Classic X-Men #44

Issue Date: 
February 1990
Story Title: 
<BR>Elegy (1st story)<BR>Her first and last (2nd story)

2nd story:Ann Nocenti (writer), Kieron Dwyer (Penciler), Hilary Barta (Inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Steve Lightle (cover and frontispiece artist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom deFalco (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

The first story is a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #138.
2nd story:
A teenage Rogue chafes at her inability to touch others. In spite of Mystique’s warnings, she gets involved with a boy named Freddy and kisses him on a dare. When she experiences his entire life in a moment, she realizes she’ll never have a normal life and returns to Mystique, asking her to let her take part in her missions. She’s willing to do anything.

Full Summary: 

This issue reprints Uncanny X-Men #138.

second story
A teenage Rogue is having the time of her life, riding on the steering wheel of her friend Freddy’s bicycle. Freddy is riding wildly, but Rogue just urges him to go faster. The bike hits a stone and Rogue falls onto the porch of the house where she lives. They don’t notice a car arriving, as Freddy states admiringly that she landed like a cat. Freddy sweeps her down like a mock-Rhett Butler and tries to kiss her. Rogue stops him with a judo throw and admonishes him to stop it. He’s ruining it. The boy laughs, telling her that kissing ruins nothing. It’s fun. Before he drives his bike away, he tells her to meet him at the cliff later. Rogue plays coy, but he knows she’ll come.

Rogue stays on the lawn, playing with the flowers, and an elegant woman joins her, a woman who changes shape to become Mystique, her foster mother. She admonishes her daughter to stay strong and stay away from boys. She is having the opposite effect, however, as Rogue angrily shouts ah her to shut up. She can have boys and everything a normal girl can have! She wants to love and play! Angrily, she runs away, refusing to listen to Mystique, who calls after her that her power is special and needed for a mission. Rogue doesn’t want to go on a mission, she wants to be normal.

Destiny has witnessed the whole scene from her place on the porch. She turns to Mystique, explaining that Rogue isn’t like them. She may be a mutant, but she will reject their mutant brotherhood when she understands that they embrace some… darker ways. Mystique respects her lover’s foresight but points out that she is Rogue’s mother and must protect her. Mothers often lose their daughters, Destiny retorts. She shouldn’t guard her so jealously. She is not jealous, Mystique protests. She decides that Rogue can have the boy. When she’s broken, she’ll need Mystique all the more.

At the cliff, Freddy and Rogue are playing. Freddy warns Rogue to stay away from the rope that’s swinging over the cliff. It’s old and rotten and only boys swing on it on a dare. Wrong thing to say as, now, of course, Rogue has to try it. She swings and mocks that he has to save her. Freddy catches her once more, intent on kissing her. Rogue shoves him away. Why not, he asks disappointed. She takes risks everywhere else. He dares her.

Suddenly, while still holding on to the rope, Rogue kisses him. A moment later, Freddy falls unconscious and Rogue swings back, caught in the rope as she relives his life. All those things he would have told her in time: how he got his puppy for Christmas, his first fireworks, his first cigarette, his first loss, his first terror… She would have unlocked those stories slowly, all adding to the mystery that is another person. Instead, in a split second, all that Freddy is is now hers. She has her lifetime with Freddy crammed into one brutal moment.

The moment is over. Rogue sees his unconscious form and cries. For her to know someone is to rip his mind out, possess it and spit it out again. This is not and never will be love. She cries, mourning the normal life she will never have. And, finally, runs. Freddy will wake up and wonder what happened, as he will always wonder why that feisty girl named Rogue kissed him once and would never speak to him again.

Later, a hyper Rogue returns to her parents, babbling and chattering. Munching on cookies, she assure Mystique that she wants nothing more than to go on that mission she mentioned before. Mystique warns her that it will be dangerous. Great, Rogue announces. She doesn’t care. She’ll do anything.

Characters Involved: 

Rogue (in her midteens)
Destiny, Mystique


Story Notes: 

The first story is a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #138.

This is the last issue of Classic X-Men that includes a back-up feature. From that point on, all issues are only reprints with new covers.

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