This is one “Villains Month” comic that I truly wish was a permanent ongoing series…not just a mini series but a full-fledged ongoing a la Gail Simone’s old Secret Six (though I am looking forward to Rogues Rebellion). The Flash #23.3 aka The Rogues #1 has the look and feel of an excellent series first issue, giving us a New 52 version of what has made the Rogues great for decades. These are the ultimate blue-collar crooks, not bent on world domination but on making a living the “honest” way…by robbery, of course. Their code against killing makes them almost completely unique, especially in the DC Universe. These colorful crooks are more human, even with their newer meta-powers, than most villains found anywhere else in comics…and it makes one almost cheer for them at times. This is only part of why there are so many Rogues fans out there…and this issue captures the essence of what has made the group so great for so many years.
LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY
The Rogues are working another robbery…one that doesn’t seem to be going their way. It gives the group a chance to reflect on what has happened to them…and there are some critical choices being made. What happens in this issue can make or break the group…and if they stay together, how will they deal with a “Forever Evil” world that has no Justice League…and no Flash? For those answers…you’ll just need to grab this issue.
Brian Buccellato has put together a great script here. If this were meant to be fully self-contained instead of leading up to more “Forever Evil” and Rogues Rebellion stories I might have felt differently, but this is a great lead-in for what comes next, and the story in this issue is more than a great jumping on place for anyone who is not familiar with the Rogues. Patrick Zircher does a very credible job with the artwork here (with colors by Nick Filardi), and doesn’t miss a beat with these characters. Francis Manapul and Buccellato joined forces once again for the cover. I do get the concern of fans who miss particular Rogues from prior continuity…and I even miss some of the old gang as well. But, this issue does capture the qualities that made these characters great as a group – and it is a terrific read. I’m looking forward to what happens next in Rogues Rebellion…and wishing that there could be a longer series ahead for our favorite crooks…