This series of science-fiction and fantasy comic books is mainly known here in The Netherlands so it may be new to al lot of you out there who read this. I hope so, because you're about to discover the most epic comic book adventure ever told!
Storm & Ember about to kick butt! source: AbeBooks
Yes my dear brothers and sisters, Storm isn't just one of Marvel's X-Men; he's the brain-child of British comic book artist and author Don Lawrence. The Storm series was first published in the dutch weekly Eppo, and I got my parents to get me a subscription just for Storm; I remember being annoyed by having to wait an entire week before I could read the next two or three pages from stories that typically were 48 pages long. Looking back however, and seeing how every single panel is a piece of art, I understand why that was. Lawrence also published another famous series you might be familiar with: The Rise and Fall of the Trigian Empire. But for me, Storm will forever be my favorite comic book hero, topping anything Marvel or DC Comics has ever produced...
Storm was a co-production between Lawrence and the Dutch comic book author Martin Lodewijk who wrote the stories. That's why Storm's so well known here in The Netherlands; he even received the Order of Orange-Nassau, a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry that's open to "everyone who has earned special merits for society." Unfortunately he received this honorary title in 2003, four years after he passed away.
Storm is an adventure of cosmic proportions that started in the late 1970's. The main protagonist, Storm, starts as an astronaut from Earth whose ship gets lost in Jupiter's Great Red Spot where a mysterious wormhole-like tear in the fabric of spacetime transports him to an entirely different world than the one we know, a parallel dimension. He soon meets his partner for the rest of his journeys, the lovely Ember, or Redhair (Roodhaar) as she's known here in the Netherlands.
I'll just show some of Lawrence's artwork and mention some of the titles that appeared in this series to give you a taste of the magic that held me captive for so many hours. Maybe it's also good to mention that Storm is nothing like The Rise and Fall of the Trigan Empire. The first series is called "The Chronicles Of The Deep World", with titles like "The Last Fighter" and the key story "The Legend Of Yggdrasil", in which Storm and Ember return to Earth in some alternative timeline with intelligent Dinosaurs that are about to become extinct.
source: From the Sorcerer's Skull
The next series, "The Chronicles Of Pandarve", take our heroes to the very center of the multiverse, starting with "Pandarve's Pirates" and containing other tantalizing stories like "The Living Planet", "The Von Neumann-Machine", "The Genesis Formula" and "The Armageddon Traveler". Lawrence is so masterful when it comes to weaving existing scientific theories with wild fantasy adventures!
The Von Neumann-Machine. source: Don Lawrence Collection
Storm is sold as a slave in the Pirates story but like the eternal superhero he is, he's not worried at all:
source: From the Sorcerer's Skull
Pandarve is followed by "The Chronicles Of The Between Time", "The Chronicles Of The Outer Ring" and "The Chronicles Of Ember". Even today the series continues, here in The Netherlands at least, making Storm my eternal comic book hero. Unfortunately I haven't been able to follow all of it yet; I stopped at the end of the Outer Ring stories, but after writing this post I'll be on the lookout for copies of all the stories. The ones I had got lost and I mostly read them as part of the Dutch Eppo weekly comics magazine anyway...
The Living Planet. source: storm.nl
I hope you liked this (re-) introduction to Storm and Ember. It might also have given you some insight into my psyche, why I'm such a hopeless dreamer :-) I don't mind being that though, as I'm convinced that there's not enough dreaming done in our busy lives...
panellogy 077 - don lawrence#2 - storm - the von neumann machine
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