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.
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.
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.
Sideshow Collectibles has been making original collectibles since 1994, and last spring, the company unveiled yet another breath-taking figure. During the past several months, it has been a leading lady of the X-Men universe that is the figure to snatch up. This time fans have the pleasure of adding the powerful telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey to their shopping cart.
Let’s just take a moment to soak in the excellence. Donning her yellow and blue 1990’s attire, Jean stands eighteen inches tall, posing in one of her signature stances. I have to admit, as soon as I learned this figure was on the market, I was excited. The artists really captured the likeness of the Jean Grey portrayed in both the comics and the X-Men cartoon. In fact, for those that purchase the Exclusive edition, an additional portrait will be included, allowing collectors to choose from having a Jean Grey with flowing hair and a Jean Grey with the ponytail hair style of the 90’s cartoon.
Excuse me while I wipe away a tear of happiness and gratitude. I absolutely love when a figure comes with customizable options such as this, and it is not the first time Sideshow has given the buyer options. They did the same with their Rogue figure back in 2011; though, in that instance, I was not necessary happy with one of portrait options being a more modern take on the 80’s Rogue, but that is for another post.
In regards to the Grey figure, I have to say that I would have my Jean sport her long flowing hair like in the comics. As much as the ponytail look reminds me of Saturday mornings as a kid, I still cannot separate the image of Jean Grey and wild, red hair.
Now, I am sure some of you must have been disappointed when I mentioned the figure made its debut last spring… but no worries; this figure is still available for pre-order! Yes. You still have a chance to be one of the 750 collectors to have the 90’s Jean Grey on your shelves in April of 2015…. if you can afford $359.99 (Something I am desperately debating).
You are welcome.
The X-Men are a team of superheroes who have been beloved by comic fans for decades now. To think of the comic book world without them is unthinkable, and so, on behalf of the X-Men fandom, thank you, thank you to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for creating the powerhouse team in 1963. Being reminded of the team’s beginnings, one does have to wonder, how did these well-known superheroes come to be? What is it that makes the X-Men the incredible humans that they are?
In this fantasy realm, it is the X-Gene, otherwise known as the “X-Factor” or the mutant gene, that triggers unbelievable power in those that carry the extra chromosome. The men and women who possess this gene are commonly referred to as mutants or Homo Superiors and are considered to be the next step in human evolution.
To clarify, the X-Gene could very well lie dormant throughout one’s life, but those that are fortunate enough to have the gene triggered typically find that the gene does so at puberty; however it can be awoken during periods of heightened emotional or physical stress as well, or even mechanically.
Once triggered, the gene can manifest in a multitude of ways.The mutations that arise can be physical such as abnormal body coloring, textured skin, excessive hair or fur, disproportionate or additional limbs, extra appendages such as wings, or even animal-like features.
At other times, the mutation will have no affect on its subject’s appearance at all and may only result in extra abilities. Powers vary in nature and can include control over particular elements and energies, energy blasts, flight, shape shifting, superhuman agility and senses, superhuman speed, superhuman strength, telekinesis, telepathy, and teleportation among many others.
It is with the vast combinations and variations of mutations possible that the X-Men are conceived, and are even given their name. That’s right. The “x” in X-Men is not homage to Professor X, or Charles Xavier, but a reference to that unique gene that birthed them into their reality and into our own.