Comic Book Review: Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1

The Revolution is ready to start sampling the various Final Crisis tie-in issues that DC has in store for us. I loved Final Crisis: Requiem #1. And next up is Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1. I am confident that this should be a quality read. It is Geoff Johns writing the Rogues and various other characters associate with the Flash. What more could you ask for? Let’s go ahead and do this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kollins

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the Rogues arriving back in Keystone City. Captain Cold narrates how they all made a mistake by killing Bart Allen. The Rogues have decided to take care of themselves and not join Libra and his Secret Society. We see the Rogues enter their secret hideout and find a bunch of snot-nose punks hanging out.

The punks immediately attack the Rogues. The Rogues make short work of the punks as Cold freezes one of them and then Mirror Master traps all of the punks in a small pocket mirror.

Axel Walker who poses as the new Trickster then arrives at the hideout. The Rogues cannot stand Axel and view him as a total wannabe and not a true Rogue. Trickster says he is thrilled to see that the Rogues are not dead. Mirror Master then tosses the small mirror with Trickster’s homies in it of to Axel. Trickster is duly impressed by the Rogues’ bad-ass handling of Trickster’s homies.

The Trickster then informs the Rogues that the rumor on the street is that the original Trickster, James Jesse, has died. Trickster then congratulates the Rogues on actually killing the Flash.

Captain Cold then snaps on Trickster and tells him that the “game” between the Flash and the Rogues was never supposed to be won. That the Rogues survived this long doing what they do because they have unspoken rules. And the number one rule is never kill a speedster.

The Rogues state that their powers really never hurt the Flash until Inertia stole the Flash’s speed. That the Rogues killing Bart Allen was an accident. Cold says that the Rogues got greedy and stupid by following Inertia. Cold then announces that the Rogues are finished. That they are hanging up their costumes and disappearing.

We cut to Police Precinct 242 where Morillo and Chyre are investigating Bart’s murder. Morillo is convinced that the Flash’s death was a mistake. Suddenly, the Pied Piper arrives on the scene. The Piper uses his flute to render the police unconscious. Piper then takes a look at their police files. Piper states that this is not what it looks like. That James Jesse knew that and that the police will soon know that, too.

We shift to Iris at her home looking at old pictures of her and Barry Allen. Suddenly, there is a crash of lightning and a voice says “Iris.” (Man, Iris is sporting one of the most god-awful looking hairstyles you will ever see on a woman.)

We hop over to Libra preaching a sermon of evil to the Secret Society. Dr. Light then arrives on the scene and hands Libra a small pocket mirror. In the mirror is a recording of Captain Cold. Cold states that the Rogues are not going to follow Libra and his society. Libra crushes the mirror and states that there is always a troublemaker in the bunch.

We slide over to the Flash Museum where the guards from Iron Heights are on the scene to collect Inertia and lock him up in prison. The warden for Iron Heights spits that Flash was too kind to “freeze” Inertia and store him at the museum. The warden says that Flash should have cut Inertia’s legs off.

Suddenly, we see the same disembodied voice from the scene with Iris say the word “Inertia.” A bolt of lightning hits Inertia and suddenly Inertia is free and can move again. Inertia then hisses that while he was “frozen” that he thought of thousands of different ways to kill people with his super speed.

Inertia then slices off the head of one of the guards. Inertia then disembowels the other guard’s intestines. Inertia says that it is supposed to be a myth that the human intestine can be stretched over twenty miles. Inertia grins and says “Let’s find out together.”

We cut to Piper at his house examining James Jesse’s notes. Piper knows that James wrote his notes in invisible ink. That James collected information on the Rogues including how their tech works and the locations of their safe houses and their family members.

Piper thinks how he and Trickster went undercover to try and stop the Rogues, but that they failed. Piper thinks how Wally will not believe him. That no one will believe him. Piper then states that Bart Allen will never be replaced.

We slide back to the Rogues’ hideout. They hear a news report about Inertia rampaging through Central City. The news report states that Inertia is the leader of the Rogues and that he has escaped. Cold states that Inertia was never the Rogues’ leader.

