Though typically filling the team roles of energy powerhouse and field combat tactician and strategist, Storm is, surprisingly to some, a considerably skilled and crafty fighter who has a natural talent for combat, and has proven to be one of the best unarmed and armed combat fighters among the X-Men. This is more than only her accomplishments in pure H2H combat, but over all combat ability (including weapons, creativity, and use of her environment).This thread explores the opponents Storm has been battle tested against in armed and/or unarmed combat, gives details on these fights, and highlights Storm’s other combat skills with limited use of or without her powers.
While Storm possesses the physical condition of a human woman who engages in regular intensive exercise (classic handbook places her physical conditioning at Olympic level), it has been stated and shown that Storm’s reflexes, balance and coordination are all well above a normal human level, and she has remarkable agility and acrobatic ability. She has also shown that she can strike with enough physical force to break the jaw and ribs of a peak human.
Storm’s combat skills are a mix of techniques that are not limited to a single fighting discipline, but combine techniques from multiple fighting styles that have been honed through consistent training and years of experience. The styles she has been trained in are not yet known, but she has been trained by Achmed El Gibar in her youth, trained by the Black Panther in her pre-teens, and he was already an exceptionally skilled martial artist at that age, trained extensively by Wolverine, one of the greatest fighters on earth, over the course of her time with the X-Men, and has learned techniques from one of her closest friends and highly skilled martial artist, the ronin Yukio.
It is not known, though likely, whether or not Achmed also trained Storm in the use of knives, but a blade seems to be Storm’s weapon of choice and is, of the weapons she can use, the arm she is most skilled with. She was also trained by Wolverine in using guns and is an excellent marksman (including throwing knives), and she is capable with the bo staff, having been shown to use a staff frequently and sparring with Gambit, and with a sword, having used one periodically and been trained in sword-fighting by Wakanda’s finest warriors.
Combining her training, experience, cunning and resourcefulness in combat has allowed Storm to take on, and defeat in most instances, opponents who possess a superior level of skill and/or physicality.
Armed & Unarmed Combat Fights
Fighting Ability Rating – 6/7
In addition to her enhanced senses, strength, agility and reaction time, and the mutant ability to immediately intuit the best way to defeat her opponents, Callisto is skilled in virtually every form of hand to hand combat known, and skilled with wielding knives. She is hardly ever used these days, but some of her accomplishments in h2h combat include taking on and defeating Raustus, a disgusting and superhumanly strong mutate created by Sugar-Man, defeating asgardian trolls who were physically superior to her, easily defeating multiple Weaponeers (international terrorists with combat training), and defeating various opponents in gladiator style combat. Another instant of note is that she has sparred with Wolverine without him holding back. And to be clear, Wolverine could kill Callisto without any question, but that showing obviously demonstrates Logan’s respect for Callisto’s capability in combat.
Callisto is one of the most well know opponents for Storm, having been defeated by her for the leadership of the Morlocks, and in subsequent confrontations that included a brief fight after Kulan Gath altered reality around part of NYC, a brief fight when Marrow returned from the dead, and another fight in the gladiator arena. It should be noted that Callisto defeated Storm in their gladiator fight in the arena.
Fighting Ability Rating – 4/7
Marrow possesses enhanced strength, durability and reflexes (even impressing Spider-Man on one occasion), as well as healing. She was trained in combat by Callisto, who was her mentor while she grew up on The Hill, and she has years of combat experience from fighting in this dimension, making her a hardened warrior and a ruthless killer(even foolishly tried to kill Wolverine once). She is a good armed hand to hand combatant, and some of her accomplishments in h2h include defeating opponents who are physicallysuperior to her, multiple opponents attacking her simultaneously, and using her skills and environment to defeat her fellow weapon X teammate Kane.
Marrow had a grudge against Storm, ultimately feeling that she was not a good leader to the Morlocks, and a desire for vengeance that lead to a battle where Storm ended up ripping out her heart. Thankfully she had a spare.
Fighting Ability Rating – 4/7
Nightshade is a science genius more known as a CaptainAmerica, Black Panther and Luke Cage/Iron Fist villainess, but Uncanny X-Men First Class revealed that she had a brief, but memorable, history with Storm. Tilda had received extensive martial arts and acrobatics training from Superia while she was a member of the Femizons. Nightshade seems to take on opponents who are typically far above her skill class, so while she tends to show impressive technique she would clearly not be able to defeat them. She has used her martial skills against Iron Fist and Black Panther and quickly found out how outmatched she was. One showing of note for Tilda is that she once went up against the highly skilled samurai warrior Colleen Wing, and while she did not win (she wasn’t really trying to defeat her anyway), her skills impressed Colleen, who thought Nightshade was very good and demonstrated that she had extensive martial arts training.
Nightshade forced Storm and a few others to perform some dirty work for her, and had Storm break into and steal from S.H.I.E.L.D. After Storm and the others broke free, she and Storm fought each other hand to hand, and Nightshade quickly learned how badly she underestimated Ororo.
Fighting Ability Rating – Unknown
Probably the most skilled and deadliest fighters Storm has fought to date. The dora milaje are the “wives in training” to the Black Panther, having been training for most of their lives and being extensively trained by T'Challa personally, are highly skilled martial artists and weapons experts. The finest warriors in Wakanda, their martial skill level is such that they could fight and do significant damage to the Black Widow, one of the greatest female fighters on earth.
