It Certainly Was “X-MEN”: Days of Future Past

Our hero is less enthused about Rogue than say, Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America.

Our hero is less enthused about Rogue than say, Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America.

I didn’t dislike Days of Future Past. In fact, I was entertained by it. Dr. Trask was awesome, and the plot moved along in ways that were interesting. The effects were great. The sequence from Quicksilver’s point of view, with “If I could Save Time in a Bottle” playing was the best part of it, hands down. Uplifting.

A good friend pointed out, though, that the film was quietly misogynist. To quote her, “there are maybe 15 lines delivered by women, and the only reason they talk is to advance the plot.” For a moment, I thought, “well, of course dialogue advances the plot…”

And then I saw it. A huge amount of the dialogue is about Xavier and Magneto’s friendship. Wolverine’s torment, emotionally, about all of the things he has seen and done. The Beast’s emotional regret about the failure of the school. there is a lot of real character development, and some serious bromance here.

I was stunned, in fact, to see Anna Paquin at the end of the film, for like A SECOND. Apparently, she had a much larger role that wound up entirely on the cutting room floor. Rogue (played by Anna Paquin) is one of the Most Effective X-Men…so that was something of a bummer. Apparently, Storm’s role was similarly curtailed.

I want to be crystal clear…I liked the film. But…my friend isn’t wrong. Wolverine gratuitously wakes up in the past next to a naked woman, who in turn, a crowd of men fight over, as her father’s possession. Mystique, who is a complete and total badass, also wears no clothes for the entire film, unless she is masquerading as someone else. Read that as…if she is going to be a powerful woman…she can’t have clothes. What Now?!

Still…a fun movie. Just indicative of how the fandom that I love might need to change its presentation a bit in order to include…I don’t know, half the Earth’s population as potential fans. It just seems like better business to provide a strong female character, so that you create fans of those characters across gender lines. Sure, everybody loves Wolverine. He’s Hugh Jackman, and has razor hands. Why not create a framework for young people to be able to identify with a female superhero? It hasn’t really happened yet, despite a rich character library.

Hence, why I drew the art. I have been drawing similar pieces for the past year or so about the Marvel movies…it seemed like the way to go. Those have all been more romantic pieces, to be sure. In this, I went with Rogue’s X-Treme X-Men uniform, which highlights the dichotomy of thought on the X-Library of characters.

Okay...so here we see a very reasonable superhero portrait.  The suit looks functional, extreme sports styled, and she has shade like Cyclops does, with primitive Google Glass, too.

Okay…so here we see a very reasonable superhero portrait. The suit looks functional, extreme sports styled, and she has shade like Cyclops does, with primitive Google Glass, too.

Looking at the uniform as a figure...it loses ground.  Still not awful, but french cut for no real good reason.  Tough looking leather, but still skin tight.  Total coverage, of course.

Looking at the uniform as a figure…it loses ground. Still not awful, but french cut for no real good reason. Tough looking leather, but still skin tight. Total coverage, of course.

And...how she was often depicted during this time period.  We don't usually see a butt shot of Wolverine straddling some super science.

And…how she was often depicted during this time period. We don’t usually see a butt shot of Wolverine straddling some super science.

I want to point out, that rogue is a strong case. Given her powers, her uniforms has to cover almost all of her. One touch from her can be very hazardous to her friends, or even to her. So, the demand of uniform design means she has to be almost totally covered. Here, we have a design that does that job, is clearly made of strong materials, clearly has functional components in it like the shades…and is still designed for pin-up value, because that is what the marketplace is after.

Also…at the time that was her uniform, Rogue was beyond a doubt one of the most effective X-men. She had flight, super strength, invulnerability, and she actually could use the powers of any person she had ever touched, at will. At WILL. Somehow, she chooses to dress like she’s going superhero clubbing in West Hollywood…perhaps to somehow hide the fact that she is strictly A-List in terms of superhero powers.

Forget that Film Universe Rogue only gets the disadvantages of the Rogue powers. No flight, no super strength, @#$% invulnerability…only the inability to touch anyone, and the power theft. For the purposes of film, she was aggressively subtracted from the A-List.

Hence, the artwork. I wanted to depict a totally A-List Rogue with our hero. She is easily competitive with the protagonist’s Generic Superhero Powers, except for maybe not being able to just chuck things into the Sun. Hard to say. She did defeat Nimrod.

I also wanted to go with an example of the tasteful, yet…not so welcoming art style that comics often have. Rogue is an attractive woman, to be sure. In the whole time I have drawn Adequacy, I have never yet drawn such painted on pants.

I think that was my friend’s point, besides the clear dialogue issue.

Next Issue: For Vergara…A Ruling!

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