Mr. Wayne Brown requested this, and because I can get it out faster than the others, I decided to whip this up. So, with the character of Rogue, her 2nd appearance is a doozy to figure out, and out of curiosity, I'll try to answer as best my conclusion as best as possible.
To start off and to make clear, many of these won't be great investment comics. Most are sleepers or just aren't significant enough to the over-all market.
However, concerning the evolution of Rogue as a character, many of these keys are significant in a fan base sense. Do not expect all of these to be based purely on the investment aspect.
Anyways, hope you enjoy this Rogue key comics list, and there will be more than one part. It won't be a long series, though.
Rogue steals Ms. Marvel's powers
I'm starting off with this Modern Age comic, because it precedes the events of Avengers Annual #10 canonically. Not saying it's the first appearance of Rogue, so don't get me wrong.
This story line does tell the story of how Rogue steals Ms. Marvel's (Carol Danvers) powers, and it was suppose to be featured in Ms. Marvel #25 back in 1979. Half of the artwork was completed, but as we all know, Ms. Marvel's series was cancelled before it could be published.
If that did not happen, we would be regarding Ms. Marvel #25 as the first appearance of Rogue. So, for some reason, the creatives at Marvel decided to tell this story a little more than a decade later.
Canonically, the events depicted here precedes Avengers Annual #10 since Rogue already had Ms. Marvel's powers in that issue. Marvel Super-Heroes #11 from the 2nd series was published Fall of 1992.
1st appearance of Rogue
Without a doubt, this is the 1st appearance of Rogue in comics, and there should be no argument about that. Her first mission may have been up against Ms. Marvel continuity-wise, and the events of Avengers Annual #10 are actually after the events of Marvel Super-Heroes #11 volume 2, but we're talking about the published first time comic fans see and are introduced to the mutant, southern charmer.
Yes, it's also the first time Rogue is on the cover of a comic book also, and she does start off as a villain in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Her real name is Anna Marie and she is the adopted daughter of Mystique.
The origins of Rogue is scattered throughout the years, and like most characters in comics, some are contradictory to others. In Uncanny X-Men #182, it was revealed that Rogue never knew her father because he disappeared shortly after her birth.
Later, in X-Men Unlimited #4 ran away from her father after her mutant abilities became activated, but in Uncanny X-Men #178, it was said that Mystique and Destiny took in Rogue before her mutant abilities surfaced.
Ah, gotta love comics. Still, the first appearance of Rogue in Avengers Annual #10 is definitely one to get and it has the cover date of 1981.
2nd appearance of Rogue
Whether this is truly the 2nd or 3rd appearance of Rogue, the story line in ROM from #31 and #32 are important to the character of Rogue, In Uncanny X-Men #158, Rogue is still a pretty hard nosed villain.
When she meets ROM, however, things begin to shift for the character. The story line marks when Rogue begins to question her place within the Brotherhood or Sisterhood of Evil Mutants and shows her potential goodness.
That does not happen until the next issue, however. In this issue, Mystique and Rogue free the rest of the Brotherhood from Windust Prison, in which Destiny, Avalanche, Blob & Pyro were captured after battling the Avengers in Avengers Annual #10.
During the battle with ROM, Mystique, Rogue and Destiny were forced to leave behind Pyro, Avalanche and the Blob. They escape but the story is continued in issue #32.
After receiving a reply from Chris Claremont, he did mention that this story line is a precursor to Rogue eventually leaving the Brotherhood and joining the X-Men. Bill Mantlo wrote the ROM stories involving Rogue, but they did share plot ideas for the stories they were working on.
Even though I thought otherwise before, I believe that ROM Spaceknight #31 is indeed the 2nd appearance of Rogue and you'll find out soon why I've come to this conclusion. Cover date for this comic is June, 1982.
3rd appearance of Rogue
1st appearance in X-Men comic
1st appearance in X-Men comic
In the past, I thought that the events in Uncanny X-Men #158 preceded the events of ROM #31, but now I'm quite sure that's wrong. Since this issue and ROM #31 were published the same month, there is an interesting debate about which is Rogue's actual 2nd appearance.
Trust me, it is a doozy. Disregarding actual release dates, Uncanny X-Men #158 has Mystique and Rogue fight the X-Men & Carol Danvers at the Pentagon. There is no Destiny in issue #158.
In the pages of ROM, Destiny is freed when Mystique and Rogue infiltrate Windust Prison. The male members were left behind after the battle with ROM.
Now, just because Destiny was not in Uncanny X-Men #158 isn't a clear indication that the events in this issue precedes ROM #31. She could of been mowing the lawn or something.
The story in ROM #31 continues directly in ROM #32 and that issue was published one month later in July, 1982. Would really make no sense continuity wise to have the story in Uncanny #158 in-between ROM #31 & #32.
Because the boys are not present for a while, Mystique, Rogue and Destiny are known as the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants for quite a while, and this Sisterhood is also carried over into Dazzler #22 with all three members.
Of course, Dazzler #22 (December, 1982) is the next published and released appearances of Mystique, Rogue and Destiny after ROM #32. The real kicker is that at the end of Uncanny X-Men #158, Mystique is captured at the Pentagon.
There's no story that tells how or when Mystique escapes after the events of Uncanny X-Men #158.
Chris Claremont was kind enough to respond to my question, and even though he thinks Uncanny X-Men should come first before the events of ROM #31 and #32, he wasn't 100% sure. Actually, the legendary comic writer started off the email with, "I’m afraid this is the peril of asking questions about stories that are just shy of 40 (!) years old."
