Because comic books are basically just illustrated soap operas with much more realistic plot lines (fight me), superhero weddings are always something of a Very Big Deal™ – the sort of big to-dos that get turned into semi-major events. Take, for example, the marriage between the X-Men’s Ororo Munroe and T’Challa, the king of Wakanda.
Storm and T’Challa tied the knot in Reggie Hudlin, Scot Eaton, Kaare Andrews and Klaus Janson’s Black Panther #18 from 2006 – and as you might expect, the entire ceremony was a spectacle. Everyone who was anyone from across Marvel’s comics universe travelled to Wakanda to watch as the mutant weather goddess made an honest man out of T’Challa and, all in all, the wedding was… as outsized and garish as you might expect a superhero wedding to be.
Obviously, the team working on Black Panther at the time wanted you to believe that Storm and T’Challa had found their happily ever after in matrimonial bliss with one another, but because comic books are basically just illustrated soap operas, there was no chance in hell their union was ever going to last. Eventually, Storm got swept up in the events of Avengers vs X-Men – an event that saw a large swath of Wakanda obliterated thanks to a giant wave created by Namor – which in turn led to T’Challa deciding to unilaterally annul their marriage in front of the whole country.
It was a messy and abrupt ending to a relationship that was billed as being one for the ages, and honestly? It felt… wrong. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what felt weird about Storm and T’Challa’s relationship, but from Chris Claremont’s perspective, it all boils down to the fact that each of them is too big a personality to pair up. When we spoke with him recently, he was candid about his general feeling that the two of them probably shouldn’t have tied the knot:
Well, the problem I have with it is, who gets top billing?
Because that’s the function of a king’s wife is to produce little princes and pricessees, right? The first thing that Charles and Diana did was have a child.
Their job was to have babies and be guarded and I think the challenge with any marriage relationship in comics – but especially a marriage of leading characters in comics – is answering the question: “What comes next?” Does Ororo become a supporting character in T’Challa’s book? Does T’Challa become a supporting character in Ororo’s book? How do you strike a balance between them? What do you do five years down the line? Because the practical reality is that the audience gets older, the creator gets older, but the characters can’t get older and the moment you bring a child into it, that automatically marks time.
Claremont makes a very, very good point. Though Storm and T’Challa are no strangers to working with one another from time to time, their respective duties as heroes on different teams most often have them to opposite ends of the globe (if not the universe), dealing with all manner of reality-threatening events. Storm’s mainly concerned with the fact that mutantkind seems to nearly go extinct every other month, while T’Challa’s been busy trying to hold Wakanda together in the midst of an a political uprising.
Put simply, Storm and T’Challa both lead lives far too action-packed and time consuming to even entertain the idea of a casual fling with a nearby teammate, let alone a full-blown marriage. As difficult as it was to watch the two of them fall apart, it was almost certainly for the best.