Advance Review: A New Villain Rises In `Rogue Sun’ #8
by Tom Smithyman
A new story arc kicks off and a new villain is introduced. The creative team finds the right balance of the new and the familiar – and sets up an interesting story going forward. Should we root for the morally questionable “hero” or the “villain” trying to avenge his down-on-his-luck father?
New story arcs can be a challenge to pull off correctly. Course correct too much, and longstanding readers may be put off by the changes. Maintaining the status quo runs the risk of boring that same audience.
Fortunately, in the hands of writer Ryan Parrott, Rogue Sun is able to smoothly transition from one arc to the next, with a great storytelling shift in between to separate them. After his father left him the Rogue Sun suit and powers, Dylan is finally starting to settle into his new role. He still has to contend with his dad’s new family – including a stepsister who tried to have him killed and a stepbrother who cheerfully awakens him with pots and pans.
Dylan is back at school as well. Make no mistake though. He’s no Peter Parker, but rather a know-it-all brat who occasionally bullies other kids. While it makes him hard to like, it’s a welcome change from the tried-and-tried young hero formula. Still, it makes you wonder if anyone is really rooting for Dylan, or if they’re just waiting to see him fail.
The issue is bookended by a story that seems to be setting up a new villain, Hellbent. This one looks to be college student looking to take revenge on Dylan for sending his henchman dad to the hospital. This good kid turned bad is an interesting counterbalance to Dylan’s bad kid turned hero.
Artist Abel provides some nice depictions, particularly as Dylan endures the rigors of a new trainer. That workout – for both the hero and the artist – pays off as Rogue Sun battles the evil Suave. The fight scenes are memorable as the hero smashed though the baddies’ mirrored helmets. Abel’s final splash page also nicely sets up Hellbent’s origin.
The creative team has set up the new arc in a way that should keep readers coming back for more. Now they must deliver on their promise.
Rogue Sun #8 will be available for purchase tomorrow.