Comic Book Review: Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2

The Revolution enjoyed Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #1. Johns delivered a nicely paced and entertaining issue. There is no better writer to handle the Rogues than Johns. I am confident that Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 will be another quality read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Scott Kollins

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Libra and the Secret Society agreeing that the Rogues turning down membership to the Society will make them look bad. Libra says that the Rogues must be dealt with.

We cut to Central City with the Rogues arriving at the private warehouse of their tailor, Gambi. The Rogues see that someone has broken into the warehouse and ransacked the place. The Rogues tell the newbie Trickster how Gambi designed all of their costumes with special features. For example, Weather Wizard’s outfit is made of a fabric that is resistant to 500 mile per hours wind.

The Rogues then come across one of Gambi’s mannequins dressed up like Captain Cold’s dead sister: The Golden Glider. On it is a note that says “Who’s next Cold?” Captain Cold thinks how a wannabe villain named Chill-Blaine who got a hold of one of Cold’s old cold guns.

Cold narrates how whenever the Rogues get captured, their weapons get confiscated. But, the weapons never stay put in the evidence room. That they are worth too much on the black market and that their weapons always fall into the hands of the inept.

The Rogues then come across their tailor, Gambi, tied up and badly beaten. The Rogues untie Gambi and tend to him. The Rogues ask Gambi who did this to him. Gambi answers that it was the Rogues.

Cold then spies a small round mirror taped to Gambi’s shirt. Cold pulls it off and looks at the mirror. Inside he sees a guy dressed in a version of Cold’s outfit. The guy introduces himself as Chill and says that he is Cold’s replacement in this universe and that he is the leader of the new Rogues.

Suddenly, the new Rogues pop out of the mirror and into the warehouse. The new Rogues consist of Chill, Burn, Mirror-Man, Mr. Magic and Weather Witch. Chill says that the old Rogues are old news and out of touch. Chill says that the old Rogues can still be useful and that Libra wants the old Rogues to report to him for sermon and assignment. Chill says that the old Rogues are a symbol of the disbelievers.

Cold notices that Chill has one of Cold’s old cold guns. Chill responds that the Penguin sold it to him. Chill then reveals that they have captured Cold’s father and have him here at the warehouse. Chill says that if the old Rogues do not crawl back to Libra and beg for forgiveness then the new Rogues will kill Cold’s father. The new Rogues begin laughing madly while the old Rogues just stand there emotionless.

Cold then says “Fuck you, kid.” Cold says that he is going to kill all of them and then he is going to kill his father. The new Rogues stand there stunned.

We cut to Inertia racing around with Zoom. Inertia says that he never thought Zoom would be on the side of Bart and the Flashes. Zoom says he is not on their side. That Zoom is on his own side. Zoom says that Inertia is a clone of Bart and that Inertia was obsessed with finding his own identity. But Inertia failed so now he wants to Bart’s identity. Zoom hands Inertia the Kid Flash costume and tells him to take it.

Inertia cries that he does not want it anymore. Inertia asks why Zoom wants him to put on the costume. Zoom says that he does not want Inertia to put on the costume. That Libra does.

We cut back to Gambi’s warehouse where we see the old Rogues squared off against the new Rogues. Cold states “You don’t know me. You don’t know us. That’s your first mistake.”

Burn and Heatwave lock horns. Heatwave says that the man the new Rogues left for dead designed his costume. That Gambi did not make Burn’s cheap costume. Heatwave then says that his gun can melt the Flash’s boots. Heatwave pours on the fire and comments that he is not even breaking a sweat. Heatwave asks if Burn is getting hot, yet.

We see the first blazing and Burn’s costume cracking and melting. Burn then roasts to death.

We see Weather Wizard taking on Weather Witch. Weather Wizard catches the lightning that Weather Witch shoots at him. Weather Wizard then fries Weather Wizard which kills her and leaves behind nothing more than a charred skeleton.

