Rogue has been one of the most popular members of the X-Men since she first joined the team in the early ’80s. Initially a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Rogue was the adopted daughter of Mystique and became a full member of the team during their battles against the Avengers. Rogue would go on to steal the powers of Ms. Marvel, making her one of the most powerful members of the Brotherhood.
After realizing that the Brotherhood’s goals were evil, Rogue joined the X-Men. She reached new levels of popularity during the run of the original X-Men cartoon, where she was voiced by Lenore Zann. Since joining the X-Men in 1983, Rogue has been a consistent member of the team, and in recent years, she has also become a member of the Avengers.
It took over a decade for any details about Rogue’s backstory to be revealed. So what do we really know about this villain turned hero? We are here today to look into the past of one of the most mysterious members of the X-Men. From her cancelled origin story to the fate of the movie iteration of Rogue.
Here are 15 Things You Never Knew About Rogue!
15. Rogue’s First Appearance Was Cancelled
Rogue is best known as a long-time member of the X-Men. When she debuted, she was neither a hero nor associated with the X-Men. Rogue first appeared in Avengers Annual #10, where it was established that she had already drained the powers and memories from Ms. Marvel.
This was not meant to be Rogue’s debut, however. She was originally supposed to appear in Ms. Marvel #25. The issue was halfway completed when the staff working on it found out that the entire Ms. Marvel series had been cancelled. As such, this original appearance by Rogue was left on the cutting room floor for many years.
Over thirteen years later, the original Rogue story was finally printed in a compilation comic called Marvel Super-Heroes #11. The old pages were finished by new artists. The story depicted the events of Rogue stealing Ms. Marvel’s powers. The battle between the two had been shown numerous times through flashbacks in the years following Avengers Annual #10, but this was meant to be the original event as it happened.
14. She Has Stolen The Powers Of Many Heroes & Villains
Throughout most of her history, Rogue has carried two different sets of powers. Since her introduction, she has had her mutant ability to drain life force through physical contact, which allows her to take the health and memories away from the person she is draining. If that individual also happens to have super powers, then she can take them as well. The amount of time Rogue keeps those powers depends on the length of time she holds on to the person. If she touches them for a prolonged period of time, then elements of that person’s psyche will merge with Rogue’s.
When Rogue was first introduced, she had drained the powers of Ms. Marvel. This gave her the power of flight, super strength, and invulnerability. The combination of both sets of powers made Rogue one of the most powerful members of the X-Men.
It was believed that Rogue had permanently stolen Ms. Marvel’s powers. This turned out to not be the case, thought it took many years for them to fade away. After Rogue lost Ms. Marvel’s powers, she briefly held the powers of Sunfire (who was a member of the second generation of X-Men). As of right now, Rogue has the powers of Wonder Man. This grants her powers similar to those of Ms. Marvel, with the added benefit of a healing factor and superhuman senses.
13. An Important Part Of Her Backstory Cannot Be Reprinted
In 1979, Marvel created a new comic book series that was intended to promote a toy that was being released by Parker Brothers. The comic was called Rom and it followed the titular character, who was a Spaceknight from the alien world of Galador. He arrives on Earth to uncover a conspiracy by a race known as the Dire Wraiths. Through the use of magic & technology, the Dire Wraiths had been masquerading as humans for years and were preparing for an invasion of Earth.
The Rom toy never took off, but the comic was a big hit with Marvel. Over the course of his run, Rom crossed over with some of Marvel’s biggest characters. This has gone on to cause problems, as Marvel has lost the rights to the character. This means that any issue that features Rom cannot be reprinted. Due to this, a lot of his important events have been retconned out of existence.
Rom’s removal from continuity has hurt X-Men the most. Before she became a hero, Rogue was an unrepentant villain who worked with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She tried to kiss Rom to drain him of his powers. Instead, she drained him of his compassion. It was this kiss that changed Rogue’s character and made her into a hero. Due to the Rom blackout, this element of her backstory can never be reprinted.
