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Francis Manapul Speaks Out on the Return of the Rogues in THE FLASH & Their New Powers

"It's important to note that how the Rogues come into these new powers are part of the story."

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.

41 Comments
Posted by Kavahaden

can't wait to see the rouges back

Posted by shrmntnk62

I guess I won't be getting my Dr. Guerrero DCU Classic figure anytime soon. But maybe this is a set up for Black Lantern Dr. Guerrero! I also really dig the new Captain Cold design/ powers.

Edited by InnerVenom123

LMAO, they even named him after you and then killed him! Should you be flattered or horrified? =P

Posted by TDK_1997

Their return looks promising.

Edited by CitizenJP

Happy that Captain Cold has some powers now! And I dig the new look. Can't wait to see the other Rogues!

Posted by NightFang

@InnerVenom123 said:

Should you be flattered or horrified? =P

Probably I little of both.

Posted by The Impersonator

Nice! Captain Cold looks cool. :P

Posted by Mbecks14

REALLY excited for this! I love the Rogues and Flash has been my favorite book so far!

I hope Dr. Guerrero isn't actually dead though!

Posted by inferiorego

What about Dr Guerrero's lab assistant Dr Elfring? (His doctrine is in helping)

Staff Online
Posted by The Stegman
@The Impersonator:  
 
 

NICE! Captain Cold looks cool. :P

 
 
fixed 
 
 
 
 
and i hope Captain Boomerang recovers his Brightest Day energy constructs....
Posted by Danial79

The Flash is such a good book. I can't wait to see what they do with all of the Rogues.

Posted by Billy Batson

ahehehe Tony got shot.

FM: The simple answer. The Rogues didn't want to break him out. :)

ahem
why not?
BB

Posted by horshbox

I'm actually liking the look of this redesign, the book has been great with amazing artwork.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Hmmm it makes sense now with how Manapul explains Cold having ice powers now. Thinking of it like an "upgrade" explains a lot. I still would prefer classic Cold but hey, its a new direction. Give it a chance.

Posted by DarthShap

Again, I doubt this was necessary. The Rogues not having superpowers and being a little lame was a big part of what made them work.

Like breaking off Barry's marriage, Arsenal no longer being a single father, Starfire becoming some kind of 90's Image bimbo, Oracle no longer being paralyzed, Amanda Waller no longer being "the Wall", Green Arrow and Deadshot losing their classic mustaches, Wonder-Woman no longer having a special origin story and the entire idea of legacy disappearing with the removal of the JSA and apparently the former Question and Blue Beetles, it seems to me that those changes are for the most part making the DCU very generic.

In my opinion, DC should really go the opposite direction, cherishing what made this particular universe special.

Posted by danhimself

so should we start some sort of internet petition to get the good Doctor back?@inferiorego said:

What about Dr Guerrero's lab assistant Dr Elfring? (His doctrine is in helping)

limbo....much like Dr. Montague

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

BRING BACK Doctor Guerrero! heh.

Even if its ten years from now, he could still return. I could see some future writer resurrecting the obscure character and making him a bigger part of the Flash's life.

Posted by Sharkey
@The Stegman said:
@The Impersonator:  
  and i hope Captain Boomerang recovers his Brightest Day energy constructs....
He retains his Black Lantern-energy boomerangs in Suicide Squad #4, which is cool. :) 
 
I am loving Captain Cold's new look and I can't wait to read how he gained them. Axel Walker looked pretty good in his redesign, I await to see his "costume" and the others too!
Posted by Zuckuss_02

Like the rest of the new 52, I do NOT like these changes. There was nothing wrong with the way Captain Cold looked. So now all the rogues are gonna be metas? Stupuid!

Posted by DEGRAAF

what is all this they wish and they shall receive stuff? Barry sped up just because he asked to? Now the rogues ask for better powers or something and now they get them? Is there a magic lamp or wishing well or something in Keystone City now?