Mirror Master turns Mirror-Man’s eyes into mirrors and blinds him. Trickster and Mirror Master then finish off Mirror Man. We then see Weather Wizard ramp up some serious winds and square off against Mr. Magic. Weather Wizard tells Trickster that if he wants to be a Rogue then he better take note. Weather Wizard continues that these thugs think they can claim the Rogues’ weapons. But, the weapon does not make the Rogue.

Weather Wizard then grows a tornado inside of Mr. Magic’s stomach and blows him apart. We then see Chill and Captain Cold fighting. Captain Cold fires his gun but nothing happens. Chill laughs that Cold’s gun misfired because it is as old as Cold.

Chill goes to punch Cold. Cold responds that the gun did not misfire. That it fired a wide beam that created a cold field which is an invisible wall of absolute zero that freezes anything it touches. Cold says he uses it on the Flash so that he can slow him down enough to see him. However, on normal people, the effect is much more devastating.

We see the Chill’s fist has frozen solid where he tried to punch Cold. Cold then breaks Chill’s frozen fist off. Cold tells Chill that he was not the first to pick up one of Cold’s weapons and that Chill won’t be the last. But, Chill will be the last today. Cold then freezes Chill solid and then breaks Chill into pieces.

Cold then breaks down the door of the room that the new Rogues were keeping Cold’s father.

We then zip back to Zoom and Inertia and see that Inertia is wearing the Kid Flash costume. We see Pied Piper on the scene and watching Zoom and Inertia from a distance. Piper says that he knows that Cold is going to blame Inertia for all the heat the Rogues are taking and that Cold and the rest of the Rogues will come looking for Inertia.

We see Zoom telling Inertia that Inertia is no longer tapping into the Speed Force. That he is tapping into Zoom. That Inertia is tapping into the Time Stream. Zoom says that Inertia needs to learn to do more than just run.

We shift back to Pied Piper watching the two speedsters. Piper thinks that Cold is going to be surprised to learn that he is going to have to deal with not just Inertia, but also Zoom. Piper then adds that Cold will also have to deal with a third person as well: The Pied Piper. Piper thinks how he is the only Rogue on the straight and narrow.

We cut to Jay Garrick’s house where we see Jay, Joan, Iris, Linda and Wally’s kids. Iris mentions how she could feel that Barry was back even before Jay told her. That when the lightning crashed that she could feel a wave of static crash over her and she could hear Barry’s voice. Iris says that it was never like that with Jay or Wally. But, when Barry ran by it was always electric.

We slide back to Cold standing behind his father. Cold flashes back to when he was a kid and his father would beat his mother and then when their mother left that their father would beat Cold and his sister, Lisa. Cold tells his father that Lisa is dead. Cold’s father replied that he had not heard the news. Cold’s father mumbles that he is sorry.

Cold snaps for his father to look him in the eyes and say that he is sorry. Cold’s father says that Lisa would still be alive if Cold had not chased her off. Cold responds that he did not chase Lisa off. That Lisa ran away. Cold’s father replies that Lisa ran after her big brother when he left the home.

Cold’s father said that he was not the perfect father and may have been rough but that he is not responsible for Cold giving Lisa a mask and a pair of skates and that he is not responsible for Cold being who he is today. Cold’s father says that Lisa’s death is all on Cold.

Cold points his gun at his father’s head. Cold’s father says that Cold dragged both his sister and his father into his little game. And now Cold thinks he can kill his father and make everything better. Cold’s father says that Cold is just as weak as his mother. One bruise and his mother would cry. Cold’s father says that Cold was just the same way. One bruise and Cold would cry.

Cold punches his father. Cold’s father asks Cold “When was the last time you cried, Lenny?” Cold points his gun back at his father and then lowers it. Cold walks out of the room and tells Heatwave “You do it, Mick.”

Heatwave walks into the room and bathes the room in fire and kills Cold’s father. Weather Wizard asks Cold if he feels better. Cold stares at the fire and replies “No. But it was worth a shot.”

Cold then tells Weather Wizard that he is not going to like this but that they have to go back to the Observatory and set up base there. That they have not been there since Scudder (the first Mirror Master) died and that no one will expect them to be there. There they can regroup and track down Inertia. Cold says that it is Weather Wizard’s call.

