Rogue Trooper

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Rogue Trooper is a science fiction strip in the British comic 2000 AD, created by Gerry Finley-Day and Dave Gibbons and first published in 1981 and is ongoing.

Against a backdrop of a future war between two factions, the noble Southers and evil Norts, the comic follows Rogue, a G.I. (Genetic Infantryman) and his three comrades' search for the Traitor General, a man in the Souther high command who sold the Southers' battle plans to the Norts, which led to the massacre of all the GIs except Rogue. His comrades are in the form of biochips (onto which a G.I.'s entire personality is downloaded at the time of death for later retrieval) and are named Gunnar (mounted on Rogue's rifle), Bagman (on his backpack) and Helm (on his helmet).

After about three years, Rogue finally found and killed the Traitor General. He was reinducted back into the Souther army, but then without a major goal, the comic foundered and ultimately sputtered out.

Gibbons returned to the strip in 1990, this time as a writer. He completely rebooted the series with a new character, new war, and new planet. The biochips were done away with, as Gibbons wanted the new protagonist, Friday, to have a more spiritual connection with his comrades. However, the story was basically the same: all but one of the GIs are wiped out in a massacre, and the one survivor goes rogue and treks back to the high command to find out what happened.

Gibbons' run was short but well acclaimed. It was pretty self-contained, though left the door open for future stories. After it ended, Michael Fleisher picked it up, and had a new set of adventures as Friday wandered Nu Earth, trying to do justice where he could. This run reintroduced the biochips, which to Gibbons' chagrin turned out to be the most popular aspect of the Rogue continuity.

After Fleisher, Steve White took up the writing, and in order to regain interest had Friday team up with Rogue, who now existed in the same universe. This move was not well-received due to continuity issues and some rather controversial plot points.

The series was supposedly ended for good in 1996, though the odd spinoff did appear. In 2002, popular writer Gordon Rennie revisited the Rogue continuity with a new series of stories set during the hunt for the Traitor General. This series was well received and Rennie attempted to reboot the continuity for a second time, but was blocked by the editors. He has said he would like to write more stories in the Rogue Trooper universe, but these would focus on side characters and what's going on elsewhere on Nu Earth.

Most recently, the comic was adapted into a video game by Rebellion Developments, who currently also publish 2000 AD and have the rights to most of its characters. Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre was released on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360, and PC in 2006, and the Wii in 2009. Though it features the characters and premise of the Rogue continuity, the story is very different, and much of the technology has been altered to make the gameplay more fun.


Tropes associated with this work:

