Rogues
The Rogues, a group of modern Flash enemies (except for the Weather Wizard, third from left) who formed a team to take down the Flash, from Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceFlash #155 (September 1965)
Created byJohn Broome
Carmine Infantino
In-story information
Member(s)Membership

The Rogues are a group of supervillains of the comic book superhero the Flash. Known members throughout its incarnation are Captain Cold, Abra Kadabra, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Golden Glider, the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, the Pied Piper, the Top, and Captain Boomerang. This loose criminal association refers to themselves as the "Rogues", disdaining the use of the term "supervillain" or "supercriminal".[1]

Fictional team history

The Rogues, compared to similar collections of supervillains in the DC Universe, are an unusually social group, maintaining a code of conduct as well as high standards for acceptance. No Rogue may inherit another Rogue's identity (a "legacy" villain, for example) while the original is still alive. Also, simply acquiring a former Rogue's costume, gear, or abilities is not sufficient to become a Rogue, even if the previous Rogue is already dead. They do not kill anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. Additionally, the Rogues refrain from drug usage.[2]

Although they tend to lack the wider name recognition of the villains who oppose Batman and Superman, the enemies of the Flash form a distinctive rogues gallery through their unique blend of colorful costumes, diverse powers, and unusual abilities. They lack any one defining element or theme between them, and have no significant ambitions in their criminal enterprises beyond relatively petty robberies.

Speedster villains, such as Reverse Flash or Zoom, are typically not welcome within the ranks of the Rogues due to their obsessive, untrustworthy and psychotic behavior.

The New 52: The Flash and Forever Evil (2011–2016)

The Rogues are referenced by Barry Allen to have previously been defeated by him and disbanded. Known members (so far) have been the Golden Glider, the Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, and the Mirror Master.[3]

The Rogues appeared in The Flash (vol. 4) Annual #1 in a war against Captain Cold, the Flash, and the Pied Piper. Confirmed Rogues include the Golden Glider (Lisa Snart) as the current leader, the Weather Wizard (Marco Mardon), the Trickster (Axel Walker), Heat Wave (Mick Rory), and the Mirror Master (Sam Scudder).

A year prior, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Mirror Master (Sam Scudder again), and the Weather Wizard underwent a procedure at an unknown facility that would merge them with their weapons, giving them superpowers. The procedure went awry and exploded. Cold's sister Lisa, who was also at the facility, was caught in the explosion. The five were given superpowers, but each in a twisted manner. Heat Wave gained pyrokinesis, but at the cost of his body being burned; the Weather Wizard becomes emotionally tied to his weather wand, causing constant depression; Lisa becomes an astral projection of herself; and Sam would be forever trapped in the Mirror World. The Rogues blamed Cold for this and turned against him. However, they are forced to team up with the Flash, Cold, and the Pied Piper when Gorilla Grodd invaded Central City.[4] As of Forever Evil, they seem to be working together again.

Membership

Silver Age Flash enemies

The enemies of the Flash started to use the name the Rogues during the Silver Age of Comics. Originally, the Rogues were just the Flash's enemies teaming together after they were all broken out of jail by another Flash foe, the super-intelligent gorilla Gorilla Grodd, to distract the Flash during Grodd's latest attempt at world conquest. After their defeat by the Flash, they formed a lasting group, and usually a Rogue will never commit a crime by himself. The Silver Age Flash enemies who became Rogues were Captain Cold, the Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, the Pied Piper, the Top, Captain Boomerang, the Golden Glider and later, the Rainbow Raider. These villains battled the second Flash (Barry Allen), and the third and fourth Flashes after Allen's death.

