a comic book, this was an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will happily be picking up the remaining issues of this storyline.

As odd as this sounds, Rogues' Revenge is about Flash's Rogues getting their revenge. The catch, however, is that it's not revenge on the Flash.  
As odd as this sounds, Rogues' Revenge is about Flash's Rogues getting their revenge. The catch, however, is that it's not revenge on the Flash. After spending months on the run and trapped on the prison planet, as seen in Salvation Run, the Rogues are back on Earth (completely unexplained and no indication of how they escaped the JLA and JSA at the super villain protest in Final Crisis #1) and have had enough of the super villain game and have all decided to hang up their tights and retire.

Unfortunately for them, they see a news report that Inertia, who the reporter describes as the Rogues' leader, was mysteriously freed from his motionless prison in the Flash Museum and is currently at large. Captain Cold doesn't take this news well and, combined with the Rogues' displeasure over being used by Inertia to kill Bart Allen, he proclaims they will be breaking their number one rule and killing a speedster, in this case, Inertia.

The scene showing off Inertia's escape was intense and fairly graphic, showing Intertia tearing one officer's head clean off while telling another he is going to to rip his intenstines out and see how far they can stretch. For some reason, I don't think he's been rehabilitated. Intertia then goes off in search of Wally's children to do to them what he did to Bart.

However, before reaching Wally's house, Inertia is stopped by the person that freed him. At first, I thought it was going to be Barry Allen, but it ended up being Zoom, of all people, and he was carrying a Kid Flash costume and proclaiming that Inertia will be the next Kid Flash!?!

The good guy, if you can call him that, of this story seems like it will be Pied Piper, who's come across Trickster's will, which details a plethora of information on the Rogues', how their powers work, family members and so on. He gets in touch with the police and it looks like he will be hunting down the Rogues in an attempt to stop them to make up for he and Trickster failing to stop them when they killed Bart (yes, they are still trying to pass off that Trickster and Piper weren't involved in Bart's death). He doesn't seem to have the Anti-Life Equation, or a piece of it, like he did in Countdown, but it's still early and he looked more powerful than usual with his appearance at the police station.

Verdict - Must Read. It's rare to have a story told from the villain's perspective and Johns does an excellent job of getting someone like myself, with no previous experience with these characters, into each of the villains' heads. I feel like I understand each of their motivations and reasons for doing the things they do and I'm excited to see where this story goes from here. Shame there's almost no Final Crisis connection though...

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