Movies, Pop Culture

Screw ‘Black Widow’, Where’s Our Storm Film?

If your allegedly feminist film is not minority inclusive, there’s still a lot of progress to be made.

Storm1Lately, I’ve been hearing cries for a Black Widow film– ever since she appeared in 2010’s ‘Iron Man 2,’ actually. Black Widow is a fantastic character, let’s not take away from that. But what I want to see more than anything is a Storm film.

The character of Ororo Munroe/Storm is criminally underrated. Her parents are David Munroe, an American photojournalist, and N’Dare, a princess of a Kenyan tribe and a descendant of a long line of sorcerers. Ororo has the ability to control the weather (this is the biggest understatement of all time, but let’s just say it’s waaaaay more than just “the weather”). Ororo’s parents die in a plane crash and she is taken in by Charles Xavier– yeah, that Charles Xavier. Later, after many offers from several kings, she marries Black Panther and becomes Queen of Wakanda. On top of all that, she also becomes leader of the X-Men after Cyclops takes leave. Ororo is an extremely powerful mutant, a descendant of witches (with latent magical powers), literally a QUEEN, and leader of the X-Men. Since her power is connected to her emotions there’s a compelling struggle between the two that serves as her angsty Kryptonite. She also grapples between the duties of being a member of the X-Men and a royal leader. And lame-ass Wolverine gets his own franchise? Please.

[bctt tweet=”Where is Storm’s solo movie?!” username=”wearethetempest”]

As far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes, Ororo Munroe was here first. Halle Berry portrays Storm in the X-Men film franchise and the character has cameos in the Wolverine movies. In the franchise, this ass-kicking queen with relatable inner struggles never amounts to anything more than a secondary character. Blasphemy, I know.

[bctt tweet=”Ororo Munroe was here first.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Of course, the “I was here first” argument isn’t the strongest. Ororo Munroe is more important than Black Widow and here’s why: Storm is the first major Black Woman superhero from either Marvel or DC Comics. “Major” because Misty Knight was introduced a few months before Storm, both in 1975. However, Storm takes the major role here because, according to Marvel, “she had a bigger impact as the first black female superhero to star in an ongoing title”. That title being the enormous franchise of X-Men. There had been plenty of white female superheroes by the time Storm entered the scene. Hell, Lois Lane was turned into a black woman for 24 hours in 1970 before we got an actual black woman superhero!  Regardless, Storm is groundbreaking. She welcomed little black girls into the world of comics. Her presence undoubtedly made young black women believe they could be as powerful and regal as Storm. For this revolutionary character to not have her own film is insulting, to say the least.

[bctt tweet=”She welcomed little black girls into the world of comics.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Just like X-Men’s mutants was used an allegory for racial minorities and the LGTBQA+ Community, Storm could be a vehicle for social change. Black women are constantly put down in American society; our bodies are valued: big butts, plump lips, dreaded hair, for example, but we as people are not. Having Storm at the helm of a major franchise could help change the way Black women are perceived and treated in America. Imagine how many black girls could grow to love themselves after seeing Storm in all her regal glory? Not to mention, the possibility of Storm taking on modern issues like police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Just imagine the doors Storm could open for other black female superheroes. Think of what ‘Twilight’ did for vampires in film! They are literally everywhere, and that franchise was garbage. Imagine having one of the many dark-skinned talented actresses in Hollywood on the big screen bringing depth to Storm’s character. Imagine Ava Duvernay directing (she’s already being considered to direct the Black Panther and Captain Marvel films)! Imagine all the little Storms running around during Halloween! I’m all for female lead action films, but Storm deserves her time in the spotlight more than most.

Let’s be honest, every time white feminists hail a film or show as a “female driven” story or “feminist film,” it usually is devoid of WoC. At the very least, it will have a white passing actress to be the token WoC (I’m looking at you, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’). Even Halle Berry’s Storm doesn’t properly depict the dark-skinned Kenyan woman Ororo is. I have a strong feeling a Black Widow movie will be just like that– filled with white women kicking ass, and maybe one WoC (and even then, white passing WoC). These female driven films and shows that get made these days are nearly always about white women, yet they are seen as the pinnacle of feminist cinematic achievement. If your allegedly feminist film is not minority inclusive, there’s still a lot of progress to be made, and a Storm film would be the perfect start.

[bctt tweet=”WOC are left out of ‘feminist’ works all the time.” username=”wearethetempest”]