ROGUE SUN #1/ Story by RYAN PARROTT/ Art by ABEL/ Color Art by CHRIS O’HALLORAN/ Letters by BECCA CAREY/ Published by IMAGE COMICS
Rogue Son is the superpowered protector of New Orleans. At least, he was until yesterday, when he died in battle facing a mysterious enemy. None of this matters much to troubled youth Dylan Siegel, until he discovers that the father who abandoned him as a child was Rogue Son and now he’s inherited his mantle… along with all of his enemies.
Now, like it or not (and he doesn’t), Dylan is being compelled to walk the streets of the Big Easy in search of supernatural chicanery and mundane villainy. Of course there’s no shortage of crime in New Orleans. But can Dylan fill the role that has been thrust upon him and survive long enough to find his father’s killer?
The base concept of Rogue Son will feel familiar to many superhero fans. We’ve seen a number of books based around reluctant heroes, teenage heroes and legacy heroes. What makes Rogue Son notable, however, is the bold choices writer Ryan Parrott makes in changing up a tested formula.
Dylan Siegel is not a likeable loser like Peter Parker, Miles Morales or Jaime Reyes. He is, in point of fact, kind of a jerk, who bullies his “best friend” into doing his homework for him. He has an ex-girlfriend, about whom we know nothing other than that she had the good sense to dump him and not talk to him in the hallways between classes since. This makes it hard to empathize with Dylan’s angst, but the play against type is fascinating enough to make up for it.
Another notable change is that Dylan’s legacy is not passed onto him because he is the first born son of a mystic bloodline. It is passed onto him, along with the Sun Stone that was the source of his father’s power, as a lawyer reads the Last Will and Testament of Dylan’s father at the cliché gathering of money-grubbing family members. Precisely why the last Rogue Sun saw fit to bequeath his powers to the son he abandoned rather than any of the children from his second marriage and why the villain who killed him didn’t take the Sun Stone are mysteries this first issue leaves open for exploration.
The artwork by Abel is solid, with a streamlined edge to all the panels. The character designs are interesting, particularly for the villain Suave (a gentleman thief with the emphasis on gentleman) whom Dylan encounters in his first attempt at crime-fighting. The action-sequences are well-blocked, and the use of shadows surrounding Dylan’s light-based powers is amazing.
The colors by Brian O’Halloran suit the New Orleans setting, with subtle emphasis on Mardis Gras colors in the lighting throughout. There are also some fantastic lettering and balloon choices on display, courtesy of Becca Carey. All in all, this is one fantastic looking book.
Rogue Sun #1 is original and daring. While the individual components may seem familiar, their assembly is something different and the execution is masterful. A must read for all superhero fans!
Rogue Sun #1 releases on February 23, 2022.