I know that Rogue can absorb "memories" when she touches someone, but that's a very vague, handwavey term. Does she absorb practical skill sets as well? By that, I mean not just the theory but the skills themselves. For example, if she touched a martial arts master, does she just know how to throw a punch properly, or can she fight at a master level?


3 Answers 3


From her profile on Marvel.com (emphasis mine):

Rogue's mutant ability requires skin-to-skin contact to absorb memories, powers, personality traits, physical talents, and strength.

The combination of memories + physical talents indicates to me that, were she to touch a martial arts master, she would be able to fight at that master's level, as if she were that master.

  • 3
    It may be worthy of note that (based on various comments made over the years) a fair part of her training has been spent learning to maintain control of her mind when she picks up someone else's memories, etc. This might serve to limit her ability to fight as that master would. (At the least, it provides an "out" if they don't want her to for the purposes of the current story)
    – RDFozz
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 16:55

Yes, Rogue absorbs practical skills as well as memories.

In Contest of Champions II #5, the Brood Queen took control of Rogue's body, and used it to absorb the abilities of several heroes, including Captain America and the Hulk. Later in the same issue, she uses Cap's martial prowess and the Hulk's strength to judo toss the Thing.

BROOD QUEEN: In the Hulk's memory, I see many occasions when you and he have fought. But those were encounters of brute force. Now you face that titanic might...mated to the martial prowess of your world's greatest soldier. No contest.

Contest of Champions II #5, page 15.

Contest of Champions II #5 (November, 1999)

In X-Men Vol. 2 #108, Rogue uses the absorbed skills of Cecilia Reyes to perform major surgery on Moira MacTaggert.

ROGUE: Moira, Cecelia Reyes is a trauma surgeon. Ah absorbed her not so long ago. The mem'ries are still fresh an' so are the talents. My mind may be blank, but my hands know exactly what to do.

X-Men Vol. 2 #108, page 5.

X-Men Vol. 2 #108 (January, 2001)

In Rogue Vol. 2 #3, Rogue absorbs the skills of a Seattle Bomb Squad member and uses them to disarm a bomb.

CYCLOPS: You did it, Rogue! You disarmed it!

Rogue Vol. 2 #3, page 18.

Rogue Vol. 2 #3 (November, 2001)

In Rogue Vol. 3 #7, Rogue absorbs the skills of a pilot and uses them to fly a private jet.

ROGUE: Sorry, pilot-san, but I need instant flying lessons, and your boss will have to catch another plane!

Rogue Vol. 3 #7, page 21.

Rogue Vol. 3 #7 (March, 2005)

In Rogue Vol. 3 #9, Rogue absorbs fluency in Japanese from a yakuza.

YAKUZA: You...you speak perfect Nihongo--?!

ROGUE: Right now I do.

Rogue Vol. 3 #9, page 11.

Rogue Vol. 3 #9 (May, 2005)

In Rogue Vol. 3 #10, Rogue absorbs a lifetime of ninjutsu training from a ninja.

ROGUE: A lifetime of ninjutsu trainin' suddenly coursed through a teenager from Mississippi. Lord Dark Wind's boys never knew what hit 'em.

Rogue Vol. 3 #10, page 19.

Rogue Vol. 3 #10 (June, 2005)

In X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #271, Rogue comes into contact with a member of an alien species called the Vray and absorbs the ability to speak his language.

COMMANDER CHAHR: If I may...I have questions for you, as well. From where do you hail, Rogue? How is it you speak our tongue?

ROGUE: Ah'm from another world, ah guess. And ah' don't speak your language...or didn't until you tackled me. Your skin must a' touched mine. When ah touch another living being, ah take on their...qualities, ah guess you'd say. Touch their mind.

X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #271, page 11.

X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #271 (October, 2012)

In X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #274, Rogue absorbs the skills of a paramedic and a structural engineer in order to rescue some civilians trapped in a subway carriage.

ROGUE: If you'll just let me touch you, ah can absorb your skills. Paramedics, engineers, firefighters...ah can be all in one. Please. What can ah do to make you trust me?

PARAMEDIC: I don't know if I trust you or not. What I do know is, those people are going to die unless we do something. And I haven't heard a better option.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: I know everything you need to about the structure.

ROGUE: Thank you both.

X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #274, page 3.

X-Men: Legacy Vol. 1 #274 (November, 2012)

In A+X #2, Black Widow needed to fire a shot with a sniper rifle, but she'd broken her trigger hand during a fight with a Sentinel, so she temporarily lent her sniper skills to Rogue with a kiss, enabling Rogue to take the shot for her.

BLACK WIDOW: I broke my trigger hand in the fight with the Mark X. No way I'm steady enough to hit a target from this distance. But you can.

ROGUE: What?! But I don't know how---

BLACK WIDOW: Yes you do.

ROGUE: Oh. Good kisser. Spy secrets. Wow. You had an affair with--


ROGUE: 7.65MM caliber, SV-98 Russian sniper rifle. Range 3600 meters. Wind 7 MPH from the west. Distance to target, 2.8 miles. Do svidaniya.

A+X #2, page 10.

A+X #2 (January, 2013)

In Gambit Vol. 5 #11, Rogue absorbs the skills of a pilot and uses them to fly a helicopter.

ROGUE: So unless you know how to fly these boys' chopper, ah'm the one who's gonna have a hired thug rollin' round in her head just ta pilot a--

Gambit Vol. 5 #11, page 18.

Gambit Vol. 5 #11 (June, 2013)

In X-Men: Evolution S01E08, "SpykeCam," Rogue absorbs Kitty Pryde's dancing skills.

SPYKE: Come on, Rogue. Get with the program. Shake that thing!

ROGUE: Hey, she's got her moves. I've got mine.

KITTY: Yeah, girl. You gotta go with it. You're like a walking zombie or something.

SPYKE: Hey, listen, Rogue, how about you shed them gloves and give K-girl a tiny tap.

ROGUE: What?

KITTY: No way!

SPYKE: Listen to me. Just enough to rip Kitty's moves.

X-Men: Evolution - S01E08 - "SpykeCam"


Yes, Rogue's ability to absorb memories goes far beyond just theoretical knowledge. Through her mutant power, she can gain practical skills and expertise, even those that typically require years of education, training, and practice to master.

A prime example of this is showcased in the second episode of the first season of X-Men '97, titled "Mutant Liberation Begins." In this episode, Rogue temporarily absorbs the skills of a medical doctor, specifically an obstetrician, to deliver the baby of Jean Grey and Scott Summers.

The situation arises when the doctor, fearing Jean Grey losing control of her mutant powers, refuses to deliver the baby. Rogue takes over the role of an experienced obstetrician (even instructing the nurses) and successfully delivers the baby, despite having no formal medical training or degree.

Rogue becomes Rogue, M.D. by absorbing an actual M.D.'s skills
Rogue, M.D. delivering Jean and Scott's baby
Using her absorbed skills, Rogue delivers Jean and Scott's baby, sans medical degree.

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