When one thinks of the most iconic X-Men of all time, Storm certainly is at the top of that list for many people. But for some reason, Storm was largely ignored and underutilized for most of the entire first year of the X-Men relaunch (save for a few notable appearances like Vita Ayala’s Marauders issue). S.W.O.R.D. has already declared that Ororo Munroe is here to stay –and S.W.O.R.D. #8 gives the weather witch her well-deserved spotlight.
Since she started appearing in S.W.O.R.D., Ewing has made it clear that he understands Storm is an absolute badass. The entire issue reads like a love letter to her, especially for those who have followed her story since Giant-Size X-Men. The entire concept of her fighting to keep her leadership instantly reminded me of that iconic Storm vs. Cyclops issue –and once again, Storm proves why she’s not to be messed with.
Storm being without her powers isn’t new for X-fans. We’ve seen that arc before — of course we knew how the Tarn fight was going to go. But seeing it in action is still a treat and it’s clear Ewing not only knows Storm’s lore, but has a lot of respect for the character. This is an extremely exciting chapter in her history, seeing her take charge of Arakko and earn the respect of the Arakkii. If this issue proves anything, it’s that Storm has such an interesting future ahead of her — and both she and her fans have certainly earned this.
Another interesting aspect of S.W.O.R.D. #8 that can’t go ignored is how Ewing builds the world of Arakko. Since X of Swords, Arakko has been largely untouched by any X book. It seemed like such a waste for so long, to have this entire cast of characters and lore just ignored — but S.W.O.R.D. #8 gives hope that this will not be the case any longer. The Great Ring is established, we see some Arakkii practices in action, and through Storm’s involvement, we’re probably going to get lots more of Arakko in the future. Considering they’re all living on Mars now, the opportunity for new stories has only grown.
Guiu Vilanova does a great job of showing off how terrifying Storm’s powers can be and capturing her regal nature. The last page of the comic itself with Storm looking at her own face in the clouds is really a standout panel for how it captures the feeling Ewing’s script intends. The writer-artist duo really do go together here like peanut butter and jelly.
S.W.O.R.D. #8 is a love letter to Storm’s legacy and outlines an exciting future for one of Marvel’s most iconic characters. It’s hard to read this issue and not get excited for what comes next.
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