Writer: Ryan Parrott & Nick Cotton
Art: Marco Renna
Colors: Natália Marques
Letters: Becca Carey
Covers: Luana Vecchio; Jo Migyeong
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: December 21st
Homecoming is around the corner, and Dylan is about to face his greatest challenge yet: asking out a date. And some new villain knows his identity and is threatening his family.
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 #9 Review.
ROGUE SUN #9 is here at the perfect time. Dylan has been on a steady upward course since the first issue–both in his training as a hero and his growth as a young man. With the exception of the first issue, he hasn’t run up against a problem he couldn’t ultimately solve (and even then he got a chance to face Mr. Suave a second time in issue eight). With this issue Parrott gives Dylan much more than he can handle.
ROGUE SUN #9’s story is a nice parallel of the personal and the heroic. Homecoming is fast approaching at Dylan’s high school, and both he and his (only) friend, Byron, need dates. Byron finds success with the first girl he asks. Dylan asks Vanessa, the girl he likes but hasn’t been making time for, only to discover that she has a boyfriend. Things go from bad to worse after, though, when Dylan responds to an apparent bank robbery and confronts a new enemy. This time the fight goes very, very badly.
Dylan’s journey in ROGUE SUN to this point has strongly mirrored the kind of coming of age story that’s typical for teenage characters. He’s moved out from under the shadow of his parents (who in his case were divorced and pushing Dylan to take sides in their superhuman argument), learned that rash actions can have great consequences, and been forced to balance the kind of person he thinks he wants to be against the person he currently has to be.
But growth seldom charts a perpetually upward course. Parrott’s choice in ROGUE SUN #9 to deal him a setback in both aspects of his life–a villain who both defeats him and threatens to kill his family as well as a love interest who turns him down for a date–makes him a more relatable and sympathetic character.
The inclusion of Byron asking for a date and relating his success to Dylan helps further flesh out Dylan’s ordinary teenage life. Byron is the only character Dylan is particularly close to who doesn’t know that he’s Rogue Sun. Every opportunity to build on that relationship, both positively and negatively, is welcome.
ROGUE SUN #9 also adds a more supportive dynamic to Dylan’s relationship with his new family. Granted it is partly motivated by him getting badly beaten in the fight. But regardless adds a new dimension to his family life which has been more conflict based to this point.
ROGUE SUN #9 is Renna’s first issue on the series, and he brings a softer style to the characters than we usually see. It works well for Dylan’s family. In fact it’s the first time that Dylan’s brother hasn’t looked sinister and angry. This complements Parrott’s story choices for Dylan’s family and helps build a connection that hasn’t been very strong to this point.
Renna’s art also adds a great deal of charm to the scene where Byron asks out his date for homecoming. The two characters feel very much like teenagers, somewhat shy and awkward. While Dylann’s confidence and overall attitude is believable, especially in the aftermath of becoming Rogue Sun, this feels more familiar.
Carey’s lettering proves integral to the fight between Dylan and the new villain. She uses white dialogue on black bubbles with orange borders. The choice to use Rogue Sun’s color scheme for the character who delivers Dylan’s worst beating makes him feel more powerful.
Parrot, Renna, Marques, and Carey deliver another strong issue in ROGUE SUN #9. Seeing Dylan brought low in the manner that he is here is a new storytelling dimension. It’s the kind of development to build on an already strong run and keep the series fresh.