12. Her Name Has (Mostly) Been Revealed
One of the biggest mysteries concerning Rogue was her birth name. Rogue was known by her code name for most of her appearances in the X-Men comics. It was established early on that it was impossible to read Rogue’s mind, due to the fact that she shared parts of her psyche with Ms. Marvel. This meant that even the members of the X-Men with telepathy could not find out Rogue’s real name.
In the X-Men movies, it was stated that Rogue’s real name was Marie D’Ancanto. This was the first time that a name was given to her in any form of X-Men media.
Rogue’s name from the movie ended up partially inspiring her real name in the comics. It was revealed during the Rogue miniseries of 2004 that her name is Anna Marie. Marie is actually her middle name, not her surname. It has yet to be revealed what Rogue’s surname is.
11. There Are Powers She Cannot Steal
Rogue’s draining touch can be devastating to the person who is being absorbed. Usually, Rogue just limits her powers to a brief kiss. In Ms. Marvel’s case, Rogue held on for so long that she took her powers and psyche for over a decade. This left Ms. Marvel in a coma for several years. She would then have to wait a few more years for her powers to be restored.
With that being said, there are people who are immune to Rogue’s touch. This is usually because they are so powerful that Rogue cannot drain enough of it without damaging herself. During the funeral of Illyana Rasputin, Magneto returned to attack the X-Men. Rogue kissed him but was overwhelmed by his power. She kissed Loki in X-Men/Alpha Flight #2 but was only able to drain part of his psyche and none of his powers. Mephisto also kissed Rogue on several occasions in Mephisto Vs. #3. He purposely fed Rogue specific thoughts and memories in order to manipulate her.
10. She Can Perform Akuma’s Raging Demon Attack.
In the Street Fighter video game series, there is a powerful warrior named Akuma. He is essentially a more evil version of Ryu. He travels the world with the goal of defeating stronger opponents. Unlike Ryu & Ken, he taps into an evil source of power when he fights. Akuma’s most powerful move is the Raging Demon. When used, Akuma flies towards his opponents. The screen will go dark, lit only by a few flashes of light. When the darkness fades, Akuma will be standing over his fallen foe.
Akuma is not the only person who can use this move. In Street Fighter canon, there are instances when other characters can use the Raging Demon after they have been possessed by an evil force.
There is one individual who can perform the Raging Demon without becoming evil. Rogue from X-Men can steal Akuma’s finishing move by kissing him. In X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Rogue has the ability to steal the moves of other characters after kissing them on the cheek. If she does this to Akuma, then she can perform the Raging Demon attack on him.
9. The Rogue Cut
When X-Men: Days of Future Past was in development, it was reported that Anna Paquin was returning to the part of Rogue. According to rumours, she was going to have a significant role in the movie. Then the movie hit theatres and… Rogue was barely in it. She showed up for a brief cameo at the end of the film.
Once the film was being prepared for a home release, it was revealed that a new version of the movie, known as the “Rogue Cut”, was going to be sold alongside the original film. In this new version of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kitty Pryde is badly wounded by Wolverine. In order to keep Wolverine in the past, a plan is hatched to free Rogue from imprisonment. She could then use her powers to steal Kitty’s and take her place. This would then allow Rogue to keep Wolverine in the past. Rogue was cut from the original version of the film because it took time away from the other plots. The film already had the X-Men in the past trying to stop Mystique and the X-Men in the future battling the Sentinels. The Rogue plot just made things unnecessarily complicated.
8. The Rogue/Sookie Connection
Despite winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 11 (for The Piano), Anna Paquin is best known for two roles. Her first major Hollywood role was playing Rogue in the X-Men movies (a part she has played in four different films). After X-Men, she played Sookie Stackhouse in seven seasons of HBO’s vampire drama, True Blood. Sookie was the main character of True Blood and the show mainly focused on her relationships with numerous supernatural creatures.
