Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #2 Review

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Scott Kolins

Okay, so my experience with the Rogues has been a little lacking, having never read Johns' Flash run, but, goddamn, did this issue ever change how I view these "D-listers". Or, should I say,certifiable badasses after what they do here?

This issue consisted of two things, the Rogues kicking ass and taking names and Zoom training Inertia to be Kid Flash at Libra's behest.

Fresh off their proclaiment to kill Inertia last issue, the Rogues seek out their old tailor, Gambi, and find out he's been killed by the new Rogues, who were introduced in Gotham Underground and whom I had assumed were just throwaway villains for that storyline.

Johns takes these knockoff villains, who were simply using stolen weapons and costumes the Penquin provided them with, and sets them up as Libra's replacements for the Rogues and their first task is to take out their predecessors.

Sadly, for them, they have little to no experience with their new abilities and the Rogues take them to task with some of the craziest shit I've ever seen in comics, ranging from Weather Wizard creating a tornado in one guys stomach to Mirror Master blinding another and, well, you'll just have to check out the Moments of the Week to see how everyone else got in on the action. Let me say this though, it does not disappoint.

For long time Rogues fans, there's an interesting interlude with Captain Cold's father, who was being used as leverage against the Rogues by the fakes. I didn't know this, but seems Cold doesn't care too much about his abusive father and the fakes' plan to use him against Cold backfired spectacularly.

After the fakes were dealt with, Cold confronted his father and, while unable to kill the bastard, didn't hesitate to tell Heat Wave to "do it".

On the Intertia / Zoom front, Zoom revealed he wasn't doing this for his usual 'make people be better heroes' MO and is training Inertia to be a new Kid Flash because Libra has told him to do it. I'm not sure I agree with this change of personality for Zoom (let's blame it on the Anti-Life Equation) or even Libra's involvement in the story, which seems tacked on and unncessary, to be honest, but it's still an interesting development and Libra addresses the Flashes' importance to Crisis-level events and that is why he's trying to force the Rogues, who have experience with fighting Flashes and have trained all their lives to do so, to kill another Kid Flash (Inertia) and join up with him.

Verdict - Must Read. Each character is given time to shine and each has their personalities and motivations laid bare in a perfectly executed narrative by Johns, both progressing the story and involving us with each villain at the same time. Oh, and a guy gets a tornado in his stomach. Doesn't get any better than that.

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