Rogues’ Gallery is an Unsuspecting Roundhouse

After releasing in late July, Image’s latest mini-series titled Rogues’ Gallery has received quite the buzz since. One of the unique footnotes about the four-issue title is that it is actually not written by a seasoned vet in the comic book industry. Rather, it is penned by actress Hannah Rose May who is best known for her roles in HBO’s Ballers and Netflix’s Altered Carbon. Television does not necessarily equate to competent dialogue in a comic book, so how does May perform throughout the pages of this series?  After one issue, it is obvious she can navigate the literary waters of pop culture quite proficiently.  Not only that, but the actress/writer simultaneously succeeds at keeping a surprise or two under her belt here.

The story finds a small group of young adults all fans of a super hero TV show known as Red Rogue.  The series stars fictional actress Maisie Wade who seems to be quite the polarizing performer.  As the group of acquaintances gears up to watch the show’s finale, there became a striking similarity of my own reality when my friends and I got ready to watch the Game of Thrones finale only a few years ago.  The disappointment that entire last season brought was unacceptable, especially since every season before it was so top tier.  Fast forward to 2022 and that same emotion of leaping from peak to valley is found in Rogues’ Gallery.

The small Red Rogue fan contingent has a primary focus on Kyle, one of its members who is a hopeful artist living with his verbally abusive father. The rest of the Red Rogue watchers/readers in the group seem to also make Kyle their verbal whipping post at times.  It all comes to a head when the group’s frustration mounts into a plan of action to break into Maisie Wade’s home and steal a prized possession.

Admittedly, the story was losing me halfway through.  I fully expected Kyle to gain super powers as the struggling comic book artist as he then shows his dad and “friends” what’s up.  As it turns out, that is exactly what does not happen.  The tale stays grounded in reality, foregoing the use of aliens, cyborgs, spell  casters, explosive punches and the like.  What happens at the first issue’s conclusion turned everything around for me, making me hope that issue #2 is still in stock at my local comic book store.  It’s like driving down the highway for a while, only to take that last exit from the far left lane at 80 mph.

Well done, Ms. May.  Well done.

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