Debuting in the 1980s initially as a villain, the mutant known as Rogue became an essential piece of the world of the X-Men.
Rescued as a young child by the mutant couple Mystique and Destiny, Rogue learned how to be a capable fighter as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Initially portrayed as a character with the ability to absorb the mind and powers of others, Rogue lacked any real strength or skills other than absorption. However, after her fateful meeting with Ms. Marvel, Rogue soon obtained the powers that would make her one of the strongest heroines within the X-Men.
Her abilities led to changes in her physical and mental capabilities as she continued to absorb more superhumans and mutants’ powers. Although Rogue continued to be plagued by the after-effects of using her powers, she still utilized her talents when needed.
Although fans continued to admire her for her great strength and fighting abilities, the truth of the fragility of her broken minds became a significant weakness for her. Also, her powers leave her without the ability to touch another living soul with skin-to-skin contact without hurting them. Between her broken mind and lack of human contact, Rogue can be seen as a very lonely individual.
In this article, we want to explore the different aspect of Rogue’s body that makes her so unique. Her abilities have become more complex over the years, retain small pieces of each person she absorbed.
From coma-inducing attacks to living as a near-immortal, here are 20 Strange Things About Rogue's Body.
20 She Put Her First Crush Into A Coma
Since her powers manifested at a very young age, she felt they have been more of a curse than a blessing. Being unable to touch another human being eventually became a hindrance to both her social and romantic relationships. In fact, her first experience with this power manifested during an event that would normally be considered a sweet childhood milestone moment.
Rogue’s first crush, a young boy named Cody, decided to sneak a kiss from her. However, this was the exact moment her latent mutant powers manifested, affecting Cody as soon as their lips touched.
Her contact with Cody, though innocent in nature, led to the long-term adverse effects on the boy.
After their kiss, he slipped into a permanent coma. This event traumatized Rogue and began her life-long struggle with her powers.
19 She Can Absorb Memories as well as Powers
When she first appeared in the Marvel Comics back in the '80s, Rogue was depicted with a very unique mutant ability: the power to affect others with just her touch. To be more specific, Rogue could simply touch another person, and she would absorb their physical strength, memories, or even their superpowers.
In order for her powers to work, she must maintain some skin on skin contact with them.
Although these abilities may not seem powerful (you know, someone could just avoid being touched), her skills have actually been beneficial in major fights over the years.
However, since all parts of her body are affected by this mutant power, she cannot have physical contact with most people.
18 Her Absorption of Ms. Marvel's Powers Changed Her Life
Although Rogue’s “draining” ability did seem very powerful, her abilities eventually led to a confrontation that would change her life forever. During a battle between Rogue and Carol Danvers (aka Ms. Marvel), Rogue came in contact with Danvers for an extended period of time.
The absorption of her powers led to her gaining the ability to fly at tremendous speeds. Moreover, she gained immense strength, durability, a 7th sense, and incredible stamina.
This moment in comic history became the defining moment for Rogue, taking her from a simple mutant with absorption powers to one of the strongest female characters in the universe. The power transfer was so intense that Rogue retained the powers for the rest of her comic career.
17 She Was Supposed To Resemble Grace Jones
Rogue’s creation and history in Marvel Comics took over twenty years to be fully revealed to readers. Even her physical appearance in the story did not go as originally planned.
Co-creator Chris Claremont had a specific plan for Rogue’s looks in the comic, but the plan fell through.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, Claremont’s shared ideas with artist Michael Golden fell through: “Claremont’s only advice to Golden was that the musician and actress Grace Jones should inspire Rogue and that she have white streaks in her hair. The only problem was that Golden had never heard of Jones — this was years before her appearance in the second Conan the Barbarian movie or the James Bond film. Well, at least the white streaks made it in.
16 Her Friend Blindspot Could Cancel Out Her Powers
After the traumatizing incident with her first crush, Rogue left her home to live in insolation. She eventually found a loving home with Mystique, Destiny, and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. However, one member of the mutant group was able to give Rogue the physical contact she desperately craved.
The mutant Blindspot had the power to erase someone’s memory simply by touching them, which canceled out Rogue's.
Rogue and Blindspot became quite close after this discovery, however, the friendship didn’t last very along. Mystique kicked Blindspot out of the group, leaving Rogue without a real friend. Before leaving, Blindspot erased everyone’s memories so she could live the rest of her life without being recognized by any of them.
15 The Longer The Contact, The Weaker Her Opponent Becomes
Another aspect of Rogue’s mutant abilities is dependent on the length of contact she has with her target. Once Rogue makes contact, the longer she maintains the connection, the longer she can use the received powers. As she became stronger, her victim became weaker, being drained of both their abilities and memories.
The general formula for her absorption rate is that “victim's abilities and memories are absorbed for a time sixty times longer than the period of time Rogue was in physical contact with that person.”
