The Rogues represent a group of enemies of the comic book superhero the Flash, currently led by Captain Cold including the Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, the Pied Piper, the Top, and Captain Boomerang. This loose criminal association refer to themselves as the Rogues, disdaining the use of the term "supervillain" or "supercriminal".
The Rogues, compared to similar collections of supervillains in the DC Universe, are an unusually social group, maintaining a code of conduct as well as high standards for acceptance. No Rogue may inherit another Rogue's identity (a "legacy" villain, for example) while the original still lives. Also, simply acquiring a former Rogue's costume, gear, or abilities is not sufficient to become a Rogue, even if the previous member is already dead. They do not kill anyone unless it is absolutely necessary. Additionally, the Rogues refrain from drug usage.
Although they tend to lack the wider name recognition of the villains who oppose Batman and Superman, the enemies of the Flash form a distinctive rogues gallery through their unique blend of colorful costumes, diverse powers, and unusual abilities. They lack any one defining element or theme between them, and have no significant ambitions in their criminal enterprises beyond relatively petty robberies.
Silver Age Flash enemiesEdit
The enemies of the Flash started to use the name Rogues during the Silver Age of Comics. Originally, the Rogues were just the Flash's enemies teaming together after they were all broken out of jail by another Flash foe, the super-intelligent Gorilla Grodd, to distract the Flash during Grodd's attempt at world conquest. After their defeat by the Flash, they formed a lasting group, and usually a Rogue will never commit a crime by himself. The Silver Age Flash enemies who became Rogues were Captain Cold, the Mirror Master, Heat Wave, the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, the Pied Piper, the Top, Captain Boomerang, the Golden Glider and later, the Rainbow Raider. These villains battled the second Flash (Barry Allen), and the third and fourth Flashes after Allen's death.
In chronological order (with issue and date of first appearance):
|Captain Cold||Showcase #8 (May/June 1957)||Leonard "Len" Snart was a criminal who wanted a chance to get rid of the Flash. Seeing an article about a weapon that might disrupt the Flash's speed, Snart made a gun and exposed it to radiation. Instead of slowing the Flash down, the gun could freeze anything to absolute zero. Calling himself Captain Cold, Snart started out on a criminal career. He is considered to be the nemesis of both Barry Allen and Wally West, and the leader of the Rogues. Known for being a sympathetic villain, Cold has a sense of honor. Cold has strict rules on how the Rogues should act, such as no drugs and not to kill unless they absolutely have to. Also has a sense of loyalty to his team and watches out for them. During Flashpoint he is Citizen Cold, the main hero of Central City, and the Rogues are his foes.|
|Mirror Master||The Flash #105 (February/March 1959)||While working in a prison workshop, Sam Scudder accidentally created a mirror that could hold an image for a period of time. When he escaped, he made more mirror gadgets, and became the Mirror Master. He has created many different mirrors that can do various things like travel into other dimensions. He was killed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, though other villains have taken his title.|
|Gorilla Grodd||The Flash #106 (April/May 1959)||Gorilla Grodd is a hyper-intelligent telepathic gorilla able to control the minds of others. He was an average ape until an alien spacecraft (retconned from a radioactive meteor, which also empowered Hector Hammond) crashed in his African home. Grodd and his troop were imbued with super-intelligence by the ship's pilot. Grodd and fellow gorilla Solovar also developed telepathic and telekinetic powers. Led by the alien, the gorillas constructed the super-advanced Gorilla City. The gorillas lived in peace until their home was discovered by explorers. Grodd forced one of the explorers to kill the alien and took over Gorilla City, planning to conquer the world next. Solovar telepathically contacted Barry Allen to warn him of the evil gorilla's plans, and Grodd was defeated. The villain manages to return again and again to plague the Flash and his allies.|
|Pied Piper||The Flash #106 (April/May 1959)||Hartley Rathaway was born deaf, but was cured after his rich parents sought a way to make him hear. Once he could hear, he became obsessed with music and sound, and made many sound-based weapons. Originally a criminal, he reformed and came out as gay at the same time. He became a friend of Wally West, even when the Top revealed he had changed the personality of some of the Rogues (Pied Piper included) to make them reform; Pied Piper was able to fight off the Top's influence and stay good. He has returned to being a Rogue, although whether he wanted to or is working undercover is unknown.|
