Ororo Monroe is the descendant of an ancient line of African priestesses, all of whom have white hair, blue eyes, and the potential to wield magic. Her mother, N'dare, was an African princess who married American photojournalist David Monroe and moved with him to Manhattan, where Ororo was born. When Ororo was six months old, she and her parents moved to Cairo, Egypt. Five years later, during the Arab-Israeli conflict, a plane crashed into their home. Ororo's parents were killed, but she survived, buried under rubble near her mother's body. The resultant trauma left Ororo with severe claustrophobia that still affects her today.
Ororo managed to escape the rubble of her shattered home with nothing but the tattered clothes on her back and her mother's ancestral ruby. Homeless and orphaned, Ororo was found by a gang of street urchins who took her to their master, Achmed el-Gibar. Achmed trained Ororo in the arts of thievery and she soon became his prize pupil, excelling in picking both pockets and locks. During her time in Cairo, Ororo picked the pocket of an American tourist. The man proved no easy mark, however, as he was Charles Xavier, a powerful mutant telepath who used his abilities to stop the theft. At that moment, Xavier was psionically attacked by another mutant and Ororo used the opportunity to escape.
Years later, feeling a strong urge to wander south, Ororo left Cairo. During her travels, Ororo naïvely accepted a ride from a complete stranger and was almost raped by him. Forced to defend herself, Ororo killed the man. From that moment, she swore never to take another human life. Ororo wandered for thousands of miles, almost dying during her trek across the Sahara Desert. Her mutant ability to psionically control the weather emerged soon after, and she was able to use them to rescue T'Challa, a prince of the African nation of Wakanda, from his would-be kidnappers. The pair spent much time together,
however T'Challa's duties as a prince prevented them from further exploring their burgeoning mutual attraction.
Finally, Ororo reached her ancestors' homeland on the Serengeti Plain in Kenya. She was taken in by an elderly tribal woman named Ainet who taught her to be responsible with her powers. Ororo soon came to be the object of worship of the local tribes who believed her to be a goddess due to her gift.
Years later, Ororo was forced to battle the threat of a fellow mutant weather manipulator known as Deluge, who sought revenge against humanity. With the help of several members of the team of mutant heroes known as the X-Men, Deluge was seemingly destroyed and Ororo returned to her life amongst the tribal people. The X-Men subsequently told their founder, Professor Xavier, about Storm but he declined to contact her at this point, not wanting to shock the young woman with the true nature of her powers.
Months later, however, Xavier was left with no choice but to recruit Storm and other mutants from around the world into the X-Men in order to rescue his original students from the threat of the sentient island being known as Krakoa. Xavier explained to Ororo that she was not a "goddess", but a mutant, and as such she had a responsibility to use her abilities to help the world just as she had helped the local tribes. Curious, Ororo accepted Xavier's offer, and was given the codename "Storm".
Storm was initially very naïve when it came to the customs of the modern world, but her team mate Jean Grey helped educate her in the ways of society and the pair formed a lasting friendship. Jean was also one of the first X-Men to learn of Storm's claustrophobia after the two women chased a thief into the subway.
After serving with the team for many years, Storm was appointed leader of the team following the departure of former leader Cyclops after the apparent death of Jean. Storm was initially unsure about her new role, but with the support of her team mates she soon became a capable leader. When Cyclops eventually returned to the team, Storm found herself doubting her leadership abilities once more after a mission she led went wrong. However, she soon asserted her position, reminding Cyclops that she was now team leader.
Later, after the X-Men were captured and taken into space by the insectoid alien race known as the Brood, Storm fought back but her powers flared out of control. She discovered that she had been implanted with a Brood egg that would hatch and transform her into one of the aliens. Now wanting to unleash such an evil into the world, Storm attempted to commit suicide by channelling all of the surrounding stellar energy into her own body, destroying the Brood embryo but leaving her drifting unprotected in space. She would have died in the vacuum had it not been for a member of the Acanti, a race of space faring whale-like creatures that had been enslaved by the Brood. The Acanti that saved Storm was revealed to be the caretaker of the soul of his entire race who had lost his mother to the Brood and needed guidance. Storm agreed to let her consciousness guide the young Acanti whilst it healed her damaged body, and, after the Brood were defeated, a restored Storm returned home with the X-Men.
