Story Chris Claremont and Tony Bedard
Pencils Clayton Henry
Inks Mark Morales
Colors Christina Strain
Letters VC’s Joe Caramagna
Assistant Editor Sean Ryan
Associate Editor Nick Lowe
Editor Mike Marts
Warlord Joe Quesada
Peacekeeper Dan Buckley
Cover by Leinil Francis Yu and Dave McCaig
Cover Dated 2006
Usually I don’t give attention to the top brass editor times for a comic issue but if they are going to play around with their titles, I will spotlight it. It harkens back to the good ol’ days of Marvel editorial. Must be cool to be an editor at Marvel and have your name appear in so many comics.
So irritating that for whatever reason, they didn’t just name this Annual 19 but around the year 1999, Marvel – for a time – started naming their annuals after the year they cameo out. Back when they were starting to realize that the smaller the issue number on the cover, the better it was to sell. A practice they are still doing, even more so, now than they were back then. So instead of doing the math that this would have been annual 25 (which would have been a thing to celebrate) they decide to restart the number. Which these new numbers stop at three (I do own the third one but not the second) so the practice doesn’t have a nice payoff.
Also not great? That cover by Leinil Francis Yu and Dave McCaig. Just feels like a cover I’m constantly putting the cover face down so that my wife doesn’t see it. There is just something about the way Storm’s bikini that doesn’t seem necessary. I get that she is in Africa and getting in touch with her heritage but it just seems like an excuse to draw Storm in a bikini. I really like Yu’s style for the most part, so I’m surprised by the cover but who knows. It may have been for something else and they threw onto this or it was a last minute thing.
I don’t know, the more I look at it the more the cover starts to look like your typical comic cover so maybe it was just the way Storm’s bottom part of her bikini looked but I may have been over reacting.
Speaking of Heritage, this is billed as a Prelude to the Wedding of the Century. If only it was billed as the Marriage of the Century, maybe these two crazy kids would still be together. I’m planning right now to cover Storm and Black Panther’s wedding storyline next November for my wife and my anniversary. This year will be the Jean and Scott wedding – so that is something to look forward too. Neither marriage is still active but there are not that many X-Men Marriages so I have to work with what I have.
So this issue, Storm is dealing with should she accept Black Panther’s marriage proposal. She gets separated from the X-Men, gets hurt and has a fever dream that has various characters, one of them being Kitty Pryde – hence why I own this issue.
I really like the Storm portions of this story more so than the X-Men sections. That’s probably due to having Claremont handling the character.
Inside front cover is an ad for X-Men The Game, the bridge between X-Men 2 and X-Men 3. I really like the Nightcrawler levels. Iceman is a lot of ice sliding which got old fast. Wolverine sections made for a good Wolverine game. The game is for PS2 and XBox. Even in 2006? It doesn’t feel that long ago but I remember playing this game so much, trying to get all the collectibles.
Issue opens with Storm on the ground. She’s been hurt. She is buried under some debris.
She starts her fever dream. At first, she sees her parents as they died in a similar fashion, being buried in rubble. She was a young girl when she lost her parents, a fact that I often forget about as it doesn’t seem to define her except for this is the event that caused her claustrophobia. Her parents memory gets twisted as they start rising like zombies, claiming that no one comes back from the dead – for the most part. Which Storm is a good daughter here because, by 2006, almost every person she knows, has come back from the dead.
This transitions to the beginning of her fever dream with Forge. Christina Strain gets to have some real fun with most of these fever dreams as the pages are partially colored and partially left non-colored. It is a great technique to show a dream state.
This is during the time after House of M when the government had Sentinels guarding the X-Men, The O*N*E program. One of them is hovering right next to the Kenya border, as he doesn’t want to start an international incident. Not like he would do anything if he was right behind the mutants.
So Storm had a mission to unseat a warlord, Colonel Shetani. She had asked the X-Men for help. The ones who showed up are – Cannonball, Bishop, Psylocke, Rachel Grey and Nightcrawler. Cannonball doesn’t do much in this story. When the met up with Storm in her hotel room, the militia found their location and attacked the hotel. Storm quickly summoned some wind and blew the X-Men away and she didn’t have time to escape herself, so that’s why she’s under the ruin hotel now.
Psylocke wants to take the fight to the street troops that are attacking them. Nightcrawler is worried about the families that live in the surrounding homes. Rachel can’t use her telepathy as much as there is static.
The troops are using high grade weapons that Kurt doesn’t believe they should have access to.
There is a two page ad for Superman Returns The Game, which like all Superman games, is horrible.
Back in Storm’s dream with Forge. Forge essentially just talks to her about how dreams are important. They imply that their relationship was good and it ended just because it was time. Which isn’t my memory of their relationship, once she learned he was responsible for creating the gun that took away her powers, it was over. Did they have a second relationship?
Forge wonders if this next relationship of hers will result in the same situation, of it running its course. Also, that he would never keep her in a cage, they are birds and need to be able to fly free.
We see Colonel Shetani for the first time. He is ruthless, willing to sacrifice every one of his men if it results in the deaths of the X-Men. He is told that every one of his men is on the scene. Shetani tells that foolish man that their wives should be called then. He picks a few of them to retrieve Storm, he wants her alive.
Back with the X-Men. Shetani’s troops unleash what they call, screamers. This knocks out Rachel’s telepathy. Psylocke doesn’t seem to mind. The last thought Rachel heard was, Hellfire. Kurt wonders if the Hellfire Club is backing this operation. Bishop states that hellfire is also a name of a missile. Just then, the missile lands. Psi-shields from both telepaths save the team.
Kurt has to make a call, stay there and endanger lives or take the fight to the source and leave Storm behind. He decides that Storm knew the risks and tells the team to move out. Bishop recognizes the tough call.
Storm has a new visitor in her dream, Jean Grey, in her classic green miniskirt outfit. Storm’s dreamscape moves from jungles to New York City. They talk about how this is the location where their friendship was formed. Jean would talk about Scott and Storm would pretend to not look at the guys. Storm tells her old friend, that she wasn’t looking at the guys. Storm never liked the way men looked at her, like they were hyenas and she the prey.
Jean asks if there is anyone who catches Storm’s eye. Storm reveals to Jean (who is her mental version of Jean – so she should already know all of this) that Black Panther, T’Challa, has proposed marriage to her. Storm is hesitant as she is worried what that means to her future. Does she just become a baby factory for the kingdom, creating future heirs? Does her days get planned out for her by his staff? Will he eventually move on to younger women? Which, as far as I know, Storm was his first real relationship so that’s like 40 years of him not going after younger broads but we really don’t know his day to day life. Not until Christopher Priest’s amazing run with the character during the Marvel Knights days. That’s how I really know the character, outside of Busiek’s run on Avengers and a few appearances in Fantastic Four.
Storm confesses that T’Challa was the first boy she ever loved, if love is even the right word. I believe there was only one instance of them back in the day being shown to have known each other as children. Around this time though, there were miniseries and such showing all of this detailed history that was recently ‘discovered.’ Trying to show that this isn’t just a marriage of Marvel’s two big name African characters being put together because they both happen to be African.
Storm doesn’t know if she believes in love. She looks at her friend, who she thought was in a loving relationship but Scott betrayed her, twice! Which is unfair as both times Scott has been not with Jean, she was dead so he has the right to move on. Now, was it pretty quickly? Sure. Was one of them an identical clone of her? Sure. Scott’s a complicated guy. Jean defends him with the same logic. Storm wishes she told her parents earlier about how Jean comes back from the dead.
Jean asks why Storm never looked for her other family members after her parents’ deaths. Which is a valid point, and one I just assumed she did do. The men at the dreamscape bar have now become hyenas and Storm runs away. Jean is left to keep the animals at bay.
In RL, the floor that Storm has been laying on finally crumbles out from under her. She lands in a buried tomb that was below the hotel. A spear has punctured her side. Waking her for a time.
The X-Men are still under attack. Kurt recognizes this fight doesn’t play to their strengths. Rachel tells him to teleport the team one block away. He does so and when they land on the roof, they crash right through it. They see a frighten mother and her two sons.
Back with Storm’s body. A couple soldiers are getting closer to where she should be. They take the time to loot. Three sambas come at them, asking what they are doing. The sambas threaten the troops, that they will kill their family and explain why the troops went off course instead of sticking to their task at hand.
Bishop tries to soothe the mother’s fears. She doesn’t want to help the X-Men as she will be killed. Her oldest son wants to help but she is worried that her sons will be turn into sambas. Rachel finally asks the question I needed the answer to. Sambas are children that Shetani has turn into killers.
The son decides that he likes school more than killing and if the X-Men promise to dethrone Shetani, he will help them. He points to the nicest building in Turkana, the one building with no damage to it, that is where Colonel Shetani is. I would have made the assumption but I don’t live the life of an X-Man.
Storm’s dream finally gets good. Also, the coloring starts to solidify as Kitty is Storm’s true north. Storm wonders what is wrong with her. Who is she running from – the hyenas, Jean or herself? Kitty, in her old school X-Men trainee uniform. Kitty tells Storm that it is the third option. Kitty then makes a fun – Welcome to Storm’s nightmare, Kitty Pryde. Hope you survive the experience – comment. Storm is happy to see her old friend.
Kitty, now in her green Ariel uniform, tells Storm to not to fear. Everything Kitty ever needed to know, comes from her time with both Storm and Wolverine. Storm was essentially her second mother.
Storm agrees that she is close with Kitty as well. Storm wishes she has more family traditions.
At this time, Kitty is in her blue Excalibur outfit and the coloring technique is gone, now Storm is aware of what she really wants in life and her dream is complete.
If she ever had a child, she would want to sing to that child the same songs her mother sung to her. But she doesn’t even really remember those songs, just pieces of it. Whereas T’Challa, in Wakanda, every step or sight he sees, he has family history. She wants that.
Just then, the hyenas are back. Storm is now in one of her hero uniforms, and helps Kitty fight off the beasts.
Just then, the Panther God appears, ready to help. Storm denies it its chance, she needs to do this herself. We’ll see the Panther God more in the wedding issues of Black Panther. Storm was once treated like a goddess, so she treats gods as peers.
Storm tells the Panther God that she will be an equal to T’Challa. That’s the only way she can be. Kitty wonders if Storm should be trying to anger the god.
Clayton Henry does a great job drawing Kitty for these few pages.
The sambas get closer to Storm’s body. They can tells he is breathing. One of the boys tries to wake Storm by toying with the spear. Doing so would cause her pain so her instincts kick in and she electrocutes them. Her thought process states that she would try not to kill them if she had time but she doesn’t. Which is pretty badarse but she still doesn’t kill them.
There is an ad for the Minimates X-Men : Dark Tide DVD that I looked up at Marvel Database and Kitty doesn’t appear in it so that’s one less DVD to try to locate and own. I own two of these Marvel Minimates, both of them Kitty. One of them, her blue outfit, came with a Lockheed along with a Captain Britain toy. Which I suppose I do own the Captain Britain, I’m just not counting it. The other Minimate should have came with a Beast and has Kitty mid-phase (and her Astonishing uniform) but I’m pretty sure I bought that on eBay and only got the Kitty one.
The lightning blast also heals Storm’s wounds. At least, it cauterizes the wound but she gets around just fine.
The X-Men finally get to Shetani. Shetani wants more missiles dropped, which would kill hundreds of his own men but he doesn’t care. Just then, a tornado comes through the building. Storm is not happy.
Storm wants to know why Shetani is out to kill her. It is because he is her … uncle! dun dun DUN!!! So he is defeated and he tells Storm where the rest of her relative are.
Which is odd, as I’m sure during LifeDeath, she did find some relatives but she probably has more unknown ones than known ones so it makes sense that she still be on this quest. So she finds them in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. There she finds her … grandmother!
So the issue ends with Storm having a new family and that she tells Psylocke that she needs to talk to the King of Wakanda, as she owes him an answer to his question.
Which, did he propose to her, she told him she needs some time, and she walked away from him? Seems bizarre but it is Storm so she gets what she wants.
. . .
Now that it is officially today, I can finally announce what has been happening all month long. Like with my birthday month, this surprise can only work the one time. Today, Shadow and Flame with Magik turns a year old! We did it everybody!
I would like to thank those who follow the blog through our link here, our Twitter followers and those following through Facebook for the continued support.
I would like to thank my wife, Kristie, without whom, this blog wouldn’t be nowhere near as active as it is or there will only be one hundred word posts – which maybe might be something people like or what to see.
Also, thank you everybody who comes and visits the blog, whenever you do it! If it wasn’t for the continued traffic, I would feel like I was crazy for even attempting to do this day in and day out. Here’s to another year!
Just for the bragging rights of it all, look how big and international we are here at S&FwM!
We’re slowly taking over the world!
Here are our stats :
Best Ever View Per Day : 85, which was May 25, 2014
All Time Views : 2,607
Comments : 114
Review Posts : 215
Posts : 366 (not sure how that isn’t 365 as I never double posted – that I am aware of)
Categories : 30
Tags : 596
Followers (Blog) : 41
Followers (Twitter) : 13
Followers (Facebook) : 3
Followers (Tumblr): 2
Followers (Total) : 58
At 62 views – our most popular post has been … X:DoFP – Kitty Pryde’s Time Phasing Powers.
Our event months and the latest X-Men movie did wonders for this blog.
I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish in just one year. I thought no one would even find it and I’ll be posting for my own sake but thank you so much for checking us out and please forgive my gushing over the blog and its stats. I mostly just want to have this so that I can compare it with next year’s numbers.
Here is to Year Two!
July is going to be a pretty straight forward month but August is going to be Frank Miller Month starting the 3rd.
oh, and a special Thank You to Graconius, my pal over at the Comic Book Revolution message board for resizing my logo so that I can use it on various other social media sites! Really appreciate it!
Hope you all like the Logo! That’s all my doing but the resizing of it was kicking my butt.
It looks super simple but after working with it for a couple hours, I’ve sort of fallen in love with it.
. . .
If anyone is thinking of buying Captain Marvel 6, from 2000, because comicbookdb stated Kitty was in it – don’t. She’s like the only main X-Man not present. I have since took her off the issue there. Storm, Jean, Marrow and Rogue are the only ladies present. Unfortunately, Lonestar Comics isn’t interested in buying it from me for another four months. Maybe.
. . .
Also, also – last night on Big Brother, the ‘half the house’ alliance Bomb Squad was created and their weakest leak was revealed. Devin, making decisions without the group and I also forgot that he was one of the parents in the house.
We learn how the nominations works, one HoH goes first so the second one has to pick people from who is left. That does make sense. Caleb’s side won so Frankie is no longer the HoH so we are back down to one HoH.