"Rogue War, Chapter 1"
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Howard Porter (p), Livesay (i), James Sinclair (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: The group of Rogues led by Captain Cold pay a visit to the secret lab complex that formerly housed the body of Captain Boomerang, and they areless than pleased to discover the body has been moved. Super-villain profiler Ashley Zolomon is then kidnapped by the other group of Rogues who need her skills to help them locate Captain Cold's group, and the last page makes it seem like her efforts were a success.
Comments: Geoff Johns has been laying the groundwork for the "Rogue War" for quite some time, and since that story has finally arrived, I'm more than ready for the show to begin. Based on this first chapter, it's going to be one heck of a show. First off, while they are clearly meant to be the bad guys in this conflict I suspect I'm not the only reader who's going to be pulling for Captain Cold's squad in this conflict, as if nothing else they have a better line up, but also I'm a devoted Suicide Squad fan so I'm quite pleased to see that their primary motivation is to take their pound of flesh for the poor treatment of Captain Boomerang's body. It's nice to see the character afforded some respect after the dismissive manner in which the character was killed off. Now the problem with this story is that there doesn't really look to be a role for Wally to play beyond gettting in the middle of the conflict and acting as an intrusive element. Perhaps though Geoff Johns has plans that will make this seeming problem a non-issue, or even better I'd love it if the Rogues were allowed to completely take over the title, while Wally was left on the sidelines with the Zoom subplot and the relationship developments with Linda to keep his occupied. The line-ups of the two teams of villains do look to be nicely matched, as there's a couple bouts that I can't wait to see, from the duel of the Tricksters, to the Heat Wave/Captain Cold clash. There's also a nice secondary plot that involves Zoom contacting Jay Garrick, and my curiosity was raised by that ever so intriguing final shot of those blue prints (a Time Treadmill?).
You can always tell when an artist isn't all that familiar with the game of hockey, as they simply put the players on the ice surface with no real idea of what the players are supposed to be doing. It's also interesting to note that the Keystone Arena doesn't look to have any player benches, which would make on the fly line changes a bit difficult. Now that I've satisfied my inner hockey fan I will say that this issue does feature some of Howard Porter's best work, as there's a lovely opening sequence where Captain Cold's Rogues raid a secret complex, and the art perfectly captures the unique abilities of the Rogues, with the Mirror Master's attack being particularly impressive. The art also does some nice work capturing the creepy quality of Zoom as he confronts Jay Garrick. The final page shot of the Pied Piper Rogues was also a solid impact visual to carry readers into the next issue. The cover image to this issue also does a nice job of selling the conflict one can expect to find inside.
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