Thursday, April 04, 2013

Back Issue Spotlight: Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge#'s 1-3

TGIT I think.

So who watched Arrow last night?
I did, and it was pretty decent. Nothing too special, but still on par with how things usually run.

We saw the return of "Count Vertigo", as his name brand drug was back as well, and enslaving the citizens of Starling City. Well we all thought he was back, but that turned out to be a giant swerve thanks to the doctor that was overseeing him. After Arrow shows up in the Count's cell to question him, he finds him still strung the the fuck out(or high off his own supply) and speaking gibberish. Later he supposedly escapes, pissing off Ollie for not killing him when he had the chance. Later when Ollie finds out he and the whole town/police force were swerved, he kills the doctor, but again doesn't kill the Count. It might've been when the Count was all like "What's the name on the headstone? I bet it's nice and clean." As if to maybe say in his own gibberish, mental way "Sure you can kill me, but it won't really be me, but a mental case."
I'm sure there's a good bit of social commentary about the treatment of mental patients if that's what you read into this, but at least Texas doesn't give a shit if you're retarded or not; if you're a criminal, you're a criminal. And to quote the immortal Sam L. Jackson "Yeah they deserved to die, and I hope they rot in hell!"

Oh, and Tommy finally quits after having another  bitch fit with Ollie about their trust issues. Seriously Tommy, get the fuck over it man! He saved your dad's worthless ass even though your dad almost crippled and killed him. What a cry-baby pussy this guy's turning out to be. So Tommy asks dear old dad about getting a job with him, and off to the races we go on that one.

Eh. I quickly losing interest in the same formulaic approach we're given each episode; the bad guy of the week gets built up, and then anti-climatically gets his ass dealt with just like that. I know, I know, I watch reruns of Smallville and and read comics, so I should be used to this, but still.....

Okay on to the meat of today's post. As I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to be altering the way I do the Top 5 and even this feature. I'll be using the characters themselves or the other parties involved in some form or another, using my vastly growing menagerie of action figures. Seriously folks, my shelves runneth over with action figures all competing for the same shelf space.

Added to the fact that I just bought two more yesterday; another 1st ML Captain America figure to replace the one I have since he's sturdier and can actually stand up, and the new Protector(Morrison's Marvel Boy) ML figure.

Anyhoo, on with today's back issue review, or more correctly, back issues, as I review the three issue mini, Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge.

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge#'s 1-3, September-October 2008 by Geoff Johns and Scott Kollins.

Before I review that though, first I need to fill you in on the backstory:

Back in the pre-Nu52 universe, the Wally West version of the Flash was finally had his own Flash family to deal with, and thus it was decided to take him off the grid and allow him to enjoy semi-retirement in another dimension to raise his kids. Ok fine, makes sense. But then Didio and Co, decided to fill the Flash vacancy by placing then Kid Flash, Bart into the roll. So the writers of Bart Flash's new series aged him into adulthood and made him the new Flash. Well poor sales reflected what dumb move that was, as Bart had plenty of Teen Titan and Kid Flash, and regular Flash fans show just how much they majorly disapproved Bart's role as the new Flash. So the series was cancelled. Now instead of just de-aging Bart and making him Kid Flash again, or rather going the "It was all a dream" route, Didio and friends decided to punish Bart and kill off their embarrassment in the last issue of his series and the shitty weekly comic, Countdown.

And that was that, Bart was killed off accidently by the Rogues because they didn't know that Bart's clone from the future, Inertia, stole Bart's speed, thus enabling the Rogues to kill him.

So that's where we start the mini off, right after the Rogues go to their hideout after breaking their golden rule of "Never killing a Speedster."

The Rogues are tired, beat up, and just plain pissed off that Inertia played them, tricking them into offing Bart. To this end they all seriously consider retiring, Captain Cold in particular. But thankfully fate in the form of LibraInertia, and Zoom, but an end to those plans quick.

