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Why Can’t Rogue Touch People Without Absorbing Them?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Why Can’t Rogue Touch People Without Absorbing Them?

In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent).

Today, we look at the history of Rogue and her inability to touch people without absorbing their memories and powers (if they have powers).

We saw Rogue’s big problem when she came to the X-Men for help in Uncanny X-Men #171 (by Chris Claremont, Walter Simonson and Bob Wiacek)…

However, in Uncanny X-Men #239 (by Chris Claremont, Marc Silvestri and Dan Green), we see that when Psylocke knocked Rogue out and allowed Carol Danvers’ absorbed personality to take over control of Rogue’s body, Carol-as-Rogue was able to touch Psylocke without incident…

This made it clear that Rogue’s problem was a psychological one, not a physical one.

That is, until Uncanny X-Men #341 (by Scott Lobdell, Joe Madureira and Tim Townsend) had Joseph (the Magneto clone) temporarily “cure” Rogue’s power using a physical method…

Thus suggesting that Rogue’s powers just work this way (her absorbing everything), thus abandoning Claremont’e earlier explanation.

X-Men: Legacy #224 (by Mike Carey, Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy) seemed to restore Claremont’s original plan by revealing that Rogue messed up the evolution of her powers by absorbing the personality of her first boyfriend way too early…

Xavier went into her psyche and knocked down her psychological partitions and voila, she could control her powers…

This lasted until she was on the Uncanny Avengers and ended up absorbing the powers of Wonder Man. When Scarlet Witch went to remove Simon’s powers and personality from Rogue, it did not work…

Rogue was now back to being unable to control her absorption powers…

And that is where she currently stands, which suggests that, once again, there is some sort of physical reason for her powers working this way, even if it is something as simple as her nervous system being discombobulated.

If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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