Published February 14, 2024

Storm & Black Panther’s Relationship, Explained

For Valentine's Day, revisit Black Panther and Storm's romance and then check out their alternate future together in 'Marvel's Voices: Legends' #1!

The Marvel Universe is full of certified power couples, but perhaps only Ororo "Storm" Munroe and Wakanda's former king T'Challa represent the peak of power for both mutants and humans. Their love story was a fairytale, and their split, the very definition of tragedy. In honor of Valentine's Day, let's take a look back at the making and breaking of this legendary couple.

When Ororo Met T'Challa

Storm and Black Panther's love story actually began when they were both children, as revealed in the MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #100 story "Cry…For Vengeance!" After she was orphaned at the age of six, Storm lived as a street urchin and thief on the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Driven by mysterious visions, she left Cairo when she was 12 to go on a journey across all of Africa. Along the way, she encountered a young T'Challa, who was on a continental quest of his own. 

Their first meeting wasn't exactly a meet-cute, though. Storm found T'Challa fending off an attack from the mercenary Andreas de Ruyter. The South African trafficker sought to kidnap the Wakandan prince as part of an elaborate plot to make him a puppet for foreign interests. However, Storm swooped in to assist the beleaguered boy and, together, they made short work of de Ruyter and his men. 

The pair made a great team, and the chemistry between them grew obvious. Their two journeys became one, with Ororo joining T'Challa in his travels. These adventures continued in the STORM (2006) miniseries by Eric Jerome Dickey, David Yardin, Jay Leisten, Matt Milla, and VC's Randy Gentile

Despite their adventures together, their close relationship didn't last. Feeling the burden of his princely duties, T'Challa decided to refocus on his goals on exacting revenge upon the man who killed his father, which drove Ororo away. 

In the years that followed, T'Challa became King of Wakanda, while Ororo became known as a goddess and, later, the X-Man Storm. Although it seemed like they had both moved on, neither ever stopped thinking about what could have been. They admitted this to each other after stopping de Ruyter together again in their adulthood, but both agreed that it was just too late. 

However, one person didn't agree: T'Challa's mother, Queen Ramonda of Wakanda. In BLACK PANTHER (2005) #14 by Reginald Hudlin, Scot George Eaton, Klaus Janson, Dean White, and VC's Randy Gentile, Ramonda sent T'Challa on a journey to find a wife, partially in the hopes that he'd return with Storm in tow. Though their initial reunion was rough—Storm still held a grudge against T'Challa for pushing her away—the Wakandan King was able to soften her up with a marriage proposal, albeit one Ororo wouldn't accept until the end of the next issue.

The Married Life

Ororo and T'Challa's marriage kicked off with the super hero wedding of the century in BLACK PANTHER (2005) #18 by Reginald Hudlin, Scot George Eaton, Klaus Janson, Dean White, and VC's Randy Gentile. Super heroes from across the Marvel Universe made an appearance, even in spite of the ongoing CIVIL WAR around the Superhuman Registration Act. Storm and Black Panther's wedding even brought old enemies, like M'Baku, and ancient beings, like the Watcher himself, together in celebration of their mighty union. After the wedding and honeymoon, the couple embarked on a diplomatic world tour, visiting major powers like Atlantis and Latveria in part to distinguish between their enemies and their allies. 

As King and Queen of Wakanda, Storm and Black Panther went on plenty of adventures together, the most incredible of which took place during their time with the Fantastic Four. In BLACK PANTHER (2005) #26 by Hudlin, Francis Portela, Victor Olazaba, Val Staples, and VC's Cory Petit, the two stepped up for Sue and Reed Richards while they took a break from the team. Alongside Human Torch and The Thing, Storm and Black Panther traveled the Multiverse, faced down Galactus and his heralds, and saved the embodiment of reality itself.

The Royal Divorce

Even though they had a legendary run as a royal couple and super hero duo, their allegiances to their friends divided T'Challa and Ororo in the end. In AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012), Black Panther provided refuge for the outlawed Avengers team in Wakanda. This cost him dearly, as his old frenemy Namor—wielding a fragment of the Phoenix's power—used a flood to nearly destroy Wakanda in search of them in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN (2012) #7 by Matt Fraction, Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales, Laura Martin, and VC's Chris Eliopoulos

When T'Challa declared the X-Men enemies of the state in response, Ororo sided with her old team. In AVENGERS VS. X-MEN: VERSUS (2011) #5 by Jason Aaron, Tom Raney, Jim Charalampidis, and VC's Joe Caramagna, she threw down the gauntlet in the form of her wedding ring, and the former lovers battled one another. With their marriage annulled, it became official: Storm and the Black Panther were enemies.

A Rocky Relationship

After their falling out, Ororo and T'Challa went on to have a much more complicated relationship. In BLACK PANTHER AND THE CREW (2017), T'Challa recruited Storm to help him investigate Hydra activities in Harlem and, as they had years before, they admitted they still had deep feelings for one another. 

Though the door opened for reconciliation, it was shut again in MARAUDERS (2019) #13 by Vita Ayala, Matteo Lolli, Edgar Delgado, and VC's Cory Petit, when Storm stole the sacred Stormblade from the inner chambers of the Wakandan palace as part of Saturnyne's Otherworld tournament. In response, Black Panther destroyed the gate linking Krakoa to Wakanda and installed Gentle as a spy on island. When Storm discovered this in BLACK PANTHER (2021) #6 by John Ridley, Stefano Landini, Matt Milla, and VC's Joe Sabino, the gulf between them grew even wider, with Ororo ultimately deciding she could only support T'Challa as a friend going forward. 

Although their love story had a fairytale beginning, T'Challa and Ororo are now in a drastically different place in their relationship. This power couple might be on the rocks, but as T'Challa continues his journey to find himself without his title and Storm comes into her power as the Voice of Sol, reconciliation remains a possibility, as recently explored in MARVEL'S VOICES: LEGENDS (2024) #1.

See an alternate future where Black Panther and Storm remained together in MARVEL'S VOICES: LEGENDS #1, now on sale!

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