Welcome back to the X-Journey that dovetails into The Avengers with Rogue’s first appearance in Avengers Annual #10. The funny part of reading the origin for the first time is that it did surprise me. Oh, I knew that Rogue got her powers from Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel but I forgot what period of time this was for Carol. See there’s a different setup for Rogue’s first appearance than you’d expect. I have much more to say on this than I did Gambit’s first appearance. Mostly because Rogue’s first appearance is stranger than you’d think. You’ll see what I mean as I go further into this. All I can say is, I had reactions to this that I didn’t expect to have. Read on my friends as we continue The X-Journey. This is seriously one of those where I truly say, I really do hope you survive the experience.
Note: Chris Claremont wrote this and it is well written and a great first appearance for Rogue. This happens to take place though in a severe low point for Carol Danvers. Wow was it ever a low point.
You know this is a first time because I had no idea Spider-Woman was part of the first Rogue story. It does make sense though considering he was writing Spider-Woman at this point in 1981. That was the first surprise out of all this, Spider-Woman played a fairly big role in this adventure. She’s the one that finds a woman being dumped over the Golden Gate Bridge, which turns out to be Carol Danvers after Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew takes her to the hospital. The fun fact with this is Chris Claremont also wrote Ms.Marvel at one point too before all this so both characters were a part of Claremont’s writing life by 1981. It’s wild to see how these all tie together by the end of this issue.
(Chris Claremont you little scamp. You had to sneak in Maddy Pryor. I cracked up. Beautiful little hint for later on in the X-Men Universe.)
What I love about this too is how you can tell right off the bat Chris Claremont is a genuine fan of Carol Danvers. After a certain story that we’ll talk about later within the Avengers, Carol Danvers needed someone who wanted to work with her and by golly Claremont was up to the task. You know how great a character Carol is. The weird factor of the story is Rogue has already zapped Carol of her powers. She’s right now a shell of her former self. Yet Spider-Woman knows who to call to help Carol out, being Professor X and this gives us our X-Men cameo in the Avengers Annual. Oh and yes we will get to Rogue soon I promise but I had to give some extra backstory as it is necessary.
(Seriously, Claremont tells the reader how great Carol is. It’s sort of his way of rehabbing Carol for events later on in the issue and giving added emphasis to what Rogue did to her.)
Now we are at the point where we get to Rogue. Thank you for patience here. We do get a sequence with the X-Men talking about stuff that went down with Kitty Pryde in the mansion and the X-Men rebuilding parts of it. I won’t dive into that much as the important part is this getting Professor X in the picture. He reveals that Rogue is the scourge that did this to Carol Danvers. Take note of the art here and see the level of detail to show how terrifying Rogue is at this point. This is our first introduction to her and that’s impressive. We know she’s powerful but we don’t know how she got to this point. That’s some strong build up right there. I like it.
(Give some love to Michael Golden’s art with Armando Gil’s inks, my goodness it’s gorgeous stuff. Even better? Golden colored all of this! Beautiful work all around.)
When we get our actual introduction to Rogue in action she is straight up beating the crap out of Captain America. Now that my friends is something no reader is going to forget anytime soon. Imagine reading this back in 1981 and seeing this for yourself, it would stick with you. Take note, at this stage Rogue has fully absorbed the powers of Ms. Marvel so she is a force like no other. She’s stil learning but she’s absorbing as much power as she can along the way. Her absorbing the powers of Ms. Marvel the way she did was more out of her inexperience with her abilities than anything else.
As this goes on, Mystique disables Iron Man and Rogue absorbs the energy from Captain America and Thor for reasons to be revealed later here. Now when Spider-Woman tells the Avengers all that goes on, you learn what happened to Ms. Marvel before she ended up in the hospital. That’s when you relive one of the creepiest Avengers stories ever. There’s a CBR article I’ll link here that explains it better but it involves a mysterious pregnancy of Ms. Marvel, mind manipulation, and so many more terrible things. A big part of this issue outside of Rogue’s first appearance is rebuilding Carol Danvers. This annual takes many upon many turns.
(This is the streamlined version of the story and it still made me cringe and say many “Ew’s”)
(This is seriously the streamlined version. The CBR article I linked details it better but this gives you all of the awful no good very bad story you need to know.)
I really did mean this to be a Rogue focused piece but when I read it, the tale expanded quite a bit.
Anyway, after that detour we are back to the Rogue show. Which really means back to the Rogue and Mystique show. Now we get to see what the ultimate plan is with disabling Iron Man and getting the energies of Captain America and Thor. The plan is to get the rest of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants out of prison. Now here is the thing, from here on it’s a big ole splashy mega fight. There’s a clever bit of Mystique using her shapeshifting ability to impersonate Nick Fury and other cool uses of the Brotherhood’s abilities. Claremont had a lot of fun with Avalanche, Blob, Pyro, and Destiny in this fight with the Avengers and Spider-Woman and it showed.
Now I get to streamline this as the rest of the issue is straight up action and Mystique gets Rogue out of that battle. It’s a beautiful fight and a joy to behold so I highly recommend checking out this issue for that fight alone. After this though we go back to a mostly recovered Carol Danvers at the X-Mansion and it gets pretty wild from here. The last bit of this issue is Chris Claremont’s pipebomb on that awful Avengers storyline. Carol Danvers is his spokesperson to deal with his own feelings on that tale. I won’t link the entire pipebomb as the CBR article has it in full. Let’s just say though, it’s worth reading. I’ll link part of it here but the rest, check out the CBR article.
I tell you all this much, The Avengers don’t look good at all by the end of this pipebomb. Rogue’s first appearance was only half the story here. I did not expect this comic to take me on the ride I went on but I went on it by golly.
Avengers Annual #10 was a shocking and surprising read. Rogue’s first apperance was only part of this whole adventure. This also set up Carol Danvers for a brand new adventure which may lead us into one Binary journey down the line. The Michael Golden and Armando Gil art makes this issue one amazing read in itself. Anyway, thank you all for reading this. I know I only looked into Rogue so much but Rogue only made so many appearances here and I’ll get to dive more into her in the X-series proper. Thanks for reading and as always I really am glad you survived this experience with me. Take care everyone and bye for now.