Thursday 6 July 2017

X-Looks: My Favourite Rogue Costumes

I was bored and couldn’t sleep, this is the result, I apologize in advance.
Rogue’s my favourite X-Men, I’ve gone into it before but the combination of wanting to hug her, her nice hair and enjoying seeing her kick arse makes her number 1 in the world of AFB, X-Men wise. She’s had a lot of looks, all the X-Men have, even ones you’d never think like Iceman, she’s changed body types (and then changed back for some non-comics media), she’s had a whole slew of hairstyles (and nicely she actually just grew her hair out as Uncanny X-Men progressed, no big jump, just a gradual growing of hair – just like a real person) and she’s had a lot of costumes. I was thinking about my preferred look/costume for various characters today because…I have no idea why, I was spending the whole day shifting furniture on my own with no music, my mind had no distractions and wandered to all sort of things. Anyway, with some characters there’s either no debate and no competition for me (She-Hulk, it’s all Dan Slott-era purple) or not a lot of choice at all (Blue Beetle II & III) but for some characters there are multiple looks or costumes I like and I like ‘em all a real lot < I decided on this sometime between the mattress and the second glass cabinet.    
One of the characters that’s true for is Rogue, in fact I ended up with 6 looks and decided to make you a countdown, I’m sure you’re delighted. So just to get you up to speed if you’re not: Rouge is a Mutant from Mississippi who ran away after her mutant powers kicked in while kissing a boy she liked (Cody) and was adopted by villainess Mystique and her lover Destiny. She absorbs someone’s psyche, skills, physique and (if appropriate) powers through skin-to-skin contact - this is (usually) something she cannot control and were she to touch you for too long it could kill you - so she can’t risk any accidental skin-to-skin contact – this has left her with a few issues. After touching Ms. Marvel for too long she permanently absorbed her physical powers – flight, invulnerability, strength – and got even more guilt. Mystique sent Rogue to the X-Men to help her control her powers and she’s stayed with the team pretty much ever since, even leading her own squad at times. With that are you sitting comfortably? Then this won’t take long, don’t worry. 

6.  X3: The Last Stand (X-Uniform)
Debut: X3: The Last Stand (20th Century Fox)
I didn’t get Anna Paquin’s casting when it was announced, over a decade and a half’s worth of comics portraying Rogue as a leggy Amazonian made hiring this little cute girl seem ridiculous to me but looking back at Rogue during her early days with the team (when the first X-Men film was set and when she was a similar age), specifically how Paul Smith drew her during that time, Paquin’s a pretty decent fit - especially facially. Thus my love affair with Anna Paquin began (True Blood is like a dream come true, it’s like a month worth of Anna Paquin). Anyway this is pretty shallow really but I just like seeing Anna Paquin poured into a mock-leather all-in-one jump suit, I’m such a sad little perv for Anna Paquin in this get-up that it gets voted above other outfits and looks that many fans would consider classic, pathetic I know. I choose this particular movie’s version of the look even though the costume’s pretty much the same as it was in the previous film1 for the following reasons: Anna Paquin had matured considerably since her debut as the character with a body and more so a face that’s a closer fit to the Jim Lee/Andy Kubert/Brian Hitch drawings of Rogue that I think of when I think ‘Rogue’ (mostly because of my age and when I came into the franchise I grant you) and her wig had gotten much longer with a lot more white stripe and was being worn down - again making it a closer fit to Lee/Kubert 90’s Rogue but and also just being something I find more attractive than having it up in a ponytail like she did when in-costume in the first two films2.  

