Over the years, Ororo Munroe aka Storm has become one of the most prominent of the X-Men, particularly since starring in the X-Men movie franchise and played by Halle Berry (questionable performances, but more to do with the writing). With the launch of Brian Wood’s X-Men comic last year that saw her take a more prominent role in the comics-verse, a lot of people in the fandoms seemingly expected to see a Storm comics series soon. And lo behold, their prayers were answered earlier this year when Marvel confirmed a Storm ongoing, which came out yesterday.
Written by Greg Pak and drawn by Victor Ibanez, Storm #1 falls in the realm of one of the better new titles that Marvel has launched this year. Greg Pak captures the awesomeness of Storm very well in this debut issue though sometimes the monologue got a bit too weird for me. Victor Ibanez on the other hand draws a really good Storm in this issue, and you can really feel her personality coming through the pages. Far better than I expected, Storm #1 has got me really excited for the series now, and I’m hoping that the second issue arrives very soon!
Greg Pak is a writer that I have a questionable history with. His Silver Surfer: Devolution story was decent, but nothing I’ve read of his from DC has resonated with me in the last year or so that I’ve been reading his work. I actually forgot that he was writing this issue when I picked it up to read last night, and I am kind of glad that I did, because this is far better than any of Greg’s work in my short experience, and he seems to have captured the essence of who and what Storm is in this issue.
The story here is pretty simple. Ororo goes to the African (could be South American but I’m not sure) country of Santo Marco where a tsunami is about to devastate a coastal village and given her control over the elements, Storm is in the path of the tsunami, intent on saving everyone and anyone. It is very different from the X-Men’s usual kind of heroics, and I loved that the focus of the “action” was on something natural like a tsunami rather than a manufactured contrivance against a villain out for the usual theatrics.
One thing that gave me a pause in this issue was Hank McCoy aka Beast micro-managing Storm from a political angle. When Storm is confronted by Santo Marco’s autocratic and abusive army personnel, she is ready to go toe-to-toe, but he calls her off, pleading politics and democratic process and what not. It was all just far too weird for me. Since when are the X-Men so concerned with international laws? Or is this an offshoot of what is happening in Fantastic Four right now with Marvel’s leading family?
Still, I loved how Ororo is portrayed here, and her reaction to Hank when she comes back to the Jean Grey School. There she is confronted by a young X-Man, Marisol, who resents Ororo for some of her recent actions and also has been battling some verbal abuse in the school from the other mutant kids. Her reaction to Ororo was golden and really helped define Ororo in this issue and set a great precedent for what this series really could be like. The way Greg Pal sets up everything, there is a great basis here for a dynamic relationship between Marisol and Storm, which will hopefully give Storm a strong supporting cast member for her debut series. One can hope!
The art here is by Victor Ibanez, with colours by Ruth Redmond and letters by Cory Petit. One thing is for sure here, Victor Ibanez and Ruth Redmond are able to capture all the badassness and attitude of Storm without comprising on it in any way. Their Storm here is confident, playful, stern, understanding and more than able to hold her own against anyone she comes across who wants to put her down. And best of all, I love that they gave Storm a mohawk. She looks really cool with that mohawk. And let’s not forget their little touches when it comes to Marisol. Those are really important and are a great subtle visual indicator of Marisol’s moods.
Pretty damn good first issue I’d say, though it could certainly be better. But for now, I’m firmly in the “Storm is awesome” camp.