WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Marvel's THOR Comics
The X-Men's African weather goddess Storm is about to claim the power of Thor once again. She may not be the only Marvel Comics hero to do so in the coming weeks and months, but as Storm accepts her somewhat forgotten role as a true weather goddess in Black Panther #172), a glimpse into the future shows Storm will also earn one of Thor's new hammers.
It may be news to newer X-Men fans, but long before she ever heard the word "mutant," Storm protected the tribes of her African homeland as the latest in a long line of weather goddesses. Ever since, the X-Men comics have stressed that there's something different about Storm - almost supernatural. So it wasn't a shock when, during Marvel's 1985 "Asgardian Wars" event Storm was given an Uru-hammer similar to the one wielded by Thor.
The gift transformed her (albeit briefly) into Asgard's new Goddess of Thunder - and soon, she'll reclaim that title.
The plot was a tremendously popular one, and Marvel Comics have presented several homages to it in the years since. With the Thor mythos now undergoing a dramatic change in status quo, Thor Odinson returns to his hero role only to face a serious challenge, since Mjolnir has finally been destroyed. Apparently, the solution gets a little out of hand.
When Thor's comic relaunches as part of Marvel's "Fresh Start" initiative, he will soon be up against "hundreds of new hammers" spread across Marvel's universe. And with the new X-Men: Gold #26, one hammer is revealed to have found its way to Storm:
There's certainly more than a little humor to this reveal. Technically, this scene in X-Men: Gold is actually a spoiler for the next major Thor plot. It's not much of a spoiler, though, as solicits for Jason Aaron's Thor relaunch have already teased this "multiple hammers" plotline (even if if had been unclear who would wield them until now). It seems we're seeing a plot twist akin to the "Thor Corps" of 2015's Secrets Wars event, which saw a legion of Thors from different realities unite. With the War of Realms continuing to rage, the surviving Asgardians may well need the power of a hundred Thors.
The X-Men comic his isn't the only one to spotlight Storm this week, with Black Panther #172 also exploring the aforementioned supernatural side of the wondrous Windrider. Recent issues have seen T'Challa speculate that Storm is more than just a mutant, and a goddess in her own rite. This issue states it plainly, as T'Challa calls Storm to realize her true nature in a stirring speech.
"I am the King of Wakanda. I am the nation incarnate. And on behalf of that nation, I say: let the faith of all of Wakanda power you. That faith is more than any mutation. It is a gift of godhead, passed down from your ancestors. Claim the gift."
It's a stunning twist, but the timing of it dovetails nicely with the hammer Storm will come to wield. She is more than a mutant, she is a goddess of Wakanda, and it is so very appropriate that a true 'Goddess of Actual Thunder' should carry a hammer.
It's a good time to be a Storm fan, as the universe openly embraces the cosmic and supernatural themes that have long been an undercurrent.