It’s not often new superheroes are introduced and end up feeling like they’ve been around forever, but that’s Rogue Sun through and through. The new series has found a home at Image Comics, which makes a lot of sense given the history of the publisher to bring new superheroes to life in a Big Two-dominated world. Out this week is Rogue Sun #5, which picks up where it left off with its biggest cliffhanger yet.
Spoilers ahead for Rogue Sun #5!
As was revealed last issue, Dylan has learned his mother has superpowers too. We already knew she resented Dylan’s father (rightfully so, as he abandoned his wife and child), but she apparently kept her own superpowered lifestyle a secret from Dylan too. This issue isn’t about that as it’s instead a flashback-friendly look at how she got her powers and what it was like to be her when Dylan was born.
What’s interesting about this issue is how Ryan Parrott layers nuances in character through these flashbacks. You can see there’s some care taken with dialogue, character acting, and information delivered so the reader can infer what is going on, but there are still some big question marks. This puts you in the head of Dylan, who doesn’t have a good relationship with his father, and now his relationship with his mother is thrown up in the air not that her big secret is out of the bag.
There are some major warning signs Dylan’s mom isn’t to be trusted though. Caught in between Dyland and his mother is a supervillain Dylan’s father has tussled with over the years. Dylan’s mom is quite cold and downright evil when it comes to her perspective on this villain. She’s basically capable of doing great harm and even killing, while Dylan’s father never went that far. Whether Dylan’s mom was pushed over the edge by Dylan’s father for leaving her, or the powers she acquired have tainted her mind remains to be seen, but it’s a lot for Dylan to deal with, that’s for sure.
This issue also begins to make Dylan’s dad a bit empathetic. Up until now, he’s been the bastard father Dylan despised and he’s even been a bit mean towards Dylan. Thanks to Abel and Simone Ragazzoni’s art, there seem to be some secrets Dylan’s dad has kept from Dylan and his mother. That doesn’t excuse his brashness and ability to walk away from the family, but he’s also got something he’s not telling us. That means more mysteries to uncover.
Flashbacks throughout the book are well done capturing the melodrama of Dylan’s parents and the years-long conflict they went through. The art captures the time jumps well and colors help distinguish these scenes from the scenes taking place now via Natalia Marques’ colors.
This issue’s only negative is that it features a heck of a lot of miscommunication and a convenient lack of details. If Dylan’s mother came out and said she didn’t kill his dad–we don’t get confirmation on that–or if Dylan’s dad explained why he left the family, the chaotic nature of the conflict at hand would be reduced. Instead, a lot of this issue has Dylan’s dad demanding Dylan kill or attack his mom, and his mom making villainous proclamations. The drama is high, which is good, but it’s a bit manufactured via convenience.
Rogue Sun #5 is a great chapter that layers in new context and backstory for the series. Dylan is trying to be a superhero, but now he’s got a whole family of superheroes to contend with. Much like many of us, a lot of our baggage is the issues our parents had with one another, and that’s featured heavily in this superhero narrative. For that reason, Rogue Sun is relatable and well crafted.
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