C2E2 2014: Greg Pak Forecasts 'Fierce' STORM in New Ongoing Series
Storm #1 cover
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
Storm is one of Marvel’s most popular heroines, but never had her own ongoing series – until now. As announced at C2E2’s Sunday panel, “Wolverine: 3 Months To Die,” this July writer Greg Pak and artist Victor Ibanez will kick off Storm, an all-new globe-trotting series pitting the X-Men’s weather-controlling mutant against natural disasters and man-made tragedies. Pak tells Newsarama that the first arc will see the windrider balance threats at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning while also fighting in the Caribbean. Storm will reportedly focus on "the kinds of crises only Storm would notice."
For years, Pak has openly pined for the House of Ideas to launch a solo Storm series, and the New York-based writer says his fandom for Ororo runs all the way back to the Uncanny X-Men stories of Chris Claremont and Paul Smith. And now, he has his chance.
Newsarama: Greg, what can you tell us about this new Storm series?
Greg Pak: I've loved Storm since I was a kid biking down to Lone Star Comics in North Dallas to stare in awe at that amazing Paul Smith art in those crazy Chris Claremont Uncanny X-Men stories. At a certain point in my life, Storm might have been the biggest, fiercest, and most fun non-white hero I'd ever encountered in fiction. I was a half-Korean kid, not a black woman. But it didn't matter. Storm was evidence that everyone was invited to the party. And I love the way writers over the years have explored Storm from many different angles -- in all her incredible strength and weakness. She's never just been a boring role model; she's always been multifaceted and human in her heroism. Yet she's always been distinct from other characters because of her specific experiences and perspective. Storm sees things differently from most of her peers -- and she'll walk through doors they might not even know exist.
In this series, Storm cuts loose and goes places no other X-Men ever would or could. She's going to bring the thunder -- no matter what the consequences.
Nrama: Storm is best known as a member of the X-Men, but she had a whole life before Xavier recruited her and also during her X-Men tenure with Wakanda, the Fantastic Four, and elsewhere. Is she acting as an X-Men, a queen, a goddess, what?
Pak: Storm's one of the X-Men's most valuable assets and frequently their moral center. But she's been a street thief, a goddess, a persecuted mutant, and a queen -- she's seen everything and through hard earned experience has learned to empathize with oppressed people everywhere, not just mutants. So we're going to explore the kinds of crises that only Storm would notice, the kinds of challenges only she will rise to. And, of course, we'll see what kinds of problems that may create for her and her fellow X-Men.
Nrama: You've spoken openly for quite some time about your strong feelings for Storm as a strong character worthy of an ongoing series. How'd it come about now that you'd get that chance here?
Pak: A few years back, I had the chance to write an alternative-universe version of Storm in Astonishing X-Men, and man, I loved it. In 2011, I was even shameless enough to retweet a fan petition plugging for a Storm book written by yours truly. And then a few months ago, Marvel editor Daniel Ketchum called me out of the blue and said he was putting together a Storm ongoing, and would I be interested? And my head popped off.
Daniel's been an amazing collaborator. A Storm series is his dream project, and we've literally spent hours on end talking about the character and story and angle we're taking. We're doing our darnedest to make this as fun and fierce and deep a story as the character deserves -- hope y'all dig it!
Nrama: What previous Storm stories do you see as the touchstones for how you identify who Storm is to write her, and why?
Pak: Many writers have done amazing work with the character. Probably the stories that I remember most are the Claremont classics. I love depowered Storm taking on Cyclops, the Kitty/Storm friendship, the Barry Windsor-Smith collaborations, and the classic Callisto duel.
But here's a funny thing... one book that's really stuck in my head over the years is What If? #79 -- "What if Storm Had the Power of Phoenix," written by Sarah Byam. I don't want to spoil it, but it's a totally insane story that shocked the heck out of me. I'm not saying I'm planning to take Storm down that particular path. But it's a great reminder of another side of Storm. She's not just a nurturing Earth mother -- she's tough and righteous and even dangerous, and that's part of the fun and glory of her stories.
Nrama: And who and what is she up against in the first arc of your new Storm series?
Pak: In a seemingly idyllic corner of the Caribbean, Storm takes on massive natural threats and uncovers even more deadly man-made dangers -- while dealing with a shocking challenge in the heart of the school in Westchester.
We're making a big statement about our hero and her world and setting up some pretty huge things with this first issue and I strongly encourage you to pre-order today with your local shop!