Soon after, the X-Men encountered the underground community of mutants known as the Morlocks who had kidnapped one of their former members, Angel. To save her friends, Storm challenged the Morlock leader Callisto to a duel and bested her in hand-to-hand combat. As a result, Storm became leader of the Morlocks and she ordered them to cease their hostilities against the surface-dwelling humans.
When the X-Men later travelled to Japan to attend the wedding of their team member Wolverine, Storm first met the ninja named Yukio. A friend of Wolverine's, Yukio was the most care free spirit that Ororo had ever met and the two became fast friends. Yukio influenced a major rebellious change in Storm's attitude towards life, and she took to wearing leather and shaved her hair into a Mohawk.
Storm later had her powers accidentally neutralized by a gun invented by the mutant machinesmith named Forge, who took it upon himself to nurse Storm back to health. During her convalescence, Storm and Forge fell in love but their relationship was cut short after Storm learned Forge had created the device that stripped her of her powers.
Storm subsequently quit the X-Men and returned to Africa where she finally came to terms with losing her mutant ability. Returning to Cairo, Storm joined Xavier's newest team of young mutants, the New Mutants, in an adventure into the past during which Storm met one of her ancestors who helped the heroes return to their own time. Storm and the New Mutants were subsequently captured by the Asgardian trickster god Loki who sought to use Storm in one of his schemes to discredit his half-brother, the thunder god Thor, by restoring her abilities and brainwashing her into believing she was a goddess. With the aid of the X-Men, Storm was able to reject Loki's gifts, thus thwarting his plan.
Storm returned to the X-Men to find herself being challenged to a duel for leadership of the team by Cyclops. Despite her still being powerless, she won and Cyclops quit the team. Soon after, the X-Men and the Hellfire Club formed an alliance to combat the growing threats against mutants that saw Storm share the position of White King with a reformed Magneto. The alliance was to be short-lived, however, after Storm decided that in order to safeguard their friends and families from their many enemies, the X-Men must fake their deaths and become an underground proactive strikeforce. Soon Storm realized that she needed her powers restored and so she sought out Forge for his help. She found Forge's old mentor Nazé instead, who informed her that Forge had been corrupted by his nemesis, the Adversary, and was seeking to destroy the world. Unbeknownst to Storm, the Adversary had actually corrupted Nazé. When Storm finally located Forge, she found him atop a mountain seemingly opening a dimensional portal filled with demons. Storm struck Forge down, and only then realized he had been attempting to close the portal, not open it. The Adversary then trapped Storm and Forge in the other dimension and seized control of Dallas, warping time and space in order to foment chaos on Earth.
Storm and Forge spent a year on an alternate Earth, during which time they made peace and admitted their love for one another. Forge used components from his cybernetic leg to fashion a new device that restored Storm's powers which she then used to energize a portal back to their own world. They rejoined the X-Men in time to defeat the Adversary, imprisoning him at the cost of their own lives. However, the Omniversal Guardian named Roma restored the X-Men to life, freeing the Adversary under the notion that there could be no order without chaos.
Soon after, Storm was captured by the crazed scientist known as Nanny who sought to use Storm's abilities in her quest to liberate the world's super-powered children by making orphans of them. Nanny used her technology to de-age Storm to her pre-teens and strip her memories so as to better sway the mutant to her cause. However, Storm fought back and overloaded Nanny's device. Once more a child with no memories of her life as an X-Man, the young Storm returned to her life as a thief. On one caper, she found herself the target of the psychic being known as the Shadow King but was saved by a fellow mutant and thief named Gambit. The pair formed a partnership and, after Storm regained her memories, she took Gambit to meet the X-Men.
Storm was eventually restored to adulthood after the X-Men were captured by agents of the island nation of Genosha who used mutants as slaves. Storm underwent the mutate transformation process, however the Genoshan Genegineer and Chief Magistrate were members of a rebel faction. They restored Storm's body and mind, and the X-Men were able to defeat their aggressors.
