Even when surrounded by her fellow X-Men, in many regards Anna Marie, aka Rogue, will always be alone. On a continually evolving roster of superheroes, she was dealt one of the worst hands possible. While plenty of other mutants can accept their powers as a gift, Rogue has never been able to see hers as anything more than an oft-unbearable burden. Unable to have human contact of any kind without dire consequences, she will always be somewhat isolated.
Rogue’s touch results in the absorption of a person’s energy; their memories, their psyche, and in the case of other mutants, their powers. While this is undoubtedly a curse when it comes to her relationships (and her mental stability), it is a huge asset to the X-Men. Rogue is one of the fiercest warriors the team has ever had.
Rogue’s powers make her life incredibly difficult, but they have given her a variety of incredible abilities over the years. Throughout her tenure as hero and villain, she has obtained some undeniably awesome powers.
Either by force or invitation, Rogue has absorbed the energy of pretty much all of her teammates and, of course, plenty of bad guys. Here are the 15 Coolest Superpowers That Rogue Has Absorbed.
15 Becoming and Controlling Ice
Rogue has borrowed the abilities of fellow teammate Bobby Drake, aka Iceman, multiple times. His incredible ability to create and manipulate ice is one that Rogue has been able to utilize in a variety of ways. This power has been used not only as a weapon, but also as a tool to rebuild during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, in the X-Men’s ill-fated attempt to use the Phoenix Force to their advantage.
Bobby has always had more fun with his gift than most of his X-Men pals. He didn’t struggle with self-acceptance in the same way that Rogue and many other mutants did. Bobby’s powers brought him joy and Rogue didn’t exactly hate using them either. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to hitch a ride on a sled made of ice or catch a giant ice wave in order to get where they want to go? Talk about traveling in style.
14 Becoming and Controlling Fire
Ice isn’t the only element that Rogue has wielded. Aside from Iceman, Rogue has also gotten the chance to literally play with fire after stealing the Human Torch’s abilities in Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men #4. Johnny did call her a “mutie”, so perhaps he got what he deserved. His sister Sue shut Rogue down before she got the chance to have too much fun, though. The Invisible Woman trapped her in a force field, which not only snuffed her flame out, but also revealed that her clothes went up in smoke after she decided to “flame on.”
In issue #2 of that same miniseries, Rogue also absorbed the abilities of Ben Grimm through a kiss. It is true that the Thing’s powers aren’t necessarily the coolest, but it was a sweet scene shared between two people who are both very much prisoners in their own bodies. In that moment, they both got the affection they so desperately craved and realized just how much they had in common.
13 Seeing The Future
Rogue was essentially raised by Destiny and Mystique. They took her in when she had nowhere else to go. The revelation that they too were mutants, drew Rogue even closer to them, allowing them to easily warp her teenage mind. Although she has not been seen absorbing Irene Adler’s precognitive powers on-panel, it is safe to assume that she had physical contact with Destiny when they lived together.
In X-Treme X-Men, Rogue received a power boost from fellow mutant Sage, which enabled her to call upon every power that she had ever absorbed and control them all. During that time, she manifested Destiny’s power, meaning they must’ve shared contact at some point. Like Rogue’s own ability, seeing the future can be both a blessing and a curse.
Even still, seeing events before they come to pass is a pretty handy skill, and one that Rogue was able to use to her advantage when hunting the villainous Vargas. Without the added edge of knowing his moves before he made them, Rogue might never have been able to confront the man who murdered Psylocke.
12 Ability To SMASH!
The X-Men aren’t the only ones Rogue has placed an ungloved hand on. She has tangled with plenty of Avengers as well. In Uncanny Avengers #21, Rogue absorbed the combined powers of every member of the Avengers and X-Men that she could find in order to defeat Exitar. One of the many that lent her their abilities was Bruce Banner. Of course, in order to take full advantage of the Big Green Guy’s powers, Rogue had to get pretty angry.
Aside from Bruce, Rogue also managed to steal powers from his cousin, Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk. There was a bit of a misunderstanding – one of many – between the Avengers and the X-Men, and when it resulted in students of the Jean Grey School getting injured, Rogue used She-Hulk’s power to do some pretty serious smashing.
While it is no fun at all being Bruce Banner, being the Hulk for a brief period, especially in battle, is probably pretty amazing. If World War Hulk proved anything, it was that the Hulk could beat just about anyone.
11 Controlling the Weather
Rogue has grabbed the abilities of many of her teammates more than once, but with Storm it wasn’t always due to dire circumstances. The first time these two women met, they fought and Rogue stole the weather witch’s powers. However, eventually they became close friends and Rogue shared her pain with Ororo. Not wanting Rogue to feel alone, Storm freely offered up her powers in Uncanny X-Men #185 in order to give Rogue some perspective.
