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Rogue Defined
Rogue's Hair
X-Men as Morality Play

The Fan-Fic Drinking Game
Pros and Cons of Marrying an X-Man
Things We'd Like to See in X-Men
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What I Learned from Reading the X-Books
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The Invitation

Rogue "defined"

What makes Rogue "Rogue" and who is she?

She does appear to have overcome some obstacles in her life, but that to me, makes her one of the classiest characters in the books. She knows what she's overcome and isn't ashamed of the parts she had no control over. She shouldn't be. She is ashamed of some of the parts she did have control over, regardless of her having been a minor at the time, but that gives her another healthy dollop of class, IMHO, as well.

Yes, Mystique had a part in the stuff she came from. She left Mystique. She still loves Mystique and has been there for her when she was needed, but especially lately, has made some very tough choices about her priorities in that sense and, I think, realized that she's not responsible for what Mystique has gotten herself into. She doesn't have to feel good about that and obviously doesn't. Her heart is torn, but if it weren't I'd be complaining about the writers not painting Rogue well again. This recent stuff, where Rogue tried to be there for Mystique, but in the end chose the X-Men, to me showed she is growing and has broken away from any "definition" of her character that might have been inspired by Mystique. Rogue's seeing that she has to do what she knows is right and I think she made the right decision there and I liked that.

Yes, she's was initially defined by Mystique in the way that anyone is by those who have raised them and been major influences in their youth. However, as adults we look at those examples/role models and decide which of their characteristics we've seen that we want to keep for ourselves and what we want to create anew for our own individualism. Regardless of whether we throw most of the things taught to us by our major caretakers away and create a lot of stuff anew, it's still healthy to care about and respect those who did take care of us. That is, of course, unless by doing something very wrong or hurtful to us, they have done things which causes us to erase respect they might have otherwise earned by caring for us and make them re-earn it, if they can. Mystique tends to play a middle ground with Rogue. She varys between caring for Rogue, wanting Rogue to be with her and wanting Rogue to be there for her and caring mostly for herself and being angry, disappointed and revengeful toward Rogue when she doesn't fall into her footsteps. She's often said the real reason she grew to love Rogue was because Rogue reminded her so much of herself. Although in the past she hasn't been quite "vengeful", she has made it no secret to Rogue on several occasions that Rogue doesn't live up to her ideals and that she's a constant disappointment. She tells Rogue she loves and cares about her, but at the same time makes it clear that's a very conditional love and that she's disgusted with her actions whenever she does anything that doesn't fall right into line with what she thinks Rogue should have done or should be doing or is trying to do or whatever.

Sometimes, Mystique's had a point. The Agee storyline, for instance, comes to mind. It seems it was a good thing Mystique happened to be there as it turned out, but really it was just coincidence and Mystique berated Rogue pretty mercilessly for being so careless when Rogue really hadn't been so. Rogue had checked into things or at least tried, but Mystique showed no motivation to find out why Rogue thought Rogue was doing this or why she wasn't being terribly careful and not taking any chances. Instead of talking to Rogue about it in a supportive way, though, asking why she'd do such a thing, she made assumptions and attacked Rogue with angry, hurtful, button-pushing. Rogue showed more signs of breaking away from Mystique then when she told Mystique that she'd seen her thoughts and that they "weren't right". She listened to what Mystique had to say and let what wisdom there was in it in without letting the insults add to her low self-esteem. In the end, Rogue made the decision on how to handle things and Mystique was not only unhappy about that, but it appears she may have even killed Agee to make sure Rogue didn't get the chance to ever rethink her decision. Ties like htat Rogue can do without. Rogue knows Mystique has a basic criminal mind and even at 17 and as a member of the BOEM, she was already showing signs of rebelling against that.

She'll probably always (if written decently in the book) have issues tearing at her that weigh heavily on her own ideals vs. her love for Mystique, whom she knows doesn't share those ideals. But that very controversy is, I feel, what shows that Rogue is not defined by Mystique. Maybe by the controversy of loving someone she has problems trusting and respecting, but not by Mystique herself and that, to me, makes Rogue way above "trashy".

Finally, "Southern" is something that can help define her, but I think only to the point she allows it to and only if others want to define her by stereotypes accorded to people of certain backgrounds, locales, cultures, etc., whether for good or bad.

To me, a person is defined not by the things thrown at them in life, but how they handle them.

Still, because this thread started with the movie not having Rogue and Mystique show ties in it, I should close this by noting that I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, either. It's my understanding that the first sequel will have something to do with Gambit and that may, in turn, bring Rogue in as a more major player as well in that next film. If so, I can see how they might introduce the idea that Rogue was rasied by Mystique then or that she has at least some ties to her in a caretaker way. Even in the books, this was done with Cyke and Sinister. It was revealed later in the books that the orphanage Cyke grew up in after he thought his parents were killed was not-so-coincidentally run by Sinister, whom he hadn't recognized as that person. A similar story could be "revealed" in later plotlines.

But my point above is that even if it isn't, I don't think it's going to make such a difference in Rogue's character that her not being tied to Mystique in the movie will naturally make the movie and Rogue's character in it stink by default. It might make that movie character better. I'd rather keep an open mind.


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