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Rogue Sun #13
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Rogue Sun’ #13 launches a new arc – and a deep look into its protagonist’s life

A new story arc finds its titular hero battling his greatest enemy: self-loathing.

Of all the Massiveverse’s ongoing titles, Rogue Sun is the one that had the most interesting hook (apart from flagship title Radiant Black, that is.) A teenage protagonist who inherits the mantle of a legendary hero was old hat, but under writer Ryan Parrott and artist Abel, the concept took on new life. The protagonist was a real asshole, nursing a chip the size of Mount Fiji on his shoulder. The legendary hero was his father, who wasn’t much better, having abandoned the kid and his mother at a young age. Not to mention the fact that our hero has to fight soul-sucking succubi, hellfire-powered knights and all matter of horrors. Now Rogue Sun #13 throws yet another wrinkle into the mix.

The newest story arc finds Dylan Siegel in a literal out of body experience. One of the previous Rogue Suns, Caleb, has hijacked his body and doesn’t seem to be willing to give it back. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Demonika – the aforementioned soul-sucking succubus – has returned from the grave with a vengeance.

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Each arc of Rogue Sun has seen Dylan facing off against a different villain. The first had him dueling Cataclysm – who turned out to be his own mother. The second pitted him against Hellbent, who was born out of one of his battles. Parrott continues this trend of mixing the personal with the superheroic, as his script pits Dylan with a new challenge: Getting control of his own body. But he also had Caleb-as-Dylan attempt to be a little less assholish, repairing the relationships he has in his life as well as trying to be a better person. It’s as if Dylan is being forced to look at himself in the mirror – in fact, one page actually has him looking in the mirror. Suffice it to say, he doesn’t like what he sees.

Abel continues to turn in page after gorgeous page. Even though most of the book features conversations between Dylan and his supporting cast, they’re still emotional. Abel has Dylan run through a gauntlet of emotions, including self-loathing and regret – and all of them are stamped as clear as day on his face. When it does come to the action beats, he delivers a super-powered smackdown between Rogue Sun and Demonika that’s full of moments both heroic (Rogue Sun decks Demonika with a flying punch) and horrific (a whole page features Demonika standing triumphantly over a pile of desiccated corpses.) Adding extra pop to the proceedings are colorist Natalia Marques and lettered Becca Carey, especially when it comes to Demonika; the succubus’s pale, decaying purplish flesh is matched by her twisted, jagged word balloons.

If there’s one drawback to Rogue Sun #13, it’s that it throws the reader into the deep end of the pool so to speak. Suffice it to say: if you haven’t read the first two arcs of Rogue Sun and this is your first time picking up the book, you might be a little lost. This isn’t the fault of the creators – after all, this is a serial medium – but I’ve always felt like comics should be designed so that anyone can hop on with ease. That being said, this issue should hopefully make fans go back and read past installments.

Rogue Sun #13 launches a new story arc that finds its titular hero battling his greatest enemy: self-loathing. Once again, the ending not only leaves readers wanting more, it also opens up all manner of possibilities. More superhero books could stand to learn a lesson from this one.

Rogue Sun #13
‘Rogue Sun’ #13 launches a new arc – and a deep look into its protagonist’s life
Rogue Sun #13
Rogue Sun #13 launches a new story arc that finds its titular hero battling his greatest enemy: self-loathing. Once again, the ending not only leaves readers wanting more, it also opens up all manner of possibilities. More superhero books could stand to learn a lesson from this one.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A story that continues to mix the personal and the superheroic.
Art that's equal parts horrific and heroic.
A twist that opens up all manner of possiblities.
The creative team is in top form.
You'll need to catch up on previous issues of Rogue Sun for context.
8
Good
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