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CSBG Archive

The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So HOW Did Storm and the Black Panther First Meet Exactly?

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today, based on a suggestion from poster Sijo, we examine the reversal in how Ororo Munroe (the woman later known as Storm) and T’Challa (the man later known as Black Panther) met…

It was 1980′s Marvel Team-Up by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Bob McLeod that we first learned that Storm and the Black Panther knew each other as kids. Here is how they met…

The issue is amusing in retrospect for the tagline…

Well, since they later got married, then I suppose you could argue that that line was, itself, abandoned an’ forsaked! In all seriousness, though, why would you end a story with something so definitive like that? What, the idea of Storm and Black Panther getting together was really THAT out of the picture? In the story where you JUST established that they had this shared past together? Odd.

ANYhow, in 2006, Black Panther and Storm got married. In honor of the occasion, Storm got a new mini-series telling the story of how they met (by writer Eric Jerome Dickey, penciler David Yardin and inker Jay Leisten). As you can see, it is basically Marvel Team-Up #100…only in REVERSE…

That’s quite a change.

94 Comments

that’s annoying … in order to make it a romance book Ororo has to be saved by T’Challa.

Did someone from Marvel address this change directly? I’m curious about the explanation. I just ignore the newer series in favor of the MTU issue. I accept Claremont as an authority on Storm, but not Dickey.

The Storm BP marriage made me pretty angry. No build up, no courtship, hell barely even a sense that they knew each other. Just bam! Married! It’s almost like somebody cynically decided to hitch the two most prominent African characters solely because they were black or something.

“…why would you end a story with something so definitive like that? What, the idea of Storm and Black Panther getting together was really THAT out of the picture?”

There may have been a practical consideration: Chris Clarement had some control over Storm’s fate as a character in the X-Men but not so much with Black Panther. Writing the issue, he may have realized the two really did have some chemistry together but he had no control over the Black Panther character and would not be able to fully develop their relationshoip.

And let’s give Claremont a little poetic license here. Certainly in romantic fiction (and even in real life), if two people have a connection but can’t act on it right now, there is an impulse to consider the matter closed forever in order to avoid the pain and the madness of further consideration of those feelings. Clarement may be writing as the omniscient narrator but it is from the perspective of Ororo and T’challa’s feelings on the subject. They both want to be more than friends but it can’t be right now and so it’s best to consider that it can never be. And a lot of times, it never is. And sometimes, it can be.

That said, the marriage of Ororo and T’challa would have worked better with more time to build it up and a call back to the Marvel Team Up issue (which is, from just the pages you posted, superior to the retcon mini-series).

Francis Dawson

June 24, 2012 at 6:48 am

Yeah, I suppose it does make sense that two black characters would know each other from the days when they were both growing up in Blackland. Yeesh.

The weird thing about that series is that in a scene taking place just a few hours after Storm was rescued by T’Challa, a character remarks that the Black Panther defeated the Fantastic Four. So are we supposed to now conclude that it was T’Challa’s FATHER that defeated the FF?

If the meeting in the MTU issues takes place in Kenya circa 1967 (Storm is 12 and this issue was published in 1980) then why does Storm think that the white guys attacking T’Challa were police or slavers? Were there really that many white guys in Kenya in 1967 acting as police or slavers?

A beautiful example of decompression in comics too. The original fight takes 2.25 pages (vs. 6), and is more informative, dynamic, and better drawn.

But truly, what a senseless change. And if it’s truly because it’s meant to be a ‘romance comic’, that’s even worse. Saving someone can’t be romantic, but being saved is? Yeesh.

Somehow, I feel the need to blame Hudlin for this particular bit of revisionism, even though he didn’t actually write the issue. The guy had a weird obsession for making the Black Panther an invincible uber man, a hero who simply could not lose. This story was written during Hudlin’s tenure on BP, and I strongly suspect that his take on the Panther bled over.Hence, even an adolescent T’Challa can’t be saved by a girl;he’s got to save her.

Incidentally, note the verbosity of Claremont’s dialogue.

Pointedly averted by Max Allan Collins in Wild Dog and elsewhere, since Collins never had people talk during fight scenes. In an interview in Amazing Heroes #119, Collins noted that he found this an annoying cliche, and DC editors would describe his scripts as lean since he never had people talk during fight scenes.

Interesting sidebar; both the Phantom (Kit Walker) and the Black Panther married. Both prominent jungle heroes that Paul Ryan has drawn.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2010/04/15/comic-book-legends-revealed-256/

Now there’s a case that without the Vibranium he’s uncomfortably like Lee Falk’s Phantom….

De Ruyter assumed that she only had the power to create wind? That fool. Wilbur Smith, Major St. John, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard would slap him in the face.

Regarding De Ruyter; did an issue of Black Axe, featuring Afrikaa, establish that Ayesha (from H. Rider Haggard’s She) historically existed on their world? If so, then De Ruyter should have checked files on paranormal events in Africa more thoroughly.

