Marvel writer Gerry Duggan recently did a podcast with SKTCHD and shared some interesting information about Storm’s status over at Marvel Comics. Even though we didn’t get any clear answers, I do appreciate his level of transparency.
If you have been following my comic book coverage, you would know that I have opinions when it comes to how Ororo Munroe is being handled as a character over at the Marvel Comics. In a sense, it’s as if the company has been trying to figure out how to mend her image ever since she got married to T’Challa back in 2006.
Even though their marriage was considered to be a huge event in the Marvel Comics Universe, nothing really came of it. Her role felt like a supporting one in the Black Panther stories and she couldn’t be part of the X-Men titles as much as she was before.
Their marriage was annulled by T’Challa in 2012 during the X-Men vs Avengers event. And frankly, that annulment didn’t make any sense. Why would Bast even agree to T’Challa marrying someone when that particular marriage would end in a couple of years?
Anyway, even after the divorce, Ororo and T’Challa couldn’t really move on from one another. What followed was Ta-Nehisi Coates bringing them together and using the opportunity to explore more of Storm’s African heritage. Coates was the one who revealed Storm’s power of Godhead in 2018, essentially elevating her status to an actual Goddess (which many in the fandom had already theorized, but it was still good to have confirmation).
What was surprising about Coates’ work with Storm was how it seemed as if the other Marvel writers didn’t care about what he was doing with her. As someone who basically reads every X-Men title, it was very weird to see Storm’s character getting a whole lot of development in Black Panther and not have any of it be mentioned in the main X-Men titles.
Such an omission led to many Storm fans beginning to worry. Were other Marvel writers not going to acknowledge Coates’ work? Were they going to negate it with their own stories?
And then, in 2019, Jonathan Hickman came in to shock the entire Marvel Comics Universe with his House of X and Powers of X idea.
And again, it was if we were reading two different stories. Coates was off doing his own stuff with Ororo in the Black Panther solo comic book series while Hickman was changing the status quo for mutants with Ororo not having much to do. It felt very odd.
Then, in October, writer Gerry Duggan came in with Marauders Issue 1 with Storm as one of the members of the team being led by Kate (Shadowcat) to explore one of the plot threads that arose from HoX and PoX.
And y’all, if someone hadn’t been reading Black Panther, only reading Marauders wouldn’t give them any idea about Storm’s Godhead. Frankly, reading any of the available Dawn of X books wouldn’t give you a confirmation about Ororo’s Godhead.
And you know what? That’s kind of disappointing. It again links to how it’s as if Marvel doesn’t want other writers to mention what Coates has been doing even though Coates did mention Krakoa in the most recent issue of Black Panther.
However, there seems to be some hope. As mentioned, writer Gerry Duggan did a very informative podcast where he also talked about Marauders and his plans.
From what I could understand from the discussion, Marvel writers know about Storm’s role in the Black Panther solo series. But at least for now, they can’t touch it. Maybe it’s because Marvel wants Coates to tell his story before the company can allow the other talent writing Storm to build on it or take her in a different direction?
Gerry Duggan does seem to know there’s a lot to explore, but he can’t get into it while he’s writing Storm in Marauders… just yet.
He shared that currently, Storm is like an actor who’s in more than one theatrical play. She’s running from one play to the other whenever she can. So, she might be present in Act 1 of a certain play, but not be in the second act because she needs to be in the chorus of another play.
Now, I understand that some Storm fans don’t think such an example makes sense. Characters like Wolverine have no trouble being in numerous comic books at once. But I think it has always been different for Storm. And personally, I don’t want her to pop up in books to throw a lightning bolt or two. I want her presence to actually matter even if it means she can’t appear in every X-Men title or a story outside of them.
But let’s come back to what Gerry Duggan said. I do understand that everything he shared could just be lip-service and Marvel might not have any plans for her once Coates is done with his story. Maybe having an African Goddess be part of the X-Men books is just too much and it’s better not to mention it?
However, for now, I have decided to trust Duggan. I don’t know what he wants to do with Ororo or if he will get the permission to do so from Marvel. But I’ll be reading Marauders to keep up with his story.
And even though it’s not a Storm solo book, I have enjoyed what Duggan has shared in the three issues that have been released. It has Iceman (a gay character) as one of the team members. Issue 3 also resurrected Shinobi Shaw (a bisexual character). Christian Frost (a gay character) will be making an appearance. And, apparently, as far as fandom is concerned, Ororo isn’t completely straight either. We know there’s more than just a simple “friendship” between her and Yukio. Ha!
So, Duggan is, as he stated in the podcast, writing a very queer book when it comes to Marauders. And the fact that these characters are part of a very enjoyable story makes such queer representation even better.
Do I want to see more of Storm doing stuff in Marauders? I sure do. I still don’t know how mutant-suppressing weapons are supposed to work on her considering she is a mutant as well as a Goddess. I hope Duggan explains that.
Also, even though some Storm fans weren’t happy about Ororo getting kicked by a low-level villain in Issue 2, that moment made me laugh out loud.
It was so unexpected!
That’s what I’m enjoying the most about Duggan’s Marauders. His writing has a sense of humor I’m a fan of. It’s a story about freaking mutant pirates! And I’m here for it!
Let’s see what happens to Storm as a Marauders team member and if Marvel really has certain plans concerning Ororo once Coates is done telling his story (or even during his run).
Writer Jonathan Hickman will be releasing a Storm, Jean, and Emma Frost story with Giant-Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost in February 2020. The plot deals with Jean and Emma teaming together to help Storm. Which… yeah, okay. Ororo’s name couldn’t even make it into the title even though it’s about saving her from something. With Magneto also getting his own Giant-Size X-Men issue (from the five one-shot issue series), there’s no news if Ororo will be getting one.
Again, there’s something very weird about it all over at Marvel Comics.
Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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