Ororo Munroe is such a strong, steady presence among the X-Men that she’s even led the team a time or two. Storm is most well-known for being the one of the most prominent Black superheroes as well as the most well-known Black female super hero, but the steadfast, fierce member of the X-Men is also vulnerable, kind, generous, and cunning. Storm has been through so many trials and retcons that it’s hard to imagine the team without her. She has been and always will be a fan favorite, from comic to cartoon, book to film (okay, sometimes that last one has been a stretch).
With her stoic approach to justice, strong sense of duty and impressive powers, it’s a wonder that she has any big fails, violent outbursts or even bad decisions in her history, but like every Marvel hero, she is a a nuanced, layered character who has had her share. Here are the 15 Most WTF Things Storm Has Ever Done.
15. Her punk makeover
Storm already has a unique look among the X-Men. Her white hair, combined with the whites of her eyes while her powers are in full action, make her stand out among the rest of the team. As with any character who has been around for decades, she’s rocked many different looks. One of her most surprising looks, however, came not from how she looked, but why she chose the style.
A leather top, vest, and pants combined with a long, wild Mohawk updated Storm’s look in a way that most female characters just don’t get from writers and artists. It took away her traditionally gorgeous look and made her both beautiful and badass at the same time. While Kitty was so overcome by the change, crying, “How could you!” while covering her face, Professor X says that he believes the change may be, “indicative of a deeper, more serious metamorphosis.” While it’s true that the look represents a harder, tougher version of Storm, and writer Chris Claremont brushes it off as a joke, for many fans it is still one of the most pleasantly WTF moments in comic history: the moment a lead female character’s preferences and personality shone through her own style update.
14. Mini-Storm Plant Watering
As powerful and awesome as the character is, sometimes Storm just does some goofy stuff. Viewers of the X-Men: Evolution animated series may remember the time she used her superpowers to water her plants with mini-storms that included no less than actual lightning. Not only is this completely pointless, but wouldn’t lightning, you know, kill house plants? It seems like a waste of her power and energy at worst and overkill at best.
Animated Storm has faced other forms of criticism, from being too stuffy to too dramatic. There are those who claim that her voice itself is over the top, and then there was even the time she was possessed and, as Wolverine described it, “out of her mind,” unleashing a tidal wave of weather fury upon the Savage Land. Whether they have merit or not, there’s no denying that conjuring tiny lightning bolts over your house plants is a bit much.
13. Goddess Worship
Not many of the X-Men have “goddess” on their resume. Most have hidden away at some point or another, shunned by the public for being mutants. Storm, on the other hand, was considered a goddess, which is another WTF moment in her history that is actually pretty awesome. When her powers manifest, she is worshiped rather than pelted with eggs and other smelly objects, making her origin story one of the most interesting in the history of the comic.
Just look at the history of the X-Men and mutants in general. How many were bullied, targeted for death and even murdered by the government, hate mobs, or individuals who feared mutantkind? Being hailed as a goddess sets Storm apart from the X-Men in that her powers did not make her a pariah (at least, not always; most of the mutants experience hate at some point, and she has had her share). She even nearly became a goddess of Asgard, courtesy of Loki, but that was under less positive circumstances. Storm’s goddess status makes her stand apart as a mutant who was not only accepted but revered.
12. The Brood Egg Infection
One of the weirdest moments in Storm’s life occurred during the Brood egg infection. The Brood aliens debuted in Uncanny X-Men #155. It was strange enough to even see the insect-like parasites known as the Brood appear in the X-Men universe; Marvel’s Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum made them look quite a bit like stunt doubles from Alien. These grotesque creatures had stinging tails, fangs, and a hive mentality, making them mindless drones for their queen.
It was stranger still, however, to see them reproduce by impregnating any life form they chose as a host, especially since Storm was chosen as one such life form. Once captured, she realized that she’d been implanted with an egg. Rather than unleash the creature upon the innocent, Storm, in a selfless moment of leadership, attempted suicide. The stellar energy she absorbed did destroy the Brood embryo, but it would have left her drifting in space for dead had it not been for the Acanti Brood slave who rescued her.
11. Dropping A Building On Juggernaut
Anyone who is a fan of the X-Men comics, movies, games, or cartoons is probably familiar with the Juggernaut. The larger-than-life villain looks like an enormous beetle, which downplays his incredible strength. One of the strongest beings in the world, Cain Marko, stepbrother to Charles Xavier, has almost limitless brute power and durability. Most mutants don’t stand a chance against the villain, who was a bully even before his transformation into the Juggernaut.
In episode 8 of season one of the X-Men animated series, “The Unstoppable Juggernaut,” the Juggernaut is going nuts at a bank in a poor attempt to bait his stepbrother into fighting him. When the X-Men are on the scene, Cyclops orders Storm to drop a building on his head. When Jubilee protests that the weather witch killed him in the process, Storm disagrees, saying, “Nothing we know of can kill him.” While it doesn’t take Juggernaut out, it does incapacitate him enough for the team to move in, remove his magical helmet, and give Jean the chance to control his brain. Since it’s the Juggernaut, having a house dropped on him isn’t as mind-blowing as having one dropped on the Wicked Witch of the East, but it’s still a pretty huge move by Storm.
10. That Toad Threat
Ask any Marvel fan, “Do you know what happens when a toad is struck by lightning?” and you are bound to get a groan, a hiss, or even the hand as the fan turns to make a dramatic exist. That line. Directed at Toad by Storm in the 2000 film X-Men, it was meant to instill a bit of humor in an utterly humorless adaptation that fans had long anticipated. Instead, both the attempt and Storm’s character overall felt like such a disappointment. Her character feetl thin, lacking in dimension and personality.
Some say the line would’ve been funnier had it been delivered as a bad dad joke as it was possibly intended, but most fans agree that it was the worst line to ever grace a comic book adaptation. In fact, it competes for worst line in a film ever against gems like The Wicker Man’s “No! Not the bees!” and House of the Dead’s “We finally got to the boat, but it wasn’t there!”
9. Battle With Callisto
Becoming leader of the subterranean mutant Morlocks seems only natural for Storm, given how her leadership abilities seem so second nature. It’s how Storm became their leader that makes the list. It was one of the most intense moments in the mutant’s history. In Uncanny X-Men #170, which features a wild-eyed Storm in Callisto’s face, readers found a gripping battle of hand-to-hand combat.
Callisto, leader of the Morlocks, begins the fight confident that she will win and draws first blood from Storm, but when she starts to brag, Storm quickly incapacitates and neutralizes her. The cells of the comic don’t even contain dialogue or description; there is simply Storm’s fierce face and the sure gait of her bare feet as she walks away. The scene is so much more moving than its film counterpart that many fans felt underwhelmed watching it. As Callisto, who loathed Storm at first, grew to respect the white-haired heroine, they ultimately form an alliance. Storm leaves her to lead the Morlocks as her representative even after winning, which furthered the Marvel theme of accepting people who are different.
8. Crippling claustrophobia
Most people are horrified to hear of a POW being kept in tight solitary confinement, or of tales of adults thought to be dead being buried alive by accident. Storm faced this reality when, during a terrorist attack, she was buried alive herself at just six years of age. Not only was she buried under the rubble of the attack, but she lost both of her parents in the process, worsening the trauma she experienced. Since then, Storm’s biggest fear has been claustrophobia.
While there have been many moments in the X-Men universe where Storm was forced to relive her fears, which sometimes rendered her helpless against a foe, it was during another fight against Juggernaut, this time in the comic X-Men 102, when Storm had a truly WTF moment when Black Tom Cassidy told her that his basement would be her tomb. As soon as he uttered the word “tomb,” she completely lost it. Nightcrawler pleaded with her to regain her senses but for some reason she was triggered so badly that she could not fight alongside her team, falling into a fit of tears and sputtering her apologies.
7. Flirting And Raging In Rogue Storm
While her leadership style is typically steadfast and sure, once in a while Storm just does something… weird. In X-Men 147, “Rogue Storm,” she has a romantic dinner with Doctor Doom, going as far to admit to herself that she’s having an awesome time with the creepo. The X-Men are there to rescue Arcade and their loved ones from Doom’s clutches and Storm is only supposed to be a distraction while they complete their mission. The thing is, Doom knows the team is there anyway, so the joke is on them both. Once it’s revealed that Arcade is simply bait, Doom turns the weather goddess into chrome.
Once she is free, however, she is a force to be reckoned with as her claustrophobia fuels her fury. Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein’s cells here look a lot like the Phoenix rather than Storm; her power is just that palpable. She rages, “No place on earth can hide you from my wrath. No power or entity can protect you.” The panels read, “Her breath is fire and ice, her voice is thunder. She is one with the entire planet… It’s a progression the X-Men have never seen before.” While the team is able to calm her down, this “rogue Storm” demonstrates just how powerful she can be.
6. That Movie Accent
Is anyone even sure what accent Storm used in the X-Men movies? During the first film, it seemed as if Halle Berry was going for a more African-like accent, but it was dropped for the next two films. It’s not the only place where her accent changes, however. Fans may forget the inconsistencies found in the animated series as well. Alexandria Shipp told Screen Rant, “I watched the [1990s X-Men] cartoons on repeat. I just kept it going because you could watch them on Hulu Plus, so I just had it going in the background. I love how her accent changed a whole bunch, which was awesome. You’re just like, ‘Wow, she’s gone from English to sister girl, all the way back’… I’m doing a Kenyan accent. I’m also speaking Arabic, which is cool.” The English that Shipp refers to is also a British accent, which is probably meant to sound South African.
Fans are also unhappy with the lines that Berry was given. In addition to the heinous toad line above, she had dialogue that actually sounds like Storm, such as, “I suppose… it’s because I’m afraid of them,” and “He’s fine, he’s quite resilient,” mixed with things like, “She’s fine… she’s just a kid,” when we all know she would say “child” instead.
5. Battle With Shadow King
The Shadow King is easily one of the worst villains Storm has ever come up against, not only because of its nefariousness but because of his deep desire to psychologically break the heroine. Her battle with him while possessed by Bast was something to behold. In X-Men: Worlds Apart, the Shadow King attempted to make Storm choose between saving her husband T’Challa (Black Panther) or her X-Men teammates. Not only was she able to stop all of the people the Shadow King controlled, but she also forced the Shadow King to possess her, which was a huge mistake.
The god Bast was already in possession of Storm’s mind when the Shadow King entered, hiding and waiting to enact his revenge in the name of T’Challa. Bast annihilates him in this form, not only defeating him but also ruining his plan to destroy Storm. On the contrary, most of Storm’s relationships are stronger following the attack.
4. Taking On Cyclops
It’s always weird when one of the X-Men has to go up against a member of the team for any reason, and Storm has fought Cyclops a couple of times. As mentioned previously, she had to fight him when the Shadow King took over his mind, but that’s not really her fault. If your teammate gets possessed by a villain, you have to step in and shut that stuff down.
But fans may also recall the time Storm, without her powers, went up against Cyclops in the Danger Room for leadership of the team in Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi, and Whilce Portacio’s Uncanny X-Men #210, “Duel.” She wins, of course, by simply taking his visor away, rendering him helpless against her. This also makes the mutant a bit of a hypocrite, since she demanded that he choose between his marital duties and leadership obligations– something that she refuses to do herself before T’Challa annuls their marriage.
3. Forge’s Betrayal
It’s pretty bad when your boyfriend steals your sandwich, leaves a mess in the bathroom floor, or takes your keys without asking, but if he were to ever take your mutant powers, he might want to run far and fast. When Storm discovered that the brilliant Forge, whom she had fallen in love with, was to blame for the loss of her powers, her world just came crashing down on her. Not only did she lose all of her abilities, but she also lost the man she loved.
After having to work together several times, Forge destroying his neutralizer and restoring Storm’s powers, the two rekindle an on-again, off-again romance. They even spend time in another dimension together after Storm nearly kills him following the deceptive orders of The Adversary. Unfortunately, the romance does not work out in the end, but Storm has found happiness with a number of other relationships over the years, including teammates Beast and Wolverine.
2. The Elder’s Suicide
A life for a life. That’s the theme of Storm’s struggle in Uncanny X-Men #198, or “Lifedeath II,” and the weather witch has to come to terms with the fact that if she assists with the birth of a new member of the community, a tribal elder must die to retain balance. Struggling to live without her powers lost in Lifedeath, Storm travels to South Africa to reconnect with herself.
Storm stays with the elder as he sacrifices himself for the community and buries him. His words stay with her after he has passed: “Now two great cultures crash headlong into each other. The very old against the very new. The one must give way for the other for that is natures way… A bridge needed between these two halves, a synthesis, a blend, a person who is both one and the other, who’s mind comprehends and who’s hands command the machines, yet who’s eyes and soul look upon them with the wisdom of the ages.” As messed up as the story is to the audience, Storm connects with his words and returns to the Shani people.
1. Bitten By Dracula
Goddess, weather witch… vampire? Even fans of the Marvel Zombies story line are scratching their heads over this one. Dracula and Storm? Even considering Ororo was one of the Four Horseman of Apocalypse, this is still such a stretch. She went up against him not once, but twice: the first time when he attempted to marry her and the second when he summoned her to steal the Montesi Formula for him. Both times she needed the help of the X-Men (most notably Kitty) to overcome his evil influence on her. Sure, we know it’s supposed to be “out there”, but that doesn’t make it any less WTF worthy.
On the one hand, the visuals were pretty cool– sure, Bill Sienkiewicz and Bob Wiacek did the art, but it felt like Mike Mignola of Hellboy had taken over for a bit. It was creepily fantastic, even if it wasn’t all that believable.