Posted by : Wendy B Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Could you at least try to look like you want to be there?
The trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past has been released and I see that Halle Berry is there, reprising her role as the mutant goddess of weather and field leader of the X-Men, Storm. I see also that her wig has gotten shorter yet again. This time she’s sporting a spiky number that is not quite, but *almost* a mohawk. For this, I am allowing her a slight reprieve on my hate.

It's too late to wish that the role had been given to another actress of greater skill or one who at least cared, and because I love the X-Men and these movies (yes, even #3), I have to grudgingly keep giving her a chance. If she can prove to me that she’s actually read an X-Men comic since taking on the role and commenting with disdain that *this* (as in Storm, the woman worshiped as a goddess by her people, the queen, the leader and one of the most physically and psychologically powerful characters ever created) is what black actresses in Hollywood are reduced to … then maybe. Just maybe. I can forgive her for that comment. Maybe.

I’m 37 years old now and have come to understand the ridiculous amount of sexism and racism in the comic book industry that continues to exist two decades after my brother first handed over his comic collection to me. But you see, when he gave me that precious gift, I had no idea what sexism and racism in comics meant, because for me, this was one of the first books I read:
I understand now that many comic book readers can look at our collections and see poor representation of minorities and have our faces slapped by DC’s lack of understanding in why a Wonder Woman movie needs to exist or DC’s refusal to let Batwoman get married or, well, DC in general. But when I was first reading comics, Classic and Uncanny X-Men were my world and in my world, Storm was right there, front and centre, proving to me that I could do anything if my will was strong and I believed in myself – and I didn’t even need control over the weather to do it.

I don't love Storm because she can summon lightning or bring clear skies to a wedding day. I don't even love her because she can fight for the leadership of the X-Men and win without her powers.

I love her because when she failed to save Sauron, his death haunted her and continues to haunt her. I love her because when she failed the Morlocks, she took responsibility for it. I love her because she still carries a dagger and lock picks. I love her because, through her friends, she has learned how to play and to unleash her inner desires but always returns to her responsibilities. I love her because she stuck with Team Scott after Schism, specifically because she disagreed with him.

I love her because when she is at her weakest, she reveals her true strength by overcoming herself.

I love her, not because she is one of the most powerful mutants, but because she is Storm, a woman for whom doing what is right, protecting those she loves, those who need her and those who deserve that chance is never a question.

That is just who she is.

I learned all this about Storm through years of reading X-Men comics. I don’t expect Halle Berry to review all 98745986164 issues, but we have this convenient thing called the internet where she could easily find where others have documented Storm’s life in detail and identify just what issues might be relevant to an actress researching a role.

I can pretend that Catwoman travesty doesn’t exist at all. But Storm. You better finally bring it Ms. Berry. You better bring it.

WHAT IS THIS?

This is my mindspill. Mostly about comics, books, video games, movies of the science fiction and fantasy leanings. Sometimes recipes and parenting stuff will sneak in, along with a real world rant or two.

I also write about geek culture at Women Write About Comics, and I review genre fiction at The BiblioSanctum.

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