In chronological order (with issue and date of first appearance):

Villain First appearance Description
Captain Cold Showcase #8 (May/June 1957) Leonard "Len" Snart was a criminal who wanted a chance to get rid of the Flash. Seeing an article about a weapon that might disrupt the Flash's speed, Snart made a gun and exposed it to radiation. Instead of slowing the Flash down, the gun could freeze anything to absolute zero. Calling himself Captain Cold, Snart started out on a criminal career. He is considered to be the nemesis of both Barry Allen and Wally West, and the leader of the Rogues. Known for being a sympathetic villain, Cold has a sense of honor. Cold has strict rules on how the Rogues should act, such as no drugs and not to kill unless they absolutely have to. Also has a sense of loyalty to his team and watches out for them. During Flashpoint, he is Citizen Cold, the main hero of Central City, and the other Rogues are his foes.
Mirror Master The Flash #105 (February/March 1959) While working in a prison workshop, Samuel Scudder accidentally created a mirror that could hold an image for a period of time. When he escaped, he made more mirror gadgets and became the Mirror Master. He has created many different mirrors that can do various things, like travel into other dimensions. He was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, though two other villains have taken his title.
Gorilla Grodd The Flash #106 (April/May 1959) Gorilla Grodd is a hyper-intelligent telepathic gorilla able to control the minds of others. He was an average gorilla until an alien spacecraft (retconned from a radioactive meteor, which also empowered Hector Hammond) crashed in his African home. Grodd and his troop were imbued with super-intelligence by the ship's pilot. Grodd and fellow gorilla Solovar also developed telepathic and telekinetic powers. Led by the alien, the gorillas constructed the super-advanced Gorilla City. The gorillas lived in peace until their home was discovered by explorers. Grodd forced one of the explorers to kill the alien and took over Gorilla City, planning to conquer Earth next. Solovar telepathically contacted Barry Allen to warn him of the evil gorilla's plans, and Grodd was defeated. The villain manages to return again and again to plague the Flash and his allies.
Pied Piper The Flash #106 (April/May 1959) Hartley Rathaway was born deaf, but was cured after his rich parents sought a way to make him hear. Once he could hear, he became obsessed with music and sound, and made many sound-based weapons. Originally a criminal, he reformed and came out as gay at the same time. He became a friend of Wally West, even when the Top revealed he had changed the personality of some of the Rogues (the Pied Piper included) to make them reform; the Pied Piper was able to fight off the Top's influence and stay good. He has returned to being a Rogue, although whether he wanted to or is working undercover is unknown.
Weather Wizard The Flash #110 (December 1959/January 1960) Mark Mardon escaped from prison to his brother's house. His brother had just made a wand that could control the weather. Mark wanted the weapon and he and his brother got into a fight, and his brother was killed (although Mardon originally said he was dead when he got there, he has apparently told the truth to Captain Cold). Has an infant son, Josh, who was adopted by Iris West and has some of his father's powers, but only when his father is near him. Josh was later kidnapped by Libra and killed by Inertia during the events of Final Crisis.
Trickster The Flash #113 (June/July 1960) James Montgomery Jesse, a circus performer coming from a family of trapeze walkers, invented shoes that used compressed air to "walk" on air, enabling him to become a successful aerialist. Inspired by Jesse James, James made other weapons and became the Trickster. He was once reformed, but it was revealed that it was because the Top had made it so, and he went back to the Rogues. He was killed by Deadshot during the events of Countdown to Final Crisis.
Captain Boomerang The Flash #117 (December 1960) George "Digger" Harkness was a master of boomerangs, which he learned how to use in the Outback. When a mascot was needed for a boomerang company, Harkness was hired, but used the costume and boomerangs to commit crimes. Had many trick boomerangs. He briefly became the second Mirror Master after the death of the original. During the Identity Crisis miniseries, he was sent to murder Jack Drake (father of Tim Drake, the third Robin). But Drake retaliated in self-defense, and the two men simultaneously killed each other. Harkness has a son, Owen Mercer, who took up his father's title and became a hero after a brief stint with the Rogues. Harkness was resurrected following the events of Blackest Night.
Top The Flash #122 (August 1961) Roscoe Dillon used many top-themed weapons to commit crimes, eventually learning how to spin himself at great speeds, which increased his intelligence and enabled him to dodge bullets. He died, but his mind was so powerful that it took over the minds of many people to keep living, including Henry Allen and Senator Thomas O'Neill, whose body was reformed by Dillon to look like the original Top. He was later killed again by Captain Cold when Dillon tried to take over the Rogues during the Rogue War. During this time, it was revealed that Dillon had made some of the Rogues reform with his mental influence, and during the war, he undid it, making them criminals again. He had originally influenced them after becoming a victim of the JLA mindwipes, which made him attempt to become a hero until he was driven mad and changed back.
Abra Kadabra The Flash #128 (February 1962) Abra Kadabra is from the 64th century, at a time when science has made stage magic obsolete. However, he wants a career as a performing magician, so after he was exiled back in time he finds an audience to entertain and soon clashes with the Flash (Barry Allen). His "magic" is actually based on advanced technology, disguised with supernatural trappings. He sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for true magical powers. He joined Inertia's Rogues in killing Bart Allen.
Heat Wave The Flash #140 (November 1963) Mick Rory is obsessed with fire and at a young age burned down his house, killing his family. He then made a heat gun and used fire to rob and kill. He was one of the Rogues that the Top forced to reform, and when that was undone, he became a Rogue again. Even during his reform, his mind was already starting to turn to crime.
Golden Glider The Flash #250 (June 1977) Lisa Snart, the younger sister of Len Snart (Captain Cold), did not want to be a villain, but when her lover the Top died, she swore revenge on the Flash. Using sharp ice skates that made ice, she battled the Flash and got the approval of her brother. She was killed by Chillblaine, a villain to whom she had given one of Captain Cold's weapons. Captain Cold has since gotten revenge by killing Chillblaine.
Rainbow Raider The Flash #286 (June 1980) Roy G. Bivolo dreamed of being an artist, but was colorblind. His dying father tried to find a cure, but instead gave him a pair of glasses that could create rainbow-colored light. Bivolo decided to turn to a life of crime and was a late addition to the Rogues. He died during the Blackest Night storyline, only to be resurrected. In The New 52, he went by the name of Chroma.

Modern Age Flash enemies

In the Modern Age, the graphic novel The Flash: Iron Heights introduced new characters, many of whom would later become a new band of Rogues under the leadership of the crime lord Blacksmith. Some writers revamped classic Rogues, reinventing them through stories such as Underworld Unleashed, the Rogue War, or solo stories, while others reinvented a Rogue through new characters inheriting the identities. While criminals, the Rogues have been shown to have certain codes of honor about their behavior (such as refusing to kill women or children) and have even stated that they will not kill speedsters.[5]

Villain First appearance Description
Mirror Master II Animal Man #8 (February 1989) Evan McCulloch grew up in an orphanage, and after killing a bully, he escaped and became a mercenary. He was hired by government agents to become the third Mirror Master, receiving the original Mirror Master's costume and equipment. McCulloch ran with the equipment, becoming a criminal; then soon after, a member of the Rogues. He frequently deals drugs within the supervillain community and harbors his own cocaine addiction, both of which are a source of conflict with Captain Cold.
Double Down The Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001) Jeremy Tell lost a card game and then killed the man who won. After this, the cards in the dead man's pocket flew out and covered Tell, becoming his skin. He can mentally control the deck, sending cards flying and slicing at victims with razor-sharp edges.
Tar Pit The Flash (vol. 2) #174 (July 2001) Joey Monteleone was the brother of a drug lord, Jack "The Candyman" Monteleone. While in prison, he discovered he could project his mind into inanimate objects. However, his mind got stuck inside a mass of tar.
Trickster II The Flash (vol. 2) #184 (April 2002) After the original Trickster reformed, teenager Axel Walker found his equipment and stole it, becoming the second Trickster. He joined the Rogues, and took the place of the original Trickster. During the Rogue War, the original Trickster took back what was his. Since the death of James Jesse, Walker has tried once again to take on the Trickster title and his place among Captain Cold's Rogues.
Captain Boomerang II Identity Crisis #3 (October 2004) Owen Mercer is the son of the original Captain Boomerang, but did not know his father's identity until he was an adult. The two practiced together, and were surprised when Mercer found he had bursts of super-speed. When his father died, he was invited to join the Rogues, but later left for stints with the Outsiders and the Suicide Squad. He later returned, but was kicked into a pit occupied by the Black Lantern-reanimated corpse of his father by the Rogues for violating their "no killing women or children" rule. He was then killed by his father's remains.[5]

