Rogues, DC’s latest Black Label series from legendary Flash scribe Joshua Williamson and artist Leomacs, has an instant hook. A decade after their prime, Captain Cold pulls a group of the Flash’s infamously kooky villains out of retirement for one last heist.
I was expecting a fun book, but not the beautiful balance of color and grit, lightness and emotional heft, that’s demonstrated in Rogues #1. And the heist itself? Sneaking into Gorilla City to plunder the secret gold of Gorilla Grodd. That’s good stuff right there.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
Perhaps the biggest thing to crow about is work of the artistic team here. Leomacs is the full package: His character designs are simple, but unique; emotions subtle and clear. The dirty details of Central City’s underbelly couldn’t be more 1970s realism. Matheus Lopes, one of my favorite colorists at the moment, shows that dark doesn’t have to mean dull, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering? Impeccable! Makes text feel like voice acting.
Rogues feels like an Image Comics crime miniseries that just happens to have DC characters in it. A treat to read.
Detective Comics #1058
Detective Comics’ weekly-publishing Arkham Tower arc is over, and it’s one of those things that I wish I liked more. Ultimately I think I found the reverse countdown chronology of it all to be more confusing than tantalizing. But I can say what I really do like: The Bat-family liaising with a reporter instead of the GCPD!
There’ve been a few periods of Batman history in which James Gordon wasn’t commissioner of police, and that usually means that the Bat-family’s relationship with the office is still there, just more frigid. Bats and the free press is new to me, and I like it.
Ghost Cage #1
I knew nothing about Ghost Cage except that it had a cover with some cool looking characters on it. Turns out it’s a blazingly dynamic shōnen-influenced fable about ... a mad industrialist creating a weird lil’ dude to kill an escalating series of his living power plants? Because of corporate capitalism? I will definitely read more of this.
Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl #1
The thing about Joëlle Jones is that you never have to wonder why her books are late to shelves — she draws ... she just draws the hell out of them. That’s been unfortunate for Wonder Girl, and its ability to really put Yara Flor on the map of the DC Universe. The tradeoff is when you get wholly-Jones-drawn issues like Trial of the Amazons: Wonder Girl, every page is a jaw dropper.
I hit this faux stained glass window page spread of the history of the lost Amazonian tribe of Amazons, the Esquecidas and said “Damn, Joëlle! Daaaaaaamn!” out loud in my apartment. There are very, very few artists who could introduce the origin of their tribe of Amazons and flank the page with direct callbacks to George Pérez’s definitive origin of Themyscira in his own artistic style and stick the landing. Phew. Phew.