When the identities of bad-guy Apocalypse's Horsemen guard in the upcoming [X-Men: Apocalypse](tag:1194267) were announced at Comic Con last month there was a bit of a kerfuffle in the fandom regarding those chosen members - the two that created the most controversy: Magneto and Storm.
I've previously written a little about why I think Magneto is following Apocalypse, but Storm was a character that came a little out of centre field for a lot of people, given that Storm/Ororo Munroe is commonly known to be one of the most prominent members of the X-Men, even leading the team on occasion.
Storm has appeared in four instalments of the X-Men film franchise, but thus far we haven't seen her younger self appear as part of the prequel cast.
The (Very Brief) Origin Story
Storm first appears in the comics as an orphan surviving as a skilled thief in Cairo, where she first encounters Xavier. At the time she's working for her adoptive guardian Achmed El Gibár, who has secretly promised her to the Shadow King Amahl Farouk, a being of physic energy who can possess the bodies of humans. The Shadow King wants to use her as he can sense the power inside of her and wants to mould it to his own use.
However Xavier shows up and battles him, destroying his physical body, and Storm flees. She meets Xavier again years later, when she is then recruited into the X-Men.
Wait what? Storm has a mohawk? Yep, actually she went full on punk rock back in the 1980's for a while during the Uncanny X-Men run.
Though her appearance here, with the mohawk, black leather and chains, was initially proposed as "a bad joke" by artist Paul Smith, it actually gives us narrative markers to carry over into the film.
The punk rock mohawk look was adopted by Storm during a time when her normally cool and serene demeanour was rattled by a series of events. These included Storm being infected by a Brood (parasitic space alien) egg, which will eventually take over her body and kill her to birth a Brood. She contemplates suicide at this time, but is eventually healed by whale-like aliens (yeah, don't ask).
Shortly after this she becomes seriously ill at the hands of the Morlock mutant Plague, but still defeats their leader by stabbing her with a knife in order to save Kitty (Shadowcat) who she views as a daughter of sorts. She becomes the leader of the Morlocks then and tries (but fails) to foster peace between the groups. She later loses her powers and has her heart broken at the hands of Forge, so it's all a pretty dark time in Storm's life.
How Does This Feed Into Apocalypse?
Well, shortly after all this happens Storm regains her powers, but she's captured by mad scientist Nanny, who reduces her to her a pre-teen child and wipes her memory in order to use her as a pawn. Storm manages to escape but, with no memory of who she is she returns to being a thief and falls back into the crosshairs of the Shadow King.
She's saved from him this time by Gambit and does eventually regain her memories and her adulthood, returning to the X-Men.
Whilst this storyline doesn't give us a direct translation for explaining why Storm will be joining the Horsemen, it does provide a precedence for seeing Storm as less of a loving, motherly type and more as an angst ridden, confused and dangerous teenager.
If you take the young Ororo orphaned on the streets of Cairo (where likely she will first encounter Apocalypse), add the confusion of discovering her powers and lineage and take markers from the times in the Marvel universe where she lost her way, it's not a huge stretch to see how her character could be adapted into the Horsemen under the tutelage of Apocalypse.
Additionally, whilst Apocalypse is typically revered as a god, so was Storm. She's descended from an ancient line of African priestesses, and once she left Cairo for Kenya she became worshiped by local tribes, who believed that she was a goddess due to her powers.
Personally I think Storm has been a little underused in the X-Men films, though her reduced role in [X-Men: Days Of Future Past](tag:203942) was due to actress Halle Berry's pregnancy at the time. Storm is as terrifying a character as she is motherly (and it would take a much longer and more in-depth post to explain just why that is), and I don't really think that's been explored enough in the films as of yet.
Hopefully now though we'll get to see a bit more of that raw power as she figures out her path in life. In the comics it was on her journey from Cairo to Kenya that she developed her creed never to kill, after she accidentally kills a man who attacks her. Presumably there will be a similar path for Shipp's character to follow, as she figures out her own morality and more than likely will end up joining with Xavier before the end credits roll.