So, I just finished watching Orange Is The New Black‘s second season. I highly recommend it, but more to the point, it also started the wheels turning in my geeky little mind. Lemme explain. One of the best things to come out of this season is Poussey Washington‘s arc. She was an entertaining minor character last season, but became a much deeper and more central character this season. And she was arguably the best thing on the show. And that was because Samira Wiley, the actress who portrays her, was arguably the best part of the show. It was towards the end of my (binge) watching the series that the proverbial light bulb appeared above my head. It was then that I realized that Samira Wiley should be the new Storm in any upcoming X-Men movies.
Two caveats for this post:
1. This is a highly subjective view of what Storm represents. It’s what she means to me as a character. I may not remember specific instances that contradict some of my points. And some may call me on my opinions by producing evidence that supports differing views on this character. That’s fine. But again, I’m coming from the POV of what she means to me at her best.
2. THERE MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD CONCERNING ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. You have been warned:
(Let us fill some spoiler space with this great photo.)
Here are my reasons:
- Storm is energetic – Storm’s more than just a name, it defines in large part who she is. She has a vitality to her. Wiley’s presence in OITNB is always electric. She just gives off the impression that’s she’s crackling with energy and always seems to possessed of a joie de vivre even in Poussey’s darkest moments. She’s a talented actress, but that smile can’t be faked. She’d bring that to Storm.
- Storm has integrity – Ororo says what she means and says what she means. Unlike, say, the Professor or Scott, she’s never had any sort of hidden agenda. Not only does she make her intentions clear, but she also does her best to follow through on them. Poussey’s conscience wouldn’t let her just look the other way when Vee started bringing in drugs to Litchfield. She knew the risks that came with calling Vee out on this but did it anyways.
- Storm is brave – After losing her powers for a brief time (although it felt like an eternity to a teenage fanboy), she stayed with the team. She willing faced dangers that her super-powered peers found challenging and frightening, and she willingly stood by them even though she was deprived of her abilities. Poussey openly defied Vee at a number of turns. I’ll grant that it wasn’t a linear progression, but she was the first to voice her dissent and did so directly to Vee. She played along for a while until dope peddling came into the picture, and then she confronted Vee about this. Granted, she did so drunkenly and sloppily, but this was in part because she knew the risks involved. But she faced those fears and went ahead and stood up to her anyway. And it cost her a beating at the hands of Suzanne (“Crazy Eyes”). And yet, she still refused to just look the other way. This is what a hero does.
- Storm is loyal – Paradoxically, one of the reasons Storm hasn’t stood out as much as, say, Wolverine in the comics is because she’s the consummate team player. She is in many ways the linchpin of the X-Men teams she’s been with. She stands out as a leader because others trust her to protect them at all times. Poussey wasn’t only the first one to speak up and warn others about Vee, she was also the only one among her group to openly stand up to her. It cost her dearly, but in the end, she never wavered in her loyalty to or love (platonic as well as unrequited) for Taystee. Like Storm, Poussey would storm the gates of Hell for her friends.
In short, Storm has a presence about her that makes others stand up and take notice. When the ‘Alpha Males’ of the X-Universe – Scott (Cyclops) and Logan (Wolverine) – start going at it, others either try to gently mock them (Beast) to calm them down or try to directly force them (Emma Frost) to stop fighting, Storm seems to be the one character to be able to look them both in the eye and tell them to get over themselves and back to the matter at hand. And they listen because she has the moral authority to make her words county. If Storm is to be anything more than a combination of The Weather Channel and Amazon (“The Weather You Want, When You Want It!”) in the movies, she won’t only need a strong script but an actor with the chops and charisma to make her stand out. Samira Wiley is that actress.