Dear Super Cool Reader,
You should be reading the new Storm book written by Greg Pak. Why? I'm glad you asked. Here are a few reasons why you should get yourself to your local comic book store or internet connection and obtain this book:
- It’s a great introduction to the character: Storm is one of the most recognizable and popular Marvel heroes. Created in 1975, Storm, like most of the Marvel characters, has a LONG history. Decades of backstory. However, this book is written in such a way that you don’t have to know 40 years of character history in order to read and/or enjoy the book. All you need are the basics and the book supplies you with the rest. Yes, well-known characters from her past do show up, but if you only know Storm from various cartoon series or the movies, that’s totally fine. And the current issue out is #6, so you are just in time!
- Female led books need the support: There are only a handful of female led books that are on-going series over at Marvel right now. In order to show Marvel that we WANT more female titled books (we do!) and that there is a demand/market for them (there is!), people have to buy the ones that are already out. Luckily for us, this isn’t some thankless chore. The current crop of female led books (like Ms. Marvel, Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Black Widow and, of course, Storm) happen to be awesome. In the case of Storm, fans have been demanding she get her own book for years, and now it’s finally happened! Yay! Unfortunately, the sales have been less than stellar, at least compared to some of the other on-going titles, so there’s fear that Marvel may cancel the book. We can’t let this happen!
- Solo books of female characters of color especially need the support: There are currently two, TWO, ongoing solo books about female characters of color: Ms. Marvel (about Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan) and Storm. That’s it. As comics fans that crave and love diversity, we need to throw our support behind these books. Because let’s be honest, the way casting is going over in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the FOX films (better than the MCU, but that’s really not saying much), our best bet for diversity is in the comics. At least until the Netflix series premiere.
- Greg Pak, the writer, really gets the character. He’s also a superfan and hardcore advocate of the character. He loves Storm. Like we love Storm. And it shows. Here’s a Q&A with Pak where he talks about digital sales, the future of the book/character and the #SaveStorm campaign.
- And maybe most importantly: The writing and art are really good! The art is beautiful. The emotion conveyed in each panel is so nuanced and clear. Storm’s tears brought me to tears. Also, the people of color actually look like people of color. I was so gratified to see a dark-skinned Storm. With the Mohawk! And the writing…oh, god, the writing. THIS is the Storm book we’ve been waiting for. Heck, this is the Marvel book we’ve been waiting for. This is possibly the most socially aware book I’ve read from Marvel (at least in a big title book). Real world issues that are presented as intersectional and as morally complex as they actually are. This is Storm traveling the world as a famous, black, female, African-American (in the truest sense) mutant and helping people on her own terms and in the process coming face to face with her own past, legacy and work with the X-Men. That means being accused of being a sell-out by a Mexican teenager at the institute who resents being “recruited.” Getting rightfully called out on privilege and self-righteousness. Going to help with a drought in Africa and having the people, again rightfully, accusing you of white saviorism. Each issue has seen me saying “wow, I can’t believe they went there.”
Storm has always been one of the most untouchable X-Men. She’s the embodiment of grace, beauty and regal bearing. She’s endlessly patient and kind, incredibly wise and the best of the best. Teacher, leader, queen, goddess, model (seriously), X-wo(Man), Avenger. She’s perfect. And because of that, she hasn’t been allowed to be very human for a lot of her history. This book finally lets us see the woman beneath all the labels and titles and expectations. Ororo Munroe is on a journey of self-discovery. She’s going to figure out who she is, what she stands for, and she’s going to tell the world that a Storm they have never seen before is coming (pun very intended). I think this is a journey very much worth tagging along for.