So far Overstreet and CGC are unsure what to note these issues except, "Mystique, Rogue and Destiny appearances". I don't blame them, but I do think I've cracked it. Uncanny X-Men #158 has the cover date of June, 1982.
4th appearance of Rogue
In this issue, ROM immediately catches up with the Sisterhood at an old abandoned mansion right after the failed Windust Prison break out. He finds the ladies and a mutant named Hybrid have already banned together to eliminate him. When Rogue attacks ROM, he tells her that he senses no evil in Rogue unlike Mystique, and asks her why she is attacking him.
When Rogue kisses ROM to absorb his powers, she awakens emotions that ROM hasn't felt in a long time since he was human before becoming the Spaceknight. In return, Rogue felt something that she never experience before. ROM's armor had no powers to absorb, but grafted to it was some kind of noble decency that she never come across in her young life.
Secretly, Rogue is awed by this. She immediately tells Mystique that they cannot allow Hybrid to harm ROM because he is good and noble. Mystique immediately refutes this until Destiny can finally see that Hybrid plans to enslave all mutant females as breeding tools to create a race of Hybrid mutants like himself.
Eventually, the Sisterhood teams up with ROM against Hybrid and defeats him. As they depart, Rogue looks longingly back at ROM and wonders if they will ever cross paths again.
The ROM story would begin a turning point for the character of Rogue. We all know she switches sides, but these issues do hint at it and establishes that Rogue isn't a straight-up villain. Although angry and bitter and misguided, she just longs to be normal so she can be loved.
I'm not worried about this issue being the 4th appearance of Rogue since the publishing and release date is obviously after Uncanny X-Men #158. ROM Spaceknight #32 has th cover date of July, 1982.
5th appearance of Rogue
Okay, here's where things get a bit more clearer in terms of continuity. So the debate is whether the events of Uncanny X-Men #158 or ROM #31 came before the other.
In Dazzler #22, the Sisterhood is at their hideout and reflect upon recent events. Key words are "recent events".
It's in this issue where Mystique reveals the reason her and Rogue were at the Pentagon, and that was to steal experimental anti-personnel hawks to use against the Angel to scare him.
If cover dates are the same, then we have to look at release dates to determine which appearance should be marked appropriately. At least, that seems to be the current practice since quite a few comics containing the same character were released on the same date with the same cover date, especially during the Golden Age.
If cover dates and release dates are the same for two comics, we have to look at continuity or where the stories of the issues falls into the over-all timeline of the character, group, or entire Marvel Continuity. Hopefully that makes sense.
Dazzler #22 pretty much throws in a wrench to Uncanny X-Men #158 preceding the story in ROM with the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants reflecting upon recent events.
Destiny is clearly in the story for one, and the clencher is the story's recap of recent events that involve their ruse at the Pentagon and their battle with the X-Men. In subsequent panels, it clearly shows Rogue eager for another round with heavyweight Wolverine and to take a shot at Colossus.
Can't say that she lacks confidence, can we? So this issue definitely takes place after the events in ROM for one, because Destiny is present.
The issue also hints that Dazzler #22 also places the events of Uncanny X-Men #155 after the events in ROM and before Dazzler #22 in continuity. ROM #31 looks to be the 2nd appearance of Rogue.
Destiny must have been freed before this issue takes place obviously, and the whole page of dialogue in this issue obviously refers to their prior meeting with the X-Men at the Pentagon and why.
The appearances of Rogue in the Dazzler comic series does start the animosity that Rogue has towards Dazzler. Rogue would try to get revenge on Dazzler in issues #22 through #24 and #27 and #28. Tensions between the two would be carried over even when Dazzler joins the X-Men.
It is still kind of strange to see Rogue show her potential for good prior in the ROM stories and then be a straight-up and hard-nosed villain again in the Dazzler issues, but whatever. It is what it is, especially when you have three different writers contributing to a character's earliest appearances in three different comic titles.
Dazzler #22 is cover dated December, 1982. The story was written by Danny Fingergoth.
I bumped this ahead of the request line because I know the character of Rogue a bit more and could whip it up a bit faster. Boy, was I wrong.
It took me a while to uncover the continuity placement, and much thanks to supermegamonkey.net for providing the images and run down of Dazzler #22.
In one of the 2nd appearances key issues, I stated that the events Uncanny X-Men #158 preceded ROM #31, but after digging around further, I learned that was wrong.
I think Dazzler #22 pretty much places the Pentagon story after the Windust Prison break. Some sources say that the battles between Dazzler and Rogue in Dazzler's solo comic series happened before the prison break, but this can't be.
Why is that? Well, one character for certain and that's Destiny. So apologies for having to make this correction involving Rogue's 2nd appearance. I have corrected this in the prior key issues lists.
Either way, ROM #31 and Uncanny X-Men #158 are early appearances of Rogue, and as mentioned before, the story-line in ROM is important to the character despite being a 2nd appearance. Also, Uncanny X-Men #158 is still the 1st appearance of Rogue in an X-Men comic.
Chris Claremont was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer my question, but he wasn't quite sure as it was nearly 40 years ago as he put it.
If Uncanny X-Men #158 was released or hit the stands before ROM #31, then the continuity placement is void and Uncanny X-Men #158 is the 2nd appearance of Rogue. However, Mike's Amazing World of Comics, has the on sale dates for both comics at March 9, 1982.
Until this is proven incorrect, this is the appearance notations for now concerning Rogue's early appearances. Best that I can do, and I can surely say that I tried to clear things up and hope it makes some sense to you.
So, more Rogue key comics will be continued in Part 2 coming soon. See ya then.