Why doI write Rogue so dark, anyway?
  • Definition of Rogue:
  • 1. Vagrant, tramp
  • 2. A dishonest or worthless person; scoundrel
  • 3. A mischievous person; scamp
  • 4. Villain
  • 5. A horse inclined to shirk or misbehave
  • 6. A vicious or destructive creature
  • 7. An individual exhibiting a chance and usually inferior biological variation
  • 8. To go on rampage

Way back when, as I read the few Rogue fics around, or rather, the Gambit fics with Rogue as a supporting character, I noticed two things: Inhibitor collars and naiveté so I set out to discover why. Why did such as obvious solution to her power and an obvious assumption about her sexual awareness irritate me to the point of ranting?

The inhibitor or power-suppressor issue is, first of all, a plot device. Second, if we assume it to be real -- pretend now with me -- how does it work? Does it manipulate electromagnetic waves in the brain? Does is suppress endocrinal activity? Am I being too anal?

Is a technological crutch control? Rogue's really big on control. It was the original reason she joined the X-Men. (Actually the real reason has to do with Jason Wynguard and Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix, but that's neither here nor there). An inhibitor doesn't tackle that problem, unless it's used as a stepping stone, but most times it's just a teary-eyed end all to her problems.

Self-awareness is the key to the naiveté issue. Working from that, does Rogue know herself?

She lacks experience but she does not lack immersive experience. "Remember who yoah talkin' to, the girl who absorbs minds. Who knows better about living a lie than me?" To live a constant charade is dependent on knowing oneself well enough to disguise it. It can also lead to believing the charade and forgetting oneself. But, there is no reason to assume she would not know various basic facts of life, thank you very much.

Finally what is her power, going beyond a definition by cause, what is her power?

She steals the very thing that makes an individual. In effect, she siphons souls. Around the world, "soul-sucking" is considered an embodiment of evil. It's represented through vampires which suck lifeblood, devils that steal souls, golems to borrow them for unnatural life, witches that sully them, and so on. All these beings are bad. Even when they're good they're bad.

So if we say Rogue is a vampire, as fans do in Spanish speaking countries, and therefore evil by nature, then the reason for not naming her power is clear. A hero cannot, by canon, be evil by nature. They can be bad, but only if they change their ways by the end. They certainly can't be a vampire unless they're half-human, redeemed by passage through hell or death, saved by magic or God.... You get my drift.

The challenge: To make Rogue aware of her nature and embrace it, thereby achieving self-awareness which leads to self-control, which leads to control of her power; to make Rogue accept evil to ensure good, on the assumption that using a powerful ability through luck is worse than using it deliberately in a safe manner (which is also debatable). After all, to say feeding off the infinite soul is evil is a leap of faith and matter of perception.

Brain Drain? Sure!

Jean Grey