I prefer the MTU..and its in continuity. I hope the Storm mini is reconnected away.

christopher towle

June 24, 2012 at 10:09 am

Man it’s shocking the difference in quality between those two stories. In Claremont’s version both seem like capable fighters, and they compliment each other’s strengths without lessening one another in the reader’s eyes. In the second, Storm plays the damsel in distress needing to be saved by the strong warrior T’Challa. An insult to both of them, and an early example of the sexism more recent Black Panther writers have treated Storm’s character with. Makes me wish Claremont had written BP in the ’70s and ’80s. Heck, or now. You know he’d be able to treat Storm with the respect she deserves.

Don’t forget that later in the Dickey story, underaged T’Challa and Storm have sex. Super-creepy.

Joining the distaste for the sexism of the revamp.
The early story does show how much South Africa served as the “evil empire” after the Soviet Union began collapsing: They could have written the same plot with KGB agents capturing T’Challa in order to take control of his country (this is not meant as an apology for apartheid but I think it’s true).
Regarding Ayesha, we know from Super-Friends that she did exist in the DCU.

This story was written in 1980. The Soviet Union didn’t start to collapse until Gorbachev took power in 1985.

The first one is much more well written, at least in my opinion. The second is just a boring “strong man, weak woman” romance story. Pity.

I bought that Storm mini solely because it was about Storm. I didn’t know any of Dickey’s prose work beforehand, but, judging on the content of the mini-series, I can’t see how the man sells (maybe he just does better with characters from his own imagination).

I do remember when I read Dickey’s little T’Challa-saves-Ororo bit that something seemed off, but I didn’t really feel like digging up the MTU issue to check it out (if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have continued buying Dickey’s awful tripe). This story seemed to scream “editorial edict” to somehow justify the upcoming Storm/Panther marriage (which itself seemed to be forced from on high; one could even say “arranged marriage” with all the negative connotations therein). None of Ororo’s “relationship” with T’Challa seemed to cross over into her X-appearances (good writers and editors at Marvel would’ve ensured that the X-books would’ve spent a bit of time showing the budding relationship rather than just an off-hand remark here and there) but given what little I saw (I didn’t read Black Panther at the time; Hudlin just didn’t give me any reason to pick up the title, given the previews I saw of his first issue), I didn’t see any kind of spark between Ororo and T’Challa. (I saw more genuine love between Ororo and Yukio before Wolverine’s Japanese wedding fiasco than I ever saw between Ororo and T’Challa.)

The Eric Jerome Dickey issue featured them helping each other, not just him rescuing her. These pages you clipped are reductive. tsk.

Comics had played down the USSR/USA Cold War stuff starting in the seventies. It flamed up some in the early 1980s, but it was still tame compared to Marvel’s sixties stuff.
And South Africa was very much treated the same way in comics (and pop culture generally)–white South Africans weren’t simply racist (which is bad enough) but evil and murderous. They didn’t show up a lot, but when they did …

I’m still annoyed that Priest couldn’t marry Storm and Panther when he had a good story reason to do so, but then a few years later Marvel just arbitrarily decided to shove the two together for PR and to try to make Panther a more profitable character, with little to no story concern at all.

@Fraser — the revelations of less-than-upright actions by the United States and the Soviet Union alike during the Cold War (Vietnam, Prague Spring) made their conflict less stark, less easily framed as good-vs.-evil. The brutality with which the white minority repressed the African majority under apartheid made that system much easier to cast in binary terms, and resurgence of anti-apartheid movements (e.g. the Artists United Against Apartheid album Sun City) had recently brought the issue to the forefront.

And, to be frank, events like the Sharpeville Massacre, the Soweto uprising and the murder of Stephen Biko, as well as people like Eugene Terre’Blanche made it pretty easy to cast supporters of apartheid as evil and murderous.

I agree with most of you above. What happened with Storm and Forge? Forever unrequited? Storm is one of the most powerful beings on Earth, why would she need saving?
Since Marvel is feigning being progressive, why not a mixed race marriage rather than the obligatory marrying of the only two prominent African characters?

Obviously the original story is better, even regardless of the ‘sexist’ damsel-in-distress bit.

Maybe the retcon would work if they had changed it so it happens before Storm gets her mutant powers, so her needing to be saved would actually make sense, but the bad guys clearly mention her powers.

The whole Panther/Storm marriage is a joke anyway. It stinks of Storm deciding that “all my relationships with men have failed so let’s get married with this guy I had a nice fling with as a kid before I’m too old”. This marriage is ruining great characters a lot more than Spider-Man and MJ’s marriage ever did. Stupid Marvel.

I think I prefer the original take on the story :D

Deron, yes, that’s an excellent assessment.