Soon after, the X-Men were reformed into two separate strike teams, with Cyclops and Storm as co-leaders. Forge aided both teams as their resident technician, however this left little time for them to rekindle their relationship. Forge still asked Storm to marry him, but she hesitated on giving a reply. Forge was left thinking she did not truly love him and he left before she could respond with a "yes".
Months later, the eternal mutant Apocalypse made a bid for power by gathering together the Twelve, a group of mutants prophesied to usher in a golden age for their kind that counted Storm amongst their number. Apocalypse was defeated, but not before the ultimate extent of Storm's mutant power was revealed in an alternate future wherein she had evolved into a wholly elemental being.
Not long after, Storm and five of her team mates formed a splinter group of X-Men known as the X-Treme X-Men, cutting all ties with the rest of the team to search for the diaries of the blind mutant seer Destiny that mapped the future of mutants. During a mission in Australia, Storm was reunited with Gambit who sought to obtain her mother's ruby. It was revealed that the ruby was part of a set that, when empowered, could open a portal between dimensions. Several of the gems had already gone missing, and Gambit wished to ensure that Storm's ruby remained safe. At that moment, the other-dimensional warrior named Shaitan attacked, capturing Gambit and stealing the ruby. Shaitan used the gems and Gambit's mutant ability to empower them, thus opening a portal allowing the armies of his master, Khan, to pass through and invade Earth.
Storm's X-Men opposed the invaders, but she was seriously injured by Madripoor's ruling crimelord Viper and was subsequently taken prisoner by Khan himself. The warlord intended for Storm to be his queen, and commanded his physicians to heal her. Storm attempted to seduce Khan into calling off his invasion whilst her team mates fought to close the portal. Khan's other concubines grew jealous of Storm's advances and attempted to kill her. Despite her injuries, Storm prevailed and escaped, rejoining her team mates as they destroyed the portal.
During her subsequent recuperation, which required her to undertake physical therapy to heal her back and legs, Storm and her team were asked back to the mansion to rejoin the core X-Men team. Storm declined, however, believing that there was still work for her team to do. During a world summit to address the increasing hostilities between humans and mutants, Storm offered her X-Men team's services to the United Nations as a global mutant police force, the X-Treme Sanctions Executive.
Storm's first mission would be a solo one as she was charged with infiltrating and exposing an underground slave trading network that forced mutants to fight in gladiator-style arenas. Soon after, Storm and her team returned to Westchester to help rebuild the mansion following an attack by Magneto and stayed on to continue their new direction. With the XSE, Ororo and her teammates opposed such threats as the Weaponeers and the extradimensional Fury, as well as aiding the Hellfire Club against an attack by rogue member Donald Pierce. Ororo was captured by the saurian Hauk’ka who amplified her powers with the intent of creating a global hyper-storm to destroy human civilization, but she was freed by her teammate Rachel. Later, Ororo accompanied Havok’s X-Men team to Africa to investigate animal mutations. Alongside the Black Panther, Ororo and the X-Men opposed Genoshan scientist Doctor Paine and the Russian criminal the Red Ghost, after which Ororo opted to leave the X-Men and remain in Africa.
Following the restoration of reality after it was warped by the Scarlet Witch, the majority of the world’s mutants lost their powers and Ororo sought to safeguard those mutants remaining in Africa. During her efforts, Ororo was proposed to by the Black Panther. Returning to Wakanda with him, Ororo met his mother and, while contemplating T’Challa’s proposal, learned that her uncle Shetani was responsible for the attacks on African mutants. After confronting him, Ororo met her maternal grandmother and learned more of her family’s history. Subsequently, she accepted T’Challa’s proposal and the pair were married in Wakanda. After their honeymoon, the royal couple embarked on a world tour, meeting with global leaders such as Doctor Doom and Namor the Sub-Mariner before deciding to form a global alliance to oppose the U.S. Superhuman Registration Act. Arriving in the U.S., T’Challa and Ororo sought a meeting with the President; however, Ororo was required to register as a superhuman before the meeting could proceed. Refusing, Ororo was subsequently targeted for arrest, and alongside her husband opposed Sentinels and Iron Man sent to apprehend her. After Iron Man stood down, Ororo and T’Challa opted to remain in the U.S. on a fact-finding mission prior to taking action against the Registration Act.