On the fifth day of X-Mas: Storm!
Wow, I had forgotten how convoluted X-history was during the 1990’s. In this one, X-Force is living in the mansion under the leadership of Cable. The X-Men are still based there too, and the groups mingle a bit in their off time.
Warren Ellis has an interesting concept; an attraction between Cable and Storm that leads Cable to be the main protagonist in the “regular” Marvel U while Storm weathers her treatment in an alternate dimension.
That alternate dimension is the home of Gene Nation, the survivors of a Morlock massacre. Marrow was originally one of these guys, and boy, she’s a lot less attractive in these early appearances than she was later. And while Mikhail Rasputin is supposedly the main villain, he’s basically a flunky doing Apocalypse’s work. The indirect baddie shows up at the close of the mini. It’s Black Beast (now called Dark Beast) and this was all his plan to build an army of super-mutants. Weird.
Storm is a lot more proactive than usual in this one. I love the way Ellis writes her powers as a total sense of the environment, and casting electrical bolts from each finger is a nice play on her long-time lightning powers. Her first costume in the series is pretty close to her “classic” one, but the new look she adopts at the end is very anime-based. Very strange wardrobe choices here.
Terry Dodson provides the art, and while the seeds of his future greatness are present, the art is uneven. Faces are lumpy and oddly morphed, and sometimes the perspective seems off in the action shots. Storm is sporting some odd cat-eyes too, was that a thing? All that said, the covers are wonderful and Storm always looks great. In fact, the “stars” in each panel always look great, even if the background characters aren’t quite as realized.