Bruised Angel…Sultry Siren By: DeliriumsCry
X-Men Evolution Status: Complete
Rated: T Genre: Romance
Characters: Scott/Rogue/Warren Chapter(s): 7
Author Synopsis: *updated* Warren has agreed to come and stay at the Institue. He’s got an eye for Rogue, but unbeknowst to him or her, so does Scott…And after Kurt brings her a luck charm back from Germany, things are turned upside down for Rogue…Scott/Rogue/Warren.
* Takes a breath.* Welcome Readers, I am the Fan Fic Reviewer, I read the good, the bad, and those that should never exist within the culture of fan fiction.
I need to start this review off with a disclaimer. I know, not a good way to start a review. I love X-Men. I am a diehard fan. I loved the 90s cartoon, X-Men Evolution, Wolverine and the X-Men, the X-Men anime; I love the comics (cannon, side-stories, and alternate universes); I even love a couple of the movies (I wish the writers could have kept some sort of consistency between the sequels and “prequels,” but that’s a different story). Out of the characters in X-Men, I love Rogue; every single incarnation of Rogue! This includes the less-than-stellar Anna Paquin version.
I especially loved the gothic version of Rogue in the Evolution series; I think it was a refreshing change and mixed things up within the group.
I had to make this clear before I officially began the review.
*Inhales then exhales slowly.*
Let the torture begin.
Here’s this story that takes place during season two, post episode seven and Warren (Angel) has decided to join the X-Men and live at the institute. An attraction/romance begins to develop between him and Rogue which brings out Scott’s jealousy. Emotions run high especially once a convenient plot device enters the picture and miraculously Rogue has control of her powers. Out of the attraction and plot device emerge two love triangles; Scott x Rogue x Warren and Rogue x Scott x Jean. It’s the basic teen, romance drama that the WB and Teen Nick thrive off.
Dear Readers, you are all probably wonder where could this story go so drastically wrong that it has me making disclaimers? Well, it went wrong in so many ways and I will take Readers on a tour of the torment I went through in reading this…story. I’ll start with the basics and work on up to the nitty-gritty stuff.
Spelling and grammar. *Sigh.* I don’t like to critique spelling and grammar because we all make mistakes when writing and even published works have mistakes in them for the world to read. However, I cannot sit back and not mention these basic essentials when it is clear that they were ignored due to one reason or another. Seriously, there are so many consistent mistakes; that’s right, these aren’t just mistakes that happen once in a while but throughout the entire story. Mistakes like spaces after punctuation (commas, periods, etc.), run-on sentences, and run-on paragraphs—the type that should be two or three paragraphs but it’s typed as one very long paragraph.
Then there’s all the spelling mistakes—please note, I am not including words that were spelt to express a character’s accent—and these aren’t the spelling mistakes where it’s the wrong word but it’s spelt right. No, these are correct words that are spelt wrong! Words that spellcheck will and does catch and correct. Words where “dissappear” becomes “disappear.” I understand that not everyone has spellcheck, particularly if writers are using notepad (although Notepad ++ has spellcheck), Word Pad, and other types of word programs. However, fanfiction.net has a spellcheck option on the posting interface. Use it! It’s a free tool!
Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s get into the real meat of the story. I’ll start with the lack of fact checking. When writing a story that takes place during the middle of a season or episode, fact checking and maintaining a consistency between the events of the original source and the events the story will create.
For example, (there are so many in this story) Kurt (Nightcrawler) refers to Rogue as his sister during the later chapters. Now while this is a fact it’s not something that’s discovered until season 3, episode 8 when Rogue has her meltdown and accidently touches Mystique/Risty. That event or something similar doesn’t happen in the story so how would Kurt know that Rogue is his sister?
Here’s another one, during season 2 (when this fan fic is meant to take place) Jean is dating a football jock named Duncan and at the time she seems fairly happy with Duncan. Sure there are signs of the attraction between Jean and Scott but nothing so overpowering that she would suddenly dump Duncan and date Scott. There’s even an episode where Scott goes on a date with Jean’s friend and while Jean’s jealous there’s nothing overdramatic that happens. So the fact that she not only gets so jealously enraged and begins to—off screen—date Scott, it doesn’t coincide with her character from the series!