Some victims have suffered dramatically from extended contact with her, resulting in long-term effects for them and herself.
For example, her contact with Ms. Marvel left the heroine in a coma for a few years, with her powers only fully restoring several years later.
14 Some Characters Can Resist Her Powers
Rogue must make contact with her victims in order to absorb their powers and memories. Usually accomplished through a simple skin-to-skin touch or even kiss, the brief contact is quite effective. Though her powers seem unstoppable, there have been occasions when she has been unable to weaken a victim through absorption.
If Rogue encounters someone who is far more powerful than herself, she is unable to drain them of their powers without hurting herself.
Several characters proved to be too much for her absorption, including her infrequent love interest Magneto. She attempted to kiss him in the past to absorb his powers but become overwhelmed instead.
In X-Men/Alpha Flight issue #2, she attempted to kiss Loki to drain him, only to walk away with none of his powers. Even her relationship with The Sentry resulted in no power transfer.
13 She Once Had Instant Fatal Touch
Over the years, Rogue absorbed some powerful and unusual abilities. From powerful icing abilities to incredible strength, her mutant powers have given her advantages in many battles. However, on occasion, she has absorbed powers that extended beyond the primary defensive and offensive abilities.
In particular, she once gained the ability to eliminate her enemies. After encountering the villain Pandemic, she gained his ability of instant fatal touch thanks to the Strain 88 virus. She was hospitalized after the battles and discovered the new skill.
Cable took advantage of her new abilities and forced her to help him defeat Hecatomb. However, when she used her new skill, she not only defeated him, but absorbed the minds of eight billion entities that were inside, sending her into a coma.
12 She Accidentally Took Gambit's Life With A Kiss
The long-standing relationship between Rogue and Gambit certainly had its ups and downs. The two have tried making the relationship work despite Rogue’s inability to have physical contact. Sometimes it works, but other times, they can’t seem to get things right.
On one occasion, Rogue even inadvertently ended her lover. Depicted in What If Sinister Learned the Greatest Secrets of the Marvel Universe on Earth-979, Gambit decided to join forces with Mister Sinister because he found a cure of Rogue’s mutant abilities. He believed he could not pursue a physical relationship with the woman he loved.
Rogue, however, doubted this claim and decided to prove her point by kissing Gambit. Yeah, that was a mistake. She did, in fact, win that argument and terminated her lover in the process.
11 She Can Absorb Multiple Powers At Once
The complexity of Rogue’s powers extends well beyond the possession of another person’s abilities or psyche. Not only can she access both aspects of her target but she can collect multiple powers/ minds at a time. With each person she touches back to back, she can add another dimension to the skills she already possesses. She has yet to hit a limit on how many targets’ powers she can collect at a time. So far we have seen her possess five powers at a time. During the events of X-Men: Second Coming, she gathered the powers of Wolverine, Colossus, Archangel, Psylocke, and X-23 at simultaneously. The result was one of the most powerful forms fans had ever seen Rogue take so far. She almost reached six mutants in total, but Nightcrawler died before the process was complete.
10 Her Adoptive Mother Used Her Body As A Weapon
The relationship between Rogue and her adoptive mother Mystique tended to be quite complicated at times. Mystique cared for the young girl and loved her as her own. She helped the girl come to terms with her powers and trained her to be a fearsome fighter. However, not everything between them remained on a positive note.
During the X-Men: Endangered Species comics, Mystique actually shot and kidnapped her own daughter in order to use her.
While Rogue was unconscious during her captivity, Mystique pushed Mister Sinister’s face against Rogue’s in an attempt to destroy him.
The plan worked with the unconscious Rogue draining all of the power and life out of the villain.
9 Wolverine Let Her Drain His Powers
Understandably, most people, humans or mutants alike, would not want to go through the experience of having their very psyches ripped from them. Usually, Rogue sneakily stole these powers, utilize whatever methods necessary to make contact with their skin. However, in Uncanny X-Men issue #173, she found her first willing target: Wolverine.
Her relationship with the hot-tempered mutant began to change while on a mission in Japan. Considering her relationship with the X-Men seemed unsteady, they were cautious about working with each other. However, their relationship changed when Rogue stepped in to save the life of Wolverine’s fiancée.
She took a laser blast on her blast, leaving her close to the grave. Because of her kindness, Wolverine allowed Rogue to absorb some of his powers to save her life.
8 She Takes On The Physical Attributes of Victims
The process of Rogue absorbing another mutant’s powers comes with variances, depending on the type of mutant that she comes in contact with.
For example, when she absorbed the powers of the Hulk, her skin turned the same shade of green, and she gained a more muscular form.
Not only will she gain their skills and psyche, but their physical appearances as well. Rogue’s appearance when she gained the powers of 5 different mutants was quite menacing and included Wolverine’s claws and Archangel’s wings.
