Rogue: Who is the Vampiric X-Man?

Look, Don’t Touch.

Rogue:Ah’m giving you one last chance t’ surrender, sugah. After that, it could get ugly.

X-Men Vol. 2 #193

A construction worker waits for the bus. He’s had a hard day and needs some stress release. A woman is also waiting. She’s a 20 on the babe-o-meter. Toned arms, red hair with a shock of white, and a drop dead figure in tight denim over boots. He throws a pick-up line, but she doesn’t respond. She only needs to see what he has to offer. He taps her shoulder, but his world goes white when he touches her. 

Memories flash through the worker’s mind. Bullies mocking him for his weight. His first kiss with the girl next door. Finding his brother’s cold body, a needle still in his hand. Coach encouraging him to do one more lap. His father’s belt after catching him trying Mom’s lipstick. Highs and lows and everything blurring together in the span of seconds.

The woman looks down at his unconscious body. Rage and sympathy battle for control. She exhales and focuses. The man’s memories fade and join a chorus of other voices whispering in her mind. “Jus’ what ah need,” Rogue thinks, “”Nother sob story fer the pile.” 

Rogue is one of the most popular X-Men. She was a disposable villain, but became one of the biggest heroes. So who is she? How did she join the X-Men? What’s her connection to the strongest Avenger? Let’s find out.

Going Rogue: Rogue’s Backstory

Rogue:No! Too…too much! You… me… can’t feel… can’t see… who… who I am? What have you done to me? WHAT!? Get…[hurls Captain Marvel off of a bridge] GET OUT OF MY HEAD!

Marvel Super-Heroes Vol. 2 #11

Rogue debuted in Avengers Annual #10 in 1981. She was created by Chris Claremont and Michael Golden. Claremont wanted her to resemble Grace Jones, but Golden didn’t know what the singer looked like and drew her as a White redhead with a skunk stripe.

Anna Marie Raven was a troublemaking teenager from Mississippi. She was nicknamed Rogue because of her rough and tumble manner. Anna’s mutation activated when she first kissed her boyfriend, stole his life energy, and left him comatose. She ran away from home and drifted until she was taken in by another Mutant, Mystique.

Mystique convinced Anna to become a supervillain and join the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Rogue grew closer to Mystique and agreed to be her adopted daughter. Their first mission was a rousing success thanks to Rogue stealing Captain Marvel’s powers. She maintained contact with Captain Marvel long enough to permanently copy the cosmic powers.

Rogue later encountered a cyborg named Rom and tried to steal his powers. She couldn’t absorb his cybernetics and instead copied his loneliness and heroism. This was enough to awaken Captain Marvel’s echo and cause a mental breakdown. With no other options, she begged Professor X for help and got a chance to atone with the X-Men.

Second Chance: Rogue’s History

Rogue:What defines us is hope. That’s why we don’t give up. That’s why, no matter the odds… we find a way t’ win.

X-Treme X-Men #18

The X-Men threatened to quit if Rogue was allowed to join. Professor X browbeat them into accepting her. Rogue proved herself by risking her life to save them multiple times. She became a mainstay of the X-Men and began dating fellow newcomer Gambit, despite the struggles of a contactless relationship.

Captain Marvel learned that Rogue had joined the X-Men and punched her to the moon. They occasionally worked together against bigger threats, but were uncomfortable together because of Captain Marvel’s trauma and Rogue’s guilt. They recently buried the hatchet while both were serving on The Avengers.

Rogue and Gambit later married. An adventure during their honeymoon revealed that Rogue has several mental blocks that prevented her from controlling her powers. She overcame those blocks and emerged as a much stronger hero.

Walking in Another’s Shoes: Rogue’s Powers and Personality

Rogue:Din’t Mystique tell you what mah power is? [grabs Blob] Mah power is yo’ power, an I can take more’n one!”

X-Men: Evolution “Mutant Crush” (Season 1, Episode 4)

Rogue absorbs the memories and powers of anyone during skin contact. One second of contact allows her to access them for a minute. Each copy creates an echo that she must suppress. Stronger echoes can take control of her body unless they are excised by a telepath. She has no control over the power and covers every inch of skin possible to avoid accidental contact.

Rogue can copy powers indefinitely by holding someone long enough. She had Captain Marvel’s flight, super strength, speed, and durability for years. Rogue’s copying can knock people unconscious, which was later explained as trauma putting up mental blocks. Overcoming those allowed Rogue to make the process seamless and gave her the ability to copy from a distance.

Rogue’s a fun-loving tomboy from the South. She has a temper and is often the first into a brawl. She’s arguably the most empathic X-Man thanks to copying so many memories. Rogue is touch-starved and frequently seeks cures for her mutation despite knowing she’ll get cold feet at the last minute.

The Actors Who Play Rogue

Lenore Zann – X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men ‘97, Spider-Man: the Animated Series
Meghan Black – X-Men: Evolution
Kieren van den Blink – Wolverine and The X-Men
Anna Paquin – X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand

Didya Get All That?

A hero who’s touchy about her powers

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