Friday, December 01, 2006

Profile: Storm

Ororo Munroe, Storm
First appearance: Giant-Size X-Men #1, 1975

Current status: prominent field leader for the X-Men. She recently married T'Challa, alias the Black Panther, whom she'd met when she was in her early teens, and it had been told in later years that they'd been in love with each other in their younger years.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: she’d almost been raped when she was twelve and was trying to flee from Cairo, where she’d grown up most of her life. She killed her attacker with a knife in self-defense, but swore never to take another life. In the mid-80s, for about two years, she took on a ridiculous mohawk hairstyle. Later on, Henry Peter Gyrich, the Avengers’ unlikable UN liason, shot her with a Neutralizer device that drained her powers from her in Uncanny X-Men #185. It took until issue #227 for her to have her powers properly restored, when Forge, then her boyfriend, built an anti-Neutralizer to help reverse the effects.

There are also times when she’s gone insane from anguish, but which are too hard for me to find and compile together as examples just now.

What’s wrong with how this was done? That depends on what we’re talking about among the examples I’ve cited. In the case of her near-violation by a thug in North Africa, that looks like it was written in ways that make sense in terms of character development (better still, it wasn’t forced), though I will have to argue that, while I agree that killing is not something that most super-heroes should have to be confronted with as an option, I still have to wonder if Ororo’s vow not to kill again was really necessary. On the other hand, that Storm should turn to punk subculture with a mohawk haircut was decidedly forced and made little sense for a woman who’s much more classy than that. It was supremely silly, and doesn’t really serve in developing her character.

As for the time when she was de-powered, I think that was a shame, even if she could prove herself heroic without her powers, and goodness knows how many stories there are out there, plausible ones, mind you, where heroes prove themselves effective even without superpowers. But at least since then, she’s regained what she lost, and more!

Was there anything good to come out of this? Well, the examples that were written well when she first began her superheroine's career do involve character development for her. And, that she’s long since overcome some of the worst that was thrown her way. Thank goodness!


At 7:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um. I came to this website because I think there is plenty of discrimination against women but Storm getting a mohawk?? losing her powers for a time??
is that discirmination or do u disagree witht he direction of the story?


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