The absolute easiest way to describe Rogues! is to say that it’s Conan the Barbarian with a chick sidekick, but they’re thieves. Simple right? Simple and yet you’re wondering about the story already. Another selling point of the book is that it’s intended for an adult audience; not just in its dialog and violence, but in its graphic nudity. I have never seen Juan Jose Ryp’s mature drawings and I have to say that it was fucking amazing. The art is of course great, but thankfully so is the story. Now, if you’re done thinking about boobies let’s talk about boobies… imeanthe book. The story kicks off with our two thieves Bram and the Weasel in a bar with Bram talking up the locals with tales of their exploits. He has two half-naked woman hanging from his arm and the ear of every man and woman in the place. He begins to tell a story that Weasel (his female companion) has heard one too many times and has something chucked at his head. She eggs him on to tell them the one about the chicken and how he swore he would never tell this group of bastards. Now that the group is offended he must tell them about the cursed chicken.
It begins with a job for a rich Baron’s son; he’s in love with the beautiful daughter of a Magician and has been banned from seeing the woman who has been locked in a tower. Bram and Weasel are on their last dime so they take a job to kidnap the girl so that the Baron can run away with her. Their plan begins with some paid whores distracting the guards while they climb the tower; it seems almost too easy as they reach the top only to find real gargoyles waiting for them. After battling them and Weasel nearly dying, they make it into the tower only to find the Magician’s daughter engaged in an orgy. Bram grabs the girl and they starting heading down. The rest of the scene involves some sex in an amazing locale.
The story is ridiculously fun. It never takes itself that serious, but keeps the world and the danger serious. Bram and Weasel successfully come across as partners and their back and forth banter establishes that the characters have a long history with each other. When I say this book is like Conan I really mean that. They have the same never-ending adventure type quality to them that defies the passage of time. Removing several elements like the nudity and mature dialog you would still have one heck of an adventure story. The fact that the main plot line is a bit ridiculous makes the story charming. I really enjoyed the dialog as it felt genuine when someone spoke it. There are a lot of sexy moments in this issue and really they’re good. Not always exactly tasteful, but they never come across as out-of-place or distracting. You quickly accept that this is how people roll in this era and just enjoy the show.
The art is amazing. Big fucking surprise right? I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m in love with everything that Juan Jose Ryp (Clone) has drawn and I’m not about to now. This is some of his best work to date. He’s always had a fantastic style that stands out, but now he’s growing as an artist and his storytelling abilities are vastly improving. The art on this issue may not be as detailed as I remember Black Summer being, but the art tells a story without even looking at the dialog and captions and that’s not something Black Summer can say. I seriously challenge you to read the story once and go through again and tell me that you don’t have the same basic understanding of the story just by looking at the pictures. It’s fantastic art.
The last great thing that I will point out about this issue is the fact that the creative team is very in tuned with each other. This is a true collaboration and it shows in the story and the art. Both parties trust the other to get them to where they need to be by the end of the issue and it’s great. I love comic collaborations like this because it’s what used to draw people to comics in the first place. This comic is actually very, very good. It’s something that the industry has needed for a while and I don’t even think they knew it. Pre-order, order it online or hope you’re shop gets it, but you need to read this book.
Writer: El Torres Artist: Juan Jose Ryp Publisher: Amigo Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: April, 2013