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Storm's Powers Apparently Are Based on Nomenclature

This is "How Can I Explain?", which is a feature spotlighting inexplicable comic book plots.

This one is interesting because, I get it, the cat is out of the bag on this one, the horse has left the barn, Elvis has left the building, there is no putting this genie back in the bottle. That said, Storm's outer space powers don't make any sense.

In X-Men #99 (by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Sam Grainger), the X-Men travel into outer space with the help of Dr. Peter Corbeau, the all-around amazing scientist who seems like he is almost as accomplished as Bruce Banner, Reed Richards, Hank Pym and Tony Stark (Claremont invented him for a story that Archie Goodwin adapted into an issue of Incredible Hulk and X-Men #98 saw Claremont get a chance to write Corbeau for the first time in a comic book).

Well, their space ship is attacked by the Sentinels and Storm is sucked out of the space ship by the vacuum of space.

Once there, though, she decides that she will try to control "solar winds," since she can control the wind on Earth, it is only logical that she control solar wind.

And it WORKS!

From Space.com, here is the definition of "solar wind":

The corona, the sun's outer layer, reaches temperatures of up to 2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius). At this level, the sun's gravity can't hold on to the rapidly moving particles, and they stream away from the star.

The sun's activity shifts over the course of its 11-year cycle, with sun spot numbers, radiation levels, and ejected material changing over time. These alterations affect the properties of the solar wind, including its magnetic field, velocity, temperature and density. The wind also differs based on where on the sun it comes from and how quickly that portion is rotating.

The velocity of the solar wind is higher over coronal holes, reaching speeds of up to 500 miles (800 kilometers) per second. The temperature and density over coronal holesare low, and the magnetic field is weak, so the field lines are open to space. These holes occur at the poles and low latitudes, reaching their largest when activity on the sun is at its minimum. Temperatures in the fast wind can reach up to 1 million F (800,000 C).

At the coronal streamer belt around the equator, the solar wind travels more slowly, at around 200 miles (300 km) per second. Temperatures in the slow wind reach up to 2.9 million F (1.6 million C).

The sun and its atmosphere are made up of plasma, a mix of positively and negatively charged particles at extremely high temperatures. But as the material leaves the sun, carried by solar wind, it becomes more gas-like.

"As you go farther from the sun, the magnetic field strength drops faster than the pressure of the material does," Craig DeForest, a solar physicist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement. "Eventually, the material starts to act more like a gas, and less like a magnetically structured plasma."

Because of this, it has been established that Storm can essentially just control electrons, and that's been the case ever since. I am not saying that she doesn't have this ability, as she clearly does. She does not have to be connected to any sort of atmosphere to control weather, because once she is based the atmosphere, she has control over the "solar winds."

The issue, of course, is that the power obviously just came from the fact that it is has WIND in its name! No one would ever think Storm could have that power if it weren't for the fact that it was technically called solar wind.

It is like if Pyro, who can control fire, could suddenly control firetrucks, as well.

Again, it's now firmly established, so it is what it is, but boy, even for comic book science it is a big reach.

If anyone else can think of a good inexplicable comic book plot, write me at brianc@cbr.com!

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