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Welcome, X-Fans, to another uncanny edition of X-Men Monday! And what a time for it too–right after Jonathan Hickman killed off some of the biggest names in X-Men history! I can’t believe Marvel let him do it. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine… they’re all gone and we’ll never see them ever again.
I kid, I kid. Seriously, though, speaking as a casual observer of internet X-Fandom, and the wider comic book fandom… can everybody please just relax a little? Last week was… a lot. And, of course, I’m only talking about a very minuscule yet loud slice of fandom here, but the rage is constant. Rage toward creators, rage toward editors, rage toward X-Men Monday (that last one’s especially uncalled for).
To quote Taylor Swift, “You need to calm down.”
I know the internet’s all about lobbing steaming heaps of anger from behind the safety of screens and Twitter handles, but always try to remember those creators you’re so furious with are as real as you (unless you’re a bot). They too, have feelings. And no matter what they did to your favorite character (in a series they won’t even be working on forever), they don’t deserve your rage. You don’t own these characters and neither do they–they’re just lucky enough to tell stories with them temporarily, like many who have come before them and many more who’ll come after them. Hey, maybe you too could even work on them one day! You don’t have to like everything, and you don’t have to agree with everyone, but if we all truly love these characters, we all have a responsibility to be respectful to one another. The real world sucks–we all know that. And we all deal with crummy stuff in our daily lives. Comics provide a short, but fantastical, escape from it all. And the same should be true of the entire comics experience.
If you consider yourself an X-Fan, if you love the X-Men as much as you claim, be heroes like the X-Men. Heroes don’t go out of their way to hurt others.
As mutants enter a brand new era, willing to forgive past differences to ensure a better tomorrow, maybe it’s time for X-Fandom to follow suit.
OK, my public service announcement is over. Hey, I have a platform–you better believe I’m going to use it if I can do at least a little good! (And I look forward to reading how terrible I am for doing so later!)
Wait–one more thing! Use the #XSpoilers hashtag on Twitter on new comic book days to avoid ruining other readers’ eXperience!
Now, on with our special, Storm-focused edition of X-Men Monday! But first, a word from a very busy Jordan D. White, our beloved X-Men Senior Editor!
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Jordan: Hey there, everyone!!! I am BURIED under work this week! We’re trying to get the last issues of House of X and Powers of X out the door, and let me tell you, these issues are BEASTS. Thankfully, when I saw that this week was a Storm-centric column, I knew what to do–call in Assistant Editor Annalise Bissa! She’s been working on House of X and Powers of X with me the whole way through this massive project, and Storm just happens to be one of her favorite characters in all of comics! Let’s jump right into your questions and she can answer all!
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AiPT!: Thanks, Jordan, and welcome back to X-Men Monday, Annalise! We received A LOT of diverse questions from very passionate Storm fans, but let’s start with a simple one: What’s your favorite Storm story of all time?
Annalise: This is such a hard question! While it’s not exclusively a Storm story, I love her as a core part of the X-Men unit, and one of the stories I always go back to for that is Uncanny X-Men #123-124, where the X-Men get kidnapped by Arcade.
There are some really awesome Storm moments in there–an old-school claustrophobia reference, some great strategic thinking to make her escape under dire straits and a heartwarming moment where she breaks through Colossus’ mind control with the power of family!!!
AiPT!: Very nice! That was one of the first X-Men stories I ever read (in a tiny digest I got from a drugstore). Moving along to Nir Revel’s (@revel_nir) question… Nir said, goddess, thief, teacher, hero. Storm has a lot of aspects and roles that are all part of her history. What is the secret to balancing all of them into one coherent character and story?
Annalise: Is it a cop-out to say that, as an editor, I mostly know the reverse of this question? Which is to say–I trust writers to balance complicated characters, and hope to be giving input when it seems that a major character element is missing or being overlooked. And for me, being able to do that noticing is a matter of reading a lot from different eras of the character.
AiPT!: Zack “Xavier Files” Jenkins (@XavierFiles) said, Storm has bounced between multiple editorial offices over the last couple of decades. How do you effectively balance a character across different books and editors while ensuring that the character feels the same in each title and situation?
Annalise: Like I mentioned, my mindset for taking on a new book, team or character is to try to do a bunch of reading so that I understand the broad shape of what I’m getting into. In general, I think every editor wants the best for the characters they’re working on, regardless of how long they’ve been doing so or if they have the exact same perception of the character that the previous editor did.
AiPT!: Speaking of other series Storm has appeared in–we received quite a few questions about Storm in recent issues of Black Panther and her rekindled romance with T’Challa. Is it safe to assume that story takes place before the House of X/Powers of X/Dawn of X era? Or would that be a spoiler?
Annalise: Maybe not a spoiler, but certainly not a question I can give you a concrete answer to now. There’s a lot of story left to tell for both the X-Men and Black Panther books… as Jordan advised me to say, “keep reading, True Believer!”
AiPT!: Classic Jordan. We also received a number of questions about Storm’s place in the X-Men hierarchy. For example, T’Challa Munroe (@BBeeryan) was wondering why, rather than leading an X-Team, Ororo’s still following Kitty Pryde in the upcoming Marauders series. Would you say Storm is still in the mindset she had about her place among the X-Men going into X-Men Gold?
Annalise: I am not actually working on Marauders, but trust me, there is a very good reason to have Storm on a boat. Furthermore… I disagree that every X-Men team needs to have just one leader and everyone else is a backseat driver, despite what Storm and Cyclops’ extremely dramatic dodgeball games have implied in the past. Didn’t you hear Emma Frost say “it’s a brave new world” in House of X #3?
AiPT!: On the powers front, apparently there have been some heated discussions on Twitter of late about the limits of Storm’s powers when she’s in space. That’s what Pedro HOX x POX 7/12 (@mutantofx) said anyway. Annalise, do you have a sense of those power limits–in space? Peace on Twitter depends on it!
Annalise: Frankly, I don’t know enough about space to answer this question. And anyway… peace? On Twitter? Are we using the same Twitter?
Jordan: Just butting in to point out that Earth is in space, too. Does that help? Whoops, gotta go read a chart!
AiPT!: Maybe that chart will explain the limits of Storm’s powers… until then, how about another question? Many Storm fans, including daniel viana (@danielvianaf_) feel very passionately about her ties to mysticism–we got lots of questions on this topic. Do you have any thoughts on delving into this often unexplored aspect of the character?
Annalise: I (personally) love it. As a… not very science-oriented person (see above), and for all of the faux-science of the X-Men, I think that there is a lot of room for the mystical side of the X-Men, and for Storm in particular. However ‘real’ her origin as a goddess is, there is something really magical about Storm’s story (and Storm in general).
AiPT!: Going back to Marauders, Storm features prominently on the cover of this series’ first issue alongside other elementally powered characters like Iceman and Pyro. X-Men but Gay (@xmenbutgay) asked if the elements are a theme of the book. Or does this speak more to the nature of super powers?
Annalise: Everyone is on the boat for a reason, y’all. And we do NOT have time to get into the nature of super powers–a discussion for another time.
AiPT!: Storm fans like butterflykyss (@butterflykyss) are also concerned about Storm working so closely with Emma Frost in Marauders. After all, as this one fan pointed out, Emma has stolen Ororo’s body and lied to her or misled her multiple times. How would you describe the characters’ relationship… let’s say pre-Marauders to avoid spoilers.
Annalise: The X-Men and Emma Frost are always on a roller coaster of trust and wariness with each other–but I really can’t say much more than that.
AiPT!: As we wrap up, Kevin (@MagnetoRocks) asked what your favorite non-comic version of Storm is, and why do you think she’s been a hard character to adapt to other media?
Annalise: Hmmm. I watched a lot of X-Men: Evolution back in the day, so let’s say that. I don’t know that I’d necessarily agree that she’s been any harder to adapt than anyone else’s favorite character, though? She’s very complex, but there’s a lot of story to tell for all of the X-Men.
AiPT!: OK, this is usually Jordan’s final question, but this week you get to pick a song, Annalise! What tune best describes Storm… in Marauders?
Annalise: “I’m On A Boat (ft. T-Pain)” by the Lonely Island, obviously.
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AiPT!: Obviously. Cue speculation as to whether Storm will be riding on a dolphin, doin’ flips and s--t. Side note, X-Fans–if you enjoy The Lonely Island and haven’t watched The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience… ya know, go do that.
Anyway, thanks so much, Annalise (and Jordan) for carving out some time in a very busy week at the Marvel office to talk Storm! And thanks to all the Ororo fans who submitted questions–you are a passionate bunch! Have one more eXclusive image for the road:
In the next edition of X-Men Monday, we’ll be doing something a little different–geeking out with Jordan over Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking New X-Men run, which White recently reread.
Time check out this X-Men book everyone is talking about. pic.twitter.com/2fnuYRWli5
— Jordan D. White (@cracksh0t) July 24, 2019
So if you love this run too, prepare your questions for the official prompt on AiPT!’s Twitter tomorrow morning. Then, check back next week for X-Men Monday Book Club!
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