Joining Marvel’s line-up of female-led titles this year was July’s Storm #1, which featured one of the most iconic members of the X-Men, Ororo Munroe aka Storm. The first issue was something quite wonderful since Greg Pak got the character down perfectly, almost, and the same can be said of Victor Ibanez’s art as well. The title is also very different to every other female-led title from Marvel this year and it also plays into a larger team dynamic with the X-Men themselves, so that’s another reason to get along with this title and see where things go from there.
In Storm #2, Greg takes the readers down into New York’s abandoned subway tunnels and has Storm go up against an old enemy, Callisto, for a rematch that shocks Storm and really makes her reassess her priorities and her heroics. Over in Storm #3 however, Greg Pak has the Goddess flit over to Kenya where she has been invited to help with the water shortages in the country and is just another example of Greg developing the character through her past experiences, grounding her, so to speak. There are two separate art teams in both issues, and despite some minor negatives, they make both issues two of the best comics you can read this year.
Like I said, Storm #2 takes Ororo down into New York’s abandoned subway tunnels for a rematch with an old enemy, but that’s not really how the story starts. The story starts with some really great moments between Ororo and Logan as they chill together and hang out like the friends they are. We even get to see them talk about Logan’s new problems, such as the one where he has lost his healing factor and whenever he pops his claws he suffers unimaginable pain. As with her interactions with Hank in Storm #1, Ororo’s interactions with Wolverine help ground her with respect to her friends, with the people she has lived alongside for a number of years and trusts. The fact that Logan and Ororo flirt with each other is secondary and also a natural development, especially at the end of the issue.
But the main attraction is definitely Callisto and her new Morlocks. There’s a pretty interesting twist to that plotline and it kind of feeds back into Greg’s story in Storm #1 where Ororo has to reconsider who she is fighting for and why. The characterization is superb and I really have no complaints about the story. I thought it rocked, pretty much.
In this issue, Greg shows a very different side to a hero that I’ve grown to love over the past few years, and I’m having a blast with all of it.
Victor Ibanez is the artist in this issue, with Ruth Redmond as the colourist and VC’s Cory Petit as the letterer. After a great first outing, I was expecting more of the same from the art team. However, what I didn’t expect was that they would all get better. Ororo’s scenes with Wolverine earlier on in the issue are just superb, whether we talk about their body language or their setting. Ororo slunking around in the old subway tunnels too is a great sequence, and so are the ones where the big twist happens. Damn good art I say!
In Storm #3, Greg takes Ororo back o Kenya, a place where she has some history with, and there she comes across an old frenemy, Forge, who seems to be turning over a new leaf. As with the previous two issues, in this one too Greg explores the more grounded side to Ororo’s nature and helps the reader get into her head, to understand what makes her who she is and who she wants to be. By having her tackle a very core African problem, and alongside a former flame no less, he is really able to develop her character beyond the obvious.
This is the kind of stuff I want to see in a series like this and is why I love Black Widow and Ms. Marvel so much. They are all grounded titles that really explore their characters, although not without expense to the story itself. With Storm #3, Greg continues to build on everything that he has done in the previous two issues, and then adds to it, by showing a side to her that takes the best bits of her that we’ve seen already and adding in some good heavy doses of awesome.
Because that’s what this title is, it is awesome.
Scott Hepburn and David Baldeon are the pencillers with Jordi Tarragona assisting Baldeon on the inks and Rachelle Rosenberg on the colours with VC’s Cory Petit on letters and David Yardin on the cover. Hepburn and Baldeon’s pencilwork is very stylized and much different from what Victor Ibanez has done in the previous issues. The change is kind of jarring, but interesting as well, particularly since where Ruth Redmond’s colours hewed closer to the dark and dirty and muted, Rachelle Rosenberg’s colours are bright and even… flashy, I guess you could say. The overall tone of the art is different, but I think it complements the previous stuff well enough.
There seems to be something big developing here, because Greg Pak is having all these cameos in here, and taking Storm on kind of a world-tour, so I look forward to it all!
More Storm: #1.