In 1975, a new group of X-Men came on the scene – and one of them was Storm. Beautiful, serene, and worshipped as a goddess, she became one of the most famous team members. But just what is she capable of? Today, I want to cast my eyes to the Beautiful Windrider’s powers…
It’s not surprising that Storm was worshipped. There are some occasions when mutant seems to be strongly linked to mystic. So you have heroes like Wolfsbane, who in other times would be hailed as werewolves; so you have demon sorcerer mutants like Magik, who blur the lines between science and sorcery. And so you have Storm.
There’s always been something more than just mutant to Storm. Her mind and body seem to be in a strange semi-symbiotic relationship with the Earth; it’s one that has developed as she aged, proven when her body was regressed to that of a teenager by Nanny. And to understand the nature of Storm’s powers, I’m going to focus on a few examples…
Take ‘X-Men Unlimited #1’. It’s a matter of record that Storm’s body is highly adaptive, protecting her from many of the adverse effects of weather; so, for example, it’s not possible for her to catch a chill. When the X-Men were transported to the barren world of the P!ndyr, Storm didn’t even need to change out of her gown, stating that her body adapted to the weather. Now, in ‘X-Men Unlimited #1’, that was put to the test.
Stranded in an Antarctican blizzard, Storm’s body attempted to adapt to the extreme by raising her body temperature, and she almost died. Interestingly, though, the blizzard was driven by the powers of Sienna Blaze, who had torn apart the Earth’s electromagnetic sphere in a devastating attack; as such, Storm’s extreme reaction may also have been due to the pain she sensed from the Earth’s system.
But the point behind this is that Storm’s body is inextricably linked to the weather-systems around her, on a completely unconscious level. Frankly, the way Professor Xavier describes it is as a natural biological response, as normal to Storm as breathing.
And then you move to ‘Storm #4’. In this issue, a grieving Storm has to flee the Earth’s atmosphere lest her powers flare out of control; this is the result.
My point is this: most summaries of Storm’s power describe her as able to control and manipulate the weather. In this issue, however, we see that Storm’s emotions intertwine with the Earth’s weather systems to the degree that grief twists it all up. So we see that, body and soul, Storm is tied to the weather-systems of the world. She is a citizen of Earth in a way that nobody else can ever be. To me, that is a far greater power.
And there is indeed a mystical heritage to Storm. One ancestor, Ayesha, has been hinted at being the Sorcerer Supreme of ancient Atlantis; another, Ashake, was powerful sorceress in ancient Egypt.
And then you get this moment in ‘Fantastic Four #550’ that frankly sends me reeling. With Eternity – the life of the Multiverse itself – dying, Doctor Strange plans a weird cosmic form of surgery. And he says this:
Of course, Storm does have the power to manipulate the weather. She can’t create something out of nothing, but she can cause winds, tornadoes, and even hurricanes; generate lightning; and carry out almost unlimited meteorological feats. When battling Thor’s cybernetic clone Ragnarok, she was even able to generate an electromagnetic pulse! Her powers have never been greater than in ‘Worlds Apart’, where she was able to down a specific aircraft from the other side of the world. Given she was in a different hemisphere, and the heat exchanges of the hemispheres are separate, that is particularly impressive.
Fans heatedly debate whether or not Storm is an Omega level mutant. One scene in ‘New Avengers #21’ was taken by many as implying that she was a mutant, but, when queried, Tom Brevoort disagreed that we’d yet seen any evidence. But frankly the debate about Omegas is academic.
Whatever else she is, Storm is amazing.