The marriage (and divorce) of Storm and Black PantherPosted: 10/01/2013
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.