Looks like we’re in for stormy weather: Storm takes the spotlight for this week’s main review! This will involve SPOILERS for the whole issue, so scroll on down to the Rapid Rundown for a less-spoilery blurb of Fury #1.

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Storm #1Storm #1

Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: Sid Kotian
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Main cover artists: Alan Davis & Alejandro Sánchez

In this exciting first issue, set around the time frame of Uncanny X-Men #176 (published in 1983), Ororo Munroe faces challenges from every quarter.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the X-Men or only a casual fan of the mutants, Storm #1 will take you by the hand on a rip-roaring journey into the narrative tempest.

A Satisfying Chunk

As espoused by The Beat’s fearless Editor-in-Chief, Heidi MacDonald, the “Satisfying Chunk” theory dictates that a successful first issue of a comic will present the reader with a satisfying chunk of story. This in turn garners reader trust, ensuring they will return for the second issue (and thus theoretically keep periodical comics alive – long live floppies). 

Storm #1 successfully clears this challenge on multiple levels. First and foremost, this may be bolstered by the issue’s extra-long page count – at 33 pages in length, Storm is afforded enough space to set up the multiple conflicts facing Ororo in this story. But it’s also thanks to the fact that the issue uses these 33 pages economically, providing multiple scenes which each provide their own flavor of mutant action.

After opening on an en media res battle between Storm’s X-Men and Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, affording the issue some mutant battle action, the story shifts to a celebratory beach trip. Yes, that’s right: we managed to get some X-Men swimsuit action in here! Then, after a few scenes that see the mutants separated, the third act reunites everyone at the X-Mansion.

This multitude of scenes not only gives the reader the opportunity to enjoy a variety of different styles of mutant storyline, it also gives us a variety of perspectives on the somewhat uneasy status of the team at the time. It is also effective at showing us the varying types of challenges the mutants face in their day-to-day life, from superhero battles to (the unfortunately more relatable) harassment by losers at the beach.

Challenges from Every Angle

This issue also sets up a variety of different (and all interesting) challenges for Ororo to face as the story continues. In addition to the obvious external threat of the Brotherhood of the Evil Mutants (and their mysterious current employer), she’s also dealing with issues from within.

Several of the mutants on Ororo’s X-Men team are questioning her authority, namely, Kitty Pryde and Rogue. Pryde in particular calls out what she perceives to be an identity crisis on Ororo’s part, citing continuity to prove her point. And worst of all, Ororo’s facing a personal identity crisis, meaning Pryde’s words cut especially deep because Ororo fears they could be true.

Meanwhile, their disrespect for Storm’s authority motivates Pryde and Rogue to continue to rebel, leading to an interesting and complicated dynamic among the denizens of X-Mansion. Fortunately, Ororo has Logan to turn to, and the friendship between the two characters was especially well handled throughout this issue. 

And on top of all this internal conflict, there are plenty of problems transpiring outside, as well. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants are being paid by some enigmatic antagonist organization in possession of robotic spy bats. Another antagonist attacks Ororo at a harbor in the closing pages. And of course, there’s always the garden-variety mutantphobes ready to ruin an otherwise perfectly good day at the beach. The plethora of moving parts ensures this issue is jam-packed with mutant action from the first panel to the last.

Storm #1

Storm #1 features expressive art, with character reaction panels given extra attention, as well as multiple outfits for basically every main character. Coupled with interesting scenery and solid action – as well as some nice flashback pages coded by color to be instantly distinguishable – the issue is as satisfying visually as it is narratively. And shout out to Maher for lettering that goes above and beyond – check out Ororo’s subaquatic thought bubbles, for just one example.

An excellent first issue that promises even more satisfying story to come, Storm #1 belongs at the top of your list this week. 

VERDICT: The wind calls “Storm #1″!

Rapid Rundown!

  • Fury #1
    • This is a blast, just a fun way of celebrating 60 years of Marvel’s most famous spy.
      As he’s done with the Ant-Man and Wasp anniversary celebrations, Al Ewing brings his absolute A-game here, jumping from genre to genre as if it’s as simple as putting on a different hat. There’s a total mastery of voice throughout, whether that be a spy noir or 60s Lee-isms, or even classic war comics of the 40s, Ewing nails it, with excellent collaborators to boot. Jordie Bellaire and Joe Caramagna keep the entire issue cohesive from front to back, matching the intensity of each era in Fury’s life through ever-changing color palettes and over-the-top captions. It’s not easy to match the styles of four different artists, let alone four eras, but it’s impressive as hell to see them do it. Scot Eaton and Cam Smith ground us (as much as you can ground a Nick Fury spy thriller) in the present with a killer fight sequence and framing device, while Tom Reilly gives shades of Steranko in the swingin’ 60s with some sensational layouts. Adam Kubert flexes his muscles to give a pretty stunning homage to the legendary war comics of his father, Joe Kubert, and Ramon Rosanas rounds out the crew with quiet noir sensibilities… just set on the Moon. Fury was a phenomenally fun read, and I’d read it on a loop just to see Nick Fury call himself a nepo baby over and over — CB

Next week brings Amazing Spider-Man #26, most likely an unremarkable issue that no one will be talking about anywhere. In the meantime, catch up with past entries in the Marvel Rundown archive.