Continuing shortly after the events of ‘The Flash’ #12, this annual edition gives us the origin of the Rogues. When DC rebooted their universe with the New 52, Flash’s Rogues were changed from being weapon-based villains to actually having super powers. I just assumed it was a new spin on the old material. This issue proves my assumptions wrong with the origin of the New 52 Rogues.
I do discuss said origins below, so be warned, it will contain a few spoilers. If you just need to know if it’s a good book, the short answer is yes. Now go buy it. If you’ve read it already or just don’t care about the spoilers, read on.
As the issue opens, the Flash is running at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. As he runs, he gives a brief glimpse into his past to an event when his father took him to the Salt Flats. It seems that now the Flash comes here to run when he needs to think. So what’s he thinking about now? He’s thinking about how to get Dr. Elias to come clean about his reasons for turning on the Flash.
Cut to a year and a half ago. The Rogues are robbing a bank. But what’s this!? The Rogues have their old-school weapons. Captain Cold is sporting his freeze gun, Weather Wizard has his wand, and so on. As was pretty much the norm in the pre-New 52 universe, the Flash easily thwarts the Rogues. However, the villains escape by jumping into a huge mirror on a passing truck thanks to the Mirror Master’s weapons.
Back at the Rogues’ hideout, the gang is arguing over their failure. In the end, Captain Cold walks out on the gang to ponder his leadership abilities. While roaming the streets of Keystone City, Cold is approached by someone offering to help the Rogues even the playing field with the Flash. How does the stranger plan to do this? Why by giving the Rogues powers of course!
The creation of the Rogues’ new abilities doesn’t go quite as planned. Cold and Weather Wizard are the only two that seem to get off with the abilities the way they planned. Heatwave ends up burned from head to toe and Mirror Master becomes trapped within the Mirror universe. Worst of all, Cold’s sister Lisa is killed (sorta) and becomes the ethereal Glider who now exists mainly in an astral form.
Okay… now that the Rogues’ origins are explained, we cut back to modern times where the Flash is trying to stop the Rogues (who are now being led by Glider after the events of last issue). To stop the Rogues, Flash teams up with Cold who is angry at being ousted from the group by Glider. However, things turn sour for the Flash before it’s all over. In the end though, things look like they’re about to get a lot worse for Keystone City as another Flash villain arrives… and he’s pissed!
Wow! This issue was great! This series overall has been awesome but I’ve commented before that it moves at a rapid-fire pace allowing the readers only brief moments to slow down and get their bearings before plowing into the next action-packed scene. That isn’t bad and of itself (and it’s actually fitting given the title character). This issue though doesn’t have that problem. Oh! Don’t get me wrong. It still moves extremely fast. But the story is broken down into smaller chunks and chapters that allow more moments to breath. Also, the switching of gears with the different tales seems to keep things fresh every few pages. I haven’t had a chance to read all of my annuals this week yet but I already expect that this one is going to be one of the best.
THE FLASH ANNUAL #1
Written by Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Art by Francis Manapul & Marcus To
Cover by Francis Manapul