Storm: Where Do I Start?

Although some people say Storm is getting her first shot at the big time as she joins the Avengers this month in Avengers #19, I’d argue that she’s been there for decades and Marvel is just now catching up. First appeared in 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1, Ororo has been one of the longest continuous members of the X-Men (and one of it’s most potent leaders), the Queen of Wakanda, and has been everything from an African rain goddess, leader of the underground mutants the Morlocks, and owner of the coolest mohawk in comics (sorry, Gladiator!). She’s arguably the most popular black character in comics, and she’s second only to Wonder Woman in terms of most popular female characters in comics.

Be that as it may, Storm has never had her own series. Yes, she’s had a handful of miniseries, but by-and-large her story has been told as part of larger stories. Writer Chris Claremont frequently focused on Ororo during his run on Uncanny X-Men, exploring her origin as well as her maturation. In fact, I’d argue Marvel could put together a great Storm collection of excerpts from Claremont’s run if they wanted to (hint, hint). But until then, getting the inside scoop on who some call the Mistress of the Elements is hard — unless you’ve read iFanboy’s Storm: Where Do I Start?

Oh right, you are.

The Uncanny X-Men, Vol. 2 (Marvel Masterworks): If you’re looking for Storm’s origin, there’s no better place than the first time it was told way back in Uncanny X-Men #102, collected in this book. Her origin is delved into after Ororo experiences a claustrophobic panic attack and revisits her childhood. It shows how she was visited as a child by a  young Professor Xavier, and shows off her lesser-known thieving past.

Astonishing X-Men: Storm: Although not told until decades after her debut, this six-issue miniseries by Eric Jerome Dickey and David Yardin shows a teenage Ororo Monroe in the plains of Africa and her first meeting with her future husband, T’Challa (aka Black Panther). Its a romance told in a backdrop of modern-day African strife. T’Challa is at the time a prince embarking on a rite of passage, and Ororo is a street vagabond trying to become something else while also dealing with her emerging powers. Dickey delivers great melodrama here, and Yardin turns in what to me is the most definitive, modern take on Storm for any artist.

Essential X-Men Vol. 4: This book collects some great late 80s X-Men stories, and for Storm fans it collects some important moments for Ororo from beating Callisto and becoming leader of the Morlocks to the debut of her rebellious punk look. I’d argue this is one of the most dramatic yet successful redesigns ever of a super-hero character, and the X-Men stories of this time feature Storm heavily and excellently with Claremont and a number of a-list artists.

Adastra in Africa: First off, let me admit — Storm isn’t in this book. This creator-owned book by Barry Windsor-Smith features a character of his own called Adastra, but in reality this was a rejected Storm story from the 1980s intended to be a sequel to a previous story he and Claremont did in Uncanny X-Men. Years later, Windsor-Smith came back and finished the story with the stand-in character of Adastra but it could easily be read as Storm. Exposition aside, Adastra In Africa is eye-opening. It shows Storm Adastra returning to an African village from her childhood in an attempt to help with the ongoing famine. BWS did this shortly after his seminal Wolverine story-arc Weapon X in Marvel Comics Presents, and in another world this storyline could possibly have done the same for Ororo Munroe. If you’re a fan of Storm, the X-Men, Barry Windsor-Smith, or just plan great comics storytelling, you need to track this down. It’s also available in the larger tome, Opus Vol. 2.


  1. Essential X-Men is in black and white, I believe. But I’m pretty sure those Storm stories are in the X-Men: From the Ashes trade. Lots of good stuff in there, from the Morlocks to Wolverine’s wedding to Cyclops meeting Madelyne Pryor. It’s out of print, but pretty easy to track down.


  2. Acuna’s rendition of Storm’s arrival in Avengers #19 looks awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her in the next issues.

  3. Storm has always been one of my more fav Xmen. I always thought she and Wolverine made a great item. But I digress, wasn’t she also the leader of the Xtreme Xmen? (Which I thoroughly enjoyed) I’d have to go pull my copies of it to check but I’m at work.

  4. I can’t recommend that Storm mini highly enough. It was really fantastic, great story and art that was top notch. It’s my favorite rendition of Storm, as Yardin really gave Ororo traditional African features, while showing why her name means “beauty.” Anyone who is a fan of either Storm or the Black Panther needs to check it out.