The true African queen.
"I am a woman, a mutant, a thief, an X-Man, a lover, a wife, a queen. I am all these things. I am Storm, and for me, there are no such things as limits."Storm
— Ororo Munroe
, a.k.a. Ororo Munroe, a weather-controlling mutant and one of the most famous members of the X-Men
. She first appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1
(May, 1975), created by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum. Ororo is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses, all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic. Her mother, N'dare, was an African princess who married American photojournalist David Munroe and moved with him to Manhattan, where Ororo was born. When Ororo was six months old, she and her parents moved to Cairo, Egypt. Five years later, during the Arab-Israeli conflict, a plane crashed into their home. Ororo's parents were killed, but she survived, buried under rubble near her mother's body. The resultant trauma left Ororo with severe claustrophobia that still affects her today.
Ororo managed to escape the rubble of her shattered home with nothing but the tattered clothes on her back and her mother's ancestral ruby. Homeless and orphaned, Ororo was found by a gang of street urchins who took her to their master, Achmed el-Gibar. Achmed trained Ororo in the arts of thievery and she soon became his prize pupil, excelling in picking both pockets and locks. During her time in Cairo, Ororo picked the pocket of an American tourist. The man proved no easy mark, however, as he was Charles Xavier, a powerful mutant telepath who used his abilities to stop the theft. At that moment, Xavier was psionically attacked by another mutant and Ororo used the opportunity to escape.
Years later, feeling a strong urge to wander south, Ororo left Cairo. During her travels, Ororo naïvely accepted a ride from a complete stranger and was almost raped by him. Forced to defend herself, Ororo killed the man. From that moment, she swore never to take another human life. Ororo wandered for thousands of miles, almost dying during her trek across the Sahara Desert. Her mutant ability to psionically control the weather emerged soon after, and she was able to use them to rescue T'Challa
, a prince of the African nation of Wakanda, from his would-be kidnappers. The pair spent much time together; however, T'Challa's duties as a prince prevented them from further exploring their burgeoning mutual attraction.
Finally, Ororo reached her ancestors' homeland on the Serengeti Plain in Kenya. She was taken in by an elderly tribal woman named Ainet who taught her to be responsible with her powers. Ororo soon came to be the object of worship of the local tribes who believed her to be a goddess due to her gift.
Years later, Ororo was forced to battle the threat of a fellow mutant weather manipulator known as Deluge, who sought revenge against humanity. With the help of several members of the team of mutant heroes known as the X-Men, Deluge was seemingly destroyed and Ororo returned to her life amongst the tribal people. The X-Men subsequently told their founder, Professor Xavier, about Storm but he declined to contact her at this point, not wanting to shock the young woman with the true nature of her powers.
Months later, however, Xavier was left with no choice but to recruit Storm and other mutants from around the world into the X-Men in order to rescue his original students from the threat of the sentient island being known as Krakoa. Xavier explained to Ororo that she was not a "goddess", but a mutant, and as such she had a responsibility to use her abilities to help the world just as she had helped the local tribes. Curious, Ororo accepted Xavier's offer, and was given the codename "Storm".
Storm has always played a very prominent role in the world of the X-Men. In her early days after her first appearance she was a major character in the new team of X-Men following the relaunch of the mutant team in 1975. Then perhaps her definitive role was as leader of the X-Men after Professor X went into space with the Starjammers for a time. She led the team through many huge challenges: the Mutant Massacre and Inferno
to name but two, even through a long period when she had lost her powers. Following the return of Professor X, the X-Men were split into two teams, Gold (led by Storm) and Blue (led by Cyclops). During that period her closest male relationship was with Forge, however that somehow never fully matured and ended with the two breaking up. Following the discovery of Destiny's diaries, Storm led the X-Treme X-Men and then the X.S.E. teams. Storm later married Black Panther and taken on a new leadership role in Wakanda. The marriage lasted a long time, but came crashing
during Avengers vs. X-Men
in which Storm reluctantly took the mutants' side and caused Namor to flood Wakanda. This act enraged Black Panther that he, being both King AND High Priest of Wakanda, announced divorce even if Storm defected to the Avengers' side afterwards. After Wolverine reopened the X-Mansion in New York, Storm became Headmistress of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning and lead the first all-female team
of X-Men in April 2013. In July 2014, Storm gained her first ongoing self-titled comic, written by Greg Pak.
One of the most popular and recognizable members of the team (as well as one of the most recognizable and notable black superheroes), Storm has appeared in virtually every media adaptation featuring the X-Men since the 1980's, including the X-Men
animated series, the Marvel vs. Capcom
video games, and the X-Men
live-action movies (where she is portrayed by Halle Berry
Film Television (Anime / Western Animation)Video Games
- Storm Vol. 1 (1996)
- Storm Vol. 2 (2006)
- Storm Vol. 3 (2014)
Storm provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Girl: She was always one of the stronger X-Men; however, she possibly gained the most physical and emotional growth and Xenafication out of all the X-Women.
- Amazon Chaser: During her "powerless" phase, several characters commented on how being more open about her emotions, especially when kicking butt, "made her lovelier still."
- Ambiguously Bi: Her relationships with Jean, Callisto, and Yukio have all raised a lot of eyebrows. With Jean, it's subtle, and they love each other "like sisters". With Yukio and Callisto, it really isn't. Many fans point to an annual issue of Uncanny X-Men, where Ororo's greatest desire is to chuck everything and go live in Japan with Yukio, as evidence of Storm's bisexuality. This is not something that later writers chose to engage with, however.
- And Now You Must Marry Me / We Can Rule Together: No less than five of Storm's long-term enemies, including Doctor Doom and DRACULA, have had designs on making her their queen or consort as part of their villainous master plan.
- Archenemy: The Shadow King.
- Author Appeal: A rumor went around in the 2000s that Chris Claremont was actually in love with Storm. The rumor in question was deliberately spread by an angry former fan, but given how Storm tends to be treated in Claremont's stories, it's hard to shake the notion that there's at least some truth to it.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She's the X-Men's team leader, she was worshiped as a Goddess, and now she's queen of Wakanda.
- Badass Cape: Usually!!
- Badass Normal: For a little while (4 real-world years), Storm was rendered powerless. However, she continued to lead the X-Men and even defeated Cyclops in 1-on-1 battle for that honor.
- Bare Your Midriff: Some of her more sexy costumes.
- Berserk Button
- You probably shouldn't hold her down or from behind. She almost killed John Proudstar over this. It's also in your best interest not to mess with her fellow X-Men. Especially Kitty Pryde.
- Trying to exploit her Claustrophobia is a surefire way to make her very angry, as Doctor Doom found out to his extreme chagrin.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's one of the nicest people on the team, along with Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, and Colossus. However, you don't want to see her mad.
- Blow You Away: Her second most common form of attack.
- Brought Down to Badass: During the many times she's been depowered.
Storm: I have no powers, my body cannot fly. But I no longer mind, for in my heart and soul — where it truly matters — I soar higher than the stars!
- But Not Too Black: Black, variably dark skin, but with white and Asian features, and blue eyes. She was supposed to have features of many races, to resemble Gaia. However, this largely depends on the artist. It's important to mention that this is not due to racism, but rather to late artist Dave Cockrum's intention to make her a "woman of the world".
- Calling Your Attacks: In the '90s animated series. Lampshaded during a guest appearance in Spider-Man's '90s animated series:
- Claustrophobia: To varying degrees. You can usually tell when in her timeline a story takes place by how badly her claustrophobia's acting up, as detailed in Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? below.
- Clothing Damage: Frequently.
- Cool Big Sis: Mostly toward Kitty Pryde. She calls the younger woman "Kitten" as a mark of affection.
- Dating Catwoman: Storm gains the attention of, and feels attracted to villains about as often as she does to other heroic characters. Among them are Doctor Doom (or rather, a Doom-Bot), Arkon, Dracula, Loki, and Khan (no, not that one). Wolverine even made note of it, stating that any bad guy worth knowing would be attracted to her (can't exactly blame them).
- Dark-Skinned (Very) Blonde
- Deadpan Snarker: It's actually harder to notice than most characters due to her speech tone. However, she is usually the quickest to point out when a plan is silly.
- Does Not Like Shoes: She was barefoot in her years in Africa. She occasionally goes barefoot currently.
- The Dreaded: In Priest's run on Black Panther, he notes upon meeting Storm that most of his intelligence connections are terrified of Storm. She's powerful enough by herself to take out entire armies, she had no national affiliation or loyalties at the time, and she feels very comfortable crossing borders in the service of her own agenda. She can cause an international incident just about any time she wants.
- Elemental Baggage
- Elemental Hair: She is almost always depicted with long, white hair which usually defies gravity, suggesting her wind and lightning powers.
- Elemental Powers: Complete control over the weather, which gives her the ability to whip up lightning, wind, and ice storms in combat, among a plethora of other useful tricks.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: After getting sick of repressing her passions all the time, she gave into nourishing them — this change was reflected with her new (at the time) mohawk. The change was unpopular at the time, so she went back to her normal hairstyle, but in Marvel Now she styled her hair in a mohawk again.
- Fisher King: Her mood influences her weather manipulation powers, so she's basically this everywhere she goes if she doesn't rein in her powers.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- There's a crazy amount of nude Storm appearances during the early years of her introduction.
- Back in the '80s, Jim Shooter forbade Chris Claremont from depicting homosexual relationships in the X-books. Claremont proceeded to sneak two lesbian couples past Shooter in subtle ways. One was Mystique and Destiny; the other is arguably Storm and Yukio. At one point, Storm is offered her "heart's desire", which is to live in Tokyo with Yukio with no cares or responsibilities.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whenever she is using her powers.
- God Guise: In her youth she was worshiped as a rain goddess until Xavier found her. In her 2014 series, the tribespeople admit that they were only humoring her because they needed the rain. They knew all along that she was "just" a crazy girl who could make rain, not a goddess. Storm in the present is rather embarassed by her past behavior.
- Good Is Not Soft: As mentioned above, she's one of the nicest members of the X-Men. However, if she is pushed too far, either by her friends being threatened or the arising of a situation that her ethics will not stand for, she will go to extreme lengths in retaliation. Two notable instances were her first battle with Callisto, and years later, her battle with Marrow, Callisto's extremist protégé.
- Happily Married: With Black Panther. Until the events of Avengers vs. X-Men.
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- Again, during her Mohawk phase and for a brief period after.
- The full-body silver-white costume she sported in the animated series.
- It's been mentioned in-universe by characters a number of times.
- The High Queen
- I Believe I Can Fly: With wind.
- An Ice Person: Comes with her control of the weather.
- Important Haircut: Her Mohawk didn't survive the eighties, but it did signify a newfound toughness the character has held onto.
- In Harm's Way: For all her talk of pacifism, even Storm found palace life and politics extremely boring after she married the Black Panther, and continued to help the X-Men whenever she could.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Well, her culture didn't have a taboo about nudity... she grew out of this as the decades went past. Somewhat. While it's not in every issue like it once was, she still gets this duty more than any other X-character.
- Kryptonite Factor: Storm's powers are limited by the dimensions of the atmosphere she's in. Another reason for her not to like small spaces. This is usually not an issue, but it comes up from time to time.
- Lady of War
- Large Ham: Specially in the '90s cartoon series, where she would verbally command the elements. Lampshaded by Rogue in the first episode.
Rogue: Lighten up on the speeches, sugah!
- Leotard of Power: Most of her iconic costumes have been leotards with some form of cape.
- Like Brother and Sister: Her and Gambit, more so early on in his tenure than now, but they are still very close.
- Making a Splash: With rain, though she doesn't do this as often compared to her other forms of attack.
- Mama Bear: It's best not to mess with the younger X-Men. And more specifically with her godchild in the '90s cartoon and Spyke in X-Men: Evolution. In the comics, bringing harm to Kitty is the surest way to earn a beatdown from her.
- Martial Pacifist: She really prefers not to fight. And wants to be a full-fledged pacifist one day.
- Master of Unlocking: She keeps a pair of lockpicks on her person at all times and is very skilled with them.
- Memetic Sex Goddess: In-Universe — and out of universe!! People just can't help falling for her.
- Monochromatic Eyes: Depending on the Artist. Ever since The Movie, it's been pretty consistently similar to the movie version; normal eyes until she uses her powers, causing them to glow white.
- Morality Pet: Specifically recruited as this by Cyclops between the events of Schism and Avengers vs. X-Men.
- Ms. Fanservice: Liked public nudity a lot, especially in earlier appearances.
- Mystical White Hair: Her white hair was explained as a property she got from her mother's inherent magic. Her mother was an Egyptian princess.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Because Lightning Can Do Anything she sometimes slips into this. For instance, did you know that in the Black Panther animated series she can use Cerebro now? Examples in the main comics include creating atmospheric pressure several times stronger than Jupiter's, and causing an EMP. Claremont attempted to handwave this by defining Storm's powers as aerokinesis, or the mental control over air and atmosphere, but later writers have not run with this football.
- Not Quite Flight: She flies by controlling a wind strong enough to support her weight.
- Occult Blue Eyes: She has blue eyes, which is extremely rare among non-Europeans. In her case, it's a mark of her family's magical heritage, in addition to the white hair.
- One Woman Army: In the first X-Men Legends, she is the most powerful and versatile character in the game, and the only reason not to have her in your party is if you're challenging yourself. In Marvel's later RPG's (she appears in all of them), she's toned down a bit, but is still a top-tier character. While she wasn't used as often, Storm is considered the single best character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes. The only thing keeping her from appearing as regularly on tournament teams is that she doesn't quite have the team synchronicity of Magneto, Sentinel, and/or Psylocke. She's "just" good on her own.
- Her video game appearances are actually underpowered compared to her comic book incarnation, who in the past has created hyperstorm systems that have covered the whole planet, and subsequently dissipated them in a matter of seconds.
- The Paragon: Depending on the Writer, and has slipped into Anti-Hero at times. For the most part, though, she's a solid example.
- Physical Goddess: She considered herself this at times in her past, due to being worshiped as one, and often uses the term to intimidate her foes, but is in fact a mortal Mutant, if a very powerful one, and as such is always completely outmatched by The Mighty Thor, even repeatedly under Claremont's pen. She is very powerful by human standards, and can potentially cause great natural disasters, but is very far from a world-buster or high level reality-manipulator. Her powers have shown the ability to gradually cause larger-scale weather manipulation than the usual quick-draw local effects. She could be a world-buster if she were of a mind to be and had time to make it happen, but... there are characters who could do worse in under two seconds. However, she was granted additional power by Loki at one point, and on another was shown as a member of "The Twelve". And in What If?... the X-Men Had Stayed in Asgard?, Storm became the new Goddess of Thunder, complete with her own Mjolnir.
- Platonic Life Partners: Her and Logan. Some fans feel it's more. In the Ultimate Universe, it was... for a while anyway.... And now, as of Wolverine and the X-Men, the relationship has been upgraded.
- Popularity Power
- How Storm beat Wonder Woman in the DC vs. Marvel crossover (it'd be one thing if it was shooting lightning from fifty yards away, but she fought her hand to hand, despite not having Super Strength herself.)
- This is how she ended up on the Marvel Adventures Avengers team; she also joined the Fantastic Four alongside the Black Panther.
- Her membership in the 616 Avengers takes the trope even further: she was on the team for about five seconds before Avengers vs. X-Men broke out.
- Power Loss Makes You Strong: Her Mohawk phase is perhaps one of the oldest examples in comics.
- The Rival: Emma Frost and Callisto. Since Emma's Heel-Face Turn, though, the two have become more Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: She and Jean Grey considered each other as close as sisters. Claremont being Claremont, Les Yay abounded.
- Sassy Black Woman: More subtle than most, but she's extremely imperious and willful, and has been known to make more than a few sharp remarks, at friends and foes alike.
- She's Got Legs
- Shock and Awe: Her most common form of attack.
- Spock Speak: Actually quite common among English speakers in eastern Africa, though the writers probably didn't know that at the time.
- Statuesque Stunner: Storm is one long-legged, 5'11 slab of gorgeousness.
- Street Urchin: When she was younger.
- Superpowerful Genetics: The extraordinary features of Ororo. Blue eyes, white hair, and weather manipulation is carried through a gene for FIVE generations until it activates, so Storm's power was passed from her great-great grandmother.
- Superpower Lottery: She's often considered one of the most powerful X-Men out there, second only to the likes of X-Man, Phoenix, or Magneto.
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Her backstory has her killing a man who tried to rape her. And this is why she tries not to kill the rest of the time.
- Take Me Instead: When T'Challa succumbs to very bad wounds, Ororo entered the spirit world so she take T'Challa's place, so the people of Wakanda wouldn't lose their spiritual leader.
- Technical Pacifist: She wants to be a pacifist. It's just not in the cards now.
- Team Mom
- Token Minority: Not within the X-Men itself, but often in various general Marvel Universe products. As Storm is arguably Marvel's most popular non-white superhero, it's not uncommon to see her in Marvel Universe group shots on backpacks, posters, lunchboxes, video games and other merchandise as the sole character of color. Though in recent years Marvel has started including The Falcon as well.
- Token Minority Couple
- With Black Panther.
- There was a brief Ship Tease with Bishop when he joined the X-Men, as well. It made very little sense, smacked of Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, and was quickly dropped when the book changed writers. Chris Claremont considered hooking them up in X-Treme X-Men, but wanted to avoid the implications of having the only two black characters be romantically involved.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her mohawk phase.
- Thigh-High Boots: Many of her outfits.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Storm was almost raped in Kenya when she was younger and killed the man with a knife. She swore that she would never take another life. While in recent years she's lightened up from this restriction, for the most part she still adheres to it to the best of her ability.
- Twofer Token Minority
- Vitriolic Best Buds
- With Emma Frost, a former rival turned friend.
- She also occasionally has moments like this with Wolverine, when he's being particularly unsociable.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Her no-killing rule seems limited to humans: she killed the demon N'astirh during Inferno, has killed Brood (insectoid aliens) in the past, and wasn't particularly bothered when Dracula was seemingly killed.
- Weather Dissonance
- Weather Manipulation: Naturally enough.
- Wolverine Publicity: She's been regularly featured in X-Men since 1975. Had many solo series, many mini-series. Has made guest appearances. Also have appeared in every game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series and Marvel RPGs, and she's one of the few characters to be on all three of Marvel's big teams (the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers).
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Originally claustrophobia, though this has abated significantly over the years from "crippling terror" to throwaway fear. Nowadays it will usually only come up when they need to get Storm out of a fight without any Chickification.
- Xenafication: A positive example here. She mainly relied on her powers in the beginning. After being stripped of them, she'd later go on to become one of the best fighters in both hand-to-hand and weapon combat. Even after she regained her powers, she largely retained the skills she'd picked up, becoming one of the X-Men's most versatile members (Depending on the Writer).