Tag Archives: Storm

Today’s Super Comic — The Uncanny X-Men #201 (1986)

Many superheroes have lost their powers in various storylines, and that includes many X-Men. Usually, it’s presented as an obstacle interfering with an immediate goal, and it’s a solid trope—it shows the hero is more than his or her powers. But the best examples of the trope have also used it to further develop characters, to provide consequences beyond the immediate short story.

Storm lost her powers for a few years’ worth of X-Men comics. She took the bullet for Rogue and then had to figure out how to reinvent herself without the abilities that had defined her for so long. More than most X-Men, her powers affect her personality; in earlier days, she would often repress her emotions because of how her feelings affected the weather around her. She was already beginning to loosen up before this event (see the mohawk), but this pushed her further into new territory.

By Uncanny X-Men #201, she was ready to return to the X-Men, despite the continued absence of her powers. Meanwhile, new father Cyclops isn’t quite ready to leave the team. He obviously should leave to concentrate on his young family, but Professor Xavier’s recent departure and Magneto’s recent arrival as the New Mutants’ new headmaster give him an excuse to try to cling.

But Storm knows Cyclops is in no shape to lead the team at the moment, so she challenges him to a Danger Room duel, with the stakes being leadership of the X-Men. And she prevails, demonstrating the better wisdom, temperament, and physical fitness for the job, even without the aid of powers, and she reminds us why she’s perhaps the X-Men’s most formidable leader.

Storm’s power loss did prove her skills beyond controlling the weather, but it also humanized her. She could no longer be the aloof goddess of her earlier appearances, and her disconnection from the weather put her more in tune with the people around her. And when her powers inevitably did return, those lessons remained in effect.

The X-Men’s success isn’t hard to figure out. The characters grew over time, and their growth kept things interesting and fresh. The Storm and Cyclops facing off in issue #201 aren’t exactly the same people who first met ten years earlier in Giant-Size X-Men #1, but they’re10 consistent with everything that’s come before.

Writer: Chris Claremont

Penciler: Rick Leonardi

Inker: Whilce Portacio

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in Essential X-Men Vol. 6 (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 10 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Extraordinary X-Men #7 (2016)

Extraordinary X-Men 7Once upon a time, this comic’s title might have been X-Traordinary X-Men. Thank goodness we’re not in that time. Well, maybe.

Quite honestly, I haven’t been sure about this series so far. Marvel has decided to make mutants an endangered species for the second time in a decade—I guess that’s what the X-Men get for not being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But I am sure that Jeff Lemire is a solid writer who knows what he’s doing, and I like the cast he’s using here. So I’ve stuck it out, and issue #7 affirms that decision.

Jean Grey and Storm take an Inception-like journey through Nightcrawler’s mind to figure out what’s traumatized him. Meanwhile, Magik shows a wizard who’s boss. It’s all interesting stuff that teases potentially more interesting stuff.

And artist Victor Ibanez properly exploits the mental landscape for compelling visuals. I particularly enjoyed the upside-down pirate ship.

So yes, I liked it and I’m still on board with this series. But if Marvel would kindly remember that the X-Men work best when they’re fighting intolerance, not extinction, I’d appreciate it.

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Victor Ibanez

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: recent back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology

Appropriate For: ages 13 and up