feature: a storm is coming…

October 16, 2014

Every little girl becomes inspired by someone in their life and if you’re a geek you can become inspired by a character you’ve read about. But not every little girl grows up to embody the character she is inspired by, many only dream of the character or dream of being them. Allow me to introduce Maya Glick, performer, artist and the woman who will embody the Marvel Comics superhero Storm in her own fan made film “Rain.”  

By Taneisha Jane, AFROPUNK Contributor

Maya’s love of Storm came from her childhood, where she was an outcast. “When I was a kid I was pretty much an outcast and isolated in a lot of ways. I was one of the only black kids at my elementary school in Texas, and I was the youngest by a stretch of about 10 years in a crew of half-siblings… so I didn’t really fit in anywhere and no one had any problem letting me know that.” At eight years old, she fell in love with rock music and decided she was going to be a rock star.  Which as a little black girl she says, “…made me even more of an oddball than I already was.”  To make things worse, she started school early, so she was always a year younger and a head shorter than everyone else. “People didn’t know what to do with me so of course I got messed with and bullied a lot.”

Although her primary geeky obsession was Star Wars as a child, she still didn’t feel like she fit in, even in the fantasy universe. “At the time my primary geek obsession and mode of escapism was Star Wars, but even in that imaginary universe of course I never saw anyone who looked like me… so I still didn’t quite fit in even in a fantasy space world.”  

Then one day, while walking in the mall past the arcade part of the movie theater, she saw an image of the Marvel X-Men superhero Storm on the side of the movie theater arcade that, “…stopped the whole world and changed my life all in one moment. It was clearly a superhero and she was black, wearing leather while looking like the most badass rock star super goddess I had ever seen.” She continued, “Her eyes were lit up and she had most of her head shaved except for that fucking mohawk that just flared straight up off her head like some kinda warrior headdress…and she was surrounded by lightning.” From that moment, not only did she fall in love with the African Goddess, but the Goddess became, “…my imaginary bodyguard who I wanted to have my back when I was being picked on.  I didn’t want to be rescued by Superman… I wanted to be able to turn into Storm with a mohawk and rescue myself. That’s a hugely empowering transition in thinking for a young girl to be able to have.”

Storm has also helped her through a tough time as well. On December 11th, 2011 something very tragic affected her life.  “I went into the hospital to give birth to my son. He was stillborn. It destroyed me. I went through a very dark time of powerlessness and depression.” She continued, “At some point during that time I rediscovered the Lifedeath books, where Ororo was going through her own struggle with powerlessness. On the very first page of Lifedeath we see her curled up in bed looking pathetic and defeated, and the caption says ‘Once upon a time, there was a woman who could fly’…” That image of Storm during that hard time, gave Maya something to relate to.  “I wanted to crawl inside of that picture and become her. I wanted to inhabit her because I knew SHE was going to be alright, even when I didn’t know I was.”  That image was one of the key inspirations behind her writing the story that will become the Storm fan film “Rain.”

Storm has been portrayed in several Hollywood movies (by actress Halle Berry) as well has been in several children’s cartoons which Maya feels she’s been “…poorly represented.”  She explains, “As an artist, I tend to fill in gaps for myself.  Like, I don’t like most music as it is… so I became a musician and made my own.  If there’s a blank place on my living room wall, I make the painting of what I want to look at.  Same thing applies here.  I needed to see this version of this character represented in a way that I can relate to– with some darkness and depth and anger… going through some shit and transforming. I needed to see that story, so I wrote it.”

With a story written, Maya began production for the fan film that would reflect her inspiration Storm. “The whole process has been amazing,” she says.  “I’m learning a lot and being challenged every step of the way which is (usually) a great thing.”  She continued, “We went through months and months of pre-production before we ever stepped on set so I’ve had a lot of time to watch and learn and figure out the process as we go.”

But there can be downfalls to production as well, but Maya doesn’t view it in that way.  “I wouldn’t say ‘down falls’ but there have definitely been challenges, at least on my end.” She continues, “There are a lot of stops and starts with production and I think the main obstacle there is money. Everyone involved is doing this for nothing or next to nothing, so this project has to fit in between their other gigs that are actually paying bills.  So it’s going to take a lot longer to complete for that reason.” For Maya, this is all she has.  “…it’s my main focus and my whole heart and soul. It’s hard to have your heart and soul on standby.  The rest of the crew love what we’re doing and are excited about RAIN as well, but they have other projects to work on and deadlines, etc. For me however, all my eggs are in this one basket… and that basket is in someone else’s hands… and sometimes on a shelf. So that’s hard.”

For Maya, the ultimate goal for this project like any art was just creative catharsis. “It has grown way beyond me and my own personal expression.” She continued, “Like a baby, it’s in you and its growing and energizing and you just want to get it out into the world and see it stand on its own.” That metaphor weighs in a little more for her because of her loss in 2011.  So this film, “…is for my son, Orion.”

She adds, “But it has grown way beyond me and my own personal expression.  My hope is that bringing this character to life in this way will do for someone else what the image on the side of that video game did for me so many years ago.   In nature, a strong storm can change the landscape. I hope that in some small way… for somebody out there…. this film can inspire or excite some part of their heart that needed lightning and rain!”


What’s your favorite Storm moment from the comics or the cartoon? Be sure to let me know via my Twitter or on my Nerdgasms tumblr.


Be sure to follow Maya on Twitter:

Watch the Kickstarter video to Maya’s fan film ‘Rain’ here

And be sure to follow the ‘Rain’ Facebook page

Follow me as well on Twitter: and my Nerdgasms tumblr