The MCU Has The Perfect X-Men Villain Origin Opportunity

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

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When X-Men came out in 2000, Rogue, played by Anna Paquin, played a prominent role as the point of view character brought to Xavier’s school by the X-Men. While Paquin’s version had the personality and mutant power of the comic book character, she lacked her villainous background and stolen powers. The MCU should make their version notable by embracing those elements of the character and introducing her not as a member of the X-Men but as a Captain Marvel villain. 

Rogue As A Captain Marvel Villain

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The version of Rogue that most comic fans know has the powers of flight, invulnerability, and super strength, in addition to her power-stealing ability. These extra powers were stolen permanently from Carol Danvers, then known as Ms. Marvel. While it made sense for the Fox X-Men movies to skip this detail, as they didn’t have the rights to Carol, the MCU should utilize this plot point. 

Rogue’s Most Noteworthy Villain Moment

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While her conflict with Ms. Marvel was her most noteworthy moment as a villain, Rogue’s earliest appearances saw her firmly aligned on the side of evil. As the adopted daughter of Mystique and Destiny, she was brought into Mystique’s version of The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. During that era, she fought The Avengers, X-Men, and Rom the Space Knight, proving herself to be a villain worthy of the MCU. 

Added Complexity From The Fox Movies

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Giving Rogue her comic-accurate villain origin would provide the MCU version of the character with a new level of complexity that sets her apart from the earlier Fox version. While the Fox version of the character went straight from learning about her powers to joining the X-Men, having her start as a villain would give her a redemption arc. Her relationship with Mystique and Destiny also gives her story a layer of interpersonal drama that writers could use to humanize her and explore complex family dynamics.  

Marvel’s Villain Problem

Introducing Rogue as a Captain Marvel villain would also help connect the mutant side of Marvel with an already-established character. In the comics, absorbing Rom the Space Knight’s psyche prompts Rogue’s turn from villainy; that story could easily be folded into her conflict with Captain Marvel, elevating Captain Marvle’s importance to the X-Men story. These connections will be necessary for the X-Men to feel fully interwoven into the larger universe. 

Having Rogue as a villain for Captain Marvel would also make Carol a stronger character by finally giving her an interesting villain. Both Captain Marvel and The Marvels featured flat, forgettable villains, something the MCU has consistently struggled with. As a complex,  well-known character capable of matching Carol’s power level, Rogue would break this trend and finally give the character a worthy adversary. 

Toning Down Captain Marvel Could Help The Character

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Temporarily removing Captain Marvel’s powers could also be an interesting arc for the character, who has often been criticized as too innately powerful. Seeing heroes persevere without their powers helps to establish their other virtues, which is a great way to develop them. Proving that Carol can be a hero without her cosmic powers could help revitalize her as a character. 

Rogue Is A Key Part Of The X-Men

Rogue is a fascinating character who deserves a place in the MCU, but she doesn’t need to be a member of the X-Men, at least initially. A comic-accurate take on her origin would benefit not just her and the other new X-Men characters but the universe as a whole. Marvel would be wise to embrace the often-forgotten criminal past of the popular mutant.

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