Rogues Rebellion #2 Review: Bad Luck
The Rogues face new threats as they run from the dangers of Forever Evil in an all new Rogues Rebellion. Brian Buccellato is joined full time by artist Scott Hepburn to bring us the second chapter in this Warriors-esque romp, but how did it turn out.
This is a book that is going to have some very big detractors, and for some not unwarranted reasons as well. First things first would have to be the negatives, mainly due to the reason why there are some who won't like it. The most noticeable aspect of this issue, as a whole, was the extent in which Buccellato lifted scenes from Forever Evil
. This is understandable, the series is still forming it's own story - but still shares a tangent with the main event series. The first half of this issue was a simple recap of the events shown in Forever Evil
#3 while also providing the disconnect. It's efficiently done but there are already readers out there bemoaning the fact that half the issue was something that they had already read before instead of creating forward progression from the get-go. It's a bittersweet compromise, in my opinion. It makes the lay reader feel like they are getting the full story, which in the long run of trades and collected editions will go a long way toward creating a rounded and complete reading experience.
For it's own part Buccellato does not just lay down and simply copy and paste Johns' script from Forever Evil
, which would have only compounded the problem. Not at all. Instead Buccellato adds his own flavor where he can, from visual gags to mere added dialogue on the fringes of the panel. Geoff Johns created a tight and tense scene, but the one that replays here is a bit more light, a tad more comedic, but more fully realized to the story that is being weaved around the rest of the Rogues. Of note is that while Captain Cold was the primary focus of the Johns scene, Buccellato gives the rest their own character moments and motivations during the fight with Power Ring and Deathstorm, with each mouthing off their own quips and side glances. It's until Captain Cold is separated from the rest of his team that Buccellato gets to fully play around with the story he wants to tell.
What follows is an entertaining comedy of errors where the Rogues must first regroup, after a terrible mirror teleportation accident leaves them hanging dozens of feet above Metropolis, and also gives the first taste of what readers have been waiting for. The Rogues versus the criminal alliance known as the Secret Society. First up to the bat are the low level footnote known as "The Archer" and the heavy hitter dubbed "Parasite". This allows for even more picture perfect character beats - especially since the Rogues must now forage on with malfunctioning power sets. The regrouping sequence is hilarious with a touch of actual thrill and suspense. For their own parts the encounters with The Archer and Parasite follow suit - they especially endear such Rogues like The Trickster and Weather Wizard to the reader. Those two really get off some entertaining scenes and Weather Wizard taking on Parasite solo is really a sight to behold.
This is not to mean that the other Rogues have nothing to contribute, which would be a lie. Each finds a way to make themselves shine out amongst the general rabble. In the case of Mirror Master he is put in a unique position given the power vacuum left by Captain Cold - as he tries to take charge for most of the issue. It's a good character beat and one that seems ripe for expansion. Heatwave is the blandest of the most as most of his moments come from his unwieldy powers and not much focus is given to growth as a whole, but that might change hopefully. It's a brisk issue that really breaks the tedium of the last few issues of buildup. It's the main event it does a great job of hooking people onto it, with a fantastic cliffhanger and tease of what's to come as our anti-heroes find themselves transported to the lair of Poison Ivy.
Of course I cannot conclude without finally talking about the art of Scott Hepburn, who contributed pages along with Patrick Zircher to the first issue, as it was a point of contention with readers. While his previous work seemed rushed and out of focus in some key areas, his contributions here have a more solid and consistent feel to them. It's cartoony but without sacrificing integrity to the work as a whole and the various touches here and there that Hepburn adds really give it a homey aura. Buccellato is on form and reading this really gives hope for his concluding arc on The Flash
without collaborator Francis Manapul.