The marriage (and divorce) of Storm and Black Panther

Their marriage lasted six years and one month.  In real time.  That’s like four months of comic book time.  In late 2006, the Marvel world realizes that the King of Wakanda looks silly without a wife, but sadly, a suitable candidate to help him rule his tiny African nation can be difficult to find.  That and Man Ape’s taken.  So, why not that young white-haired girl that he fell in love with as a teenager, who now resides as the sometimes leader of the X-Men?  She’s totally a catch.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the following issues:
Storm #4, volume two, written by Eric Jerome Dickey and drawn by Lan Medina & David Yardin
Black Panther #18, volume four, written by Reginald Hudlin and drawn by Scot Eaton
Avengers vs. X-Men #8, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Adam Kubert
Avengers vs. X-Men #9, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Adam Kubert
Wolverine and the X-Men #24, written by Aaron and drawn by David Lopez

Anyway, they met and celebrated a fairly emotional courtship as youths.  Young love, right?

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I mean, they didn’t remain terribly close as their paths led them to opposite ends of the world.  Storm threw hurricanes at Juggernaut while Black Panther did Wakandan stuff, I guess.  I’m behind on Black Panther comics.  But they’ve always loved each other, because political marriages are so old fashioned and readers don’t tolerate passion out of convenience.

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I would like to mention that while both Black Panther and the Black Panther Party (for non-Americans, an African-American radical socialist political organization of the ’70s and ’80s), they’re not connected.  It’s quite a coincidence though.  As you’ve (hopefully) read some of my previous articles starring the married duo, their marriage turns out to be surprisingly happy and interesting.  Plus, I like it when characters I like are happy — always for a fleeting moment though, as joy bores writers.

During the Marvel event Avengers vs. X-Men, the two find themselves on opposite ends of the conflict. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem — Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman butted heads during the Civil War — but then that pesky Namor does this:

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Namor’s abs are so powerful that even the Phoenix Force can’t create him a shirt.  And when the Atlantean X-Man destroys the country that has never been conquered (except by the affable Doctor Doom), it tends to burn any bridges of goodwill between Wakanda and the X-Men.  That and Black Panther clawing all their faces the past eight issues.

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I enjoy Black Panther, I do.  But while still somewhat justified for his forced course of action in the next picture, it’s a wildly cold moment that makes you want to smack T’Challa as hard as he slapped Tony Stark the previous issue.

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Hurts, right?  Politics and such.  I personally loved this event, but it did take a while before the superheroes started acting heroic.  Both sides overreacted and punched way too early — that’s actually probably why I loved it so much.  But it took Spider-Man to really show the others heroes how to act, that all this brawling only served for the Marvel universe to sneer at the childish actions of their protectors.  Witness some true heroism for a change:

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Sorry, wrong moment.

Black Panther and Storm remain friends.  I’m serious.  Good friends.  Though heartbreak isn’t easy to break free from, and sometimes it takes a little help.  Short, furry, smelly help.

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I’ve mentioned before that superheroines love Wolverine.  I don’t know why.  And while there’s definitely a manly ruggedness to him, Wolverine also has more back hair than Beast.  Look, I’m not here to judge taste.  If Storm wants to rebound with the tiny Canadian, she deserves it.  She could do far worse.

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19 Comments on “The marriage (and divorce) of Storm and Black Panther”

  1. xmenxpert says:

    Storm’s hooked up with Wolverine in the past. They’ve had a friends-with-benefits deal for a while.

    But the Storm series that showed the original meeting between Ororo and T’Challa was one of the biggest loads of shit I have ever read. It was flat-out offensive. Claremont had previously written their original meeting, and she saved him. Then this frigging series comes along, and suddenly, Ororo was a helpless damsel who had to be saved by T’Challa every five minutes, and couldn’t actually do anything on her own. I absolutely loathe that series, and it leaves me believing that Dickey is probably a misogynist. That series was certainly misogynistic.

    I have few thoughts on the marriage itself. But that series – fuck that series.

    • Jason Levine says:

      I have heard that complaint before and you definitely are justified in your criticism. Truthfully, I couldn’t get a hold of a copy of Marvel Team-Up #100 to show the original meet up where Storm does heroically save T’Challa, so I had to use the remake. Though at least nowadays in the Marvel universe, no one would ever call Storm a Damsel in Distress. I like the series, but I’m a sucker for romance — even retribution-from-the-fans romance.

  2. writingbolt says:

    I get the feeling Wolverine/Logan is the John Mayer of the Marvel universe. And, Ororo/Storm is a consolation prize going around. She’s kinda left at the back of the toy shelf while everyone else gets played with. And then, when things get quiet, the writers say, “Oh! Storm! We almost forgot about her. She’s single. What’s she been up to?”

    I think if Logan was to hook up with Storm, it should have been more certain like his feelings for Jean. Though they do make an interesting couple, I just don’t see/feel it happening. And, yet, if I was Logan or writing his story, I’d want a piece of Ororo, too:) Minus the Mohawk.

    Question, are they two separate stories/issues, or did Ororo magically get earrings between page one and two?

    • Jason Levine says:

      Interesting points about Storm — I never considered that possibility! So the first two pages take place in the same issue, just about six pages apart. I didn’t even catch that, fantastic eye. The header (which’ll change every new post) is Hope Summers from AvX: Versus #6 where she battles Scarlet Witch. Reality magic does weird stuff to people’s faces. And that Spidey face smash totally happened. Brutal art there. Thanks for reading, my friend!

      • writingbolt says:

        And, a lousy eye by the artist who penned it:P hehe

        Oh, so it was a spell effect on who I presume–as I have been away from comic books for some years–is Jean (or Rachel?) and Scott’s daughter? Who knows what universe these people come from. I thought maybe she was some version of the Thing. Was this one of those Scarlet Witch loses her mind moments or another Phoenix Force takeover?

        How did Spidey survive such a pounding? It looks like his whole face caved in.

  3. writingbolt says:

    Two more questions…who’s the stone-faced gal burning or peeling in the header as she shouts, “NO!”? And, did Spidey get his face smashed by Colossus or was that just an illusion/dream?

  4. Just came here to say that I loved Ororo’s mohawk back in the 80’s, and i’m glad to see it make a comeback.

    I’m also jealous that she gets to bang Wolverine, but that’s neither here nor there.

  5. furyoffirestorm78 says:

    I loved Ororo’s punk look back in the 80’s, and I’m glad to see it make a comeback. I’m also jealous that she gets to bang Wolverine, but that’s neither here nor there.

  6. Zahir says:

    Marvel let’s a black writer take over the story of their first black superhero. He takes on the job with the Ok to allow him to marry (Seeing as he’s king). In an (specifically worded) unprecedented marriage union between two BLACK characters (BP and Storm of the X-Men) that lasted for a little while. Marvel took the writer off of the story and immediately stripped BP of, not only his wife, but his title as King and his nation. I repeat, “Mr. and Mrs. Fantastic fought a Civil War against each other and are still together. Why must every character that looks like us either fight minute ‘street gang’ battles, usually partnered with a white spouse or become the laughing stalk of the company? Please sign and share! Let them know that we do care about how we’re depicted! https://www.change.org/p/marvel-comics-reunite-black-panther-storm

  7. BCDiver573 says:

    I like the direction they went in the end. When I read the Storm/Black Panther marriage plot, it was so contrived it hurt. It felt like fan fiction, and was a bad attempt to create a Black power couple. The whole “love at first sight” thing is corny as hell, and it all depended on them being “African”, ignoring the massive disparities in their cultures and backgrounds. What with Storm being a mixed race Kenyan-American who grew upon the streets of Cairo, and Black Panther being from a pulp fiction style micro-state created in the 60’s for the Fantastic Four that’s so packed with stereotypes it’s actually painful. On top of that, their dynamic was terrible; without an organic development period, as seen in most other married couples in the Marvel Universe, everything came across as contrived.

    Both of these characters are strong, and deserve way more respect than they were accorded by being mashed together as a couple because they both happen to be Black. Personally, I’d celebrate Storm and Wolverine becoming an item. Not only is it reflective of a world where mixed couples are more normal and accepted, but the two actually have a well documented history of affection and emotional connection that makes it more believable than the slapped together “romance” that Storm and Black Panther were shoehorned into.

    • So as far as some are concerned black people falling for each other and marrying is contrived, but interracial love story is more natural and accepting (because its more accepting in this day and age. Like white men and black women hooking up is a very new phenomenon). Show me a black superhero couple that last as long as their white counterparts and I’ll show you a flying pig that farts rainbows. As far as I’m concerned the divorce was bullshit and the Wolverine lost love reunited is bullshit, contrived, and a flat out middle-finger to those that actually felt the beauty of a Black Superhero Power couple.

      • BCDiver573 says:

        No, Black people falling in love is fine. A Black power couple in the Marvel Universe would be awesome. Retconning the backgrounds of two characters to make them fall in love is contrived, and that’s what happened. That isn’t awesome, it’s lame. That’s also what made their divorce so easy to write in. Had they gone to the effort of spending a few years worth of subplot to create an organic relationship between Storm and Black Panther, then yeah, I’d be on side with calling BS on the sudden divorce. But that’s not what happened. Someone decided to mash two characters together because they were “Black”.

        The reason so many non-POC couples in the MCU have staying power is because there was literally years of relationship build up, in the continuity. It wasn’t retconned in to make it work. So yeah, I’ll take a better designed, organically developed and evolved relationship over that any day, even if it is a mixed one.

      • GabreyaB says:

        Skin color has absolutely nothing to do with falling in love! Black people fall in love with eachother all the time. So do white people. So do Mexican people. So do Asian people. So do Indian people. So do any other racial group of people. Especially people who are in interracial relationships. Love is color blind. It’s more about adoration, respect, trust, and what’s on the inside. As BCDiver573 stated, if they took the time to actually create an organic relationship between Storm and Black Panther that’s build upon love, respect, and trust, then their divorce rightfully deserves such outrage. But, since they were obviously put together due to the fact that they’re both black and are royalty, and not because of a deep romantic connection between them, their divorce was rightfully inevitable. Their whole relationship was contrived, shallow, and half-assed. By the looks of things when they were together, they were in love with the idea of being in love and not truly in love with eachother. Or, at least Ororo did at one time really loved T’Challa. It was more about politics, status, and appeasing the black community(I’m black, btw) than bringing together two people that has common ground, honest communication, and true love with one another. I would totally love a Black Superhero Power Couple and I hope we see that come about someday. They just need great writing, great characterizations, a love that’s strong and deep, and a proper build-up. Unfortunately, Storm and Black Panther were not that at all. They ended up becoming a disastrous mistake due to horrible writing, bad timing, surprising incompatibility, and a “love” that may have very well been lust.

        If you don’t mind me saying, you kind of act as if interracial love is a sin. What’s wrong with Storm getting together with Wolverine? I know he may not be the best choice for a boyfriend due to his depressing relationship track record of mostly deceased lovers and is so much to handle at times due to his crude nature. But, to Storm, he’s worthy and she sees the good in him to which she encourages him to realize his potential for the good of mankind and mutantkind alike. And he sees her as a person of reason and strength that garners great respect, trust, and admiration. I don’t give a damn if Logan/Wolverine is green, silver, or any other type of color. At least Ororo/Storm has a history and natural chemistry with him that’s been transpiring for about four decades. As opposed to say just meeting and seeing T’Challa/Black Panther very few times over the years before marrying him out of the blue without a proper build-up and connection. I’d rather see her end up with a man(who happens to be white) she’s worked with and been close friends with for years than in a marriage with a man(who happens to be black) where she’s basically been his trophy wife. I’d rather she be the renowned X-Man who’s frolicking around with a man that respects and trusts her, and treats her like a person than being a Queen who’s out of her environment, mostly neglected, and treated like crap by her husband. I’d rather she be with a man that allows her to be herself than a man who stifles who she truly is. It seems like T’Challa had took her for granted and didn’t show much trust nor respect for her. I hate that the writers had ended up writing him as an unlikeable and vile douchebag during his marriage to her. If only they’d written the relationship better, then maybe things would’ve been different. But, the past is the past.

      • Montest Eaves says:

        Thanks for saying that. I was a kid when it was revealed that Black Panther and Storm traveled together and fell in love as teenagers. I was in my forties when they married. When people half my age dismiss it as a retcon, I want to laugh. Yes T’Challa was portrayed as behaving poorly. Purely a writer’s decision. Every writer since Hudlin left the book slowly sabotaged the relationship rather than develop it. What’s absurd( and completely creepy), is her ending up with Wolverine. I’ve been reading X-Men since the freaking 70’s, and that was never the nature of their connection. It’s sad that so many, ( including black people) have a problem with a Black “power couple”.Such is the legacy of race in this country. That it’s become cliche for comics to show interracial relationships,( to let you know how enlightened they are) but two great Black characters aren’t allowed to make it. And everyone Black and White just buys into that. We couldn’t have our Reed and Sue. And that’s one reason I got fed up with Marvel in general after 40 plus years. Wolverine? Really? Thanks for dishonoring a queen Marvel, and, oh yeah, fuck you.

    • Nikki says:

      1) Storm is not mixed race. Her father is African American and her mother is African. She was born in New York, but raised in Egypt and Kenya.

      2) Why is it so controversial when two black characters form a romantic relationship? How do you know they were superficially paired together only because they are both black? There are tons of white-white relationships in the Marvel universe yet no says, “Oh, they just put those two together because they’re both white. We know *that* relationship won’t last.” It’s such a double-standard. I, for one, liked that they introduced a male black character to the series *and* that Storm marries him. Yes, she could have fallen in love with the tons of white characters available. But that’s boring.

      A Wolverine-Storm romance feels inorganic and incestuous. I liked the idea of Storm being his right-hand man/commander in chief. Please Wolverine already has too many love interests.

      • G.A. Barber says:

        “African American” is an ambiguous term, which can and has included mixed race individuals; there is literally no information on her father’s heritage, so that can go either way.

        There’s nothing controversial about Black characters in a romantic relationship. In this instance, they were paired together because they Black, and for literally no other reason. Here’s the original meeting, and the retconned version:
        http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2012/06/23/the-abandoned-an-forsaked-so-how-did-storm-and-the-black-panther-first-meet-exactly/
        Notice the complete lack of any real relationship building? Yeah. That’s the problem. They turned it into a generic damsel in distress, handsome prince story, then had them meet a few more times as kids, then, for all intents and purposes, totally forget they were in love/attracted to each other until they met and decided to get hitched.

        What I have argued, since the beginning, is that they were a publicity stunt of a story. No one bothered to spend any time or effort in bringing together the pair in anything resembling a natural away. Which is what made it so easy to break them up. Someone literally said “Hey, lets marry two Black characters and it will be awesome!” I want the same build up, development, and effort that went into the other major relationships of the MCU. I want emotional commitment and quality writing. Cyclops and Jean Grey, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, Reed Richards and Sue Storm, all of which had lots of work up and effort put into their story lines. Storm and Black Panther got the equivalent of a drunk Vegas wedding in an Elvis Chapel by comparison.

        As a POC comic book reader, I don’t want to settle for less. I don’t want a flash in the pan, done for a quick ratings boost “story”. I demand the same quality that has gone into so many other comics. I see no reason to support something just because “it’s a Black couple in Marvel comics!”, because it has no depth or lasting power if that’s all it is.

  8. Dude, everything is retconned. Some work and some don’t. And many people loved and appreciated this. And for me it works if it deconstruct the ever present and continuing monopoly of an overused white, european worldview and power privilege.

  9. […] the upcoming movie, along with — for those wondering what about Storm and Thor? — their cringe-worthy divorce which would be great because it’s one of the most cold-blooded goodbyes in […]

  10. Nicolemlv says:

    Also, the split may be political, according to Cluth.com. “For more than a year, Marvel Studios has been hinting at a possible Black Panther film… While Marvel Studios owns the rights to the character, Storm remains the property of 20th Century Fox. If the film goes forward, the Black Panther’s marriage to Storm couldn’t be featured. While this is positive news for Black Panther fans, it sucks for supporters of the T’Challa/Storm pairing and those who would’ve loved to have seen Storm recast and rebooted.” Marvel had to break them up in order for Fox to create the Black Panther film. http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/08/black-panther-and-storms-relationship-status-its-complicated/


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