Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Rogues #2 Review

"Your Nothin' But a Lotta Talk and a Freeze Gun"

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Leomacs
Colors by: Matheus Lopes, Jason Wordie
Letters by: Hassan Otsmae-Elhaou
Cover art by: Sam Wolfe Connelly
Cover price: $6.99
release date: April 26, 2022

Rogues #2 gets the gang on a path to Gorilla City in a quest to relieve the city of all its gold.  Unfortunately, what they find when they get there looks more familiar than they expected. 

Was It Good?
Rogues #2 is fascinating.  I was pretty positive on the first issue for its unique take on a group of aging, retired villains getting back together for one last score.  The art was so-so, but the premise worked, and Williamson's unique development of familiar rogues into tired, cynical losers-trying-not-to-be-losers was a treat.

In issue #2, we get a brand new sight to marvel at - Gorilla City.  However, this future version of Gorilla City looks like an underground metropolis that is more familiar with Las Vegas or Atlantic City than the Simian City of Gorilla Grodd's prime.  The years have been good to Grodd as the city's isolation combined with the genius of Grodd's ambitions have turned him into a sort of Ape Al Capone.  That comes complete with formal wear, board meetings that end with a distrustful lieutenant's head getting bashed in, and all the wealth and power a savvy crime boss can buy.

It is a very different Gorilla City than DC fans usually get, and it completely works.  Williamson wisely stays away from making any statements about the nature of corruption and capitalism in favor of simply showing you what urban development looks like in a completely new context.  It works most of all because of how well-constructed and surprising the entire setting turns out.  If nothing else, Williamson earns top marks for the surprise factor alone.

As for the plot, the Rogues infiltrate the city and do their best to blend in as indentured workers.  However, when they find out the rumored gold deposits are potentially valid (but not in the way they first assumed), the story's tone flips into a classic bank heist with a surreal twist.  Again, another surprise from Williamson.

Like the first issue, the art is so-so to just okay.  The panel compositions and general character designs are excellent, but the linework is a little loose, and the coloring is so saturated as sometimes to look washed out and fade.  The art, however, hits where it counts with expressive faces and superb aesthetics.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe!

Bits and Pieces:

Rogues #2 is fascinating in that it finds ways to surprise you on almost every page.  Williamson subverts expectations (in a good way) by creating an unexpected version of Gorilla City with a Grodd, unlike one you've seen before.  This story is memorable for all the right reasons.


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