Blacksmith's Rogues

The following are members of Blacksmith's incarnation of the Rogues:

Villain First appearance Description
Magenta The New Teen Titans #17 (March 1982) Frankie Kane was a one-time girlfriend of Wally West and gained magnetic powers which killed her family. Not knowing her purpose in life, she became a villain and first joined the Cicada cult and the New Rogues before reforming.
Plunder The Flash (vol. 2) #165 (October 2000) Plunder is an assassin from a mirror universe, a counterpart of police officer Jared Morillo in the real world.
Girder The Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001) Tony Woodward was shoved into a vat of steel after he assaulted a female co-worker. He survived, emerging with a body composed of scrap metal. He joined the New Rogues, and took part in the Rogue War.
Murmur A surgeon who went insane, Michael Christian Amar now seeks sadistic ways to kill the voices he hears. His distinctive criminal act is to remove a victim's tongue early during the torture he inflicts. He also has a virus called Frenzy that will turn a person's lungs to mud in 90 minutes.

Related teams

The New Rogues

The New Rogues appear in "Gotham Underground", formed and led by the Penguin and consisting of Chill, the Mirror Man, Mr. Magic, and the Weather Witch. Additionally, Dick Grayson works undercover within the group as Freddie Dinardo / Burn.[6] The New Rogues reappear in Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge, with Libra recruiting them and a new Burn to help him force the original Rogues to join the Secret Society. After capturing Captain Cold's father however, the Rogues kill the New Rogues.[7]

The Renegades

A futuristic iteration of the Rogues called the Renegades appear in The Flash (vol. 3). This version of the group are police officers and members of the "Reverse-Flash Task Force" from the 25th century, led by Commander Cold and consisting of Heatstroke, Mirror Monarch, Weather Warlock, Trixster, and the Top.[8][9][10] Following their debut, the Renegades make further appearances in The Flash (vol. 5) Annual #1 and The Flash #761.[11][12]

Collected editions

# Title Material collected Pages Publication date ISBN
Paperback
1 The Flash: Rogues - Captain Cold Showcase #8; The Flash #150 and 297, The Flash (vol. 2) #28 and 182, Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1, The Flash (vol. 4) #6 and The Flash (vol. 5) #17 160 August 22, 2018 978-1401281595
2 The Flash: Rogues - Reverse-Flash 168

Other versions

In other media

Television

Film

The Rogues appear in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, consisting of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, the Top, and Mirror Master.

Video games

Miscellaneous

The Rogues appear in the Injustice: Gods Among Us prequel comic, led by Mirror Master and consisting of Golden Glider, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard. Additionally, Captain Cold is said to be in hiding while Trickster appears as a former member. The Rogues are initially incarcerated until Plastic Man breaks them out to help Batman's Insurgency defeat Superman and his Regime. Despite their being criminals, Batman accepts them because they also follow a no-kill rule.[16] Throughout their time with the Insurgency, the Rogues carry out attacks on Regime bases until they are attacked by Bizarro, who kills Heat Wave and Weather Wizard. Trickster, who was watching over them, arrives to distract Bizarro so Mirror Master and Glider can escape. The surviving Rogues later hold a memorial for their fallen teammates.

References

  1. ^ Jimenez, Phil (2008). "The Flash". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 124–127. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1. OCLC 213309017.
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 254. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #10 (August 2012)
  4. ^ The Flash (vol. 4) #13. DC Comics.
  5. ^ a b Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (April 2010)
  6. ^ Gotham Underground #3. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge #2. DC Comics.
  8. ^ The Flash (vol. 3) #1 (April 2010). DC Comics.
  9. ^ The Flash (vol. 3) #5 (September 2010). DC Comics.
  10. ^ The Flash (vol. 3) #6 (November 2010). DC Comics.
  11. ^ The Flash (vol. 5) Annual #1. DC Comics.
  12. ^ The Flash #761. DC Comics.
  13. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (June 2011). DC Comics.
  14. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #2 (July 2011)
  15. ^ Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #3 (August 2011)
  16. ^ Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five #1 (December 2015). DC Comics.