Ainet, the adopted mother of the X-Man Storm, is on the run from a new religion rising in her village. This new religion worships an entity called Uovu. Her life seems to be at an end, and Ainet lets out a prayer. This prayer returns the hammer, Stormcaster, to Ororo Munroe. Now, a representative from Wakanda comes to inform Storm that Ainet is believed dead, and Ororo returns to her former home to pay respects to Ainet and investigate what is happening in the village.
I'm glad we're getting another Storm-centric story from X-Men. That said, there is a lot about this story's setup that gives me a yikes feeling.
Ororo's origin story is somewhat forgivable given the fact that I too would probably assume a little girl controlling the weather is probably a goddess.
Here…look, much of Africa is impoverished beyond imagination, but there's still something a little gross about the village being made of straw huts, the villagers being ready to accept just about anyone who claims to be a god in their world full of superheroes, and then an advocate for Uovu's cult claiming the term "death cult" is bigotry. It all comes together to make the book just a little, well…yikes.
That aside, the book is padded to hell and the actual tension doesn't get to ramp up until the final two or three pages. Even if the comic didn't have more than a few moments of yikes, it would still be wildly mediocre.
Michele Bandini does some good work on the visuals, giving the book a sleek and deceivingly simplistic aesthetic. A couple of panel framings mess with the perception of space, but that isn't too big a problem in the grand scheme of the book. There is a pretty awesome splash page of Ororo summoning the Stormcaster; I dug the hell out of that. Erick Arciniega's color work tries to pull some life out of the palette of greens and browns, but there isn't much that can be done given the way the setting is presented.
X-Men: Gold #33 is a dull and slow-moving affair that at least tries to give Storm her own story as we near the end of this title's run. I want to like it more than I do, but the fact is the story goes nowhere and does so at a snail's pace. I can't quite recommend it.