Those wacky enemies of the Scarlet Speedster, The Rogues, continue their adventures in the midst of Forever Evil. After finally winning a battle (against Firestorm’s rogues’ gallery), Captain Cold and company were left at the mercy of Deathstorm and Power Ring of the Crime Syndicate. Guiding these corruptible cohorts through a multi-city journey is writer Brian Buccellato and artist Scott Hepburn, the latter of which penciled the back half of Rogues Rebellion #1.
Though the first quarter of the issue is a do-over of what transpired in Forever Evil #3, Scott Hepburn’s stylized and cartoonish pencils suit the Rogues’ story better than David Finch’s artwork. Hepburn adds a layer of frantic energy that was missing from the Forever Evil version, and carries it through the remainder of the issue.
The personalities of the Rogues are what have made them such beloved and standout characters amongst fans, and the expressiveness of the artwork allows their personalities to shine that much brighter. It doesn’t hurt that Buccellato’s continues to nail these characters each and every month. Trickster looks to be the breakout star of Rogues Rebellion, as every panel he’s in will elicit laughter or, at the very least, the expulsion of air from the reader’s nose. And while Heat Wave and Weather Wizard are not as prominent as their teammates, they are afforded a few brief moments to shine brightly.
One last thing: now that Captain Cold is running around with Lex Luthor’s “dream team,” Buccellato needed to find someone else to lead this team. While his choice is somewhat predictable, it is a natural fit and should allow for more exploration of this character as the series progresses.
Because a good chunk of the narrative is spent on events that transpired in the main Forever Evil series, there is not much story progression. That said, the blame doesn’t solely lie on Buccellato, who is (successfully) trying to tell an entertaining, stand-alone miniseries that supplements the larger event. Someone that is reading just this series will likely not see this problem. Unfortunately, most readers that pick this up are likely reading the main event, and therefore paid $2.99 to see much of the same story twice in the same month.
The Rogues lost their leader, made stops in three of the biggest cities of the DCU, and have most of the world’s baddies hunting them down – and that’s just the second issue. Buccellato and Hepburn are giving readers a reason to smile as Forever Evil marches on. If you love DC and are looking for a fun time, this is the title for you.