Storm is one of the more powerful mutants in the Marvel universe. Her power isn’t limited to just her mutant abilities, however; some of her greatest attributes have absolutely nothing to do with them. She’s a fearless leader, an excellent pilot, and formidable in hand-to-hand combat. All these great qualities are marked by Storm’s iconic mohawk and leather outfit. This version of her is made extra legendary because she spends the majority of the time powerless — but no powers, no problem. She’s Ororo Munroe: goddess and snatcher of edges. Mohawk-era Storm has some of her most memorable moments, and they all drive home the point that Storm is the X-Man to stan proudly.
Storm adopts the classic mohawk and leather outfit just prior to losing her powers. Leading up to that change in her look, though, she had some significant events in her life. She was at odds with Xavier and his decisions, like bringing Rogue into the X-Men fold. Storm has some inner battles going on as well; she’s unsure of who she is. Is she Ororo Munroe the Goddess, or is she Storm the X-Man? Her fight with Callisto also left her questioning her moral compass and the good it’s done her in the past. The new look is symbolic of finally finding some peace in the new version of herself that she’s come to accept after finding inspiration in Yukio’s free spirit.
Ready to lead
In one of her first iconic moments with her "new hair, who dis" look, Storm challenges Cyclops for the right to lead the X-Men. Professor Xavier is off on a lunar cruise with bae Lilandra, and Scott and Madelyne Pryor have just had their first son. Things at the X-Mansion are a hot mess. Fed up with Scott’s shaky confidence in his ability to lead the X-Men, Storm challenges him. She goes full Tom Clancy-Splinter Cell, showing off her stalking skills as well as her agility. She ends up catching Cyclops off guard and takes off his visor, effectively defeating him because he has to keep his eyes shut. This speaks to the kind of person Storm is; she possesses confidence in herself and her abilities to not only challenge a teammate with powers but to believe she can still lead effectively without her own. She’s a fighter and a born leader, a woman who will not be short-changed in life.
Ready to kick ass
Taking the role of leader of the X-Men from Scott isn’t the only thing Storm does while powerless. Mohawk-Storm is all about handing out fades to those that want them. When the Marauders, a group of mutant killers, show up in the Morlocks territory to start drama, Storm and the X-Men join in on the fight. Storm is confronted by a mutant named Scrambler whose power allows them to depower a mutant temporarily by touching them. Scrambler touches Storm, but unfortunately for them, she's already powered down.
Storm is as strong in mind as she is in body. When members of the X-Men are attacked by a mutant named Malice, who controls her victims by becoming a choker around their necks, Malice enters Storm’s body, trying to possess her. Storm overpowers Malice in a battle for mental strength and will, snatching the choker off her neck and crushing it in her palm, displaying just how tough her mental fortitude is. She also heroically flies the Blackbird into space to destroy a sentinel that's trying to kill her and the other X-Men. She isn’t just a commander but very much in the trenches with her team. Storm matches her aesthetic effortlessly with her confidence in herself and remaining abilities.
Ready for anything
The Goddess’s ability to connect with her teammates thankfully didn’t leave her when she became powerless. Storm and Wolverine's relationship hasn’t always been great. Earlier on in their time as teammates, Wolverine had little to no respect for Storm, and that was with her powers. He finally acquired some sense and the two become closer over the years, developing a level of trust in one another that really shows during Storm’s depowered era. Wolverine pledging his loyalty to her and addressing her as a superior is a stark departure from their earlier interactions. All of the X-Men think just as highly of her and look to her for guidance. It’s clear their trust in Storm as a leader is strong, with or without her powers. Even Callisto confesses to Storm about how much she recognizes her as a formidable individual, reminding her that she is worthy of respect even while Storm is second-guessing herself. Mohawk Storm is the HBIC.
Storm’s legendary look is an exclamation point. She possesses all of the qualities one needs to be heroic. Not only is her scalp bare for everyone to see, but so too are all the non-powered attributes that make Ororo Munroe who she is. Storm is a force to be reckoned with, even without the ability to be a literal force of nature.