Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Storm (Don Lawrence)

Go To
Storm is a Science Fiction comic book series primarily produced for a Dutch audience, but started off with a British artist and is also available in English. These days the artist is the Dutch Romano Molenaar.

Very pulpy but at the same time often pretty high concept, it is set in the far future but most of the time it feels closer to Conan the Barbarian. It was essentially created as an excuse for the British artist Don Lawrence (also known for The Trigan Empire) to draw epic scenes. The early albums had the stories provided by a number of different authors of widely varying talent, the Dutch Martin Lodewijk (Agent 327) eventually becoming the exclusive writer.

The series started as "Commander Grek", about an astronaut of the same name thrown into a future controlled by Fish People, a plot not unlike Planet of the Apes. This album is still counted part of the series as a sort of prequel, but disatisfaction about the story led it to be retooled to be about another astronaut named Storm. Storm is an ace astronaut in the near future, selected to be the first to explore Jupiter's red spot. However, the spot turns out to be Negative Space Wedgie, and when he emerges again there is no longer any sign of his spacefaring civilisation. Returning to Earth, he discovers that aeons have passed, many civilisations have risen and fallen again, and a primitive one very alien to him is now thriving in the lowlands that were once Earth's oceans. He quickly picks up a sword and a girlfriend, Redhair (who is also known as Ember in the most recent English translations), and what follows is nine volumes of exploring and having adventures. Ultimately he is responsible for (in the space of just two stories) exposing and then defeating the aliens secretly in charge, and then rebuilding society to the point that Earth is nice and civilised again.


Realising that they had written themselves into a corner, the writers briefly mucked about with another time jump and some sentient dinosaur nonsense, and then decided on a proper retool : Storm and Redhair were transported to Pandarve, a strange world and accompanying system defying the laws of nature. Pandarve and the many other worlds in the system orbit a white hole, which spews out breathable air filling the space between the planets. Thus, once the scientific absurdity gets handwaved, you get a place where people actually travel between planets in sailships. Storm and redhair pick up a third companion, the blood red Boisterous Bruiser Nomad, and go adventuring again, often chased by Pandarve's despotic theocrat Marduk who believes that due to being a time traveler, Storm's body is key to control of the multiverse. 17 more albums were written, culminating in an epic trilogy about a Big Dumb Object intruder with some surprising inhabitants threatening the Pandarve system.


The publishing tempo started to seriously lag during the production of this trilogy, and after it ended nothing happened for two years, only for Don Lawrence to die shortly before starting work on a new story in 2003. Because his irreplaceable drawing style was the heart of the series, there were serious doubts if it could be continued, but after a long search two artists were found that complementing each other's specialties might pull it off: Romano Molenaar and Jorg De Vos. A new album finally arrived in 2007, and was generally considered to be a success. Since then, albums have again appeared at a tempo of about one per year.

The pre-Pandarve albums are known as the Chronicles of the Deep World, whereas the later ones are the Chronicles of Pandarve. There was also three poorly received albums drawn by another artist supposed to be set in an uneventfull period of Storm's deep world time, called the Chronicles of Meanwhile. More recently, the series has gotten a bit of a spinoff fever, in part because Don Lawrence's successors just coudn't draw fast enough and different teams were needed to maintain regular output. The Chronicles of the Outer Rim, which is more or less just regular stories by another team, seems to have stalled after just one album. A prequel centering on Redhair's adventures before she met Storm is also in the making.

Not to be confused with the Marvel Comics character Storm, obviously.


  • After the End: the first nine albums, obviously. In fact, its implied there has been more then one end, civilization completely recovering and then falling again multiple times.
  • Alice Allusion: the goddess Pandarve likes to invoke this to get Storm's attention. When she's not trying to get attention another way, by being Marilyn Monroe or Marlene Dietrich.
  • Alien Sky: gravity doesn't work the normal way around Pandarve, allowing it to have lots of moons and other bodies, very nearby.
  • Ancient Artifact: common on Earth.
  • Animal Is the New Man: Similar to Planet of the Apes, Storm returns to Earth to find that humanity had been wiped out and the world was now ruled by Fish People.
  • Apocalypse How: Soccer. Seriously, and it's presented completely straight too. Specifically, a huge solar storm hit space stations transmitting tv signals at a time when eighty percent of Earth's population was watching the world cup final, and so logically, their T Vs fried them
  • Artistic License – Physics: In Pandarve's system a planet's gravity is independent of its size, and stops having any influence a certain distance above its surface so that worlds can be very close to each other. Some planet look like weird mathematical shapes. Between these planets is breathable air (spewed out by a constant rate by a white hole sun), complete with winds in which sail ships looking just like the ones in Earth's oceans can travel. These ships, although traveling in a weightless environment, themselves have gravity, derived simply from storing a bit of soil from a planet with suitable gravity in their bellies.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: the series breathes this. One album has castles hanging from giant zeppelins, another a city sized ship whaling a sea of lava. An early album also has a weird warship the security system of which consists of a huge amount of elaborately trapped rooms you have to cross before getting to the control center.
  • Baby Planet: A common sight in Pandarve's system.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Visfil, Marduk's pint-sized assistant to whom he's both verbally and physically abusive, who he blames for anything that goes wrong or even causes mild annoyance.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: though less the traditional insects, and more often monsters based on maggots, snails, molluscs, crabs, shrimps etc.
  • Big Dumb Object: the intruder, a giant cluster of von neumann probes that failed to separate due to a software issue.
  • Big Red Devil: in Marduk's Springs an evil big red devil-looking creature called Satan shows up, in a civilization that is in no way connected to Earth. The background dossier implied it may have come from another location in the multiverse.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: fairly common. One city is built above a giant subterranean worm that can apparently function as its sewer. Another story has a bird that eats people who then end up alive in its eggs. And the planet Pandarve itself is a living creature whose breath has healing powers.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Nomad
  • Cargo Cult: the nuke-worshiping civilisation in "The Creeping Death"
  • Chastity Couple: Its clear from the occasional jealous comment that Storm and Redhair are a couple, but otherwise this is never commented upon, nor are they prone to physical contact or interact in any way other then friends would. Only at the very end of the very last story painted by Don Lawrence, "The Armageddon Traveller", we can see Ember kissing Storm. One could also say that there's a clear sign that Storm and Ember are a couple in "The Return of the Red Prince", as we can see them walking into Nomad's hometown with their arm around each other while being naked. Hardly the physical contact 'just good friends' would make.
  • Convection Schmonvection: the lava sea from "the living planet" and the volcano in "Return of the Red Prince"
  • Cool Starship: The one used to reach the intruder in "The Von Neumann Machine " was cool enough to make it on a CD cover: Pocket Revolution (2005) by Belgian band dEUS (you're looking at a lower part of a giant rocket made out of numerous derelict spaceships welded together)
  • Cool Train: in The Twisted World. A space train makes an appearance in a later album too.
  • Cosmic Egg: the many worlds near the living god-planet Pandarve are her children, grown from small round objects literally called eggs that she releases.
  • Cosmic Entity: Pandarve is a living planet who's a god, with powers and influence far beyond her surface.
  • Counter-Earth: a robot-inhabited one opposite the white hole from Pandarve makes an appearance in The Robots of Far Sied. The trope is slavishly followed in that it is explained that this has kept the two civilizations from meeting each other, which is pretty confusing since the solar system is widely traveled.
  • Crossdresser: the intruder has a simulation of victorian London, but due to errors creeping into the computing, the person we recognized as queen Victoria eventually turns out to actually be king Victor who likes to crossdress.
  • Dyson Sphere: In "The Stargorger"
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Pandarve apparently once had very advanced machinery and spaceships until that age ended for unspecified reasons. Apart from a few pockets of machine-using society here and there, the planet now operated more on a sort of sort medieval stasis level, ancient machines barely being understood anymore.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: in the far future's far future, sentient dinosaurs rule the Earth. Or at the least Australia. Since the album they were was the result of a halfassed attempt at a course change, it can be argued that they were literally added in an attempt to make everything better.
  • Fading Away: In "The Seven of Aromater" the body of a transformed Ember emits light, making the Black Prince disappear.
  • Fiery Redhead: Redhair, obviously.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: The Intruder has a simulation of hell very closely following Gustave Doré's illustrations of Dante Alighieri's inferno.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Storm, though he adapts quickly.
  • Fish People: have inherited the Earth in "Commander Grek", and also present on Venus
  • Fling a Light into the Future: the von neumann machine, though it malfunctioned and was only a partial succes.
  • Flying Saucer: Azurian dimension hopping ships.
  • Fourth Wall: Played With a few times in the trilogy about the intruder. When the godess Pandarve is ready playing with a Western enviroment she created, a director is seen yelling cut, and a clapboard featuring the name of the writer and illustrator of the comic are shown. Later, Storm is introduced to uploads of two people introduced as his parent, in reality Don Lawrence and his wife, living in a simulation of their actual real-life home
  • Future Imperfect: Neu London is not as accurate a representation of Victorian London as it should be. For example, Sherlock Holmes' assistant is a Chinese man called Wah Tzun and the ruler is the crossdressing king Victor.
  • Galactic Conqueror: Vandaahl the Destroyer is more or less the personification of chaos and darkness, an unstopable warlord that won't rest until the entire universe, whatever universe that it, is under control.
  • Gentle Giant: In a recreation of Dante's hell, it turns out the monsters are incredibly friendly and helpful to anyone being nice to them.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: as Vandaahl crashes into an ocean in "Vandaahl the Destroyer". Surprisingly averted in the first album, which shows two separate disasters involving all the water on Earth on the move.
  • Gladiator Games: "The Last Fighter", "The Slayer of Eriban" (where they're eventually replaced by chess), "The Robots of Far Sied", etc. Pretty common.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Pandarve has to dangerously delegate the task of dealing with the intruder to her system because most of her energy is allocated to solving Fermat's last theorem.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Grek gets hypnotised into being half man, half fish.
  • Hidden Elf Village: the Antartican city, and Nomad's home kingdom
  • Horse of a Different Color: a new one tends to be invented whenever one is needed, including flying ones.
  • Hot God: Pandarve likes to present herself as Marylin Monroe and Marlene Dietrich to Storm.
  • How Unscientific!: upon ariving in Pandarve's system, Storm takes a moment to point out that the physics of this new series setting don't make a lick of sense before accepting that he has no choice but to accept it, and it becomes the new normal for the rest of the series.
  • Human Aliens: Pandarve and its children are mainly inhabited by Human looking and acting people, though they are supposedly in no way connected to Earth Humans. The early Pandarve albums tended to intersperse a Humanoid Alien here and there to liven things up, but as time went by this became rarer and rarer.
  • Human Pet: The Robots of Far Sied keep them.
  • Improbable Antidote: in "The Hounds of Marduk", Ember has fallen into a drugged state after she has fallen into a sea polluted with waste products from a gigantic earthworm. To save her from internal drowning as well as to wake her up from her unconscious state, she's tied to a crane, after which her legs are lowered into a pit with healing vapour called "Pandarve's Breath".
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: After being in a coma for days in "The Creeping Death", Ember is immediately strong enough to throw Kai across the room. And in "The Hounds of Marduk", Ember also wakes up after being unconscious for a few days, and as she sees she's being abducted, she screams for Storm's help, which Storm hears through a cabin wall, about a hundred metres away.
  • King Incognito: Nomad
  • Living Relic: Storm, of course.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away...: The setting permanently changed from Earth to an extradimensional solar system called the Pandarve Multiverse.
  • Mad Scientist: Prov from "The People of the Desert", who tries to create a new race of people to use as mindless slaves in his desert lair.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: while appearing as Marilyn Monroe, Pandarve of course doesn't pass up the opportunity.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: Pandarve's solar system has a civilization like that.
  • Merlin Sickness: Vandaahl: due to being from a universe with a time stream in the opposite direction of Pandarve's universe
  • Mooks; the Theocratic guard are essentially cyborg stormtroopers.
  • The Multiverse: "Imagine creation as a building with rooms without doors or windows... each room represents a universe, complete, unique, different from all others... Think of the number of rooms as infinitely large.... [...] Doors or windows are not present in the building of the all-creation... but here and there there's mouse holes or cracks in the walls...".
  • Mummy: In "The Genesis Equation".
  • Mutants: grotesque and barbaric green Humans were occasionally encountered on future Earth, and featured particularly prominently in "The Green Hell".
  • Naked on Revival: in "Return of the Red Prince", Storm and Redhair are eaten by a bird, but somehow survive to emerge nakedly from its egg.
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Jupiter's red dot.
  • Ominous Floating Spaceship: "Vandaahl the Destroyer" has a very ominous one.
  • Pegasus: the city from "City of the Damned" has a robot sentinel riding one.
  • Plot-Induced Illness: The whole plot of "The Creeping Death" revolves around Storm rescuing Yucan's son Huatl from an enemy tribe in exchange for the antidote that will save a poisoned and unconscious Ember, although Storm doesn't know that Yucan's other son Kai has fallen in love with Ember and already gives her the antidote after he killed his father. Another example can be found in "The Hounds of Marduk". After our heroes have been flushed out of a gigantic earthworm and fall into the sea, Storm and Nomad appear above water quickly, but Ember gets stunned when she hits the water. Storm rescues her from drowning, but Ember has fallen into a sort of drugged state because of the water being polluted by the waste-products of the earthworm. The only way to cure her is with the healing vapour called "Pandarve's Breath", and this is done by fastening Ember to a crane, so her legs can be lowered into the pit from which Pandarve's Breath is coming out. But an unconscious woman hanging outside is an easy prey for an abduction by a rebel group to force Storm to surrender to them.
  • Powered By A Forsakenchild: In "The Von Neumann Machine", a fragment of the goddess Pandarve posing as Alice from Alice in Wonderland voluntarily straps herself to the exhaust of a broken rocket and burns herself up in order to propel the rocket to its destination. Counts as an example due to her not really being a child because Redhair feels bad for her and needs to be reminded of what she really is.
  • Rerouted from Heaven: In an environment in the intruder, the characters are welcomed to the seventh heaven, but then quickly banished to hell after the angels freak out over them having genitals.
  • Retool: After the very first album Grek was dumped as a protagonist and the series tried again with Storm. A more textbook example comes later, with Storm being abducted to Pandarve.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: The overtly complicated infrastructure Marduk depends on for his immortality treatment, as seen in "Marduk's Springs".
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: wind-powered ships travel between the planets in the Pandarve system. The the vast emptiness of the void between the worlds is only brought up whenever someone gets stranded.
  • Space Pirates: encountered surprisingly rarely in the space around Pandarve (other kinds of unsavoury figures are abound though), although they do play an important role in the first album set there, "The Pirates of Pandarve". Earlier a group of Azurian space pirates played a role in "The Secret of the Nitron Rays".
  • Space Whale: among the many types of space fish in Pandarve's multiverse. Space whalers are never far off.
  • The Starscream: Marduk is supposed to be his goddess' humble servant, defending her interests among the population while she does things more fittingly of a god. But he's constantly scheming to gain more power, ideally control over the whole multiverse, and has no qualms directly disobeying her along the way.
  • Steam Never Dies: The train from "The Twisted World".
  • Take Me to Your Leader: said by Marduk after entering Neu Londen. His wish is seemingly granted despite traveling with an invasion army and immediately usurping queen Victoria err, king Victor who just looks like a woman upon meeting her.
  • Time Machine: The Hidden Elf Village in Antartica still has one.
  • Train Job: Twice, including one on a space train. In both cases, there's more going on then meets the eye.
  • Translator Microbes: upon arriving at Pandarve, Storm is given a "pearl of wisdom" harvested from the body of a Space Whale that happens to be conveniently nearby. After what looks a bit like a short LSD trip, he can understand the local language.
  • Trapped in TV Land: The intruder is a giant space probe made up of different connected habitats simulating different fictional and mythological stories from Earth history. As a bonus, some have been corrupted.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Happens to Ember in "The Living Planet" to make sure Storm won't flee when fighting the Fireworm, and after being captured in "The Mutineers of Anchor". A variation can be seen in "The Hounds of Marduk", but this time an unconscious Ember is tied to a crane and her legs lowered into a pit of healing vapour.
  • Uplifted Animal: the titular hounds in "The Hounds of Marduk"
  • Victorian London: the Intruder contains a Neu-Londen module, complete with Oliver Twist and Sherlock Holmes. Although technically it should probably be called Victoran London (sic)
  • The Wall Around the World: The intruder is made up of millions of walled environments, one huge room next to another.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Storm eventually manages to track down a Time Machine and is offered a ride, but is told that his civilisation ended shortly after he left anyway.