I’m going to go ahead and out myself right now: as a proud DC read or die kinda lady I am still a bit of newbie when it comes to the Marvelverse (Boo! Hiss! Yes, I know…). That being said, ask anyone off the street who their favorite Black lady superhero is and I can all but guarantee you 9 times out of 10 it will be none other than the X-Men’s weather witch herself, Storm.
If you clicked that link you’ll notice a cosplay problem right off the bat: an overwhelming number of options, meaning a lot of differing opinions on which one everyone loves (you’ll also notice I definitely filtered out a certain live action version, but that’s shade for another day). For me, the cosplay of Janel aka Nel from Saturday Morning Cosplay not only captures the swagger of a mutant goddess but also has an incredible rendering of the infamous mohawk. In fact, this was one of Nel’s points of pride:
I’ve always been a huge fan of Storm while watching the X-Men cartoon growing up, she was always strong and smart, with a confidence that can’t be matched so I really worked hard to do her justice. Because I wanted to stay as true to the costume design as possible the Mohawk situation was a challenge. After a lot of brainstorming I came up with a plan that involved using a bald cap and hair fabricated into a Mohawk to complete the look. To date it is one of the costumes I am most proud of.
A quick reference so you don’t have to swim through photos (source: Kris Anka)
Perhaps even more inspiring than the character is the reason behind the passion, which as Nel explains:
To me cosplay is art, I never thought of myself as an artist but always liked to be creative. Cosplay has become a really important part of my life because it allows me to express myself in new ways every time. I started cosplaying shortly after the death of my grandmother; she taught me to sew when I was a kid and always wanted me to continue to do so as an adult. Cosplay gave me a reason to sew all of the time which helped me remember her in a very specific way.