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Why Rogue Should Be The New Leader of the X-Men

Looking at her past and her leadership abilities, Rogue seems like a capable replacement for Cyclops -- at least for the interim.

The last few weeks leading up to today have been pretty crazy if you live in the United States. If you don't know, it's election day here in America and that got me thinking a lot about leaders and what makes a good leader -- not just in politics, but in comics.

Recently the X-Men have suffered a massive blow to their leadership ranks. The Avengers vs X-Men story arc changed a lot about what we know of the X-Men and the way they operate. At it's core, it was an event that really changed the status quo, and if you were to ask a lot of X-Men fans, they might agree that right now, the X-Men don't really have a leader. Cyclops is behind bars and being restrained by the Avengers and many members of the mutant community. Professor Charles Xavier is dead, and Wolverine is too busy splitting his time between the X-Men, X-Force, the Jean Grey School and being a member of The Avengers. Right now, the X-Men don't really have a guide; they don't really have someone to lead them. That's not to say though that there aren't any leaders available, because there are. Aside from Scott and Wolverine, the X-Men have had plenty of great leaders over the years. From Nightcrawler and Jean Grey to Magneto, Havok and Storm; these characters have all spent their share of time leading the X-Men. Yet one of the best, and one of the best written was probably Rogue; and I think it might be time that she, once again, took the reigns of leadership and lead her people.

One of the factors that really draws me to Rogue's character as a leader is the fact that she has led before. Not only has she led the X-Men before, but she's had to make some really tough decisions, which, is one of the things that a great leader needs to be able to do well. In the Children of the Atom story arc, for example, Rogue brings two of the X-Men's most bitter enemies into the fold against Scott Summers' wishes. Her hope was to bring her enemies closer, have them work with her and at her side as opposed to against her. Not only is this a good strategy to keep an eye on the people you trust the least, but it's a great way to prevent an attack on the X-Men by either party (Mystique and Sabretooth).

In X-MEN #188 even Scott Summers recognized Rogues abilities as a leader. In this issue he pulls her to the side and gives her the chance to establish her very own "Independent strike force," to choose her own team of X-Men to lead and take into battle to confront threats that Scott can't handle due to his responsibilities as leader of the X-Men at home. He's essentially appointing Rogue in a crucial leadership ability; trusting her to make decisions in his stead on the battlefield that have the potential to tip the balance. In a sense, Rogue becomes the head of defense for the X-Men. She's got an undercover team of heavy hitters to deal with the threats to the team and to their race so that Scott doesn't have to. One of the reasons Scott chooses Rogue isn't just because of her super-powered abilities; but because of her leadership traits. She asks him in the first issue of this arc why he chose her, to which he responds by saying;

"Because you take risks. Because you're hard to predict. Because unlike the Professor I can see the differences between recklessness and inspired improvisation."

However, the very reasons that prompted Scott to choose Rogue, are the reasons that he uses in an argument against her character citing that he disagrees with a decision she makes in regard to Creed (Sabretooth) who came into the custody of the X-Men. In issue #192, Scott questions Rogue's decisions as a leader, citing them as reckless. You can draw an interesting parallel between Scott and Professor Xavier in this scene. However, Rogue takes her leadership responsibilities pretty seriously and she stands up to Scott reminding him that he chose her for a reason and that now isn't the time to question her judgement. A great leader needs to be confident not only in their abilities, but in the decisions they make on the battlefield. They need to be comfortable making tough calls -- like this one -- but being confident in the fact that things will turn out for the better. Rogue demonstrates that she's sure of herself and her capabilities, and I think that's important to recognize.In this arc Rogue stands up for her ideals and her principles. She doesn't back down when Scott calls her out because he disagrees with her decisions.

This isn't the first or the last time that Rogue has shown herself to be a capable leader of the X-Men. In the most recent (and final issue) of X-MEN LEGACY #275, Rogue proves that she can get the job done. When all other X-Men are busy or in prison and a prison riot breaks out, Rogue leads Mimic to the fight and in this moment she is able to both comfort the character as well as put the fight first.

