The Big Picture

  • Rogue and Magneto’s romance in X-Men ’97 stems from their comic book roots, offering fans a surprising but canonically rich storyline.
  • Executive producer Brad Winderbaum encourages fans to revisit the original X-Men comics after seeing Rogue and Magneto’s relationship unfold on screen in the animated series.
  • X-Men ’97 continues to honor the characters’ lesser-known histories, breathing new life into the franchise with deep dives into relationships.

As X-Men ’97 brings back the beloved animated series from the 90s, fans are treated to not only nostalgia but also fresh explorations of characters and relationships. One such relationship, which has taken fans by surprise, is the romance between Rogue and Magneto. Executive producer Brad Winderbaum, in an interview with Collider’s Maggie Lovitt, shed light on this intriguing development and its origins from the comics.

X-Men ’97 delves into Rogue’s past relationship with Magneto, an unexpected but canonically rich storyline. The romance was first hinted at in the second episode, “Mutant Liberation Begins,” where Rogue and Magneto share a private moment, alluding to a deeper connection, before expanding through the show in a surprisingly passionate and dramatic fashion. The decision to bring this relationship into the animated series was influenced by its comic book roots, with the seeds of Rogue and Magneto’s romance first planted in the early 90s, specifically, in 1991’s Uncanny X-Men #274byChris Claremont and Jim Lee. In that arc, Magneto retreats to the Savage Land, after a failed attempt at putting his darker ways behind him. Rogue, who was dealing with her fragmented psyche after absorbing Carol Danvers’ powers — an arc that also appeared in the original animated series — encounters Magneto in the Savage Land shortly after.

This arc of the comics saw the pair grow close, particularly because Rogue’s powers were temporarily unreliable, allowing her to touch Magneto without harm. Their budding romance was cut short when Magneto’s darker tendencies resurfaced, prompting Rogue to leave him. Lovitt pointed out the novelty of seeing this dynamic play out on screen, a relationship she never expected to witness in a televised format, and Winderbaum concurred, noting that the deep and thematically rich history the pair share was ideal to bring to life.

“Well, you put it best, it is pulled from the comics. I think part of the ethos of
X-Men ’97
was to emulate people’s memories of the original show.
So we brought on the original creators and director as consultants and they were very involved, and we looked at the same source material that they were looking at, and looking for untapped potential in those stories
. And it was something that every single person knew from the start going in, that this was the goal. I think that ideally, you want to create something where everyone’s vision is just focusing on the same point, and this was one of those magical events. And that was certainly part of it, was finding those amazing things from the comics that had yet to be explored, either in the live-action movies or in the original series.”

A History of Rogue and Magneto

The decision to explore Rogue and Magneto’s relationship in X-Men ’97 was intentional on the part of the creatives, and rooted in the original comics. This approach allowed the series to revisit storylines that fans might not have expected to see on screen. This creative choice has sparked interest among fans, prompting many to revisit the original comics. While fans wait for Season 2, Winderbaum suggested revisiting Claremont’s run — which, interestingly, is the run that introduced Roguneto to the comics.

Lovitt observed that it has been fun to see people going back and reading those comics because they didn’t realize the content that had been there all along. Winderbaum echoed this excitement, reflecting on how accessible comic book lore has become.

“The original series was a gateway to the comics for me. And now comics are so available to us because of Marvel Unlimited and just the ability to share ideas. I follow so many comic book related social handles now and learn things every day. And I’m like, ‘Whoa, wait, that happened?'”

In the alternate reality of the Age of Apocalypse, Rogue and Magneto’s relationship fully blossomed. After the death of Charles Xavier, Magneto led the X-Men against Apocalypse. In this reality, Rogue chose Magneto over Gambit, leading to their marriage and the birth of their son, Charles. This version of Rogue had absorbed Polaris’s powers, allowing her and Magneto to touch. However, this timeline was eventually erased, making their love story a poignant “what if.”

Back in the main timeline, Rogue’s romantic entanglements with Magneto didn’t end. She also developed feelings for Joseph, a younger clone of Magneto. This relationship occurred during a tumultuous period for Rogue and Gambit. Joseph’s presence created further complications, especially after his death and Magneto’s return, briefly rekindling the Rogue-Magneto romance.

As X-Men ’97 continues to unfold into Seasons 2 and 3, the deep dive into Rogue and Magneto’s relationship not only honors the perhaps broadly unknown histories of these characters but also offers a new story that breathes new life into the franchise. X-Men ’97 Season 1 is streaming on Disney+ now.

Poster for X-Men '97

X-Men ’97

A band of mutants use their uncanny gifts to protect a world that hates and fears them; they’re challenged like never before, forced to face a dangerous and unexpected new future.

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Jennifer Hale , Cal Dodd , Chris Potter , Catherine Disher , Adrian Hough , Ray Chase , Lenore Zann


Watch on Disney+

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