Rogue’s story starts in Caldecott County, Mississippi, with a young, beautiful woman named Priscilla. Adored by many, including her younger sister Carrie, Priscilla often went out to parties and came back home drunk. One night, likely during one of these parties, Priscilla met her lover, Owen, who eventually proposed to her. They married in a very early stage in their relationship and went off to start a commune with a bunch of their friends, planning to go back to nature, as was a common endeavor in those days. The marriage was a bad one and, in an attempt to fix it, Priscilla got pregnant. Nine months later, she gave birth to a baby girl, Anna-Marie, with Carrie acting as a midwife. Growing up, Anna-Marie had a happy childhood for a few years. However, her parents, still part of the commune, became involved in a crazy plan to reach “the Far Banks,” a dreamland from Native American mythology, where the rules of the physical world no longer applied. The commune even hired a shaman to take them to the Far Banks, but something went wrong during the ceremony.

Owen had planned to sacrifice Priscilla to the spirits of the Far Banks, but somehow she took control of them and angrily closed the mystical place behind her as she vanished. Left alone, Owen asked Carrie to move in and helped him raise his daughter. Anna-Marie, who had been nicknamed Rogue, didn’t have a happy childhood with her aunt though, as she was a strict disciplinarian. It was these events that played a part in her making the decision to run away from home, trying to live all by herself.

In the swamps and holding a gun she either took from her father or picked up somewhere else, Rogue was found by a woman named Raven Darkholme, aka Mystique. The shapeshifter approached Anna-Marie in the guise of a normal-looking friendly woman, and offered her a room and a meal. Rogue accepted and went along. Eventually, Raven and her friend, the blind Irene Adler, aka Destiny, revealed themselves to be mutants, but Rogue wasn’t bothered by that – they were being nice towards her and she agreed on being adopted by them. The couple raised Rogue during the following years. [Rogue (3rd series) #2-3, X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #4]

Contradictory reports exist, but it seems Rogue came to live with Raven and Irene well before her powers manifested. When Rogue got older, she was very popular with the boys of the town and was frequently asked out on dates. Before her powers manifested, the boy she most frequently dated was Cody Robbins. When they shared their first kiss under a full moon, Rogue felt her mind fill with Cody’s memories and saw Cody simultaneously fall into a lifelong coma.

Scared and confused, Rogue ran away, but some townsfolk became suspicious and, before long, Rogue was chased by a angry mob. While looking at her followers, Rogue bumped into a stranger and fell unconscious. She never saw how she was rescued by the time-traveling Cable, as he quickly dealt with the mutant haters and had already left before Rogue woke up again. [Rogue (1st series) #1, Cable (1st series) #87]

[Note: In X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #4 Rogue is said to have run away from her father because of the incident with Cody, yet a majority of stories establish that Rogue already lived with Mystique before her powers manifested. For example, in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #178, Rogue says that Mystique used to comfort her when she had bad nightmares and X-Men (2nd series) #93 shows a photograph of Mystique embracing Rogue with their bare skins being in contact.]

Over the next years, Mystique and Destiny tried to train her how to control her powers as well as they could, but unfortunately they were not professional teachers. Rogue kept dreaming of a normal life, of having a boyfriend like other girls her age, and she didn’t want to listen to Mystique’s constant lecturing anymore. One day she was spending some time with another boy, Freddy, who dared Rogue to kiss him. Again, her powers kicked in, but Freddy was luckier than Cody. He woke up fine, though Rogue would never speak to him again. She finally realized that she could not live among normal people and decided to participate in her adoptive mother’s criminal activities. [Classic X-Men #44]

Growing up, Rogue frequently tested her limits. Mystique often needed to keep her in line, as Rogue took her powers too lightly and enjoyed using her abilities for fun. Rogue also began experimenting with her hair, as she dyed her naturally white streak on top of her head brown, only to replace it with two white streaks on her temples, apparently in an attempt to look older. Mystique did not like this hairdo, but she couldn’t do anything about it. [Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #60, Rogue (3rd series) #10]

It was in these times that Rogue got to know the mysterious woman known as Blindspot. Mystique and Destiny often worked together with this mutant during their criminal missions, though the three never truly liked each other. Rogue and Blindspot became close friends, mainly because they found out that Blindspot’s powers were so alike to Rogue’s that they could touch without Rogue’s absorbing her. During their final mission together, they were hired to travel to Japan and break into the house of Lord Dark Wind, the father of Lady Deathstrike, and steal his plans for the adamantium bonding process. In order to succeed, they had to team-up with Sunfire, who hadn’t long before discovered his mutant powers. During the mission, Sunfire was knocked out and Rogue “borrowed” his flame powers. She happened to like flying quite a lot and would have wanted to keep these abilities, but they faded too, though not before Rogue destroyed major parts of Dark Wind’s estate. Although they hadn’t accomplished their actual mission, the Brotherhood still classified this as a victory and to celebrate it Blindspot took a photo of Mystique, Rogue and Sunfire with Dark Wind’s burning property in the background. Back home, though, Mystique had enough of Blindspot and kicked her out of the group. To protect herself, Blindspot erased not only Mystique’s but also Rogue’s and everyone else’s memory of her to move on without being recognized. [Rogue (3rd series) #10-11]