Storm is about to appear on screen in her second live-action adaptation in next month’s X-Men: Apocalypse, but how much do you really know about this X-Men mainstay? We’ve seen her on screen since the beginning, when Halle Berry brought her to life back in 2000, but it looks like we are going to get a very different version of Ororo in this new X-Men universe. Mohawked and aligned with Apocalypse, Alexandra Shipp’s Storm is a younger, tougher, and potentially more interesting version of the classic comic character.
In honor of this latest adaptation, we’re bringing you 10 Things You Need to Know About Storm.
In some ways, this seems like a less useful power than many others in the mutant world, but Storm can do a lot more than create tiny rain clouds, Eeyore style. Storm’s abilities cover all of the elements and everything connected to the forces that govern weather on this planet. She has power over the Earth’s magnetic field, the ozone layer, patterns of wind, ocean, clouds and atmosphere. She can affect tiny areas (small enough to water a potted plant), the entire planet, or channel these forces through her hands to project weather as a beam.
Her ability to control wind and air allows her to fly, and she can direct lightning strikes against her enemies. Her powers also adapt to the environments she finds herself in – she can control the atmospheres in other worlds, on other planets, and even in space!
Like so many superheroes, Ororo Munroe is an orphan. Her parents moved with her to Cairo when she was an infant, but died there during the Arab-Israeli conflict when she was only five. Left to fend for herself, she became a thief for Achmed El-Gibar (sort of an Egyptian Fagan with a gang of street urchins). This is where she learned some of the skills that we see her use on X-Men missions, including her stealth, pick pocketing skills (obviously), some of her fighting abilities, and some all around badassery.
She originally met Professor X around this time, when she tried to pick his pocket! We’ll be seeing a little of this in the upcoming film, as we’ve already seen glimpses of Cairo scenes. It will be fascinating to see how Ororo’s origins are adapted – perhaps even with that pickpocketing scene.
We’ll be seeing Black Panther in the MCU for Captain America: Civil War, but did you know that he and Storm were married at one point? Back in 2006, around the time when Marvel was just kicking off their Civil War series, the comic distributor announced that the two longtime admirers were to be wed on the page. Most of the company's heroes were there for the event, including Cap and Iron Man. Ororo herself is an African princess, heir to an ancient royal line, rightful ruler of a Kenyan tribe. He met Black Panther when she first moved from Cairo to Africa, and years later, the two realized their love and married – making Storm the queen consort of Wakanda. Sadly, the two later divorced in a controversial decision that seemingly had more to do with the characters' film rights than their storylines.
Unfortunately, there's little to no chance that we'll be seeing any of this play out on the big screen unless Marvel and Fox make nice with each other, which of course would be amazing.
Forge has yet to appear in live-action, although his name was listed in William Stryker’s computer files in X2: X-Men United. The Cheyenne mutant with the ability to innately understand any technology that he comes across is definitely someone that we want to see on the big screen soon, and maybe his relationship with Storm will be a part of his introduction.
In the comics, Forge meets Storm when he is working for the government, and uses his abilities to create a device that can neutralize any mutant ability. After it is used against his wishes and Storm is caught in the crossfire, she loses her powers and becomes deeply depressed. Feeling guilty, and drawing on his own empathy and kindness, he helps her — first to accept her situation, then by creating an anti-neutralizer to give her her powers back. The two fell in love, but didn’t manage to really ever get a relationship off the ground (probably because Black Panther is usually recognized as her true love).
Storm has often been a leader of the X-Men team, and her wisdom, compassion and level-headedness make her perfect for the role. She was a deputy to Cyclops in her earlier days, but took over from him after the events of the Dark Phoenix Saga (when he was in no state to lead, after the loss of Jean Grey). When the main team split into two in the comics (blue team and gold team), she became the leader of the gold team, which included Jean Grey, Colossus, Archangel, Iceman and Bishop. She has also taken over for Charles Xavier as the headmistress of the School for Gifted Youngsters in the past, a role which she is absolutely perfect for.
While she isn’t always heading up the X-Men (no-one does, as the team has changed so much over the years), she has spent the majority of her time with the team at its head (or as deputy to the leader), and we will undoubtedly see this come to pass at some point within Fox’s X-Men universe.
Although Storm is a very strong woman, physically and emotionally, she has one major weakness — her claustrophobia. When she was a child in Cairo, her parents died when a jet crashed into their home. The crash brought the house down on top of the young Ororo, killing her parents and burying Ororo alongside them under the rubble. Unable to escape, Ororo spent days waiting for rescue next to their corpses, a brutal trauma that would have completely broken a lesser person. The incident left her with a severe phobia of enclosed spaces, for obvious reasons.
This phobia has been an issue for her in the comics, even causing her to lose her powers when it's triggered (because her powers and her emotions are linked). After a long time working to overcome this fear, she now has it (mostly) under control. Still, if we are going to see some of her past in Cairo in the upcoming films, her phobia may also come into play, presumably along with the help she received from Professor X to overcome it.
If you’ve seen her photos from X-Men: Apocalypse, you may have been surprised to see Storm with a mohawk, rather than her signature long white locks from the animated series (or Berry’s white crop from the earlier films). However, this look comes straight from the comics, from a time when Storm got a whole lot tougher — in looks and in attitude.
When she heads to Japan for Wolverine's wedding (which is a whole different story!), she meets Yukio, a Ronin (masterless Samurai) who would become one of her closest friends. Yukio's free-spirited attitude inspired her to change her look drastically. She shaved in her mohawk, switched up her flowing robes for tight leather, and got a more aggressive attitude to match. Paul Smith, who designed this look, originally meant it as a joke. However, the editor loved it, and Storm’s mohawk lasted for quite some time. She has since gone back to a less aggressive hairstyle, but it’s incredible to see this particular look brought to life, and it's especially fitting given that Apocalypse is set in the '80s.
Captain America actually approached Black Panther to become an Avenger, and he was the one to put Storm's name forward. Storm joined a newly formed team (alongside Captain America, Iron Man, Spider Woman, Hawkeye, Quake, Red Hulk and Vision), and was quickly up against Norman Osborn and HAMMER. Along with the other Avengers, she defeated Osborne, but she was forced to choose sides when her Avengers team went up against the X-Men in a battle over Hope and the Phoenix force. She eventually returned to the X-Men fold to co-lead a new X-Force team.
Storm has also traveled to Asgard, where she was briefly tempted by Loki, who offered her the title of Goddess of Thunder (and a magical hammer to go with it, Thor-style). Obviously, she manages to break free of his control (with a little help from Wolverine), and heads back to Earth to become leader of the X-Men once again. Much like her relationship with Black Panther, we won’t be seeing either of these sides of Storm on screen until Marvel and Fox decide to share character rights.
In the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, we’ll be introduced to Storm as one of Apocalypse's Horsemen, alongside Archangel (Ben Hardy), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender). Although Storm has not been one of the major Horsemen in the comics, she has appeared in this role in the past.
In the comics, she nearly became a Horseman in the alternate reality of X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. She was kidnapped by Apocalypse for her incredible powers, branded, and given the name of Storm. However, she managed to break free by summoning an enormous storm that knocked out the power, allowing her to escape. She has also appeared as a Horseman in X-Men: Evolution, the animated series, alongside Professor X, Magneto, and Mystique. We can’t wait to see how this new incarnation of Storm the Horseman plays out!
While it’s impossible to pinpoint a “most popular” superhero, Storm is definitely up there. One of the most recognizable female superheroes, and definitely one of the most popular X-Men, Storm usually makes an appearance on the lists of most popular black superheroes as well.
Since she first appeared in the ‘70s, this weather-controlling badass has captured hearts. Part of this is her incredible African heritage, part of it is her kindness and leadership skills, and a huge part of it is her incredible mutant powers. Whatever it is, Storm has always been, and will continue to be, one of the most amazing heroes ever to grace the pages of a comic book, and we can’t wait to see her on screen once again this May.
Did we leave out any of your favorite Storm factoids? Are you looking forward to a different version of the character on the big screen? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section!