Rogue Touch

Rogue Touch is a novel licensed by Marvel Entertainment about a young Rogue before she meets the X-Men. It tells the story of how her powers came to surface. After putting her friend Cody into a coma with her kiss she was forced to leave home. In her travels she meets a man named James who helps her escape the police. As they travel cross country the two share experiences and soon fall in love.

Being that I'm a big fan of the X-Men comics, I was really excited for this book when it was first announced. After it's release I had heard some buzz about how bad it was, but I kept an open mind and stayed optimistic. I didn't want to jusdge until after I had read it. Well, I finished reading it, and I can honestly say I can see why it's been getting such bum reviews.

I had a feeling this was going to be a problematic book as I was reading the first chapter. In chapter one there's a scene where Anna Marie is heading to her night job. It was in the dead of night and the streets were empty. She was almost to her job when she saw the figure of a man standing alone right in the middle of her path. As you would expect from this situation, she crossed the street. But the thing going through her mind was what disturbed me. She thought about the possibility of the man being a rapist, but then she followed that thought by thinking about how attractive he is.

This might appear as an innocent comment, and maybe to some women this is a genuine thought, but when I see a man who I suspect might try to hurt me, I don't follow it up by complementing his looks. This was probably inadvertant and might not have had this kind of intent behind it, but it gave me the impression that the author was romanticize rape.

If you're a fan of the comics, depending on your opinion, you may or may not be disappointed to learn that this isn't true to the original source material. Think of it as a creative reimagining. Rogue doesn't meet Mysitique or Destiny in this book and no other mutants are evcen mentioned in this book. I heard a lot of people had a problem with this, but I appreciated the idea. I was interested in the idea of what Rogue's life would be like if it had taken a diferent direction.

The man she saw before in the street was actually her love interest, James. This whole story is based around their relationship and budding romance. I was open to the idea of a romance novel starring one of my favorite comic book characters, but as I was reading I noticed that it didn't feel as romantic as it did awkward. Rogue's powers are that she can absorb all memories, skills, and abilities from any person from making skin to skin contact. This is very dangerous for any person involved because if skin contact is kept for two long, then that person could seize up and go into a coma. So Rogue and James who fall endlessly in love can't consummate.

I know what the author was going for. She want the romance to feel angsty much like Rogue's relationship with Gambit was. But to me it came off more awkward than anything. There's a scene where the two kiss, and because they can't make skin on skin contact, Rogue pulls a balacllava over her mouth then kissed him with the knitted hat between them. I thought that was actually really cute, but then James sticks out his tongue, as if he didn't know there was wool separating them. And as he was pulling the wool hairs out of his mouth I couldn't but cringe at how extremely awkward that kiss was.

It wasn't until after I had finished the book did I realize just how problematic that entire relastionship is. Rogue is vastly known as a strong independent woman in comics, but in the book she becomes completetely dependent on this man and their relationship. She even explicitely stated that she wouldn't know how to live her life anymore if he left her. To be honest, I didn't expect this to be true to Rogue's original backstory, but I did expect it to stay true to her character. Even when Rogue was with Gambit, she made it very clear to him that she didn't need him. She wanted him, and I think that means a lot more.

In all, would I recommend this book to anyone? To be honest, no. This isn't even a good place to start for people who want to get into comics. If you want to read a good comic featuring Rogue, I recommend picking up the new X-Men book. It has an amazing cast of characters, and the new run just started so you don't have to catch up on much. Overall, I want people to know the Rogue I grew up with. Not this trainwreck.

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