Cold thinks how he is not a murderer. That he only does that when it is kill or be killed or when he is after good old-fashioned vengeance. Payback and revenge. Cold picks up his gun and tells the other Rogues that before they quit the game that they are going to break their number one rule one last time and go kill a speedster.

We hop over to Wally West’s home. We see Inertia racing toward the house and cackling that first he killed Bart and now he is going to kill Wally’s kids. Suddenly, the same disembodied voice from earlier says “Not tonight.”

The voice says that Inertia is running because of him. That the voice can take away Inertia’s speed just like how Inertia took away a great hero trying to be better. Suddenly, we see Zoom on the scene and holding a Kid Flash outfit. Zoom states that after he is through with Inertia that Inertia will be better, too. That Inertia will be the new Kid Flash. End of issue.

The Good: Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1 was a good read. Johns delivers a nicely paced issue as the story moves with a pleasant flow. The reader gets treated to a good mix of action and drama. With only three issues to deliver this story, Johns wasted no time at all kicking this story off with a relatively fast paced issue.

Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1 was a tightly plotted issue. Johns moves the story along with a clear purpose. This issue builds nicely off of the events in the final story arc of Flash: Fastest Man Alive, Salvation Run and Countdown. Clearly, Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge was designed as a way to tie-up all the various loose ends from the past year and a half. Johns will probably use this title to lay a foundation for the new direction for the Flash franchise which has been a mess ever since Infinite Crisis.

Johns cranks out some fantastic dialogue and impressive character work. Nobody writes the Rogues better than Johns. I love how Johns handled the Rogues during his run on the Flash and it was a real joy to see Johns writing the Rogues once again. Johns has such a wonderful feel for each of the Rogues and it comes across in the enjoyable chemistry that Johns creates between the Rogues.

I dig how Johns shows what flawed and dysfunctional people that the Rogues are and yet they manage to come together to form a surrogate family that supports each other. This is nicely highlighted by the manner in which Cold helps Heatwave with his pyromania sickness. Johns reinforces his vision of the Rogues as criminals but not the type of pure evil that Libra and his followers in the Secret Society most certainly are.

Johns continues to stress the difference between the Rogues and the villains who are following Libra by having Cold tell off Libra. The fact that the Rogues stick to themselves re-enforces the fact that they are more of a family than just some sort of secret society of psychotic villains. And that is exactly how I like the Rogues.

I enjoyed how Johns is massaging Bart’s death into a mistake rather than cold blooded murder. I never thought that the Rogues would slaughter a Flash in the manner that we saw with Bart’s death. Johns deftly manages to explain how Bart’s death was an accident by pointing out how the Rogues’ powers had never seriously hurt a Flash before. That it was Inertia’s stealing Bart’s speed that made him more vulnerable to the Rogues’ powers. This shifts more of the blame toward Inertia as the psychotic vile villain and slides the Rogues back to Johns’ original vision of them as traditional criminals with scarred psyches.

I liked the scene where the new Trickster praises the Rogues for killing a Flash. The Trickster is clearly impressed. Johns then contrasts the younger villains take on Flash’s death when Cold explains how “the game” between the Rogues and the Flashes was never meant to be won. Johns does a good job highlighting the dichotomy between the new school villain in the DCU, which is an extremely blood thirsty character like Inertia and Superman-Prime, with old school villains like the Rogues.

I am a huge fan of Captain Cold. And Cold is clearly Johns’ favorite Rogue and it shows in this issue. Cold is so well written. Johns does a fantastic job with Cold’s running inner monologue that serves as the spine for the story in this issue.

I loved how bad-assed Cold is as he readies his Rogues for one more mission before they all retire. The Rogues deciding to break their number one rule one more time and kill a speedster was pretty cool. The Rogues definitely have a bone to pick with Inertia after all that has gone down since Bart’s death. I cannot wait to see our Rogues lock horns with Inertia.

I was glad to see Piper back in his role as a hero. I have always liked how Johns has handled Piper’s character. I would like to see Piper get a chance to vindicate himself in this story.

