Final Crisis for me has been a less than stellar series. Grant Morrison is single handedly taking that series down a rabbit hole I am not thrilled to be chasing down. I put the blame on Morrison because it is the writer’s job to convey his story to me and get me enthused about it. Any writer also knows he has a limited amount of time to do so. He has to be able to grab my attention and use that as a means to sell me the next story, unfortunately Morrison is proving incompetent in this department, but lucky enough he has a cast of writers around him that are writing far more compelling side tie-in’s such as this weeks Final Crisis Rogues’ Revenge written by Geoff Johns.

I was really not looking forward to reading anything about Final Crisis this week and picked this title up because its part of a major event in the DCU. I even put it off as the last of my reads this week. I read Wonder Woman, Trinity, Moon Knight, X-Force and other titles before reading this. I was very happy once I did start reading it, which funny enough was in the middle of playing Metal Gear Solid 4. I actually turned off the game in favor of reading it. Geoff Johns has crafted a story many people will find interesting even if you are not deep into The Flash Story and the death of Bart Allen at the hands of the Rogues.

Johns has enough panels and pages and depth in this story to satiate any reader’s appetite, which seems to be something Morrison can’t fulfill, and yes I am beating up on the man. The story opens up with the return of the Rogues to Keystone city awhile after they have killed “A” Flash. The narrative given is enough to let new readers who did not follow the death of Bart and the return of Barry and Wally to know exactly what is going on. Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Heat Wave are the four returning Rogues; you are better off reading countdown and finding out what happened to Trickster and Piper, though Piper does make an appearance in this issue.

The four Rogues return to their hideout contemplating their biggest mistake, killing a Flash. Apparently, it’s the one rule you never break and they did not plan on actually doing, they were kind of tricked into doing this by Impulse. This is probably my only contention with this issue. Reading Countdown I thought the Rogues were aware they were going to kill Bart, it hadn’t dawned on me that they accidentally killed him. I’ll have to go back and re-read the issues in the Flash to check.

There quick drop in is interrupted when a gang put together by the new Trickster, Axel Walker challenges them for claim of the hideout. They quickly pull off some really nice handiwork with teamwork display and dispatch these wannabe’s before Axel shows up wondering where they have been and congratulating them on their big kill, which they do not want to take credit for. It was an accident and they did not know that Impulse was going to steal Bart’s powers, which made him vulnerable to effects he had not been previously affected by so easily.

Somewhere else in town Piper shows up while some detectives are going through the dossiers on the Rogues revealing past torments that have obviously shaped these dudes into the criminals they are. I am not even a sucker normal for “victims of upbringing,” but Johns makes this sappy enough that I at least take mental queue and recognize the trauma as part of the problem. The better action going on is at the museum where Impulse is on display like a statue.

Impulse is zapped by a bolt of lightning and brought out of his frozen state and he is pissed, he quickly takes out the guards with a lot of angst before he starts muttering to himself how he is going to kill the Flashes kids and wife before he goes on his own murderous tear. I don’t think he knows that Wally’s kids are part time superheroes now and pretty much teens. Even for him I think he would be hard pressed to take out the twins and Wally, but it is a lofty goal, maybe if he joined up with Libra it could happen.

These plans are soured even more when enters the reverse flash, Zoom. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but if you read the Flash series when Bart dies Zoom actually aided him and it seems he is on the good side now, at least in this moment. He tells Impulse he is going to be better and that he is going to be the new Kid Flash and Zoom is going to make him better since he took a hero trying to be better away. This had to be one of the more impactful books in the Final Crisis series to date. And like I said Morrison has me all whining and complaining about the series in the first place.

The art in this issue is probably my only complaint, it looks tattered and rugged and not typical a comic art style I prefer, but as I have said in the past I prefer cleaner, smoother lines with detail, so it is a matter of taste. You need to go pick this issue up!

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