Some Recollections on Storm

By | Thursday, February 13, 2020 Leave a Comment
Uncanny X-Men #180
The first instance of Storm that I recall seeing was Uncanny X-Men #180. I had only really started getting into comics a year prior, and that was through the Fantastic Four. I had seen the Avengers crossover in a few issues, but there wasn't any real interaction with the X-Men. I believe I got this issue in one of those three-for-a-buck bags of comics they used to sell. I believe the bag also came with Avengers #242 and Incredible Hulk #294 -- I know this because all three issues end with their respective heroes heading off in Beyonder's transporter that sends them all to Secret Wars #1. Coupled with the FF that did the same, I found myself tracking down that series. (Although since the three issues were in that bagged form and not right off the newsstand, I believe I was several months behind initially.)

Anyway, back to Storm...

So my introduction to Storm is with her having recently donned a black leather biker-type outfit and styling her hair into a mohawk. Kitty Pryde was still decidedly uncomfortable with Storm's new look, and the two of them talk out some of their issues/concerns, showcasing a lot of Ororo's inner struggles. So that acted as a nice primer for me. Plus, we not only see Storm use some of her powers, but she also takes out a group of common thugs with just her bare hands so she's clearly established as a serious badass for me.

I never became a huge X-Men fan, but I have read some extended runs over the years. I got a greater sense of her background, and her character development from her earliest appearances. Storm never became a particular favorite of mine, but I always did appreciate her demeanor relative to the other X-Men. She always seemed more adult than most everyone -- she tended to hold herself above most petty squabbles. In a somewhat regal manner befitting the goddess she used to be treated as. But if you pissed her off... man, you were in some deep doggie-doo-doo then! That always struck me as one of her more unique qualities. While everyone else was arguing or fighting over some stupid misunderstanding, she tended to hold back and tell everyone they were acting like idiots.

In 1996, I launched a fan site dedicated to the Fantastic Four. Lots of info about the characters, issue summaries and reviews, a merchandise museum showcasing old toys and games and such featuring their likenesses, news updated every week... Tons and tons of info. About a decade after I started, Marvel announced that Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman would be stepping away from the team for some time, while Black Panther and Storm would join. I spent the next several months uploading information about those two characters. As I was still going through slogging through tons of X-Men information I now had to catch up on and add, the issue solicitations noted that Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman would be returning full-time. I was struck by the huge amount of work I still had to put in to get a reasonably comprehensive listing of Storm's issue credits for what amounted to a a half-year stint on the team. My issue library would be overflowing with X-Men appearances, despite the site not really being about the X-Men at all. Just because Storm was a part of the FF for half of 2007.

Between that and the overall negative direction Marvel was taking their entire line, I basically gave the website up. It had become far too much of a chore, and I was getting far, far too little enjoyment out of the comic itself, much less the site.

Seeing Storm only sporadically in the X-Men, but then full-time in the Fantastic Four, made for an interesting contrast. She always felt very much at home with the X-Men, probably in part because A) she was literally created for that team, and B) that's where I first saw her. She didn't seem to fit the FF -- that somewhat regal nature I noted earlier diminished the familial aspect of the book. Even though, on paper, she plays much the same role than the Invisible Woman did. I suspect that's why I also feel Medusa was a weak choice the team, and is possibly one of my least favorite substitute members (after Storm). In fact, the Invisible Woman's tenure as regent to the throne of Old Atlantis seemed off to me, probably also because her generally more motherly demeanor was set aside for a more impartial one during that time.

I think changing the cast of a long-running book can be interesting, in that it forces some new character dynamics, but Storm's personality never seemed to jibe with the Fantastic Four. And the reason it didn't jibe with them is probably also why she's never really jibed with me either.
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