Rogue Sun #1 is written by Ryan Parrott, illustrated by Abel, colored by Chris O’Halloran, and lettered by Becca Carey. It’s published by Image Comics. Dylan Siegel never knew his father, Marcus Bell, and the news that Marcus has perished doesn’t exactly bring tears to his eyes. But when Dylan and his mother attend the reading of Marcus’ last will and testament, Dylan learns a shocking secret: Marcus was the superhero Rogue Sun—aka New Orleans’ greatest defender. And Dylan has inherited the Sun Stone, which gave Marcus his powers, leaving him to wrestle with a heroic legacy and some highly complicated feelings toward his father.
This series is part of Image Comics’ efforts to launch a new superhero universe, spinning out of the success of Radiant Black. Much like Radiant Black co-creator Kyle Higgins, Parrott takes his history as a Power Rangers writer and applies it to his creator-owned work. And if Radiant Black was “Invincible meets Power Rangers,” Parrott writes this story as “Batman Beyond meets Kamen Rider with a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” That’s a great way to keep this universe fresh: some heroes battle intergalactic threats while others fight the monsters that go bump in the dark. Variety’s the spice of life, especially in fiction.
There’s also the matter of how Parrott writes the series’ protagonist. I can’t mince words here: Dylan is a little asshole. His first scene features him literally shoving another kid into a locker to, and I quote, “protect him from bullies.” And he sees superheroism as less of an altruistic avenue and more of a “golden ticket” for him and his mom. Part of the fun of a superhero story, especially a creator-owned one, is watching its protagonist grow, and I look forward to Dylan’s growth as a hero and character.
Abel designs an insanely cool suit for Rogue Sun, giving him jet black armor reminiscent of a medieval knight. And fitting with the “Sun” theme, golden orange flames constantly pour from Rogue Sun’s neck and chest, resulting in blazing trails whenever he throws a punch or takes to the air. Rogue Sun’s first supervillain is the gentleman thief known as Suave, who is usually dressed to the nines save with a shiny Cobra Commander-style helmet and a glowing purple rapier. Abel also draws a two-page sequence featuring a tokusatsu-inspired transformation for Dylan; images in the background hint at the enemies Marcus and now Dylan will have to face, including werewolves and zombies.
Rounding out the artistic team are See and O’Halloran, the former having served as the main letterer on Radiant Black. See’s lettering takes on a more jagged form, especially when it comes to the mysterious being who murdered Marcus; the words “Rogue Sun” also surround Dylan when he transforms. O’Halloran shrouds New Orleans in darkness, which adds to the supernatural vibes of the book; the only forms of light come in the morning or when Rogue Sun takes to the air, becoming a golden-orange streak of light.
Rogue Sun #1 is a blazing, bold entry into Image Comics’ new superhero universe, choosing to ground its supernatural adventures by focusing on the relationship between a father and his son. If you love Radiant Black, I definitely think you should pick this series up. Image proves that it’s more than willing to dip back into the superhero game and craft heroes that can stand with the titans in Marvel and DC’s universe.
Rogue Sun #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on March 2, 2022.
Rogue Sun #1
Rogue Sun #1 is a blazing, bold entry into Image Comics’ new superhero universe, choosing to ground its supernatural adventures by focusing on the relationship between a father and his son. If you love Radiant Black, I definitely think you should pick this series up.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.