|Weather Wizard||The Flash #110 (December 1959/January 1960)||Mark Mardon escaped from prison to his brother's house. His brother had just made a wand that could control the weather. Mark wanted the weapon and he and his brother got into a fight, and his brother was killed (although Mardon originally said he was dead when he got there, he has apparently told the truth to Captain Cold). Has an infant son, Josh, who was adopted by Iris West and has some of his father's powers, but only when his father is near him. Josh was later kidnapped by Libra and killed by Inertia during the events of the Final Crisis.|
|Trickster||The Flash #113 (June/July 1960)||James Jesse, a circus performer coming from a family of trapeze walkers, invented shoes that used compressed air to "walk" on air, enabling him to become a successful aerolist. Inspired by Jesse James, James made other weapons and became the Trickster. He was once reformed, but it was revealed that it was because the Top had made it so, and he went back in with the Rogues. He was killed by Deadshot during the events of Countdown.|
|Captain Boomerang||The Flash #117 (December 1960)||Digger Harkness was a master of boomerangs which he learned how to use in the Outback. When a mascot was needed for a boomerang company, Harkness was hired, but used the costume and boomerangs to commit crimes. Had many trick boomerangs. He became the second Mirror Master after the death of the first. During the Identity Crisis miniseries, he was sent to murder Jack Drake (father of Tim Drake, the third Robin). But Drake retaliated in self-defense, and the two men simultaneously killed each other. Harkness has a son, Owen Mercer, who took up his father's title and became a hero after a brief stint with the Rogues. Harkness was resurrected following the events of Blackest Night.|
|Top||The Flash #122 (August 1961)||Roscoe Dillon used many top-themed weapons to commit crimes, eventually learning how to spin himself at great speeds, which increased his intelligence and enabled him to dodge bullets. He died, but his mind was so powerful that it took over the minds of many people to keep living, including Henry Allen and Senator Thomas O'Neill, whose body was reformed by Dillon to look like the original Top. He was later killed again by Captain Cold when Dillon tried to take over the Rogues during the "Rogue War". During this time, it was revealed that Dillon had made some of the Rogues reform with his mental influence, and during the war, he undid it, making them criminals again. He had originally influenced them after becoming a victim of the JLA mindwipes, which made him attempt to become a hero until he was driven mad and changed back.|
|Abra Kadabra||The Flash #128 (February 1962)||Abra Kadabra is from the 64th century, at a time when science has made stage magic obsolete. However, he wants a career as a performing magician, so after he was exiled back in time he finds an audience to entertain and soon clashes with the Flash (Barry Allen). His "magic" is actually based on advanced technology, disguised with supernatural trappings. He sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for true magical powers. He joined Inertia's Rogues in killing Bart Allen.|
|Heat Wave||The Flash #140 (November 1963)||Mick Rory is obsessed with fire and at a young age burned down his house, killing his family. He then made a heat gun and used fire to rob and kill. He was one of the Rogues that the Top made reform, and when that was undone, Rory became a Rogue again. Even during his reform, his mind was already starting to turn to crime.|
|Golden Glider||The Flash #250 (June 1977)||Lisa Snart, the younger sister of Len Snart (Captain Cold), did not want to be a villain, but when her lover, the Top died, she swore revenge on the Flash. Using sharp ice skates that made ice, she battled the Flash and got the approval of her brother. She was killed by Chillblaine, a villain to whom she had given one of Captain Cold's weapons. Captain Cold has since gotten revenge by killing Chillblaine.|
|Rainbow Raider||The Flash #286 (June 1980)||Roy G. Bivolo dreamed of being an artist, but was colourblind. His dying father tried to find a cure, but instead gave him a pair of glasses that could create rainbow-coloured light. Bivolo decided to turn to a life of crime and was a late addition to the Rogues. He died during the Blackest Night storyline only to be resurrected. In the New 52 he went by the name of Chroma.|
Modern Age Flash enemiesEdit
In the Modern Age, the Flash: Iron Heights graphic novel introduced new characters, many of whom would later become a new band of Rogues under the leadership of crime lord Blacksmith. Some writers revamped classic Rogues, reinventing them through stories such as Underworld Unleashed, the Rogue War, or solo stories, while others reinvented a Rogue through new characters inheriting the identities. While criminals, the Rogues have been shown to have certain codes of honour about their behaviour, refusing to kill women or children, and even stating that they will not kill speedsters.
|Mirror Master||Animal Man #8 (February 1989)||Evan McCulloch grew up in an orphanage, and after killing a bully, he escaped and became a mercenary. He was hired by government agents to become the new Mirror Master, receiving the original Mirror Master's equipment. McCulloch ran with the equipment, becoming a criminal; then soon after, a member of the Rogues. He frequently deals drugs within the supervillain community and harbors his own cocaine addiction, both of which are a source of conflict with Captain Cold.|
|Double Down||Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)||Jeremy Tell lost a card game and then killed the man who won. After this, the cards in the dead man's pocket flew out and covered Tell, becoming his skin. He can mentally control the deck, sending cards flying and slicing at victims with razor-sharp edges.|
|Tar Pit||Flash vol. 2, #174 (July 2001)||Joey Monteleone was the brother of a drug lord, Jack "The Candyman" Monteleone, and while in prison discovered he could project his mind into inanimate objects. However, his mind got stuck inside a tar mass.|
|Trickster||Flash vol. 2, #184 (April 2002)||After the original Trickster reformed, teenager Axel Walker found his equipment and stole it, becoming the new Trickster. He joined the Rogues, and took the place of the first Trickster. During the Rogue War, the original Trickster took back what was his. Since the demise of James Jesse, Walker has tried once again to take on the Trickster title and his place among Captain Cold's Rogues.|
|Captain Boomerang||Identity Crisis #3 (October 2004)||Owen Mercer is the son of the original Captain Boomerang, but did not know his father's identity until Mercer was an adult. The two practiced together, and were surprised when Mercer found he had bursts of super-speed. When his father died he was invited to join the Rogues, but later left for stints with the Outsiders and the Suicide Squad. He later returned, but was kicked into a pit occupied by the Black Lantern-reanimated corpse of his father by the Rogues for violating their "no killing women or children" rule. He was then killed by his father's remains.|
|Magenta||The New Teen Titans #17 (March 1982)||Frankie Kane was a one time girlfriend of Wally West, and gained magnetic powers which killed her family. Not knowing her purpose in life, she became a villain and first joined the Cicada cult and the New Rogues before reforming.|
|Plunder||Flash vol. 2, #165 (October 2000)||Plunder is an assassin from a mirror universe, a counterpart of police officer Jared Morillo in the real world.|
|Girder||Flash: Iron Heights (August 2001)||Tony Woodward was shoved into a vat of steel after he assaulted a female co-worker. He survived, emerging with a body composed of scrap metal. He joined the New Rogues, and took part in the "Rogue War".|
|Murmur||A surgeon who went insane, Michael Christian Amar now seeks sadistic ways to kill the voices he hears. His distinctive criminal act is to remove a victim's tongue early during the torture he inflicts. He also has a virus, Frenzy, that will turn a person's lungs to mud in 90 minutes.|
The New RoguesEdit
During the events of Final Crisis, the Rogues rejected membership into the Secret Society offered by Libra. With Libra desperate to induct all of the Flash's villains, he recruits the New Rogues, who had first appeared as the Penguin's goons, to force the Rogues to join. The members consisted of: Chill, Burn, Weather Witch, Mirror Man, and Mr. Magic. The New Rogues had captured Captain Cold's father and were threatening to kill him if the Rogues did not report to Libra. The Rogues then attacked the New Rogues, killing each one.
The Renegades are cops from the 25th century. They are all part of the "Reverse-Flash Task Force". In The Flash vol. 3, #1, a Mirror Master's body is dumped in a public area by a shadowy figure in a Flash suit. Barry Allen arrives in his civilian attire and confirms that the dead man was not the real Mirror Master. The Flash arrives on the top of a building where he is confronted by the Renegades, futuristic versions of the current Rogues. He is charged with the murder of Mirror Monarch by their leader, Commander Cold. The Renegades members include futuristic versions of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, the Mirror Master, the Weather Wizard, the Trickster, and the Top. It is revealed over the course of the investigation that the Top had actually framed the Flash to prevent Barry from opening up a cold case that would reveal that the Top's ancestor had committed a murder that an innocent man had been locked away for, as having a criminal in his family would prevent the Top from becoming a member of the Renegades.
The Renegades return in the DC Rebirth era, still active in the twenty-fifth century, when they are sent back in time by a hooded man to arrest Iris West after she is identified as the killer of Eobard Thawne during a recent time-travel jaunt to their present, the masked man concluding that this will trigger a war between the Flashes to further his own agenda.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, the Rogues are assembled by Mirror Master who asks Weather Wizard, Tar Pit, Trickster, and Fallout to team up against Citizen Cold for seeking revenge.
The New 52Edit
The Rogues are referenced by Barry Allen to have previously been defeated by him and disbanded. Known members (so far) have been Golden Glider, Weather Wizard, Heat Wave and Mirror Master. The Rogues appeared in The Flash Annual #1 in a war against Captain Cold, the Flash and the Pied Piper. Confirmed Rogues include Golden Glider (Lisa Snart) as the current leader, Weather Wizard (Marco Mardon), Trickster (Axel Walker), Heat Wave (Mick Rory) and Mirror Master (Sam Scudder).
A year prior Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Mirror Master (Sam Scudder again), and Weather Wizard underwent a procedure at an unknown facility that would merge them with their weapons, giving them superpowers. The procedure went awry and exploded. Cold's sister Lisa, who was also at the facility, was caught in the explosion. The five were given superpowers but each in a twisted manner. Heat Wave gains pyrokinesis but at the cost of his body being burned, Weather Wizard becomes emotionally tied to his weather wand causing constant depression, Lisa becomes an astral projection of herself, and Sam would be forever trapped in the Mirror World. The Rogues blame Cold for this and have turned against him. However they are forced to team up with The Flash, Cold and Pied Piper when Gorilla Grodd invades Central City. As of Forever Evil, they seem to be working together again.
Injustice: Gods Among UsEdit
The Rogues consist of Golden Glider, Mirror Master, Heat Wave, and Weather Wizard. After being broken out of prison by Plastic Man, they agree to join Batman's Insurgency to stop Superman's dictatorship. Despite being criminals, Batman accepted them due to how they value their no kill code. It is mentioned that Captain Cold is currently in hiding, while Trickster is revealed to be a former member. After they carry out their precise terrorist attacks against the Regime by destroying several buildings, they are then confronted by Bizarro at the Regime Outpost, while Trickster watches them. With Mirror Master unconscious, Golden Glider tries to use his belt to escape while Heat Wave and Weather Wizard hold off Bizarro. But, when Weather Wizard calls Bizarro a fake, Bizarro becomes enraged and tries to incinerate them all with his heat vision, killing Heat Wave and Weather Wizard. Mirror Master and Golden Glider are revealed to be in a relationship as they hold a memorial for Heat Wave and Weather Wizard at their favorite bar. The Flash visits them, but the two of them angrily confront him and accuse him of being here to mock them and turn them over to the Regime, but Flash tells them that he has always respected the Rogues and came by to pay his respects and will not be turning them in. He then shares a drink with Mirror Master and Golden Glider.
In other mediaEdit
- In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance", the Wally West version of the Flash is to be honored as a hero of Central City. In this episode, the Flash, Batman, and Orion battle four of the Flash's Rogues including Captain Cold, Mirror Master, the Trickster, and Captain Boomerang, they attack the museum that is opening in his honor. This episode includes many references to the Flash's comic book and television history, including bringing back Mark Hamill as the Trickster. This particular group of Rogues can be seen hanging out at a local diner, its existence well known to the Flash. In this version of the DC animated universe, the Rogues seem to be second-rate criminals, using their particular skills to try to hurt or kill the Flash, but almost in a comedic sense. Due to this comical nature of the Rogues, it is revealed that the Flash has sympathy for the supercriminals and has, in some cases, even befriended one or another member of the Rogues.
- In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!", the Rogues appear committing robberies after Barry Allen is presumed dead. It is revealed that, in their own twisted way, they actually miss the Flash. They are defeated by Batman, Jay Garrick, and Kid Flash. After Barry Allen is revealed to be alive, the Rogues are so happy to see the Flash alive and well that they let the three speedy heroes arrest them. Here, the roster consisted of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, and the Weather Wizard, although Grodd, Mirror Master, and Captain Boomerang are shown as well.
