Warning: contains spoilers for X-Men: Curse of the Man Thing #1!
The Avengers pride themselves on being Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but Iron Man just acknowledged that even they recognize the X-Men’s Storm as an equal, calling to mind her short tenure as an Avenger just as the mutant is on the precipice of a mysterious new chapter in her life that might just see her rejoin the team.
Ororo Munroe, aka Storm, has long been a major player in Marvel comics. From her leadership position with the X-Men, to the brief time she spent married to T’Challa, aka Black Panther, ruling Wakanda by his side, she has been acknowledged as a hero, queen, and even goddess, but she has also claimed the title of Avenger. In Brian Michael Bendis and Daniel Acuna’s Avengers vol. 4 #19, readers got to see Storm join the Avengers. However, the trust between the mutant Storm and the (mostly) human Avengers was not to last. In 2011’s Avengers vs. X-Men, the potential threat of the Phoenix Force’s arrival on Earth created a rift between the two groups. As the rift grew into a true knock-down, drag-out fight between them, Storm chose to side with the mutants, leaving the team not long after she had joined.
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In X-Men: Curse of the Man-Thing #1, by Steve Orlando and Andrea Broccardo, the stage is set for mutants and heroes to band together once again to save the world. The Harrower – an even more extreme version of Poison Ivy who wants to scour humans from the Multiverse – has turned her sights on Man-Thing. Using the plant creature’s skin, she releases deadly spores across the world, setting her plan to destroy anything human into motion. To fight back, the Avengers need all hands on deck, and while the mutant nation of Krakoa seems reluctant to help. As Iron Man notes, “Storm brought a god, a sorceress and us stubborn Avengers to the table. Remind me to never negotiate against the former queen of Wakanda.”
The fact that it’s Storm’s powers that help turn the tide of the battle against Harrower’s spores, and that she did so despite all the history between her and the Avengers, is impressive enough that even billionaire Tony Stark takes notice. His respect of her abilities is clear to see, and something she has more than earned. At the same time, the recent Marauders #20 presented a collection of short stories about Storm’s accomplishments, further exemplifying why the Avengers were so keen to recruit her the first time around.
Having rejected Krakoa’s resurrection protocols, Storm is leaving the X-Men to make the most of her finite life. With invitations from Wakanda and the Shi’ar Empire, there are many places she might end up next, but with relations between humanity and mutantkind more complex than ever, it would also make sense for the Avengers to offer Storm a place on the team, especially given they have a slot free following Blade’s decision to take up the role of sheriff in Dracula’s vampire nation. Storm may or may not accept an invitiation from the Avengers, but as Iron Man sees in this issue, they’d be fools to let such a powerful, capable hero slip through their fingers once she becomes available.
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