"Forget-Me-Knot": Part 2
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artists: Karl Moline(p), Rick Magyar(i), Transparency Digital(c)
The second chapter in Tony Bedard's Rogue more often than not continues the quality of the premiere issue. Presented with evidence contrary to her memories, Rogue travels to Japan to solve a damaging mental discrepency.
The book opens with the exciting infiltration of Sunfire's abode and his person. Rogue believes Sunfire betrayed her by planting Lady Deathstrike on the plane supposedly meant to transport her to Japan. Her reaction, especially given her history of suspicion, makes perfect sense. Sunfire also has a dubious past, and this element of his character further justifies Rogue's behavior.
Bedard impresses by anticipating the reader's questions. How is Rogue going to get close enough to Sunfire to absorb his memories? He comes up with a smart way that fits with Rogue's character and intelligence. Why doesn't Sunfire's powers counter Rogue's ploy? They do, but not instantly like those of a certain hot-headed member of the Fantastic Four.
Rogue's power gives Bedard the leave to get inside Sunfire's mind and show exactly what makes him tick. The source of his character traits stand revealed to Rogue, and the reader also comprehends the level of power she possesses.
Once the preliminaries are out of the way, Sunfire and Rogue quickly catch on to the traitor in Sunfire's camp. This allows Bedard to cut to that tratior's dishonorable actions as well as reveal the femme fatale behind the whole affair. Perhaps, she is known to X-Men philes, but for me, her revelation just left me shrugging my shoulders. Seeing her just adds to the puzzle, and maybe that was Bedard's intent.
Karl Moline gets ample opportunity to show off his skill in keeping the characters in constant motion. The opening gives Rogue frenetic direction that Moline follows through. The fisticuffs look painful. Subtle scenes such as Sunfire's realization are well-realized. The inking by Rick Magyar at times looks too heavy, but this slight caveat rarely distracts.
Rogue is a fast-paced treat with strong characterization. Moline and Bedard stretch nothing out to pad the story. Indeed, there's no need to show how Rogue got to Japan after dealing with Lady Deathstrike when a simple pair of paragraphs summarize. They explain the history of the characters visually rather than through chunks of exposition that would slow down the pace. They also energize flashbacks with an artistic twist displaying Rogue's abilities.
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