It was with a thirst for escape that I dragged into my local comic book store and picked up Storm #2. It has been a rough couple of weeks all around. The violence so many Black folks have always known was part of the judicial system has exploded on to the national stage. Famous and totally unknown people have died. Every inch of land between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates River seems to be on fire. It was enough to make me turn off my Twitter feed and watch Muppet videos on YouTube. (Try Share it Maybe by Cookie Monster. It makes everything better.) Storm #2 was just what I needed. The issue is tight — delivering chuckles, inside jokes, and a happy ending, while setting up more interesting characters for Ororo to have to manage in coming issues.
Upfront, I’m not crazy about the art style of these comics. I find the colors to be too saturated, occasionally leaving Storm’s face a washed-out brown blob in a sea of lighter or darker brown blobs. That criticism aside, I do like the color choices for the environments, and the line work overall is amazing. When Ibanez and Redmond (Artist and Colorist, respectively) get it right, they get it really right. I mean, not everyone can draw a side-eye just like mom used to make:
The plot is straight-forward, delivering Storm’s old enemy Callisto with a twist I won’t spoil. As in #1, Storm walks a fine line around her desire for freedom and self-identity that won’t have disastrous consequences for those around her. She is amazingly powerful, and she knows it. When she unleashes that power is when this comic really shines, giving us full pages of her lighting and subtle references to her other weather effects. She acts out her power and her conflict in typical mutant ways – saving people, endangering people, messing things up, and making things right. Ororo’s humanity is never in question in this comic, which is something I appreciate. She’s always a woman, always a teacher, and always ready to knock someone on their ass if they get in her way.
Pak provides plenty of backstory, so new readers can catch up on who Ororo is and what she does. And the issue again includes Beast as the all-powerful hacker. It is bookended by some cute stuff with Wolverine in his current healing-factor-free form. Now, I’m no Wolverine fan, but the two of them together is a perfect tone for the story. Overall, a solid showing. Storm’s solo comic, while not doing anything sky-shattering, is building a great world full of complicated, human characters. Combine that with the low bar for entry for new readers and this one continues to please.