I don’t know what is more contrived, this or the Northstar marriage. This Storm/Black Panther marriage bothers me more because A) these are two prominent characters that when written correctly can be awesome (Though i don’t prefer the super-awesome-unbeatable Black Panther) B) They basically have forgotten this marriage, since you don’t actually see Ororo and T-Challa together hardly ever…..it ties both of them down and any marriage storylines are wasted C) The whole thing was a quickly put together mashed up, retconned mess, that was poorly written with both characters not acting like themselves. So this marriage bothers me more. I could care less about Northstar and….Kyle. I care even less after having read the publicity stunt issues of Astonishing. They need to put that book out of its misery…but I digress.

interesting to see that clarmont was the one who revealed who storm and black panther ment due to saving each other from a thug only to find it changed to where storm one of the most power ful females marvel has had to be rescued by black panther . i like clarmonts version better

I’m an Eric Jerome Dickey fan and I’m the first to admit that his Storm mini-series is a mess, but so was Hudlin’s BP ongoing it was tied in to. The mini existed solely to give the two a bigger relationship in the past to try and make sense of their marriage in the present.

I still remember Marvel’s PR people referring to at as the marriage of the two most prominent African Americans in the Marvel Universe too. Man, that was terrible.

But we did get a great Dwayne McDuffie FF run out of them.

I have to agree with the majority of the people posting and say that I prefer the Claremont MTU story. I also agree that the BP/Storm marriage is both contrived and a bad idea.

I just reread this and I find my distaste for the second version doubled.
In the original, T’Challa’s able to fight, even if he needs Storm to save the day. In the Dickey version, Ororo is completely helpless–she has to run instead of fighting, and once she’s captured T’Challa does all the heroics while she lies there drugged.
Hulk smash now.

i think that all the comments are made because these people don’t like the black panther, i think that he and storm make a good couple. They have good chemistry, true they should appear together more like ka-zar and shanna, in my opinion the panther is the most prominent black character in the marvel universe and they don’t have to try to “sell” the character he sells himself. All these people just want storm to end up with a white character instead of letting her be the queen she is meant to be. and as far as tchalla saving her, they were children and she didn’t have much control over her powers and tchalla was always a good fighter.

ahching I don’t have any stake in who Ororo ends up with (I haven’t followed T’Challa since Priest left–and I haven’t followed Xbooks in even longer) but your explanation is nonsense: Claremont showed she could, in fact, handle herself at that age (without making T’Challa any less of a fighter)–there’s no reason other than sexism that Dickey had to make her completely helpless.

hahahaha @ahching1

You serious?
Did you even read our comments?
I’m pretty sure most of us just think the way Marvel has handled the whole Storm/Panther relationship is terrible and very badly written. Yes they are both great characters and could potentially make for a great couple, it’s just not the way Marvel has presented it to its audiences.

And the way they retconned the ‘original’ meeting between the two is downright offensive, how stupid are readers supposed to be?

I guess I’m in the minority here, but I like the latter version better. I think it would be more annoying if the characters were white, because really, we have a million instances of white male characters being uberbadass and heroic and making a more powerful white man eat crow, but how often do we get that with black male characters. They usually get more pyrrhic victiories or ambiguous ones when faced with a powerful white villain. I think white men take these depictions for granted because they grew up with them, but black men don’t get to see them as often.

I understand why people would criticize the retcon compared to the original version if the characters were white. After all, with centuries of heroic depictions of white men beating odds confidently and decisively, does the world really need one more? Why not just let the woman save him for once? But when the characters are black, I don’t find it as terrible to give the black man a bigger role with a more decisive victory, because I think in mainstream media black women generally tend to get more positive depictions than black men.

Is the Claremont/Byrne Marvel Team-Up story reprinted anywhere? What was the issue number?

Really? People are still upset about this marriage? It’s no more contrived than Northstar’s marriage yet nobody rips that apart it’s heavily praised. Half of the people spouting their disgust are probably not even fans of Black Panther nor Storm. So if thats the case, why do you guys care so strongly?

You raise a good point, T. In isolation, I wouldn’t see Storm losing consciousness while T’Challa dispatches the goons as too much of a problem, especially since this was when Ororo was much younger and not capable of godlike weather power feats. The problem is that it’s part of the larger retcon to reduce Ororo to T’Challa’s girl, taking only rudimentary character threads and remaking them into a romance that only serves to make Ororo a trophy.

At least Storm’s back living her own life as leader of the X-Men/only sane person on the Extinction Team.

@ddk1138

Marvel Team-Up #100. To the best of my knowledge it has not been reprinted. However, the issue can be purchased for $1-$5 and is easy to find.

@ddk1138 I don’t think it has been collected, but you can get a copy of MTU 100 at mycomicshop.com right now.

Well the problem with the retcon is the problem that exists in the black community: having a strong black man and strong black woman as a couple. For some reason that seems to be impossible in reality as well as fiction. The few black writers in comics don’t appear to have the ability to create that paradigm. I too like the Claremont/Byrne version because both characters shine in their on way during their battle with the enemy Why did two white guys get right?

By the way, I have always cared for these two characters, cancerous.

Leslie Fontenelle

June 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I like both these characters and get the impression that the first version was better, but to be fair all I read of the 2nd story were these pages posted here. Maybe in context of the story it works better, I don’t really know.