In this issue she realizes pretty quickly that she's not going to be able to fight the riot with Mimic alone and that she'll need the help of other mutants. There's a great series of panels where Rogue proves herself to be a great diplomat. She stands before the group of imprisoned mutant criminals and explains that she needs their help. The fact that she is able to sway some of them is a great example of her leadership skills. You can't be a leader and you can't lead a team if people don't trust you, and it seems that Rogue is easy to trust. She demonstrates that she is capable of leading both on and off the battlefield; that she is both a great strategist and tactician as well as a great fighter.

If you want to check out some great Rogue stories, pick up X-MEN LEGACY #275 as well as X-MEN #188 through #193; there are some great examples of Rogue as a solid leader in those issues. What do you think of the idea of Rogue as leader of the X-Men? Do you think she can handle it, or do you feel that she doesn't have what it takes to do the job? Who else would make a great leader now that Scott is imprisoned and things for mutants are in flux?

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Posted by mattwing87

Yeah I am sad that X-Men Legacy is no longer focusing on her :(

I hope she still shines in Uncanny Avengers and in Wolverine and the X-Men!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

can somebody tell me what X book is gonna be the main title?

Posted by Twentyfive

Rogue is one of my top 5 fave X-People!


Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau

Issues 188 to 193 are some of my alltime favorite X-Books. Bachalo art, Rogue as leader.....

Posted by Renegade_X

OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by LoganRogue24

Rogue would be a good leader in my opion.

Posted by McKlayn

she would make a great leader, but one important detail your leaving out. She's an avenger now >.< and yes she could do both alot of people do but you don't want your MAIN x leader busy being an avenger, same reason (among others) that Wolverine doesnt cut it.

Posted by Blood1991

I think the X-Men should have a counsel with leaders not one leader and have for awhile. We have too many leaders who deserve the title of leader for every X-team to represent them. Of course field leading is a different matter, but I've always wanted Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Rogue, Emma Frost, and Magneto to set down a jointly make decisions.

Posted by x_29

No, no Babs. I like Rogue, but she should not lead the X-men.

Posted by Isobel

Rogue can be, and should be, leader. She's perfect for the role.

Edited by kid Apollo

hmmm i dono, i deffinently thinks shes great as the leader of a squad but i just dont know if she has the vision to lead a whole race of people, especially now that theres new mutants popping up. with Cyclops locked up, Wolverine bouncing around, and Professor X and Jean Grey dead i think Storm should be the new leader of the X-men. she has experience leading a large group of people helping Black Panther rule Wakanda, and has proven she's more then capable of holding her own with and without powers. if i could have it my way Storm would be the overall leader of the X-men with Rogue and Cable leading teams

Posted by stambo42

I loved the early part of Carey's run that got collected as "Supernovas", all the way through Messiah CompleX. She's out of the action by the beginning of Blinded By The Light, but I really loved her there. Conversely, I haven't care for the writing of her at all in the more recent issues of Legacy. She lacks the edge I love about her, the attempts to write her as a more mature and responsible leader figure have dried out the character, making her a more talkative version of why I always found Cyclops boring.

Conversely, while AVX was kind of wretched, I like the position it's put the characters in. For the first time, I'm actually loving Cyclops, rather than hating him or just loving to hate him. Making him an antihero with Magneto and Emma is just fantastic, and reflects the desperation of the Mutant community.

I'd enjoy seeing Rogue as a leader, but I want her to be a leader who makes mistakes. Though she gets the job done in Children of the Vault, and the subsequent stories, she makes mistakes, and in the end, her team turns out to be every bit as untrustworthy as one might fear. It made for a great story. I recently bought some trades of Storm's early tenure as leader, and she makes mistakes there too. Once she gets enough experience under he belt that she's less prone to this, she loses her powers for a while, making her more vulnerable in another manner.

I've always liked the X-men best when they find themselves making desperate moves in desperate situations. The stage is set for some great writing in that vein, and i'm hoping to see it here. If Rogue is going to be leader, let's cut the fluffed up competence of Legacy's writing. I want to see mistakes, and I want to see perseverance.

Posted by Mercy_

@Gambler said:

Issues 188 to 193 are some of my alltime favorite X-Books. Bachalo art, Rogue as leader.....

Hell yesssssssssssss

Posted by pspin

I totally agree. This is a great article, well done.

Posted by Miss_Garrick

Rogue should be leader! I can't think of any reason why she shouldn't. This great idea is long overdue!

