Once when I was a kid living in Seoul, my uncle took my brother and I to a comic book shop near downtown, just a bit west of Gate 1 to Yongsan base. I doubt it’s still there, and I have no idea how my uncle even knew about this shop in that pre-Google Maps era. I was bewildered that such a shop even existed; I didn’t think that Koreans had much interest in American comics (despite being ethnically half-Korean myself, I’ve always identified with being American and I had no interest in Korean culture at that time). I remember the store had a barter system, and my brother traded off some of his books for new ones. I had no comic books of my own so I asked my uncle to buy the comics I wanted for me. One of the books I got was Uncanny X-Men #218, which had some of the female X-Men battling the Juggernaut. I didn’t know much about the X-Men, but one character in particular caught my eye – she wore a tight black bodysuit and a loose green tank top and had an awesome 80s haircut with a white skunk stripe through it. In the issue, she threw a punch at the Juggernaut, took one in return that launched her into orbit, and then she came back for more. It was a great book, and Rogue became one of my first childhood cartoon character crushes.
What? Stop looking at me like that. I know you had cartoon character crushes when you were a kid, too.
This figure was the first of Kotobukiya’s Marvel Bishoujo figures to be announced but the second to be released, after the Black Widow. She’s in 1/8 scale, although that’s being very generous; it seems that all of the figures in this line are going to run on the small side. Like the Black Widow, her design comes from famous artist Shunya Yamashita.
Deviations from the source art are readily apparent; for one, she’s looking to her left in the original picture whereas the figure is glancing towards the right. Also, the artwork depicts Rogue with a small, confident smile on her face, whereas the figure’s face is rather more shy and uncertain. Finally, the picture gives Rogue a fuller head of hair, particularly on the right side of her head.
Otherwise, the figure is fairly faithful to the artwork; she even has basically the same base, although it’s made from plain white plastic. Painting is decent; her boots are glossy while her costume is rather more flat. Similarly, the sculpt is good. I’m not sure that one could tell that this figure is derived from a Shunya Yamashita source if one didn’t already know that, though.
Rogue has had a bunch of costumes over the years. Two of my favorites comes from the late 80s and early 90s, when she wore a black bodysuit with a green leotard over it and then received a green and yellow bodysuit. This figure is obviously based on the latter, which is probably her most well-known outfit, as she also wore it in the Fox channel cartoon as well as in the Capcom fighting games.
Her hair has also changed. If I remember correctly, she had short hair when she first joined the X-Men, and then grew a rather large, spiky hairdo before getting her iconic huge, waist-length hairstyle. I think this figure shows her with a more contemporary hairstyle, when artists dumped the skunk stripe in favor of bleached white forelocks and gave her straight hair rather than permed. I love the skunk stripe but I don’t like the white bangs at all.
Rogue’s current costume seems to be a silly green and white ensemble, complete with hood. I remember she had some sort of cloak when she was with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants but I’m not a big fan of capes, cloaks, and hoods.
There was an issue of X-Men Legacy which showed her in a costume which was reminiscent of her famous Jim Lee-era outfit. I liked the chaps, even though they’re not quite in keeping with her Mississippi roots. I don’t think that they kept this costume, though. (I could be wrong, since I don’t read X-Men Legacy.)
I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the character, and that’s because I really picked up this figure because I like Rogue rather than the figure itself. That’s something of a reversal from my usual motivation, as I usually do not know much about the characters represented by the figures I own. As a fan of the X-Men, I like this figure a lot, although I’ll admit that it’s a bit nondescript.