The X-Men‘s Ororo Munroe, a.k.a Storm, is one of Marvel’s most important mutants. Commonly called the Wind-Rider or Weather Witch, Storm joined Xavier’s league of mutant heroes, as a friend, confidant, and sometimes even a motherly or sisterly figure to her fellow X-Men. However, in another universe and timeline, Ororo took a very different path in her life.
In Uncanny X-Men #160, the X-Men were dragged into Limbo, where they faced Belasco, corrupted doppelganger versions of themselves, and even their own corpses. There, Storm and her allies received help from an older version of herself, clad entirely in magician’s robes. This version of Ororo was also pulled into Limbo alongside her teammates, but was unable to escape. Her teammates fell prey to Belasco, with only Kitty Pryde surviving and resurfacing as “Cat,” a much more feral and ruthless version of herself. In Limbo, Ororo’s weather powers weren’t enough to help her survive. To adequately defend herself, she turned to ancient magic and became a powerful sorceress.
In addition to her mutant abilities, this version of Storm had magical powers that included astral projection, rapid healing, object transformation, psychokinesis, and extrasensory psychic powers that allowed her to sense and feel things beyond her presence. Limbo Ororo demonstrated her sheer magical powers in her battle alongside the mainstream X-Men, much to their shock, proving her reputation as a “goddess” as more than a simple nickname. However these new magical powers came at a cost–her mutant abilities grew weaker and put greater stress on her body as she grew older.
Although she is able to send her younger Prime Universe self and most of her X-Men allies, back to their dimension and free them from Limbo, young Illyana Rasputin isn’t so lucky. Belasco kidnapped seven-year-old Illyana and used part of her soul to create a new Bloodstone and make her his apprentice. Ororo rescued Illyana and most of her soul before the corruption could be completed, but discovered that part of Illyana was forever tainted. Cat suggested killing Illyana before she could become a threat, but Ororo defied this and instead decided to raise the girl and teach her magic.
Thus, Storm became a mentor and a maternal figure to Illyana. She taught the young mutant magic realizing that she not only needed to protect herself but she also needed to be prepared to fight Belasco. Illyana learned astral projection and how to summon weapons, as well as how to heal herself and fight. As she learned, the young mutant became more aware of the hidden darkness that lived inside of her.
Unfortunately Storm was unable to prevent Illyana from being kidnapped by Belasco once again. Despite her best efforts to rescue her young pupil, Ororo was mortally wounded in the ensuing battle. Belasco announced his intention to sacrifice Ororo’s soul in order to create another Bloodstone, and gave Illyana the choice of either corrupting Ororo’s soul or killing her. At Ororo’s urging, Illyana stabbed her, freeing her soul and sparing her from being corrupted in Belasco’s ritual.
Limbo-verse Ororo demonstrates a path not taken for the mainstream version of Storm. Trapped in a dimension far from home, she made the best out of her situation, expanding her powers beyond weather manipulation, and becoming a formidable magic user. Although the story for this Ororo ended in tragedy, he at least died as herself–someone who, in Illyana’s words, was strong, gentle and kind, someone who created life for its own sake.
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