Tuesday, 19 July 2011

X-Men Legacy 249, AKA Screw You, Character Development!

Oh, Rogue. How they mistreat you.

I started reading the X-Men comics solely because I loved Rogue in the animated series and was disappointed by her treatment in the films. So as a disclaimer for this entry, I'll admit that I read X-Men pretty much soley for Rogue.

Rogue started out as one messed up little girl. And I like Rogue a bit batshit; the fact that she has demons is what first interested me in the character. But as I ventured into the comics I got annoyed with her lack of character development.

X-Men Legacy started to change all that. Rogue got some decent character development, she got control over her powers (finally), she moved into a leadership role. It was good. Now, my inner sixteen year old girl will always want Rogue and Gambit to be together forever, but I was cheering for Rogue when she told Gambit that she wasn't mentally or emotionally stable enough for a relationship and wanted some space to come to terms with her issues. She was finally taking control over her life. Now that's good character development!

Enter Magneto. Who is, as we all know, an evil homicidal shithead who is about 80 (yes, I know he looks physically younger. That's beside the point) and has a thing for young girls. Yes, Rogue's not a teenager any more, but that doesn't change the fact that in an alternate universe he married her when she was seventeen and they had a kid together and ew, ew, ew. Long story short, Rogue hooks up with him after saying a speech about how she should hate him but she can't.


Magneto. Magneto. The man who brainwashed her, held her captive and watched her lose her virginity through a camera, had her tortured and electrocuted, murdered her friends, beat her up, had no qualms about her getting killed, mentally raped her, stalked her and kept her locked in a vault for years just three issues before this hook-up occurred, and has yet to apologise or even show regret for any of these things. And this is just what he's done to Rogue, not to mention the entire human race.

Rogue was constantly telling him no. So the plotline of Legacy is "No no no no no YES."

Um. *twitch*

In one issue they've managed to erase years of character development and turn Rogue into a pathetic abuse victim. Jesus Christ. And this all happens after Magneto tells her this sob story about how he killed a doctor who did experiments on Holocaust victims as an example of what a bad person he is, not, you know, all the times he tried to DESTROY THE HUMAN RACE. Manipulative, much?

All of this comes not one issue after Gambit tells Rogue that she's the love of his life and he's willing to wait as long as it takes for her to deal with her problems and it's actually kind of adorable (yes, I'm a Gambit fangirl. Why do you ask?).

So author Mike Carey, a hearty Fuck You from me. You clearly have a) a mid-life crisis and must therefore place beautiful young women with men decades older than them, b) no idea about how to write romance from a woman's perspective, c) no idea about how to write women in general, or d) all of the above. Rogue is not a battered woman you can stuff back into her fridge whenever it suits you. She's a Badass Queen of Badassity and you know it. I mean, this is how you write the woman who had 80,000 different personalities in her head at one time and lived to tell the tale? Seriously?

Basically, X-Men Legacy 249 can be summed up best in the following comment I saw on a comic book forum:

Gambit finally called her out on her wishy washiness and told her to put on her big girl panties. Magneto doesn't care how wishy washy she is just as long as her panties stay on the floor.

It's empowering, folks.

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