Storm Costume History
Storm first appeared in the 1975 issue of Giant Size X-Men #1. As one of the most powerful X-Men, she has almost complete control of the different weather elements and can manipulate them over a broad surface area. Ororo Munroe has been a vital member of the X-Men and taken on the role of team leader several times. She comes from a long line of African witch-priestesses and was worshiped as a goddess before joining the X-Men. After marrying the Black Panther, she became queen consort of Wakanda.
Dave Cockrum created Storm by combining several characters he was previously going to use for the Legion of Super-Heroes. When co-workers were concerned that Storm’s white hair would make her appear old, Dave was confident in his creation. With good reason, Storm would become extremely popular and continually ranks among the hottest women in comics. Since her creation Storm has appeared in most of the X-Men comics, video games, and cartoons.
Upon Joining the X-Men Storm was given a team costume. She wore a black bikini joined together with a gold ring. She had on the standard thigh high boots that many superheroines use for kick supervillain butt. To make her appear more decent and less like a streetwalker, she was given a black cape outlined in yellow. The cape closed around her neck and was attached to her arms with gold bracelets. Ororo Munroe added personal touches to her costume as well. She used a ruby gemstone, from her mother, as a brooch to clasp the cape together and a tiara. Tiaras are a standard princess addition to any superhero outfit, just ask Wonder Woman.
Almost every heroine goes through that awkward stage where they attempt to blend modern fashion into a superhero costume. These two rarely mix well and are always quickly dated. For Storm it was her punk rock phase. After returning from space and staying in Tokyo, Storm became a lot tougher. She shaved off her long hair and turned it into a mohawk. The little bit of color she did have in her clothing was gone. She was now wearing all black, from her boots all the way up to her metal studded choker. This along with her gloves, tight leather pants and snug shirt gave a very hardened vibe. Her ensemble was topped off with the leather vest she had won from Callisto, after defeating her and taking over as leader of the Morlocks. It was during this time that she would first wear her lightning bolt earrings that would later make it into almost all of her costumes.
Goddess of Thunder
When Storm lost her mutant powers Loki kidnapped Ororo and tempter her into becoming the Goddess of Thunder. He gave Storm Freya's cloak of magic feathers and a replica of Thor’s mystically enhanced hammer. With these items Storm was able to control the weather once again. Her new Asgardian outfit was able to blend Strom’s feminine sexiness with her enormous power. It was a lot flashier than what she normally wears but by keeping the mohawk the readers knew who this new goddess was. Will she ever live down the mohawk?
Ororo would eventually regain her powers and again fight alongside her fellow X-Men. Her new costume would be a combination of her past outfits. This time around Storm would be fully clothed in a full body, leather, black and grey suit. The sleeves were puffy and appeared to have shoulder pads but the rest of it was form fitting. Always important to advertise your superpower, Strom had a lightning bolt run across her chest and down to the belt. Nobody can say she didn’t warn her enemies. The cape was back although the outline colors were more subtle than her previous gold trim. Perhaps living with the Morlocks in the tunnels beneath New York humbled her.
The X-Men have attempted to wear team uniforms on several occasions. With the group back together they wanted to create a feeling of comradery. This would be the one of the few times their team uniforms would look almost exactly alike. There was no imagination needed with these costumes. These skin tight, blue and yellow spandex suits revealed every curve of the human body in amazing detail. The gloves were so big they could have been used for welding. Since Storm controls lighting this would make sense for her but not the rest of the team. Every team uniform needs to show off their logo and Storm had a large red belt with a huge X on the buckle. They made a boxing championship belt look tiny.
The X-Men split up into two groups when the original members came back to the team. Storm was put in charge of the X-Men Gold Team. She went back to wearing a black and gray leather outfit but this time it was more streamlined. The baggy arms were gone and so was the lightning bolt on her chest. Her 80s shoulder pads were gone and in their place she had something that more resembled armor. Her cape was again attached to her arms with gold bracelets but the brooch clasping the cape at her neck was replaced with two huge red shoulder pins the size of hubcaps. These shoulder pins had a large X to show off her X-Men membership. No longer needing a championship belt to advertise her allegiance, Storm could now wear a simple slim gold belt. Once again we find Jim Lee behind one of the best known looks for one of our X-Woman.
After wearing uniforms for so long Storm wanted a more stylish clothing look. She went back to showing off her midriff but had more fabric than her original bikini. Her skin tight shirt started above her waist covered her upper arms but left the shoulders exposed. This was her attempt at counteracting wearing shoulder pads for so long and show people she had nice shoulders. Wanting to get maximum stomach exposure, she wore tight low cut pants. Her boots were distinctly separate from the pants as they were bulky and did not blend as seamlessly as past versions. The identifying X was on the belt again but this time in a much more manageable size. The cape was replaced with two long pieces of fabric. They still attached at her bracelets, giving off the same fluid effect. As time passed Storm would add her tiara back in and remove the flowing fabric. She also changed up her color scheme from the classic black and gold to purple and silver.
Back to Basics
Storm next switched to a costume very similar to her original outfit but with some modern upgrades. Rather than a bikini she opted for the tight full body suit. Still recovering from the shoulder pad days her arms and shoulders were exposed. The rest of the classics were back. The cape was more stylized but still had the gold trim and it was attached with gold bracelets and a gemstone brooch. The royal tiara also made an appearance. She did add a sash with tiny lightning bolts. It is important to accessorize according to your powers.
This costume gives me the feeling of a formal military dress uniform. She is wearing the black full body suit but again it leaves her arms exposed. Not wanting to reveal too much skin she has full length gloves that travel slightly past her elbows. In addition to wearing a tiara and her lightning bolt earrings, storm also added a jeweled belt and thick Egyptian style necklace. Her black cape with gold trim is now wrapped around the neck and across her chest. The ends of the cape are pinned with X symbol medallions at her hip and shoulder. It is the way she drapes the cape around her that gives it a formal appearance. Storm’s power and beauty are clearly highlighted in this ensemble.
When Storm left the mansion with several other mutants they formed the group known as X-Treme X-Men. While in this group her costume was a Christmas gift from Yukio. This short sleeve swimsuit covered her arms but showed a lot of leg. It is important for superheroines not to be too modest. Most of the costume was a solid black. However, along with the gold trimmed cape and lightning bolt pattern on her chest, the color red was incorporated as part of the team color. Storm’s sleeve cuffs were red along with the inside of the cape. Her thigh high stiletto heels may not have been the best choice for fighting but at least if her feet ever started to get sore she could get off of them by flying around. Always one to accessorize, Storm wore her tiara and this time used her mother’s ruby gemstone as a choker.
While at the Xavier Institute, Emma Frost gave Storm a variation of the standard X-Men school uniform with X logo on the front. However, Emma has never been known for her modest wardrobe selection and the uniform given to Storm was no exception. The sweater was skin tight so there could be no mistaking Storm as anything but a fully developed woman and it exposed her stomach so that she would not get too hot. Storm’s uniform was completed with matching thigh high boots and a mini skirt. I believe this uniform was designed by somebody who did their research at a strip club as opposed to an actual private school.
The X-Men tried to move away from the superhero costume look and into more regular street clothing. Of course, comic book street clothing still standout in a crowd. Storm would wear a black or grey pantsuits with red lining. Rather than a cape she would have a matching trench coat and scarf to give the same fluid effect.
Considering Storm’s first costume was a fancy bathing suit it should come as no surprise that artist are often put storm in more revealing clothing choices.
For a heroine who constantly makes the sexiest superheroine lists it was appropriate to cast an actress who regularly ranks as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. Halle Berry played Storm in all three X-Men films from 2000 to 2006. Unlike her portrayal of Catwoman audiences loved her in this role.
Despite the variety of outfits Storm has worn over the years mass market costumes have been relatively limited. That has not stopped fans from finding their own interpretations of their favorite heroine.
If you enjoyed this article, you can find links to my other Costume History Hubs by clicking on the link above. Explore the history of some of the greatest female superheroes in comics through their costumes.
Google Images (Images appeared on several sites and was unsure of original)
And of course: Reading way too many comic books.