Running Back: Rogues Reloaded

Running back is a review of past comic runs. The term “run” for the sake of these articles will be any consecutive group of books which can be broken down by story arcs, trades, title changes, new writer, artists etc. I will give a score based on read potential and of course being a investing site i will also give my thoughts on the investment potential (may contain spoilers….probably will). Hope you enjoy this edition of …

Running Back: The Flash (Vol 5) issues 14-17 Rogues Reloaded.

Background

The first major Rebirth arc featuring the return of Flash’s Rogues consisting of Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Glider, Weather Wizard, Trickster, and of course Heatwave.

Review

This arc starts off with a well-done recap of Flash’s rogues and their history. It works perfectly not going on too long to bore old fans, but giving just enough for new readers to jump on and not feel left out. This leads straight into a battle with Papercut (may talk about his first appearance at another time), Sandblaster and Bone dry (i will call them the New Rogues) as they attempt to take over the spot left by the now missing Rogues. I enjoyed the execution of the new guys in town, here we have Papercut who is trying to become his own version of Captain Cold but not in an I’m your son or legacy way. He leads two all-new supervillains Sandblaster and Bone Dry who make their first appearance in this issue, even though the inexperienced group is quickly disposed of they make it known that they are not done with central city and the Flash. I actually like these new guys and think given the right attention Bone Dry with the ability to pull moisture out of someone’s body can become a real threat in the dc universe and certainly make for some interesting stories (it would criminal if he does not face off with someone from Aquaman’s world).

The rest of the issue is spent on Barry debating if the rogues are good or bad while trying to figure out the mystery of their disappearance which ultimately leads him into a well-laid trap setting up a final showdown with the rogues. The next issue opens with Cold narrating from the Rogues perspective which really gets me thinking how bad we need a Superior Foes of Spider-Man style book starring Captain Cold.

From there we get some classic Flash vs Rogue action and tons of great dialog questioning what makes one good or bad. I loved seeing the Rogues battle barry in all new ways, being around for so long its hard to make the fights seem fresh, but somehow the writers pulled it off and with great art to boot. The story was full of twist and turns fitting the roots of the Central City Rogues and it was easy and enjoyable to follow at every step.

At the end of issue 16, we get the first appearance of Captain Cold’s new weapon the Black Ice Gun. This could have been just a cheesy named gimmick, but it is actually an excellent upgrade to Captain Cold and one I hope will stick around. We can all agree that Cold has always been outmatched by the Flash, let’s be honest it’s super speed vs a freeze gun. But the Black ice Gun ups the ante in the battle, being built with black hole speedforce technology (no need for a science lesson, black hole was featured in previous flash issues) this new cold gun not only has the power of ice but taps into the power of the speed force so it slows barry down, (because you know….ice) but it also saps his speed, effectively doing what a freeze gun should do instead of just giving the flash a minor deterrent.

The ending could have had a bit more flare and was less than I expected, but overall it was a pretty well-done arc with some overdone characters proving that these concepts can stand the test of time. Probably my favorite part about Rogues Reloaded is the ending. Barry telling Snart he could be so much more in an attempt to turn him away from crime sparks him to come to another conclusion, that he can become the king of Central City crime and not just the leader of the Rogues. This is demonstrated in true crime boss fashion as the New Rogues are brought into prison and the new crime lord Snart has his men beat them into submission establishing his dominance. Great arc overall!

Run to Read Score: 6.5 out of 8

This arc had almost everything going for it the only downside was it was too short and the ending seemed a bit lacking.

Run for the Money Score: 3.5 out of 8

While it’s not a groundbreaking story for the flash we do get some small gems in 1st appearances and a new weapon.

Notable issues

  • #14 first appearance of Sandblaster and Bone Dry … who may eventually become something in the DC universe.
  • #16 first appearance of the Black Ice Gun.

Thank you for reading. If you have a run you want to suggest i tackle because its great, or it sucks, or you just dont have time to read it yourself feel free to drop it in the comments and i will see if i can get my hands on it.

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