Ororo: Before the Storm #3

Issue Date: 
October 2005
Story Title: 
Before the Storm part 3

Mark Sumerak (writer) Carlos Barberi & Scott Hepburn (pencils), Juan Vlasco & Udon (inks), Zircher, Fiddles and Schwager (cover), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Shane Law@Udon (colorist), James Taveras (production), Nicole Wiley (editor), Cadenhead & Paniccia (consulting editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

While Achmed is betrayed by Barrett, the three children face the stone guardians inside the temple. They are eventually overwhelmed, until the statues’ leader, Ozymandias, gets a good look at Ororo and realizes that she is the future Storm. They have a talk, he gives her glimpses of her future fate and he lets the children take the Opal. However, as they leave the temple, they fall prey to Barrett’s trap. Ororo and Hakiim become rapped in a cave-in and Nari, who is running for help with the Opal, gets caught by Barrett. Back in Cairo, the rest of Achmed’s urchins are about to be attacked by a strange group of men.

Full Summary: 

In the camp outside the pyramid, master thief Achmed el-Gibar is worrying. His three students have been gone far too long. Something must be wrong. He opens the tent’s flap. Inside, his employer, Dr. Desmond Barrett, is busy talking to his men. Unaware of Achmed’s presence, Barrett tells his men that, as soon as those” whelps” have returned with the opal, they will begin the ceremony. Soon, their dark master will rise again and they will serve at his side as he ushers in a new age of Apocalypse. Muttering ‘no’ Achmed quickly leaves but his presence has been noticed.

Achmed runs towards the temple, intent on finding the children but Barrett’s people find him first and bring him down. With his eyes strangely aglow, Barrett announces that they still need el-Gibar alive … for now.

Within the temple, the startled Hakiim announces that they are dead. When his fellow thief Nari touched the Opal, strange stone statues came to life and are now intent on attacking the children. Ororo tells her friends not to lose hope. As long as they stand, they may still have a chance. Evading the blow of one stone being, Nari cynically asks Ooro who she is trying to kid.

Evading another stone statue, which is trying to smash her, Ororo points out that while the creatures are bigger and stronger they are smarter and faster. Hakiim angrily blames Nari for bringing this trap to life. Ororo recalls that the curse Barrett mentioned spoke of “living stones.” These must be the Opal’s guardians. She sees one stone being just sitting in the middle of everything and figures that he is in charge.

The kids keep on fighting for their lives, this once even Nari and Hakiim manage to work together. Ororo lures three of the stone beings after her to the edge of a pit. As she quickly jumps aside, the stone beings fall down. However, another one has captured Nari and Hakiim in the meantime.

Ororo grabs the Opal from Nari’s hand and holds it over the pit. Turning to the one stone being whom she has identified as the leader she gives orders to release the others or she will throw the stone into the pit. The stone being commends her for her smarts, but the game is over. Quicker than she can act, another stone being grabs her.

The leader, Ozymandias, orders the stone guardian to bring her and the stone over. As he gets a better look at her, he shouts out in surprise. She is so young, but there can be no mistake! Surprisingly, he asks her for forgiveness. He mistook Ororo for a common intruder. He did not expect her so soon. The children are released.

Getting a better look at Ozymandias, Ororo asks if the temple and the Opal belong to him. Nothing belongs to him, he reveals, not even his life. His master – En Sabah Nur – made sure of that centuries ago. Now Ozymandias is no different from the statues at his command. He is naught but a humble servant. Today he serves her.

Ororo is understandably confused. Who does he think she is? He knows not only who she is, but also what she will become, Ozymandias replies, pointing to a stone column showing an image of Charles Xavier. Next to it is an image of a grown up Ororo, in her first X-Men costume. She is flying and people on the ground bow down to worship her. That is her? Ororo asks confused. But how?

Ozymandias sees all, he reveals. Visions of the future that he carves on the stone helix. A record of what has passed and what will be, etched in eternity waiting for En Sabah Nur to rise again. It is the gift and curse his master has bestowed on him. These visions have shown Ozymandias that Ororo’s path will be a long and difficult one. That the trials she has already faced are nothing compared to the ones ahead of her. But they also show that she will prevail. That she will soar on the wind as a savior of her people.

He must be mistaken, Ororo replies sadly. She is an orphan. She has no people. Not yet perhaps, Ozymandias admits. Pointing at a stone column that shows images of Professor X and Cyclops, he tells her that she will find them someday and will help lead them to a brighter tomorrow. She is destined for great things. She is one of the chosen. Her journey has just begun and today fate has brought her here for a reason.

The Opal is hers to take. Ozymandias now sees why she must, but he also warns her. Its power comes at a terrible price. He tells the children to go. Ororo remains behind, asking how they can repay him for his kindness. With a smile, he tells her not to worry. He is certain that her debt to En Sabah Nur will be repaid in full someday… Beside him is a column with ‘XII’ – the Roman numeral twelve – and the faces of several Mutants – Ororo among them – around the number.

Back in Cairo, two of Achmed’s urchins worry about their master and their fellow students. They don’t notice a group of men closing in on their hideout.

Back in the desert, the three youngsters have almost reached the temple’s exit. They still find it hard to understand what just happened. All the more so because Ororo hasn’t informed the others of what went on between her and Ozymandias. When Nari presses her for information, Ororo just replies that Ozymandias told her what she needed to hear. Nothing more.

That moment, the ceiling caves in, apparently another trap. Nari manages to jump free with the opal, but the other two are buried. Horrified, Nari runs outside crying for Achmed to help them. Instead, she is expected by Barrett, who cheerfully informs her that they are expendable. He takes away the opal, as Nari asks if he set the trap. His eyes begin to glow and energy swirls around him, as he announces that he is the trap. As she cries for Achmed, he tells her that her master cannot hear her. He fires energy blasts at her and assures her that she will be with him very soon.

Characters Involved: 

Ororo Munroe

Abdul, Hakiim, Nari and other street urchins working for Achmed

Achmed el-Gibar

Dr. Desmond Barrett

Barrett’s men


Ozymandias animated stone guardians

in Ozymandias stone etchings

Cyclops, Magneto, Professor Xavier, Storm, Sunfire

Story Notes: 

En Sabah Nur is, of course, another name for Apocalypse who would still be asleep at the time.

Ozymandias was a prince of ancient Egypt, 5000 years ago. Ozymandias came into conflict with En Sabah Nur who punished Ozymandias by turning him into living stone. Ozymandias can also see the future on behalf of Apocalypse. [The Rise of Apocalypse]

The XII reference is to the “ The Twelve” crossover.

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