STORM: Page 11 of 13

Publication Date: 17th Feb 2022
Written By: Peter Luzifer, Ruth and Monolith.


Ororo soon found her ties to Wakanda renewed as T'Challa finally gave up his "sabbatical" in Hell's Kitchen. Bast, the Panther God, anointed T'Challa once again as her Black Panther, making him King of Wakanda's Necropolis and keeper of the spirits of all past rulers of the land. Thus, Ororo was a queen once more. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #607-608] Now split between duties to three countries (including Utopia), Storm did her best to meet all her responsibilities, such as serving cooperatively with the Avengers and X-Men during an alien prisoner escape from S.W.O.R.D.'s Peak station. [Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #9-10]

Her time to the Avengers came to a sudden but inevitable conclusion, however, when Captain America summoned all Avengers rosters to warn them of the coming threat of the Phoenix Force. Realizing the ramifications, Storm walked away from Avengers Mansion (and her husband) with barely a word. [New Avengers (2nd series) #24]

On Utopia, Storm and the X-Men prepared young Hope Summers for the Phoenix's arrival, believing the two of them united might end the Decimation and restore mutantkind to its former state. When Captain America arrived on Utopia with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and a battalion of Avengers to take Hope into protective custody by force, Storm stood against T'Challa and the other Avengers in defending Utopia and Hope's presence on it. [Avengers vs. X-Men #1-2]

After Hope fled to meet the Phoenix on her own terms, the Avengers and X-Men scattered to find her, following a series of false trails. Storm joined Dr. Nemesis, Rachel Grey, Magma and Danger in Wakanda, where she again faced her husband in battle. Their already crumbling marriage fell apart on that battlefield, as the Black Panther unleashed counter-measures specifically designed to neutralize his wife in combat. Seeing this, Ororo lashed out at T'Challa for his stubbornness, his secrets, the distance he insisted on keeping between them, everything. As the fight descended into hand-to-hand brawling, Storm only stopped when the X-Men moved on to another lead on Hope, and left her wedding ring in the dirt as they departed. [Avengers vs. X-Men #3-4, AVX: Vs #5]

In the days that followed, the power of the Phoenix was claimed by five members of the Extinction Team instead of Hope. The Phoenix Five initially seemed devoted to ushering in paradise on Earth. However, when the Avengers once again stepped in and kidnapped Hope from Utopia, things turned sour. Cyclops declared a worldwide manhunt for the Avengers, and when Namor located them hiding out in Wakanda, he committed an act of war, bringing floods and devastation to Wakanda, killing many. This and the hellish Limbo prison created by Magik and Colossus for captured Avengers was enough to turn Storm from Utopia's side. She began organizing X-Men in abandoning Utopia to assist the Avengers.

In Wakanda, however, things could not be so easily fixed. When she approached T'Challa about her change of heart, the Black Panther coldly rebuffed her offer to help in the restoration. He informed Ororo Munroe that their marriage had been annulled by order of the high priest of the Panther Clan... him. Namor's actions were considered a declaration of war by Atlantis and Utopia, and the X-Men were no longer welcome in Wakanda. The former queen of Wakanda was now officially an enemy of the state, to be shot on sight. [Avengers vs. X-Men #6-9, AVX: Consequences #1]

Heartbreak aside, Storm continued to assist the Avengers and the quickly marshalling X-Men forces against the Phoenix Five. She fought in the final conflict where Charles Xavier was killed and the power of Dark Phoenix was drawn out of Cyclops and used by Hope to restore mutant births to Earth. [Avengers vs. X-Men #11-12] In the aftermath, Storm and the X-Men who came in were mostly granted amnesty, but the Phoenix Five and rogue members of the Extinction Team remained at odds with the Avengers. Despite herself, Storm could not turn in Colossus or Magneto, after seeing how much they had suffered for their actions. [AVX: Consequences #4] She was, however, quickly accepted by Headmistress Kitty Pryde as the newest instructor for the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #19]

Ororo was experiencing a number of changes to her life in rapid succession: the annulment of her marriage, the fall of Utopia and her return to Westchester. She was also quickly named headmistress of the Jean Grey School in Kitty's place. Shadowcat stepped down in order to personally instruct the five original X-Men, who had been brought into the future by Hank McCoy in a desperate attempt to change Cyclops' path. To honor this new chapter in her life, Storm returned to her previous, wild, Mohawk hairstyle, as well as beginning a "friends with benefits" relationship with her co-headmaster, Wolverine. [All-New X-Men (1st series) #6, Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #24]

One day, Storm accompanied Psylocke on a mission to Los Angeles looking for Spiral. Over the next few days, they were forced to deal with the emergence of a powerful new mutant, the return of the infamous former X-Man Bishop, a Revenant apocalypse led by an alternate future Cassandra Nova, and a struggle with Stryfe the Chaos-Bringer. As harrowing as that time was, Ororo was able to reconcile with Bishop and also Forge, who had recovered from his previous madness (apparently induced by the Adversary in his mind). [Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #1-16]

Storm and Betsy's adventure in Los Angeles was harrowing, but it also showed Ororo the need for a functional strike team at the school, in addition to a teaching staff. The arrival of the multi-billion-year old techno-bacterial entity Arkea provided Storm with the opportunity to assemble just such a strike team. Storm built upon the security network she previously coordinated for Utopia's Security-Recon team in order to maintain a well-informed fighting force to protect the X-Men and mutants at large. Her contentious relationship with Rachel Grey made her the perfect second-in-command, and Ororo was confident that Rachel would speak out when she believed Ororo was making a bad call. [X-Men (4th series) #1-4]

Storm rose into greater authority at the Jean Grey School as Kitty Pryde chose to join Cyclops and his rebel school, while Wolverine suffered increasing personal issues coping with the loss of his healing factor. Ororo also had to deal with an uncomfortable addition to the school named Kymera. After the Brotherhood of the future tried to force the O5 X-Men to return to the past, the future X-Men came back in time to corral their rivals. The Brotherhood escaped, and so Kymera (future daughter of Ororo and T’Challa) remained at the school to hunt and track the villains. Having the daughter of the man she recently divorced living with her was difficult for Storm, though she tried to remain cordial with Kymera and not press her about future history. Still, Kymera would leave the mansion after several weeks, partly due to the quiet conflict between the two of them. [X-Men: Battle of the Atom #2, X-Men (4th series) #13-18]

Ororo faced a family crisis when a NuHuman called Meruda began attacking villagers from her family’s tribe in Kenya, and her cousin Abuya was kidnapped. Storm and the X-Men traveled to Kenya, where Ororo rather uncomfortably faced those who still remembered her as the weather goddess of her youth. She was surprised to learn that Meruda also remembered her, and his vendetta against her was personal. Young Ororo had created a sandstorm to protect T’Challa from poachers as they traveled the Serengeti, and the sandstorm that arose that day killed Meruda’s family. Storm of the X-Men defeated her adversary and rescued her cousin, but Ororo of Kenya was troubled by the consequences of her fatal storm. However, a mysterious woman appeared before her who seemed to be a representation of Gaia herself. She told Ororo that the gods themselves created the storm that day, and some forces still existed beyond even Storm’s control. [Amazing X-Men Annual #1]

For some reason, Storm struggled to claim full authority at the mansion again. With the encouragement of Psylocke, though, she eventually made her team with Rachel an official strike force and began asserting herself as leader of the X-Men once more. [X-Men (4th series) #14] Her relationship with Logan blossomed, as they spent more than a year together of compressed time on vacation in The World. However, she was often stressed by Logan’s cavalier attitude towards his duties as co-headmaster and his newfound vulnerability after losing his healing factor. [Wolverine and the X-Men (2nd series) #7-8] Ororo may simply have felt being a headmistress was not suited to her character. She balked at the idea of playing politics when the corrupt government of Santo Marco refused her efforts to give aid when their people were threatened by a tsunami. When an unhappy student at the school named Marisol Guerra called her a sellout, it stung more than Storm had expected. She returned to Santo Marco and defied the local authorities to help them recover after the storms. [Storm (3rd series) #1]

While trying to find her bearings, Storm began renewing old acquaintances. She went looking for a missing girl in Manhattan and discovered Callisto had restarted the Morlocks. Thinking she was saving an abductee, Storm fought with Callisto until she realized the kids were being protected by Callisto, not taken by her. Ororo remembered her own time living on the streets of Cairo, and backed off to trust Callisto to care for the kids. She also received an invitation to oversee a new irrigation system built by Forge for a village in Kenya near where she was worshipped as a goddess. Ororo helped Forge, and the village. But she had not forgotten his words on Wundagore about her marriage, and would not excuse the venom and jealousy in his voice then as only the work of the Adversary. Ororo made it very clear their relationship would never again be anything like it was in the past. She promised to consider becoming friends again, but no more. [Storm (3rd series) #2-3]

After finally finding each other, Storm’s grief when she heard about Logan’s death was overpowering. In order to give in to her emotions and process what she was feeling, Storm had Beast fly her out of Earth’s atmosphere in the Blackbird. Even so, the effect her feelings had on the planet’s weather caused an aurora to ripple across the sky, seen by the entire world. [Storm (3rd series) #4] When she learned Logan’s body had been stolen by Mister Sinister for his experiments, Storm was in no mood to negotiate. She and the X-Men stormed Sinister’s laboratory to recover Logan’s remains. Ororo set off an electrical cascade in Sinister’s brain when he refused to cooperate. Anybody else would have died from a seizure like that. The X-Men brought Logan back with them to mourn for him in private. [Wolverines #5-6]

Storm answered a call for Wolverine that brought her to Yukio in Las Vegas, and she was forced to break the news of Logan’s death to their old friend. Ororo learned that Yukio was active as boss in an organized crime network of Four Clans, and Logan had been acting as her enforcer. According to Yukio, Logan saw it as honorable and necessary – the clans avoided open warfare and potential innocent casualties in their business negotiations by fighting two champions in a death match. The Wolverine provided Yukio with an intimidation factor to stave off takeover attempts and reduce harm. Storm struggled to accept Logan actually considered this the best way to deal with the problem. When Kuva of the Oakland Clan challenged Yukio, Storm fought their champion, but refused to kill in the match. She hoped to lead a movement to change things among the clans, only to discover Yukio had murdered the Oakland Clan leader when Ororo inadvertently caused a distraction. Ororo’s relationship with Yukio was deeply soured by all this, as she came to realize Yukio’s view of “what Logan would have wanted” was morally opposed to hers. [Storm (3rd series) #4-5]

Ororo thought taking a commercial flight back to New York would give her time to think. Instead, the plane was attacked by agents of Davis Harmon, another of the Clan bosses. The flying tech soldiers stayed out of immediate line-of-sight as they assaulted the plane, leading a U.S. Senator and his bodyguards to believe the turbulence was caused by the “weather-witch.” Storm left the plane, defeated the mercenaries and kept the jet pressurized for the entire flight back to New York afterwards, but had no evidence of the attack when she landed. Storm was arrested on the word of the senator and held as a potential terrorist. Storm escaped FBI custody and found out the senator was actually on Harmon’s payroll. She located Harmon harvesting technology from the sunken Utopia and brought him to justice, clearing her name. [Storm (3rd series) #6-8]

The burden of leadership and her losses weighed on Storm and how she dealt with others. She welcomed Kurt back to life with open arms when the X-Men lay siege to the afterlife to save Nightcrawler from his father. [Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #1-5] However, Ororo was chilly with her reception of her “little brother” Colossus returning to the mansion. She felt Piotr could not be trusted anymore after the bad decisions he made leading up to the Phoenix Five, and would sideline him at first rather than trust his judgment. [Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #8,15] Storm also had deep reservations about allowing Spider-Man to teach at the mansion, even though it was one of Logan’s final requests. When she discovered Spider-Man was hunting a possible mole among the students for Logan, she finally snapped with anger and grief over how Logan didn’t trust her with this information, despite all they shared. [Spider-Man and the X-Men #1-4] Ororo eventually tried to move past her rigid behavior. She apologized to Piotr and welcomed him back into the X-Men. She also joked around with Spider-Man and put trust in his investigation, if only because Logan willed it. [Amazing X-Men (2nd series) #18, Spider-Man and the X-Men #6]