It turns out that being able to control the weather is awesome. Operation Outlook Change was a success. When Storm transferred her powers to Rogue, they enabled her to see beauty in what had, up until this point, been an ugly world, and also helped her to begin to trust in someone. Sure, Rogue started a crazy hurricane, but she didn’t zap more of her friend’s power while Storm was incapacitated, even though she wanted to. That’s personal growth!
10 Power of a God
Strangely enough, Rogue began her hero’s journey as a villain. It wasn’t her fault really. Two pretty evil ladies did raise her, after all. That firmly placed her in the bad guys’ camp before she really had the chance to even figure out who she was.
Rogue’s villainous appearance in Avengers Annual #10 didn’t go great for our heroes. She basically kicked everyone’s ass – including Captain America. Of the many powers she absorbed that day, the coolest was easily gaining the abilities of the God of Thunder.
Thor kind of lives a charmed life and he doesn’t even realize it. Seriously, the guy lives in a magical world, has unlimited strength, and wields the all-powerful Mjolnir. Aside from granting her the strength of a god, absorbing his energy also made her completely invulnerable to attack. She decimated the entire team. Okay, so maybe Wonder Man deserved it for saying, "Thor's being trashed-- by a WOMAN!?!"
Uncanny X-Men #194 did not look good for the X-Men. Nimrod had not only bested the Juggernaut (who was actually living the legal life), but also several members of the X-Men. Luckily, Kitty Pryde had a genius plan. Rogue wound up absorbing powers from her, Colossus, and Nightcrawler… at the same time! This new mutant was an amalgam of all four of them, and took on Nimrod. While she doesn’t exactly beat him, they all at least live to fight another day.
This wouldn’t be the only time that Rogue borrowed Kitty’s powers, but it was a cool example of exactly what Rogue was truly capable of. This super mutant she created was more than a match for a seemingly unbeatable foe. Rogue has borrowed the powers of multiple X-Men simultaneously several times since then. During Second Coming, she even combined the powers of Wolverine, X-23, Colossus, Archangel, and Psylocke!
Let’s come back to phasing, though. Kitty’s ability enabled Rogue to become intangible and walk through walls, floors, even objects. It's not only useful in battle, but just plain useful.
As stated above, Rogue has borrowed Nightcrawler’s amazing ability to teleport in conjunction with several of their teammates' skills, in order to turn herself into an unbeatable super-mutant. However, this was far from the only time that Rogue traveled from place to place using Kurt Wagner's powers. While Nightcrawler has struggled over the years both with his appearance and the fact that he is a mutant, his powers were one area in which he never had to work to gain acceptance. The ability to get where you want faster than you can say “Bamf” is undeniably awesome.
Generally when Rogue has absorbed powers from her fellow X-Men, it has been with their permission, to aid her in fighting a Big Bad – or when she was, you know, evil. In the case of X-Men: Legacy #232, Nightcrawler was the Big Bad. He was one of several mutants possessed by Proteus. Luckily, Rogue was able to drain his power and teleport to safety.
While Nightcrawler’s teleporting ability enabled Rogue to briefly elude Proteus in X-Men: Legacy #232, he came back with a vengeance. However, an unconscious Psylocke wound up being the perfect power source and Rogue used her telekinetic sword to cut into his spirit. This move didn’t exactly end the fight or anything, but that’s another story. That wasn’t the only time that Rogue acquired Betsy Braddock’s powers though.
Psylocke’s abilities are versatile and powerful. Rogue has absorbed and used not only her telepathic sword, but also her telepathy, telekinesis and penchant for projecting illusions. Psylocke may not be the most powerful psychic in the ranks of the X-Men, but she is a ninja-telepathic-assassin and what’s cooler than that? Apparently, that’s how Rogue felt as well. When she absorbed Psylocke’s powers in X-Men (vol 4) #4, there was a serious mess to clean up and yet, there was Rogue, having an absolute blast!
6 Reality Warping
This one may be a bit of a stretch, because while Rogue did absorb these abilities, she didn’t actually get to use them. The powers of Wanda Maximoff have evolved over the years more than that of perhaps any other hero. She went from being a second string character who didn’t have much of anything up her sleeve, to being one of the most feared people in the Marvel Universe.
Rogue has managed to steal the Scarlet Witch’s powers a few times over the years and a couple of those times were in conjunction with the powers of many other heroes as well. It wasn’t until Uncanny Avengers #2 that we learned what exactly would happen if Rogue attempted to wield the most frightening reality warping powers possessed by anyone ever. It turns out… nothing. Rogue was unable to get anything at all from the witch’s magic.
According to Wanda, she simply lacked the imagination to use them. Ouch. The Scarlet Witch’s power is as unstable as she is, so it makes sense that it wouldn’t work for anyone else the way that it works for her.
