Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The Top 10 Rogue Stories of All Time (Part One)
Comic book fan site www.comicbookresources.com recently published their list of all-time best Rogue stories. Some of their choices were right on, but a couple of them were way off the mark. So as a lifelong Rogue fan, I decided to counter their list with one of my own. So here are the first five picks (I'm doing these in chronological order, not preference) for the required reading list of any Rogue fan...
1.) Avengers Annual #10 and Uncanny X-Men #158
Technically, these are two separate stories, but they fit together as the best look at Rogue's brief career as a villain. Both are written by character creator Chris Claremont, and both tend to show Rogue as just a real bitch. Other stories taking place in this 'era' portrayed Rogue as a spoiled little girl who wanted a glamorous life, or just a really conflicted pain in the ass. Avengers Annual #10 begins after Rogue attacks Carol Danvers, absobring her powers and personality, and Uncanny X-Men #158 is her first encounter with the X-men, with Carol along for the ride. Seeing as how Uncanny X-men #158 is the only time readers actually get to see Rogue and Carol Danvers square off (instead of being told about it after the fact), it's important to me to group the two issues together.
2.) Rogue and Wolverine in Japan Uncanny X-Men #172-173
Rogue's first adventure as after her reformation and admittance into the X-men. She's paired with Wolverine in a buddy-type adventure against the Japanese underworld. Wolverine was the member of the team with the biggest and most valid reason for hating Rogue, so it seemed fitting that he'd be the one to give her her "Baptism by Fire". Swallowing her joining the team must have been an equally hard sell for fans at the time, but this story proved that she was there, and she was there to stay.
3.) Uncanny X-men #182
Rogue's reasons for joining the team centered around her permanently absorbing the psyche of Avenger Ms. Marvel, and the split personality driving her insane. Eleven months after joining the team, readers are given their first real insight into this. Rogue hears an answering machine message from one of Ms. Marvel's old flames, triggering her stolen memories, and causing her to believe that she truly is Ms. Marvel.
4.) Uncanny X-Men #194
It's the X-Men versus Nimrod, the mutant hunting robot from the Future. After incapacitating nearly every member of the team, Rogue is left with no choice than to absorb the powers of her teammates. It's the first time readers get to see Rogue using her powers in such a manner and shows just how big of an asset she is to the X-Men. In an ironic twist of fate (or possible deliberate homage...), Rogue defeats Nimrod by using Nightcrawler's powers to teleport his left arm off (causing a major systems malfunction). Years later, Nimrod kills NIghtcrawler by calculating the trajectory of his teleport, and extending his left arm so when he reappears, he is impaled through the heart.
5.) Uncanny X-men #218
After the events of the Mutant Massacre, the X-Men's ranks dwindle, and they find themselves taking on new recruits. When the Juggernaut goes on a rampage, it's up to Rogue and the new X-men to stop him. This is Rogue's debut as 'team leader', made all the more important as one of the X-men under her command (Dazzler) was a former opponent during her villain days. It'll be another 100+ issues before Rogue officially gets the command of her own squad of X-men, but this issue is a perfect preview of how strong of a leader she is.