The ability to absorb the powers of any mutant of your choice (or any non-mutant, for that matter) seems like the perfect skill for any Marvel character to have. Need to fly, heal, and slice and dice all at the same time? Take off your glove and take it!
Sure, the proximity of the mutants who have those abilities is a key factor in the usefulness of such a power, but X-Men‘s scrappy Rogue is usually pretty resourceful about using her abilities. Except when she’s not.
Every mutant has that whole adjustment period to get accustomed to their powers. It’s like adolescence but with mortal peril involved. Between great personal risk and harming others beyond repair, Rogue’s learning period proved to be so chaotic and violent that it even involved usurping another mutant’s powers completely as her own.
Rogue’s rashness and, in some cases, unfortunate ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time have cost her everything from her sense of self to her own sanity at times. Those who’ve sought to use and abuse her powers for their own gain have left further scars for Rogue to heal.
Some catastrophic and some merely uncomfortable as hell, these are the 15 Worst Powers Rogue Has Absorbed, Ranked.
When you can access any power in the world, it stands to reason that some of the powers you come into contact with could be pretty addictive.
When Rogue absorbed Juggernaut’s power (it was actually Black Tom’s power, shared by Juggernaut as a birthday gift) in Marvel Team-Up #150, the awe she felt at the great power she accessed was only rivaled by the instant sorrow brought on from losing the power when Juggernaut tossed the Ruby of Cyttorak into space in order to prevent anyone from sharing his power once again.
In Uncanny X-Men #218, Rogue takes another taste when she punches Juggernaut with zero effect, so she kisses him in order to absorb enough power to tear off his helmet and render him vulnerable. This time she flings him onto a railroad track and pummels him so hard she leaves a crater in the ground. Ouch.
Just thinking of the words “Becoming Mojo” probably makes you vomit in your mouth a little bit. It’s not even just the way the creature looks (ew), but the way Mojo behaves that makes him such a disgusting villain.
Mojo is the Marvel version of a reality TV producer, and he thinks it’s funny to watch mutants fight to the death, die in extreme conditions, and otherwise find their gruesome ends as long as they are televised.
When Rogue absorbed the nasty villain’s powers in the Uncanny X-Men Annual #10, she couldn’t even contain them in her body. She passed out before she could do anything with the powers and claimed that there was simply no end to his disgusting abilities. What little she took had no effect on Mojo, either, which just added insult to injury. She couldn’t even loosen the lid to the pickle jar for her teammates, so to speak.
Despite the terrifying nature of Rogue absorbing Hecatomb in X-Men #199 and her sickly appearance as she fought the effects of a battle with Pandemic, she happened to look pretty fierce as she, you know, took on the 8 billion lives that the weapon had absorbed all into herself. It seemed like just another day in paradise.
It was quite the opposite, in fact. Rogue had been recovering in a hospital from the Pandemic infection spreading through her body when Cable called out to her for aid, and in the process not only did she further harm herself and her fragile state of mind by taking on all of those people, but she started it by waking up and killing a nurse in the process.
Sometimes Rogue has ideas about how to use her powers that stem more from curiosity or the hope to stretch her limitations than simple good intentions. “Hmm, I’ve never tasted god power. Let’s find out what that does to me!” is basically her justification for taking power from Loki in X-Men & Alpha Flight #2.
When Rogue’s hand makes contact, it doesn’t work and she’s stunned instead of triumphant from the experience. Loki, of course, was also immune to her efforts. He even tells her so, telling her that she’s gallant but futile, and later she is left reeling from the experience.
As her surrogate daughter, one might believe that Rogue has some protection when it comes to Mystique, but that’s simply not the case with the notorious villain. She has stabbed, shot, used, and attempted to seduce her boyfriend, but Rogue has not always simply rolled her eyes and called a friend to complain like most daughters.
She actually stole Mystique’s powers to find out if her mother truly slept with Gambit, her boyfriend at the time, but as vehemently as Gambit denied it and as cryptic as Mystique remained, no one ever discovered whether Remy, an accomplished liar, was truthful or not.
