The Flash: “Revenge of the Rogues” Season 1 Episode 10 Review

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Any fan of the Flash comic books will tell you that the Rogues are a big deal. Well, this television adaptation of the character is going full speed ahead on the group of petty criminals, pairing Captain Cold and Heat Wave in just the tenth episode. Quite the way to start off 2015.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Captain Cold and Heat Wave are silly villains. That’s the intention of most incarnations, this one included. And The Flash is a silly show, so whatever, this was simultaneously cheesy and a whole lot of fun.

My favorite thing about this series is how it celebrates old-school comic books. The villains say things like “How do you want to die, by fire…or frost?”. The Flash wants to be the comic books your parents grew up with back in the ’60s, or maybe even those that your grandparents did in the ’40s, not the dark, gritty, Frank Miller-adoring titles you pick up in the store today. In a world full of Dark Knights and Winter Soliders, even sometimes Arrow, this is incredibly refreshing. There’s nothing wrong with serious material for superheroes, but it’s not the only type of story you can tell. The Flash is a superhero that can easily get away with being a little goofier.

“Revenge of the Rogues” may be the least thought-out episode of The Flash. Captain Cold and Heat Wave team up to take down the Flash, who has yet to fully reveal himself to Central City. The villainous pair pull off a few heists, but Barry ignores them, hoping to focus on building his speed to take on Reverse-Flash when he inevitably returns.

Well, if you remember back in “Going Rogue,” Cisco, Felicity, and Caitlin were on the scene when Captain Cold was first defeated. Remembering his foe’s own team, Cold and Heat Wave kidnap Caitlin and broadcast their plans to kill her on live TV. This is finally enough to get Barry in costume.

Their Mexican standoff was the stuff of comic greatness. Two villains, one hero, and a bunch of cops standing by doing nothing. Whatever, the fight was pretty cool. Flash runs all over the surrounding buildings as the rogues fire their weapons at him. But not every villain can be beat with speed. To get their weapons to meet and cancel each other out (science!), Barry slows down right in the middle of them, putting Captain Cold and Heat Wave on their backs.

The villains are sent to prison, but not before Cold’s unseen sister comes and breaks them out of their transport vehicle! The next issue, er, episode featuring the Rogues writes itself.

The one thing bringing this episode down a bit was the Iris subplot. Her moving into Eddie’s didn’t need to be dragged out as it was. This was also a rare opportunity for Joe to be annoying, as his countless goodbyes failed to invoke any sympathy. At least, Barry and Iris started the healing process for their friendship. And luckily, this all had very little to do with the hero vs. villain plot.

“Revenge of the Rogues” didn’t set out to be anything more than a supervillain team-up. It was brilliant in its simplicity, striking the tone of a classic comic book better than any episode before it. The villains were appropriately over-the-top and the hero was suitably heroic. Now the world knows that the Flash is real, which just means that more rogues will make him their target. Bring ’em on. Grade: A-

Some Extra Thought Bubbles:

– Knowing the comic fate of Caitlin Snow, I have to admit that I was pretty worried every time Captain Cold pointed his gun in her direction. She was pretty close to getting a little frosty (wink).

– The Firestorm plot took a few steps forward this week, but not too many. When or how we’ll see him next is an intriguing mystery that still has a lot of dramatic potential.

– Joe is starting to pick up on a few reasons not to trust Wells. I sense a father-figure triangle being set up for later in the season.

– Speaking of, Barry and Joe’s relationship is truly something unique to superhero stories. How many superheroes have essentially their father behind them rooting them on? It’s a very cool and fresh dynamic.

– Eddie’s last minute save in the fight against the Rogues seriously boosted his likability points.

– No mention of the craziness that happened on Arrow‘s midseason finale tonight. Fine, I’ll just have to wait until tomorrow.


By Matt Dougherty

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