Oh, and this one inconsistency is hilarious. During chapter one, Scott calls Rogue “Kate.” I don’t know why but suddenly he calls her Kate so I can only assume one of the following:
- This was originally a Mary Sue story.
- The scene was…”borrowed” from another story and someone just forgot to change the name.
Yeah…it’s awkward reading that moment.
*Takes a breath.* So yeah, there’s that. Next up is the plot device. Plot devices are like double-edged swords, they’re effective and awesome when used correctly but dangerous if not handled properly. The plot device in this story is a wish-granting trinket/token/talisman that Kurt sends to Rogue–via the fastest international delivery system ever. (I’m nit-picking but logic says that if Kurt went back to Germany a day or two before Christmas and even if he did get a chance to go shopping and mail out this gift, it wouldn’t have gotten to Rogue the day after Christmas because the travel time for packages and the USPS system would have made it impossible; even for overnight mailing). Like I said, it’s a wish-granting token-thingie (the story couldn’t give it a proper name instead it just described it and to me it sounded like a rune or talisman) and Rogue uses it to wish control over her powers.
Where the story goes wrong with this lovely plot device is that it shows up and then disappears just as quickly. The token arrives and does its wish-granting thing but then it’s never mentioned again. What the hell?! It’s a wish-granting token that suddenly gives Rogue control over her powers without any consequences or stipulations! On top of that, no one at the institute questions how Rogue suddenly gained control over her powers! What the hell is going on? There are two, count them, two professors at this institution who are doing whatever they can to help young mutants learn to control and harness their powers, and this story wants me to believe that those two professors wouldn’t want to analyze this token! I call bull shit!
This is a prime example of what not to do with a plot device; never bring a plot device—like a wish-granting token!—into the story and drop it once it’s done its part. There are so many things that could have been done with this wish-granting token. Such as:
- Have there be a stipulation for the token granting a wish like Rogue has to wear it all the time otherwise if she takes it off her powers go haywire.
- There could have been a consequence to Rogue’s wish where if she gains control of her powers then a. someone else loses control, b. her powers become exponentially more dangerous when she uses them, or c. (this one’s silly-stupid but still) she has almost allergic type reactions to wearing clothes. Just something!
- Hank and Xavier analyze the token and are able to harness its power to make some sort of device/tool to help mutants gain control of their powers. However, someway, somehow, a villain/rival finds out about the token and now the X-Men have to protect it all the while the team struggles with the drama and tension brought on by the love triangles.
See! These are just the three I could think of off the top of my head, just imagine if I had the time to actually sit and think it out.
There is so much that could have and should have been done with this plot device yet nothing happens except that Rogue gains control over her powers. It’s depressing and I’m not entirely convinced she actually gained control because there’s no demonstration or explanation of how she turns her powers on or off. It’s just a mess!
*Inhales deeply then exhales.* I’m calm… I’m calm…
I’m going to move on before I make myself angry. Next topic, the OOC (out of character) personalities some of the characters display. *Eye twitches.* Readers, I have read fan fiction where the OOC-ness works well and has a purpose beyond feeding whatever loose plot is “driving” the story (I’ll actually go into that when I review Chasing Methuselah by Sandra E). This is not a story where the OOC-ness works, it actually hurts the story. This complaint of mine ties back to the lack of consistency I find with this story, the characters’ personalities are solidified by the series and while stories can get away with giving a personality quirk here and there, the essence has to remain the same.
The Rogue I read in this story is not the gothic, tough girl with an inner vulnerability, and smartass attitude whom I’m used to seeing in the series. Instead I read about this Rogue who is so vulnerable that it borders on fragile—I think if someone gave this Rogue and constructive criticism she would break down crying—and who forgoes the dark greens and blacks for pastel pinks and neutral colors. This Rogue is far more angst driven then the one from the series as she apparently believes that until Warren came to the institute no one treated her like a person. Who knew that during the time Scott was befriending her in season one while she was the Brotherhood he wasn’t treating her like a person? The series really fooled me.
