The Flash: Rogues: written by Geoff Johns; illustrated by Scott Kolins, Doug Hazlewood, and Brian Bolland (2001-2002; 2003): Relatively minor Flash volume of transitional stories between one big arc and another, leaving us with a cliffhanger to end this volume. That odd (and among comic geeks very popular) Geoff Johns mix of Silver Age reverence and extreme violence directed against supporting characters and villains is on full display here, to increasingly grotesque effect.

Turning Gorilla Grodd — that Silver-Age-born-and-bred telepathic gorilla villain from Gorilla City, home to a race of otherwise benign super-gorillas — into an astonishingly un-fun villain who enjoys eating human brains (you know, like gorillas are wont to do) shows some sort of talent, but it’s the sort of talent that’s made mainstream superhero comic books into the increasingly marginalized entertainment product they’ve become when they’re not being adapted into movies.

Scott Kolins is a serviceable member of the ‘throw lines on the page until something sticks’ school of cartooning. Inker Doug Hazelwood works wonders in trying to get all that busyness under control, but there’s only so much he can do. The clean, striking covers by Brian Bolland are nice, though, and a lot wittier than the interiors. Not recommended.

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