Posted by KidKhaos21

Rogue was Brilliant as an leader for team in the Uncanny X-Men: SuperNova story arc up till the Messiah Complex event. I Love her choice of teammates as well; Cannonball, Iceman, Cable, and Omega S. as well as her enemies Mystique, Sabretooth, and Lady Mastermind. She was right about keeping her enemies closer cause either one could have harm or kill a student or staff member of the mansion. Rogue knows whats she got and try to work with it, in which turns out pretty damn good. They was a hard team to beat as well, especially against the Children of the Vault. I think that Rouge can take up the mantle again. I would love to see that.

Storm is another great leader as well in the ranks of the X-Men. Leading numerous X-Teams should make her a leader up there with Scott Her display in the recent X-Men comics made her a stronger leader than before. I was really hoping that she would have been the new leader of the X-Treme X-Men instead of this reality hopping/ Exiles taking Group led by Dazzler

Rogue Team: Rogue, Gambit, Mimic, Frenzy, Omega, Cannonball, Magma, and Iceman. (I think that these characters work the best with rogue since they all work with her but not Omega in which i think that she can help him understand his powers more better since they are somewhat similar to each other

Storm Team: Storm, Warpath ( Strong one of the team that's been underestimated over the years), Dazzler, Rachel Grey, Skids ( YES!!!!, bring her back into the fold), Beast, and Angel.

But I dont know if i want one to be the Astonishing-Team, the Uncanny-Team, the X-treme-team, or just the basic X-Men-Team. thats my thoughts on this.

Posted by KidKhaos21

@Gambler: @Gambler said:

Issues 188 to 193 are some of my alltime favorite X-Books. Bachalo art, Rogue as leader.....


Posted by Cafeterialoca

Honestly, I wished she was used more. But seeing how the only title she's in is Uncanny Avengers spells out that Rogue will be killed. It's a shame. She is popular, but the fact that she has nothing going for her in Uncanny Avengers and Remender kills frequently, I expect her gone by the time next event comes around. Screencap this for later, cause it's going to happen.

She also should have worked with the Thunderbolts. She would have been a good Thunderbolt.

Posted by ArtisticNeedham

That issue with her and Mimic was awesome. She would be great, plus she is a former villain so there is that possible drama in any story. I'll have to read this article in detail when I have the time.

Posted by JamDamage

I hate Rogue

Posted by Inverno

I would like to see that...

Posted by Apis

Rogue has grown into the role of leader and it suits her.

Posted by LaserLambert

Change her name from "Rogue" and maybe.

Posted by evilvegeta74

I don't know why time was wasted on this article, seriously, Rogue is an okay character , but she a basket case. Mentally unfit to lead, I hear a lot about her run on Xmen Legacy, what thats like a third or fourth tier X-book. What you have Astonishing, Uncanny, X Force, X-Factor , New Mutants, Wolverine and the Xmen, and other X-books then you have Xmen Legacy. Thats not even a forth pick come on.I stated she's okay but I would never let her lead a major team in a major X book.

Posted by Iron Apollo

I could see it.

Posted by frozenedge

If Logan can a school pretty damn well, Scott can turn from a straight arrow boy scout into a militaristic occasional badass, and Magento can turn away from his "Homo Superior are superior" ways of thinking ,then Rogue can definitely lead the X-Men

Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

@MadeinBangladesh: All-New X-Men is gonna be the main X-book. That's where all the important story developments are gonna happen. But I think Uncanny X-Men (assuming that Uncanny teaser was for X-Men) will be the a close second.

Posted by No_Name_

@evilvegeta74 said:

I don't know why time was wasted on this article,


Posted by MrXakaRebel

@Gambler said:

Issues 188 to 193 are some of my alltime favorite X-Books. Bachalo art, Rogue as leader.....

loled when I saw this, but yea I hadn't really thought of her leading the X-men until reading this and I'm definitely sold on it now. I'd love to see her lead the team, also her powers seem perfect to lead this team, nobody can ever really get too out of line with her around also she could arguably stand against any outside threats that would confront them.

Posted by Grey56

I didn't even have to read the article to legitimize the thought. I concur on principle, Babs ma'am.

