P:R Redesign: Erica Henderson’s Storm!

Note: Storm is arguably one of the stylish heroes in the superhero biz judging by the number of wardrobe changes she’s gone through over the years. And artist Erica Henderson returns to P:R with a design harkening back to Ororo’s roots, specifically to the Dinka people of Africa says the artist. She’s really showing off her goddess roots, and the hair is great! – Chris A.

30 comments on “P:R Redesign: Erica Henderson’s Storm!
  1. At some point, I would like the world to acknowledge that Africans, generally speaking, WEAR SHOES.

  2. When will P:R do a Storm Redesign competition?

    I do like that Marvel has caught up with me and made Ororo Munroe an Avenger. LONG OVERDUE, IMHO.

  3. I actually really like it. I always thought she needed something that spoke of her roots more. Though I wouldn’t have gone nearly as far. I like this and think it’d be great for her to wear as Amabssador off Wakanda or Utopia. That said it’s not a very battle ready costume (not that many of her costumes are). I would keep the colors, and some of the material and have that draped over a more traditional X-men costume. I’d also keep the anklets and bracelets.

  4. This is a redesign that I can get behind. Love the vibrant colors that for some reason are never part of Storms various outfits. The bright color scheme works great against her dark skin complection without making here appear cartoony.

    For practical purposes she could use some footwear, maybe something like these, based on traditional African tribesman sandals…
    http://www.jamati.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/maasai-treads-sandals-3.jpg

    Also, that hairstyle (combined with being white) makes her look a bit old…but that’s easily tweaked. Love this design.

  5. She looks incredibly dowdy and more than a bit masculine. Those aren’t inherently negative traits, but I just don’t find this appealing in any way.

    Sorry to be so critical, especially as I like a lot of Erica’s stuff.

  6. @Tracer Bullet: but the Dinka people don’t generally wear shoes, though- Africa isn’t one big homogeneous group of people, and Erica specifically referenced a tribe rather than drawing her as a generic “African goddess.” Sure, she’d be wearing sandals if Erica was drawing from, say, Maasai imagery, but she didn’t.

    -C

  7. and here we go again…

    Every time a superhero is not born in USA sooner or later someone will draw him\her with clothes that stereotype his\her country
    Just because Ororo is african it doesn’t means that she HAS to dress as an african.
    The same story for heroes from other countryes,Italians?Make them dress as Legionaries.Egyptians?Make them dress as Pharaos.Indians?Make them look as Indian Gods.
    Not to mention Native Americans,they will have war paints and feathers for sure.

  8. Choice of the Dinka as a model is puzzling, since Ororo is supposed to be from Kenya, where they most certainly do rock the footwear. And the rest of her costume looks closer to Masai than Dinka (though it also looks deliberately made to be hard to pin down tribally, which kind of argues against the whole specific-tribe thing).

    Having said that: this is so utterly superior to the bog-standard Ororo-wearing-a-weave-and-dressed-like-a-stripper paradigm that it’s no contest at all. I also like that she’s not portrayed as a supermodel, pace the usual “oh my, that looks masculine” complaints.

  9. Good point about the sandals, both of you. I more have an issue that this feels more like an outfit than a costume.

    Speaking of the continent Africa, I’d love to see more comics set the urban areas of Africa and traditional superheroes found there. With T’challa and Storm as a base for the continent as the leaders of a nation, this gives us a chance to see them actually explore that

  10. I actually love the drawing, she looks like a woman without being spindly, but nothing but the ‘X’ badge and white hair suggests Storm to me. She could be anyone, and actually, it wasn’t until I read the name that even knew who it was. That to me just doesn’t signify a good redesign I’m afraid. Perhaps if the colours were simply black and gold? Although this outfit in black and gold would just look like a drapey dress and cape so perhaps not…

  11. I love this. This shows a strong woman, proudly African. This is someone I could believe as the Queen of Wakanda, wife of T’Challa the Black Panther!

    This is someone I could believe as a leader second only to Charles Xavier, a pillar of strength in the xmen.

    It never liked the image of Storm coming from Africa but dressing in some latex-punk 80s number with exposed ass.

    Her costumes haven’t fit the character in the past. Sandals might work becuase realistically the Xmen walk around cities a lot, I like the sandals posted earlier.

    I love the fact that these robes can catch in the wind. I like the bright colours.

    Another A+ redesign from this great blog!

  12. Phil: It never liked the image of Storm coming from Africa but dressing in some latex-punk 80s number with exposed ass.
    Her costumes haven’t fit the character in the past

    And if she would come from USA would be ok for her dressing like a punk?
    I think it’s very racist the argument that only because a person,or an hero,comes from a coutry different from USA he\she have to wear a costume that stereotypize her country.
    People from Africa aren’t forced to dress like a Masai,they can wear what they want,even latex costumes

    yeah,now I ‘ve realized……THIS COSTUME IS VERY RACIST!

  13. @BobDobolina
    If she’s usually wearing a weave, is she wearing contacts as well? Like it or not (I don’t, particularly), it’s an established aspect of the character that her mutations include straight white hair, blue eyes and somewhat Anglicized features. If you’re not into that, you’re probably better off looking for a whole different character to follow.

  14. Phil: It never liked the image of Storm coming from Africa but dressing in some latex-punk 80s number with exposed ass.

    Her costumes haven’t fit the character in the past

    What’s frong for a person coming from Africa wearing latex suit?
    Just because an hero\heroine doesn’t come from USA he\she has to wear a costume that stereotypize his country?
    So Colossus should dress as a cossack and Banshee should dress like a leprechaun?
    Just because Ororo is African it doesn’t mean she have to wear as Masai or something,Heroes and Heroines from other countries can wear what they want and still stay in contact with their origins,not to mention that when a person moves to another country it’s very common for her to adopt the customs of that country.

  15. Like it or not . . . it’s an established aspect of the character that her mutations include straight white hair, blue eyes and somewhat Anglicized features.

    Yes, Jim, I know it’s “established” for Storm to look suspiciously un-African despite her supposed Africanness. I vote that it ought to be disestablished. Particularly in the interests of demonstrating that white comic-book readers can actually encounter African hair on an African character (or for that matter, African costume on an African character) and not faint.

  16. I’m kind of on your side for this, though I do like see a lot of characters actually being american stereotypes. How many heroes, especially classic ones, wear some variant on Red, White and Blue? Wonder Woman is an Amazon, but wears those very colors and star spangles panties. Spiderman, Superman and the STAR SPANGLED KID do it. There used to be a whole industry dedicated to making superheroes of Wild West characters in the American media. Even in the DCU, we have Jonah Hex, who is nothing more than a wild west character.

    The fact of that matter is that I’ve noticed when you leave America, the number of heroes in tights I’ve encountered is slimmer. I’ve heard of Mexican heroes wearing suits and other clothes in Luchador masks. A lot of heroes in anime do wear variants of regular clothes or traditional japanese clothes. American heroes are built on circus performers and Strong-men because that’s what stoked the collective imagination back in the day. In nations like England, Germany, Different nations in Africa and parts of Asia, we see a different mythology in play for the people. We have trickster spiders and japanese fox spirits. Britain has the Arthurian lore to look back on and Celts have their own monsters. Writers may be weakly grasping at straws with these outfits, but I have no problem believing that, left to their own devices, people in other parts of the world wouldn’t default to the tights of American superheroes

  17. NOPE,there are no more AMERICAN superheroes,superheroes are read in every part of the world and they’re international nowadays and there are so many aliens and foreigners characters who live in usa and dress in “normal” superhero costumes without any reference to their country of origin.

    Red and Blue colors ARE NOT AN AMERICAN COPYRIGHT!!! they are two colors,and they can be used together without any reference to the stars and stripes if there isn’t white:superman’s costume doesn’t have white,nor spiderman’s costume(white of the eyes doesn’t count).Star Sprangled Kid was a patriotic hero from the beginning,if you considere he has a sidekick called Stripsey.

    And when you leave America you have to remember that foreign superheroes in comic books are STILL drawed by AMERICAN DRAWERS,and they are inclined to draw them in a sterotypical way,as you said Arturian and Celtic mithology for Britain,Ninja and Samurai for Japan,and there are many other examples i can do.

    But what happens when heroes are created in other countries?
    Just watch the british characters:Judje Dredd,Deathshead,Motormouth and many others,they’re fresh and they’re modern,no references with miths,nothing that stereotypize Britain.
    As well for japanese heroes,just think about Power Rangers,sure they did Ninja and Samurai series but they’re only 2 on,I think,more than 20 series(in Japan) where they have nothing to do with japanese stereotypes and traditions.
    And in anime and manga we have a lot of superheroes who has nothing to do with japanese traditions,Sailor Moon for example,not to mention all the japanese supertecnological heroes.

    So the idea that heroes from other countries has to wear costumes following their traditions and stereotypes is TIPICALLY american.

  18. Sailor Moon is wearing a Japanese schoolgirl’s sailor suit. The bow in the back calls to mind a kimono more than anything else. Power Rangers is called Sentai in Japan, using influences cribbed from Marvel Superheroes. Please, do research

  19. But what happens when heroes are created in other countries?

    All countries are not in fact all that interested in American-style superheroes, which have a specific history as an offshoot of carnie, strong man and professional wrestling culture. The Indian comics industry got its start chronicling the Mahabharata and Shiva — that’s the deity, who is generally not, unsurprisingly, pictured as being clad in tights — remains a durable brand to this day.

    Honestly, the argument that anyone who’s Not a Real Racist is dressing all their heroic characters in tights is completely silly on its face, and seems to be functioning to screen for whatever is really going on with your over-the-top defensiveness, insecurity and aggression over having to see an African woman dressed in something that looks like non-European clothing. I don’t pretend to know what’s going on there, I honestly don’t want to know, but please stop trying to pretend your agenda is all about your being the high-minded apostle of diversity in this room. Your attempt to accuse the artist here of racism is absolutely risible, and frankly I think you need to be more concerned with the log in your own eye.

  20. I think what is especially telling is what he wrote in defense of exploitative outfits in the comments section of the post talking about Captain Marvel’s new outfit. He sees no problem in outfits that are erotic for no reason, but cultural outfit, those get his dander up.

    I also tend to dislike dragon lady outfits on Asian female characters and ridiculous stereotypes in other ethnic characters. That said, if they paid absolutely NO attention to where those characters come from, I’d have a huge problem then too. I love the Banshee, Siren and Black Tom thing posted. That was so lovingly crafted with thought to a Celtic background but didn’t resort to exploiting it. My nitpicks on those were minor.

    I mean, when I visualize heroes from other countries, I tend to go to that country’s visual media for cues. Japanese heroes get manga influences (I don’t mean the eyes or art style, I mean how they design stuff. It’s different in a very good way). Chinese have their own comics industry to draw from. The varying tribes of Africa have a wealth of interesting visual concepts in their history and folk art AND modern nations for more traditionally flavored Superfolk. I’d love to see a light throwing Kirby hero fight a Kimono clad Samurai, and them both be from the same country! That tells me that you don’t HAVE to be a stereotype, but I still remember where you come from and what that means.

    Why don’t we have any Onmyoji in American comics?!

  21. Hey guys do you know THE 99?
    do they look stereotypated?
    are they dressed as pharaos or pyramids or egyptian gods?(like every hero from middle east ,whatever is his country of origin,who is created in usa)
    NO!
    they are dressed in normal superheroes outfits,why?
    Because when superheroes are created in other countries they don’t dress in silly stereotypical costumes.

    Edwin Latorre in Sailor Moon the bow on the back is only a decoration,the kimono bow is TOTALLY DIFFERENT,please do research

    Edwin: .I mean, when I visualize heroes from other countries, I tend to go to that country’s visual media for cues.Japanese heroes get manga influences (I don’t mean the eyes or art style, I mean how they design stuff.It’s different in a very good way).Chinese have their own comics industry to draw from.The varying tribes of Africa have a wealth of interesting visual concepts in their history and folk art AND modern nations for more traditionally flavored Superfolk.I’d love to see a light throwing Kirby hero fight a Kimono clad Samurai, and them both be from the same country!That tells me that you don’t HAVE to be a stereotype, but I still remember where you come from and what that means.
    Why don’t we have any Onmyoji in American comics?!

    THAT’S THE PROBLEM
    You can’t visualize heroes from other countries using media,If people outside USA should do the same foe american heroes there would be a lot of superheroes dressed as cowboys,football players and even hamburgers,because that’s how usa is represented in media

    about Onmyoji it’s because in comic books japan is only ninja-sushi-samurai,then don’t tell me there is not a sterotypation.

  22. BobDobolina: Honestly, the argument that anyone who’s Not a Real Racist is dressing all their heroic characters in tights is completely silly on its face, and seems to be functioning to screen for whatever is really going on with your over-the-top defensiveness, insecurity and aggression over having to see an African woman dressed in something that looks like non-European clothing

    My problem is not that I see an african woman wearing an african dress
    my problem is that I’m seeing STORM!
    And she never wore something like that,and comments like

    “It never liked the image of Storm coming from Africa but dressing in some latex-punk 80s number with exposed ass.
    Her costumes haven’t fit the character in the past. Sandals might work becuase realistically the Xmen walk around cities a lot, I like the sandals posted earlier”

    that says she has yo wear african only because she’s african are very silly,and racist,this is a costume that doesn’t fit for Ororo for how her character was created and then evolved in her publication history.

  23. My problem is not that I see an african woman wearing an african dress

    It looks to me like it is. That you’re so disproportionately upset that someone would dare interpret the character with an African look — enough to go straight for the “you’re the real racist” line — is something of a giveaway.

  24. Plus, crazy thought, media from that country is usually written by AND for people of that country. It carries themes that are important to the social conciousness of that group. The problem is when people only copy surface elements. You’re making no distinction for people who create characters who aren’t beholden to surface elements, like several characters in X-titles, like Karma or M or Jubilee or god knows how many others.

  25. I always interpreted Ororo’s weird collection of various ethnic signifiers (straight hair, oriental lobes, blue eyes, dark-skin) as a signifier that all peoples originate from Africa and these traits existed, if only recessive, since the dawn of humanity. Her hair/ethnic features aren’t related to her mutant gene, as we have seen her various ancestors with the same features- relating to the generic earth/African goddess.

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