Rogue (3rd series) #7

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
Forget Me Not: part 1

Tony Bedard (writer), Karl Moline (pencils), Rick Magyar & Drew Hennessy (inks), Transparency Digital (colors), VC’s Dave Sharpe (letters), Scot Eaton (cover), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Stephanie Moore (editor), Mike Marts (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Rogue sits alone in a diner. There, she accidentally absorbs waitress Darla’s memories. A few seconds later, she sees a surprising revelation on the news: both she and Sunfire have been revealed to have once worked for Mystique. Rogue knows that she once was in the Brotherhood, of course, but Sunfire wasn’t and she wants to clear that up. In Japan, Sunfire has it difficult with these revelations. He is no longer Japan’s greatest hero until his innocence has been proven. Wolverine calls him up for help, but Shiro doesn’t even answer the call. Instead, he contacts his cousin, the Silver Samurai, to help him commit suicide. Rogue phones in just in time and offers her help to Sunfire to clear things up. At first, Sunfire hesitates in accepting her help, but eventually does and makes the Silver Samurai arrange a few calls so that Rogue can be in Japan within the day. A plane arrives for Rogue, but on it is none other than Lady Deathstrike! Deathstrike is furious at Rogue and fights her, because the villain wants revenge on Rogue for what both she and Mystique stole from her father. Rogue doesn’t know what Deathstrike is talking about, and eventually manages to buy enough time to escape from her and steal Deathstrike’s plane to fly to Japan. There, in a base in Tokyo, the Silver Samurai returns to his real boss, a mysterious woman cloaked in shadows, who wants Rogue dead.

Full Summary: 

“Some things you never forget… no matter how badly you want to.”

A young girl with Rogue’s face remembers how Riley and she always talked about running away to the city. Now, they are finally going to leave the one-horse town they lived in. But first, Riley wanted to stop for cash. The girl didn’t realize that meant robbing a store. The girl was supposed to honk the horn if she saw anything, but she couldn’t take her eyes off Riley. And the only thing that arriving deputy cared about was his next cup of coffee. Neither of them saw what was coming until it was too late.

The deputy walked into the store. The girl desperately ran after the deputy to warn Riley. Riley panicked and shot the deputy! The girl, Darla, tried to tend to the wound. Riley got angry at her because she was supposed to warn him and didn’t. He points his gun at the storekeeper and wants to kill him as well. Darla has heard enough. Unnoticed by Riley, she takes the deputy’s gun out of his pocket, and kills Riley with it! The guy behind the counter was grateful enough to give Darla a head start. She didn’t know where she would go or how she would pay her way. The only sure thing was that she spent the rest of her days on the run.

Rogue herself sits in a bar and has just accidentally absorbed a passing-by waitress named Darla. Rogue realizes that it were the waitress’ memories she just saw, but doesn’t say anything about it to Darla. Darla herself feels a bit dizzy. Rogue asks Darla if she’s okay. Darla gets a hold on herself and apologizes about how she acted.

Meanwhile on the news, the reporter mentions a scandal involving Japan’s national hero: Sunfire! Three days ago, Tokyo’s leading newspaper printed a story detailing ties between the family of Shiro Yoshida, and the Japanese criminal organization known as the Yakuza. It included evidence that Sunfire’s cousin, Shingen Harada, was a Tokyo crime boss. And the report also mentioned Shingen’s uncle, Tomo Yoshida, and claimed that he was an anti-American terrorist. And there were also allegations of Sunfire’s own involvement in criminal enterprises overseen by another cousin of his, Kenuichio Harada, a.k.a. the Silver Samurai! The reporter says that such rumors have circulated for years, but only now have mob hits, political payoffs, extortion rackets and arson been linked so comprehensively to Sunfire and his family.

Rogue knows that maybe Sunfire’s siblings were so bad, but not Shiro himself. Darla asks Rogue if the man is a friend of hers. Not exactly, Rogue answers. The reporter continues and says that today, the Japanese government suspended Sunfire’s status as national protector, pending their investigation. The news also shows a photograph of Sunfire with the notorious terrorist Mystique. And the photo is as clear as it is incriminating. The reporter explains that Mystique is currently wanted by the Department of Homeland Security for acts of terrorism against the United States.

Also pictured is Rogue herself! The news has found out that the picture was taken when the now-X-Man was then a member of Mystique’s Brotherhood of Mutants. The reporter claims that experts have examined the original photograph and determined that it is not a forgery. Rogue doesn’t understand it. On the picture, both she, Mystique and Sunfire triumphantly stand over killed ninja’s and a destructed landscape.

Rogue doesn’t know what to think of it. Darla easily recognizes Rogue at the photo, but since Rogue has been nothing but nice to her, Darla decides to give her a second chance and helps her escape out of the dinner.


