The Flash Rogues Revolution

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From The Flash Volume 2 Rogues Revolution: A gorilla priest explains how the Flash will save Gorilla City from ruination.

In my review of the first New 52 Flash book I called the Flash the anti-Batman because despite losing his mother in a similar manner to Bruce Wayne’s, Barry Allen retains his optimism and faith in human nature. If the Flash is the anti-Batman, his villains are the anti-Joker or -Penguin or -Black Mask or -Two-Face, etc. The Flash Volume 2: Rogues Revolution introduces new readers to “The Rogues,” the super-villian team with the simple credo: (1) Don’t kill unless you have to, (2) Don’t go near drugs, and (3) It’s all about the score. In the chapter, “The Opportunity” (towards the middle of the book), Captain Cold, the leader of the Rogues, states with clarity the rules that his gang (Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Heatwave, Glider, and the Trickster) abide by.

The rules are forgotten when in a desperate attempt to beat the Flash once and for all, Captain Cold convinces his fellow Rogues to try an experimental treatment developed by former Flash ally, Dr. Elias. The treatment goes horribly wrong and the Captain finds himself at ousted from the group he founded. As the battle between the Flash and the Rogues climaxes, King Grodd leads his loyal troops through dimensions to conquer Central City. Like the book before it, Volume 2 concludes in present time with Grodd. The book actually ends with the Flash elaborating on his origin story.

The book begins in Gorilla City, where the previous one left off. The Flash is in the grips of the recently anointed King Grodd but is rescued by the gorilla priests. They believe Flash to is the “Messenger,” a religious entity that saves gorilla society from ruination. They show Flash a cave painting depicting the events of the previous book where Flash was trapped with Iris West and others in the Speed Force dimension. As this is being revealed to the Flash, Grodd and his supporters barge into the temple where the cave painting is displayed. A fight ensues.

Flash escapes Gorilla City and returns to Central City only to pursue his girlfriend, Patty, to Guatemala, where she is pursuing a lead on the unsolved murder case of the Weather Wizard’s brother, Claudio. The Weather Wizard story brings the Flash-Barry-Patty (who blames the Flash for killing Barry) relationship a step further but only distracts from the Volume 2’s Rogues and Grodd stories. However, overall Rogues Revolution is an engaging follow up to the first volume. It was interesting to learn about the Rogues’ credo and I still enjoy Franci Manapul’s artwork.

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