REVIEW: ‘Rogues,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rogues #2 - But Why Tho

Rogues #2 is the second half of the Black Label comic by DC Comics, written by Joshua Williamson, art by Leomacs, colours by Matheus Lopes and Jason Wordie, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The first issue showed the Rogues disbanded 10 years in the future. An older Captain Cold brought the team back, who are either retired or broken to do one last job: stealing gold from Gorilla City. In this second issue, the Rogues make their way to Gorilla City to start their heist. But the City has changed and Grodd remains a terrifying threat.

The second part of the series takes the story to a new location and a new level. Where the first issue was gathering the group, now it is searching for the vault and the gold. Williamson spends a lot of time still building the world, but that is crucial considering how deep they are getting into it. This is not the DC Universe as we know it, times have changed and things are very different. The pace is very slow but it is immersive, like a novel. This is a comic that still contains the brutality and deep darkness that the previous chapter had. However, the writer does include a moment of reconciliation and conversation between the Rogues. It is slightly more lighthearted than other parts of the comic before the mood sinks again. The Gorilla City part creates a near-constant feeling of anxiety. The Rogues are in enemy territory, and danger is always around the corner. The ending is unexpected and a brilliant callback to the beginning of the entire comic.

Rogues #2 is another example of excellent characters. The dynamic of this team has been one of the defining factors that make this group stand out among the other villainous groups. It is a family. A community. On a boat, searching for this mysterious city, there are glimpses of what that used to be. For a moment, it isn’t bile and hatred the Rogues have for one another, but a nostalgic comfort. What has happened to the likes of Magenta and Mirror Master is heartbreaking. Even though these people are villains, there is still a connection with this team. They are oddly likeable. Williamson is moving this large cast of characters at the same time well. No one is falling behind and they share in their time in the spotlight. And Grodd is a terrifying villain, a king who is more like a god. His simian civilisation is epic and the exploration of his life in the future is fascinating.

The art is fantastic. The facial expressions of the characters are stunning in their specificity. The lines are thin and very close together, which allows for very intricate details. It is rare for the cast of a comic to all be older people, and it is really interesting to see Leomacs reimagine some of these villains as elder statesmen. Rogues such as Snart, Mirror Master, and Bronze Tiger do look like old men, giving them a vulnerability. All of the gorillas are expressive and awesome in their size. They have humanity but with a method similar to Planet of the Apes, where their animal side is still clear. The new city is jaw-dropping and beautifully designed by Leomacs. The use of powers is rare but is epic when it is seen. Fight scenes are also uncommon, but their implementation is very clever.

The colours are gorgeous. The pages will frequently only have a small selection colours within them, which prevents an overpowering variety of shades. The tones are nearly always faint or light, which benefits the line art. The shadows and the outline are much bolder. It is when Magenta uses her powers that the strength of the shades increases, washing the whole page in purple. The lettering is utterly amazing. There is so much dedication to dictating voice, with word balloons constantly changing. Some text is larger and bolder, whilst certain character names are given a custom, coloured font.

Rogues #2 is an excellent, extended read. It is a heavy comic tinged with sadness, but the little breather at the start is refreshing. Williamson is extending a world filled with questions and leaves me desperate to find out more. The tension is always high and the characters are phenomenally written. Seeing the Rogues, a team of villains who are actually likeable, be this broken and in pain is depleting to the soul, yet the depth in each of their personalities shows exactly why they are so interesting.

Rogues #2 is available where comics are sold.


Rogues #2
5

TL;DR

Rogues #2 is an excellent, extended read. It is a heavy comic tinged with sadness, but the little breather at the start is refreshing. Williamson is extending a world filled with questions and leaves me desperate to find out more. The tension is always high and the characters are phenomenally written. Seeing the Rogues, a team of villains who are actually likeable, be this broken and in pain is depleting to the soul, yet the depth in each of their personalities shows exactly why they are so interesting.