Rogue (3rd series) #12

Issue Date: 
August 2005
Story Title: 
Forget Me Not: Conclusion

Tony Bedard (writer), Karl Moline (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Transparency Digital (colors), VC’s Dave Sharpe (letters), Scot Eaton (cover), Molly Lazer (assistant editor), Stephanie Moore (editor), Tom Brevoort (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Thinking she is still evil and back in her old Brotherhood of Mutants days, Rogue keeps attacking the X-Men until she has defeated them all. Blindspot asks her to take the chance and escape, which they do. Blindspot takes Rogue to her apartment, where she at first keeps lying to Rogue, but Rogue demands to know the truth. After looking into a mirror, Rogue realizes that she isn’t seventeen anymore, but thirty years old. Blindspot explains that she wanted Rogue back because they are one of a kind, and that she was lonely because she had no one to share her wealth with. Blindspot has even kept Rogue’s old Brotherhood costume, as a memory. Rogue demands to have her past back. They make a deal: Rogue gives Blindspot her new costume so that she can remember the present and not the past, and a content Blindspot gives Rogue all of her memories back. She returns to the X-Men, who have recovered from the battle. However, Lady Deathstrike has managed to escape. Rogue remembers about Sunfire, and she and the X-Men rush back to the house they were held prisoners in. Somehow, Sunfire’s body is gone! The X-Men aren’t sure what has happened: Wolverine catches the stink of death, or did maybe Deathstrike come back and take his body with her, but what could she do with it? Later, Blindspot is asleep in another apartment, and hugging Rogue’s new costume.

Full Summary: 

Rogue thinks she still evil, like she has been in her past, and doesn’t hesitate at all in attacking the other X-Men! Iceman is confused and asks Rogue why she is doing this. She attacks him with the plasma blasts she absorbed from Havok, and smiles that she is just doing what comes natural! With Bobby down, Rogue fires Havok’s blasts against Polaris, but she defends herself using her magnetic powers. Lorna has had enough of the fighting, and uses her powers to wrap up a nearby car, and traps Rogue inside it!

Blindspot panics. Lorna notices the memory thief and flies towards her, demanding that she get away from Havok or else she’ll make her pay! Rogue frees herself using the combined powers of Sunfire’s flames and Havok’s blasts, and yells at Polaris not to threaten her friend like that. Rogue attacks Polaris with her flame powers, and knocks Lorna out. After checking and concluding that Blindspot is okay, she absorbs Lorna’s powers. However, doing this, she doesn’t notice the sneaky Wolverine, who tackles Rogue down.

He wants to fish her off with his claws, but Gambit warns him not to do it. Logan calms down a bit, and shouts that Rogue has to give him one good reason why he shouldn’t. Rogue sarcastically smiles, and can give Logan about two hundred reasons why he shouldn’t: his bones! She uses the magnetic powers she absorbed from Polaris, and lifts Logan up in the sky, and throws him away! Gambit jumps to safety, but Logan instead falls against Iceman, whose body once again breaks into tiny ice cubes, except for his head, torso and part of his arms.

Gambit tries to talk some sense into Rogue, and asks Marie why she is doing this. Rogue gets confused, and wants to know how the Cajun knows her real name. Blindspot realizes that this could be trouble. In the heat of the battle, nobody notices that a heavily damaged Lady Deathstrike, with one of her arms and legs torn off, tries to escape.

Rogue moves closer to Gambit, who keeps talking to her. He tells her that he is the man she loves, and that she has told and shared so many things with him, including telling him her real name. Gambit tosses his bo-staff on the ground, to prove that he won’t fight Rogue, as he never wants to hurt her. Rogue hesitates, and thinks that this is some kind of trick, as she thinks they’ve never met before. But, she has to admit that Gambit makes her feel things. Gambit explains that he is a mutant like Rogue is, but thinks it’s her heart she is feeling. Maybe it remembers what her mind has lost?

Blindspot interferes. She promises Rogue to explain everything once they have escaped, and claims that the X-Men are not her friends. Gambit realizes that Blindspot has got something to do with Rogue, and wants to take her back to Xavier’s. Blindspot asks Rogue if that sounds like something she wants to do. Gambit begs Marie to listen to her heart. Rogue hesitates, and remains silent.

Rogue thinks she knows best. She admits she has met some mighty smooth talkers in her day, and hates to see Gambit fighting on the wrong side. She magnetically lifts up his bo-staff, and wraps it around his body, trapping the Cajun. Gambit doesn’t give up, and tries to tell Rogue that she isn’t acting like herself. Blindspot moves closer to Rogue and, smiling, responds that Remy must think that Rogue isn’t acting like the X-Men have turned her into. Gambit shouts to Rogue that, if she doesn’t believe him, she can touch him and absorb the truth. Blindspot lies that Gambit is only buying time so that Wolverine can recover, and that they have to escape to her place before that happens. Rogue agrees, and uses her new flame powers to fly up and escape, but wants Blindspot to tell her the truth once they are safe.

The Ginza District, three minutes later…

Rogue and Blindspot land in the middle of the street, not even caring about the people looking at them. Blindspot laughs that this has been the most fun she has had in years, and admits that she can’t stand the X-Men. This surprises Rogue, and wants to know why Blindspot wanted to escape instead of letting her finish the do-gooders off. Blindspot understands, but mentions that the situation is a more complicated than it seems. She explains to Rogue that if she’d let her do something irrevocable like that, Rogue might hate her later for it, once she understood what’s happened, and Blindspot doesn’t like to see that happen.

Rogue understands, but now wants Blindspot to start explaining things, as she has a lot of questions. For example: why are they in Japan and why are they here without Mystique, and what the heck is going on?! Plus, Rogue wants to know about the half destroyed robot-lady on the ground, referring to Lady Deathstrike. Plus, she also wants to know why she suddenly has flame powers, which seem to be permanent, as she has noticed that the powers she borrowed from the X-Men are already gone again.

Blindspot tells her to calm down, and they arrive at an apartment block. The owner, Mr. Ishii, is glad to finally see Blindspot again, as she was beginning to fear that she might have been dead! She apologizes, and Ishii hands her over her room keys. A short while later, they enter Blindspot’s room. She explains that she isn’t in Japan that often, but keeps the room year-round, just in case. She also mentions to have others in Paris, Moscow, Milan, Rio and so on. She promises Rogue to show them all, as she has planned a lot of capers in mind for them, and looks forward to finally see things as the way they should have been.

Rogue isn’t much interested and just wants Blindspot to tell her the truth. The last thing she remembers is flying home after burning half the Yokohama waterfront with the powers she borrowed from Sunfire. Suddenly, she finds herself back in Tokyo, with Mystique’s worst enemies acting like they are her long-lost friends. And, Rogue admits, she learned that it wasn’t an act, since when she touched them, she could tell they really thought her as one of them.

Blindspot seeks something under a bed, and opens a suitcase. She explains to Rogue that’s the reason why she didn’t want her to kill the X-Men yet. Rogue just wants to know what happened between her and them, as she guesses she has amnesia or something, except Blindspot is there. Rogue wants to know how much Blindspot really took from her, and how old she really is.

Blindspot takes a mirror from the suitcase, and… Rogue is stunned! She looks like she is thirty years old or something! Blindspot asks Rogue if she believes that she is her friend. Rogue isn’t sure. Blindspot thinks that Rogue does know, and asks the question again. Rogue hesitates for a while, before eventually confirming. Blindspot tells Rogue she can bet her life that she is her friend. And what she did, Blindspot adds, is because she loves Rogue. Because she is maybe the only person in the world she can say that about, the only one like her.

Rogue wants to know what Blindspot did. She lies that she rescued Rogue from years of brainwashing at the Xavier Institute. That they made Rogue believe in Xavier’s dream of mutants and humans living as equals, which Blindspot admits would be great if they lived in an alternate reality, but the truth Rogue asked her for is that everybody is not equal. She thinks that God doesn’t work that way. She thinks that some of them are born to give and some to take. There’s no shame in that, it’s just the way it is.

Blindspot explains that she knew the real Rogue, before Mystique turned her into her “attack dog.” Blindspot knew when she and Rogue met, when she found that she was immune to Rogue’s touch, that they were one and the same. Blindspot sees them as wolves, as their mutant talents say it all: they steal memories, bits of people’s lives. Though Rogue goes even further: she steals people’s skills, abilities and power! Rogue turns away from Blindspot, and silently asks her not to call her a “taker.”

Blindspot smirks, and thinks the only crime is denying it, which is what she says Xavier and his X-Men spent years forcing Rogue to do. Blindspot has one other thing to show Rogue: her original costume! Blindspot explains she has kept this little souvenir since the good old days. It even smelled like Rogue for the longest time. Rogue takes it, and notices how curled it looks. She asks Blindspot if she lied against it at nights, or something. Blindspot doesn’t answer the question, but looks sad.

She tells Rogue that she doesn’t know what it’s been like for her. She is always on the move, knocking off museums, financial firms, palaces and fortresses around the world. There isn’t a security system or police department in the world that can stop her. She must have stolen a billion dollars, and… Blindspot cries. Rogue understands: Blindspot never had anyone to share it with. Blindspot still cries, but laughs and confirms it. She adds that when she part ways someone, she takes all of their memories about her. Standard operating procedure to Blindspot. It keeps her out of jail, and off any “wanted” lists, but the price is… nobody knows she exists!

Rogue remembers that the guy at the front desk was worried about Blindspot. She explains that by the time they fly to Hong Kong, he won’t remember her, either. But she admits she can’t keep living like this. She feels like a ghost! Rogue is glad to finally have heard the truth. She realizes that Blindspot didn’t steal her memories to save her from Xavier; she did it because she was lonely. Blindspot doesn’t see the error in that, and asks Rogue if what she is going to leave is so much better than what she is offering. Does protecting people who hate her sound like fun?

Rogue can’t say. Maybe it is. She wonders how she could know unless Blindspot gives her back what she took. She wants to know if what the Cajun told her was true, and if she really loves him. She can’t let Blindspot make her forget that as well. Blindspot lies that Remy LeBeau is a professional thief, a taker. Just like they are. Realizing this, Blindspot isn’t surprised that Rogue was drawn to him. She is confused about how this got turned around, as Rogue is making it sound like she wants to hurt her.

All Rogue is saying is that, no matter how bad Blindspot wants to change the past, she can’t just erase it. She can’t just hit the reset button on someone’s life. Whoever she has become, Rogue demands that Blindspot lets her deal with it honestly. Blindspot doesn’t want to do that, and tells Rogue she doesn’t know what she’s asking her. Rogue is aware that Blindspot thinks she is doing her a favor, but it really is for herself to decide. Rogue fires up and wants her life back.

However, Blindspot would rather die than to give Rogue back to Xavier. She just wants to pack their things and catch their plane. Rogue and Blindspot look at each other for a while. Blindspot leaves the room with her suitcase, leaving Rogue’s old costume behind. Rogue powers down, and looks seriously. At the same time, Blindspot walks through the hallways alone, and starts to cry again. Suddenly, she trips. Blindspot turns around to her room, and realizes what has to be done.

Meanwhile, the X-Men have recovered from their battle with Rogue. Gambit and Wolverine are trying to piece Iceman’s broken body back together. After that, Havok wants to dust off and start the search for Rogue again. Wolverine explains he has caught Rogue’s scent, and mentions that he has friends in low places of this town. She thinks it might be best if Gambit and he track Rogue quietly. Rogue, in full fire power, lands in front of the X-Men, wearing her old costume and tells them that she’s back. Wolverine recognizes the costume and remembers what it represented, and snikts his claws open, just in case.

Rogue tells Logan he can calm down, and explains that there was a woman who made her believe that she was back in her old Brotherhood of Mutants days. Gambit doesn’t understand, but Rogue promises to explain things later. She first wants to know what the X-Men did to Lady Deathstrike. But… they didn’t even know she was here!

The Sagacho District…

Rogue takes the X-Men to the house where she and the dying Sunfire were prisoners. But now, Shiro’s body is gone! Rogue thinks that Deathstrike must have come back for him, but wonders what she could do with a corpse? Gambit thinks that Shiro isn’t as dead as Rogue might think. Wolverine isn’t sure, as the stink of death is all over the place. Rogue however wants to find out for sure. She explains that Shiro sacrificed himself to save her life, and now she is afraid she has permanently absorbed him like she did with Carol Danvers.

Wolverine doesn’t understand, and wants to know how Rogue could have ever let something like that happen again. Rogue is ashamed, but she doesn’t know. She didn’t even want to risk it, but Shiro was stubborn. But, Rogue doesn’t want to make excuses. She thinks that Blindspot might have been right about her. Maybe no matter how much she fights it, this is who she is: a taker. Gambit wants to know if this woman made Rogue turn on the X-Men, what Rogue eventually did to her.

Rogue explains that she let Blindspot go. She destroyed Sunfire’s life, and pretty well wrecked hers. But, in the end, Rogue did the only thing that seemed right. She thinks Blindspot realized she couldn’t really make her seventeen again. Maybe what she has learned as an X-Man runs deeper than memory. So, Blindspot let her free and Rogue returned the favor. Blindspot gave Rogue her past back, so Rogue gave her a piece of her present: her new costume. And if they really are one of a kind, Rogue thinks that maybe her costume will remind Blindspot that she can change, and stop living in a hell of her own making.

At the same time, elsewhere, Blindspot lies sleeping in her bed, with Rogue’s costume next to her, and she hugs her X-badge.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Polaris, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Blindspot II

Lady Deathstrike

various Japanese citizens including Ishii-San

Story Notes: 

Series finale. Chronologically, Rogue’s adventures continue in X-Men (2nd series) #171.

Iceman’s body was also destroyed not so long ago. But at that time, it took the entire water essence of the life of Ginniyeh to fully restore him. [Uncanny X-Men #434]

Rogue absorbed the powers of Carol Danvers in Marvel Super Heroes (2nd series) #11. She them permanently absorbed for a very long time, and her identities even switched with Ms. Marvel’s from time to time. However, upon entering the Siege Perilous and coming out from it, Rogue and Carol’s identities were separated from one another, though Rogue still had her powers. Rogue permanently lost them after almost dying at the hands of Vargas, and they didn’t return until after she somehow, mysteriously, got her powers back off-panel.

Rogue’s real name long has been a secret well kept and wasn’t known by anyone, possibly not even Mystique. Rogue revealed her first true names, namely Anna Marie, to Gambit and the X-Men after she lost her powers and she and her lover tried to build a life together. Her last name is still unknown, though.

It remains to be seen what happened to Sunfire’s body at the end of the story. However, as he’s said to return in the upcoming “House of M” storyline in New X-Men: Academy X, he most likely he didn’t die and isn’t absorbed in Rogue’s body. Also, in the letters page, writer Tony Bedard mentions that Rogue’s flame powers she borrowed from Sunfire are now permanent. This explains how Rogue suddenly could throw fire at Iceman and Polaris in X-Men (2nd series) #171.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: