Storm is undoubtedly the most recognized black female superhero. Originally Ororo Munroe, the heroine is known for her powers that allow her to control the weather and for being an OG. She’s also one of the most powerful X-Men. When I saw her for the first time, I thought to myself, “When I grow up, I’m going to dye my hair white.” However, there is so much more to her look than just the iconic white hair. Throughout the years, Storm’s look changes quite a bit. It’s hard to keep up! Lucky for you, I’ve ranked the Storm costumes from worst to best below. You can thank me later.

4. Storm’s Destructive…Shoulder Pads?

Image courtesy of ComicVine

This costume comes from X-MEN SERIES 1 from 1992. I am so sorry fellow 90’s babies, we deserved better. Superhero costumes usually stand out in a crowd, but this one takes drama to the next level. In my opinion, this is Storm’s worst costume.

At this point in Storm’s storyline, she was the leader of the X-Men Gold team. The costume hints at that in its gold trim and belt. That’s not all this costume brings to the table. This outfit has it all — brazen red X’s across her chest, a tacky cape that attaches to her wrists, and shoulder pads. My god. If she couldn’t manipulate the air around her, I’m sure she’d feel weighed down by all of this gear. The cherry on top is the awful extra room in her sleeves. To stow away some snacks, perhaps? This costume looks like the result of too many ideas and not enough editing.

This outfit is rare for Storm because it actually covers her completely. That’s not to say that this outfit isn’t revealing. I don’t know what material this costume is made from, but I can see that it has to be so thin that we’re able to see her ribcage prominently. When we can see every muscle and indentation on her body, she might as well be naked — which might not be a bad alternative, considering this outfit is so unsightly.

3. Storm’s Debut

Image Courtesy of Colin Merrick

Remember when I said it would be better if they’d left Storm naked? I take back what I said.

This is Storm’s original costume. She sports a leotard with cut-outs connected by a gold ring. This look has a cape attached at four points (one at each wrist, the front, and the back), and her signature thigh-high boots. Brought to life in the X-Men comics in the 70’s, Storm’s costume left little to the imagination.

Not only is this costume basically a glorified swimsuit, but it’s completely impractical for her line of work. Her boots have a heel that would make it almost impossible to chase after villains. She doesn’t have clothing on 95% of her body. This means, first of all, that her outfit is clearly a manifestation of the male gaze. Second of all, less coverage means the costume is less safe. Storm needs a protective barrier in dire situations. I would bring up an argument about colder temperatures, but knowing Storm, I’m sure she could warm herself up.

Storm’s original costume was intended for one purpose only: to sell sex to the readers. The costume offers her no protection, and it looks like you could get half of it from the mall. It’s a no from me, and it’s in its rightful place at number 3.

2. You Either Love it or Hate it

Image courtesy of Phillip Matias

This is my second favorite costume! This version of Storm is from the 80s. After a dark turn in her personal life, Storm changes up her look in a major way. She sports a mohawk, wears a strapless top, pants, and mid-calf boots (Shock! A break from her classic thigh high?!), and she accessorizes with a choker, two belts, and gloves.

What I love about this look is the amount of change. Hair is an important topic amongst the black community, so I applaud the artists for being bold and not sticking to the long flowing locks that Storm has had. Another thing that I love about this costume is how practical it is. This is definitely an outfit that Storm could fight bad guys in. I also really like the way the two belts hang on her waist. Even though Storm feels detached from the X-Men because she doesn’t have powers (they were taken away by an energy weapon), her belts give a subtle nod to the X symbol.

This is one of Storm’s most controversial looks. People either love it or they hate it. A lot of the controversy stems from her mohawk. I personally love it, but it’s interesting to think about how the world lost it over what a black woman was doing with her hair (What else is new?). This is one of Storm’s best looks, because it pushed the boundaries of what a typical female superhero could look like. It also showed a mainstream black woman in punk fashion, something that is still rare today.

1. What We’ve All Been Waiting For

Image courtesy of Sean Ellery

Asgardian Storm. This is the BADDEST costume Storm ever wore. It’s also a fan-favorite. Now, I know that this is definitely not the most practical of Storm’s looks — Where is she going? How exactly can she fight in this? — but we’re going to put a pin in that for a moment. Storm wears a dress with two high slits on the side, a cape, knee high boots, and tons of accessories. This costume was created when Loki gave Storm an Asgardian hammer.

Storm’s look changes in a couple ways. One of the most striking changes is that two wings have sprouted from behind her ears. Storm still has the awesome mohawk, but it stands up and holds its shape. She’s also wearing enough gold to sink a small ship. The shoes are just fabulous — the knee coverings look like armor, yet the rest of the boot down to the foot is covered in fur. Can I get these in a size 8.5?

The reason I love this look so much is because it has a lot of elements to it, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming. Storm has a lot going on at the top half of her costume, but it’s balanced out by the simplicity of the bottom half. This look takes the top spot because even though it’s bare, the top half of this costume alone beats the entirety of all of the other costumes she’s worn.

Why Storm’s Costumes are Important

Storm is a really important character for a lot of reasons.  We know she is strong and a total badass, but she’s also important to the culture. Black women in particular don’t have a lot of superheroes to look up to. When I pitched writing an article about change in a black female hero’s costumes, I picked Storm because there weren’t many options.

Storm’s costumes are important because black girls will look at her and stem ideas about how they should look and act. If we want young girls to grow up to be as strong as Storm, we need to make sure she shows strength on the outside as well as the inside.

Do you agree with this ranking? Leave a comment telling me your favorite Storm outfit.

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