That Time Rogue and Nightcrawler Got Warped Before Infinity Warp in Chris Claremont’s X-Men Forever

We’re all familiar by now with Infinity Warps, the Marvel character mashup event-within-an-event spinning out of Infinity Wars and starting in September, featuring characters like ArachKnight (a mashup of Spider-Man and Moon Knight) or Soldier Supreme (a mashup of Captain America and Doctor Strange).

It may not have taken the power of the Infinity Stones to do it, but this has actually happened before, in an alternate-continuity series from 2009.

In X-Men ForeverChris Claremont returned to his legendary run on the X-Men, picking up after the events of 1991’s X-Men #3. With collaborators such as Tom GrummetPaul SmithTerry Austin, and others, Claremont continued his X-Men story, also conveniently ignoring a few recent (as of 1991) changes made to the X-books by other writers or Marvel editorial. For example, Scott Summers’ son, Nathan, was alive and well and living in Alaska with Scott’s grandmother and his father, Corsair, rather than shipped off to a post-apocalyptic future.

 

In X-Men Forever #5, the X-Men learn that mutants, due to the nature of their powers, are destined to “burn out” and die young. Professor Xavier always knew this, but he kept it from the X-Men while he searched for a cure in order to protect them.

But while Professor X managed to keep his students in the dark, lots of other people seemed to know what was going like, such as Mystique, who lured Rogue and Nightcrawler to Mississippi in X-Men Forever #16 (by Claremont and Graham Nolan) to reveal that she was still alive, rather than murdered by Val Cooper as previously believed. Of course, readers of the Muir Island Saga, which technically occurred prior to X-Men #3, already knew that because she revealed herself then, but Claremont must not have cared for that, so here we got a do-over.

In any case, Mystique had been looking into mutant burnout after discovering its existence while leading Freedom Force. And she had another revelation for Nightcrawler.

Well, they’re both blue. That turns out to be a good thing, because Mystique carries a genetic immunity to mutant burnout, and that means that Kurt is immune to it as well. But Mystique’s other child, Rogue, isn’t genetically related to her, which means no immunity. One thing leads to another and Rogue tackles Mystique through a wall and into a giant propane tank, which explodes, rendering Rogue unconscious. That leaves Nightcrawler, of course, with no other option than to deliver mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Despite Kurt’s pure intentions, something goes horribly wrong! Nightcrawler is transformed into a regular human, and you can guess what happens next. That’s right. Rogue gets Infinity Warped!

And unlike most times, when Rogue reverts to normal moments after stealing another mutant’s powers, that didn’t happen this time. She was stuck like that!

Later, it’s revealed that Nightcrawler gained Rogue’s original powers of stealing the powers of anyone he touches.

But Rogue kept both her power of flight and her super-strength, as shown in X-Men Forever #22, when the X-Men travel to space to battle The Consortium, led by the evil Amelia Trask and Tony Stark (long story).

Yesterday, we told you about the time that Kitty Pryde had “hot claws” before Wolverine. (and if you think about it, Kitty/Wolverine was also kind of an Infinity Warp). Now, we’ve learned that nearly a decade before the upcoming Infinity Warp sub-event, hitting stores in September, Rogue and Nightcrawler got warped in X-Men Forever. Is there anything happening in the House of Ideas these days that didn’t happen first in that underrated masterpiece? The short answer is: no. But that’s a story for another clickbait article.

About Jude Terror

A prophecy says that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero will come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events.

Scourge of Rich Johnston, maker of puns, and seeker of the Snyder Cut, Jude Terror, sadly, is not the hero comics needs right now... but he's the one the industry deserves.

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