Reviewer: Mathan “Rogue-file?” Erhardt
Story Title: Rogue Profile: Heat Wave
Written by: Geoff Johns
Penciled and Inked by: Peter Snejbjerg
Lettered by: Pat Brosseau
Colored by: James Sinclair
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Publisher: DC Comics
The issue begins with Heat Wave hot on the trail of Murmur. When he encounters one of Murmur’s victims, he flashes back to his early years. Heat Wave reminisces about his childhood and how he first became fascinated with fire. It happened right before he burned down his house, with his family in it.
Heat Wave’s thoughts return to the present just in time for him to deal with some cops who mistake him for a criminal, as if it’s wrong for reformed criminal to prance around wearing a costume.
Back in his childhood, Heat Wave was teased by his classmates for always wearing winter clothes. After his “friend” locked him in a meat cooler, he locked his friend and his family in their house and burned it down. He then began hitchhiking and joined the circus, as a fire-eater.
But later, his passion for flames again overwhelmed him and he burned down the circus. He was feeling down on himself, when he saw a news report on the Rogues of Central City. There he realized his calling. He created a costume and hooked up with the gang initially through Captain Cold, though the two later came to blows.
In the present Heat Wave finds Murmur and faces down the criminal. Heat Wave beats him, but as he’s about to bring him in, Captain Cold gets in the way. The two duel which results in an explosion. When Heat Wave awakens, both Cold and Murmur are gone.
Heat Wave returns to F.B.I. headquarters in Chicago. Pied Piper and the former Trickster offer their thoughts on the confrontation. Heat Wave goes to a bar to drown his sorrows, and the issue ends with a glimpse at what really drives him.
I’ve never doubted Johns, but the fact that he gives Heat Wave such a well-developed back story is proof of his ability as a writer. This story is one of the best written Rogue Profiles yet. I’ve never given Heat Wave a second thought, but I can honestly say that I’m in love with the character now.
Snejberg is one of my favorite artists. This probably springs from his work on Starman, but his work on this issue blows that away. The art is crisp and clear. It’s also very clean and neat. Young Heat Wave and his wide-eyed infatuation with fire is very well portrayed. The colors are also great, especially how the flames look, and how light and shadow are used.