Basically, the best of each mutant she is able to absorb. In contrast, if she were to gain the powers or memories of a mutant that still retained a typical appearance as a human being, none of her physical features would vary at all.
7 She Has Never Used Her Abilities To Take Anyone's Full Life
Although there have been numerous instances of different versions of Rogue throughout the Marvel Universe, Earth-616 Rogue remained pretty consistent in her behavior. She viewed her powers as a curse, limiting her ability to have real physical contact with the people she loved. Although this overwhelming feeling followed her throughout most of her adult life, she never used her powers to harm others intentionally.
On occasion, she has miscalculated the time for her absorption and left some victims in near-life states. Most victims would end up in comas lasting years.
Even when he obtained the fatal touch thanks to Strain 88, her victims simply slipped into a permanent vegetative state.
This version of Rogue has never ended anyone's life with her powers.
6 She Can Block Telepaths From Reading Her Mind
Although most fans have known about Rogue’s abilities, they may not know about some of the lesser known effects of her powers. Thanks to the absorption of Ms. Marvel’s powers, Rogue not only gained physical strength but mental strength as well.
Because Carol Danvers’ psyche resided within her mind, it made it impossible for anyone with telepathic powers to read her thoughts.
Even the members of the X-Men had difficulty scanning her memories and feelings. The existence of more than one psyche within her mind made it difficult to parse her mind.
This side-effect also worked as a defensive mechanism against enemies trying to take over her mind. Because of this block, much of Rogue’s history remained a mystery to her colleagues and to the readers as well.
5 Mental Blocks Directly Affected Her Mutant Powers
One of the most significant flaws of Rogue’s ability has been her inability to control when she can use her powers. Her absorption powers are constantly on an “on” state, emitting over her body at all times.
Rogue continued to struggle to understand how they work and how to control them. However, in X-Men: Legacy issue #224, Rogue seemed to finally gain a better sense of why her powers left her feeling isolated and helpless.
With Professor X’s guidance, Rogue successfully explored her mind and worked to overcome the mental blocks that she put into place when she used her powers. She discovered that the control of her powers resulted from insecurities and doubts within her own mind. In the end, she appeared to have complete control over them, as she was shown kissing Gambit without incident.
4 A Kiss From Deadpool Healed Her
The next significant change for Rogue came with her collaboration with the hero known as Wonder Man. During their confrontation with the Celestial Executioner, he became another willing participant in Rogue’s absorption tactics.
Seeing their collaboration as the best option to defeat their enemy, he allowed Rogue to absorb his essence to be successful. After the battle, Wonder Man’s power remained within her. In fact, these newly acquired powers effectively negated her ability to control her own skills, leaving her unable to touch others yet again.
She continued to live with her increased abilities until she eventually kissed Deadpool in the middle of a battle. His healing abilities helped free Rogue of Wonder Man’s essence and returned her to normal.
3 Wonder Man's Powers Made Her Indestructible
Despite the absorption of Ms. Marvel’s powers and abilities, Rogue could still be hurt during a battle. Her increased stamina and durability could protect her to a limit. She could still suffer severe injuries and wounds that required time to recover from. However, since she absorbed the essence of Wonder Man, Rogue’s overall durability increased drastically.
The tissues in her body became extremely durable and could harden to help her resist injury. Her body could also resist being penetrated by various weapons, unlike before.
She could even withstand high-caliber machine gun bullets against her own skin.
Her new hardened and resistant body could also survive high falls, strong impacts, and physical attacks from stronger enemies. Her abilities even extended to her resistance to extreme conditions including incredibly hot or cold environments.
2 She Became Nearly Immortal
Initially, the only absorption that seemed to have a lasting effect on Rogue’s life remained her interaction with Ms. Marvel. With such long connection with the mutant during their initial fight, Rogue retained many of the heroine’s powers permanently, making her a compelling opponent. However, her interactions with Wonder Man soon expanded her capabilities as a mutant.
Thanks to Wonder Man's contact, she no longer ages, living as a near immortal.
She found she could no longer contract infections or diseases either. Also, his ionic energy provided a more powerful source to maintain her vitality well beyond the life of a normal human being.
1 Past Absorptions Haunt Her Mind
Although Rogue’s powers seem enviable, the long-term effects of absorbing the very essence of other people has become too much for her. Along with their abilities, she gained their memories and the emotion tied to them. Over time, the numerous people she has taken into herself eventually broke her own psyche.
She received echoes of the personalities that have been absorbed along with their powers, causing multiple “people” to still reside in her mind.
The feeling of those memories in her head could almost be compared to Dissociative Identity Disorder. For example, the remnants of her absorption of Ms. Marvel continued to plague her for years, with the memories from the heroine acting as its own personality within in mind.
Do you have any other strange trivia to share about Rogue of X-Men? Let us know in the comments!