lately, i seem to be having to explain to people about my life–my background, motivations, interests… whether it’s with people i’m newly getting to know or current friends i’m getting to know better, people have been reciprocating by wanting to get to know me better. while i hate the part of this scenario where i’m expected to spew out facts about myself, i always seem to find a way to talk about one of the greatest loves of my life: storm of the x-men.
it is no secret to my friends that i have held a certain amount of fanaticism about storm for nearly most of my life. once in the 8th grade, my friend thuy bought me a storm doll (complete with the white costume and alternative green “african-inspired” outfit). heck when i worked at schipul, one of my co-workers attempted to give me the nickname of storm. i think you’ll be glad to know that i nipped that one in the bud… what my friends probably don’t know is why it is, above any other superheroine, that i love storm so much.
it all began when i was about 8 or 9 with the classic pryde of the x-men movie/pilot and its companion arcade game. between the two featured female x-men on the team, i of course would choose the one with beautiful long hair, the flowing cape and the black tiara (she also had a wand in the arcade game, if i remember correctly). i suppose i was too girly to find any interest in dazzler with her pixie cut. anyway, how could i not love her? she could fly!
it wasn’t until a year later when the famous x-men cartoon made its debut that i was able to indulge myself in some more of this white-haired goddess. i still remember seeing night of the sentinels for the first time and watching storm raise her hands in the air and transform from her pink civilian outfit to her white storm costume, shoulder armor and all! can i just say that brown boot/trouser/pink blazer combination is just too fashionable for a cartoon character?
as i got older and became more socially aware, i began to really appreciate storm for what she represented. even before i knew it, storm was iconic for the very things that made her unique. she was a minority of several kinds–a woman, black, african, an immigrant and a mutant. storm is the most recognizable black superhero and one of the most recognizable superhero characters. as a person of color, that speaks to me in a way that no other female superheroines can.
perhaps the most personal reason i have for my admiration of the character is one that arose not because i grew older and became socially aware but because i grew more mature and became more self-aware. storm’s mutant ability of atmokinesis is directly linked to her emotions. in order to master these abilities, she had to learn to master her feelings, to control her emotions so that they do not overwhelm her. this sense of balance is something that i’ve been trying to maintain my entire life. too often, i let my emotions get the better of me despite the fact that my brain knows the disastrous results that can occur. not only do i seek to have balance in terms of my emotion, but i look for balance in almost every aspect of my life: spiritually, socially, in my identity. i may just be the classic libra in that regard. ororo munroe is someone who struggles with these same issues or she risks destroying the entire eastern seaboard.
to me, ororo munroe symbolizes the very person i wish to be: a woman of strength, beauty, intelligence, kindness, balance, humility. she has the power of the elements at the tip of her fingers and yet she chooses to commune with nature as a friend would with another. through overwhelming circumstances, she made it through, not unscathed but unmatched. in the battlefield, ororo may be storm but in spirit and in character, she is a force of nature.
update (7/19/10): storm did have a wand in the arcade game.