It's no secret that The Rogues are my favorite super-villain team in comics, and one of my favorite overall teams, in general. I talk about it a lot in reviews and on the podcast, at times. There's something very special about this group of villains that has its own code, and writer Brian Buccellato gets that and plays with it. These guys are villains, but not by the same standards as other villains, and that's what we see here.
There's a great moment, later in the issue, where Johnny Quick and Atomica tell the Rogues who Mirror Master and Weather Wizard are in their world, and it makes complete sense (read the issue to find out, sillies). This book really does a great job at playing with the idea that these folks aren't really villains. They have different interests in mind.
I bagged on Hepburn's art in earlier issues, but I feel, as this book has progressed, that not only has his art gotten better in the way he's set up pages, but he's also helped define a new look for a lot of the villains in the DCU that are contained within this book, mainly the Royal Flush gang. These characters look great and have a Mad Max vibe to them, which really fits the story. On top of that, Hepburn does some great things with his layouts and how characters interact within the page and where they are placed. His art really keeps this book fresh and there are a few scenes of brutal violence that are shockers, mainly because it's such a giant contrast from his more animated style. Also, colorist Nick Filardi does a great job at proving why the colorist can be just as important as the artist. His color is a fine match to Hepburn's art and gives the books some darker undertones while staying in this more animated style. This is a great artistic team up.
In a world where tie-ins can be the seedy underbelly of the comic book universe, ROGUES REBELLION is a shining example of building on a larger story, but keeping the focus squarely on a small group of characters. The reader doesn't need to be reading FOREVER EVIL to enjoy ROGUES REBELLION and vice versa.
There is little to dislike about this issue. If I could complain about anything it's that I'm not too fond of Atomica's dialogue. It's a tad over-the-top, but that's a serious stretch to find something I didn't enjoy about this issue.
FOREVER EVIL: ROGUES REBELLION proves that a tie-in can be a stand alone piece to an event and still remain a sense of individuality. Buccellato, Hepburn, and Filardi deliver one heck of an issue that is incredibly fun and very violent. They have a great understanding for who the Rogues are and their place in the DCU. Here's to hoping we could maybe get this team to actually do a Rogues series in the future. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.