Posted by Emperormeister734

Hell she had two X-man she that taught her how to be a leader I'm rooting for her

Posted by evilvegeta74

@x_29: Agreed 110%, Rogue should never be the leader ever!

Posted by x_29

There is only one leader for the X-men.

Posted by VioletPhoenix

To make a great leader, it's better to know both sides of the battle (good and bad) and she does due to her time in the Brotherhood, not to mention leaders need to know struggle and conflict and self-growth, Rogue has all these in spades. About time it's been recognized how strong of a character she is and how she's capable of leading a team anytime. Give her the main team to handle.

Posted by SoA

rogue is a good leader , i also really liked legacy since it was a squad with little to no wolverine (im a fan ) and yet was still engaging , x-men was another good read (storm , domino, psylocke, colossus , and pixie) very good well rounded team

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

I suppose she'd be a good leader. Never gave much thought to her leading but then again I was also only vaguely aware of her leadership abilities in the past. I say give her a chance. What's to lose at this point?

Posted by Tyrannotaur

Great article Babs. I agree that Rogue could be a great leader of the X-men. Though I don't know if she is really ready for that just yet. I can definitely see it happening in the future at some point though.

Posted by PassionFlower

If Storm isn't the leader Rogue is a good choice.

Posted by StormyWeather

@PassionFlower: i agree

Posted by Luster77

I'm all for Rogue being the new X-leader. She's been around a long time and has a lot of field and battle experience. Her time as an Avenger will only augment her status as the leader of the X-men. Running around with Captain America will say alot about her character in stories to come. Should she need anything, she's always got Logan, Storm, and Beast as council to further help her out as a Leader.

Posted by benjieweiss

This would be the best thing ever considering her past, powers, and prowess. Rogue is fitting for this and would have an excellent story arc as leader of the X-MEN!!!!

Posted by Lifeguard85

Rogue would be great with her own team to lead. Wish she would get her own squad with Storm re-taking the full reigns of leadership if she is going to remain with the x-men

Posted by cuddles666

Beast now represents the X-Men in the Illuminati (New Avengers), but he seems like too much of teacher and scientist to head a combat team and act as the de facto protector of mutantkind. And I certainly feel like Rogue is a deeper/more interesting character than Havok.

Posted by VanAce

X-men #188 was the first comic I bought.

Posted by GBrutality

This makes all kinds of sense. If only she weren't on the avengers now as well. I know they've done the whole Wolverine being on both and whoever else but take a second and think of this new position. The X-Men have never not had someone in charge.

You list everyone up there but the two stand-outs were Xavier and Cyclops. They were always seen as the two that would eventually return to their post. There may be a good chance Xavier's death sticks in the way that Jean's has I'm beginning to believe. Over the past few years they've really been weaning Xavier off of readers and he became a background character at best. His reputation tarnished (it makes sense for story telling but still, what a way to screw years of history) and his son, an old enemy, being a more prominent member than he was at the time were the biggest factors.

Rogue makes a lot of sense because she fits everything the team needs, they are a race that needs someone who isn't a mass murderer who has redeemed herself significantly and has the leadership traits to back it up and Rogue has that in spades.

If Cyclops goes this route that it looks like he's going, it's cool because it shows the Xavier as a figurehead, which was taken over by Cyclops, as well as Magneto now stepping out of his light and being replaced by Scott. He may have been right, but he's about to become a fugitive and a possible enemy. Like I said, the X-Men are about redemption and Rogue did that because of how she started but Cyclops cracked up. He can't really come back after globally being seen as someone who placed the planet in jeopardy with a cosmic entity. They were afraid of mutants when they just had powers.

Also, I kind of see Wolverine after X-Force wrapping up to be more of just an avenger and headmaster. Maybe they'll actually let him not be on 4 different teams (hey, a guy can dream).

Posted by charlieboy

I think Rogue would be an excellent choice.

Posted by poisonfleur

Hmm... I like Rogue, but she really has some boring moments. I am sticking with Storm as the leader when Cyclops messes ups. Loved it in the past and I would love it now. It seems Wolverine has taken what Ororo's voice should have been during recent X-issues.

Posted by Lykida

I really hope that Scott will be back as leader because he's done it all his life and is really good at it. But in the meantime Rogue is the best choice for sure!

Posted by liquid3601

Pixie should be leader. You are all crazy people.

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