In 2010, Marvel ran an event called “Curse of the Mutants”. The X-Men were forced to team up with Blade, in order to stop vampires from taking over San Francisco. With the X-Men battling vampires, it was only natural that someone would make a reference to the Rogue/Sookie connection.
During the events of X-Men vs. Vampires #1, Rogue battles a group of vampires that are trying to feed from a girl that they have chased into an alley. One of the vampires wants to spare Rogue, but another insists that she must die, despite the fact that “She is a dead ringer for the chick who plays Sookie“.
7. Rogue Is A Marvel Cover Girl
Times were hard before the Internet appeared in homes across the world. Nowadays, if you want to see naked drawings of a comic book character, then they are a few Google searches away. In the olden days, the best you could hope for was Marvel releasing some more of their patented Swimsuit Issues.
In 1991, Marvel released the first of several Marvel Swimsuit Specials. These are exactly what you think they are. Each issue was filled with pictures of popular Marvel characters in their swimwear. You might think that these comics are just filled with pictures of girls in bikinis. That is not the case. The Marvel Swimsuit Specials were also filled with lots of scantily clad men as well. It was clear that Marvel never took these issues seriously, as characters like Ghost Rider got a spread.
6. The Ghost Of Cody
In most of Rogue’s appearances across the different forms of X-Men media, her origin story has remained the same. She was a normal teenage girl from Mississippi, who had no indication that she was a mutant. On her first date, she kissed a boy named Cody and her powers activated. The severity of Cody’s injuries differs depending on the adaptation, but the incident causes Rogue to run away from home. She is eventually adopted by Mystique, who helps her to understand her mutant abilities.
The fate of Cody has been mentioned in several different X-Men series. In X-Men: Evolution, he awakens from a coma after a month and seems no worse for wear. In the X-Men cartoon, Cody reappeared in a bizarre episode called “Love in Vain”. He acts as a representative of a race based off the Brood and attempts to infect the X-Men with spores that will turn them into aliens.
Cody’s eventual fate in the comics is even more bizarre than in “Love in Vain”. In the 1995 Rogue miniseries, Cody is awoken from the coma that he had been in for many years and is used in a plot by Gambit’s ex-wife, Bella Donna. In the end, Cody is killed by Bella Donna before Rogue can tell him show she really feels.
5. You Can Play As Rogue In The Deadpool Video Game
In the 2013 Deadpool video game, you encounter several members of the X-Men. At one point in the game, you have to help Rogue after she has been injured by a Sentinel. In this iteration of the character, Rogue does not have the powers of Ms. Marvel, maker her vulnerable to damage. After defeating Blockbuster in a boss battle, Deadpool has to catch Rogue as she falls unconscious from the ceiling. In order to heal Rogue, Deadpool kisses her so that she can absorb his healing factor. The problem is, the kiss goes on too long…
Once Rogue kisses Deadpool, his personality passes into her. For a brief period of time, you get to play as Deadpool within Rogue’s body. She even wears Deadpool’s mask and takes his weapons for her own. While Deadpool is unconscious from being drained by Rogue, you have to protect his body from enemies. This means playing as Rogue while she is being possessed by Deadpool.
4. She Ended Up With Cyclops (In X-Men Evolution)
The original X-Men cartoon ended in 1997. With the first X-Men movie gearing up for release in the year 2000, Marvel wanted to create a new X-Men cartoon series that followed the setting created by the film. X-Men: Evolution was the new show. It attempted to distance itself from the original animated series. It would go on to forge its own identity away from the film series and would become the third longest-running Marvel cartoon show (after X-Men and Spider-Man).
Like in the first X-Men movie, Rogue was a central part of the story. She was portrayed as a goth girl, who was bitter about the effect of her powers. Throughout the series, the show implied that a relationship was blossoming between Rogue and Cyclops. This actually makes a lot of sense, as the two of them are alike in a lot of ways. Rogue and Cyclops were both forced away from their families at a young age. They also share a fear of their own powers and the damage they could potentially do.