5. Nation X
Debut: X-Men Legacy issue 228
Shit Rogue used this look a while; she debuted it in the Nation X event and dropped it for Uncanny Avengers, that’s about three years and about two more than I thought. Anyway there seems to be a bit of a tug-of-war between green and yellow and green and white when it comes to what artists think is Rogue’s definitive colour scheme and I’ll bet you it’s almost entirely based on their age and when they came into the X-Men, to prove my point I came into the X-Men with the ’92 cartoon series when I was about 6 so I prefer green and yellow – except here. Why? Well I’m trying to come up with something more than ‘it looks very stylish’ and ‘it’s probably the scarf’ and trying to avoid ‘because it’s tighter and often shows more cleavage’ because I’ve already made myself look like a knuckle dragger in number 6 but all of those things are part of it, another is that it just incorporates a lot of things I find attractive when worn by women; little sleeves, long gloves, Golden Age of Hollywood worthy scarves and generally speaking I think it looks good when you have that little bit of shirt below the belt, like a skirt but it’s actually part of the coat/shirt/jacket? I just think it’s a nice design choice. It’s kept down through the sheer amount of competition not because of the colour scheme – which I like here (I think it’s the use of lower contrast greens, goes better with the white) and because while she always wears it well, I just prefer Rogue when she has her hair down.

4 Outback
Debut: Uncanny X-Men issue 230
Right, I’ve read the Australia era of X-Men a lot and I can say with almost certainty the following: this outfit is not one jumpsuit with a black and green design but rather a black body suit with green gloves, boots and ‘swimsuit’ over the top. If it’s not a swimsuit type ting then it’s at the very least a piece of fabric on top of the black leotard and not printed on. Marc Silvestri seems to have two fetishes or did in the late 80’s when he was drawing X-Men: big hair and covering up the girl as much as possible but making it skin-tight, the latter however works perfectly if you have a conventionally sexy character you want to look conventionally sexy but can’t really have any skin on show below her chin, the former is a great idea if that character has a unique element to their hair – say a skunk stripe – and you want to draw attention to that so they can be picked out easier – I very much doubt Silvestri thought of either of these things, he just wanted to draw Rogue in a skin-tight thing with lots of hair because he likes that shit but fuck it, it works and it works for those reasons.
Rogue used this outfit for her whole time on the team when they were based in Australia (with the exception of her final two issues where Ms. Marvel’s psyche was in control and she dressed the body up to match the mind in the classic ‘black with sash and lightning bolt’ Ms. Marvel/Warbird costume), Rouge must have been bloody hot, I guess it must breathe really well? There’s a couple of reasons why this isn’t quite as high as another look about which the same things could be said, I’ll get to them when we get to that look though, for now I’ll just say that it’s higher than number 6 (another largely black outfit) because it incorporates more of Rogue’s signature colour (green) and it’s being worn by Rogue the comic character in her Amazonian physique (I think Silvestri was the first person to give her that actually, though she’d been going more and more that way under the likes of Romita Jr), and it’s above number 5 because I prefer the black and green look for Rogue over the green and white and because I prefer the hair here.

3. Savage Land
Debut: Uncanny X-Men issue 269
It’s Jim Lee’s Rouge, so it’s just the Rogue we saw in the ’92 cartoon and all through the 90’s, MY Rogue, the Rogue I first met, with the same physique and hair and my preferred colour scheme for the character, only she’s dressed like a cavewoman themed 1980s pin-up dancing in a Madonna video. It’s sexy as hell and yeah that’s why it’s this high, I’m being totally fucking shallow here, I like this version of Rouge running around in sexy tatters with lots of hair. She appears in this costume in two issues I think (Uncanny X-Men 269 & 274) but this remains – at least amongst fan artists – one of her most popular looks and that’s because it’s sexy as hell, or I guess it’s conventionally sexy as hell and with that PC clarification I’ve run out of things to say, I like it for obvious, shallow and pervy reasons but at least I’m honest about it, I own my obvious, shallow and pervy side – when it comes to X-Men

