Rogue Trooper is a genetically engineered soldier, created by Milli-Com, to be able to thrive in hostile and toxic environments and be resistant against injuries that would otherwise kill regular human soldiers. His story takes place on a planet called Nu Earth which has been ravaged by years of civil war and can no longer support human life without the aid of specialized chemical suits and sealed domes. Created by the Southers as a super-soldier to overcome the dirty war tactics of the Norts, super-strength and superior battle skills unfortunately could not protect them from betrayal at the hands of the Traitor General and their campaign on the north was ended quickly since the Norts had learned how to defeat the GI's. The Genetic Infantrymen were slaughtered in a military disaster that came to be known as The Quartz Zone Massacre.
The underdog of the one sided war, Rogue, survived and managed to salvage the bio-chips - bionic memory implants designed to save the personalities and memories of dead GI's for resurrection/intelligence gathering - of three of his slaughtered comrades; Gunnar, Helm and Bagman. He saved their bio-chips from dying out by implanting them into his rifle, bag and helmet.
Their mission, as they remained stranded in the Nort territories of Nu Earth, was to hunt down the Traitor General and the Nort commanders working with him to bring down the Southers.
Rogue Trooper was created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons and first appeared in 2000AD prog 228 (1981). The series was hailed for its excellent artwork thanks to the craftsmanship of Gibbons and other artists such as Cam Kennedy, Colin Wilson and Brett Ewins. The character belonged to IPC Media up until 1999 and thereafter to Rebellion.
Rogue Trooper and the Genetic Infantrymen were ambushed when the Traitor General tipped off the opposition to their deployment into Nort territory. Only Rogue survived. He made it his goal to find the traitor and get revenge. Three of his fellow troopers live on in the form of bio-chips.
Helm, who was one of Rogue's commanding officers in the attack on the Norts, served to provide him with intelligence and to help use the enemy's technology against them. Bagman served to modify salvaged enemy ammunition and hardware, to create weapons and ammo. Gunnar provided Rogue's assault rifle with his own artificial intelligence, making him twice as deadly efficient in battle, if not serving as a sentry gun.
In war or at ease, Rogue and his three A.I companions bickered and joked and argued, which at the time of Rogue Trooper's creation was a fascinating theme only worthy of the most creative science fiction stories. As popularity waned however, with the revamping/rebooting of the character by other writers, Dave Gibbons returned and created a new envisioning of the original theme and then decided it was time to move on to a new character. Friday replaced Rogue and was popular at first but was quickly ruined by the overworking of several successive writers and in 2002, Rogue returned under the Rebellion label.
Powers and abilities
Rogue has been genetically engineered to optimize all of the functions in the human body necessary to fight the Southers' enemy, the Norts, and to enhance speed and strength. One trooper against an entire army boasting colossal sized tanks and lethal mechanised units, taking on platoons of highly skilled killers was hardly ever a problem. Superior skill and mobility in battle makes him alone the deadliest foe in battle, never mind the army of GI's the Norts would have faced if the Traitor General hadn't sold them out.
Although the Genetic Infantrymen weren't invincible, they're developed to withstand a certain amount of enemy fire and have thick, durable skin. Rogue Trooper is typically immune to all toxins, gasses, diseases and biological weapons with the exception of a few. In 'Cinnabar', a retrovirus is engineered with the intention of attacking Rogue's immune system. Rendered vulnerable to all of Nu Earth's environmental hazards, he is forced to wear a bio-suit to survive until he can overcome the virus. Also Rogue was rendered unconscious by a plant called Permafrost in an arctic zone and in a sillier example, Rogue once suffered breathing problems due to somebody wearing too much aftershave.
Despite already being a master of war tactics, stealth and infiltration, Rogue is assisted by the artificial intelligences of his three dead comrades who provide helpful advice and back up. With each bio-chip in charge of his helmet, bag and rifle, Rogue can multitask with barely having to lift a finger as well as use an array of tricks to outwit the enemy, thanks to his utilities being virtually alive and able to function independently.
Blue On Blue
Was a commanding officer in the battle for the Quartz Zone where the Genetic Infantry were massacred.