  • Action Girl: Venus Bluegenes
  • Alternate Continuity: The video game.
    • Interesting the video game actually follows the orginal rogue continuity reasonably closely, alot of the locations are there, admittly in a different order.
    • It's the ending where the major difference occurs.
  • Abnormal Ammo: In the Rogue continuity, the weapons for described as being "las" based, yet they are depicted as ejecting casing like a projectile weapon. A close-up of an cartidge reveals that the bullet has a lense, possible similair to older discriptions of Imperial Guardman's las-gun.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Norts from the original continuity.
  • Armchair Military: Milli-com, the southern high command operate from a giant space station light years from the war. Oddly for this trope most of them seems to be combat veterans.
  • Awesome Backpack: Bagman in the Rogue continuity.
  • The Baroness: Kaptain Natashov.
  • Blood Knight: Gunnar.
  • Brain Uploading: Mostly in the original, though not unseen in newer incarnations.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In the Rogue continuity, Rogue encounters a interesting version of the trope, a super soldier prototype (a predecessor of himself) waiting out in the wilderness to die a death of old age, seeing it as dignified and declaring that "suicide ain't my style". Rogue subsequently holds off a Nort assault force in order to give the old man his wish, the narrative stating openly that it's something he wants for himself one day.
    • Friday attempts suicide, but finds that he's been genetically programmed to be unable to do so.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The crossover between the original Rogue and Friday.
    • And probably most of Friday's adventures, barring The War Machine.
  • Commie Nazis
  • Continuity Reboot: The return of Gibbons in 1989 created this; fittingly, as Rogue's story had run to completion by that point.
  • Cool Tank: Tanks are really equal parts cool and terrifying.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: A particularly bad one is the main villain in the Friday continuity.
  • Death World: Nu Earth. Very much Nu Earth.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: It's readily apparent who's on what side.
  • Elite Mooks: Most notably the Kashan Legion. Hard, ruthless bastards who all but annihilated the G.I. Regiment. Granted, they had some help, but that's still pretty Badass Normal.
  • Fan of the Past: A dark version of this trope occurred in the Rogue Trooper story "Fort Neuro". Rogue arrived at the titular fort, hoping to find shelter and some time to let the biochips calm down. However, the stress of holding off a Nort siege for years coupled with isolation due to their sanity slipping, causing the four garrisons to degenerate into Parodies of Napoleonic France, a 50s British seaside resort, a group of disco freaks, and wannabe supermodels. Rogue and the robots eventually managed to knock some sense into them.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Norts. Justified in that the horribly toxic atmosphere of Nu Earth makes chem-suits essential for any normal human.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Subverted. While the GIs are incredibly skilled and resilient soldiers (particularly Rogue), the GI program is implied to have been cancelled after the Quartz Zone Massacre.
  • Hopeless War: While never directly stated, it is suggested that the Southerns are constantly losing to the numerically superior Norts, leading them to develop wonder weapons like the G.I.'s.
  • Insert Grenade Here: A common way Rogue destroys Nort heavy tanks.
  • Klingon Promotion: Most Nort War Marshals.
  • Meaningful Name: Rogue got his name long before he went rogue as there was always something different about him compared to other GIs. Friday's came from the fact that he was cloned on a Friday (More specifically, he was a "Friday job", where less attention was put into it, due to the impending weekend)and had a flaw in him, leaving him less brainwashed. And, of course, Colonel Kovert.
  • The Mole: Sister Sledge
  • The Neidermeyer: Major Magnam.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bio-wire, semi-sentient barbed wire which seeks out human targets, punches through their chem-suits, and tears them apart from the inside.
    • Also exude flesh eating acid
  • Spin-Off: A couple, notably Venus Bluegenes, which follows the female GI of the same name, and Mercy Heights, about a GI ambulance driver.
    • More recently, The 86ers focused on a squadron of pilots based in the Acoma system.
  • Recycled in Space: The American Civil War with the Southers as the Confederate and the Norts and the Union.
    • To add to this there is reference to "Nu Georgia" and the "Battle of Mek-bull Run"
  • Seasonal Rot: The general consensus is that the original stories lost their appeal after Rogue finally dealt with the Traitor General. The Hitman arc was particularly dull. This is what lead to the Continuity Reboot.
  • Sole Survivor: Rogue and Friday were both this in their respective battles (as was the old soldier waiting to die whom Rogue encountered).
  • Super Soldier: Many, most notably Rogue and Friday.
  • State Sec: The Souther Secret Service, more commonly known as S3. Wear grey uniforms with no rank or insignia. Their initials are not coincidental.
  • Suicide Attack: A Christmas 2010 special had a nort plot to destory the souther's military command with a clone of Rogue which explodes after it is killed.
  • Tank Goodness: The Blackmare Tank. Its main turret is bigger than most whole normal tanks.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Averted.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Bland and Brass, body-looters and war profiteers.
  • Those Wacky Norts
  • The Un-Reveal: Its never identified which of the four Souther Generals was the Traitor due to massive facial disfigurement
    • Although it's a bit of a moot point, since the three innocent generals are all killed when the Traitor sabotages the satellite they were on. His escape doesn't go as smoothly as planned, leading to the aforementioned disfigurement.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: All G.I.'s as they aren't given shirts before going into combat.
  • War Is Hell - Nu Earth, upon which Rogue's story takes place, is described in canon as "the ultimate monument to war".
  • We Have Reserves: both sides employ this trope to various levels. The Souther Milli-com will order troops to continue suicidal attacks, while Nort battle commanders will have their men charge enemy positions.