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Welcome Rogue to the X-Men

Brian Wood talks about how the past may not inform the future of this X-Man, plus her leadership potential and more!

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X-Men #1 cover by Olivier Coipel

By Brett White

The X-Men franchise's latest mutation takes the action and drama that fans have come to expect from the team and multiplies it exponentially. X-MEN, the new series from writer Brian Wood and artist Olivier Coipel, stars six of the biggest characters in the X-Universe bound together by duty, fate and friendship to form a heavy-hitting fighting force.

Fittingly for a book simply called X-MEN, the women that comprise the team represent time-tested, fan favorite characters with rich personalities. Wood skillfully brought the group dynamics germane to close knit teams to life while writing the previous X-MEN series last year.

Thanks to a prominent role in UNCANNY AVENGERS, Rogue has been pushed into the public spotlight as a card-carrying member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. But no matter who she assembles beside of, Rogue remains a loyal member of the X-Men, the team that took her in when she was at her lowest point.

Rogue

For Rogue, the X-Men represent more than a team; they're her family. Never has that fact been truer than in X-MEN #1, which finds a new team rallying around one of their own.

We spoke to Wood to find out how Rogue fits into X-MEN.

Marvel.com: UNCANNY AVENGERS writer Rick Remender has stated that Rogue's regressed a bit since the death of Professor X. She's much feistier now. Is that something you're incorporating into your take on the character?

Brian Wood: Rogue is certainly feisty, but I don’t know if that’s the word I would have come up with. I’m writing Rogue as the brawler of the group, as the muscle, as the one who engages the enemy first, with or without a plan and even with or without orders. She is reckless in the way that Storm isn’t.

Marvel.com: Rogue was originally portrayed with super strength and flight, two powers she became synonymous with, but lately she's functioned with just her natural gift of absorbing other people's powers. What power set will she have in X-MEN?

Rogue

Brian Wood: She has both of those things, those powers, and in this case she got them from Northstar. She needs them, obviously, to be the muscle of the team.

Marvel.com: Rogue spent the majority of Mike Carey’s and Christos Gage’s runs on X-MEN LEGACY as a leader of mutants. Now she's on this team with Storm and other equally capable leaders. How does she slide back into being a soldier and?

Brian Wood: Well, I always hesitate to define hierarchy in this book. While it's true that some of these characters were proper leaders in the past, and some of them have personalities that would seem to naturally dictate they be the ones to take charge, this is not a formal team in the sense of having a defined leader and ranks below that. This group comes together very much on the fly and in response to a crisis, so they work as a group and in whatever roles are needed at that time. So at no point is a conscious decision made by Rogue to slide back into a soldier role. She steps up to the job at hand.

Marvel.com: Rogue was a controversial member when she first joined the team years ago. Storm and Kitty Pryde threatened to leave if she was allowed to join. Rogue's gone on to become a mainstay, but do the circumstances of her joining affect her at all, today?

X-Men #1 art by Olivier Coipel

Brian Wood: No, for the same reason as above. They rally together to help one of their own, so any past drama, there just isn’t time for it. Also, as a general rule, I’ll be trying to look forward as much as possible and only reference the past when it’s needed to drive that story forward.

Marvel.com: In the past Rogue has formed deep and emotional connections with her teammates. She thinks with her heart more than her head. Is that how you're approaching Rogue in this series?

Brian Wood: I think at least for the first six months or so, she’ll be thinking with her fists. I guess that would place the heart in a close second place!

Pick up X-MEN #1, available now, and be back here next week to welcome Psylocke!

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