Characters Appearing: Storm
Uncanny X-Men #198
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #198
This one's very different, though. It's a lot bleaker. Both Lifedeath stories have a theme regarding Storm's will to survive after the trauma of losing her powers, but the first story gave her Forge to play off; she could blame him for her power loss and there was the romance angle as well. Here, Storm is in the East African desert...
...interacting with dream-hallucinations...
...a distraught bus crash victim...
...and the inhabitants of a small village. Resources in the villages are so sparse that when a new life is brought in (Storm helps the crash victim give birth), the eldest of the village is forced to die.
It definitely feels like an "important" or "artistic" issue, with some sociopolitical commentary, and it's certainly a unique change of pace, but it doesn't have the same appeal as the original.
Part of the problem, i think, is that BWS is inking and coloring himself here, unlike in UX #186. Terry Austin gave BWS's are a more open feel, whereas things here are tightly detailed... perhaps too much. And BWS's color choices are apocalyptically dark and surreal, which works very well with, say, Machine Man or the Weapon X story, but is a bit overwhelming here.
Part of the reason for the village's trouble is that they had switched over to using modern farming equipment, but the machinery stripped the nutrients from the soil too fast, requiring more and more fertilizer and fuel, a real enough problem. But when Storm encounters some abandoned equipment on her way into the village, i was sure we were dealing with some sort of alien technology.
There's a lot to appreciate here, but i don't think this worked as well as intended.
Barry Windsor-Smith apparently intended to create a third Lifedeath story, but Marvel didn't publish it and he instead adapted it for a standalone release. CBR's Comic Book Legends Revealed has the details and some scans.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Storm appears in New Mutants #32.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
The problem with the story is that Claremont seems to be confusing Africa's farming problems with its famine problems. Most of Africa's famines since World War II (Biafra,Ethiopia, Somalia) have been a result of wars where one or more sides refused to allow aid through. OTOH, it has major farming problems which often result in deaths through malnutrition but the effects of malnutrition are a lot more complicated than one person dies for every person born. (To be fair, Claremont does mention war making the machines useless but still...)
Posted by: Michael | July 1, 2012 3:46 PM
I actually liked this more than Lifedeath, which I loved a lot, just because it is even more personal for Storm and I really liked that huge farming machine picture. It felt very end of the world-esque.
Posted by: David Banes | November 11, 2013 10:23 PM
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