Posted by mightyrearranger

It eases my previous concerns a bit that he addressed Cold's history with Barry and noted that the powers are a recent development in his life. I took particular note of how he worded Cold's "wanting to be better". A Hunter Zolomon (who was also last seen de-powered in Iron Heights) hint, perhaps?? :D

The one thing that does bother me is Manapul's mentioning of the other Rogues not wanting to break Cold out of Iron Heights. I wonder why? Cold has been the patriarch of the Rogues family for a while now and gotten them through some very rough times. I hope the sudden lack of support from his family members is addressed as well...

Posted by pspin

Captain Cold look cool, I like the rogues but will they have Captain Boomerang in 2 books (Suicide Squad and The Flash), villaind are rarely in two "non-family" books like that.

Posted by TheWitchingHour

The Rogues have always been a tight knit group. I wonder how the dysfunctional dynamic will play out. Needless to say I'm very excited. And I absolutely love the Captain Cold redesign. However I can't wait to see the rest of the Rogues especially Trickster's redesign. A lot of potential for very cool and interesting costumes/powers there.

Posted by Or35ti

Can't. Wait.

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

Gah, Captain Cold looks like crap.

Anime reject.

Posted by CrimsonTempest
@BiteMe-Fanboy said:

Gah, Captain Cold looks like crap.

Anime reject.

I object to this unfounded conclusion. There's nothing that makes him resemble an anime character. If so, elaborate.
Posted by difficlus

@InnerVenom123 said:

LMAO, they even named him after you and then killed him! Should you be flattered or horrified? =P

lol

Posted by Larkin1388

Awesome.

Posted by HombreMan

@NightFang: Your last name is Guerrero? Cool to have some Latin/Iberoamerican people round here.

Posted by OmegaHans

So DC really thinks all this stuff is going to get their books selling? It won't be any better than it was before, because a reboot wasn't what would solve the problem for DC. You can paint 3 different colors of paint to cover up a moldy wall, but the mold will still be there.

Posted by GuruOfFunk

Not liking Colds new powers/costume. I liked the fact he used guns and I loved the parka hood. But like the rest of the DCnU I'll give it a chance until it develops a little.

Posted by thewhitequeenofhellfire

I don't mind the changes. I like the youthful update and new powers. maybe they'll be more fearsome now? i could never take them seriously in their silver age days.

Posted by NightFang

@OmegaHans: You haven't seen any of their latest comic book sells have you?

@HombreMan said:

@NightFang: Your last name is Guerrero? Cool to have some Latin/Iberoamerican people round here.

No, but that's how i'd feel if I was Guerrero.

Posted by BlackArmor

So the Rouges broke up eh? It was only a matter of time I guess

Posted by Hit_Monkey

Don't like that Captain Cold has powers now. Just another meta now...

Posted by OmegaHans

@NightFang said:

@OmegaHans: You haven't seen any of their latest comic book sells have you?

I don't think it will last. Just a passing phase, but if I'm wrong later on, whatever.

Posted by Video_Martian

Love the Rogues, Love Captain Cold, Love this book :)

Posted by Yumulu

Ooooooooh Rogues niiiiiiiiccce, this may actually be what get me back into DC.

Posted by bangorilla

I don't get it. When Marvel created their Ultimate Universe and its Charachter modifications they received a bunch of flack from the public. DC Basically created their "ultimate Universe" (thats basically what this is no matter how you want to spin it)and all of their charachter modifications and they are regarded as being innovative and fresh. Kind of a double standard if you ask me.

Posted by DedmanWalkin

Captain Cold should not have powers as it is severe character derailment.

Captain Cold is already one of the best villains in comics, no need to mess up what was already awesome.

Posted by Video_Martian

@DedmanWalkin said:

Captain Cold should not have powers as it is severe character derailment.

Captain Cold is already one of the best villains in comics, no need to mess up what was already awesome.

Totally agreed with you on the awesome part ;) As for his powers, lets just wait and see on how that turns out...