I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Storm’s interaction with the X-men and the Marvel Universe in general has been a bit fractured. For years she languished as a supporting character in the regular X-titles, was sadly misrepresented in the movies and delegated to “older” cast member status in the X-Men: Evolution
cartoon series. She received a mini-series entitled Ororo: Before the Storm
which chronicled her time as a child thief in Cairo (To be honest, I haven’t even read the whole series due to the lackluster story of the first issue). Then along came Reggie Hudlin as the writer on Black Panther and *whoosh* she and T’Challa are getting married in the so-called “Wedding of the Century.”
I mean, it was nice that she got a mini-series out of it (with some great Peter Mayhew art), but let’s be clear–that series was designed to convince everyone about how Ororo and T’Challa were meant to be together. It was a forced arrangement that left a lot of fans cold. Many still feel the marriage feels contrived and some wonder how Storm could leave her team of X-Men when they were in a jam post M-Day (Although it’s been argued that Storm was helping mutants in Africa and has always had a more global vision about how to help mutants in general).
Regardless, the fact is, Storm and T’Challa decided to get married right smack dab in the middle of Civil War. Sorry, but when I envisioned Ororo walking down the aisle, I was not picturing Captain American and Iron Man upstaging the bride in a face off. WTF, indeed.
So Storm became Queen of Wakanda. Okay. I dealt with it. I started buying Black Panther (This may have been part of Hudlin’s plan; One can’t help but notice that suddenly Black Panther had more guest stars and crossovers than it had ever had under Christopher Priest’s pen). What did Ororo do as queen? What were her new duties? How does she bridge the divide between United States mutant relations as a representative of a sovereign, highly advanced African country?
Well, for starters she joined the Fantastic Four, fought the Silver Surfer and carried Harpoon’s spear around in Messiah CompleX. Short story is, she didn’t show us what it meant to be Wakanda’s Queen other than calling T’Challa “beloved” every other page. Ororo and T’Challa haven’t really been in Wakanda since they got married for any significant amount of time. Storm has become window dressing for T’Challa’s title and she’s been locked out of her regular home title for some time now.
In last week’s Astonishing X-Men #25, Storm simply drops in on Cyclops’ team in San Francisco. She tells Emma she’s been bored with shopping and making love. Some readers think Storm is patronizing Emma since we know she’s been traveling in other dimensions with T’Challa and the Fantastic Four. She’s hardly had time to be bored shopping and besides, Ororo is not Paris Hilton. The real question that I would like to see answered is what will Storm make of Cyclops’ new direction for the team? Will Ororo, Scott and Emma butt heads over the choices the X-Men have made recently?
Well, all of this therorizing started out as an introduction about a new mini-series that X-Force writer Chris Yost is scripting entitled Storm: World’s Apart. I am super-psyched about this mini-series as it portends to answer many of the questions and themes I’ve brought up in this post.
has a great Q&A with Yost here
. In it, Yost reveals:
“The hard thing about Storm’s position now, and she’s feeling it, is that she’s really torn between the two worlds, that’s the title. I mean she’s the queen of Wakanda, she’s the former leader of the X-Men, a member of the X-Men; mutants are in the worst shape they’ve probably ever been in; so, she really feels the pull between her country and her husband, her team and her family and mutant-kind. This series is really about her defining who she is now. Is she the Black Panther’s wife? Is she a member of the X-Men under Cyclops? Who and what is Storm?”
Regarding her relationship with Cyclops, Yost says:
“She does get a couple chances to really have a sit down with Cyclops, because obviously Cyclops has gone through a lot of changes, too. Storm has made the hard choices in her life as an X-Man, but at the same time, I’ve always seen her as the moral center of the team. She’s got a—I don’t want to use the word ‘righteousness’ to her—but there’s right and wrong in Storm’s eyes, and that’s a line the X-Men are straddling right now.”
And this part really made me happy:
“The only thing I’ll say is that if you’ve been really wanting Storm in the thick of it; really in the action—if you’ve missed that in the movies, in the comics—check out this mini-series because she’s going to be in the middle of it.”