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philippos42 said on August 3rd, 2012 at 10:04 pm

I thought it was a weird idea when they did it. I don’t think Claremont ever had Ororo date black guys, let alone African ones.

It would be like suddenly having Jennifer Walters marry Matt Murdock because they’re both lawyers–except worse, because Shulkie & DD arguably have common interests and live in the same country, so it almost makes sense. Did Ororo and T’Challa have any such thing in common?

That’s not to knock any of the writers and artists who later tried to make it work and sometimes succeeded.

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I think it was a racist move: Storm is from the African continent, T’Challa is from the Arfican continent. So obviously they must know one another! And it is obvious they should have a retconned history! It’s like saying someone from France and someone from Poland naturally should know one another and hook up because their countries are on the same continent.

You are right in that it would have worked much, much better had there been a year or two of build up, perhaps have their relationship have ups and downs because of her X-Men and his Avengers status, their roles as leaders interfering with their budding romance. Have factions in Wakanda want Storm dead in favor of forcing T’Challa to marry a native Wakandan.

Or why not have Black Panther join the X-Men? Hepzibah was an X-Man, so is Lockheed. Non-mutant X-Men are not unheard of. Imagine the argument:

Cyclops: You can’t join, because you aren’t a mutant.

Storm: Sure he can join. I beat you for leadership of the team when I didn’t have powers, technically I wasn’t a mutant then.

Cyclops: …

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When I got into comics, I knew Storm had a thing for Forge and that’s about it. The most she knew of Black Panther was what everyone knew; king of a country and an Avenger. The back story on how their “obvious” attraction and marriage came off as contrived and out of left field. Yes, a year or two of courtship would have been better, but still come off as kind of stunt-ish.

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I always saw their marriage as forced but I actually think this is one of the better endings to a superhero marriage.

There was no demonic pact that confused the couple’s history. There was no universal reboot that completely eliminated a couple’s history. There was no incomprehensible recton where you’re not sure what was real and what was a dream and “til death do us part” wasn’t complicated by a series of resurrections. No one was being impersonated by a shapeshifter. No one has to be the bad guy for leaving his first wife (who soon dies) for his reborn ex and then leaving his second wife (who also soon dies … again) for the shiny new model.

There’s just a husband and wife who – after a separation – found themselves on opposite sides of a superhuman war. They actually have a chance to explore the human cost of what looked to be yet another summer money grab*.

It still happened. Not legally, of course, but you sort of expect that kind of dick movie when one of the parties involved is a king.

*Though I realize this is Marvel so it’s doubtful they’ll ever mention the marriage again. Still, there’s potential there and that’s more than can be said for the other breakups where we’re just waiting for the couple to get back together again. We know Superman and Lois Lane will be together again eventually but I doubt the same is true for Black Panther and Storm.

I wonder how long it’d take for Northstar to be single again.

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But Tom, Reginald Hudlin is black, and he was the mastermind behind the Black Panther and Storm marriage!

(he is also the mastermind behind Wakanda having the cure for AIDs and cancer but keeping it to themselves because non-Wakandans are unworthy)

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One of the cons should really have been, “And it smacks of racism in the way that two token black characters are automatically presumed to have a common history, background, and emotional compatibility.” (While I do think that both characters have, at times, been elevated above their status as token black characters, there’s still no question in my mind that they have been used in that role all too frequently in their history. Storm, especially, was explicitly created as “the African one”, and when she’s also the only black cast member for decades at a time, that’s hideously awkward.)

That said, having them divorce also brings in its own pitfalls of oblivious race-based insensitivity, so in general I’ll just give Marvel an epic fail coming and going. :)

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Hey, just because Hudlin is black doesn’t mean he can’t pull a bone headedly racially insensitive move.

I had no idea Wakanda had the cure for AIDS and Cancer. Guess their motives for holding it back from the rest of the world makes them black Nazis. Way to go, Hudlin. Way to go…

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I believe it was more Namor launched a devastating attack

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storm & black panther was such a bad idea. first of all, it was contrived and borderline racist. secondly, it took what is marvels arguably most prominent female character (storm), most prominent black character (storm), and one of the most prominent members of the x-men (storm), and reduced her to a supporting character. it weakened one of marvels most visible and potent characters and the entire x-men franchise.

they want a black hero that can support their own series/cartoon/tv-series/movie franchise, fine. they should have made an ongoing storm solo book. i think she works better as part of the x-men, but it still would have made more sense than the marriage.

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Walter Kovacs said on August 4th, 2012 at 10:46 am

“This is all a symptom of a bigger problem in both Marvel and DC–they get so caught up in figuring out how to sell a comic right now that they fail to plan how to sell that same comic later”

More than even being a comic problem, this is a huge reason that the economy in general is in a bad place, as so much incentive is put on short term instead of long term. See: politics, publicly traded companies, wrestling booking, network TV, etc …

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SilverHammerMan said on August 4th, 2012 at 11:04 am

I could see them having some attraction, maybe T’Challa is to the African continent what Prince Harry is to Europe and North America. I mean, how funny would it have been to find out that Storm is a closet tabloid reader who’s been crushing on Black Panther for years? The way it was actually handled though kind of sucked.
I guess I’m another of the people who actually really like how the breakup went down, firstly because it was just so cold that I literally burst out laughing when Black Panther just matter of factly stated they where no longer married, the whole exchange is gold in my mind. But also because no one really looks like the badguy here, yeah Black Panther comes off as a dick, but it’s understandable, his country just got devastated by one of her crazy teammates and it’s understandable that he might react in an emotional way, and Storm is obviously to stunned by the sudden annulment and the events of AvX that she can’t process it yet. I’m sure we’ll see her deal with the fallout in one of the X-books at some point, though sadly I doubt we’ll actually see Black Panther deal with it on an emotional level.
As comic book divorces go, this one is kind of sudden and predictable, but not so bad as “I sold my wife so that my decrepit aunt might live and I could move back into her house despite being a grown ass man with a career.”

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William Kendall said on August 4th, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hudlin was a complete hack of a writer who took a character as brilliant as the Panther, totally fucked around with continuity to serve his own purposes, and drained all the life and vitality out of the character just so he could have things just so.

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Mark Temporis said on August 4th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I believe the very first Pather/Storm pairing — which was actually good, but good by virtue of it could never go anywhere because duty — was Christopher Priest.

Hudlin just sort of used that issue to match them up and it totally didn’t work because of what you guys said up there. Mainly because IMO you have (like all too often IRL) a fantastically successful woman subordinating her career to a much lesser man.

I’m not talking about their places in the MU, but IRL–where Storm is a far, far more popular and well known character than Black Panther. It’s almost as if DC partnered Wonder Woman up with…oh, let’s say, C-list Suicide Squad member Nemesis.

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American Hawkman said on August 4th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Yeah, Priest introduced the idea that T’Challa and Ororo were attracted to one another in his Black Panther run, but also the knowledge that there was no way it could work due to their duty. Which made sense.

The real crime of the marriage was it ended the whole T’Challa/Monica Lynne thing that had been going on since the 1970s. Which had a lot of pathos.

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Edgar Allan Poe said on August 4th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Take a couple of years to tell the story of their relationship, and I can see T’Challa and Ororo working really well as a couple. The implementation is really what killed it, and that’s just one more symptom of the disease that’s slowly killing the big two.

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It looks to me like Marvel made an editorial decison some years ago that they would build their X-Men stories around Cyclops/Emma and Wolverine, so Storm had to be relegated to background character status in a way that didn’t take her entirely off the table. They married her to the Black Panther, sent her off to the Fantastic Four, then basically left her in limbo, right up until she was shunted to The Avengers for no coherant reason. She was always sort of there, but she didn’t affect anything.

Now that the Utopia-era is about to end, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they ended the marriage purely to free up Storm for a central role in the X-world.

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I fully endorse them annulling that marriage.

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I think Tony is right, which is sad when you consider the sheer number of X-books out there. Surely there should have been an X-Men book where Storm played a prominent role? Wolverine and The X-Men makes no sense to me in that Wolverine is supposed to be a caring headmaster in one comic, and and assassin in X-Force…and an Avenger…

Can we admit Wolverine has been using Life Model Decoys? It’s the only explanation.

Anyway, Storm should have been headmistress, not Wolverine. Storm and Kitty, together again!

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In all fairness, I thought T’Challa replacing Daredevil and getting his Batman on was pretty good.

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Equally annoying, Eric Jerome Dickey’s (I think) retcon of their first meeting. Instead of Storm teaming up with T’Challa to fight off evil South Africans kidnapping him (with both getting their licks in), it’s a drugged, completely helpless Storm saved by the big strong man.

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I’m wondering how Marvel can fuck up a character that looks as visually striking as BP can be (see Texeria & Priest’s run), as well as being, well, like Bat-Man (rich, super fucking good at everything).

Or is it that Marvel can’t write black heroes? Or is it that the black writers that have written Black Panther fucked it up so badly that it reads like Mary-Sue fan fiction or wish fulfillment? Or is it that Marvel’s readership just isn’t interested? Because Black Panther looks cool, has a cool background (except for guys in gorilla costumes), can fuck you up ten ways to Sunday, but just can’t seem to get it together.

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To answer the issue about doing comic story lines for the “right now” rather than the “later” – there is no guarantee the “later” occurs. Writers get shifted all the time, a major event can be scheduled that screws up all that planning or editorial can annoint particular characters as unusable by writers for a while.

So while it might end up being a rush, if that’s the only time a writer can guarantee getting access to both Storm and Black Panther and really wants to tell that story, now might be the only shot they get.

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Aside from all the issues mentioned above with its treatment of Storm, I’m surprised that any Wakandan supporting cast (there was a Wakandan supporting cast right?) and populace didn’t object to BP marrying a foreigner who was a controversial figure at the least, depending on one’s stance on mutant rights.

Instead, no, of course the king gets what he wants and the strong woman becomes arm candy.

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Michael P said on August 6th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

I never understood why Storm couldn’t be a supporting character in Black Panther AND a major player in the X-Men. The argument against seems to assum this is impossible, but I never saw why.

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I never really liked Storm (and the abrasiveness of some of her more vocal online fans doesn’t really help) so I don’t mind that the X-Men “lost” her for a while.

Unfortunately I haven’t been too impressed with what I’ve seen of the post-Morrison X-Men so it doesn’t really matter to me if she’s there or not.

Plus I loved Priest’s Black Panther and – aside from some good F4 issues by the late McDuffie and an okay street level stint – I haven’t liked ANYTHING Marvel has done with BP since Hudlin came along. Here’s hoping Hickman can do some damage control in Avengers.

It’d be kind of funny if Storm and Panther both end up in the Avengers so they’re forced to work together after the break-up.

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It’s about time. I have relatives (God help me) who honestly believe that Prince William should have his marriage annulled because his wife hasn’t produced an heir to the throne yet. Hell, my great-uncle turned 80 this year, yet his main concern involves living long enough to see the newest heir to the throne.

Given Marvel’s current narrative (Civil War Marriage, then Secret Invasion, then Siege, then Spider Island, then Fear Itself, then A vs X), I’d think that a competent writer/writing team should have dropped hints about Ororo’s… lack of fecundity around the time that the Wasp realised that she was actually a living human bomb. The Black Panther cartoon specifically focused on the fact that the main reason for his eventual marriage was to maintain the chain of succession.

Bottom line: no heir + turning your back on your “people” to wander around the planet with your prior obligations + allowing your prior obligations (read: Namor) to murder thousands of “your people” = “get out of marriage free” card.

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See, the thing that always struck me about it was “…Really? It’s progressive to have black people marry other black people? If you wanted to be progressive, why not let Panther marry a white woman who he actually shared history with? That wasn’t even legal for a while.” The core of BP, in my opinion, has always been issues of politics and race, and Storm doesn’t really add anything to either.
Of course, the Hudlin run managed to miss the point of both by turning Wakanda from a scrappy anti-imperialist country that persists thanks to skillful leaders and magic metal to a society of hyper-enlightened black übermenschen unironically portrayed as more dickish Tolkein elves. So I’m not sure any formula could have worked out.

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Scavenger said on August 7th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Some points:

Claremont did the first pairing in the MTU.

Priest wanted to marry them, but wasn’t allowed to. So is it still racist since he had the idea first?

Priest also ended the Monica Lynn thing because it was stupid.

Breevort is just a huge tool.

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we could as easily accuse Hudlin (or Priest) of racism if they’d had an interracial relationship: “Of course, to prove a black person has arrived, they have to hook up with someone white. They could never ‘settle’ for hooking up Storm with T’Challa.’”

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T’Challa being attracted to Ororo makes a lot of sense, she’s gorgeous and he’s attracted to strong women.

However, while know she’s never really had a “type” (to the point where a lot of us think she’s bi), I can’t remember Ororo ever being attracted to black guys.

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I think ComicsAlliance said it best when they said that Luke Cage is the only black character that’s become a super hero first and a black guy second. Marvel doesn’t have a solid handle on any of their other black characters, from Falcon to Black Panther to Storm to Blade. They’re all black people first and super heroes second, unlike Luke Cage.

As such, Bendis seems like the only writer right now who can pull off a black hero really well, while everyone else seems like a honkey fumbling over how they think black people act. Priest literally had a white character observe all of Black Panther’s weird African culture, but it was amazingly well done and like 99% unoffensive.

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The marriage was a great idea. I read all of the Black Panther comics during that story line and what Marvel to develop it more. I what to see a heir and what powers the heir would have. No divorce please!

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