Last week DC announced the return of the Rogues in the pages of THE FLASH #7. This really shouldn't be a surprise since we saw Captain Cold locked away in Iron Heights Prison with the tease that the Rogues would be back. What was surprising about the announcement was the art that accompanied it, indicating that Captain Cold in the 'New 52' no longer had an ice gun but was now a meta.
We asked writer/artist Francis Manapul a few questions to get to the bottom of this.
Comic Vine: With the Rogues coming back, how much of a history do they have with Barry Allen? Have they had battle after battle already?
Francis Manapul: The Rogues and the Flash have definitely tangled before as it was alluded to in FLASH #3. Captain Cold definitely had a his trusty cold gun back then. In our upcoming second story arc we catch up to him now, with powers. It's important to note that how the Rogues come into these new powers are part of the story as was their past as normal working class criminals.
CV: Besides Captain Cold, will we see the return of all the Rogues in the next arc?
FM: The main focus will be on Captain Cold, but we will see the rest of the Rogues. However at this point in time with the story, they have disassembled, any of them working together will be doing so not by choice but by necessity. It's quite a dysfunctional family.== TEASER ==
CV: Jim Lee was behind a lot of the original redesigns in 'The New 52,' was he involved at all with the Rogues or is it all coming from you?
FM: Well I ran all my designs by the higher ups, and they all chimed in with their two cents. I didn't get too many notes. We were split on keeping the parka as some felt it was a very iconic part of who he was, and the other half felt that it made him look dated. In the end I came up with what I felt was a good compromise to keep those that didn't want the hoodie happy, but at the same time make him look more modern yet still staying true to his iconic look. Some of the other Rogues the changes were a bit more extreme, I allowed the story to dictate how they would look, I strongly feel that design follows function.
CV: Let's focus on the obvious from the teaser image, what's up with Captain Cold having ice powers? Is this a new tweak in 'The New 52'? Is he and the other Rogues now metas?
FM: The Flash has always been a super hero, science fiction book. How Captain Cold and the Rogues come about their powers is part of the story and there is a scientific origin to their development. The Flash asked to be faster in the last issue, and his mind sped up. The Rogues posed this same question as well, and what we'll see in the next arc is the result of this desire to be better. But like all things there are repercussions to such life altering "enhancements". We're not changing who they are, but we are simply evolving them to the next stage.
CV: Captain Cold has been seen locked up in Iron Heights, where are the others? Are they locked up as well? Why haven't they tried breaking him out? We need answers!
FM: The simple answer. The Rogues didn't want to break him out. :)
CV: Will we see a flashback over what happened when Barry and Iris went out before?
FM: No plans of that at the moment. In our heads, it's pretty much the same date they had that's already been portrayed before. In our version of this story Barry simply made different choices after that date that prevented them from being together.
CV: Uhm, about the Doctor Guerrero character...being a comic book death and all...isn't there the potential for his return so he can cause more problems for Barry?
FM: Hmm... demand from fans have to be pretty overwhelming for us to raise him out of the grave.
The Flash #4 is on sale December 28 and the Rogues make their return on March 28 in issue #7.