The Independence of Rogue
Let’s talk about our gal, Anna Marie Raven. We just saw her in an awesome solo arc in Legacy, and now she’s appeared in the first issue of Uncanny Avengers. So what does this mean for her?
(Under the readmore are spoilers, so if you’re not caught up with things in the Marvel-verse, you might not want to read further.)
Rogue. She’s a fan favorite. She’s also a character that a lot of fans get really annoyed with. Well, that’s true for most characters, the more well-known they are the more they are both loved and hated.
(Except for Nightcrawler, right? Everyone I’ve ever met adores him.)
Like everything in Marvel, Rogue has been written by many different authors over several decades. Her history has been written, altered, and retconned. Knowing just what is canon for her can be difficult (especially her growing up years, as different writers have given us different ages for when she was adopted by Mystique and Destiny).
She was a terrorist when she joined the X-Men, who had defeated the Avengers single-handedly. She was an uncertain young girl on the cusp of womanhood with powers that prevented her from touching a single human being. She was distrusted by her teammates, but quickly proved her loyalty.
Quick-tempered and stubborn, she could be hard to play with, but at the same time she was intensely loyal to her friends and truly cared about her fellow X-Men. And not just the X-Men, or even the mutant population. Rogue demonstrated time and again that she would give up her life to save those in need, even the humans who hated her and her friends.
She was slow to forgive, though, as Mystique learned, and mother-daughter issues complicated much of Rogue’s arc in the 2000’s. A series of betrayals by her mother and then her lover (Remy LeBeau) left our spunky gal cold and distant, although she managed to take a group half-populated by ex-villains and turn them into a world-saving team of superheros. And then she saved the world again, but it left her dying and with a mind populated by billions of psyches.
Gambit and Mystique saved Rogue, but she was unable to acknowledge their concern. Her mind and emotions were fragile, and she knew that she needed time alone to heal. So she went on walkabout in Australia to confront her demons, and Gambit brought Professor Xavier to heal Rogue’s mind once and for all.
Leaving Australia, Rogue had control of her powers, and a mind of her own, and the ability to touch (and kiss!) others. But she had shared her mind so long that she wasn’t ready to enter a relationship with anyone, not even Gambit.
She went back to Utopia and worked hard, finding her passion to help young mutants. However Scott disagreed with her, and took her off that team. So it’s no surprise that when the choice came, she chose Wolverine and his students over Scott and his ‘army.’
But there was another choice to make, and that was Magneto. Rogue and Magneto have a long and complicated history. There is a crazy age gap (although Rogue’s certainly lived more than her years with all those other voices in her head), and Magneto’s ideology remains problematic. Rogue knows where he is coming from though, and is a voice of reason and compassion for him, although she’ll never go easy on him when he needs a telling out.
Still, although she is attracted to Magneto, when he asked her to commit to a more serious relationship, she had to turn that down as well.
And that brings us to the end of Legacy.
I’ll admit, I was sad when Rogue turned Magneto down. I ship that pair like crazy (although I love Gambit/Rogue as well) and thought it was well-written and made them both mature.
However, I also think Rogue had a good point. She’s still healing, still figuring out what her own life is. Her entanglement with Magneto was a diversion from her journey of self-discovery, and her time away from him only made this clearer. She can’t be in a relationship with anyone until she knows who she really is. It’s not fair to her, it’s not fair to them.
This character arc rings pretty true to me, as it is one that I lived a few years ago. And to be honest, I’m thankful for every moment I have had to grow and become my own person without a significant other - it’ll make be better for one that day comes. So I get that side of Rogue, even while my shipper heart is going “BUT NICE THINGS! MARVEL GIVE US HAPPY THINGS!”
And, despite all the writers trying to figure out where to go with all these different characters and storylines… I think Rogue’s overall story arc, when you look at it this way, makes sense. It works.
So now we see how they are going to write her on Uncanny Avengers. We saw her going back to a spitfire attitude with Wanda in issue #1, which I’m a little concerned about, but still, it’s very warrented. We’ll just have to see if the UA team gets that Rogue has grown up. She’s not just a quick-tempered stubborn Southern Belle - she’s a self-aware woman with a great deal of wisdom.