Friday, September 5, 2008

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #2

Not a lot to say about this issue, other than "oh wow." Also, having finally gotten to read DC UNIVERSE: LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, I'm not going to be annotating it here--it doesn't make any direct references to FINAL CRISIS proper, and it can't possibly fit anywhere in the timeline, despite the original claim that it would be "in-continuity" and "positioned between issues #3 and #4 of FINAL CRISIS." C'est la vie. Let's just call it apocryphal.

Pg. 1:

The character in panel 3 is Black Manta, created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, who first appeared in 1967's AQUAMAN #35. The cold thing he did that he's referring to is killing Aquaman's infant son in ADVENTURE COMICS #452--foreshadowing the end of this issue.

On the left of panel 5 is the Rudy Jones version of the Parasite, created by John Ostrander and Joe Brozowski, who first appeared in THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #58 (in a sequence of events instigated by Darkseid!), based on a character created by Jim Shooter and Al Plastino who first appeared in 1966's ACTION COMICS #340. Not sure who the guy on the right is--is it Metallo?

Pg. 3:

Golden Glider first appeared in 1977's FLASH #250, and Chillblaine killed her in 1996's FLASH #113. (It's probably worth noting that he had gotten his cold weapons from her, and that she'd been giving guys cold weapons and calling them Chillblaine for a while--in fact, she killed the first one herself in FLASH ANNUAL #5. But the Rogues, as previously noted, are prone to self-deception.)

Pg. 4:

Paul Gambi, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, first appeared in 1963's FLASH #141. Chill, created by Frank Tieri and Jim Calafiore, first appeared in GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #4.

Pg. 5:

Also debuting in GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #4: Weather Witch, Mr. Magic, Mirror Man. Burn first turned up in GOTHAM UNDERGROUND #8.

Pg. 7:

The cosmic treadmill explosion was in FLASH #196. [Thanks to Kelson for the correction.]

Pg. 9:

The introductory dialogue here is one of the occasional signs that this was condensed from a 6x22-page story to a 3x30-page story...

Pg. 11:

Heat Wave actually went straight twice: once in the early '90s, once in the late '90s, apparently both times under the influence of the Top.

Pg. 13:

Johns always did write Weather Wizard as a little bit more brainy than the other Rogues.

Pg. 15:

Sam Scudder (the first Mirror Master) died in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #10.

Pg. 16:

We first saw Weather Wizard's kid, Josh Jackam, in 2001's FLASH #170. [Thanks for the correction, Kelson.] As we'll see later, he's got his father's eyes.

Pg. 17:

Yeah, it really wouldn't be a Geoff Johns comic without a little dismemberment, would it?

Pg. 19:

I wouldn't say the Pied Piper is "the only Rogue left who's on the straight-and-narrow"--what about the second Captain Boomerang and Goldface?

Pg. 20:

This ties directly into FC #2-3, of course.

Pg. 20:

For the sake of completeness (and because I don't have a lot of my back issues at hand), anybody know if the nameless Snart-dad first appeared before 2002's FLASH #182? I don't think so--and his face was never quite shown in that issue either.

Pg. 23:

Len did actually cry in FLASH #182.

Pg. 27:

Anybody know what "the observatory" is? I'm drawing a blank here. [ETA: the consensus is that it's probably Clyde Mardon's laboratory on Big Water Lake, as seen in FLASH #110, which makes sense.]

Pg. 29:

Can somebody please parse the phrase "they can unlock the door that our great evil has shut"? Interesting, also, that Abra Kadabra and Dr. Alchemy aren't counted among "the Rogues" proper, especially since Mr. Magic was part of the new Rogues.

Okay, quick quiz: are Libra's eyes white (as seen in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #111)? Are they blue (as seen in DC UNIVERSE 0)? Are they red (as seen on this page)?

Pg. 30:

The correct answer is: purple! Or maybe it's some trick of the light that's also changed Josh's hair from brown to black.


David Uzumeri said...

Libra's got a bunch of other weird eyecolor shifts going on too - they turn red when he throws the Justifier helmet on Human Flame in #3, they go from blue to green when he gets the message from Captain Cold on Dr. Light's coke mirror, they're brown on the cover of RR #2... I'm starting to think he might be a sort of Mr. Quimper/Harlequin "all people at once" fictionsuit.

The door they refer to being locked is, I figure, the door to the multiverse (which doesn't make sense - aren't people popping through from the multiverse all the time?) or maybe the door to beyond the multiverse, which Darkseid's apparently locked? The Flashes have always been the only heroes who could theoretically travel through alternate realities (be it vibrational parallel Earths or Hypertime) unaided.

JosephLavode said...

I would guess that "The Observatory" refers to the Observatory where Weather Wizard killed his brother and stole the Weather Wand he had been designing there, especially given that Cold makes it Weather Wizard's choice whether they go there.

Cassette Gods said...

I was disappointed that Zoom's actions are chalked up to just being orders from Libra. Zoom's words in issue 1 had such an ethical foundation, that I was hoping that some type of Speedsters Code/Laws of the Speed Force that both heroes and villains follow would be explored. Would fit with the way the Rogues' have a code. Making it Libra's intention either shows that I had the wrong idea about this, or confuses the issue.

