Rogue Sun #13 Review

Writer: Ryan Parrott

Art: Abel; Marco Renna

Colors: Natália Marques

Letters: Becca Carey

Covers: Luana Vecchio; Federico Sabbatini With Mafuriah

Publisher: Image Comics

Price: 3.99

Release Date: June 21, 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 #13 Review.

The Dispatch

Dylan is riding high after saving the day at the homecoming dance. Except it’s not really Dylan–it’s the spirit of an older Rogue Sun, Caleb, who is driving Dylan’s body. But Caleb isn’t giving up, and there might be a chance in ROGUE SUN #13 for Dylan to take his body back if he’s clever.

Dylan is dressing nicely, training without complaining, being nice to his step family, and happily going to school. Except it’s not Dylan. It’s Dylan’s body that’s still being driven by Caleb. ROGUE SUN #13 follows Caleb as he goes about being the model teenager while the disembodied spirit of Dylan criticizes him for stealing his body. The most surprising action Dylan takes is to convince Vanessa to go with him to Reggie’s mother house and tell her how brave he was when the homecoming dance was attacked in issue 12. Dylan watches with anger as Vanessa fails to realize that someone is impersonating him and sadness as Caleb takes a noble action he never would have thought of. Later that night The Calling draws Caleb/Dylan to a house on a haunted walking tour where they encounter a resurrected Demonika who has the power to kill both of them.

ROGUE SUN #13 catches up with Dylan as he’s thinking about what it means to “live your best self.” He considers several possibilities, but so long as he’s disembodied he can’t take any actions to find out. ROGUE SUN as a series has tracked Dylan’s growth not just as a hero but as a man. For the most part Dylan has grown, albeit at a snail’s pace. Now Dylan is locked out of his body and watching a mature adult live his life. And what’s worse is that no one seems to think there’s anything wrong with Dylan. Everyone is simply happy to see this new side of him. Dylan is watching someone live his life better than he does which is an interesting form of character exploration and opens a lot of possibilities for further development if he ever takes control of his body again.

Some of this issue is standard body snatcher fare. Caleb/Dylan does things that Dylan never would. He’s nice to his stepbrother. He’s eager to go to school. He trains without complaint. There’s not much going on in these moments that’s particularly revealing. But that’s not true for the entire issue.

The scene between Dylan, Vanessa, and Reggie’s mother is very effective. Reggie’s death in ROGUE SUN #12 came and went quickly. The issue didn’t linger on the event as it ended with Caleb taking over Dylan’s body. Readers could be forgiven for thinking the overall story would largely move on from it. Instead it turns into a major story point here. Parrott doesn’t waste the previous issue’s death which at the time felt like it would be for mere shock value.

The Art & Letters

ROGUE SUN’s characters are always expressive. Abel is particularly skilled at conveying emotion through looks and body language. ROGUE SUN #13 features an excellent example of his talent during the scene at Reggie’s mother’s house. Caleb/Dylan and Vanessa are at her front door, expressing their condolences. At first Dylan’s spirit is angry. He’s not sure what Caleb is up to but he assumes it’s something unkind or manipulative. But as the scene progresses and Caleb/Dylan expresses his regrets and tries to empathize with Reggie’s mother, Dylan’s spirit merely paces in the background, his head down and a hangdog expression on his face.

Abel conveys two things in these panels. The first and most obvious is Dylan’s sadness and regret over Reggie. But the second is something akin to shame. While in control of Dylan’s body, Caleb thought to express compassion in a way Dylan never does. We’re rooting for Dylan to get his body back, of course. But there may be something to Caleb’s concern over the kind of man Dylan is and if he can be a good Rogue Sun.

Marques’s coloring is largely conservative in this issue, mostly because until the end it’s a fairly quiet day. There’s an opening scene in the morgue where Marques captures the sterile, cold quality of that environment. She does a very good sunrise and twilight. The most eye-catching work here, as is so often the case in this series, is when Rogue Sun is able to deploy his powers in a fight. Here, his bright yellows and oranges face off against Demonika’s purples. Carey uses a dark black background surrounded by rough purple lines for Demonika’s dialogue bubbles. The font inside the bubbles is likewise purple. Carey successfully color coordinates Demonika’s power not just with her skin tone but with her outfit as well.

Final Thoughts

ROGUE SUN #13 is a quiet issue as far as this series goes. Much of it is Dylan’s disembodied conflict with Caleb which provides for good dialogue exchanges and interesting reactions from Dylan but can’t really advance further than that (at least until the issue’s later pages). But the issue does set the stage for Dylan to discover things about himself which can only fuel good stories going forward.


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