Black History Month: Storm
Understand the uncanny abilities of the X-Men’s weather goddess!
Celebrate Black History Month by delving into the first appearances of Marvel’s most prominent African and African-American characters on Marvel Unlimited!
Ororo Munroe’s life has been long and storied, which seems fitting given her status as one of the first prominent black characters in mainstream comics. She started out as the daughter of a Kenyan princess and a Harlem photojournalist. They moved to Cairo where the parents died in an accident, leaving young Ororo to fend for herself, becoming a talented thief in the process of survival.
A mutant gifted with the ability to control the weather, Storm debuted in 1975’s GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. The issue opened with Professor X recruiting Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Banshee before shifting focus to Kenya where people supplicated themselves to Ororo for help in getting their crops to grow. She took to the sky on waves of wind and brought forth the storm.
Upon landing she met Charles Xavier who asked if she wanted to help the world and not just the land around her. It’s interesting to note that, unlike many of her fellow new X-Men, Storm actually seemed to have it pretty good as those around her praised her as a goddess.
Before long, Storm and the others—Colossus, Warpath, and Sunfire plus the batch mentioned above— met in Xavier’s mansion sporting brand new costumes crafted from unstable molecules. Cyclops then appeared to explain that he and Professor X gathered this new squad to find Iceman, Angel, Marvel Girl, Havok, and Polaris who had gone missing on the island of Krakoa.
On that first mission, Storm and Colossus teamed to attack from the North. In doing so, they faced an avalanche that seemed to have a mind of its own before meeting up with their teammates. Soon they come across the missing mutants and freed them from invasive vines that turn out to be part of Krakoa, a mutated island that fed off the energy of other mutants.
Storm soon realized that her powers did nothing to the huge beast alone, but used her abilities to channel the lightning’s energy into Polaris who shot it all down into the Earth’s crust which resulted in Krakoa flying off into space.
Ever since then, Ororo Munroe has fought with all her might to not only protect her fellow mutants, but also keep the world safe from the likes of Apocalypse, Magneto. and even Dracula. She’s gained and lost her powers, been de-aged, sported an awesome Mohawk, and even became the leader of the Morlocks. She’s led X-Men teams, married Black Panther, and saved existence more than a handful of times.
Thanks to her high profile in the comics, the character also made the jump to the big and small screen, making her an even more visible role model for generations of kids who learn from her that embracing differences can be empowering.
The popularity of GIANT-SIZE X-MEN #1 actually saved the X-Men from the depths of comic book limbo! Back in 1970, UNCANNY X-MEN still came out monthly, but instead of new content, the book only featured reprints of older material for five full years. Thanks to Storm and her fellow new X-Men’s popularity, the book started running new original stories with #94 and continues to be one of the stalwart titles on stands each month. Nice work, Storm!
From the hallowed halls of Westchester to the streets of Harlem, tomorrow we turn our attention to the one, the only Luke Cage!
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