Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 Review: A Funny Existential Exploration

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1
Storm tackles an existential crisis: if I'm going to come back to life, why fight death?

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 continues from August's Giant-Size X-Men: Fantomex #1. We see the X-Men's perspective as Fantomex asks for help to travel into "the World" to pull off a task that's more emotional than strategic. Here, though, we find out that the X-Men have their own plan of action once they're in the World: separate Storm from the technological disease that is killing her.

Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 cover. Credit: Marvel Comics
Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 cover. Credit: Marvel Comics

Jonathan Hickman writes the script for Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1, and seeing the narrative continue from his and Rod Reis's Fantomex one-shot was thrilling. That comic earned a perfect score for its enthralling artwork and captivating story, so it's a welcome surprise to see the tale continue focusing on Storm. This issue is much more of an X-Men caper than an emotional, character-driven story, but there is a compelling question at the center of the issue that Hickman explores with depth: if the X-Men can resurrect themselves, why fight against death? Storm asks herself this as she risks her life in an attempt to rid herself of this disease, and while the answer brings up more questions, the questions themselves are meaningful and extend beyond the X-Men. There's commentary on superhero comics in general here: why do we invest in characters' fighting for their lives when all deaths lead to resurrections eventually in the narrative? More compelling, there's the human question that Edgar Winter once asked… but personally, I know if from the 2Pac song: why are we dying to live if we're just living to die? The fatalistic look at things is that yes, we all eventually die… but it's the fight, the living of life itself, that defines what it is to be alive.

The artwork for Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 is by Russel Dauterman and colorist Matthew Wilson… the team that made Thor look so damn good while they were on it. They do the same for Storm, with expressive faces, creative action, and soft, textured colors. Along with letterer VC's Ariana Maher, they make a beautiful comic.

That Johnathan Hickman can dip into that kind of existential exploration in a superhero comic like Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1, which fully embraces its silliness and goes for the joke more often than for the heart in this issue, is impressive. That last bit is no points off, either. This Storm comic is funny as hell and has its own voice apart from the Fantomex story that it spins out of, and I've said it before, and I'll say it again: for an art form called "comics," there are few genuinely funny comics coming out. This is one of them.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.