There are very few event tie-ins that would be able to exist on their own. Not surprisingly, many are so heavily dependent upon the main event that you are left with only two options; read on in ignorance, or buy more and more tie-ins. However, you occasionally get a tie-in that is well written, apart from the main event, and carrying all the gravitas and import due.
Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins Roguesâ€™ Revenge is one of those comics.
The second of three was released last Wednesday, and when I sat down over the weekend to read my comics, I was really excited for this one. If you can remember back that far (or are concerned enough to go trawling through the past reviews here at MS), I loved the first one; it was fantastic. And now, Johns and Kolins have delivered once again.
Issue two begins with, honestly, a confusing opening page, with what I can only gather is the Roguesâ€™ talking to various villains across the DCU, asking about Libra. But the next page picks up quickly, narrated by Len Snart, aka, Captain Cold. He is joined by The Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, and the young Trickster.
The reader is once again immediately aware of the down-to-earth-ness of these characters; they arenâ€™t out to take over the world, they just do their thing, for themselves. They are visiting the tailor who makes their costumes to withstand what they throw at themselves and their adversaries, but they find that he has been beaten up, and an effigy of Captain Coldâ€™s sister has been lit on fire with the note, â€œWHOâ€™S NEXT COLD?â€
We then find one of Mirror Masterâ€™s mirrors, and on the other end is a new, younger, group of Rogues. Theyâ€™re Libraâ€™s collection, and they threaten the real Roguesâ€™, saying they go to Libra â€œhat in handsâ€ or they kill Coldâ€™s father.
What comes next â€“ after a brief two page interlude with Zoom and Inertia â€“ is one of the best fight scenes. Itâ€™s Rogue versus Rogue, and the outcome is not hard to guess. Heat Wave takes on his wannabe replacement, and we immediately find out who has the suit more suited to keeping out the heat. It is also another beautiful, yet terrifying, looking in to Mick Roryâ€™s mind, and the love he has of fire.
Weather Wizard versus Weather Witch takes a lot less time, as the former burns the latter to a crisp with a well placed lightning bolt. Mirror Master doesâ€¦ somethingâ€¦ to his doppelganger, leaving Trickster to strangle him, before Mr. Magic attacks Trickster, but is then incapacitated by Mirror Master.
Then there is aÂ fantastic scene where Weather Wizard acknowledges that heâ€™s been threatening to create a tornado inside someoneâ€™s belly for ages, and then he goes and does just that. Cold makes light work of Chill, and then confronts his father, referencing a great deal of father-son turmoil, before asking Heat Wave to kill his father for him.
Another interlude page with Zoom and Inertia links to a page with Libra and Gorilla Grod, as Libra announces his plan for Inertia and the Roguesâ€™. But before the big last page cliffhanger, a few pages back there is a scene with Wally Westâ€™s wife and kids and Barry Allenâ€™s wife, as well as Joan and Jay Garrick.
The last page references a comment by Weather Wizard, which suggests that he will do anything for his kid. This is definitely going to play a part in the third and final part of this mini-series, considering that Libra has kidnapped his son.
Kolins artwork is simply fantastic, and the harsh lines and imagery perfectly matches the harsh reality of this comic. Iâ€™m not very good at describing the artwork, so all I can say is that, while the art does seem to reference the gritty styles of the late 80â€™s and 90â€™s, it does so well, and you just love it.
And needless to say, Geoff Johns is an absolute master, and this comic is a real tease for his promised Flash: Rebirth series, starring Barry Allen. Right now, Iâ€™m hoping for a bit of Flash #2 help in rescuing the baby, but either way, Johns is just kicking this out of the park. 5 out of 5, easily, this you have to pick up, regardless of whether you like Final Crisis or not.