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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?

94 Comments
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Posted by AgeofHurricane

This is a really cute idea, but no.

I highly doubt Storn--or any of the other X-Men--would allow an incompetent Mary Sue to lead them into battle.

She can stick to soaking up all the attention on the next squad that she's leading, or stay in with the UA or something like that. Rogue cannot lead, sorry.

Posted by Wowlock

I like Rogue but I am also scared that anyone who ''leads'' the X-men tend to turn into a Control-Freak or letting the pressure get to them. It would be quite bad for her to be the next '' victim'' of leadership.

Posted by NXH

@Gambler said:

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

Mine too! Probably Bachalo's best work. I'm looking forward to Bendis and Bachalo's new Uncanny book. Hopefully, it will be a Rouge centric book.

Posted by X711

Yes! Rogue should be the New offical Leader of the X-Men. (Not Havok) Only because of some of the following reasons: She's worked along side with most of all the other X-Men. (when absord) She can control others powers better than those she got them from and inadditon become a One Man Army, powerful enough to lead any team and know how to work with them an powers. She has history and proven her self many times in battels that she is a great asset. She has a way of getting through folks. Honestly I can keep going on and on... but Know She should be the next Offical Leader considering the Mday curse is over and new mutants are coming to. Going to need someone who can get her hands on them and know how or what to do. GO ROGUE!

Posted by Carolina574

I'm a big rogue fan, but that team that cyclops didn't want her to lead, didn't like three of those member betray the team shortly after in messiah complex...

Posted by tbone1225

Rogue is a terrible leader. Anyone else would be better.

Edited by save.me.now

Even though she's been acting a bit weird lately in the X-Men title I would still pick Storm or maybe even Kitty. But after them Rogue is a pretty good choice, she does have a lot of experience and seems to be in a really good place mentally which is more than I can say for like 90% of Marvel characters right now let alone X-Men.

Posted by kagato

You know what? Yeah, i agree, she would be a great leader for a new X Men team, she is strong and hold although she is a little more extreme, she holds the Professors views at heart. She has also proven herself to be caring of her team mates and good at making the best out of a bad situation. Id rather have her in charge than another Summers...

Posted by Veitha

The saddest thing is that it's likely that she's not gonna be a leading figure in Uncanny Avengers anymore :(

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

what x-men comic are the pictures from?!?!? i wanna read more BACHALO art =D (not read, but anything Bachalo i want nao).

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

If I could even brinG myself to care about the x-men after AVX, I would have supported this article. I loves me some Rogue..

Posted by Hastny

Yes! She would be perfect for the role. This needs to happen.
Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

Well...to be honest...Who is left to lead? You take Scott, Magneto, Charles and Storm out of the picture, who else would possibly have a chance to lead this team?

We can argue her merit to lead, but at the end of the day she is the only one left, and needs to step up to the plate

Posted by XsPectre28

Rogue or storm! but i do want to see some new blood step up & lead the x-men as a whole but rogue is also an Uncanny Avenger, i want someone that is FULLY COMMITTED to leading my favorite comicbook team!

Posted by Mega_spidey01

i think rogue would make a great leader, she's smart level headed and has what i take to get the job done.

Posted by Spideycap

@XsPectre28:

Im with you. Beast isnt on any other teams currently is he? I think he would be a great leader.

Posted by No_Name_

@Baberaham_Lincoln said:

what x-men comic are the pictures from?!?!? i wanna read more BACHALO art =D (not read, but anything Bachalo i want nao).

(hint: read the article)

Posted by ReVamp

I love Rogue, but no. I'd take a bunch of people before her.

Edited by evilvegeta74

Could you honestly see any of these guys following Rogue on a regular basis, c'mon seriously, Rogue?

Posted by John Valentine

JUST NO.

Rogue's failed in about every position she's been put in under Cyclops' and Logan's leadership.

Posted by Mezmero

I believe Rogue's capable of leading but what she's missing is a good foil to have by her side. A leader takes on a lot of baggage with all the decisions they make so they need someone close to keep them focused and grounded. Scott needed Jean around and later Emma to accomplish some of the most amazing things for mutant kind. Sure he went kind of crazy in AvX but maybe Emma cheating on him had something to do with that. Rogue already has a tragic love life so I don't think the added stress that comes with leading a team will help her mental state.

Having a moral anchor doesn't always need to be intimate. Wolverine needed Kitty Pryde to give him a reason to protect the future of aspiring young mutants in the Marvel universe. Bruce Wayne needed Dick Grayson around so he could crack a smile in his early days and so he could learn how to cooperate and lead an effective crime fighting family. Don't get me wrong, I think she has a flexible power set to utilize and has a good mind for leadership but what she needs is someone special. A very interesting article Sara! Keep up the great work!

Posted by feargalr

Rogue would be a good leader, but after AvX I love me some Cyclops. If Wolvy or other mutant leaders had their way the mutant race would still be on the brink of extinction.

Plus pretty much everyone in the marvel universe has been mind controlled into doing some evil shizz at some point, but I don't see any of them in prison! Cyclops was right man, I want that on a t-shirt

Posted by Munsu

Rogue can lead small groups and teams but as a the leader I can't see it. She just isn't stable enough nor has the constitution to lead everyone. She can barely manage to figure out what decisions to make in her personal life, so I can't see her being the one to make decisions that effects the entire mutant race as a whole. She is fine in the supporting role she is in. Anything more would be out of character.

Kitty should be the next "leader". She has the connections, the history, and is already running the school. So it goes Xavier > Scott > Kitty in my eyes. I think she commands the respect of characters like Wolverine, Scott and Emma well enough to lead. Storm would be my second option, but I don't think they would do that unfortunately.

