Storm Arcana

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Storm Sunday: No Smoking Please

storm fly in the face of facts

Oh Storm, and you wonder why people call you stuck up!  Seriously, I laughed so hard when I read those two word balloons for the first time!  The tone is a bit pompous, and it’s also a pun which makes her speech especially ludicrous.  But I happen to find it hilarious.  Does Storm think that some people CAN fly in the fact of facts?  Who does that?  Thor?  The Green Goblin (Well, he probably *glides* in the face of facts instead)? Dark Phoenix definitely flew in the face of facts.  I’m pretty sure the Human Torch might as well.  Anyway, here’s a little gem of a comic featuring Spider-Man, Storm & Power Man (before he became just Luke Cage).  It’s actually titled Spider-Man, Storm and Power Man.  Catchy, huh?  It’s copyrighted 1982 and no one is credited with the art or words.  The comic was a freebie given away by the American Cancer Society.

storm front

Oh noes! It’s Smokecreen!  And he’s menacing young boys in athletic wear!  Things look serious!  I am so glad it requires three Marvel Super-Heroes to take this guy down!  You can make fun of his costume on your own, it’s just too easy a target for me to fully engage.  Besides, I’m more interested in talking about how Storm is portrayed in this comic.  Let’s continue on with a Marvel tried and true staple of storytelling–The Origin!

storm inside

So, now we’re clear on the facts, right?  No one flying in the face of them yet?  Peter was bit, Storm was born and Luke thought it would be a good idea to take part in “a secret experiment.”  I’m sure that origin will dovetail nicely with the “don’t give in to peer pressure” message coming up in the following pages.  Also, Storm’s birth name is not mentioned, but the boys get their secret identity mentioned.  What gives?

storm meeting

Storm proves that she can hang with the boys by knocking Luke upside a tree trunk with a gust of wind.  Wow, that’s a great first impression, Storm.  But it seems to work as she’s allowed to watch the criminals for the boys.  She trails some hoodlums and this leads her to a warehouse.

storm sneaks

Storm hears a voice behind her, but in the fourth panel is enveloped by smoke and hit on the head before she can summon a breeze.  Really?  Uber-lame.  It’s not even a fight.  It’s just ridiculous.

storm escapes

Storm is left alone and unguarded in the room where she was knocked out.  She takes out the lock on the door with her lightning.  Why not use her lock-picking skills instead?  And that third panel kills me.  She looks like a cardboard cutout of herself.

storm team up

So the whole time that Storm has been unconscious, Spidey and Luke say that they’ve been running around the city in circles for her.  But they actually had a team up without her, rescued the kids from some crime boss and then hung out with the kids at the park.  That’s what happens when the boys don’t want you in their clubhouse.  But Storm shows up again,  so all three heroes run off to stop the gambling den.  See you later kids!  This won’t take a minute!  It’s the problem we’re solving, not the symptom!  Just like smoking!

storm team up 2

What’s really “washed up” is this dialogue.  Luke and Storm clean up the flunkies with a pool table and rain while Spidey gets to take bad guy with his webbing.  You saw all of this coming, didn’t you?  I’m so glad Storm appeared in this comic to get knocked out and make it rain!

storm moral lesson

Whoa!  I get the “don’t smoke” message, but “don’t stay up late”?  No way I can support that.  What are Bret’s “other bad habits”?  I shudder to think.  !

storm back

And this is the priceless page that made me scan these pages in the first place.  Three super-heroes equals three times the puns!  And what is Luke carrying?  An ancient block of tofu?

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4 Comments

  1. Okay, how is it that Powerman gets thrown into a tree and immediately is cool with Storm? B.S. First he would have yelled “SWEET CHRISTMAS!” then hit her in the face with that tree.

    This comic makes me want to smoke.

    • stormantic

      Yeah, CHUNK, tossing a brother into a tree is not cool, but Luke sure seems okay with it! What a way to make a first impression, eh?

  2. this is one of the first comics i ever got, i love the lil picture of storm, spiey and cage up on the left of the cover, so cute 🙂

  3. Ingonyama

    The art reminds me of Cockrum’s style, especially Ororo herself. The cape is drawn in his “poncho” style, and her hair and eyes take on exactly the traits I remember from the early days of the All-Different X-Men. Also, look at the shadows on her face in the panel just before she’s ambushed by the “evil smoke”…I don’t know if that’s the penciller or inker, but I’ve seen it on both Cockrum’s Storm and Byrne’s Phoenix. If it’s inking, then I have to guess Terry Austin.

    It’s not a badly-DRAWN comic, just a horribly-WRITTEN one.

    I remember reading a copy of this in 5th grade. It was released the year I was born, so the fact that a teacher who knew I loved the X-Men brought it to school for me to look at was kind of awesome.

    Now, I kind of have to wonder if I should have thanked her…as a child, I was so desperate for anything Storm-related that it was all awesome to me. When I was in school, the badasses like Wolverine, Bishop, and Cable were all the rage. The bigger the gun or sharper the claws, the better. There didn’t seem to be any place left for someone with powers that had to be used creatively, and poor Storm was relegated to a game of “Where’s Waldo?” in the wallpaper. Now, picture me as a kid watching the TV series, and only having exposure to Storm through that.

    As a result, my need for stories including her had grown so great that I was even willing to read and enjoy tripe like this over not getting anything. A villain with smoke powers against a woman who can whip up a hurricane…yes, I was that desperate.

    I still think the three of them would make an excellent team, written and characterized properly, and in a non-Anvilicious “smoking = bad!” story. Of course, then the writers wouldn’t be able to resist including ship tease between Storm and Luke, and making me want to punch them again…but the team would still interest me given the right motivations.

    Incidentally, I don’t smoke, but everyone else in my family does or did.

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