Saving the world from super villains will make you some deadly enemies, but trying to free the planet from the grip of those who would exploit it and oppress its population will put you in the crosshairs of some truly dangerous and insidious individuals -- as Ororo Munroe, better know to the world as Storm, now knows all too well.
In the first five issues of Marvel's "Storm" ongoing series written by Greg Pak, Storm's quest to make the world a better place earned her a number of dangerous foes. In "Storm" #6, one of those enemies struck back and framed the Wind-Rider for an act of terrorism. This week's "Storm" #7 kicks off a new arc that finds the titular hero a fugitive from the law and CBR News spoke with Pak about how Storm's fugitive status will impact her adventures, the enemies that framed her and which of her fellow X-Men will appear in this arc and the one that follows.
CBR News: Greg, "Storm" #4-6 saw the return of an enemy that fans of your work on the 2009 "War Machine" series will be familiar with, Eaglestar International. Some "Storm" readers likely met Eaglestar and its head Davis Harmon for the first time in those issues. What can you tell those readers about Eaglestar?
Greg Pak: Back in the "War Machine" book we met Davis Harmon who is this cocky young jerk who runs a military contracting company called Eagelstar. He was mixed up in all kinds of devious things in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Aqiria.
Rhodey and his team dealt with them and Davis appeared to be dead. If I remember correctly, he was shot in the head. He's back now though in "Storm" and appears to be augmented with cybernetics and once again running Eaglestar. He remains a cocky, jerk.
The other key thing is that in issues #4-5 of "Storm" we learned that Harmon runs one of the Four Clans, which are basically these crime families that Storm's friend Yukio was involved with and issues #4-5 she embroiled Storm in the Clans' dealings. Because of what Storm did the leadership of the Four Clans got overturned and Yukio is now in charge.
Then in "Storm" #6 we see these Eaglestar soldiers attack a plane that Storm is on. So for whatever reason it appears that Eaglestar has it out for Storm. We'll find out exactly why and what's going on over the next couple of issues.
What made you want to bring Harmon and Eaglestar back in "Storm?" What do you feel they add to the book?
Storm's big thing is that she's always going to stand up for people who other people might forget or might not even notice. Harmon is the kind of character who victimizes anyone he can find, typically overseas. So he seemed like a good type of villain to have his fingers in various pies that other folks might not necessarily be aware of.
He's also a fun villain because he has a certain kind of attitude. He envisions himself as an entrepreneur, which is different from a typical comic book villain who is usually trying to take over the world. In a way Harmon's villainy feels more realistic. His actions and his motives are more real world which I think is appropriate for the book.
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Yeah, it seems like thematically you've had Storm collide with larger institutions instead of villains. In the first issue she faced off with military juntas. As we talked about, she faced off with organized crime in issues #4-5. Now it seems like her butting heads with Eaglestar is Storm taking on another force that can figuratively and literally change the planet -- big, corrupt, business. Is that a fair descriptions
I don't know. I'll leave that to readers to decide as they see how the story unfolds.
I definitely did want to create a run with villains who feel relevant and real though. "Storm" is a comic book with crazy, sci-fi, super hero action, but at the same time we wanted to try and find ways to ground it a little and make it feel relevant to folks lives. So Harmon is a villain who will hopefully help bring that out.
As you mentioned, in "Storm" #6 Eaglestar soldiers attack a plane that Storm and a U.S. Senator are both on and at the end of the issue the Senator blames Storm for the attack. So how much trouble is Storm in going into issue #7?
She's in big, big trouble. If you look at the covers for issues #7 and #8 you see she's now a wanted fugitive. She's an outlaw in very dire straits in those issues. She's also injured as these stories unfold.
One of my jobs as a writer is to always put my characters into as much trouble as possible. This is a way to really amp that up. Also from the beginning Storm has been kicking down doors that no one else is paying any attention to. She's doing what she thinks is right and it is right, but there will always be consequences when you start pushing back against entities that don't want to be pushed. So here we're going to see what some of those consequences may be.
So Storm is wanted by the U.S. Government and suffering from a broken ankle and broken ribs, but she's also emotionally banged up as well, correct?
Yes, she's facing all kinds of challenges, but I think we'll see how a hero rises to these kinds of challenges.
What does Storm's fugitive status mean for the action in this arc? Is this more of a spy/espionage tale? Or is it a big action epic?
It's a combination of both. Since Storm is involved there's always going to be big action. We've done some pretty huge things particularly in issue #6, but we're going to blow the roof off in issues #7-#8.
We're also playing with a mystery in the story. So some of those elements are there, but there's some major action going on over the next couple of issues.
We touched upon Eaglestar earlier, but are they Storm's only enemies in this arc?
That will be revealed. I'm not going to say any more, but there's always something beyond what you think might be happening. So keep your eyes open.
Understood. So in addition to the U.S. Government and law enforcement, will there also be some enemies stalking her from the shadows?
Again, there's always something more than meets the eye. [Laughs]
[Laughs] Fair enough. What does Storm's fugitive status mean for the supporting cast in the next few issues? Will we see regulars like Beast in "Storm" #7-8?
You will, and interestingly enough you'll see more X-Men than you've seen so far in the series. Exactly how they'll respond and what they can do will be revealed very soon. They're going to play an interesting role.
What's it like getting to dive back in and play with more of the X-Men? I know you're a fan of the characters and this corner of the Marvel Universe. Will we see some X-Men you've been dying to write for a while pop up in "Storm?"
Yes, I can reveal that Nightcrawler is going to show up in these issues. And the X-Men are a ton of fun to write. I believe my second book at Marvel was the "X-Men: Phoenix Endsong" book. When I was growing up the Claremont Death of Phoenix story was the biggest thing in comics ever and that team of X-Men really stuck with me. So it's always fun to have a chance to write those characters.
Victor Ibanez brought several of the first few issues of "Storm" to life, but I understand he's busy with other projects right now. So Who's bringing this tale of Storm on the run in issues #7-8 to life?
Hopefully we'll get Victor back eventually, but right now we're working with a variety of artists who are all amazing. Al Barrionuevo drew #6 and you can see from his work there that book is definitely in good hands. He did an amazing job and I believe he's working on issue #9 right now.
Finally let's talk about what you have planned for "Storm" when spring begins and the end of your first year starts to come into sight. It looks like March's issue #9 is the start of a new story featuring Storm's former teammate and partner in thievery, is that right?
Yes, it's always fun to put a couple of thieves together. I loved what James Asmus did on the "Gambit" solo series and he's a totally fun character. Plus I thought the two greatest mutant thieves should spend a little time together. So here we go. The story is a ton of fun. I'm working on the issue right now. It's going to be a blast.
How does it feel to be reaching the end of your first year on "Storm?" How are things looking for the book?
It's been great. The book is a ton of fun and the response of readers has been tremendous. I've had an amazing time at various cons and signings over the last few months. So many people have come up and talked about what the character and the book mean to them. It's been almost overwhelming at times. I feel very lucky to have been tapped to write this book and I'm extremely grateful for the response from all the readers. I especially want to tip my hat to those who have spread word about the book. You're all amazing and that means a lot.
Every issue of "Storm" from this point on is getting bigger and crazier. There's stuff that we set up at the very beginning that's paying off big time as these issues are released. One of the the fun things about the book is we've been doing a lot of what seems to be done in one stories, but they've all been building thematically and have been setting up secret plot and character beats that are paying off in a big way now. So we're getting to to the pay off stage and things are going to get big and crazy.
"Storm" #7 is on sale Jan. 7 from Marvel Comics.