Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Storm #2
I don’t claim to be an expert on women. I can only claim to be an expert in finding ways to piss them off. Any man claiming to be an expert in women is either lying, delusional, or mistakes having a fuckton of money as charm. It’s for that reason I think comics that focus on one female character are so hard to make awesome. Most comic book writers are men. I’m sorry feminazis, that’s just the reality. Bitching about it won’t change that. But there are so many powerful women in comics that it’s easy to forget that many of them were created by men. And even when women get a chance to write them, it doesn’t always work out. That’s why I think we’re in a golden age of female comic characters. Between Captain Marvel, X-23, Elektra, and Ms. Marvel, there is a wealth of strong female characters to go around. I’m sure feminazis will still find a reason to bitch about it, but they should at least give Storm a pass. She’s one of the most powerful and endearing characters in the history of Marvel and after what I can only describe as a crack-induced oversight, she has her own solo series again. The first issue was a testament to all the things that make Storm awesome. Storm #2 now has the task of adding a little shine to that testament. In the past, I would be skeptical at best. But in this wonderful age of wonderful comic book women besides Wonder Woman, I’m going to try and be optimistic without the aid of cocaine.
It’s much easier for Storm to be optimistic. In the previous issue, she roughed up a few angry militia types in an area where the local government gives human rights the same priority as used toilet paper. It also pissed of Hank McCoy, which is always a bonus these days. Whereas I would celebrate such a feat with 30 strippers and a case of whiskey, Storm has simpler tastes in that she opts to have a lunch date with Wolverine over beer and a burger. So not only is she a goddess, she appreciates beer and burgers. Anyone not worshipping this woman yet has no fucking soul.
They talk about the incident and how it pisses off Beast, which I imagine counts as foreplay for them. Wolverine comments that she’s being a little reckless than usual and while it does give him a boner, he does worry because that’s his job and she’s just going to upstage him. Storm claims it might be him influencing her, but that only gives her a pussy boner so I guess the feeling is mutual. Rather than arguing like most couples would, Storm gets up and asks Wolverine to dance a little. Wolverine comments she’s always had a bit of a bad girl inside her and not just because she used to be a thief. He’s probably not wrong either. When the owner of the restaurant tells them no dancing, she gives him the Johnny Manziel treatment and does it anyways. And unlike Manziel, not even the NFL would dare fine her.
After a nice little dance that should keep Storm/Wolverine fans squealing until Labor Day, Wolverine says he has to go back to his binge drinking and super-secret missions. I have a hard time believing any of that shit is more appealing than spending quality time with Storm. But before he leaves, she shows him that she can be a bad girl and the best possible ways. It’s the kind of gesture that should keep Storm/Wolverine fans squealing until Labor Day in 2017. It also sucks in a way because the Storm/Wolverine relationship that began after Avengers vs. X-men really hasn’t gotten a lot of development until recently. And as it just so happens, Wolverine is set to die so this blossoming relationship has an expiration date on par with milk from Wal-Mart. It’s tragic, but at least they’re getting in nice moments like this. We can’t have the makers of Prozac getting too excited.
With her lover now off on his super-secret stabbing missions, Storm is left on her own. She can do anything she wants. She’s a fucking weather goddess. But while some would use their absent lover as an excuse to bang half the fire department, Storm decides to use her powers to find a missing girl. Why? Does she even need a reason? Like I said, she’s a fucking weather goddess. I don’t dare question how she spends her free time because I enjoy not having a lightning bolt shoved up my ass.
But helping a missing girl isn’t just some random act she decides to do in the same way I might randomly decide to dip bacon in a can of baked beans. A missing girl is something that resonates with her personally because she was once one of them. It’s hard to imagine that the goddess so worthy of worship now was once a pickpocket in Cairo. It’s like imagining Marlon Brando when he weighed under 250 pounds. A nice flashback captures all the emotions and struggles that she dealt with. She had to watch fend for herself after watching her own mother die from under a pile of rubble yet she still became this kickass X-woman/goddess. She makes the people who bitch that they didn’t have cable growing up sound like real assholes.
The girl she hopes to find is named Angie and her story is the kind of shit that Nancy Grace built her career on. She lived in a shelter, got involved with an abusive asshole boyfriend of the Ike Turner variety, and just disappeared. Since she just turned 19, the police are taking a “Let’s not and say we did,” approach to finding her so they could focus on more important things like harassing minorities with weed. That means it’s up to Storm to find this girl and she has nothing to go on but Angie’s old cell phone. Being a goddess, she can succeed where the police fail to give a shit and look damn sexy doing it.
She’s able to convince Beast to stop being a douche-bag for at least three minutes and help her use the phone to track Angie’s possible location. He may make shitty excuses to Cyclops and Wolverine, but even he’s not a big enough douche to fuck around with Storm. With his help, Storm finds out that she’s somewhere in the sewer systems of Manhattan. That makes sense because that’s the only place that doesn’t cost twenty bucks just to get into. It’s still not a pleasant place for Storm. She still has severe claustrophobia on the same level that I have a severe phobia of running out of beer. But that isn’t really a factor and that’s somewhat of a disappointment because a dark sewer is the kind of thing that would make most claustrophobics shit themselves. There’s still some nice internal monologue to provide more insight into Storm’s motivation for finding this missing girl, but she’s still way too comfortable than anyone should be in a New York City sewer, claustrophobic or otherwise.
It gets extremely uncomfortable very quickly when her search for Angie leads her directly to Callisto, who is about as welcoming to visitors as North Korea. It also doesn’t help that Storm and Callisto have a history. And by that I mean her history is almost on the same level as the history between Giants fans and Eagles fans. They don’t need to start arguing which team is going to suck worse this year. They just start fighting.
It’s a volatile, but somewhat tame fight. It contains some nice references to past X-men stories involving the Morlocks. It also provides a more personal kind of action that goes beyond just blowing up killer robots. However, anyone who doesn’t know that history very well is just going to see a couple of mutants fighting for no fucking reason. Even for those who do know their history, the way the fight just happens feels off. It’s like a bar fight that starts when everyone is still sober. It might be personal, but it has little purpose.
Storm naturally gains the upper hand, forcing Callisto to get help from some friends of hers that look like Voldermort cos-players. But they still know they’ve got no chance against Storm. I’ll say it again. She’s a fucking weather goddess. They might as well be a bunch of grasshoppers trying to take down Godzilla. Knowing this, they wisely run. Storm follows them, probably assuming that these people are using girls like Angie for ritual sacrifices to some lesser god with the head of a llama and the body of a squid.
But when she catches up to them, she finds something completely different. Not only are there no ritual sacrifices going on, but Angie is there and she’s incredibly pissed at what Storm did to Callisto. She even finds out that what she thought could be an evil ritual chamber is actually the equivalent of a college dorm. And she just fucked it up without even giving them the courtesy of a keg party. It’s an awkward moment on par with showing up to a job interview in a bikini.
After the awkwardness passes, the shit storm settles down and Callisto gives an explanation. She says these kids weren’t kidnapped. They were just scared runaways that needed a safe place to stay. And since the Morlocks are long gone/massacred, Callisto has a void in her life to fill. So instead of getting six dozen cats and moving to the mountains, she agrees to take in these runaways and protect them. It’s probably the nicest thing she’s ever done that didn’t involve winning an arm wrestling contest for charity. The problem is it makes Callisto’s reason (or lack thereof) for picking a fight with her all the more fucked up. She knows Storm well enough to understand she’s not the kind of person who just comes looking for missing teenagers to make them more miserable than they already are. It makes their fight completely unnecessary. All it accomplishes is making a mess without the fun of a party.
Storm, once again showing the kind of humility that the Sarah Palins of the world never dare show, offers her sincere apology and helps clean up the mess she made. She doesn’t try to throw money at them either or make excuses. She actually uses her bare hands. When has Sara Palin ever used her bare hands for anything other than writing notes on shit she’s too lazy to remember? I’m not just saying I would vote for Storm over any woman. I’m saying there wouldn’t need to be a vote in the first place.
Before she leaves, Storm decides she still hasn’t been awesome enough. She charges their batteries and says she’ll have other X-men bring them supplies that will make living in the sewer feel less like living in the sewer. Even though Callisto was a total ass who picked a totally unnecessary fight with her, Storm shrugs it off and trusts her to look after these kids. Most people usually don’t trust those who pick fights with them for no reason. But most people are a compassionate weather goddess who looks good in a mohawk.
Just to make sure there are no lose ends like a truly benevolent goddess, Storm convinces Beast to stop being a douche for three more minutes. He agrees to keep monitoring Callisto in these kids, just in case someone comes along to pick a fight for much less trivial reasons. He even manages to get Angie’s asshole ex-boyfriend arrested. It’s been a while since Beast has done something that doesn’t make me want to punch a baby seal. It’s refreshing, but he still has a long fucking way to go.
Having found a missing girl and aided a group of runaways stuck living underground, I think Storm can officially say she’s had a productive day. She didn’t get to destroy any robots or fuck up any repressive dictatorships, but she still made a positive difference on the lives of others. She has more than earned a chance to catch up with Wolverine again and have a little personal time before he runs off to stab more shit again. It’s a genuinely good day in the life of Ororo Munroe and a good day for Wolverine as well. She was bad when she needed to be bad and good when she needed to be good. For once, my penis, my brain, and my heart are in total agreement. Storm is awesome.
Remarkably, I didn’t need any cocaine to make this comic awesome. This was one of those rare books that can be enjoyed both sober and stoned. Like the first issue, it captures so much of what makes Ororo Munroe one of the most lovable, endearing characters in comics. She’ll go out of her way to rescue a run-away girl. Then she’ll go out of her way to help said girl when she finds out that she doesn’t need rescuing. She’ll fight when she needs to fight. She’ll help when she needs to help. And most importantly, she’ll find just the right time to be damn sexy. She’s the perfect blend of the woman a guy would want to marry and the woman they would want to have a one night stand in Vegas with. Of all the powerful women in the Marvel universe, Storm is the most worthy of being worshiped, loved, and respected while being divinely bonerific. This issue shows why and more than anything else, shows that Wolverine can die happy knowing he died as Storm’s lover. Storm #2 gets a 9 out of 10. There may never be a woman in real life as awesome as Storm. We’re all pitiful lumps of shit compared to a goddess like her. But I think feminists and Fox News anchors can agree that Ororo Munroe sets a high standard and looks pretty damn awesome while doing it. Nuff said!