Rogue and Mystique have a complicated relationship, to say the least. Raven Darkholme treated Rogue as if she were her own daughter. However, not everyone should be a parent and Mystique choosing to raise Rogue in her own image is ultimately what drove them apart. Well, that and the fact that Mystique is evil.
Mystique’s ability to shapeshift would be incredibly useful, to say the least. The problem is that most of the times that Rogue has absorbed this power, she was just trying to better understand the woman who raised her by accessing her memories and emotions. One particularly interesting usage of Mystique’s power happened in the X-Men animated series when Ms. Marvel, trapped in Rogue’s body – we’ll get to that – used the shapeshifter’s ability to appear as herself.
The fact that Mystique can look like anyone makes her one of the X-Men’s most formidable foes. On top of that, she just happens to be one of the deadliest women in the Marvel Universe. Although Rogue's allegiances vacillated early on in her comic book career, she has proven herself to be one of the most valued members the X-Men. Her battles with Mystique often test her the most.
Here’s a super handy skill that Rogue has borrowed from multiple sources. The Stepford Cuckoos, Emma Frost, Jean Grey, and Professor Xavier have all granted her telepathy at some point. She has been able to read minds or, in some cases, control them and even project images into the heads of others. Absorbing the abilities of the world’s most powerful telepaths is a tricky business and it hasn’t always gone smoothly. Borrowing power from the Stepford Cuckoos was particularly difficult, as it gave her three different perspectives inside her head.
In Uncanny X-Men #175, Mastermind had all the X-Men convinced that Cyclops was Dark Phoenix, returned from the dead to wreak further havoc. Cyclops was forced to take out his teammates one by one, eventually knocking Rogue unconscious with poppies from The Wizard of Oz (guess you had to be there). Professor X was also down for the count, but Rogue was able to absorb his powers in order to convince the other X-Men that they couldn't trust what they were seeing.
3 Healing Factor
Rogue and Wolverine have always had a close relationship. If anyone understands what it feels like to need redemption for monstrous acts committed in the past, it’s Logan. When they first meet, Rogue is still a villain and steals his powers, just like she's done to the others. She has always had a penchant for absorbing abilities with a kiss, probably because this is the only physical contact that she is ever allowed and she desperately craves it.
The first time Rogue uses Wolverine’s powers is in stark contrast to the next time. By Uncanny X-Men #173, Rogue was still on shaky ground with the X-Men and a mission to Japan with Wolverine began to really change all of that. Rogue took a laser blast to save Wolverine’s fiancée, Mariko, prompting him to willingly transfer his healing factor to Rogue.
This was the first time she had ever been offered someone’s power, as opposed to taking it. Her refusal only made Wolverine trust her more. This would hardly be the only time that Rogue used his ability to heal, but it was certainly the most poignant.
2 Manipulating Magnetic Fields
Rogue has had several complicated romances over the years, the most famous of which is probably her on-again-off-again relationship with Gambit. What many don’t know is that Rogue also had fling with Magneto. There have been certain times over the years that kissing Magneto produced the same result as Rogue kissing any other mutant. However, this was not the case in Uncanny X-Men #304.
Although Rogue was able to absorb Magneto’s incomparable magnetic abilities, he remained unaffected; so great was his power. Rogue has attempted to seduce her former lover into submission, but with varying results.
There were times, as in X-Men: Legacy #251 that Rogue has even had to rein him in when he was a good guy. She was forced to steal his power in order to combat the damage that he was doing. We all know that Magneto is a guy who tends to get a wee bit drunk on power. Still, he is one of the strongest mutants in the world, and his power is certainly one of the coolest that Rogue has ever absorbed.
1 Superhuman Strength, Flight, and Invulnerability
It is tragic that the most badass set of powers Rogue ever absorbed managed to destroy what little semblance of self she had, and also put Ms. Marvel in a coma for years. During Rogue’s villainous beginnings, she fought Carol Danvers and held on for too long, making the absorption permanent. Unfortunately for both women, Rogue didn’t just wind up with Ms. Marvel’s superhero powers, but also with Carol’s personality warring within her.
It has long been an issue for Rogue that everyone’s psyches get tangled up in her own after she uses her abilities. Ms. Marvel was definitely the most serious case of this. However, while the transfer yielded terrible results, it did help Rogue onto the road of recovery with the X-Men. All of the aftermath would get sorted eventually and in the meantime, Rogue became one of the most powerful woman in the Marvel Universe! Not only could she put down a bad guy with a single touch, but also the girl could fly, had super strength and was nearly invulnerable.
Too bad things didn't work out so well for Ms. Marvel for quite some time. We will finally get to see Carol in her MCU glory when Marvel's first female-led superhero movie, Captain Marvel, arrives in theaters March 8th, 2019.
Which of the powers Rogue's stolen from the X-Men is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!