Ororo: Before the Storm #4

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
Before the Storm part 4

Mark Sumerak (writer) Carlos Barberi (pencils), Andrew Pepoy, John Stanisci & Myth (inks), Stuart Immonen (cover), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Shane Law@Udon (colorist), Tom Valente (production), Nicole Wiley (editor), Cadenhead & Paniccia (consulting editors), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Subconsciously using her powers, Ororo frees herself and Hakiim from the cave-in. They run into Abdul, another of Achmed’s urchins, and learn that the rest of them were abducted by Barrett’s men. They witness a strange ceremony and, while Abdul divers the men, Ororo and Hakiim free their friends. The fight Barrett’s men and Ororo finally offers him the Opal, if he will let them go. Barrett agrees but finds that, activated, the Opal offers him immortality in a most ironic fashion – by turning him to stone. The Opal returns to Ozymandias and Achmed takes the kids home.

Full Summary: 

Ororo’s memory:

Ororo recalls a happy life with her family… a lifetime ago. Everything was perfect… until the sky fell. A bomb hit their apartment building. They were buried and young Ororo was buried next to her mother’s corpse.


History repeats itself. Buried under rubble, Ororo sees the arm of her friend, Hakiim, just as such a long time ago she saw her mother’s arm. But the next moment, she hears the boy moaning. He is still alive!

Ororo desperately tries to pull free. In vain. Panicked, she begins praying to her goddess, vowing that this must never happen again. Winds begin to rise around her and lightning hits the piece of rubble, freeing her.

Dazed, Ororo gets up and finds Hakiim, who is bruised but not badly injured. Like her, he wonders how they got free. It sounded like a storm suddenly erupted within the temple. Ororo admits she has no answer. She called the goddess and then… It seemed she was listening, Hakiim simply decides. That’s answer enough for him.

The two children run outside, looking for Nari and Achmed but find nobody. Something must be wrong, Ororo decides. Achmed wouldn’t just leave them behind like that.

They carefully enter Barrett’s tent, when suddenly a small shape attacks Ororo. She rolls onto her back and deftly kicks the other person off. The boy vows that they will die until he recognizes them. He is Abdul, another of Achmed’s young thieves. Abdul hugs his two friends and apologizes. He thought that they had returned for him. They said Ororo and Hakiim were dead and he was afraid of being found.

The other kids ask what’s going on and Abdul recounts how a group of men broke into their den, while they were sleeping. They took the young thieves by surprise and brought them there. Abdul managed to slip free and hide, as the others were being unloaded. Achmed el-Gibar and Nari were already being held prisoner when the others arrived and Barrett said that he had killed both Ororo and Hakiim.

Ororo asks where the others were taken. Abdul shows them to another tent. The guards took them in there, but they never came out. They walk in, Ororo in the lead, and see a ladder leading down. Soon, they find a giant cavern. Within it, a strange huge Egyptian sarcophagus is surrounded by Barrett’s people and the prisoners.

The three children hide and listen to Barrett rant, as he explains that the pieces are finally in place. Once the ancient equipment is assembled, the resurrection can begin. With the life force of those pathetic street urchins to provide him sustenance, En Sabah Nur – the first of Barrett’s kind – will rise again and the glory of Apocalypse will be unleashed. Barret’s eyes glow, as he states that thanks to the combined powers of the opal and the crown he will be able to serve his dark lord for all eternity. Invincible, immortal, unstoppable.

Ororo decides they have to stop him. She will provide the distraction… Abdul interrupts. He will distract the guard to make amends for being a coward before. Besides, he points out, Barrett still believes Ororo and Hakiim to be dead. Until they reveal themselves, the element of surprise is still in their hands. Ororo agrees and commends his courage.

Downstairs, just as one of Barrett’s men assures his boss they have the children under control, Abdul appears and pipes up that they spoke too soon. While the men try to catch him, the other two children slip down and get closer to the guarded captives. Ororo and Hakiim take out the guards and proceed to free the others. Achmed greets them profusely and urges them to hurry – Abdul will not be able to last forever on his own, he fears.

Actually, Abdul is holding his own, until an impatient Barrett begins showing his powers and threatens to kill the boy. Behind him, Ororo, followed by the other urchins and a smirking Achmed, sarcastically suggests this time he better finish the job. As you wish, Barrett retorts, as he begins firing energy blasts at Ororo. The fighting begins.

Achmed commends Abdul and Nari tells Ororo that she thought she might never see her again. If only she were so lucky, Ororo quips while evading an energy blast.

Barrett runs towards the place where he had left the opal. Even if he cannot return En Sabah Nur to power today, the power of the opal is still… He finds the opal is gone. From another part of the room, Hakiim calls him, taunting him with dangling the opal. Hakiim evades his energy blast and climbs up on the sarcophagus of En Sabah Nur.

Barrett orders him down. Is he afraid of accidentally hitting his “dark lord?” the boy mocks. He may have found safe haven, Barrett admits, but his friends have not. He fires at and hits Nari and takes her hostage. He demands Hakiim hand over the stone or he will kill them all. Hakiim doesn’t know what to do. If he hands over the opal, he might thus kill them anyway. Ororo comfortingly tells him he has done his part. Now she will do hers.

Hakiim tosses her the opal and she turns towards Barrett. She informs him that the stone should grant him immortality. That should give him plenty of time to get his master back to life. She offers him the stones if they are allowed to get out alive. Barrett agrees. After all no power comes without a price. So she has been warned, Ororo states ominously as she hands over the stone.

Barrett places the opal into the crown, as he orders them to watch his ascent to eternal glory. However, his excitement turns to horror, as he watches himself slowly turn to stone. He gets his immortality, but not the way he expected.

How did Ororo know this was going to happen, Nari asks. She didn’t, Ororo replies, but when Ozymandas gave her the stone he warned her that its power comes at great cost. She hoped he wasn’t exaggerating. Achmed agrees that it was a risk worth taking. He gathers his children and takes them home.

The next day, Ororo and Hakiim are once more on the roof. Is everything all right, Ororo asks Hakiim. Still thinking of the previous day’s events, the boy isn’t sure. Ororo smiles and remarks that maybe some things aren’t meant to be understood, but she has faith that all answers will be revealed to them in time. He does know one thing, Hakiim remarks. She saved them all. More than once. She had once said that her mother had told her that she was destined for great things. He thinks this adventure proves her words true. Nari joins them and surprisingly agrees with Hakiim. But Ororo better never tell the others she said so. So, what do they think happened to the opal? Hakiim wonders.

In Ozymandias stone cavern, the blind prophet has taken the opal back and takes a long look at the carving he has made of an adult Ororo as an X-woman.

Characters Involved: 

Ororo Munroe

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

Achmed el-Gibar

Dr. Desmond Barrett

Barrett’s men


in Ozymandias stone etchings


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.

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