Did Storm & Black Panther Nearly Have a Kid During the X-Men’s Krakoan Age?

Summary

  • The X-Men’s Krakoan Age saw Krakoa one of the richest nations on the planet.
  • Jonathan Hickman originally planned for Storm and Black Panther to have a child during this time period, but the storyline was changed due to Marvel’s other Black Panther plans.
  • The child would have become Azari, a major character in the Next Avengers cartoon and a leader of two different societies.


Welcome to the 918th installment of Comic Book Legends Revealed, a column where we examine three comic book myths, rumors and legends and confirm or debunk them. This time, in our first legend, see how close we came to Storm and Black Panther having a child together during the X-Men’s Krakoan Age.

The Krakoan Age of the X-Men kicked off in the Summer of 2019 when Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia released two corresponding miniseries, The House of X and The Powers of X, which detailed the transformative events that we now refer to as the X-Men’s “Krakoan Age.” The mutants of the world all moved to an island nation of Krakoa, where powerful new drugs were developed that revolutionized medicine in the world, quickly making Krakoa one of the richest and most powerful nations on the planet. The X-Men also discovered a way for a small group of mutants to use their powers in concert to effectively resurrect any mutant after they are killed, essentially making the X-Men immortal (hence there being a comic book called Immortal X-Men).

Hickman left the X-titles in early 2022, a little bit ahead of his original schedule, and now writers Gerry Duggan, Al Ewing and Kieron Gillen appear set to bring the Krakoan Age to a close ahead of a new era of the X-Men launching this Summer (longtime Avengers editor, Tom Brevoort, is moving over to take over the X-Books), so it’s interesting to look back on this era, and what could have been. One of the interesting changes that Hickman almost made, which is particularly interesting considering his current hit comic book series, Ultimate Spider-Man (about a Peter Parker who became Spider-Man AFTER having two kids with his wife, Mary Jane), is that he almost had Storm and Black Panther have a child during this time period!

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What was Jonathan Hickman’s plans for Storm and Black Panther’s child?

In Giant-Sized X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost #1 (by Hickman, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson and Clayton Cowles), Storm is dealing with some sort of affliction, leading to Jean Grey and Emma Frost having to go into her mind…

Jean Grey and Emma Frost go into Storm's mind

The whole issue is an homage of the classic New X-Men #121 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

Jean and Emma discover a mysterious egg within Storm’s mindscape…

Jean and Emma find an egg

However, the whole thing turns out to be a techno virus

Storm is infected with a techno-virus

Then Giant Size X-Men: Storm #1 (by Hickman, Dauterman, Wilson and Ariana Maher) cured Storm of the virus…

The cover of Giant Size X-Men: Storm #1

As it turns out, though, that wasn’t what Hickman had planned originally. He explained as much on the brilliant Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast that initially, the plan for those issues was that Storm was going to be pregnant:

“All of those Giant-Size issues, all of those changed, which is why they’re kind of a mess. The first one was going to be — I don’t think anyone will care if I tell this — when Storm is screwed up and injured, and Jean and Emma come out of the psychic rescue of it all, we were going to find out what’s wrong with her is she’s pregnant. And she was pregnant with her and T’Challa’s kid. Then the next couple of issues would have been her having to go into The World and having the kid, who would have been raised in The World. So it would be this heir to two kingdoms who didn’t know the mother or the father. You would get a whole lot of stuff coming out of The World that would crash into all of that.”

The World was a secret facility used by Weapon Plus to sort of “grow” supersoldiers.

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Why didn’t the pregnancy storyline for Storm and Black Panther happen?

The child would have become Azari, from the Next Avengers cartoon

The Avengers of the future

As Hickman noted, “That was going to be a really cool thing for some stuff that was going to happen later. We were going to get the Next Avengers kid, the one from the future cartoon thing. There was going to be stuff that happened later on that kid would be a really big part of. He’d be a leader ‘of two different societies,’ which would have mattered later on.”

However, as it turned out, “The reason we didn’t do that is because Marvel had other Black Panther plans that got pushed in, and also they didn’t want to go in that direction. It was too late to change it. Russell [Dauterman] was already halfway through drawing the book, so all of that stuff in the Giant-Size books, all of those got changed on the fly. Which is why they’re a little bit of a mess.”

So that’s why the egg suddenly had techno-virus stuff thrown on top of it.

Fascinating stuff.

Thanks to Jonathan Hickman and Jay and Miles, and, also, thanks to my old pal, Timothy Adams, for the transcription he did for ComicBook.com. Saved me the trouble.

A comic book legend about Storm and Black Panther's baby

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Be sure to check out my Entertainment Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of film and TV. Plus, Pop Culture References also has some brand-new Entertainment and Sports Legends Revealeds!

Feel free to send suggestions for future comic legends to me at either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com.

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