If you’ve been disappointed by one or both of the Conan/Red Sonja crossovers this year, then I have a book for you. Rogues! is just that. It’s a Conan esque character, but smarter and less Barbariany; and a Red Sonja esque character, but with better dialogue, teaming up for adventures. That’s what Rogues! is at its heart of hearts or at least that’s it’s influences. What it’s become is a fantasy series like the worlds created by Robert E. Howard, but one that doesn’t suffer from the history or pitfalls from the aforementioned characters. Conan and Red Sonja come with a lot of baggage and a divided fan base of old and new. Whereas Rogues! has everything to work with and none of the baggage.
In fact, creator and writer El Torres unlocks the formula for the fantasy barbarian genre by ignoring the timeline. Some of his stories play out over the course of years rather than days, but no real time passes. Our characters don’t age and their number of adventures doesn’t decrease. It’s perfect because it means they can just be. They can get into a thousand adventures and you won’t see them old and past their prime still trying to go on. It’s makes you wonder why those other two characters can’t seem to do the same?
This issue, if you couldn’t tell from the cover, is about a baby. We meet the current King as he dismisses his harem because he needs to focus on being a father. The lead woman of the harem is pissed by this and calls in all of her debts to have the woman and her child killed. The other woman knows this and is told as much by one of the King’s men. He agrees to take the child somewhere safe and basically allow the mother to meet her fate.
The safe place? With our main characters Bram and Weasel.
If you like baby jokes, then you’re going to love this issue. Bram and Weasel are probably the last two people you want to be in charge of a baby and that’s evident when they enter a battle and begin playing hot potato with the kid so they can fight. Both basically saying that they need two hands to battle.
El Torres does an incredible job with these characters. They’re so simple and yet deep. You know what caliber of people they are very quickly, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have fun with them. That’s great thing about this series is that it’s full of moments that are both serious and funny. There’s a lot of humor this time around which really added to the overall entertainment of the issue.
I can’t recall if artist Nacho Tenorio has worked on Rogues! before, but I want to say yes. If you don’t know Rogues! is a bit mature with some nudity and characters that are scantily dressed. Tenorio manages to nail this maturity, but then also the psychical humor and action. It’s a great mix that really pushes his artwork. The world really comes to life with Tenorio’s artwork and transports the reader to this fantasy world, which is very important to nail with this series.
I’m always pleased by a new volume of Rogues! It manages to be consistent with its tone and fresh with its adventures. Again if you were disappointed by not one, but two hyped up crossovers starring Robert E. Howard characters then I suggest you take an honest look at Rogues!
Rogues! Vol. 4 #1 Writer: El Torres Artist: Nacho Tenorio Publisher: Amigo Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/14/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital