Leader of the X-Men and the Morlocks. Queen of Wakanda. Weather goddess of Kilimanjaro Valley. Ororo Munroe has held all these titles and more. How does a street urchin master thief become one of the most important mutants in the world? Let’s find out!
Ororo Munroe was born in Manhattan to N’Dare and David Munroe, the family wouldn’t stay in New York for long and soon move to Cairo. Sadly, at age 5, an airplane would crash into their home, killing Ororo’s parents and trapping her in the debris for a great length of time. This trauma would leave Ororo with claustrophobia for many years to come. Now alone, Ororo would travel around until she found a group of child thieves who she would learn to survive off the streets from and become a world-class thief. She’d attempt to steal from one Charles Xavier but his telepathic ability had him catch on and if it weren’t for an unrelated psychic attack, she’d have been caught.
Tiring of the thief life, Ororo would head toward Her mother’s homeland in Kilimajaro Valley. Along the way, she’d run into T’Challa of Wakanda, the eventual Black Panther, and the two would find a brief romance before he returned to his studies and she her way to Kilimanjaro Valley. Once in the Kilimanjaro Valley, she’d discover her powers of weather control, mistaking them as magic, the local tribes worshipped her as a goddess. She’d learn much about responsibility and leadership as she made sure to keep a balanced ecosystem for the people.
Charles Xavier would return to Ororo, this time seeking her help. He’d explain she was a mutant and the source of her weather powers. He would also explain how his team, the X-Men, were being held captive and he was assembling a new team to help. Ororo would join and decide to stay with the team after they finished their mission. Now an X-Men, Ororo would go on many adventures, she’d soon find herself leading the team due to her skills she developed in Kilimajaro Valley.
As Leader of the X-Men, Ororo would fight in the Savage Lands, stop the Brood, and befriend space whales. Ororo would even cross paths with Dracula, who would become obsessed with her but she and the X-Men were able to thwart his plans. When the Morlocks, underground-dwelling mutants who are disfigured from their mutations, begin kidnapping humans. Ororo would fight their leader Callisto for control of the Morlocks, Ororo would win and while allow Callisto to lead in her stead, she was seen as their leader from then on when she would visit. While visiting Japan for her friend and teammate, Wolverine’s wedding, Ororo would meet Yukio. A ninja and friend to Wolverine, the two would become very close, her time with Yukio would have Ororo change her outfit towards a leather punk rock look with a mohawk. Just gals being pals.
A device built by a mutant, Forge, would be used by anti-mutant groups and the weapon left Ororo with none of her powers. Forge would take care of her, feeling so guilty for what his weapon had done and hid from Ororo his part in it. They’d begin dating until Ororo found out he’d hidden that from her. Spending a great length of time with no powers didn’t stop Ororo from leading the X-Men. She’d be tempted by Loki, the God of Lies and Trickery, from taking the hammer, Stormcaster, to gain her powers back as the new Thor but stopped Loki’s evil plot instead.
Forge’s former mentor would come to Ororo for help asking her to help stop Forge from summoning demons to Earth. This would turn out to be a trick form the Adversary, Ororo would end up stabbing Forge to stop him from summoning demons when in actuality she stopped him from banishing the demons instead. The two would be thrown into another dimension by the Adversary, one where time moved slowly. Spending a year together, they would rekindle their feelings for one another and using the parts from his cybernetic leg, Forge can finally build a device to restore Ororo’s powers. Working together with both of their powers, the two are able to return home.
Back with the X-Men, Ororo would have all sorts of adventures such as being turned into a teen again and teaming up with Gambit as master thieves. She and Forge would have their relationship strained due to their work as X-Men, she was co-leading alongside Cyclops and he was busy as technician for both of those teams. When he asked her to marry him, her hesitation was the answer and he left the team.
M-Day would be when many mutants lost their abilities, leaving many in a horific state due to their powers helping sustain their life. She’d go to Wakanda to help the mutant citizenry recover. Here she would rekindle her connection with T’Challa and Ororo finds herself spending more and more time in Wakanda. Soon the two were engaged to be wed and having one of the biggest weddings all while the American Superhero Civil War. The two would join the Fantastic Four once said war was over while Reed and Sue Richards took time off. Ororo would also work with the X-Men part-time and had to confront an unstable Forge who didn’t take it too well when he saw her again, knowing she was now married, he’d end up disappearing in a portal while the team stopped the Earth from being destroyed. She’d have to fight the Shadow King who would attempt to make her choose between Wakanda and the X-Men, for this, she had the Wakandan cat god, Bast, destroy the Shadow King. All hail the queen.
Finding she could balance both Wakanda and the X-Men, Ororo would also join the Avengers. As a member of the team she’d find herself frequently at odds with H.A.M.M.E.R. the former S.H.I.E.L.D. organization how lead by Norman Osborn. Her time with the Avengers would end when the Avengers and X-Men began to fight over the Phoenix Force. Siding with the mutants, she’d leave for Wakanda only for Namor, king of Atlantis and a mutant, to flood Wakanda for T’Challa’s ties with the Avengers and their own bad blood. Having chose mutants over the Avengers and the devastation Namor had done caused a riff between Ororo and T’Challa, their marriage would be a nulled soon after.
Returning to the X-Men, she’d end up the new Headmistress of The Jean Grey School when Kitty Pride asked for her to take over as Kitty left. Along with joining the X-Men again she’d have all sorts of strange adventures and even begin a relationship with Wolverine, both able to commiserate over past marriages. This would cause her a great devastation when he died for she wasn’t just losing a friend. Now the sole leader of the X-Men, she was left to deal with the Inhuman Terrigen Mist now being lethal to mutants. Many were suffering and Storm did her best to keep her people safe and even took the Jean Grey School to another dimension to keep the students safe. Storm is working with Medusa of the Inhumans to try and help mutant-kind.
There you have it! Storm is one of my favorite mutants of all time. I didn’t even mention the time she was trapped in Hell with no powers and was able to fight off a hundred demons with just a mace. Storm is great. She’s appeared in several of the films but never truly able to do much. Hopefully she’ll get a better shake in future installements. See you next time!
Black Panther Vol. 4