Posted by shackle

I can read the titles of the articles and know whether Babs is the author or not

Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

Since people nowadays think teams are too much a sausage fest and that girls are thrown aside like rag dolls (seriously have non-comic book reading critics seen Emma Frost and Majik?) Rogue might actually kick some ass as a leader. Maybe not the whole squad (like a small chunk) but enough to prove her worth even more before taking on the big guns as full on leader.

Posted by Dazzlergirl0313

yes go rogue!!

Edited by FatFriar_16

LOL... I already thought Rogue was the current leader of the X-Men (at least the ones who are B rated and lower) after seeing that Legacy w/Mimic and reading A v X (where she guides all the X-Men to the Avengers).... She can definitely do it. And, all the people in evilvegeta's pictures would be better off doing their own thing (like wolverine [and cyclops is in prison]) or stepping back and letting Rogue take the lead for a while.

@evilvegeta74 said: Could you honestly see any of these guys following Rogue on a regular basis, c'mon seriously, Rogue?

Yes.... Plus a good amount of the ones would probably wouldn't/shouldn't follow her have moved on or died.

Posted by MACarpenter

@MadeinBangladesh: All-New X-men

Posted by Brazen_Intellect

If I was a member of the X-Men, Rogue would not even make my top 5 as potential leaders.

Posted by Timotheus316

Rogue is my favorite female X-man and has been for over 20 years. I think she is a very capable leader and also seeing more of her in the spotlight would be great (at least, for me).

Posted by Shieldbearer

Issues 188-193? Bachalo? Rogue leader? Winning!

These are some of my more recent favorites right before Messiah Complex :D

Posted by KDarkholme

She would make a great leader in my opinion. They really dont give her the shine she deserves for all that she does.

Posted by evilvegeta74

3. Rogue

Rogue is just a bag of fail, seriously. I don't know what's more boring, her dated and overly-prolonged Gambit-relationship drama or her new Mary-Sue complex. Massively incompetent in any role she's been posted to under both the leadership of Cyclops and Logan. Couldn't keep her dysfunctional team together pre-MC, ended up being infected with a virus and going comatose. Failed to look after Hope and Hellion post Second Coming and resorted to threatening the traumatised amputee. She required Cyclops' Utopian mutants' help when taking down Exodus etc. FAIL.

Posted by blackkitty

I love Rogue always have. Though leadership wise, I wish they would give Kitty Pryde a chance some time.

Posted by EternalGrandMaster

@Gambler: Yes SuperNOva Storyline was awesome. Rogue as The Entire Xmen Leader ehh I think she's gonna make too many mistakes or play it too safe scared to make an mistake. I do like her in charge of a Team more so than I do Storm. Idk why she hasn't been Set in another position like this..I don't count Xmen Legacy simply because there's Ppl like Magneto who try to take the Reins from here.

Posted by lykopis

@evilvegeta74 said:

3. Rogue

Rogue is just a bag of fail, seriously. I don't know what's more boring, her dated and overly-prolonged Gambit-relationship drama or her new Mary-Sue complex. Massively incompetent in any role she's been posted to under both the leadership of Cyclops and Logan. Couldn't keep her dysfunctional team together pre-MC, ended up being infected with a virus and going comatose. Failed to look after Hope and Hellion post Second Coming and resorted to threatening the traumatised amputee. She required Cyclops' Utopian mutants' help when taking down Exodus etc. FAIL.

**sigh**

Posted by Prodigy P

Hmm, I don't completely agree with this. While I find Rogue an excellent field leader, you need to remember that the X-Men are more than a team. They are a family, a community. Rogue may be relatable, but the most that makes her is a big sister. I'd say the role of leading the X-Men should belong to Cyclops (strict father figure), Wolverine (cool uncle who's actually a bad example) or Storm (maternal figure).

Posted by Killer_of_trolls

@Prodigy P: After AvX. I beleive Cyclops is retarded.

Posted by Prodigy P

@Killer_of_trolls said:

@Prodigy P: After AvX. I beleive Cyclops is retarded.

I luckily didn't read AvX, but I've heard it was so bad I'm pretending it never existed. The writers abused and shamed Cyclops' personality so much that I turned from a Cyke mocker to respecter.

Posted by LoganRogue24

Rogue should lead she can do it.

Posted by perry_411

She's terrible at picking sexual partners.

Posted by infonation

@LoganRogue24: I agree, Rogue no longer has Ms. Marvel's brawn, so she needs to prove she's got the BRAINS to make-up for it! Being a leader might do just that!

Posted by wmwadeii

I always saw X-Men Legacy as the Rogue book and she was a solid leader in it. Even though she was orignally brought back to Utopia as a counselor role she eventually came to her own and lead a team.

Edited by OmegaHans

Hypothetically Rogue's got a lot of heart, but she isn't that smart and makes too many rash decisions to lead the whole X-Men. A sub category team, fine. But the whole of those oriented, absolutely not. I don't hate her but she can't curb her temper, get's in people's face a lot and that will make mistakes in the field.

Though I don't think Wolverine should lead things either. The fact that they keep wanting us to see him as that sort of guy just insults my intelligence. Logan's like a Lieutenant in personality at the least. He's better when he follows, not leads. The Logan today is like Diet Logan with imitation lemon flavoring, tch... this decade.

The most level headed has always been Storm and this just seems to be too obvious for Marvel, so they got to throw a bunch of wrenches in that idea. Dipstick writers...