- Much of the Rogues are prominent recurring adversaries in the 2014 TV series The Flash. The first to be introduced is Weather Wizard, portrayed as brothers Clyde and Mark Mardon (Chad Rook and Liam McIntyre); Clyde is defeated and killed in the show's pilot. Leonard Snart (played by Wentworth Miller) makes his debut in the fourth episode called "Going Rogue". He is branded "Captain Cold" by Flash's ally Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes), and in the episode's closing moments, recruits Mick Rory/Heat Wave (played by Miller's Prison Break co-star Dominic Purcell) and gives him his signature heat gun. The show later introduces Snart's sister, Lisa (played by Peyton List), who is given a "gold gun" and becomes the Golden Glider. Other Rogues introduces this season include Pied Piper (Andy Mientus), who in season two becomes an ally of the Flash's team after Barry makes a slight alteration to the timeline, and both the James Jesse and Axel Walker incarnations of the Trickster (Mark Hamill and Devon Graye), here presented as father and son. Late in the season, in "Rogue Air," The Flash is forced to recruit Cold in order to transfer a group of metahumans (Mist, emotion-manipulator Rainbow Raider, teleporting metahuman Peek-a-boo, the Weather Wizard, and Deathbolt), to Lian Yu, although Cold uses the opportunity to stage a prison break. In season two, Barry briefly helps Cold save his sister from an explosive charge that has been planted in her head by their father to force his son to help him with a job, Cold in return keeping Barry's identity secret and warning him about a planned team-up between the Trickster and Weather Wizard. Season three of the show introduces the Rogues Mirror Master (played by Grey Damon), a metahuman with the ability to travel through mirrors, and disorienting supervillain the Top (Ashley Rickards), who were acquainted with Snart before the particle accelerator.
- Captain Boomerang (played by Nick E. Tarabay) makes an appearance in the Arrow crossover episode The Brave and the Bold. In it, the Flash heads over to Star City to help Oliver Queen track down Boomerang, who is going after Team Arrow ally Lyla Michaels for her connection to the ARGUS agency, Lyla identifying Boomerang as the only member of 'Task Force X' to have escaped duty on the team rather than serving his sentence or getting killed.
- Both Cold and Heat Wave are starring characters in The Flash spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, with Miller and Purcell reprising their roles. In the series, they are selected by time traveller Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) to help him kill Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) on the basis that their lives are expendable and they can die without substantially impacting the timeline. Over the course of season one, Heat Wave is captured by the Time Masters and reprogrammed to be their bounty hunter Chronos, although later his original personality resurfaces and he rejoins the team. Cold's ongoing flirtation with White Canary (Caity Lotz) comes to a head in the season one finale, in which he dies saving the time stream. However, The Legion of Doom travel back in time in Season 2 to recruit Snart from a point before he even joined the Legends in "Fellowship of the Spear", resulting in Rory temporarily defecting to the Legion and helping them rewrite reality, although he eventually returns to the Legends to help them restore history.
- They appear in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox used by Professor Zoom to lure The Flash, so he can destroy Central City, as their belts were attached with bombs. The roster consisted of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, Top and Mirror Master.
- The Rogues appear as bosses in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame, using the same roster that appeared in the television series.
- The Rogues appear as sub-bosses in the MMORPG, DC Universe Online as part of the Stryker's Island Penitentiary Alert. They also appear as separate enemies during the Central City Bounties (The Heroes Side), which are part of the Lightning Strikes DLC.
- In Injustice 2, former Rogue member Captain Cold joins Gorilla Grodd's Society in order to avenge the death of his sister Golden Glider and his fellow Rogues killed by Superman's Regime which has caused him to give up on his code and actively seeks to kill Flash in revenge for his role in the Regime, despite the fact that Barry Allen later turned against the Regime. Captain Cold mentions the Rogues in some of his pre-battle dialogue as well.
- For other villains who are not Rogues, see List of Flash enemies.
- Jimenez, Phil (2008). "The Flash". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
- Blackest Night: The Flash #3 (April 2010)
- The Flash (vol. 3) #1 (April 2010)
- The Flash (vol. 3) #5 (September 2010)
- The Flash (vol. 3) #6 (November 2010)
- The Flash (vol.5) Annual #1
- Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1 (June 2011)
- The Flash (vol. 4) #10 (August 2012)
- The Flash #13
- Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five #1 (December 2015)
- Alan Kistler's Profile On: The Flash A detailed analysis of the history of the Flash by comic book historian Alan Kistler. Covers information all the way from Jay Garrick to Barry Allen to today, as well as discussions on the various villains and Rogues who fought the Flash. Various art scans.
- Crimson Lightning An online index to the comic book adventures of the Flash.