Storm’s freedom is very important to her. She cannot abide being confined and will not tolerate any sort of mental domination. Where did this character trait come from? How did Storm become so spiritually strong? From where did her fears come? Like most traumas, it starts with family.
Storm’s mother N’Dare, a tribal priestess in Kenya, and her father David Munroe, a photojournalist from New York, met while David was on assignment and they fell in love. They moved to New York City and Ororo (our Weather Goddess) was born in Harlem. When Ororo was 6 months old, they moved to Cairo for David’s job. During the Suez Canal War, an airplane crashed into the hotel in which the family was staying. Six year old Ororo was buried alive in the rubble and her parents were killed. Storm crawled out of the wreckage and became a thief on the streets, eventually joining a gang of child thieves under the direction of Achmed el Gibar.
Storm’s claustrophobia has been a part of her history since it was revealed in Uncanny X-Men #103, which also established her locking picking expertise. I recommend checking out this amazing website if you are interested in learning about the early Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum/John Byrne eras of the X-Men. They have amazing facts and insights about these issues.
In the above panel, we see how the trauma of Storm’s past informs her need for freedom in the present as she destroys the N’Garai Cairn (in order to defeat Kierrok the Damned). I really wish the colorist had colored her widow’s peak white in the first panel. *sigh* I see it reprinted like this all the time.
For someone who started out as an orphan, Storm has gained a few branches on her family tree. Joe Kelly and Reggie Hudlin have both created characters for Storm’s backstory. And, of course, there’s Storm’s problematic marriage to Black Panther. These characters, in addition to Storm’s mutant family in the X-Men, contain amazing potential stories about our beautiful Wind Rider.
Images in this post are by Dave Cockrum, Dave Cockrum, John Romita, Dave Cockrum, and respectively.