DC Villains Month Spotlight: The Rogues | Fanboys Anonymous

DC Villains Month Spotlight: The Rogues

Posted by Unknown Thursday, October 10, 2013
With Villains Month finally drawing to a close, comic shelves are now fully stocked with the worst villains the DCU has to offer. After the wonderful surprise that was Aquaman 23.2: Ocean Master, I decided to go back and give a couple titles a try. Although the infamous likes of General Zod and Brainiac were tempting, I decided to stay on the second tier and check out Flash 23.3: The Rogues.

The Rogues run free in Flash 23.3
The Rogues have always made for great character stories. I can respect that DC can't start much in what is essentially a one-shot issue and decided that The Rogues may then be the perfect candidates for a Villains Month solo joint. The piece opens with a flash forward as The Rogues break into Iron Heights to free The Trickster. This scene is a perfect introduction to the team and really nails what makes them great. Sure, they may have campy names like Captain Cold and The Weather Wizard, but these aren't your traditional villains. Guys like The Joker and Darkseid are pure evil. They don't suffer complicated emotional strife that leads them to conquer planets and sabotage monkey bars on public playgrounds. They just do it because they are evil. While this can be plenty of fun, it allows for characters like The Rogues to really shine in comparison. They have a moral code that makes them something of anti-villains.

Captain Cold and Heat Wave awake from a night of heavy drinking.The issue jumps from the breakout back to a break-in attempt on a bank. The heist ultimately fails, because the structural integrity of the old mine they tried to use becomes compromised. Again, the piece does a nice job of using plot elements to expunge character details. The Rogues are crooks, not butchers. Ultimately they decide "the price isn't always worth the score" and turn back when they realize their robbery attempt will collapse the building.

The troupe elects to blow off their frustration in true Rogue fashion, inside a saloon. Here things get a bit dialogue heavy, but tactfully so. It catches readers up with the ramifications the recent Flash stories have had on the Rogues and further explains the various team dynamics. After most of the team blacks out, The Glider makes a decision that really sets this issue apart from many of the other villain issues I've read so far, she opts to risk her life to free Mirror Master from his mirror prison.

The Mirror Master escapes Mirror World and rejoins the Rogues.I know DC can't start much in these books; however, Flash 23.3: The Rogues found a way to have some significance despite the lack of a story arch. Mirror Master's successful release, and Glider's subsequent stumble into a coma, are real plot events that progress the Flash universe. Although watching The Riddler's heist was fun, this feels like a real issue with real consequences that really merit my readership. Following all of this, Captain Cold awakes, has a breakdown, and tries to rob a bank himself. Fortunately, he's rescued from the police and, with a little help from his friends, makes peace with the guilt he has over the misfortunes that befell the team during his tenure as leader. The reconfigured Rogues then go to free Trickster, bringing things full circle and setting the stage for the issue's second major defining moment.

The Rogues witness the Crime Syndicate's destruction in Flash 23.3.Whereas many issues may have ended simply with the reuniting of the Rogues, this one goes on to show the team emerging from jail to find the villains in charge and Central City destroyed. In another great character moment, the team doesn't do the classic villain thing and rub their hands together as they scheme diabolically. No, the Rogues are a different brand of villain. That was their city that just got destroyed, and they are pissed. It's a great lead-in to a new mini series and a great way to end an issue.

September is over, but their are loads of villains left to cover. Who are you enjoying? Let us know with a comment below and check back for more DC Villains Month Spotlight.

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