The Rogues decide to make one last run, and go kill Inertia. Which is fine and all, but Zoom's already after him. Zoom wants to make Inertia better, so he in turn can make their enemies better. Yeah, it's a weird philosophy  but at the time, the new Zoom was into the theory that personal tragedy makes a hero stronger. Now while that does have a good bit of truth to it, it's still a pretty messed up way of thinking, but is also kind of a refreshing reason for a villain to do what he does.

And that's the first issue.
The second one gives us a new batch of wannabe replacement Rogues, and how they plan on forcing the Rogues to join up with Libra by threatening to kill Captain Cold's father and then them if they don't cooperate.

So the Rogues go find their "replacements" in cool way, as Mirror Master simply finds them by tracing their location through one of the mirrors the other Rogues used to broadcast their message.

They then proceed to do exactly what you'd think they do when they caught up them. They fucking slaughter them like nothing.

After that, Captain Cold finally hashes things out with his dad, but for some reason won't kill him; nope, he let's fellow Rogue Heatwave do that for him.

Immediately after that Libra shows up, threatening the Rogues that he'll kill Weather Wizard's son if they don't join him. 
Then Inertia shows up right after that, and goes ahead and kills Weather Wizard's son anyways.

 Oh, and by this point after showing Zoom what a fast learner he is by quickly figuring out how to tap into Zoom's powers, he rechristens himself Kid Zoom. And then he steals Zoom's powers, leaving him in his default form as a very paralyzed Hunter Ashley Zolomon.

Inertia briefly fights Libra, before Libra takes off, and then he faces down a very angry and pissed off team of Rogues. And goes about just how you imagined it would:

And that's all in the third issue. Whew!

With Inertia dead, and their imaginary "tab" considered paid in full, it looks like the Rogues will actually retire after all. Then they decide if the Barry's back(and it's pretty much confirmed with cutaways to his appearance in the main Final Crisis issues) then they can't retire. Nope, the game's still on, except now it's different since it's the Barry Allen Flash they'll be dealing with now.

There are other parts to it, like former Rogue the Pied Piper also hunting down the Rogues due to the part he inadvertently played in Bart's demise. So he's there for the major battle as well before being taken down by Libra.

And just little fun bits here and there in the issues.

This mini and Final Crisis would lead directly into the Flash:Rebirth 6-issue mini that was supposed to be all about celebrating Barry Allen as Flash, much how like Green Lantern: Rebirth was all about rebuilding Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. Except that mini wasn't anywhere near as good, and I honestly don't know why, it just wasn't that good.

This was one of the last great bits of writing and drawing by the team of Johns and Kollins; they had previously established themselves as THE creative team for the Wally West Flash, with so many great story-arcs and character arcs, especially my favorites, the ones that centered on the origins of the Rogues.

Too bad it didn't stay that way, and now we have the reboot, and all that great character-building doesn't mean shit now.

Which is sad, and what makes me happy that back issues exist period. I know fans during the original Crisis era had to deal with a similar situation, but even though would have to agree that the new continuity they were given is far, FAR superior to the crapfest that is the current DCU continuity  And I don't give a shit how many good stories are being pumped out or what notable runs are being made now, it still doesn't make up for the horrible way these beloved characters have become genericized and turned into basically bland versions of themselves. No longer can you tell them apart personality-wise, because they all(with some exceptions) seem to act the same.

I liken the reboot and it's affect on past continuity to a game of Jenga;
you build these legacies, continuity by stacking good story on top of good story, building up and building on a rich history. But as you take out certain elements via reboots, you risk making the whole thing topple, which is exactly what happens. When the bottom or top, or middle inevitably falls out, then you have what could potentially be irreparable damage to these popular characters, then you lose fans, and then you lose revenue.

Why Dido and Co. don't get this, I'll never understand, but as long as they remain in power, expect your heroes to suffer until the current regime is replaced.

It's just that simple.

Anyhoo, if you haven't already read this mini, I highly recommend you do. Johns could, and still can if he was, write the Rogues like no one else can. That's why they're just so damn lovable.

Alright people, have a good to great weekend......


Randomnerd said...

