Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Speed Reading! – The Flash #23.3

Flash Month!

Everyone’s favorite loveable super-criminals, the Rogues, are featured in The Flash’s third and final Villains’ Month issue.  It is also the best of the three.  Like the Grodd issue, this story ends on a cliffhanger which will lead into the Rogues’ Rebellion mini-series.  Unlike the Grodd issue, this story also does enough to where it stands on its own and has a beginning, middle, and end.

"All For One"

“All For One”

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Rogues since the beginning of the New 52.  Specifically, the characters have been given powers instead of relying on gadgets as has been in years’ past.  Long-time fans seemed to hate this new take.  I suppose that is understandable to an extent.  However, why I think it personally works is that the powers were established as a “natural” evolution of their battles with the Flash.  Additionally, and more importantly, the characters realized their powers are a horrible mistake.

“All For One” deals with that issue head-on by focusing largely focusing on Captain Cold (who was the catalyst for getting the powers) and his guilt over their current situation.  Cold is holding a pity-party for himself (mostly due to his sister’s predicament) to the point that he drunkenly attempts to rob a bank.  His teammates rescue him from the cops and reveal that while they hate him for what he did, they see he’s feeling the guilt.  Oh, they might hold grudges, but they are also all a family.  Perhaps a dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.  And they will not let him do anything stupid (like drunk rob a bank).

This is why the Rogues are a great set of characters.  They bicker and fight.  They don’t want to dominate the world or have any megalomaniac tendencies.  They are just blue-collar criminals with the simplest of motivations: money.  They are also a tight-knit group who are there for one another even when they are mad at each other.  The family loyalty the Rogues show is why they are great characters (I am also convinced that they can headline their own series, but that’s another conversation for another day).

As I mentioned above, this was the best of The Flash Villains’ Month issues.  Classic characters dealing with their new abilities in a classic way.  Even though they are all nutty and have bizarre powers, they are immediately relatable to anyone who comes from a nutty family.  In other words, everyone.

Cover Comments: Not surprisingly, the cover is also the best of The Flash 3D covers as well.  Everything is layered perfectly, and Cold’s ice just seems to come completely at you.  If you are going to get only one of these 3D covers, I’d really recommend the Rogues’ issue.  It pops.

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