Category Archives: Biography

Into the Storm

Of Royal Blood

Storm has been one of the most beloved female members of the X-Men team ever since she made her debut in 1975 . She is a power-house mutant that I personally cannot get enough of within the comics, but when it comes to Storm on the big screen, she goes from intriguing to yawn-worthy.

Before becoming Storm, the white-haired beauty was known only as Ororo Munroe. She was born to N’Dare, a the princess of a tribe in Kenya that descended from a long line of African witch-priestesses, and American photojournalist, David Munroe of Harlem, New York.

Only six months after Storm’s birth, her parents relocated to Egypt. The family lived there for six years without much heartache; however, a devastating accident changed that quickly. N’Dare and David were killed during the Suez Crisis, leaving the then six-year-old Ororo an orphan. With no family to support her, Ororo lived in the streets of Cairo, becoming a very accomplished thief in order to sustain herself.

Mother Nature Herself

By twelve years of age, Ororo began to develop her mutant abilities. Ororo found that she could create rain, snow, sleet, fog, hail, and, what would become one of her signature sources of power, lightning. The young girl could also manipulate wind to the point of creating hurricane-like forces and increase or decrease temperatures to extreme lengths, with the added ability to change her own body temperature accordingly.

After discovering her mutant abilities, she met the witch-priestess, Ainet, who took her in and became her surrogate mother. The village the two resided in began experiencing a drought, which prompted Ororo to use her powers to create rain; however, by doing this, she threw off the weather of the surrounding areas, and a drought began, killing hundreds of animals in the process. This is how Ororo learned that, while she could create rain, she did so by using the resources around her. The moisture she needed was pulled from the surrounding lands, and she was not able to create this herself.

Rain Goddess

Because of the incident, Ororo began traveling Africa, helping several tribes suffering from the drought she created. It was because of her assistance that one of the tribes began to worship her and treat her as a goddess of rain, and it was during her stay with this tribe that Professor X came to encourage her to become one of the X-Men.

Movie Depiction

Though Storm is a very intelligent, articulate, and powerful mutant, she has not been portrayed in a way that showcases those attributes, at least not in film adaptations. I am sad to admit that I was not impressed by Halle Berry’s rendition of Storm in the X-Men film of 2000, nor X2, or the final film of the trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand. Storm took a back seat to most of the other characters when, in reality, she and Charles Xavier were very close, and she served as a pivotal member of the mutant team; in fact, Storm was one of his most trusted members of the X-Men. The films did not highlight her leadership capabilities, which she had many leadership roles in the comics, even beating Cyclops for the commander position for the X-Men at one point. Essentially, the films only used her to show a handful of  impressive storm-rendering scenes, and she certainly deserves more than that. It is no secret that tons of fans are hoping that, because of the events of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Storm’s true character will be revealed in future films, and I am certainly on board for that.

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Jubilee: Getting Her Spark

Jubilation Lee is an X-Men character that has not been included in film adaptations, unless you count the brief cameo appearances in X-Men, X2, and X-Men: The Last stand. It was an interesting decision on the film-makers’ part to have Jubilee take a back seat in the films given her close relationships to other mutants, particularly with Wolverine.

Her “Mall Rat” Beginnings

Jubilee By Aaron PageMs. Lee was introduced to X-Men fans in 1989. The girl belonged to a wealthy Asian-American family in Beverly Hills and became a very talent gymnast at a young age. She seemed to have an ideal life, but that would change drastically. In her early teen years, tragedy stuck and both her mother and father were murdered by a pair of hit men, Reno and Molokai.

The teenaged girl was then placed in an orphanage after her parent’s deaths, but it was not long before she ran away and hid in the Hollywood Mall, where she stole food to survive.

Throughout her stay at the shopping complex, Jubilee had to constantly evade mall security, and it was during one of her run-ins with the officers that she discovered her powers for the first time.

While running from the two security officers, she emitted a large, energy blast that temporally  blinded and disoriented the men. It was after this occurrence that Jubilee began using her powers to entertain mall-goers for money, but mall security soon tried to apprehend the girl, one again, but this time for her unauthorized performances.

Instead of having to escape the officers on her own, Jubilee received assistance from a few female members of the X-Men team, and she ended up secretly following her saviors back to one of their bases. This is also during this time that Jubilee witnessed Wolverine getting kidnapped by the Reavers,  a team of criminal cyborgs dedicated to the destruction of the X-Men.

The teen eventually helps save Wolverine from his captors, and the start of their very close relationship begins as well. The two mutants would go on several missions after the rescue, and these missions helped Jubilee and Wolverine develop a father-daughter relationship, which is why it was so strange to see the X-Men films follow Wolverine so closely without the young mutant that many fans consider to be his “unofficial sidekick.”

Like a Firework

It seemed like a missed opportunity to not show off a mutant with powers that were very underrated in the X-Men cartoon. Jubilee has the power to generate bright bursts of multicolored energy plasmoids from her fingertips,  or what she likes to call “fireworks”. These light energies are under her complete mental control, and the strength of the energy varies and can range from a multitude of brief flashes of light capable of temporarily blinding a person, to light with the same capabilities as explosives.

A Chance to Sparkle?

Perhaps she can get her chance to display some of those powers with the upcoming film X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. As I have mentioned in a previous post, Gambit will have his redemption time in the film, and Jubilee may be another character who gets some of the spotlight. She is a part of a team led by Gambit called X-Ternals during the time of this story arc. Jubilee displays a greater level of control over her power in this plot line; in fact, she shows the full extent of her powers by destroying a Shi’ar ship single-handedly. Now that is the Jubilee fans want to see! As details of the film slowly come to light, maybe we will find Jubilee at the forefront of the story, rather than just the background.

Gambit: His History and His Future

One of my favorite male X-Men characters has to be Gambit, otherwise known as Remy Etienne LeBeau. The New Orleans native did not have an ideal upbringing, which is putting it mildly, but it only adds to the depth of his character and his attraction to X-Men followers.

A Nontraditional Upbringing

Gambit By Jeremy Roberts

Abandoned at birth due to his strange, red eyes, Remy was kidnapped by members of the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild. The infant was then given to theAntiquary, a power in the New Orleans Underground who dealt in the stealing and selling of children. The Guild Prophecies, with which the Antiquary was obsessed, mentioned that a red-eyed man referred to as Le Diable Blanc, or the white devil, was prophesied to unite the rival Thieves’ Guild and Assassins’ Guild of New Orleans.

Believing Remy was the man the prophecies described, the Antiquary soon placed Remy in the care of Fagan’s Mob. This was a gang of street thieves who would raise the child, teach him the ways of thievery, and also keep a close eye on the child.

After a decade of living on the streets, Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau at the mob’s encouragement. Jean-Luc LeBeau happened to be the patriarch of the Thieves’ Guild at the time, and it was not a coincidence that the mob wanted Remy to cross LeBeau’s path. Jean-Luc took Remy off the streets and adopted him into his own family, just as the mob had hoped… Unknown to the child, his encounter with Jean-Luc LeBeau was carefully orchestrated by the mob in order help the prophecy of peace move forward.

A Lack of Media Exposure

Though Gambit’s story is filled with plenty of interesting, dark subject matter, the mutant has not had much screen time. Gambit did not enter the Marvel universe until 1990, and with the help of the cartoon that also came out in that year, he quickly became a fan favorite; however, aside from the years he appeared in the X-Men cartoon, he has only stepped out of the pages of comic books once with the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Gambit did not have a large role in the film, and his character was not portrayed as seamlessly as I had hoped.  He was an underutilized character, and  his abilities were not shown to their full potential. In fact, Gambit was depicted as a less threatening mutant in comparison to Wolverine, which is an unfair representation of the red-eyed mutant, considering he did kill omega-level mutant the Dark Phoenix.

Redemption Time

Though Gambit was not shown as the fierce fighter comic-book readers know him as, the bio-kinetic mutant will have a second shot at impressing movie-goers with the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. Not many details have been revealed regarding plot, but there are a few story arcs that the writers could be using for production (something we will certainly discuss soon).

Regardless of the storyline, this is certainly exciting news! Gambit will finally have the chance to show off who he really is on the silver screen, and maybe fans will get that solo film soon after? Time will tell!

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