After plaguing Flash and the DCU for decades, the super-speedster's memorable team of adversaries, the Rogues, are stepping out into their own series - and as you'd hope given the likes of Captain Cold, it's for mature readers only.
Joshua Williamson, who wrote the main Flash title from 2016 to 2019, returns to Central City - but this time to focus on the villains - in this new four-issue Rogues series drawn by Leomacs.
Williamson and Leomacs are revisiting the Rogues in this out-of-continuity tale that finds the villains retired - but pulled back into crime for one last score. Echoing classic films such as Blade Runner and Heat, Rogues aims to bring out the best in the worst of the best Flash villains around.
"Rogues are unlike anything I've done at DC," Williamson says in the announcement. "It's closer to my own creator-owned works. It's a crime book full of super-science, dark humor, lost civilizations, and crazy action set pieces, but it's all played straight, with the dark edge and morality-play qualities of classic noir stories."
Set in the near-future, Rogues picks up 10 years after the crime gang disbanded, but the intervening years haven't been kind to the criminals - with DC noting they've gone through "an endless cycle of prison, rehab, dead-end jobs, broken relationships, probation, and bottomless restitution fees…"
But their former leader, Captain Cold, has found a way out, however. At least he thinks. The score? The world's largest stockpile of undocumented, untraceable gold. The only problem is that its safely ensconced in Gorilla City under the firm protection of another Flash villain, Gorilla Grodd - who in this alt-universe has become one of the biggest crime bosses in the world.
"Rogues take everything we love about these classic characters and send them violently crashing into a noir story that makes the ideal DC Black Label series," says the writer.
Leomacs is best known for his work on the recent Joe Hill/DC series Basketful of Heads, and has done remarkable work on the European comic franchise Tex and Dylan Dog.
"I was amazed by Leomacs' work in Basketful of Heads," says Williamson. "It knocked me off my feet. So when I found out he was interested in working on Rogues, I was super excited. When I saw his first pages for issue #1, they completely exceeded my expectations. Working with him brings an incredible amount of thoughtfulness and insight into the world of the Rogues."
DC has shared those first pages from Rogues #1, here:
Rogues #1 preview
"I love this series because it's the twisted, blackhearted mirror of our current DC Black Label title Catwoman: Lonely City," DC Black Label group editor Chris Conroy says. "While that story is a love letter to the Gotham-villain milieu, Josh and Leomacs are going to show the Rogues some tough love. Very, very tough. When the editorial team saw this pitch, we knew it was a slam dunk—Josh understands the world of the Flash inside and out, and no one has ever written a more terrifying Gorilla Grodd."
Williamson and Leomacs are joined by colorist Mat Lopes and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.
Sam Wolfe Connelly has drawn the primary cover for Rogues #1, with variants planned by Leomacs and Michael Cho.
Rogues #1 (of 4) goes on sale on March 22.
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