X-Men '97's Most Underused Character Just got a Major Powerup

The Mistress of the Elements is back... and stronger than ever.

Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith) in X-Men '97
Marvel Studios

When Storm lost her powers in X-Men ‘97’s second episode, it felt like the series was setting up an iconic comic book storyline. Those theories were confirmed when Storm’s path crossed with Forge, the one mutant capable of helping her restore her abilities. Their partnership — and eventual romance — begins in Uncanny X-Men #186, otherwise known as the Lifedeath arc. But it takes years for the Mistress of the Elements to get her powers back; it’s not until Uncanny X-Men #225, released in 1987, that Storm becomes Storm again.

Fortunately, X-Men ’97 fans don’t have to wait nearly as long to see Storm return to fighting shape. The series speedruns the events of Lifedeath across two episodes, and in this week’s “Lifedeath — Part 2,” Storm’s predicament reaches a satisfying conclusion. Spoilers for X-Men ’97 ahead!

Storm and Forge’s star-crossed adventure continues in “Lifedeath — Part 2.”

Marvel Studios

When we last saw Storm in “Lifedeath — Part 1,” she and Forge had tried and failed to restore the former’s powers. Forge’s mutation gives him an instant understanding of machines, allowing him to build anything intuitively, but the device he creates to help Storm doesn’t work. As we later learn, Storm’s power loss might have more to do with her inner turmoil. The pair are attacked by the Adversary, a trickster from another dimension that feeds on despair and self-loathing. Forge is poisoned by its bite, while Storm appears trapped in a spiritual plane.

“Lifedeath — Part 2” sees Storm attempt to save Forge from the Adversary’s venom, and face off again with the entity. Though Forge managed to banish it with desert magic, the Adversary returns to hunt Storm. It’s only later that Storm realizes she had unwittingly been summoning the demon, and that it’s drawn to her feelings of inadequacy.

Like so many mutants, Storm had been weighed down by the fight for mutant rights. “No matter how many we saved, my mutant gifts inspired twice as much hate in humanity,” she tells Forge. She calls the loss of her powers a blessing in disguise, saying, “I am better this way.” But that’s really just a lie she tells to protect herself. And when the Adversary returns, she’s forced to confront that delusion and face her deepest fear.

Storm finally gets her powers back by fighting against her self-doubt.

Marvel Studios

Storm eventually manages to overcome the limits of her mind. Her powers return... and they seem more effective than ever before.

Not only is her mastery of the elements restored, but Storm also manifests an all-new look. Her mullet grows out to resemble her look in the original X-Men cartoon, and she swaps out her all-white suit for a black one-piece and cape, arguably her most iconic costume.

While it’s a bit of a bummer to see punk-rock Storm go, X-Men ’97 is working on a major rebrand. Bringing back her “original” design is a pointed choice, one that may signal a real shift for the character. With Storm’s mojo back and her powers stronger than ever, there’s no limit to what she can accomplish. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when she rejoins the X-Men, especially after the devastating events of “Remember It.”

X-Men ’97 is streaming on Disney+.

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