Thursday, 26 July 2012

Wolverine vs Rogue

Having had some more time to think about the central question in my last post - can the X-Men turn Rogue away having previously accepted Wolverine - it occurs to me that there's actually a couple of very important points to be made here that hadn't struck me at the time.

First of all, when Wolverine joined the X-Men, it was at the same time as everyone else in the Second Genesis team other than Cyclops.  The X-Men learned who Logan was as they went, which meant learning about his checkered past (as much as he was prepared to let on about it, at least), at the same time as they learned the guy was smart and dependable in a fight.  Sure, he was insubordinate and rude, but there was never any doubt that when the chips were down he'd pull you from a burning building.  The question was never "should Wolverine join the team", it was "Are the downsides sufficient to throw Wolverine off the team", which is a very different proposition. 

The second point involves why Wolverine signed up in the first place.  Basically, Xavier made him a better offer, suggesting something a little more interesting and worthwhile than beating up people Canada didn't really like.  He was on the team because he wanted to be on the team.  Rogue has joined up because she doesn't want her powers to go any further out of control.  She hasn't volunteered, she's been conscripted as the price of receiving potentially life-saving medical help (some would say that still counts as volunteering; such people are entirely wrong).  This might not be quite so bad if Rogue had offered up any contrition or desire for redemption, but she didn't, at least not on-panel.  The impression we get is that the Professor trusts her to keep to the deal they've struck, but it's rank sophistry to imply that deal in any way resembles Logan's motivations.


  1. This is quite true. Wolverine's violent past was only slowly revealed to the reader, if only because they hadn't made it up yet.

    In Classic X-Men #1 there's a backup strip ("First Night") (that went alongside the reprint of Uncanny #94), which has him admit to being a killer straight up, and that's the main reason Warren leaves the team, which sort of makes sense but is maddeningly anachronistic.

    Hello, by the way. I recently started writing an X-Men criticism blog myself, albeit less good, and just found yours.

    1. That's ringing faint bells, actually; I think I've read it at some point.

      And hello yourself. Don't do yourself down; I'm now running through your archive and enjoying myself a great deal. When people ask why Dazzler #27 isn't up tomorrow morning, I shall tell them it is your fault.

    2. Thanks. :-)

      I was surprised how fun it is - it's collected in trade as Vignettes. It brings forward all sorts of stuff that'd be later established, like having Logan hitting on Jean that night, early mention of Annie, etc.