After X-Men: Evolution ended, the director of the show revealed that Rogue and Cyclops did indeed end up together. During the final scene of the show, we see a flash-forward to the events of the future. Rogue lands next to Cyclops, which was intended as a clue to their upcoming relationship.
3. Rogue’s Drama Is Very Easy To Get Around
Throughout most of her time among the X-Men, Rogue has always been haunted by her powers. After nearly killing her first boyfriend with a kiss, she had come to the conclusion that she would never be able to have a physical relationship with another person. This became a central part of her character arc in the X-Men movies. She attempts to be in a relationship with Iceman but is afraid that she will lose him to a girl who might not accidentally kill him with a touch.
Rogue’s melodrama has always had a solution and the writers have always just ignored it. For whatever reason, the writers used to use Rogue’s romantic problems as a source of cheap drama.
The fact is, there are numerous devices that can strip a mutant of their powers. There are also mutants and heroes who possess the ability to suppress the powers of others. There is a member of X-Factor named Forge, who has the mutant ability to create any device. He once made a weapon that could nullify the powers of a mutant. Forge intended to use it on Rogue, but it hit Storm instead. Why doesn’t he just build another one? In the X-Men cartoon, several members of the team were kidnapped on the island of Genosha and are forced to wear collars that prevented their powers from working. Why not bring one back for Rogue? One of the X-Men’s allies was a Morlock named Leech, who joined Generation X (a team of young mutants that were in training). Leech’s power was the ability to stop another mutant’s power from activating. Why doesn’t Rogue just hang out with Leech all of the time?
2. Rogue’s Forgotten Love Affair With The Sentry
In the year 2000, Marvel released a limited series based on a character called The Sentry. It was established that The Sentry was one of the most powerful heroes on Earth, but he had been wiped from existence by his enemy, the Void. The series was very popular and The Sentry would become part of the main Marvel continuity. It bears mentioning that the idea behind The Sentry was not a new one, as DC had used the exact same premise with the character of Triumph and Alan Moore had used a very similar premise in Marvelman.
It was revealed that the Void was a part of The Sentry and he had willingly sealed himself away to stop it from taking control. When The Sentry loses his mind to the Void during the “Siege” event, he is killed by Thor.
A funeral is held for The Sentry, where it is revealed that Rogue lost her virginity to him and had only just remembered, due to all of the retconning/memory wiping. It is implied that the reason she could touch him was because he was so powerful that she could never fully drain him. This was never mentioned again outside of this issue, despite the fact that Rogue having a lover in the past should have been a big deal within the X-Men or Avengers comics that she is currently starring in.
1. Anna Paquin As The Real Rogue
The first X-Men movie that was released in the year 2000 is considered by many to be the revival of the superhero movie genre after it had been killed by Batman & Robin. This first film split its focus between Rogue and Wolverine as they joined the X-Men. As the movies went on, Rogue faded out of the picture and the focus was put more on Wolverine (to the point where he is getting a third solo movie).
Rogue’s portrayal in the X-Men movies has always been divisive among the fans. The issue is not with the actress herself (most agree that Anna Paquin is perfect for the role), but rather, the fact that Rogue is so different to how she is in the comics. The movie version of Rogue only has her draining abilities and has never stolen the powers of Ms. Marvel. In terms of personality, she went from being a fiery and flirtatious badass to a maudlin sad sack, who spends most of her time moping about her powers. She spends most of X-Men 2 in a love triangle with Iceman & Kitty Pryde and barely shows up at all in X-Men: The Last Stand.
No one is more disappointed in the movie version of Rogue than Anna Paquin herself. She has said in tweets that she would only return to the role if she was the badass version from the comics. Anna Paquin stated in another tweet that if Rogue gains the ability to fly, then she will return. This might be a problem, as Ms. Marvel is owned by the Disney side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, it looks like Logan will be the last movie of this iteration of the franchise before they reboot it again. We will likely see the badass version of Rogue in the movies some day, but Anna Paquin won’t be the one to play her.