The X-Men ‘97 Change Dividing Fans

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

x-men 97
  • X-Men fans are upset over the change to Rogue’s appearance in X-Men ’97.
  • The Southern powerhouse has been slimmed down from her X-Men The Animated Series appearance.
  • X-Men social media communities have been divided over the issue.
  • Different versions of the X-Men have had very different takes on Rogue.

The upcoming X-Men ‘97 series is looking to leverage fan nostalgia for everybody’s merry band of mutants by effectively bringing back the beloved ‘90s cartoon. However, certain changes were inevitable, and one seeming character change has fans worried about this new show. Specifically, the trailer for the new series seems to have largely de-sexualized the mutant superhero Rogue, worrying legions of fans who fell in adolescent love with her voluptuous incarnation.

Rogue Left An Impression On Viewers

There’s no delicate way to broach this, so we’re going to dive right into the X-Men cartoon from 1992, Rogue was designed as a very curvaceous woman. This was evident most of the time, but none more so than a scene in which she confronts the villainous mutant Apocalypse. After he zaps her, Rogue falls over and displays a booty so full that even without Cerebro, we can confidently declare that it led to the awakening of many fans watching at home.

Fans Are Concerned Over The New Rogue

Now, a viral meme has placed the image of Rogue’s old school derrière next to an image from the X-Men ‘97 cartoon. Looking at the images side by side, it’s impossible to avoid a simple conclusion: Rogue’s butt looks a lot flatter than it did before. While many fans are indifferent to this apparent change, others think that it’s an ominous sign of other deviations from the original cartoon this series takes its inspiration from.

Much Ado About Nothing

X-Men fans who aren’t too worried about the change are quick to point out that we’re effectively comparing apples (or should that be apple bottoms?) and oranges. While Rogue had a very full figure in the original cartoon, her bottom never looked like the animators intended it to be part of a Sir Mix-a-lot video outside of that one scene with Apocalypse. In other words, the viral meme is comparing the old Rogue at her most bootylicious with one frame of the new Rogue that may or may not be representative of her design in most scenes.

Very Different Versions Of Rogue

What turned this potential X-Men design change into the inevitable culture war subject is the question of whether or not Rogue’s overall attractiveness matters all that much in the grand scheme of things. On one hand, this is a character who hasn’t always had a voluptuous figure (just look at the Rogue we got in the live-action films as well as the X-Men: Evolution cartoon), and kids’ cartoon designs shouldn’t be rated in terms of how well they please the male gaze. 

Rogue Used Charm As A Weapon

On the other hand, the X-Men cartoon design from the 1992 cartoon was meant to be sexy, and Rogue was written as a flirtatious character who wasn’t afraid to use her stunning looks, and that accent, as a weapon against her foes. Arguably, deliberately making the character less voluptuous and conventional defeats the purpose of X-Men ‘97 serving as a direct sequel to the original show.  

We’re Happy With Gambit And Rogue Together Again

As for us, we’re happy to take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to X-Men ‘97: overall, the Disney+ show looks great, and we’re just happy to see the original characters and show return. For many of us nostalgic fans, the original X-Men cartoon is our baby, and it’s great to see our baby getting a sequel series. Of course, if Rogue’s animators also want to make sure our baby’s got back again, we’ll be as happy as Gambit with a bowl of gumbo.