The other thing about this version of Rogue, she apparently becomes crazy girlfriend once she’s dating Warren. For Readers who have seen the Family Guy episode where Quagmire gets married, she acts like the wife when Quagmire brings up the topic of divorce. For Readers who do not watch Family Guy, Rogue acts like the crazy girl in your life who has a meltdown because her boyfriend hasn’t texted or called in her back within 15 minutes of her last text/call. That’s Rogue in this story!
There is a point within the story where during…I’ll estimate 12 hours (although it was probably far less) Rogue has an emotional meltdown because after waking up she finds out that Warren went out shopping with a few other X-Men for a bit on the day he and Rogue have a date at the museum. So because Warren’s not there ready for their date after Rogue got out of bed, she believes he no longer cares about her. Crazy girlfriend!
There is nothing in the story to indicate that 1. Warren has done this multiple times to Rogue, 2. Rogue tries to contact Warren to be like “what happened to our date,” 3. That Warren’s shopping excursion was an all-day event, or 4. that the museum is only open during certain times and thus they had to be there in the morning. So…yeah, Rogue has this meltdown for no reason except for the fact that she’s CRAZY!
*Pauses.* I honestly hate this version of Rogue.
Then there’s Scott. *Sigh.* I already don’t like Scott Summers (Cyclops) in almost any version of X-Men and while the Scott in Evolution was by far the most likeable, by season three and on he began falling into the same pattern as other incarnations of Scott. So here’s a character I generally don’t like and I think this story decided to give me unnecessary reasons to further dislike him. The possessive personality Scott displays in the story and his wishy-washy acknowledgement of his crush on Rogue are so out of character that by chapter three I was already waving the white flag. This Scott has moments where he refers to Rogue as “his” and he curses Warren’s interference but when confronted by Jean he suddenly has a brain fart and pulls a “I have a crush on Rogue? When did that happen?” bullshit. Scott in the series very clearly has a crush on Jean so if he was to discover that he also has a crush on Rogue and Warren’s pursuing Rogue, he would be jealous by not to extent of being an utter dick.
My complaint about Warren is not a matter of him being OOC but rather the lack of personality shown. There are only a handful of times Warren interacts with Rogue and most of the time it’s to either cock-block Scott or just to be Rogue’s #2 guy. There is no personality to this character! There could have been a mannequin in his stead and it would have had more personality!
*Takes a breather.*
I’m going to move on because this topic is just further pissing me off. On to the meat of the story; the romance! *Pauses thoughtfully.* I think this topic might further piss me off than the OOC-ness.
So the romance in this story that is meant to be the plot, the entrée of this entire tale is rather unfulfilling and rice paper thin. The romance is developed through a series of scenes where one of the guys gets one-on-one time with Rogue and an intimate moment that gets interrupted. That’s it. There is no foundation behind the romance. I have no idea what draws Warren and Scott to Rogue but something does apparently—I suspect it is plot convenience.
This makes me mad and disappointed beyond words because when there’s this non-canon love triangle there is so much that can be done! Think about it, how would the love triangle(s) affect the overall cohesiveness of the team? What would school life be like since Warren is too old for high school? How would missions play out with this new teammate and the love triangle(s) situation(s)? There is so much that could have been done and made this story more complex and interesting but alas, it didn’t bother to go beyond jumping from romance scenario to romance scenario.
It was just weak! Then it makes the ending beyond lackluster. The only redeemable thing in this story is that in the end Rogue ends up with no one, but in order for her to not end up with either Scott or Warren, she has to “leave”—it sounded more like an eviction notice to me—the institution and go to Hawaii to stay with Alex Masters (Havoc, Scott’s brother) for…however long. What a coup out! And it happens all within 12 hours! It’s a bullshit ending.
I’ll summarize this in as few words as possible; Bruised Angel…Sultry Siren is a bland love triangle that twists the characters from the series to make this horrible romantic drama that not even the WB or Teen Nick would air. There is no sense of time, reality, romance building, character development, or consistency with the original series! In short, this story is a model of what not to do with a romance fan fic!
Would I recommend this story? NO! I really don’t recommend Readers wasting their time on this story unless it’s to see what not to do in a fan fic.