I also enjoyed the short scene with Iris. As an astute follower of The Revolution pointed out in the comments, the voice in this scene is a different color than Zoom’s voice. Therefore, this must indeed be Barry trying to contact Iris. Since I am a huge Barry Allen fan, I am looking forward to the possiblity of seeing Barry in this story.

Johns delivered an absolutely incredible hook ending to Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1. I loved the dramatic appearance of Zoom and his ominous promise to make Inertia the new Kid Flash. I simply did not see this ending coming at all. I am totally hooked and cannot wait to see what Johns has in store for us next.

The Bad: I cannot stand Axel Walker as the Trickster. He is such an incredibly annoying character and not in a good way. I wish Axel was the Trickster who got killed off instead of James Jesse.

I found the extremely violent manner in which Inertia attacks the prison guards to be way too over the top. It made Inertia seem a bit hammy and more of a caricature rather than an actual character. The reliance on ridiculously over the top violence is one of Johns’ weaknesses. Good writing and strong character work is a much better way to establish a character as a terrible villain versus the lazy approach of using gratuitous violence to get the reader to view a character as a huge villain.

I know that many people love how Scott Kollins draws speedsters. I just am not one of those people. Kollins’ artwork always seems just too rushed and sloppy for my taste. However, I know I am in the minority with this view so most readers will probably enjoy the look of this issue.

Overall: Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1 was a great read. This was an excellent Final Crisis tie-in issue. I imagine that John’s story on this title will probably have more mass appeal than Morrison’s story on Final Crisis itself. If you enjoyed Johns’ run on Flash then you absolutely must pick up this title. Even if you did not, I would still recommend giving this Final Crisis tie-in a chance.

7 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #1

  1. I think the disembodied voice saying “Iris” is actually Barry. The reasoning being the speech bubble. If you look at the speech bubble saying “Inertia” it is a stable bubble with red lettering and red borders, there is also red lightning everytime Zoom appears.

    The bubble saying “Iris” has yellow rings around it and the lightning following it is also yellow. This, i feel cannot be an artists mistake since the rest of Zoom’s bubbles have been rendered in the same way. So, this must be Barry’s.

    So, Red Lightning, red stable speech bubble = Zoom
    Yellow Lightning, speech bubble with yellow borders =Barry

    At least thats my reasoning.

  2. my hope. Zoom decided to put Bart’s soul in Inertia’s body, or something like that. They do have the same DNA afterall.

  3. I, Pope Qwert II, proclaim Geoff Johns Doctor Ecclesia of the DCU for his work in combating the forces of bone-headedness that imperil the comics industry.

    This is how you set up an event. Take notes Excommunicant Bendis!

  4. huh… Lex is working with Libra and the Rouges are the troublemakers ? I thought Lex and a bunch of other guys were coming together against Libra…

    but yes, it would be cool to see the rouges team up with Wally and Barry to take down Zoom and Inertia…..

  5. Lex may be back with Libra soon after what we saw in Final Crisis itself. Wasn’t the deal, as Libra saw it, that Lex would join him if he could hurt Superman? Then the Daily Planet blowed up real good, so that might bring Lex back, at least for a while. Long term, I don’t see Lex bowing to a bigger boss.

    I don’t think Zoom and Inertia will have anything to do with restoring Bart Allen. That seems more likely to be a part of the legion story and the lightning rod.

    Of course, considering my record of accuracy, the fact that I’ve guessed any of this at all nearly guarantees that it won’t happen.

  6. I dont see how what Libra has done would convince anyone ..let alone Lex .

    Events in Salvation run had left Martian Manhunter virtually helpless and pretty much anyone there could have finished him off.Libra had nothing much to do with it at all. Lex was there and he should know that . And bombing the daily Planet convinced Lex of Libras prowess ? Thats pretty much it ?

  7. I’ll admit that Libra’s hit on the Daily Planet came awfully easily–why hasn’t anyone done this to Superman’s known friends before? But this could be a “suspension of disbelief” issue for the sake of the story, or maybe Libra not being as much of a hard-ass as he claims is itself part of the story.

    I’m just suggesting how they might justify Lex siding with Libra for a while, if it isn’t just a flat-out mistake. I’m really hoping that the Final Crisis books hold together better than Countdown did with itself.

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