Ryan said...

Came in to post about the observatory; seconding Jospeh's explanation. It's almost certainly Clyde Mardon's old observatory.

Kelson said...

Page 7: The Cosmic Treadmill explosion actually occurred at the end of Flash #196. #197 had the soon-to-be-Zoom recovering in the hospital. Well, recovering physically, while he went insane.

Page 16: We actually saw Josh a few issues earlier, in Flash #170. His mother was one of Wally's ex-girlfriends, and the implication, especially when lightning started flashing around him, was that he was Wally's son. A few issues later, we found out Weather Wizard had picked her up on the rebound. More info: Josh Jackam.

Page 20: I don't think so.

Page 27: I had the same guess as Joseph and Ryan regarding the observatory.

Douglas Wolk said...

Thanks, everyone, for the notes. I love that Hyperborea page on Josh: "Powers: stacking blocks, crying, weather control." I'll fix a couple of things.

Squashua said...

Can somebody please parse the phrase "they can unlock the door that our great evil has shut"?

We can assume that "our great evil" is Darkseid. I'm not sure what door he shut, but if it is NOT the multiverse, then it might be... HELL.

Darkseid is never one who wants competition, and as a reader, I do have to question the rationale for having a REIGN IN HELL event with a war between Satanus and Neron going on at this moment in time.

Do consider that these particular Rogues played an ENORMOUS part at the initiation of the Underworld Unleashed event, sacrificing themselves and their souls to open up the world for Neron.

So maybe they're needed to re-open the gates of Hell. Just speculatin'.

Kelson said...

I love that Hyperborea page on Josh: "Powers: stacking blocks, crying, weather control."


raphaeladidas said...

Final Crisis #4 is now at 10/15.

Kris Weberg said...

This isn't the first time Zoom has teamed with other villains to further his own ends; he did much the same in Infinite Crisis when he joined the previous incarnation of the Society.

For all Hunter's yammering about how he wants "better heroes," it's always seemed fairly obvious to me that it's an excuse for sadism on his part. His father was a serial killer, after all, and antisocial personality disorder does appear to have a genetic component. (Children of ASPD people have a far higher chance of being ASPD themselves; toss in Hunter's warped childhood and adolescence and it's a wonder he even bothers with the delusional justification for things like killing Wally's unborn children.)

More to the point, Zoom's other shtick is that nothing's really his fault, or at least that he shouldn't suffer any consequences for his actions. If he blows a profile and gets his father-in-law and mentor killed as a result, well, it's really Wally's fault for not mucking with time to reverse the whole thing. He bangs on and on about how much he "hates Rogues in Rogue War, but does nothing to stop them and teams with unrepentant criminal Eobard Thawne because his real goal is to torture Wally some more.

Looking for ethics in Zoom is a bit like looking for honor in the Joker.

Kris Weberg said...

Page 29: Libra is not trying to "unlock" the gate himself; he wants to keep it locked. Given that speedsters travel through time, and that both COIE and FC have Flashes chasing lethal projectiles backwards through time, presumably the speedsters might represent a way of undoing the events of FC #3.

Alternately, Libra is repeating Neron's scheme from Flash v.2 #127-30, in which the (then undead) Rogues were used to force Wally and Linda to bargain their love to Neron to re-soul the Rogues. Neron intended to use this love to tap Wally's Speed Force access, believing the Speed Force was a part of or way back into Heaven itself. Evil would certainly bar one from those gates as well.

As to the Rogues' roster: in the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, neither Kadabra nor Alchemy worked much with the Rogues. In fact, the final Barry Allen story in Flash v.1 #348-50 had the Rogues working with Barry against Kadabra. In more recent years, Abra Kadabra and Alchemy were explicitly stated by Captain Cold to be a bit outside the "family" of the Rogues in Flash v.2 #207. Cold explicitly states he's not asking Alchemy to "join us" in that issue, and with the exception of marginal Rogue Trickster II they sit out Kadabra's assault on Flash Day entirely.

Indeed, aside from Flash: TMFA #11-13, the Rogues have simply never worked with Kadabra.

Kris Weberg said...

Oh, and for page 1:

Panel 1: That's the Shadow-RThief, an inveterate foe of Hawkman and longtime Secret Society member who first appeared in Brave and the Bold #36.

Panel 7: Dr. Light, the villain from JLofA v.1 #12 and, more infamously, Identity Crisis. His appearance here may be an analeptic one, as with some of the other villains, since the end of this issue displays scenes from FC #3, by which point Light is likely dead per FC: Rev. #1.

Crappy said...

Kadabra was a core Rogue during Salvation Run, too, but of course those Rogues that killed Bart in Flash: Fastest Series Alive #11-13 apparently stuck together to avoid the heat that came down on them for killing a hero.

Still, rather jarring that Kadabra has been a core Rogue member from cover dates June 2007 to October 2008... and we're supposed to believe oh, he was never a REAL Rogue after all. I guess there were extenuating circumstances for a year and a half.