Storm Arcana

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Storm Sunday: Trading Cards

Storm Trading Card

I love to collect trading cards of my favorite super-heroes.  They don’t take up as much room as comics and it’s interesting to see what kind of statistics are used each time.  I enjoy seeing different takes on the characters by my favorite artists.  The cards I am featuring today are from my personal collection and you can see the wear and tear I have put them through.  I do believe that some things should be kept in pristine condition, but toys and trading cards are not among those things in my humble opinion.  Join me today as I take a look at some of my favorite Storm-related cards from the early 90s. Above, Storm rides the lightning in her punk rock look complete with mohawk.  This art looks to be by Jim Lee,  but this was before Marvel started to credit their artists on their trading cards and I am not 100% certain.

Storm Trading Card back

I always thought that listing win percentages for comic book heroes was an exercise in futility.  Whether or not a hero wins a fight is not relevant to their heroic nature.  It is their struggle, their narrative journey, that matters.  Reducing a character to their “wins” goes against the never-ending continuity of comic book heroes in the first place.

Storm Trading Card by Art Adams

Storm had cropped hair for a very short time, and Art Adams captures it perfectly here.  I do prefer Storm with long hair, as I think it works better visually with her powers, but this was a nice change for Ororo.

Storm Trading Card by Art Adams back

The new hairstyle does bring more attention to Storm’s eyes, however, and I like that her earrings make more of a statement this way.  Regarding the power listings, I have never felt comfortable with concrete explanations of a characters abilities in this manner.  I feel that it hampers the creativity of a writer and although a consistent portrayal is important, I would rather not have a number point system to represent my favorite character.  Again, I think the story should give this kind of information.

Storm Trading Card

Storm works the bodysuit with some large collars.  I believe this image is by Rick Leonardi, but if someone knows differently let me know in the comments.

Storm Trading Card back

Did you know that Storm suffers from claustrophobia?  Did you know that?  Marvel has always hammered this fact about Ororo over and over again, although Storm has made a sort of peace with this aspect of her personality in the comics.  It is very DC Comics of them to point out a characters weak point in this manner.  It is a bit one note, but an important background fact, nonetheless.

X-Men Versus Magneto

Storm at this point in the X-Men narrative had been de-aged by Nanny and sported a super-cute ponytail.  I loved this ragtag team of X-Men mostly because I love it when Jean Grey and Storm are on the same roster, I totally love Banshee, and having grizzled war veterans Wolverine and Forge are a cool bonus.  I am not a fan of the Storm/Forge pairing and since Ororo was a child during this time, such a thing was not even a possibility (heh heh).

X-Men Versus Magneto back

Magneto, blah blah blah.  I am so over this old man’s ridiculous paradigm and really think that Magnus and Xavier should be long dead and gone by now.  It is a shame that once a story becomes a franchise, the potential for growth ends and narrative stasis reigns.  There is no reason that Magneto should be back on the current roster again.  Life does work in cycles, but if a character continues to make the same decisions and does not learn from them then they lose their appeal.  Their narrative power wanes and the reader is trapped with that character in a dead end story in which we never learn or evolve.

X-Men Versus Marauders

The Marauders are my favorite X-Men bad guy team because they are unrepentant killers.  They take their work seriously and they hit hard and fast.  This era of the X-Men was intense as the stakes were high and the team was changed by their encounter for a long time.  This card is by Steve Lightle, one of my favorite artists in comics.  His lines are smooth, but very character specific.  His use of blacks are gorgeous as well.

X-Men Versus Marauders back

Just check out these individual faces of good and bad guy alike.  You can tell character ethnicity, expression and alignment immediately. I especially love his take on Storm and Rogue, but I think he captures the essences of all of the X-Men well.  Thanks for joining me today for Storm Sunday!

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2 Comments

  1. Ingonyama

    That Storm card of her with long hair and the black bodysuit was my first X-Men trading card ever…it came with my first X-Men action figure ever, which was of course Storm in her Aussie costume (sans cape, unfortunately).

    I agree, her long hair is much more visually impressive and dynamic. The short hair works better for a more personally combative Ororo, and if she were ever depowered again I’d love to see a return to it rather than the Mohawk (sorry, STORM!), but with her powers, the winged cape and long hair are too iconic to get rid of. I love the overall look far too much to ever want it to go away for long. Preferably with the tiara, though she’s had some good looks without it.

    I like that Storm’s still claustrophobic, even if she doesn’t let it get to her as much as she used to. Some fears, like acrophobia in my case (ironic, that), you never really grow out of, but you can get past. I think Ororo has done that beautifully. However, every character has to have a weakness that the enemy can exploit, and claustrophobia is the most easily-targetable of Storm’s. (Horrible taste in men isn’t really a strategic weakness so much as a personal one…) That said, I wish they’d stop treating it as such a defining characteristic.

    Regarding Magneto and Xavier, they seem limited only because we haven’t seen their true potential as characters…in Xavier’s case, I don’t think he’s ever gotten a really good storyline. Magneto, by contrast, is one of my favorite X-Men…his story compelled and fascinated me, up until X-MEN #1-3 in 1991. After a long, massively depressing return as a dyed-in-the-wool villain, there were glimmers of hope for both Magnus and Charles in the 2004 Excalibur series, which revolved around the two of them and really showed them working as allies for the first time in over a decade…but unfortunately, House of M destroyed that. I think both characters have a lot of stories left to tell, but as you said, they need to be allowed to grow and change, and not just be stuck in the same cycle of redemption and failure (in Magneto’s case) or thrown to the wolves via retcons (alas, poor Charley).

    The post-Australian “team” of X-Men (between the Siege Perilous and Mutant Genesis) didn’t compel me nearly as much as the Australian team did, but I think it was an interesting direction to take…essentially, it was Claremont playing “52-Pick-Up” with every character he had. I love Banshee and Forge (though not with Storm), and you’re right: Jean and Ororo are an unstoppable team when they get to work together.

    • Thanks Ingonyama, for another amazing, well-rounded comment. You never leave a stone unturned. I am totally okay with you not liking the mohawk, but I never wanna see a Storm storyline in which she loses her powers ever again! It’s so been done. This quote had me laughing out loud:

      “(Horrible taste in men isn’t really a strategic weakness so much as a personal one…)”

      Cheers!

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