In the last issue of Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion, the Flashy foes sans Captain Cold found themselves smack in the middle of a city besieged by a massive gang war (cue shameless plug for Forever Evil: Arkham War). At the mercy of Poison Ivy, the Rogues find out their captor is one of the few (relatively) reasonable folks remaining in Gotham City. Her proposition is a simple one: get her plants some sunlight and the crew is free to go. The story that unfolds is a combination of ensemble comedy and buddy cop tropes which make for a raucous folly.
Brian Buccellato continues to deserve praise for his work with these characters. Under his pen, the Rogues act as a gateway for readers to enter this world that deteriorated at the hands of the Crime Syndicate. This is certainly the case when compared to the other Forever Evil titles, which star government operatives, deranged psychopaths, a shape-shifting Martian paired with a pop-star hero, and a team of supervillains. On the other hand, the Rogues are still a bunch of small time crooks.
In Gotham, it’s more apparent that these guys are out of their element. In one scene, Mirror Master thinks it might be a good idea to help out a citizen that appears wayward on the streets, while Heatwave insists it’s in their best interest to ignore the situation. As it turns out, Heatwave was right, and both he and Mirror Master back away from the scene, slightly horrified. This serves as microcosm of the Rogues plight, and the underlying comedy only adds to the enjoyment each pages provides.
There is a lot of comedy in this book, but not once does it feel forced or overplayed. Rather, it’s a natural pairing with these characters. This is especially true for the series’ breakout star: the Trickster. Normally a “lesser Rogue” (except when played by Mark Hamill), every panel of his will cause smiles and laughs. The way Buccellato plays him off the other characters is proof that DC should put out a Rogues ongoing series.
Art duties were split between Scott Hepburn and Andre Coelho. While multiple artists will almost always elicit a paragraph in this part of the review, the reasoning is not because of clashing pencils. The problem is the coloring, which was also split between Hepburn and Coelho. Colorists hardly ever get the credit they deserve, yet this issue shows just how much they contribute to the reading experience. The different colors used by the two are at times jarring, and will more than once pull the reader out of the story.
Also, how many Man-Bats are there in the New 52?
Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #3 might not be the best title to hit stands this week, but it’s certainly the most fun. The Rogues’ trip to Gotham offers ridiculous fun with an underlying sense of heart. They may not be the best or the brightest, but their personalities make the Rogues the most loveable bunch of baddies in the DCU, and their ongoing Forever Evil plight continues to be a treat each month.