Monday, May 23, 2011

X-men Marathon: Character Spotlight - Rogue

It's hard to talk about a character that so many people already know so much about. What could I tell you that you don't already know? I've decided to simply list some of the things I enjoy about her and tell you what they mean to me.

1. Rogue is southern

From the moment you hear her talk or read that "Ah" instead of "I" in the comics, you know Rogue is from the south. Mississippi, to be exact. While there's a bit of rivalry at times between Louisiana and Mississippi when we fight for that 49th spot in education or obesity (I kid! Well, I wish I was kidding), the fact is there are a lot of people who have lived on either side of the state line at various points in our lives. While never to be confused with one another, the two are definitely linked.

2. Rogue has superhuman strength and is invulnerable to harm

Some of the adaptations skip this, and she's occasionally lost these powers in the comics, but the Rogue I'm most familiar with has them. Being someone who is small in stature and not really good at sports, seeing someone who could dish out and take harm with little effort appealed to me as a kid.

3. At one time, Rogue had another person's personality inside her head

When she permanently absorbed those Ms. Marvel powers mentioned above, she took her personality along with it, and the two struggled for control of Rogue's body. While it's certainly not an exact issue I'm familiar with, I think we all know what it's like to be conflicted at times. In those confusing adolescent years, it was especially the case for me.

4. Rogue cannot make physical contact with another person without absorbing their powers and memories

Recently in the comics, Rogue has gained control over her powers and can now touch people without hurting them if she so chooses. I cannot help but think sooner or later this will be reversed somehow. They've occasionally allowed her to touch others in the past but it never lasts very long. It's pretty central to her character, after all, and I dare say what makes her most appealing. It's the tragedy of not being able to be close to another person that we all sympathize with and understand. As someone with a wide personal bubble who literally isn't comfortable getting close to people, I really understand it.

5. For a long time, no one knew Rogue's real name

The movie is basically what started them finally revealing Rogue's name, and I guess that makes sense. Since we see her right as her powers emerged, I can understand bringing it up. But honestly, I don't care what her real name is. No one ever pronounces or spells my first name right, even when it's right in front of their face, so the idea of someone going only by a codename really appealed to me when I was young. Given that I largely give people a nickname these days, I guess it still does.

6. Rogue has a white stripe in her hair

I used to think this was so cool back then, and thought about getting a stripe dyed into my hair. I've since outgrown the urge, but guess where my first grey hair is? I'm secretly hoping that the others will continue to show right next to it.

If you love Rogue as much as I do, or want to understand a little more why she is so awesome, I suggest checking out the excellent feature Jetwolf has been doing on her blog, which highlights some of the awesome moments of Rogue from the comics.(The title is technically NSFW, but the content is mostly ok.)

3 comments:

  1. +JMJ+

    I agree that Rogue's inability to touch other people--or the majority of other people--is central to her character. I remember feeling conflicted when reading the comics in which she has fallen in love with Magneto and even had a child with him. I didn't blame her at all . . . but at the same time, I felt as if she had sold out. =/

    The writers were pretty smart when they made sure all her problems weren't solved by her getting to touch a lover. Doesn't so much of the emotional impact from her relationship with Gambit come from our belief that if they could only touch each other, everything would be a little better? Rogue wouldn't need to be able to touch anyone else, just Gambit. Etc. And maybe she believed it a little, too. But that assumption gets turned completely on its head when she gets to touch her husband . . . but not their son. And then her powers become a hundred times more of a curse than they already were.

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  2. It's been so long since I read the Age of Apocalypse I don't really remember the circumstances that brought her and Magneto together. I've always wanted to read the issues of her and Magneto in the Savage Land, because the two of them seem so different and I never really understood how there could have been an attraction. Of course, it may just be the fact that I feel she and Gambit are so right for each other that I can't see her with anyone else.

    Your spot on about the inability to touch her child, though you sort of have to wonder how she could give birth to him in the first place..

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  3. +JMJ+

    Maybe it was all right until the umbilical cord was cut? I can imagine her thinking it would always be all right and then realising, with a shock, that she was actually hurting her newborn son. It would have been so traumatic! =(

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