Comic-book futures are constantly changing. We’ve seen four* major versions of the Legion of Super-Heroes, many different “true” versions of the near future, and a half-dozen variations on the eras that brought us villains like Abra Kadabra and the Reverse-Flash. Given the latter’s newfound obsession with changing history in Flash: Rebirth, it seems highly appropriate that his origin tale rewrites itself repeatedly over the course of the issue. It’s fascinating to watch the twists and turns as his life starts down one path, then stops, backs up, and takes another.
Those unfamiliar with the Rogue Profiles from Geoff Johns’ previous Flash run might dismiss a whole issue focusing on Captain Boomerang as filler. And while it’s true that this issue and the next were added to the schedule to get the main story back on time, it feels like an integral part of the mythos (if a bit more related to Brightest Day than to the story building to Flashpoint), and leads directly into next
week’s issue’s profile of Professor Zoom.
Like the earlier profiles, this issue follows the featured villain as he goes about his business and thinks back about what made him the criminal he is today. It serves both as an origin story for new readers and a way for the writer to explore just what makes him tick. In this case, it doesn’t add anything really new to his background, but rather collects and crystallizes the key elements that have been established over time: a troubled family life (what Rogue didn’t have that?), coming to the States as a toy mascot, and then embarking on his life of crime.
I’ve raved before about how well Scott Kolins’ art is suited to the ruggedness of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery, and that remains true here. Yet his art is transformed by Brian Buccellato’s painted-looking colors, making it blend perfectly with Francis Manapul’s work and revealing just how much of the look of this series is due to his contribution.