Rogue Sun #12 Review

Writer: Ryan Parrott

Art: Abel

Colors: Natália Marques

Letters: Becca Carey

Covers: Luana Vecchio; Carla Wyzgala

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: April 19th, 2023

If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Rogue Sun #12 Review.

The Dispatch

Dylan faced a lot of challenges after becoming Rogue Sun. He met enemies he couldn’t defeat without help. He even lost a couple times. But he never questioned what he’s doing or how he’s doing it. Until now. ROGUE SUN #12 gives Dylan his most difficult fight yet. Not only does he have to face the enemy who almost killed him in their first meeting, but he has to do it to save people he knows.

ROGUE SUN #12 begins with Hellbent holding the homecoming dance hostage and Rogue Sun crashing in to save the day. At first it appears that the issue will simply be a fight between Dylan and Hunter (Hellbent). But that party is then crashed by Hunter’s father who made his own deal with Mourningstar (the source of Hunter’s power). Hunter and his father both want the quill, but they’re not exactly on the same side because which one of them succeeds will determine whether Hunter keeps his powers. As a result the melee is a sloppy one. The battle lasts for most of the issue, and before it’s over there are fatalities. Finally, when things start to go bad for Dylan, he calls on Caleb to help save the day.

Dylan faces the heaviest consequences yet since becoming Rogue Sun. Did his past brashness create Hellbent? And if that’s the case, is he responsible for any lives Hellbent takes? Dylan has faced tough moments, but ROGUE SUN #12 finally sees the magnitude of what it means to be a hero sink in. Dylan has a lot of power, and having power affords him the ability to do a lot of things. But rash use of that power during his last encounter with Mr. Suave is likely what set this series of events in motion. Dylan has continually developed in every issue, but his emotional and intellectual maturity has lagged behind his physical skills as Rogue Sun. In this issue Dylan’s heart and mind finally catch up.

ROGUE SUN #12 feels like the culmination of everything that’s come before–as though Dylan’s story has been leading to this point. The issue builds on story threads stretching back multiple issues and touching on Dylan’s first encounter with Mr. Suave. The issue also sees Dylan confront Hellbent for a second time. Their first fight went very badly for Dylan, so this is an opportunity to even the score. For most of the issue there is a sense that this is the next major step in Dylan’s personal and heroic growth, which has underpinned most of the series to this point. But the end of the issue brings the story back around in an ironic full circle. The final pages read like ROGUE SUN is closing the book on one chapter in preparation for another.

The Art & Letters

Marques’ colors demand attention throughout ROGUE SUN #12. The fight sequences are largely clashes between Rogue Sun’s orange/red, Hellbent’s red/orange, and Hellbent’s father’s blue. Color highlights surround the characters and streaks of color delineate everyone’s movement. The rich colors at the heart of these characters’ designs keep ROGUE SUN’s fight sequences lively and set the series apart from most superhero books. The colorful energy at the heart of these characters implies even more urgency than the story itself imparts.

Abel’s best work here is on Dylan when he’s outside the armor. His action sequences are effective, but seeing the complex emotions Dylan is feeling play across his face is a huge asset to tracking the character’s development. Dylan has been an easy character to invest in throughout the series, but this issue offers the opportunity for the deepest connection with him yet, and a lot of that is due to Abel’s depiction of him reacting to what he’s wrought as Rogue Sun.

Carey’s lettering choice for Hunter’s father is an extension of what she’s already done with Hellbent but with a twist. Like Hellbent’s dialogue bubbles, his father’s are black with white text. Whereas Hellbent’s are bordered by the red/orange that matches his powers, his father’s is blue. But his father’s bubbles are irregular in shape as opposed to smooth ovals and circles. This choice informs the character as much if not more than what’s obvious from Parrott’s script and Abel’s art–he feels rugged, less graceful and more blunt, less cunning and more angry.

Final Thoughts

ROGUE SUN #12 is an exciting issue. It hits the ground running and doesn’t let up until the end. It also delivers the series’ biggest shocks to date–both in how the fight unfolds and in the ultimate consequences to Dylan. ROGUE SUN has yet to disappoint, and this issue’s cliffhanger will make it impossible not to buy the next issue.

9.6/10

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