Rogue is one of the best X-Men in the comics. However, most won’t know that because the live-action character was sidelined following the original film in 2000. Rogue got more character development than names like Cyborg or Storm. But considering she was deemed the most powerful mutant on the planet, it’s disappointing that not much came out of her strong debut.
In fact, the world arc of her just wanting to touch someone felt forced. The idea itself wasn’t as bad as it is a traumatizing experience that she’s unable ever truly to feel love because of her powers. On the flip side, that notion never came from an overly traumatic experience. There wasn’t even an attempt for Rogue to try and tame her powers. The story arc felt sudden because her character wasn’t developed enough to really grow and hate her powers.
Fox tried their hardest to focus on the Dark Phoenix but missed their opportunity to really push Rogue’s powers to the limit. The character should’ve had her own story before coming to the conclusion that she needed to get rid of her powers. There are plenty of angles the writers could’ve gone with a Rogue mini-series. They could circle back to Rogue vs. the X-Men! The character had unlimited potential.
Rogue vs. The X-Men
The story was already set up in the first film as the character was on Magneto’s side. That could’ve been an excellent backdrop for the Rogue mini-series. Rogue’s powers could take a massive toll on the character internally. With each power that she absorbs, energy is drained from her own body. Both comics and television series have showcased the major effects her power takes on the character itself.
Rogue has never been able to control her powers fully. It would’ve been a compelling arc for the character to go on a slow descent to madness because of her unstable abilities. A character-driven saga in the vein of Legion. Which taps into the mind of the schizophrenic David Haller. Though the two characters are different in many aspects, the similarities are regarding the psychological toll that their powers take on them.
Rogue is the most powerful mutant in X-Men. The films sadly subdue her powers without really addressing the issue at hand. Rogue didn’t need to turn on the X-Men. But trying to tame such incredible power could’ve really brought the X-Men brand to a new level in terms of storytelling.
The Mini-Series Could’ve Helped Develop Some X-Men Characters As Well
The star of the show is Rogue, but that doesn’t mean other names couldn’t have gotten some necessary character development. One of the names is Scott Summers, who was severely short-changed as a character. Summers is the leader of the X-Men, but sadly, he took a backseat to Wolverine and was nothing more than Jean’s love interest. The Rogue mini-series could’ve challenged him as leader of the X-Men and pushed the boundaries that evolved his character.
The same thing can be said for minor characters like Storm, Beast, Shadowcat, or even Nightcrawler. That actually could’ve been the perfect exit for the mutant. It’s clear that the reason Nightcrawler didn’t return is due to the actor declining the role. However, the studio could’ve gotten someone to replace the comic book character and effectively given him a proper exit. The purpose of this is to highlight the X-Men as a strong unit.
The Fox versions of the film never really focused on that aspect much. The first set of films was more about Wolverine. The second was mostly centered around Raven/Mystique. Highlighting the entire team’s dynamic would’ve made a death like Cyclops in X3 matter more.
It Also Could’ve Deepen The Dark Phoenix Story
The Dark Phoenix arc was teased in the final minutes of the second film. However,The Last Stand was subpar and didn’t have a singular focus. There needed to be some time to develop Jean Grey’s character transformation into one of the most iconic X-Men stories ever told. Whether the events of Rogue changed Jean Grey or it subtly develops with each passing episode, it would’ve been vastly better than suddenly turning her into this powerful evil force. The story wasn’t executed properly because Jean Grey was never a focus in the X-Men films. In fact, prior to her sudden transition into the big bad in The Last Stand, there was barely any development in her character other than being Logan’s love interest.