|First appearance||Doom Patrol vol. 1 #86 (1964)|
|Created by||Arnold Drake|
|Alter ego||Laura De Mille|
|Team affiliations||Brotherhood of Evil
Black Lantern Corps
Fictional character biography
Laura De Mille was originally a French stage actress. After an automobile accident, she developed a dual good/evil split personality. At this point, she attracted the notice of The Brain and his associate Monsieur Mallah. With Mallah's help, the Brain performed surgery on De Mille that was, from his perspective, successful, sublimating her good personality and allowing her evil personality to remain dominant. As Madame Rouge, De Mille became the only female member of the Brotherhood of Evil, and assisted the Brotherhood in its continuing conflicts against the Doom Patrol. At first, Madame Rouge was simply a master of disguise; subsequent surgery by the Brain eventually gave her the ability to alter her appearance and stretch her limbs.
Later, Rouge's split personality manifested again, with her good personality occasionally appearing. Rouge was romantically linked to the Doom Patrol's leader, Niles Caulder ("The Chief"), who was able to help Rouge overcome her evil side and ally with the Doom Patrol.
Ultimately, Rouge's mind reverted to its evil state, causing her to seek vengeance against both the Brotherhood of Evil and the Doom Patrol for their previous interference. She was apparently successful in murdering both groups. Years later, Robotman and the Teen Titans tracked down Rouge and her ally, General Zahl. Beast Boy (then Changeling) killed Rouge, although at the moment of her death, her good side apparently manifested; she forgave Changeling and called to Niles, her apparent true love.
Madame Rouge's daughter, Gemini, also a shapeshifter, appeared years later to seek revenge against Beast Boy.
In 2004, DC writer John Byrne restarted the Doom Patrol series and declared that the previous history had never happened. In spite of this, Madame Rouge was a zombie summoned by Brother Blood to keep the Titans from freeing Kid Eternity in Teen Titans #31 (2006). Since then, Byrne's reboot of the Doom Patrol franchise was overturned as a continuity glitch created by Superboy-Prime. As such, Madame Rouge is still dead and her history has been left intact. However, her daughter Gemini has taken up wearing her mother's costume and is a member of the new Brotherhood of Evil.
Powers and abilities
Originally, Madame Rouge was a master of disguise. Later, the Brain gave her ability to stretch any part of her body to incredible lengths, and could alter her facial features to disguise herself as any person.
In the Teen Titans animated series, Rouge retains her abilities of disguise and stretching, but her powers appear to be greater. She can reform her body, repairing any damage yet seen, can "flow" through fences similarly to the Terminator T-1000, alter her color, and has sufficient strength to throw people around like dolls or smash brick walls with her stretched limbs. She can mimic voices and use her body to surround and smother her opponents. She can be hurt by flame or frozen by cold, and has trouble maintaining a disguise in high temperatures, but appears to be able to repair damage simply by shapeshifting into an undamaged form.
In the animated series she could extend her limbs to great lengths for surprise attacks such as seizing an enemy in her arms, and at speeds that allowed her to strike Kid Flash.
In other media
- Madame Rouge appears as a major antagonist in the Teen Titans animated series, voiced by Hynden Walch. Her accent in the series is not French, but sounds more Eastern European or Slavic, and her costume is red instead of blue, which is consistent with her name ("rouge" is French for "red"). As the most conventionally super-powered of the core Brotherhood, the Brain views Rouge as one of his most valuable agents and sends her to take out Wildebeest, Hotspot, Kid Flash, and Robin, all of whom she personally defeats in some form or other, but is shown to be extremely vulnerable to Jinx's "bad-luck" powers, which led to her undoing. Personality-wise, Rouge has been shown to be a rather cold, brutal, and merciless fighter, and is also quite stern, arrogant, and somewhat sadistic, taking pleasure in physically and emotionally tormenting anyone she seems to view as "children". She does not think much of Jinx at first, as she patronizes and demeans Jinx, the other H.I.V.E. Five members, and their base, believing them to be "amateurs"; however, once Jinx attacks her, the ferocity of her powers impresses her, and claims that they'll "be in-touch". Along with the rest of the Brotherhood, she was flash-frozen into an ice sculpture at the end of "Titans Together" – ironically by Wildebeest, Hotspot, and Jinx, all of whom she had personally antagonized.
- Madame Rouge first appeared in a flashback in issue #28 of Teen Titans Go! and in full in issue #46.