Black Panther and Storm seem like they'd be the perfect couple. However, across various arcs and universes, their relationship has been rocky at best and an emotional disaster that should never have happened at worst. It is very possible that the pair could have a healthy, loving, and mutually beneficial romance, but given their comic book history, their chances seem depressingly rare.
Part of that is because of how Storm herself has often been written in her interactions with T'Challa. Storm is sometimes depicted in a way that feels minimized as if she is quashing down her authentic self. This could be due to her having to take on the weight of queenly duties but even with that, she could still be the Storm we all know and love. On the flipside, another reason why their relationship falls flat is because of how T’Challa is written, sometimes like a king who just so happens to have a wife that he never pays any attention to. However, Dwayne McDuffie’s run on Fantastic Four during The Initiative event showed us just how good T’Challa and Ororo can be together when they are both allowed to be themselves.
The series starts out with one of Marvel’s most iconic couples, Sue and Reed Richards, taking some much needed time away from the team to work on their marriage after the events of the Civil War storyline. The Wakandan Embassy has been destroyed, which results in T’Challa and Storm taking the couple up on their offer to use the Baxter building as a temporary embassy. Over the course of seven issues, McDuffie does an excellent job of depicting the relationship between the always prepared Black Panther and almighty Storm. Both husband and wife are allowed to shine in this series, as a unit and individually.
The rest of the series is full of loving and warm moments between the couple, both in intimate off-duty moments and in scenes where they're in action as heroes. McDuffie even manages to create a T’Challa who admits his vulnerability when it comes to his wife. He leans into showing how caring T'Challa can be emotionally, through both his words and actions. He admits to Reed Richards he wouldn’t have the ability to maintain his commitment to approaching everything with an airtight plan if Storm were in trouble, much in the same way Sue Storm was in trouble when she was held captive. Storm calls him out on his lie because she knows him too well, but it’s still a nice moment because it’s clear that his wife is his weakness, a detail which hasn’t always been so obvious.
McDuffie’s respect of Storm and understanding of her character are evident in his arc, and this creative empathy adds new layers to her and T’Challa’s relationship. He allows the reader to see what it looks like when she isn’t minimized when she's with T’Challa or reduced to being his silent wife. Crucially, his writing of T’Challa as a loving husband who is able to relinquish power to his very capable partner is what really makes us want more of the couple together. Storm and Black Panther can be that power couple we deserve when they are written to compliment one another, and McDuffie showed not only that it's possible, but that it's refreshing when it happens.