Weather Wizard replies “Let’s do it.” Cold tells Heatwave to burn the warehouse down. Mirror Master tells Trickster to take a look at all the pretenders. Mirror Master says that the Rogues did not welcome him with open arms just because he showed up with a costume and his mirror gun. Mirror Master says that Scudder was Mirror Master first and taking his place was not easy. That the Rogues made him earn it.

Mirror Master says that if the Trickster wants to stick around instead of ending up like the pretenders here then he has got to earn it, too.

Trickster asks Mirror Master how he can do that. Mirror Master answers that Trickster should not tell Cold why he wants to be a Rogue. That Trickster has to tell Cold why he needs to be a Rogue. The Rogues then leave the scene.

We cut to Libra being informed that the old Rogues killed the new Rogues. Libra says that he needs the Rogues. Libra says that the Flashes are going to be a problem and he needs those who have spent their lives fighting the Flashes by his side. Libra says that the Flashes are the key to this Crisis just like they have been the key to all the other ones. Libra says that the Flashes can unlock the door that has the great evil has shut.

Grodd asks Libra why he is having Zoom recruit Inertia. Libra responds that he wants the Rogues to kill Kid Flash again. Libra wants the Rogues to prepare for a war against the Flashes. Libra says that the Weather Wizard will convince Cold and the Rogues to join Libra. Or else Libra will skewer Weather Wizard’s son right in front of the Weather Wizard. We see Libra holding Weather Wizard’s son in his arms. End of issue.

The Good: Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 was a great read. Johns cranks out a well paced issue. This issue moves along briskly and with a purpose, but at no point does it ever feel rushed. Johns properly massages the pacing in this issue to accentuate the various scenes.

Johns steps on the gas pedal and cranks up the pacing as he delivers plenty of furious action as the “old” Rogues decimate the new Rogues. Johns then gently eases off the gas and brings the story to a slow simmer as we get the dramatic dialogue heavy scene between Captain Cold and his father.

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 was a nicely plotted issue. Johns almost always crafts well plotted reads and this issue was no exception. Johns keeps the story moving with a clear direction in mind. This issue is technically sound and wonderfully constructed. Johns manages to play nicely off of the events over in Final Crisis with the scene concerning the Flashes and Libra.

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 was a properly balanced issue as Johns serves up a huge helping of kick-ass action as well as plenty of intriguing character work. Nobody knows the Rogues better than Johns, so I was hardly surprised by his impressive character work that he delivers on each of the Rogues.

Johns does his best to make Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 new reader friendly. Johns doles out enough back-story in this issue so that even new readers who are unfamiliar with the history of the Rogues as well as the back-story concerning the origins of Zoom and Inertia so that readers will understand everything that happens in this issue. And Johns integrates the back-story seamlessly into the story as to avoid lengthy and dull flashback scenes that would bore longtime readers.

Johns spends some time with this issue examining exactly what it means to be a Rogue. Johns has always understood the Rogues better than any other writer. And Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge is simply crystallizing Johns’ view of the Rogues as we head toward this new chapter of the DCU.

Johns views the Rogues as a family. These villains act as a surrogate family for each other. Each Rogue is emotionally wounded and suffers from some type of psychosis. Each Rogue has experienced some type of trauma in their life. Yet, through it all, these men have found support and an acceptance and a feeling of belonging. Being a Rogue gives each man a sense of pride and the belief that he is a part of something bigger and better.

Johns does a nice job contrasting how the older Rogues view being a Rogue with how the new Trickster views the criminal lifestyle. I loved the part where Mirror Master instructs the Trickster that if he wants to be a part of the Rogues that the Trickster should not tell Cold why he wants to be a Rogue, but why he needs to be a Rogue.

This statement reveals what makes the Rogues so unique among DC’s super villain groups. By and large, super villains do not work well together. They lack the trust and friendship bonds that super heroes possess. And this lack of trust and friendship is usually what is the downfall of a super villain group.

