Writer: Ryan Parrott & Nick Cotton
Art: Zé Carlos
Colors: Raúl Angulo
Letters: Becca Carey
Covers: Marcelo Costa & Kath Lobo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 5th, 2022
No parents? No problem. Dylan is on his own as ROGUE SUN and he’s not running from trouble. But this time, with Dylan facing down a giant sea monster, the reader gets to decide his fate.
Books take you on an infinite number of journeys, transporting you from one place to another, from one world to another. And there’s no limit to the number of characters through which you can experience these worlds. But the story is always under the creator’s control. Except when you get to choose your own adventure.
ROGUE SUN #7 picks up shortly after #6 ends. Both of Dylan’s parents are out of the picture, and he’s living with his father’s other family. As Rogue Sun he continues to fight the good fight–in this issue a sea monster. But things don’t go as Dylan expects and he meets his true adversary, Ornate.
It’s at this point that ROGUE SUN #7’s choose your own adventure structure begins. Parrott and Cotton do more than just use this as a gimmick, though. They build it into the story using the manipulation of time as a plot point. Thus the choices are all relevant to the action, offering different ways to advance a more or less consistent story but with a variety of possible consequences to both Dylan and everyone around him.
This story construction also feeds into the themes ROGUE SUN has presented from the start. The first six issues serve very well as a metaphor for a child whose parents are going through an ugly divorce and who have arguments in front of their children, trying to make them pick sides to demonstrate who’s right. ROGUE SUN #6 ended with Dylan rejecting that dichotomy and turning away from trying to make one parent or another happy and instead focusing on his own wants. Of course, the natural consequence is that now Dylan has to make choices all on his own. And, unsurprisingly, not all of those choices are good ones.
Ultimately, thanks to the time machinations involved and the need to continue on to the next issue of ROGUE SUN, there is a right way for the story to end. This is where ROGUE SUN #7’s real success is to be found. The story is so engaging, and the solution so clever, that at no point are you thinking ahead to how it will end. Instead, you’re caught up in the different scenarios, wondering how each will play out.
Carlos and Angulo bring their own style to ROGUE SUN #7 adding a different kind of creativity than in previous issues. “Timey-wimey” stories allow for a little experimentation, and Carlos does that through the issue with layouts that become more chaotic as the issue goes on (especially once the choose-your-own-adventure device kicks in). This makes several of the action sequences more fun. And once Dylan resolves the conflict (which involves the most chaotic layouts in the issue), the return to completely normal layouts helps reassure us that after an unconventional issue, everything is back to normal.
Most fun visually in the issue, though, is Angulo’s colors and it’s a result of subtraction rather than addition. ROGUE SUN has been a series of vibrant colors since the first page. It’s bright when nothing is happening, and it’s even brighter when Dylan and company are throwing powers around. Angulo keeps that trend going in this issue. So, midway through the issue when Dylan’s interactions with Ornate take place in front of a completely gray background, we feel the importance of the moment because Rogue Sun and Ornate jump off the page.
ROGUE SUN has been exceptional since the beginning and ROGUE SUN #7 continues that trend plus some. The story opens the world up and reintroduces us to Dylan now that his overbearing parents are gone. The art is fun and exciting. And with the choose your own adventure structure, it might be the most creative comic book this week.