2. Mutant Genesis
Debut: X-Men issue 1
For me this IS Rogue, this is the Rogue I instantly see when someone says ‘Rogue from the X-Men’, green and yellow, long legs, lots of hair, a very pretty face and a random brown leather jacket. I shall now justify the jacket in the context of Rouge: Rogue’s original costume used a jacket (with hood) and she has typically worn something over her tighter fitting leotard for all of her costumes up to this point, be it a jacket, vest top or whatever the swimsuit thing is in number four, so it fits with the character’s design up to that point, Rogue’s a flier and it’s sort of a flying jacket (streeeetcchhiiing) and girls in jackets with the sleeves rolled up to the elbow/three quarter length sleeves really do it for me.
Some of that should explain why it’s above 4 which is pretty much the same concept: a tight body suit to keep a conventionally sexy character looking conventionally sexy when she can’t show any skin below the neck, if it doesn’t I’ll try and be more lucid here: some of it is just personal preference and that this is the look that Rogue wore when I came into the series so I have extra affection for it because of that and some plain ol’ nostalgia; I have a thing for short jackets with the sleeves stopping around the elbow as I’ve just gone into (and I can’t promise you that Rogue isn’t the source of that, honestly I’ve never thought about the source of it before today but I bet she’s at least half to blame) and this has that while the Outback outfit doesn’t. I prefer the hair here, I just prefer the long hair that hangs down over big poofy ‘do Silvestri gave her but you know what really seals the deal? Her gloves. On the Outback costume (and the Utopia costume too) Rogue has long gloves that go up to be her biceps, they’ve very sexy yes but they make very little sense when you take into account taking them on and off regularity – in battle – the smaller gloves used on this outfit can be slipped off - and more so slipped back on - easily and quickly.

Buuut, if this is, to you, the definitive Rogue look why isn’t it number 1?

1. X-Men Evolution (Civvies)
Debut: X-Men Evolution Season1 Episode 3 ‘Rogue Recruit’ (Marvel Studios)
Two reasons: 1: it’s my definitive Rogue look for the comic books; such definitions mean a lot to sad comic fans, and two: plain ol’ bias for counter-cultures. I admit it; I am completely easy to manipulate - just add Goth Girl. But really Goth, Metal, Punk, make a character counter-culture and make it semi-believable and I will not only prefer that character to everyone around her and almost certainly fancy them, but do what she says. And it just makes so much sense (to me) to turn a teenage version of Rogue into a Goth, she’s this sympathetic, angsty, tortured outcast with odd hair colours for fuckssake – stereotypical it may be but still pretty logical it is also (to me) - and her outfit was done perfectly, at least her civvies (I’m not that mad on the standard X-Uniforms for Evolution, they hit as much as they miss). We have all of these design elements that Rogue has in the source material that just translate to the style of dress perfectly; the whole outfit: a tight outfit that covers her up, with boots and gloves and an baggier top of some kind, that’s true for all her looks up to this point bar the pink Shi’ar suit and the Outback one above, and only then because that had her wearing a tight thing over the top rather than baggier jacket/top.  And while I think a lot of X-Fans associate Rogue with either green and white or green and yellow she used green and black for the whole time between ditching her original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants costume to bumming around the Savage Land looking like a music video (with the odd bit of orange thrown in), well over half the 1980s. So not only do I find it exceptionally sexy but it doesn’t make my inner nerd pipe up with ‘It’s not like the comics’ either, I do wish she was a bit more statuesque because I prefer that physique for the character but it’s not such a great fit for this sort of design and just like Anna Paquin it’s not inaccurate to Rogue when she was young3, honestly I only have one complaint: why do her gloves have holes in the back? Aesthetics yes but it makes no sense otherwise, any skin contact from Rogue will do you harm including brushing against the back of her hand.

So there you are, you now know what looks and costumes I prefer for Rogue, I am so gonna do one of these for Storm, I’m sorry.

1 I honestly can’t remember if she suits up in this film or if it was only in promotional images, I’m not rewatching X3 to find out, sorry, I’m not putting myself through that for a post this short and irrelevant.    
2 again I honesty can’t remember if she suited up in the first film, she had a figure that was in an X-Uniform and had promotional shots in one but she was still in civvies during the Statue of Liberty climax, did she wear it at the very end maybe? Like the last shot or something?

3 often missed fact, Rogue was pretty young when she came to the X-Men - in her teens, I think she was 19 around the time of Inferno - I have this pet theory that her change in body shape can be explained in-universe as a side effect of her powers, especially holding onto Ms. Marvel too long (obviously it took a while to come out – as a permanent change - because she was still young, Ms. Marvel was in her 20s when it happened I think).   

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