I was among those very very very annoyed at the whole "Bart as the Flash" thing. I mean, we all knew EVENTUALLY. Sure. Just like we had eventually gotten used to Wally being the Flash. But that took time. And years of him paying his dues as Kid Flash. And retiring from that. And soul searching. And coming back. And then, Bart, did a major jump from being Impulse to Kid Flash. Which wasn't just a costume change, but him taking on a bigger mantle of responsibility. He was trying to learn, trying to grow up. Sure, Bart did it faster than everyone. But he was a speedster. He could do that.
Then, with very little elapsed time, they decide he's going to be the Flash. And it was just too much. You had a couple books, Flash and Titans, which were doing fine, hitting their audiences, and making them happy. And they seriously screwed them. They removed a pivotal member from the Titans, right when the Titans really didn't need it. And they irritated Flash fans, who bought the book for The Flash, not for a Teen Titan upstart.
And then they decide to fix it all by killing him. *sigh* Because a speedster always has to die, don't they?
I liked the writing in this one. Really. It's good, it attempts to explain some of the stupidity. Even then it can only do so much. Because in the end, the reason Bart died comes down to "oopsy". In all its various meanings.

Dale Bagwell said...

Yep. And wasn't one of Didio's favorite butt-buddies, Johns writing Titans at the time still? I'm sure he was absolutely thrilled to hear bart was getting killed off. You just know he was since he was allowed to bring him back after the events of the JLA/JSA LEGION crossover story back then, culminating in the Legion of 3 Worlds story, where he also brought back Conner, fixing a mistake of his as well.

I can only imagine the torrents of hate mail that would've swamped and flooded Didio's office if he was actually allowed to go through with his original plans to kill off Dick.

But yeah, the Rogues, as written by Johns are my favorite incarnation, and it seems one of the very few characters he's written that he hasn't fucked up over time.

I'm glad I finally got these issues, because it has long been on my to-get list and it was well worth the wait.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

i was wondering if you were still watching Arrow. how ironic that both of our most recent postings had something to do with Vertigo. considering that by the end of the old DCU Deadshot ended up with Secret Six and Boomerang with the Rogues (or did he go solo after his come back?) i wonder what a show down between the two teams would have gone down like? got your FB message with the custom Manhunter that was sweet.

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah, that's why I commented on this week's show in the first part of the post.

As for a showdown between the Rogues and Secret Six....Hmm.

Secret Six:

-Scandal Savage
-King Shark

The Rogues:

-Captain Cold
-Mirror Master
-Weather Wizard
-Captain Boomerang

Well it really depends on who's writing the face-off, as I'd only trust Gail Simone, John Ostrander, and back then, Geoff Johns to really do the battle right.

I can only imagine what a crossover between the two with Johns and Simone would've looked like.

That's probably a topic for discussion for one of my posts next week.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

well said Dale. i finally was able to take breather from my Facebook tirade i was on after having seen those videos.

Dan said...

I had thoughts on the Bart as Flash thing, then read Mark Waid's take on the event behind the scenes and wished I hadn't. I felt bad for the creators who worked on Bart's adventures, as their were some great stories and art done, just so many fans balked at Bart's ascension, they became scapegoats for sales that weren't their fault.

Johns is the man for the Rouges. Cold he is legendary for, and I think its even his XBox live handle in some way. But I loved all his rouges and how he took great characters and went in and explained things about them you never even knew needed explaining.

Here while it was sad what happened to the second Cap Boomerang, as he was doing great in the pages of the Outsiders, now its just sad what happened to Wally West.

Great post!!

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Yeah Owen definitely got screwed didn't he? First he was just suddenly expected to replace his dad like some newer model, only to wind up killed off in a terrible and totally unimaginable way. I mean, he went from an sort of anti-hero to being forced by the writers to feed innocent people to his zombie dad just to keep him satisfied. Just plain horrible writing.

And also, yeah, I feel bad for Mark Waid on the Bart and Wally fronts. He was the main guiding force for both their lives waaaay before Geoff Johns was even remotely on DC or anyone else's radar. And while yes. Waid didn't technically own them, he may as well have considering how well he built them up to be as appreciated as they became by the fans.

Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by as always Dan. Hope you're having a really good to great weekend mate;)

Dan said...

Always do mr, hope weekend is being good your end too!

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