Writer: Ryan Parrott
Art: Abel; Marco Renna
Colors: Natália Marques
Letters: Becca Carey
Covers: Luana Vecchio; Holly-Renee Blakeway
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: August 23rd, 2023
Caleb is driving Dylan’s body and everything is quickly going to hell. Meanwhile Dylan is trapped inside the Sun Stone with an army of dead Rogue Suns standing between him and any way back into his body. But somehow Dylan’s got to pull it off because in ROGUE SUN #15, Caleb is going full evil.
ROGUE SUN #15 opens with Caleb meeting Mourningstar, a werewolf leader and long standing enemy of Rogue Suns. Caleb wants Mourningstar’s help to take over the world with Caleb ruling it under Mourningstar’s authority. Inside the Sun Stone, Dylan, his father, and his grandfather–after considerable conflict between themselves–brainstorm the only way to undo this situation. They need to go to the Sun Stone’s core and from there get Dylan back in his body. The journey to the core brings them face to face with multiple Rogue Suns out to stop him. Meanwhile in the real world, Caleb sets out to free a lot of villains.
Caleb’s turn toward being a villain still comes off as abrupt. Parrott does provide a more complete motive here, as well as how Caleb plans to go about it, but he doesn’t let the reader sit with that character’s turn for very long. Instead, ROGUE SUN #15 drives the stakes up to extreme levels in the final pages. Despite his stated motives, Caleb is in danger of slipping into mustache twirling territory. Given the collaborative nature that Caleb and Dylan’s relationship originally had, this comes off as a setup for the inevitable confrontation that will happen if Dylan escapes the Sun Stone.
Events inside the Sun Stone may justify Caleb’s behavior. Based on the conflict surrounding Dylan’s attempted escape, many of the Rogue Suns seem easily corruptible. Though it’s unclear whether Parrot intends it, what we see in the Sun Stone can be read as justification for Caleb’s quick fall from grace.
ROGUE SUN #15 is very successful when it’s dealing with the relationships between Dylan, his father Marcus, and his grandfather Owen. The dysfunction between Dylan and his father is nothing between his father and grandfather. Parrott also addresses the abusive quality of Owen and Marcus’s relationship. Owen blames it on his need to prepare Marcus to become Rogue Sun. This has a very recognizable sentiment–when an abuser tells their victim that the abuse is for their own good. The issue doesn’t linger on the idea too long, but it adds an extra dimension as the trio goes into the fight to secure Dylan’s escape.
The scene between Dylan’s stepmother and his stepsister Aurie is also very effective.
The Art & Letters
ROGUE SUN has leaned toward the vibrant and vivid since the first issue. The action sequences are effective primarily as a result of Marques’ colors. The colors drive them, and those colors are literally explosive here. The coloring also elevates the characters. Caleb’s standoff with Mourningstar in the opening pages is just as much a standoff of colors with Mourningstar surrounded by bright green and Caleb with Rogue Sun’s typical orange/red. ROGUE SUN #15 especially puts Marques’ work on display.
Abel and Renna do good work on this issue. The action sequences are effective, but where the art shines is in the personal interactions between Dylan, Marcus, and Owen. It further elevates their interactions and especially develops the conflict between Marcus and Owen. The two men are drawn as almost mirrors of each other. They’re linked to each other despite hating each other.
The lettering in this issue is relatively staid. Carey doesn’t play too much with fonts and colors for emphasis. The exception is when Caleb, in Dylan’s body and wearing the Rogue Sun armor, declares to Mourningstar that he is The Knight Sun. It separates Caleb from the other Rogue Suns in the issue, giving him a sense of greater power.
Caleb’s ongoing villainous turn remains the weakest part of recent issues including this one. ROGUE SUN’s strengths as a series are the personal interactions and Dylan’s personal growth. Those are on display here between Dylan, Marcus, and Owen and between Aurie and Dylan’s stepmother. These moments, as well as the visuals, are when ROGUE SUN #15 is at its best.