Was a marksman gunned down in the Quartz Zone; one of the more light-hearted characters in Rogue Trooper.
His secondary duty was to provide ammunition and first aid to the GI's and in his virtual afterlife, his role hasn't changed.
Is a female GI, or "Doll", and was a regular feature later on in the series. The story is that female genetic clones weren't designed for war but for technical assistance to GI operations. But Venus was sent along by Colonel Kovert to watch Rogue's back as Grand Admiral Hoffa sent his most elite soldiers to kill Rogue.
Was Rogue's eventual replacement in the series after a decade had passed and eventually witnessed the death of him. Friday was meant to be more unique for the fact that in his era, GI's no longer had bio-chips implanted and faced the threat of not being able to come back.
Another female G.I., and an ally of Rogue when he was on Milli-Com.
G.I. turned medical pilot, who appeared in the series Mercy Heights.
G.I. Doll fighter pilot.
G.I. officer who survived the Quartz Massacre as a bio-chip in an officer's service pistol, and who was later re-gened to hunt Rogue down as a deserter.
In a crossover after Friday had long been established, Rogue Trooper and Bagman returned to join forces with him in 2000AD prog 949. This story arc, concluding in the above issue, resulted in the death of Bagman and then finally the death of Rogue, who sacrificed himself to ensure Friday's survival.
The original Gerry Finley-Day era:
- Rogue Trooper (prog 228)
- Nu Paree (prog 229)
- Glass Zone (prog 230)
- Clash in Doomsday Valley (prog 231)
- Terror of the Decapitators (prog 232)
- Raiders (prog 234)
- Scum Sea (prog 235)
- Ascent to Buzzard-Three (progs 236 to 238)
- The Rookies (progs 239 to 240)
- Blue Moon (prog 241)
- Poison (progs 242 to 243)
- Fear of the Machine (progs 246 to 248)
- The Dreamweavers (progs 249 to 250)
- The Buzzard (progs 251 to 253)
- The Petrified Forest (progs 254 to 257)
- War of Nerves (prog 258)
- Bagman Blues (progs 260 to 262)
- The Body Looters (prog 265)
- All Hell on the Dix-I Front (progs 266 to 277)
- Assassination Run (progs 278 to 279)
- Hats Off to Helm (progs 280 to 281)
- Marauders (progs 282 to 289)
- Fort Neuro Prologue (prog 290)
- Fort Neuro (progs 291 to 302, 303-310)
- Major Magnam Prologue (prog 311)
- Major Magnam (progs 312 to 315)
- Bigfoot (prog 316)
- Bio-Wire (prog 317)
- Milli-Com Memories (2000AD progs 318-322)
- Vid-Vultures (2000AD progs 323-326)
- Eye of the Traitor (2000AD progs 327-332)
- Frisco Phog (2000AD progs 333-334)
- From Hell to Eternity (2000AD progs 335-340)
- Mega Minefield (2000AD progs 341-342)
- Gasbah (2000AD progs 343-347)
- Timeslip (2000AD progs 348-349)
- Colonel Kovert (2000AD progs 350-355)
- You Only Die Twice (2000AD progs 358-368)
- Message from Milli-Com (2000AD progs 369-377)
- Just Routine (2000AD prog 378)
- Blind Terror (2000AD progs 379-380)
- Death Valley (2000AD progs 381-383)
- M for Murder (2000AD progs 384-386)
- To the Ends of Nu-Earth (2000AD progs 387-392)
- Re-Gene (2000AD progs 401-406)
- Return of Rogue Trooper (progs 410-419)
- Antigen of Horst (progs 422-432)
- Return to Milli-Com (progs 444-449)
Stories written by Alan Moore:
Stories written by Peter Milligan:
There are three novels based on Rogue Trooper:
- Crucible (2004) by Gordon Rennie
- Blood Relative (2005) by James Swallow
- The Quartz Zone Massacre (2006) by Rebecca Levene
A 'Rogue Trooper' Boardgame was released in 1987 by none other than the Games Workshop
Rebellion released the Rogue Trooper video game for Playstation 2 in 2006 and a Wii version in 2009
In 2009 Rogue Trooper also featured in a guest role in the game Little Big Planet for Playstation 3