Review: Rogues! The Burning Heart #1

I don’t think there’s any other series that’s as easy to enjoy as Rogues! The series is lighthearted, full of action and occasionally dripping with sexuality. It’s like Conan if he wasn’t such a hardass and could enjoy life. The thing that makes this series great is that you never worry about the characters. I never once have this fear that things are going to get serious or that they’ll die. The status quo gets reset and you know what, that’s okay because it allows for bigger and better adventures the next time. There’s a great opening that re-establishes the world that Bram and Weasel live in as it walks us through everything that’s going on in the city of Gerada. After that we find an interesting scene in which it appears that Bram is attacking Weasel. Of course it’s a set up for a robbery, but go along with it because it provides some fun dialogue. Bram and Weasel make off with their loot and we get to see Weasel partially naked so everyone wins. When they return to their base and take a look at what they’ve stolen from Duke Clavius they discover more than they bargained for, but in a good way.

Rogues---The-Burning-Heart-#1-10.29.14Of course if you’ve read Rogues! then you know that nothing good can last for our duo. What follows is a series of events that places our heroes in a rotation of hands all trying to get the gem that they’ve stolen.

Rogues! is always good for a laugh and there are plenty in this issue. In particular the first time they’re captured, they’re left hanging above an alligator pit. The scene plays out like they’ve been left alone to hang and die, but in reality their arguing has to be interrupted by the man who captured them. But they continue to squabble as more and more people arrive to capture them and pass them around like a baton.

Writer El Torres gets this genre. He never once tries to make this story Conan, but he does give some great nods to what’s the obvious influence. From there though he makes it his own and creates a world that’s unlike any other in fantasy fiction. Bram and Weasel sound alike and act alike, but not because Torres couldn’t give them each a unique voice, instead it’s because they’re two people who have travelled together for so long that they’ve rubbed off on each other. They’re dynamic is a wonderful part of this story.

Juan José Ryp returns to the series with this mini or at least this issue. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love Ryp’s artwork. He proves it here with his masterful return. Honestly if I had to pick between Rogues! and Clone each month, I would pick Rogues! He leaves such a huge mark on this series and his attention to detail is masterful. That and colorist Miguel Angel Castillo is the perfect fit for his linework. The scene in which the duo are hanging upside down, Castillo manages to make their faces grow redder over the course of the scene. I was very impressed because it was my first thought and clearly Castillo’s as well and honestly when’s the last time you saw someone in a comic book have the blood rush to their head?

When you have this creative combination it’s hard to produce a bad issue. I mean Ryp alone is worth a five, but the fact that the story is entertaining and well-plotted and the coloring adds to Ryp’s artwork makes this one of the best titles out this week. The great part is, you don’t need to have read any of the other Rogues! volumes to enjoy it.

Score: 5/5

Writer: El Torres Artist: Juan José Ryp Colorist: Miguel Angel Castillo Publisher: Amigo Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/29/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital