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COUNTY Storms body hit the wall, casting
shards of broken glass into her silky white hair.
a leader of the Gene Nationalists, had taken over a subway
car full of innocent humans, intending to massacre them.
Jean Grey, Northstar, Destiny and Rogue, Ms. Storm's fellow
X-Mena team of mutants who protect the rest of mankind
from superhumans and alien threatslay crumpled around
Ms. Storm, temporarily stunned by Ms. Marrow's sharp projectiles.
Storm, who has the ability to control the weather, is
many things. A mutant. A superheroine. A woman. An African.
One thing she is not: a quitter.
a fierce burst of wind, she hurled herself upon her assailant,
and plunged her nails into Ms. Marrow's flesh. I
had to rip her heart out of her chest, Ms. Storm
recalled months later at the Xavier School for Gifted
Youngsters in Westchester. Pretty gory stuff. More
Wolverine's territory than mine.
hurt Ms. Storm most that day wasn't the bio-energy blasts,
the psionic attacks or the gouging bony protuberances
of her opponent. It was the slight, real or imagined,
of her mentor, Professor X, who is white. When we
returned to the school after the battle, he saw me and
just nodded, said Ms. Storm. I had just ripped
out this chick's heart. Her heart. For him to just nod
that way, with his chin like he's all down.... I'm pretty
sure I saw him hug Rogue afterwards, and touching her
is totally dangerous.
whenever Ms. Rogue, a white Southerner, makes direct contact
with another person's skin, she absorbs that person's
powers and memories. Ms. Rogue currently has a reporter's
sense of mission and recollections of working at the Cleveland
coffee at the Xavier School, Ms. Storm still ponders the
meaning of that day. She knows she's different, but not
because of her mutant power to control the weather. After
all, one of her colleagues looks like a shaggy blue Sasquatch.
Another has giant angel wings. Yet another goes by the
for Ms. Storm, different refers to something
else: her skin color.
Grey remembers the battle with Ms. Marrow a little differently.
I can hurl mental bolts with my mind, she
said in her room at the Xavier School, by way of explanation.
Storm likes to take credit for that victory, but
we were all instrumental in that battle, regardless of
who made the final strike. As for Professor X's
reaction, Ms. Grey said she doesn't recall whom he hugged
and whom he congratulated. That day was all a blur.
Im on a lot of anti-depressants.
Ms. Grey is Professor Xs confidante, the mutant
to whom is he closest. Is that a function of her race,
Ms. Storm wondered. Could she ever be as close to Professor
X as Ms. Grey was?
battle against the Gene Nationalists was just one of dozens
of skirmishes between good and evil that the X-Men are
involved in every year. Yet it was indicative of how Ms.
Storm feels black superheroes are treated in the X-Men,
as well as in other leagues and unions, from the Avengers
to the New Warriors to the Fantastic (white) Four. How
do her colleagues view her, she wondered. Do they see
here as a mutant, or as a black mutant? Are all Children
of the Atom equal? Around the school, there's lots of
talk about good and evil, but never black and white.
Continued on page A32
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