But Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins are trying
to rebottle that lightning, returning to characters that
really lifted their careers to the level they're at now.
In an interview done at the beginning of Fanboy Planet's
history, Johns said what he really wanted to do was a Captain
Cold series, and with Rogues' Revenge, he finally
gets that chance.
Of course, things have gotten extremely
dangerous for the Flash's Rogues. Most of the surviving
villains that faced Barry Allen are on the run, having been
manipulated into killing Barry's grandson Bart. At the time,
Bart had the full mantle of Flash, but in hindsight, everyone's
being honest and calling him Kid Flash. No matter the name,
Captain Cold has the rule right - you don't kill a Flash.
Unless you're a DC Editor, but that's another
So they're tattered and torn, these Rogues,
and Kolins' art reflects that. Inking himself, the work
seems rougher and grittier than the last time around, though
some of that also has to be Dave McCaig's coloring. These
are dark times, and Kolins rises to the occasion.
In these dark times, Johns almost seems
to be commenting on a situation he himself helped bring
about, lamenting the loss of something simpler. The new
generation of Rogues have no real sense of honor, something
Johns addressed just before he left The Flash a few
Now, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Weather Wizard
and Mirror Master aren't quite going to reclaim their territory
as seek a twisted redemption. Revenge might be the word
for it, but time and time again, Johns has proven that he's
too clever a writer for it to be that simple.
Throughout the book, Johns alludes to that
bigger event in Final Crisis. Is Iris Allen hearing
the ghost of her husband? It's a good question, and a sign
that this mini-series isn't just about the Rogues;
it addresses the entire Flash legacy. (I'll admit, however,
that this little sequence is Kolins' weakest - devoting
an entire splash page to Iris looking out into the rain,
and somehow what was meant to look emotionally complex looks
just vague and a bit silly.)
One other Rogue has to be thrown into the
mix, the one that Mark Waid rehabilitated and who might
have saved the universe at the end of Countdown --
at least, some readers think that might have been what was
happening. The Pied Piper, rededicated after having his
powers amped and having lost the original Trickster, makes
a brief appearance as an almost Batman-like figure. Again,
for good or evil, only time will tell.
And this book is worth the time. It heads
in a direction that was surprising, and will remind you
that not all of the new generation of Rogues are just disturbing.
Johns put a couple of twists in his previous Flash run that
pay off nicely here.
Normally I bemoan all the tie-ins and get
annoyed that I have to buy a bunch of other books to understand
a big company event. But Rogues' Revenge makes me
eat my words.