That is not the case with the Rogues. The Rogues are the coolest and most intriguing band of villains because they do trust each other implicitly. And they are loyal to each other. The Rogues have a strong bond and kinship with each other. The Rogue stand up and take care of each other. Johns writes the Rogues more like a group of super heroes rather than super villains.

I loved the scene where the Rogues slaughter the new Rogues. This was perfectly done. This brutal fight emphasizes that the Rogues are extremely deadly villains who are a force to be reckoned with. No matter how much Johns may get the reader to sympathize with the Rogues, the reader must still keep in mind that these men are cold-blooded killers.

I also viewed this scene as a bit of commentary from Johns concerning how quite often the “new” versions of established characters are thinly created rip-offs that pale in comparison with the original versions.

The best part of Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 was the in depth look into Cold’s character. It was absolutely fascinating. I have always liked Cold’s character, but Johns gets me even more intrigued into Cold’s psyche than I was before. The turmoil and painful childhood scars are raw and boiling inside of Cold as he stares down his father. Johns succeeds in delivering a rather intense scene.

Johns crafts an incredibly intense and raw scene that oozes with tension and emotion as Cold comes face-to-face with his father. Johns does a fine job exposing Cold’s feelings of abandonment and guilt that have plagued him since childhood. This scene makes Cold rather sympathetic as the reader watches the flashback scenes where Cold was abused by his father.

The best part of this scene was the ending. Despite all the terrible things that Cold’s father did to him, Cold still does not have it in himself to kill his own father. And just when the reader thought the scene was over, Johns throws a curveball by having Cold tell Heatwave to kill his father for him. And Cold’s reaction to his father’s death was perfect. That it did not make him feel better, but it was worth a shot.

Childhood scars that run as deep as what Cold possess will never be healed over by such a revenge fueled act as what we see in this issue. It makes Cold an even more sympathetic villain than before. I always liked Cold, but I find him even more fascinating after this issue.

As a Barry Allen fan I enjoyed the one page scene with Iris talking about how Barry always ran differently from Jay and Wally. That when Barry ran it was positively electric. This scene does a good job placing the Rogues’ Revenge story into context with the timeline over on Final Crisis.

I found the plotline involving Inertia and Zoom to be rather intriguing. Johns unveils that Zoom is going to give Inertia powers like Zoom’s. And that Zoom reveals that it is Libra who wants Inertia to become Kid Flash. We also learn that Libra’s plan is to have the Rogues kill Kid Flash again. I am not too sure why Libra is going through with this plan but it has piqued my interest.

Johns also folds the Pied Piper plotline into the Zoom and Inertia plotline as all the different plotlines are merging together for the final issue of this story. I am interested to see the showdown between Piper and the Rogues.

Johns gives the reader a few more hints about what we can except over in Final Crisis. Libra makes a point to state that the Flashes are the key to this Crisis as they have been in the previous two Crisis events. And it makes sense that having the Rogues on Libra’s side would he very helpful in dealing with the Flashes. We also get the cryptic statement from Libra that only the Flashes have the ability to unlock the door that has their great evil has shut. I am curious to learn more about this.

Johns ends Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 with one wickedly nasty hook ending as we see Libra holding Weather Wizard’s son. We have already seen how deadly brutal Weather Wizard can be in this issue. I hate to see what happens when Weather Wizard discovers that Libra has captured his son. Next issue should be one wild finale.

Personally, I have never been much of a fan of Kollins’ rough and sketchy style of artwork. However, I have to admit that Kollins does a great job on this issue. The one page splash shots look great. Kollins injects so much emotion and intensity through the facial expressions of the various characters. Kollins also does a nice job keeping this issue looking interesting by employing plenty of different point of view angles to the various panels.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 was another excellent read. Johns is doing a fantastic job treating the reader to a well constructed tie-in story. This is how tie-in stories should be handled. Johns delivers a story that stands well on its own, but still resolves a few dangling plotlines from Countdown as well as fleshing out some of the minor plotlines from the Final Crisis event. This story has been worth the cover price.

1 thought on “Comic Book Review: Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2

  1. Hey great review……..I just hope that someone at DC could place Geoff Johns back on the Flash book sometime in the future. Noticed there was no JSA review this week.

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