Review: Marvel's Storm #9 by Pak, Barrionuevo, Palmer, and Redmond | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Marvel's Storm #9 by Pak, Barrionuevo, Palmer, and Redmond

Posted by Sean Hamilton Friday, March 27, 2015
Storm and Gambi reunited
Storm #9 cover by Stephnie Hans
Storm is back at the Jean School and this can only mean one thing:

The riveting life of being a headmistress! Wait, what?

Enter Gambit, and an old-school thief challenge, to mix things up a little. [At least this premise this could be fun!]

Writer Greg Pak has wrapped up the recent arc in Storm and lets loose a little in issue #9. We get to see a playful and fun adventure with the two old-school X-Men, who go on a journey of rediscovery about their current roles and responsibilities.

Backing up the story with a balanced subplot, Pak has Beast conversing with Marisol throughout the issue: intertwining the dialogue over the top of panels focused on Storm and Gambit to drive home the message underscoring their mission. The approach is effective and straightforward, allowing the reader to enjoy the experience but still evoking a deeper meaning from the issue, which has been a hallmark of the series.

With Peter David's All-New X-Factor concluded, Gambit was a bit of a free agent as far as a Marvel character, so it is good to see him put to some use in this issue. Storm and Gambit have a camaraderie and history that complements them well for a story like this. Pak continues to deliver a series full of heart as it focuses on driving character central narratives and exploring diversity.

Storm and Beast at the X-Men school
Who is lurking in the sewers?
What Pak does well is quickly establish a real voice for the characters in each issue and bring the individuality of each into play as he builds characterization in the story. This translates into the art also, with nuances of the characters being more readily developed in Storm in ways that might not be possible in the team-focused X-men books.

The art is hit and miss, unfortunately. The pencils from Al Barrionuevo and Neal Edwards were at jaunty angles in the opening pages; it took me a couple of reads to get past them and delve into the actual story. This effect of pulling the reader out of the experience should usually be avoided at all costs, and here it just felt off. In my opinion the shot selection and angle of poses for the characters seemed wrong; this does settle down over the course of the issue but still pops up in the odd panel.

Gambit is smooth with Storm
Gambit is too cool to pass on

There are some great Indiana Jones–like action sequences in Storm #9 that add to the fun flavor of the book. There are also some absolutely cheesy moments, but it is more lighthearted and popcorn entertainment. The setup for the next issue, however, was interesting; it will be intriguing to see what comes next issue for Storm.

Ruth Redmond's colors are consistent in their feel and tone, which are now so well established for this series. This continuity carries a lot of weight in the transition from issue to issue as different artists rotate in on the penciling or ink duties.

Storm follows Gambit on an X-Men adventure
Thieves (re)united

As always, we want to know what you thought about this issue. Do you like the direction in which Greg Pak has taken this series? Is it different enough for you compared to others? What did you think of the art this time round? Tell us below or head over to the Fanboys Anonymous Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment. Make sure you come back for the next issue as we may begin to see how Storm could be erected by the Marvel universe–spanning event "Secret Wars."

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