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#SciFiSunday: Rain (2016) Movie Review

Fan film sets out to bring new life to Storm of the X-Men.

Story by Maya Glick (@MayaSokora)
Directed by R. Zane Rutledge & Jeff Stolhand

Praise Afropunk. That cinematic demonstration of the forgotten misfits in society (African Americans involved in the punk/hardcore/rock spaces) curated by James Spooner, a passionate artist and punk enthusiast who once asked on an online punk community message board, "Do you know any Black people?" What began as a documentary that deeply spoke to my own need for self-acceptance turned into an empowering online haven.

And this is where, after a long hiatus from my X-Men comic book and card collecting habit I acquired from a childhood friend, it all came back to remembrance when I saw a variation of Storm that did not get much lip service in my small circle.

As a wee one, I wasn't attentive to Storm, whom in hindsight felt like the token mutant I was "supposed to play" when we were out front working off the doldrums of the American public school system. It was the 90s cartoon with big hair and a questionable accent that I didn't identify with. Or the eclipsing of the popularity of Wolverine and the much sought after Scott and Jean wedding issue.

But I imagine if I had the exposure, mindfulness, and resources to dig deeper into Marvel's toybox and find this Storm, that captured my heart in a random post on the Afropunk message boards 1.0 many years later that she would've skyrocketed into my obsession.

Maya Glick, writer, star, and all around inspiration for this fan film that gives us the most savory moving images of Ororo Monroe has come out emphatically with similar sentiments. Rain is deeply personal as it is a fiercely warm reverence for Uncanny X-Men #186, as the optics that embody the issue's theme is where Glick saw this true sense of hope. Even in our darkest periods, we harness the power to breakthrough. On our terms. And that is the beauty of this final product.

What is so gripping about Rain is its ability to master a full, satisfying arc, create a believable universe, and tell a complete story that leaves no anti-climatic, loose ends in such a short amount of time. The acting was superb on all fronts and the attention to detail, in dialogue and meticulous, visual design is a model for fan-driven filmmaking. Go watch this film now!


Black Girl Nerds Podcast on Rain Part 1 & Part 2

For theoretical context on fandom, participation, and creating alternative texts:

"Television Fans, Poachers, Nomads" by Henry Jenkins in The Subcultures Reader

Analysis of the Lifedeath comic series featuring Storm:

Imperfect Storm (Part One): Exploring "Lifedeath" by Osvaldo Oyola
Imperfect Storm (Part Two): Exploring "Lifedeath II" by Osvaldo Oyola


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