I see T’s point about how this is a strong heroic scene for a black hero, but the problem is that the damsel who’s being rescued in this scene isn’t of the distressed variety, she actually has an established characterization where even as a young orphan she was always capable and able to defend herself at least a little – and hell, this was HER book telling the story, and it boggles the mind that they’d intentionally change the story to make her LESS capable than before. Dickey probably had read the original version before writing this, so this was an intentional change to make his protagonist less capable than previously established. In the pages posted here we have someone who would be unrecognizable as Ororo if it weren’t for the platinum hair. Maybe her helplessness makes perfect sense in the story, but that’s not even the point: why would they go out of their way to recast their heroine as a victim? Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pantherl, the Kirby and Priest runs are absolute classics, but reducing Storm to a whimpering rescuebait shoulder-candy for T’Challa in her own book? Not cool, man. And not a good way to set up a marriage supposedly between equals.

Interesting. And thanks Dee.

I never cared for the “all Africans are childhood friends” angle (any more than the “every lesbian character will eventually date Batwoman” business over on the DC side).

Priest’s “Sturm und Drang” arc was pretty great, though. I mostly enjoyed it as a political thriller (at Storm’s behest, Black Panther shelters a Deviant Lemurian child seeking asylum; this sets off treaties with Atlantis, Latveria, and Genosha and lands him in trouble with Namor, Doom, and Magneto, respectively), but it did a decent enough job selling the T’Challa/Ororo relationship. Even though, again, I have some problems with how that relationship was defined in the first place.

Dee
June 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

The Eric Jerome Dickey issue featured them helping each other, not just him rescuing her. These pages you clipped are reductive. tsk.

Not true (the reductive part). Brian “clipped” the pages that deal specifically with the action/conflict surrounding their first meeting and compared Clarement’s version to Dickey’s It goes without saying that other stuff happened in both stories, but this article/post deals specfically with the character impressions/relationship balance that was established in the moment of their initial interaction. And the change in dynamic from on to the other is quite clear, regardless of what happens before or after.

“kalorama
June 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Dee
June 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

The Eric Jerome Dickey issue featured them helping each other, not just him rescuing her. These pages you clipped are reductive. tsk.

Not true (the reductive part). Brian “clipped” the pages that deal specifically with the action/conflict surrounding their first meeting and compared Clarement’s version to Dickey’s It goes without saying that other stuff happened in both stories, but this article/post deals specfically with the character impressions/relationship balance that was established in the moment of their initial interaction. And the change in dynamic from on to the other is quite clear, regardless of what happens before or after.”

It is reductive mainly because there is a problem of scale. Dickey’s entire story went deeper into that conflict/situations that surrounded the two characters which could complicate said initial impressions of their relationship. The entire book was about their initial meeting compared to the three pages of flashback memory in the Claremont issue . Their relationship went beyond the moment of their initial interaction. To clip Dickey’s pages like that and compare them with Claremont presents a false equivalence that causes Dickey’s interpretation to appear to be lacking. That is problematic for me.

No one is arguing their relationship didn’t go beyond that initial interaction. But that initial interaction is all that’s being compared here. Moreover, Brian’s post doesn’t actually make any judgements or reach any conclusions about the change other than to point out that very significant difference in the two versions, so your apparent implication that he’s trying to create some kind of misleading interpretation by intentionally omitting information seems a bit misleading in and of itself. It’s part of a series about how old storylines have been changed, altered, revised, or abandoned over time. On that basis, the action surrounding their initial meeting (and the sharp change between the two versions) is all that’s relevant to this comparison.

Sigh… Kalorama
I can’t speak to the writer’s intent. I am only speaking to the effect of the comparison. Look at the comments and you would see what I mean. And I still stand with my initial statement about why such a comparison is problematic in this instance.

What’s interesting to me is that, unless I’m misreading, the new version also changes who the Bull is after. In the first, he’s after T’Challa to take over Wakanda, but in the new version, he’s after Storm due to her powers.

I haven’t read that Storm mini, so I won’t judge the change too much.

The main problem I have with the second one is that from what I’m gleaning from what’s said on the pages shown, Storm is well known to be the “wind rider”.

So why isn’t she RIDING THE WIND??!!

Ahem. Excuse me.

I also dig the earlier Storm depictions of her with the “cat’s eyes”. It’s a neat visual.

It would certainly be possible to have T’Challa being strong and heroic without having Storm helpless.
Cancerous, I just read one blogger ripping into Northstar’s marriage on the grounds that its contrived and so sudden it eliminates the romantic buildup we’d have gotten with a straight character’s love life (I haven’t read it, so I’ve no idea if this is a fair assessment, but it’s still relevant to your point).

Dee sez…

The Eric Jerome Dickey issue featured them helping each other, not just him rescuing her. These pages you clipped are reductive. tsk.

The point was a comparison of the way the two characters met in the two (radically-different) versions of the tale.
1) Teen female aids teen male who was battling impossible odds (and holding his own). Two escape together.
2) Teen male rescues incapacitated teen female. Carries her to safety.
Hard to believe #2 was the more recent version of the story…

Dee also said…

Their relationship went beyond the moment of their initial interaction.

The point is that their “initial interaction” is RADICALLY-ALTERED, making Ororo a “damsel in distress” instead of a fellow warrior charging in, not to rescue a helpless kid, but to AID a fellow warrior!

Plus: the original version didn’t go into detail about what happened afterward, so saying the later story “featured them helping each other, not just him rescuing her.” isn’t relevant, since there’s nothing in the original tale besides a brief paragraph about them traveling together (where presumably they helped each other anyway, so your point is moot).
If anything, using material in the later tale that has no parallel in the original version to make your point actually weakens your argument.

I never read the Storm mini, so I had no idea that this was retconned. I think it is terrible -it seems clearly, deeply sexist and, frankly, degrading to Storm- especially when the earlier story portrays both characters in a positive light. Reducing Storm to a damsel-in-distress (again, particularly given the earlier depiction) is unforgivable. I hope that someone gets around to retconning the retcon.

I have no comments on the BP-Storm marriage. I’ve always liked both characters and,to me, they seem to go well together. I did not really follow the BP storyline when it was going on, but I had the impression that T’Challa was searching for a bride for political reasons. Romantic love was not as much of a factor. From that perspective, given his history with Storm, his asking her was not surprising. More surprising, perhaps, is that she accepted. But she may also have been mature enough to realize that romantic love is fleeting and that she knew and admired T’Challa, facts that would be the basis for a stronger relationship over the long term. After all, various cultures have had arranged marriages based on much less for centuries..

T,, the problem is that at the time, Hudlin was portraying T’Challa as extremely capable in his book. If this was one of the few scenes where T’Challa was portrayed as capable, then I’d agree with you but there was no need to revise how Storm and T’Challa met to make T’Challa more capable. It’s not implausible that T’Challa would need help considering that (a) he was twelve and (b) he hadn’t yet eaten the herb- thingey that gave him his powers.

The one thing I have ALWAYS appreciated about Clermont is that he makes strong capable female characters, Ororo being first and foremost. Even minor characters like Stevie Hunter. In my opinion, I’d say that Claremont writes Storm better than any other writer who has ever worked with her. Maybe if Claremont was writing it then Schizm would have ended with Storm telling Cyclops to shove his visor up his nether regions.

Looking at these old pages brings back a lot of nostalgia —back when I really liked Byrne’s artwork, but back then I didn’t realize how wordy Claremont was. That man loved to fill a page with words and expressive dialogue. It can be a good thing but 1) it can get cheesy and 2) it doesn’t let the art do it’s job fully.

Still, to see Storm back in all her power -I’d buy that.

I’ve always wanted to read the original Claremont/Byrne story.

[...] kids. It’s depressing that the original version shows more respect for Storm and the recent retcon is more sexist. •The NRA’s role in creating Florida’s stand-your-ground law (I linked [...]

I guess my problem with the marriage is that other than that once off meeting the only things the characters have in common is a continent of origin and being black. Talk about long distance relationships….most of their history they don’t even live in the same hemisphere. You’re either taking Storm away from the X-Men, or BP away from his country. Or shoehorning a relationship together. You can do it, but it doesn’t seem organic.

And I like both characters…have always loved Panther since his Avengers days, and Storm has always been one of the coolest X-Men. So all this “you don’t like the characters” just seems like veiled failed arguments. (And Black Panther maybe the first, but he can hardly be the most prominent black character till he appears in 3 blockbuster moves..or 4, with Wolverine: Origins?…and has a major movie star playing him. People will know “that mutant Halle Berry played”. Black Panther is “huh? the political party?”)

I don’t like this change. It seems a bit sexist to me.

@M-Wolverine
Marvel fairly quickly had the *married* Storm and Panther living on opposite coasts, as Storm went with the X-Men to San Francisco. For a little while, the X-books paid lip service to the marriage, but soon enough stopped even that.

Exactly. That’s what I’m saying…what kind of marriage is that? One dreamed up by marketers, not writers. Except I don’t know that it helps sales, makes any story sense, or what it actually serves.

I think I actually would have liked to read a nice limited series about how Storm and T’Challa met and started a relationship as adults. I think of both of them as strong characters with great history on their own, not to mention being two of the more powerful Marvel characters, if not in pure super powers in the BPs case. He’s more like Batman, Tony Stark and Doctor Doom rolled into one. Only cool.

Storm is very underutilized I think, although I hardly read X Men anymore. Might be Claremont’s best character.

I could see two adult, sophisticated and successful people who had a little bit in common (within the super hero community, relatively) maybe just meeting at a shindig or a crossover event and you know, deciding to get a cup of coffee, then see if a good writer could get a good story going from there. It could have been interesting. What Marvel did? Dreck. Wasted opportunity.

Anybody want to take some action on how long the marriage will last? I got five bucks on ‘between 5-6 years’ or until the next X-Men movie with Storm in it comes out’

John Byrne isn’t a fan of Marvel Team-Up #100. He’s written about it a few times on his website. For instance:

When Chris and I did the story that established Ororo and T’Challa as having known each other years ago, I regretted it almost as soon as I drew the last line. (The butchering the colorist gave the job when it was published didn’t help me feel any better about it.)

There are many stories I wish had never been done, and that one, linking Ororo and T’Challa is definitely one. Chris’ idea, and I wish it had been one of the many times I said no!

Despite the level of coincidence in them encountering each other, on the other hand that’s hardly startling in a comic-book universe. People by amazing coincidence turn out to have met each other years ago: Bruce Wayne met Clark Kent as a teen, for instance (and also Ollie Queen and Hal Jordan).

ddk1138 > Marvel Team-Up #100 back-up story with Storm and Black Panther was reprinted in Marvel Milestones: Black Panther, Storm and Ka-Zar as well as in X-Men: World’s Apart TPB.

Despite the level of coincidence in them encountering each other, on the other hand that’s hardly startling in a comic-book universe. People by amazing coincidence turn out to have met each other years ago: Bruce Wayne met Clark Kent as a teen, for instance (and also Ollie Queen and Hal Jordan).

Yes, but you have to remember that one of the big conceits of Marvel fans back then is the belief, rightly or wrongly, that Marvel comics were more “grown up” and not as dopey or insulting to the intelligence as old DC comics supposedly were. Of course much of this perception of Marvel comics being so much more realistic was greatly exaggerated, but to Marvel fans this was an important belief.

My point is, to hardcore Marvel fans of that book’s era, which would include me, pointing out that the book showed something that happened in Golden and Silver Age DC books all the time would be the absolute worst indictment you could make of the book, not a defense.

Nowadays DC and Marvel books are considered equally realistic or unrealistic, and the maturity level is very similar, but for Marvel fanboys back then the feeling you were reading something “above” DC-level comics was very important.

Good point, T. As primarily a DC fan that aspect wouldn’t have occurred to me.

@phred Great idea. It’s not that the characters are incompatible. Actually, they’re some of the few characters that seem “worthy” of each other. (Sorry Forge, you always seemed like you were trading up big time). I mean, I can’t see Spider-man dating Storm either. These two characters DO have things in common…just haven’t had it mutually yet. So that groundwork needed to be laid. It could have been a much better mini than Storm was. Or a great arc in BP, with tie-ins to X-Men. Of course, that would have required them to actually think out how this relationship would work. But if the relationship foundation was solid, I could have lived with the long distance part. In a world where Spiderman and Wolverine is on every superhero team, it could “work”. (Though how ridiculous that’s gotten is a whole other column). It’s not that different than Northstar. There’s nothing wrong with him getting married….but it was all thrown together so fast for the “value” of it that it’s not a believable relationship. His husband might be one of the most boring significant others ever created; he’s well on his way to ending up in a refrigerator. If he had been around for awhile, and we cared about them as a couple, it could have been powerful. As it was, all their hemming and hawing back and forth will they or won’t they fell flat because I didn’t care about them as a couple, or individuals. (Though you’re already challenged in trying to make someone care about Northstar, other than as a symbol). But I digress.

“All these people just want storm to end up with a white character instead of letting her be the queen she is meant to be.”

This comment is a little paranoid considering that her long term love interest in X-Men was Native American, not white. The only reason I don’t like the Storm/Black Panther marriage is for the same reason that I don’t like seeing Storm and Wolverine (or Spider-Man) on the Avengers.

Chris, you’re so right! She’s never been involved with a white character for more than an issue (kissed Wolverine, I believe). How about the fact that Orroro generally considers herself separate from most and may not have it in her mindset to be marry?

Storm is married first and foremost to the elements/the Goddess(of Nature). I think that is why Claremont never really had her in a relationship with anyone before Forge; she was ‘above’ that sort of thing. Human relationships can never compare to Storm’s relationship to the spiritual and material energies of nature. When she channels a hurricane(or galactic core for that matter) through her body, how can a mere human lover ever hope to compare?

Excellent point, LeVar. I’ve more or less thought the same thing myself in rereading my old X-Men. Then Claremont ran out of good ideas and gave Storm a mohawk (yes, thanks to ‘Comic Book Legends Revealed’ I know there’s more to it than that).

I understand why people are upset about the “reconned” story; it does make the “strong woman” character Storm weaker. That said, however, I look at the original MTU story a bit differently, since I’m a Bronze Age kid and read it when it was first published.

Claremont’s original story really irked me, because it took the Black Panther — a Silver Age hero, a character who’d had his own series, and a freakin’ AVENGER, for crying out loud, the single most iconic African-American comics character ever, at that point — and made him need rescuing by Storm, who was a relative newbie. But, see, Storm was an X-character, and Claremont was writing X-Men…which, in Claremont’s eyes, meant she needed to be the big hero, because any character Claremont is routinely writing automatically has to be cooler than any other character, no matter how long they’ve been around or how iconic they already are.

Claremont pulled this crap ALL THE TIME. When the Angel — who was one of the ORIGINAL X-Men — comes back to the title around “Days of Future Past,” Claremont goes out of his way to portray Warren as a screw-up who needs to be mentored by the ultra-cool Wolverine…even though, as an original X-Man, Warren should have it all over the rest of the team.

Same thing in Uncanny X-Men #268. It’s a story set in World War II, yet Captain America — CAPTAIN AMERICA! — is portrayed as a naive, incompetent fumble-butt, who needs (who else?) the ultra-cool Wolverine to show him the ropes.

This story was just more of the same. T’Challa — even at age 11 — should’ve had no trouble wiping the floor with a couple of thugs; but no, since Claremont’s writing, he needs the ultra-cool X-character Storm to come in and save the day.

Black Panther is an African-American character? He’s African!

Other than that I agree. Though I enjoy Claremont always elevating female characters, it is rarely and mistakenly at the expense of the iconoclast of the genre. Big mistake! Storm is great. Black Panther is great. No reason to downgrade him.

I disagree with the Man With No Face. From what we see, Storm jumps in while T’Challa’s in the middle of the fight–he’s hardly been defeated. Although in general yes, that kind of thing can be a problem with Claremont. James Robinson had the same tendency with some of his Starman characters.

Actually there was a noticeable mention of the original Ororo/Tchalla meeting in the last pane of X-Men Annual #5 (1981). It was only published some months after, and also written by Claremont.

So in this story, Ororo is again having briefly feelings with a prince, Arkon. And it made her recall about Tchalla.
It is interesting to note that the word “love” is mentioned.

Here it is :
“Her thoughts drift back across the years, to a dry, dusty african plain, to a girl and a boy — Ororo wind-rider and prince T’Challa o Wakanda — and the love they shared for a fleeting moment. Duty took him away from her, as it now does Arkon. And then as now, she would not, could not follow.”

That was something that really drove me nuts about Claremont. Why was Storm invariably getting attracted to Arkon, Doom, Dracula?

[...] The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – So How Did Storm and The Black Panther First Meet Exactly? [...]

@ThunderKat:

Yes. African. Good catch. Sorry about that. So accustomed to writing “African-American…” my mistake.

Rather than directly address the intent of the writers of either the Marvel Team Up version or the Storm Mini Series version of their initial meeting i will provide my opinion as a male fan of the Black Panther character and other comic characters.

I wouldn’t gravitate towards or take strong interest in a male super hero character (let alone an iconic one) that needed to be saved by his wife or girlfriend due to a physical threat.

I wouldn’t pay money to support a comic that depicted a male super hero as unable to be heroic especially with regard to those people closest to him that are still alive .

Super Hero characters historically have been the ideal representations of male fantasy (and female fantasy). As a consumer i wouldn’t and wont support anything less than that. There are far to many other entertainment options available to choose from that allow me not to settle for an “almost Super super hero”.

I suspect many other male comic readers feel the same way regardless of whether they voice that opinion or not. I also suspect that Reginald Hudlin understood this and for that i am appreciative of his making sure that the Black Panther was depicted as incredibly worthy of being viewed as a super hero and an Avenger.

Anything less would make him the Falcon ( a character that i want to like but whose roots simply don’t allow me to embrace fully).

The writer of the second piece was Dickey, not Hudlin. And if he understood that, why did he make Storm so completely helpless?
Super-heroes have been saving each other for years. Even Batman and Superman save each other. I don’t think if they’re both shown as competent that it’s an issue.

Someone mentioned in a previous post that Hudlins influence might have been behind the story change despite not writing it. With regard to making Storm ” so helpless” in my opinion it still boils down to what i typed above i.e. ” Super Hero characters historically have been the ideal representations of male fantasy (and female fantasy)…” . I should have added Predominantly Male Fantasy. I’ll be blunt in saying this – it IS Sexism.

As a healthy, strong,active male that likes to believe i’m of reasonable intelligence (that’s debatable lol) the idea of my being saved by my girlfriend as opposed to saving her isn’t comfortable. In fact i’ve had to defend my girlfriend a few times in one way or another over the years (by Gods Grace no one was ever hurt). Both men and women can be of equal strength and valor but we have a social understanding in Western Culture if not all cultures that men will defend their wives and children from harm and not the other way around in most cases.

So where does that leave Storm The Goddess comic book character ? Unfortunately due to being married to a Super Man character anything that makes BP more feminine detracts from what he is supposed to be at his core – a super MAN fictional character. It’s one of the reasons that the Wonder Woman characters only acceptable true mate in the eyes of readers (most ) is Superman i.e. a character that is viewed as superior to her as an Icon and physically (Batman didnt work out in this role) . Superman as “her guy” makes the western male reader comfortable with her raw power in feminine form and makes female readers raised to unconsciously accept this paradigm happy to see a qualified “Knight In Shining Armor” for Wonderwoman who can solve all of her problems ( as if she couldn’t solve them on her own considering how powerfully they have written her character).

Comics are still the playground of male fantasy in most cases. There is an unspoken hierarchy of acceptable actions . Both people of color and women are fighting against this hierarchy but it still exist and sometimes the conflict is between characters of color and the depiction of women in comics.

And again…at the end of the day despite loving my mother , a wonderful woman, i’m not buying a comic where the ultimate embodiment of all of my positive traits in male form needs to be saved…by his girlfriend.

It is what it is.

^ or in the case of BP and Storm ..his wife.

Vision, I think you’re projecting your views onto society as a whole. I don’t recall a huge outcry (to give one example) when Jean saved the entire X-team (including her boyfriend) by becoming Phoenix,and thereby being vastly more powerful than Scott. And since when was Superman the only acceptable lover for WW? All through the forties through the sixties she had Steve Trevor who was definitely not her physical equal–Supes/Diana is a relatively recent idea. And plenty of female readers don’t like it.
And as I said, the jump from “Black Panther cannot be saved by his girlfriend and still be a good super-hero” to “Storm should be helpless and saved by her heroic man” is not an automatic one, even if I granted your premise.I agree it’s sexism, but that doesn’t make it any less gratuitous.
Slightly OT, but since you touched on it, Susan Faludi’s The Terror Dream does deal with the Heroic Male Rescuer image and it’s use since 9/11. It’s most interesting.

Boy, these comments get published in weird order. Fraser’s post of last night notice came BEFORE his post of September 15′s notice via email.

Anyway, I’d say Storm is showing attraction to guys like Doom and Dracula because they’re showing it to her first. I can rarely think of any women Doom has treated as a female, and not just another lesser being (though I’m sure it happened to Sue Richards at some point in history), but I distinctly remember him showing attraction to Storm. Likewise Dracula has always tried to seduce her (and has the powers to do it). I think Storms lends herself with her attitude and goddess persona to world leaders, kings, and megalomaniacal villians. And in return someone in power who she can consider her equal probably holds attraction back for Storm (and in Dracula’s case, he’s a good looking dude, if a little dead). I don’t see Storm being the type of girl who dates a waiter, because he has a good heart.

Now Akron, you got me.

Hey, Akron may be a slightly dingy city in Northeast Ohio, but that’s not to say a goddess can’t respond to its (well) hidden charms…

Yeah, it’s low-hanging fruit, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get picked!

That was my point. There’s no way that Storm is dating a waiter from Akron.

Yeah, that’s it…that’s what I meant…that’s the ticket….

Hey, without waiters from Akron, half the shows in New York don’t get cast — and that would mean a lot of cranky actresses — but that doesn’t mean they date the megalomaniacal director…

To bring this back to point — “powerful woman attracted to bad guy because of his power” is not a very flattering trope, either.

It’s not. But it’s not an uncommon one. The one thing I agreed with Vision of Self theory is that is one of the problems they’ve had with finding a successful regular love interest for Wonder Woman. (And on a tangent why removing Trevor as her love was a bad idea, because much like Lois you could accept him just because he always was).

And while unattractive, it’s really not one without some basis. There’s a reason beautiful, powerful, famous women like, say, Salma Hayek marry billionaires, but don’t seem to fall madly in love with the grip. (Maybe the lowest they’ll go is the writer…though only if he plans on directing and producing too). Where Nic Cage can marry a waitress, and no one bats an eye. In return it’s part because men are shallow and a cute waitress is just as good as a cute movie star. But women are just shallow in a different way, and you can be older and unattractive if you wallet is attractive. (Speaking in generalities)

There’s a reason no one took Forge that seriously…..

The out-of-synch post was due to a commenting problem Brian fixed.
I could see Storm being turned on by power, but under Claremont it was always evil/destructive power? Seductive or not, Dracula isn’t just undead, he’s a murderous, malevolent bastard. I know some women get hot for convicted killers, but I can’t see Storm in that role.

Well, in Dracula’s case, he does have the power to cloud and attract people’s minds. And in Storm’s case, he’s turned her at least once, sorta, so there is always that connection he has over her. Plus he’s dreamy.

But more seriously, I don’t know that it’s always evil/destructive power. She did marry the King of one of the most powerful nations in the world. And he generally seems like a nice guy. (I’d say maybe not under Claremont, but I remember more of Doom from a Marvel Comic Presents tale than the regular title).

(Trying to think of anyone else she’s had a particularly flirtateous relationship with who wasn’t a teammate…)

So, have there been any stories where the marriage has been handled well? Entertaining, even romantic issues or mini-series, where we see these two interacting in fun and deepening ways, by writers who like both characters?

If so, let me know and I’ll scoop ‘em up. If not, let’s push for somebody to write one or three.

The mini series written by Jerome Dickey is still worth reading it however not to people who actually knew that it was Storm who saved BP and not the other way round. I kinda didn’t like that Storm was kinda helpless. And the worst part that I really didn’t like was when young BP and Storm did something on the forest.

I like the first story when Storm saved BP.

I have tried accepting their pairing but they were not written well as a couple.

I am still hoping that Storm and Wolverine will get together as husband and wife and having lots of children. RoLo forever!

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