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Rise of the Rogues

January 16, 2010

     Few superheroes’ rogues galleries are as colorful as the Flash’s Rogues.  And in Blackest Night: The Flash, half of the story is about the Rogues fighting off those of their number who come back as Black Lanterns.  The Flash runs around, alerting every superhero he can to gather and for those who can generate light to shine brightly.  Barry remembers the events of The Flash: Rebirth and Professor Zoom’s ominous comment of his upcoming resurrection.  Captain Boomerang and Tar Pit visit the Rogues’ graveyard to wonder about Boomerang’s father, the original Captain Boomerang, and Barry runs into Zoom now turned into a Black Lantern.  He keeps his emotions in check and tosses Zoom as far away as he can.  Then, he goes to visit Solovar, his old friend and leader of Gorilla City.  When he arrives, he finds a mysterious diagram of the Speed Force in the wall, as well as Solovar as a Black Lantern (Solovar had died while he was in the Speed Force).  Captain Cold and the Rogues ready themselves to face their dead former friends, and Barry scatters Solovar’s ashes across the Indian Ocean to keep him from resurrecting.  Then, we get a quick recap of Barry being in Coast City when Nekron rises, while the Rogues head to Iron Heights Penitentiary, where the Black Lantern Rogues are tearing through everything.

     This story is basically the sequel to the Flash: Rebirth and the last story before we get to the new Flash ongoing series.  It’s going to explain how Zoom came back, and Blackest Night proper has already explained how Barry came back.  Plus, it’s continuing Geoff Johns’ superb work on the Rogues.  Admittedly, I’m enjoying this less than I enjoyed Rebirth because I don’t know the Rogues that well, since he didn’t really go over them much in Rebirth, the only previous Flash work I’ve read.  But I could feel Barry’s sadness at Solovar’s death seeping out of the page, which just proves that Johns is getting me interested anyway.  Also, I’m not really sure how this will tie in to Captain Boomerang’s appearance in Blackest Night: Batman, but since he wasn’t killed, my guess is that he’ll come back here to meet up with the rest of the Rogues.  Scott Kolins’ art is definitely good at capturing the crazy pace at which everything goes on in a Flash story.  But he doesn’t seem to be as good when things are going at a normal pace, when flaws in his work, like less detail and odd lower jaws pop up (like in one of the Rogues parts of the book).  Still, he was definitely meant to work on Flash.  Personally, I wish we could just get the new Flash series already, but that’s coming with Brightest Day, and considering Flash’s importance in Blackest Night, it makes sense that he’d have his own miniseries.  So even though I’m not thrilled about this, Johns and Kolins are definitely making this a worthwhile and exciting purchase.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 8.7

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