A sulking and drinking Sunfire sits in his high office building. The phone rings, but Shiro doesn’t want to answer it. The answering machine answers the call instead. It’s Wolverine, who calls from the Xavier Institute to ask about the truth. Logan has heard that Shiro tore up half the Ginza gang in an effort to clear his name. Logan knows that Sunfire wants to fix things by himself, but offers his and the X-Men’s help. Wolverine believes that Sunfire must not be present and hangs up.

The Silver Samurai appears behind Sunfire. Shiro thanks Kenuichio for coming. The Samurai explains to Shiro that he even would have come even if Sunfire didn’t contact him, because the so-called “news” story sent shock-waves through the Yakuza. The Samurai knows that the gangsters wonder why the reporter focused only on Shiro, when the Samurai was the one who sought control on Clan Yashida. The Silver Samurai wants to pay the liar a visit. Shiro tells him not to, as a threat from the infamous Silver Samurai would only convince him the story is true.

Sunfire also knows that the news isn’t their real enemy. He thinks that someone gave the reporter that evidence. Someone who connected the dots for him. Shiro simply knows that someone provided that photograph to the news, knowing that guilt by association was more than enough to disgrace him. Sunfire is angry, as he hasn’t slept in three days. He has turned up the heat on every street thug, every Sokaiya and Oyabun he has ever heard of, but no one knows who set them up!

And even if Shiro finds them, he realizes that the damage has already been done. The public always believes the worst of mutants like him and Kenuichio. And Shiro believes that in his case, humans have good reason. He remembers that the first time when anyone heard of Sunfire was when he attacked the U.S. Capitol. The Silver Samurai consults his cousin that everyone knows that Shiro’s uncle tricked him in doing that. And besides, he adds, that happened years ago, so why would Shiro bring it up now? Sunfire reveals that’s because he has wasted those years trying to rewrite his past. All the good deeds in the world cannot unmake his mistake, he believes.

Sunfire knows that the Samurai agrees with him. Sarcastically, Shiro asks the Samurai if he has found it easy to atone for his crimes. The Silver Samurai remains silent. But Sunfire had foreseen that. Shiro knows that the Samurai spent the last two years dismantling the Yashida Clan’s illegal holdings, and yet the world still fears him. For his own part, Shiro thinks that perhaps he deserves the same. He has done all he could to avoid accepting responsibility for his family’s sins. But to spend a lifetime in disgrace when there is one sure way to cleanse his stain on their family honor? No. Shiro doesn’t want that. Sunfire tells the Samurai that he has called him there to be his second.

Honored, the Samurai realizes everything Shiro has done for him, so how could he say no? Sunfire takes out a blade, kneels down and prepares to commit suicide. The Samurai takes out his sword, charges it up and prepares to finish Shiro off.

Suddenly, the phone rings. Shiro hates it and at first ignores it. The answering machine picks up again. It’s Rogue. She wants to know if Shiro knows where the snapshot from the news came from, because Rogue doesn’t recall ever meeting him back in those days. So the photo must be a fake.

Sunfire suspects Rogue to be part culprit in this as well and asks her to stop play innocent. Rogue makes it clear to Sunfire that she doesn’t have anything to do with it, as she always hates it when people remind her what a crook she used to be. Sunfire isn’t impressed by the remark and tells Rogue that she and the police can spare themselves the effort, as he will carry out his own sentence. Rogue asks Shiro what he means by that. Sunfire thinks that’s pretty obvious. Rogue hesitates for a while, but then tries to make Sunfire understand that’s the easy way out and won’t settle things.

Sunfire asks Rogue what she knows about his problems. That’s the million-dollar question for them both, Rogue replies. But for starters, Rogue explains that she is in a photograph she doesn’t even remember to ever being taken. Sunfire doesn’t remember that either. Rogue asks Sunfire to send a plane for her so that they can figure things out together. And, Rogue adds, if after that Sunfire still wants to fall onto his sword, she won’t stop him. Sunfire agrees and silently whispers to the Silver Samurai and asks him if he can send a plane for her without official interference. The Silver Samurai bows to his cousin and says that he can, and explains that if he can make a few calls they can pick her up within a few hours.

A few hours later, Rogue has made it to a low-level airport. She knows that she’ll be in Japan within the day. Rogue admits that she admires Sunfire a bit for all the strings he can pull, despite him always being the hothead. To pass the time, Rogue reads a magazine and wears sunglasses to keep a low profile. A young girl enters the room Rogue waits in. She notices the white stripe in Rogue’s hair and tells her that she doesn’t smell so bad, comparing the stripe to that of a skunk. Katey’s dad comes in and asks his daughter to stop annoying Rogue and come back with him. Rogue tells the father that Katey’s no problem. The man thanks Rogue for that and informs that her plane has arrived.

Rogue goes outside, and sees the plane. She wants to step aboard, but then… Lady Deathstrike jumps out of it! Deathstrike is furious at Rogue and attacks her, telling Rogue that she won’t get away for what she did to her father. Rogue doesn’t know what Deathstrike is talking about and tries to stay away from her claws, remembering that they are as strong as Wolverine’s. Rogue at first wants to absorb Deathstrike’s powers, but then remembers that she can’t since they are mechanical.

Rogue goes back into the room she waited in for safety, but forgot that Katey was still there. Deathstrike follows Rogue and jumps into the room through the window, ignoring everything that’s around her. Rogue picks Katey up and tries to bring her into safety. Katey thinks that Rogue will do something bad with her and tries to get away from her, and pushes on her face. As a result, Rogue absorbs Katey’s memories about a time she was impatient while her dad was filling the gas tank, and told her not to bother anyone. The memories quickly stop and Rogue makes it to the hangar, where she locks Katey up.

Lady Deathstrikes uses the advantage she sees and slashes Rogue with her claws. Barely with breath left, Rogue asks Deathstrike what she wants from her. Yuriko reveals that she wants back what Rogue and Mystique stole from her father. Rogue still doesn’t know what the villain is talking about. Lady Deathstrike tells Rogue that she will return to Japan with her, where they shall see exactly how much Rogue really knows. And Deathstrike tells Rogue not to pretend for a moment that poker can harm her. Rogue notices the chimney in the room and puts a stick in it, so that the fire goes out of control. Rogue warns Katey and her dad to run outside. Lady Deathstrike follows, but Deathstrike jumps in front of a truck, which the flames of the fire touch and the tank explodes with her still in front of it.

Rogue makes it to the plane and absorbs the pilot’s memories on how to fly it. Lady Deatsthrike, while on fire, has survived the blast and tries to catch the departing plane, but fails. She shots at Rogue that this isn’t over yet, and that it’s only just beginning!

The Sagacho District, Tokyo, Japan…

A mysterious voice from behind a locked door asks a thinking Silver Samurai if Lady Deathstrike killed Rogue. The Samurai walks over to the door and looks through the small window on it and looks at an even more mysterious woman cloaked in shadows. He reveals to her that Rogue still lives. The woman isn’t surprised, as she remembers Rogue to always be harder to kill than she looked. The Samurai explains that if Lady Deathstrike sought to kill the woman’s friend instead of merely capturing her, they wouldn’t be having this conversation. In any case, the Samurai realizes that Rogue is coming here to Japan, presumably to confront his cousin. And they both know that Rogue will find them both waiting for her.

Meanwhile, an unsuspecting Rogue continues her flight to Japan, but is ready for anything.

Characters Involved: 



Silver Samurai

Lady Deathstrike

mysterious woman cloaked in shadows

Katey and her dad

waitress Darla

various people at Darla’s restaurant

(on television)

MNN news reporter (unnamed)

(in Darla’s memory Rogue absorbs)

Darla (with Rogue’s face)

Deputy Riley

her boyfriend (unnamed gangster)

shop owner Bud

(on photo used to frame them)

Mystique, Rogue, Sunfire (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

various ninja’s they killed (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The photo must be forged, as so far known Sunfire never was a member of any Brotherhood version.

Rogue and Sunfire really aren’t that close friends. In the past, they more often fought each other than acting friendly. The most recent battle between these two mutants was in X-Men (2nd series) #93-94.

Rogue first found out that she couldn’t absorb Lady Deathstrike in the X-Men Annual 2000.

Sunfire indeed first appeared when attacking the US, but the original X-Men team managed to stop him (Uncanny X-Men #64).

Shingen Yoshida was the father of Mariko, Wolverine’s almost wife, and indeed a crime lord. They fought each other over Mariko, with Wolverine suffering his first big loss ever. Shingen was eventually killed in a rematch by Wolverine, who thereby “won” Mariko’s love. [Wolverine (1st series) #1-4]

Sunfire’s uncle, Tomo Yoshida, indeed was an anti-American terrorist who wanted to kill them all. Learning about Sunfire’s new powers, Tomo tricked Shiro and brought up his hatred on the Americans too. That wasn’t so difficult, as Shiro always had a disliking towards them, thanks to the death of his mother. Tomo even killed Sunfire’s father because Sunfire failed to kill the X-Men and all the Americans. In return, a furious Sunfire killed his uncle but was never charged for it due to his diplomatic immunity. [Uncanny X-Men #64]

This issue finally reveals that the Silver Samurai didn’t die after his final appearance in a battle with Elektra in Elektra (2nd series) #4. In that issue, Elektra stabbed her sais through his chest and he collapsed. The Samurai hadn’t been seen afterwards and fans assumed that he was killed. This issue reveals otherwise, but does not elaborate.

However, in the recent story of Alpha Flight (3rd series) #9, there was a whole new “Ebon Samurai,” among Big Hero 6, the team where both the Silver Samurai and Sunfire were members from (Sunfire being an exception). So far, it’s still not cleared up if the Ebon Samurai is a whole new character, or if it was the Silver Samurai in a new armor and new name. However, in this issue, the Silver Samurai is back in his classic look, which brings up even more questions than answers.

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