Rogue has also “innocently” peeked into Mystique’s mind, chirping, “Penny for your thoughts?” in Marvel Fanfare #60 as she reached her pointer finger over to tap her mother’s cheek. Mystique looked horrified as Rogue retorted, “I can’t believe you were thinking about THAT! Cripes, Mystique!”
Mullet-Rogue also took Mystique’s powers in Marvel Super Heroes #2 when Mystique attempted to justify manipulating her (one of many, many times), but it was one of the several times that Mystique forced herself into Rogue’s psyche against her will. Many daughters might say that they have their moms in their heads, but they certainly don’t mean in this literal sense.
10. Weapon Omega
In X-Men Legacy #264, Mimic crashes into the Jean Grey School with Weapon Omega in tow, saying that his buddy needs help. As soon as Weapon Omega notices where he is, he rushes to absorb all of the energies that he can, prompting the team to capture him and hold him in a containment chamber until his powers are stable again.
Beast analyzes Omega and determines that he’s basically a walking time bomb after absorbing different types of energies. Mimic and Beast think it will be a good idea to help out and absorb some of the energy, but both Mimic and Rogue become extra bombs as a result!
Rogue and Mimic are able to absorb energy from one another and pretty much cancel out their bomb statuses by the next issue, but Omega has to be put into a temporary coma. Being a bomb can’t have been the highlight of Rogue’s 2012.
9. Psylocke, Wolverine, Colossus, X-23, And Archangel… All At Once
It had to happen sometime, right? Complete overkill of Rogue’s abilities.
In X-Men: Legacy #235, Rogue becomes the X-Men version of Captain Planet by combining the powers of X-23, Wolverine, Angel, Colossus and Psylocke. She does this in order to offer Hope Summers the best protection while Nightcrawler transports them all over the country, giving Cable and the rest of the team a chance to fight the villain Bastion and his crew, who are after Hope.
The resulting effect is kind of cool… but it also kind of looks like someone disassembled all of their action figures and just randomly put them back together.
The tactic works for a while and Rogue has to protect the three of them with all of her powers, but it’s still not enough. Bastion manages to find them while Kurt pauses, exhausted. One of the most memorable deaths in comics occurs as Nightcrawler is murdered by Bastion while saving Hope, something that naturally never leaves Rogue’s mind afterward.
It was another, albeit more recent, case of had to happen eventually: Rogue smooched Deadpool in Uncanny Avengers #22 and restored him to the pre-cancerous Wade Wilson milkshake that brought all the superwomen to the yard.
Rogue still managed to look pretty adorable, even after Wade said that she deserved better than absorbing “his crap” and she told him that she didn’t care what she looked like. She might care if she looked and smelled like Pool completely and all of the time!
Sure, Rogue felt like she owed the Merc with a Mouth after pretty much kicking his butt, but she also started to fall for him. Either way, the experience, at least as far as the transference of power, could not have been the most pleasant of Rogue’s absorption moments, so her affection for Pool is what made her come back for another smack.
Mephisto is the demon we all love to hate, especially since he broke up Spider-Man and MJ. When Rogue took some of his power, it was all completely under the demon’s control as he allowed the mutant to absorb his power on purpose.
In Mephisto Vs. The X-Men, he planned on using Rogue’s powers in order to steal the soul of a beaten, powerless Thor. Mephisto used his powers to control hers, kissing her and fulfilling her dream of being intimate with someone without draining their powers.
Luckily Thor was able to escape the entire plot, but Rogue still has to live with the mental anguish of being manipulated by a demon along with all of the other trauma she’s encountered in her life.
Rogue’s absorption of Sunfire‘s powers remains one of the moments of her life that haunted her. During Rogue’s third series (as well as Uncanny Avengers), Sunfire felt himself dying. In critical condition, he wanted Rogue to absorb him as a better death than his own suicide. He made the case that she’d need his powers to help defeat Deathstrike, but Rogue hesitated, unwilling to harm him.
Blindspot shoved Rogue onto Sunfire in order to take his powers and Rogue apparently drained him to death, fully absorbing his personality and going after Deathstrike with no holds barred.
The X-Men arrived in time to stop Rogue from destroying Deathstrike completely, but Sunfire took over and made her believe they were enemies, causing her to attack them. Ultimately it was discovered that Rogue did not take Sunfire in completely – he was rushed to a hospital by a group of ninjas.
When Rogue attempts to take the powers of anyone not of our world, it can get pretty complicated. When she absorbed the villain Spiral’s powers in Uncanny X-Men #206, Spiral’s personality took over, resulting in one of Rogue’s creepiest and most nefarious presences in comic books. Spiral’s psyche even mocks Rogue as she takes over, calling her a silly girl and reminding her that she was “born dancing through minds as through life.”
Rogue then had two extra pairs of arms. Between these added appendages and her takeover by Spiral, the villainous Freedom Force was able to obtain the upper hand and took over the superheroes until their commanding officer arrived and ordered them to stand down.
4. Wonder Man
When Rogue absorbed the powers of Wonder Man in Uncanny Avengers during the fight to stop the Apocalypse twins, it seemed like the ultimate trust exercise. They both were on board and after Wonder Man told her, “Take all I’ve got,” she completely absorbed Simon’s abilities, becoming stronger than she’d ever imagined to be possible.
Rogue is already arguably one of the strongest Marvel characters in physical form so this was incredible for her… until she attempted to expel him from her body with the help of Scarlet Witch. He remained inside, giving her his powers permanently.
Rogue while filled with Wonder Man powers is a formidable force, but it’s also a traumatic state for the mutant, especially since she’s fully absorbed other heroes before, resulting in dual personalities and feelings of deep guilt.
3. Brood Queen
Too many evil villains have attempted to use Rogue’s powers for their own gain, and in Contest of Champions #4 that’s exactly what the Brood Queen did.
The Brood Queen poses as Gambit in order to obtain Rogues’s trust. Then she infiltrates and takes over Rogue’s body as well as her mind in order to use her power-stealing abilities and take all of the hero powers that she desires. Throughout the rest of the issue, Rogue as the Brood Queen hosts the contest, smiling and carrying on well enough to freak out fans who voted on which characters should fight one another.
It is ironically through the threat of Carol Danvers, AKA Warbird, that the Brood Queen finally panics and flees from Rogue’s body. She realizes that Warbird, out for revenge, would not hesitate to kill both the Queen and Rogue.
2. Mr. Sinister
When your mom uses your comatose body to murder her enemies, what are you going to do? Fans were shocked when Mystique took matters into her own hands after Sinister informed her that her daughter was incurable and shoved his face against her unconscious daughter’s in New X-Men #46.
He fell to the ground dead soon afterward and Mystique admitted that she’s always known that he couldn’t create a cure for her before she sank into a corner in her grief.
It’s bad enough to be forced to take someone’s powers in your sleep, but Rogue was forced to commit murder while unconscious by her own mother figure! To make it even worse, it all came down to Mystique’s plot to make Rogue love her again. If she truly knew her own daughter, she’d know that Rogue would never want to murder someone, no matter who they were, including the innocent baby that Mystique also used to bring her daughter back from the brink of death.
1. Ms. Marvel
It is still considered one of the most tragic moments in comic history. Not only did Rogue steal Carol Danvers‘ powers completely in Marvel Super Heroes #11, absorbing them into herself and making them her own when she attacked Ms. Marvel, but she also took on Danvers’ identity inside herself, causing a dichotomy that nearly drove her mad.
Sometimes Danvers took total control of Rogue to the point of even buying her new clothes and styling her hair differently in order to express herself rather than her host.
Rogue nearly murdered Danvers in the process as she threw her off a bridge in order to get the woman out of her mind, but Spider-Woman rescued Danvers and sought help from Professor X in restoring her mind.
Both women had long journeys ahead of them in order to come to terms with their new identities. Rogue spent many years attempting to make up for what she’d done and becoming a trustworthy member of the X-Men. Evidently it worked as she eventually became the school’s leader.
What other terrible powers has Rogue absorbed in X-Men? Sound off in the comments!
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