Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Ryan Parrott
Colours: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Becca Carey
Release Date: 2nd March 2022
Supers, despite being a big part of my formative comic years, is not really a genre that I tend to pick up and read a lot of these days. Perhaps the inundation of film and TV offerings has played a big part in this. So when a new superhero comic drops, there needs to be a pretty good hook to make it stand out in a sea of capes and spandex. Does Rogue Sun do this? Well, and acknowledging how wishy washy and non-committal this sounds, for me the jury is still out.
Parrott is a name that brings assurances of handling high action capers, based on my exposure to the likes of that group of brightly coloured, changing heroes. On the strength of that, I’m sure many will be willing to take a punt here and, honestly, I found the overall premise well delivered. Rogue Sun is the protector of New Orleans. A dark superhero with traditional powers like flight and super strength, they have a back catalogue of villains and a clear history of doing good, and even with the ‘fwooms’ and ‘ka-thwums’ of massive punch ups in the skies above, the general populace go about their business.
The design of Rogue Sun is also something which grabbed me. I’m unsure if it’s intentional from the team here but there’s a definite air of the ’90s and those iconic, over-the-top dark designs. Whilst reigned in a bit, we’ve still have black ‘space knight’ armour and burning fists alongside a hooded baddie, and I’m very taken by a certain suited swashbuckler. Everything on display is tight, consistent, and there’s probably just the right balance of stuff going on to keep the eyes flicking from panel to panel without overloading the senses. This is just as well as some of the panels are a tad wordy; although letterer Becca Carey et al keep this from feeling sluggish.
So yeah, the premise and plot… Rogue Sun, this (a)typical superhero type, finds themselves up against a villain who just might have gotten the better of them. But, as we are so bluntly told, “When the knight falls… a son will rise.” Enter Dylan, a high school kid who’s got a serious chip on their shoulder and who is the kind of person I would have clearly body swerved growing up. Having a superhero dad might explain some of that, save for the fact that Dylan doesn’t actually know their father and has grown up in a single parent household. The fact they’ve remarried and living in luxury in comparison would surely sour some of that father son bonding anyway. As such then, are we gonna be lined up for some more high schooler angst and coming of age revelations? Maybe. And that is why I’m still perhaps sitting on the fence on this one.
Rogue Sun has loads to love. I’m a fan of the art direction and costume choices here. The prose works for me and whilst I’m not gushing over the character of Dylan, I don’t think we’re meant to; this despite all the reasonable excuses. I’m just not sold on what new delights and places Rogue Sun can explore, and where this can, and will, go. That said, given all the good stuff going on, and the strength of talent in the team, I would certainly lean towards optimism.
The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster