Six Positive Marvel Role Models for Young Girls (part 6 of 6)
Ororo Munroe, Storm
Welcome to the final part of my bombastic bounty of bodaciously badass broads brought to balance boisterous babes where we look at comic book women who are great role models.
We last spoke about the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. While we’re on the subject of mutates and mutants, let’s talk about Storm. What can we say about Ororo Munroe that Chris Clairmont and countless other writers haven’t said? She is an outcast, warrior, superhero, mutant, pickpocket, gang leader, Morlock, and queen of the richest country in the world.
And she did all of this while conquering the crippling fear of claustrophobia.
As a mutant who has a direct connection to Earth’s biosphere, she has had to have a tight reign over her emotions. Under the tutelage of Charles Xavier, she’s gained an incredible modicum of control from clearing stormy weather to making mini-rain storms for her plants. As a member of the X-men, she has used her powers not only in offensive attack but to cover their escape with fog and cloud cover.
Ororo has proven herself time and time again to be a capable leader in the field and currently wears supreme responsibility as the Queen of Wakanda with her husband the Black Panther.
When we first meet Storm in Giant Sized X-Men #1 (it is the collectible), Ororo Munroe is posing as a goddess of the storm to a bunch of African tribesmen who pray for rain to nourish their crops. Once she was found by Professor X, she joined the X-Men and spent most of her life after that with them.
But like most of the women on this list, Ororo got a rough start. She was orphaned at age five when a plane crashed into her home. The rubble from the wreckage pinned her down until she could crawl out from under it. The experience gave her a permanent case of claustrophobia.
Street urchins found her and showed her how to pick pockets and locks to survive. Unfortunately, she tried to pick the pocket of Professor X while he was traveling in Cairo. Xavier caught her and tried to learn more about her until he was contacted by Amahl Farouk (the Shadow King), which gave Ororo time to get away.
Some time later, she accidentally killed a man who tried to rape her. It was through this experience that she promised she would never kill again.
Shortly after her mutant ability to control the weather manifested, she met T’Challa, prince of Wakanda. The two young teens spent much time together and had a brief romance. This was cut short when T’Challa’s responsibilities as prince got in the way of the relationship developing further.
After Ororo became part of the X-men, she had many trials which included taking leadership of the X-men, losing her powers, taking leadership of the subterranean Morlocks, getting her powers back, becoming a goddess of thunder, being regressed to a teen and getting restored to adulthood. She’s had challenges and love affairs and mentally went through hell.
And she came out stronger. Wolverine had once described Ororo as being like tempered steel – she’s been heated and cooled over and over again and it made her tough and strong.
She eventually rekindled her relationship with T’Challa and became queen of Wakanda which included a trial of meeting the panther god and gaining his acceptance. As queen of one of the richest nations of the world, she is one of the most powerful mutant leaders on Earth.
Ororo is a great role model for women as she spent her formative years with literally nothing but the tattered clothes on her back and learned to survive with the talents she could develop on her own. When she got her mutant powers, she used them to help others and fought for the right reasons. She constantly struggles with terrible claustrophobia and managed to kick ass even without her powers in a world full of mutants. At the end of her road, she came through and impressed a panther god and married the man she’d always loved.
What Storm Has Taught Us
One of the things that has been persistent within all of the Marvel Women has been the ability to overcome adversity. We all have this. It’s our own chink in our armor. It’s our personal Achilles heel. We have that one thing about ourselves that we would give anything to be without.
The secret is that our vulnerabilities are part of what defines us. Sure we all wish we started life with the advantages of having good facial bone structure and the metabolism to burn through chocolate cake with the effort of just breathing. But some of us, myself included, can’t get rid of those last twenty-five pounds no matter what we do.
Storm is a claustrophobe. She panics when she’s in enclosed spaces. To her, it’s terrifying.
Sure, she can fly with the winds, make lightning bolts that can fry an opponent, make a deluge of rainfall pretty much anywhere and rival the thunder god with her natural ability to cause chaos, but in the end, she can’t get into an elevator without getting nervous.
It’s like Captain Ultra. For those of you who don’t know him, don’t be ashamed. He is an early work of Jack Kirby and a failed member of the Frightful Four. He was a fantastic opponent against almost anyone, he could fly, had great reflexes, nigh invulnerability, superhuman strength, and x-ray vision. He could even make himself intangible. There was only one major problem, he suffered from terrible pyrophobia – which is a hell of a problem when you face off against the Human Torch.
A true phobia is crippling.
What’s worse, hers came as a result of her parents’ deaths. She survived as an orphan in a harsh environment, suffered heartache and rape, endured terrible physical trials, and still managed to lead a team of heroes into battle.
That takes courage. Ororo has the courage to face her fears and became great despite them. How many times will you find yourself in a situation where you feel paralyzed to do anything because your own fears keep you powerless. What do you do?
We can accept them and do our best to move past them, relying on our own strength and abilities to succeed.
That’s it for the six I selected. Are there more Marvel Women who young girls can draw inspiration from? Sure. These are just my picks. Honorable mentions go to the Scarlet Witch, Lady Sif, Clea, Lady Dorma, Mantis (she is, after all, the Celestial Madonna), Moondragon, Agatha Harkness, Jean Grey, and Gamora.
I hope you enjoyed this six-part Positive Marvel Role Models for Young Girls article as much as I did writing it. If you did, let me know. Please leave your comments below.