Storm's untold stories

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24th May 2012

Storm's untold stories

From an unrevealed lineage over Lifedeath 3 to secret adventures in World.

"When I became a pro and I was doing Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes I proposed four new legionnaires," artist Dave Cockrum recalled in The X-Men Companion. "I had a guy who was a weather handler called Typhoon who had a flowing dark cape with yellow trim."

The many different elements needed to create the perfect STORM

"When I did up the original X-Men designs, one of the characters was called the Black Cat. Take a look at Storm without the white hair and without the cape, and that's essentially the Black Cat. She had dark hair, which was sort of like Wolverine's, tufted on top with the ear effect. And she could transform either into a cat I preferred the idea of a house-cat and I think we were talking about both a house-cat and a panther and she could also half-transform into a humanoid cat."

"She was a very striking-looking character. This was before the project got shelved. It got shelved, time passed, and in the interim there must have been two dozen female cat characters. You had Tigra and the Cat. It seemed kind of stupid to go on and do another cat character with all the other ones running around, and so we dropped the whole shtick. We were hassling and arguing and trying to figure out how we could work her in, and we had already planned to use Typhoon from the Legion of Super-Heroes proposal. But we couldn't figure out what to do with the black girl. We really liked her. We wanted to use her, and (Editor-in-Chief) Roy Thomas just threw out, "Why don't you make her Typhoon?" And everybody's mouths were hanging open. I ran out of the room and drew her with long white hair and a cape on and came back in and that was it. Everybody said, "Yeah! Yeah!" and her working name was Typhoon for awhile."

Storm and the Furies

"She was called Typhoon originally, and none of us liked it," recalled writer Len Wein in The X-Men Companion. "It didn't sound feminine enough, it sounded like something you spat rather than said, and we talked to Roy about it as he was going out the door. "Well, she's a mistress of the storm, she's got all these powers, what do we call her?" And he said, "Why don't you simply call her Storm?" And we all went, "Jesus, Johnny Storm" And he went, "So what?" and we said, "Okay, you're the boss," and we called her Storm."

It became up to subsequent writer Chris Claremont to define Storm's personality and history. "This is something that will be expanded on in the Lady Daemon/X-Men story that Michael Golden and I are planning," Claremont told The X-Men Companion. "The idea is that Storm's mother comes from a line of, for want of a better term, witch-women that to a very real extent can be traced back to the dawn of humanity. They have been in this part of Africa since the beginning of humanity. There is a lot more to Storm than just the ability to create winds. There's a sensitivity, a power, and this is not to say that she has magical abilities, but she is heir to a tradition, to a lineage that is incredibly old and incredibly in tune with life."

Unfortunately, the Lady Daemon/X-Men story never appeared, but in 2006, Claremont wrote Uncanny X-Men Annual vol.2 #1 in which it was revealed that Storm descended from a royal lineage that reached back to the dawn of humanity.

In 1976, there was another story that didn't see print. "When the team went to Muir Island (in X-Men #104, Wolverine notices that the insect girl from Count Nefaria's Ani-Men, Dragonfly, had escpaped from confinement, and that was because I had worked up an idea for a spin-off book that I was going to call The Furies," Cockrum revealed in Comics Creators On X-Men. "It was going to feature Storm, Clea from Doctor Strange, Tigra, Namorita, Dragonfly and an alien girl that I had come up with called Moon Fang, who rode a giant bat. I had gotten a tentative okay to do the book, but I just never got around to finishing the first plot, so it never happened. That escape was left hanging. They never cleared it up."

Worthy of Storm's love

For years, Storm remained single. "There is no man, really, in the Marvel universe who's good enough for her, who is her equal," Claremont thought in The X-Men Companion. "She would not be taking a step down by falling in love with the Black Panther, perhaps. John Byrne and I toyed with the idea of having her get into a relationship with Scott Summers or start to, but unfortunately I've really kind of done that with Misty Knight and Danny Rand (Iron Fist). (...) Part of my antipathy toward the Black Panther is that I don't have any control over him as a character, and I don't want Storm suddenly showing up in other books, waltzing out with the Black Panther."

"There were relationships that I felt transcended gender," Claremont told "Storm and Yukio is something that I never really got into. I mean, I had my own thoughts, but I never really got into it."

When Storm finally did fall in love, it was with Forge, a mutant inventor who had designed a gun that was used to neutralize Storm's mutant powers, possibly permanently, in Uncanny X-Men #185, 1984. In Uncanny X-Men #201, 1986, Cyclops and Storm were duelling for leadership of the X-Men. Cyclops' wife, Madelyne Pryor, was anxiously awaiting the outcome when she noticed a sudden thunderstorm. This was presumably a sign that the effect of the gun used on Storm was only temporary, and that her mutant powers were returning. During the duel, she was subconsciously affecting the elements. However, Storm's victory was retroactively rendered invalid in X-Factor #38, 1989. Supposedly, it was Madelyne Pryor, using powers she didn't know she had, that decided the outcome of the duel.

Storms shall pass

In Classic X-Men #22, 1988, Storm journeyed from the Savage Land to World, where she befriended M'rin and C'jime. In X-Men Annual #12, 1988, she met them again and it was revealed that she had had several adventures with them in between. However, those adventures were never told.

In 1991, Storm was supposed to have had a third "Lifedeath" solo story, this one both written and drawn by Barry Windsor-Smith. "Lifedeath 3" is the final story of the "Lifedeath" trilogy," Windsor-Smith revealed in Amazing Heroes #188. "In "Lifedeath 2" (in Uncanny X-Men #198, 1985) she was in Africa and dealing with famine to a degree, and in "Lifedeath 3" she's back in Africa and dealing with famine in a more heads-on way."

"It was going to be just a 22-page story. I started it a couple of years ago because they needed a fill-in on X-Men, and so I said I'd do "Lifedeath 3" because I had an idea anyway. And I started this 22-page fill-in myself, and then I had this accident and everything was put on hold, and by the time I was back working again they no longer needed a fill-in because Chris was caught up with his schedule. So Lifedeath 3 developed from a 22 pager into what is now going to be a bookshelf-format thing. 48 pages, yeah."

The story ended up getting rejected by Marvel Comics, however. The editor felt it advocated suicide because an elder of an African tribe went out into the forest to die. Windsor-Smith then redrew Storm into Adastra of the Young Gods and published the story as Adastra In Africa from Fantagraphics.

In Uncanny X-Men #255, 1989, written by Chris Claremont, the precognitive mutant Destiny told Forge that storms pass and that he should love Mystique with all his heart. Subsequent writer Scott Lobdell had Forge break up with Storm in Uncanny X-Men #290, 1992, but Forge never really got together with Mystique despite some flirtation between them during their stint together as members of X-Factor in X-Factor #112-139, 1995-1997.

Years later, in 2006, Storm married the Black Panther in Black Panther vol.4 #18.

Tom Defalco: Comics Creators On X-Men, April 2006
Thomas Harrington: "Artist X", Amazing Heroes #188, February 1991
Peter Sanderson: The X-Men Companion I, March 1982
Peter Sanderson: The X-Men Companion II, September 1982.
Tue Srensen and Ulrik Kristiansen: Chris Claremont Interview,, 1995