The doras were not particularly fond of Storm since she is an outsider who married their king, and when they fought Storm under the orders of Black Panther (really the Shadow King), they tried their best to kill her. Under the circumstances they could have succeeded if not for Gentle’s aid. Important points of note, though I don’t think it would have necessarily changed the outcome of this fight, but despite being 2 against 1, their superior skill and speed, knowing Storm inside and out, and Storm being fatigued and distracted, Ororo still performed well, and managed to disarm, counter and briefly exchange blows with the doras.
Fighting Ability Rating – 6/7
Probably Storm’s most difficult fight to date, Khan was a ruler of a massive armada that has conquered numerous dimensions. In addition to being an expert strategist and combat tactician, and possessing enhanced strength and reflexes, he is highly skilled in multiple forms of hand to hand combat. While he only appeared in the Invasion story arc in X-treme X-Men, Khan took on and easily defeated Viper, who is a rigorously trained and experienced martial artist.
Immediately smitten upon first sight, Khan wanted Storm to be his queen, and was arrogant enough to believe he would conquer Storm’s dimension and still win her heart. Khan saw Storm as his equal, and in every sense Ororo proved to be just that, whether it was combat strategy, strength of spirit, or hand to hand. In their fight, and noting Storm was still recovering from her spinal injury, they matched each other blow for blow, with neither defeating the other.
Fighting Ability Rating – Unknown
Nighteyes is a member of The Forgiven, a team of vampires lead by the samurai Raizo, who do not feed on human blood. Raizo has trained all of the members of his team, and very well I must add. Nighteyes is the team’s field second in command, and a proficient martial artist and armed combat fighter. A bit arrogant due to her physical enhancements as a result of her vampirism, Nighteyes demonstrated that her skill level is sufficient to evade and counter attacks from Lady Bullseye, who is a highly skilled martial artist.
In a brief misunderstanding about Jubilee Storm’s security team fought The Forgiven, with Nighteye’s being Storm’s dance partner. While Nighteye’s may not be quite as skilled as Storm, she proved to be a very capable combatant in their brief but telling fight.
Fighting Ability Rating – 4/7
Frank Bohannon is a war veteran whose mutant power gives him peak human physical attributes that rivals Captain America. He possesses years of military combat training and experience, and mentally disciplined enough to shield his mind from telepath’s as adept as Psylocke, has demonstrated knowledge of nerve strikes, and some skill wielding and throwing knives. Someone with these skills should NOT be as a big a jobber as he is but it is what it is. The Commando has just not been that impressive with the brief showing that we have seen of him.
The Commando, Super Sabre, and Stonewall mistook Storm for a criminal, captured her while she was unconscious, and intended to hunt and kill her. Despite learning of her innocence Crimson Commando still wanted to kill Storm to silence her. It became clear VERY quickly that he bit off way more than he could chew, as he starred in probably the most horrendous a$$-kicking Storm has given to date.
While ultimately cannon fodder but an excellent showing of her dagger wielding and hand to hand skills, this disgusting looking mutate was a product of Forge’s psychosis (which is sad because he was an awesome character) that emitting an inhibitor field that shut down Storm’s powers, and is obviously 3 times Storm’s size. After tanking one of his punches, Ororo gave this thing a thorough thrashing.
Advesary’s Demon Imps
Hacking and slashing demons and coming to the realization that she needs to hone all of her skills to the fullest, and not rely as much her powers.
These next showings are primarily cannon fodder opponents (street thugs, Khan’s harem, arena fighters, Scrambler, vampires, and fledging new mutants) but add to the extent of Storm’s combat experience and resourcefulness, and just for the fun of seeing her kick a$$.
Khan’s harem included more than a dozen female combatants who were Khan’s most elite warriors of his armada, so they were cannon fodder with some degree of combat ability. Despite their greater numbers and Storm having very limited access to her powers due to her spinal injury, she proved as formidable a fighter as Khan himself, and defeated the entire harem using her unarmed combat skills.
Fledgling New Mutants
I liked this showing because it demonstrated how effectively Storm uses her environment and kowledge of the opposition. These were the New Mutants early in their hero career and they were being controlled by Karma, who was inhabited and controlled by the Shadow King. Using her staff, her knowledge of their powers and vulnerabilities, and the environment around her Storm was able to take them all down.
Scrambler was plain weak-sauce but I just liked these scenes of Storm beating him down and breaking his jaw just because she can >:-).
African Slave Traders
Not that she needed to but this is an good showing of her, again, augmenting her physical strikes with her powers and using the staff. Plus...who wouldn't want a couple of tigers kickin' a$$ for ya :-D...
Storm did a lot of fighting in the arena. These were a few of my favorites, where she augmented her strikes wind and with a thunderclap to KO a superhuman opponent Meathead, and some high speed spinner named Dervish, using her powers and his own speed against him by making him hydroplane and then taking him out with a KICK, and showing her precision with a blade by "slashing" Yukio's throat to fool Masque, just enough to make it seem like the would was fatal.
And street thugs, which is the typical cannon fodder that most capable fighters can handle with little difficulty, but shows off Storm’s skill and resourcefulness.
Dire Wraiths & Vampires
In one of the COTM one-shots Storm and Gambit infitrate an island of vampires but, due to Varnae's magic, Storm's powers became a liability. So we get to see her wield a machete and throwing stakes to take out the bloodsuckers. And in the Classic X-Men we get to see Storm, after a flashback of her getting trained by Wolverine, apply that training effectively with handling a hand gun to kill the Dire Wraith, a race of evil magical beings. Another more mention worthy showing was from X-Treme X-Men whe nthe Guardia Civil used their tech to make themselves immune to Storm's lightning, so she takes one of Bishop's guns and surprises them all.
I may add some more later on and also add another section, though it doesn't always or completely fall under combat, that focuses on her skills as a master thief, lockpick and escape artist.