As one of the X-Men’s veteran members, Storm was once deaged back to a child, and this is how it happened and how it was undone.
The life of a mutant is never easy, especially if they’re a member of the X-Men. Not only must they weather the day-to-day ordeals of anti-mutant bigotry and violence, but they also have to deal with the endless number of villains that want to defeat them. For Storm, a master manipulator of weather and one of the senior leaders of the X-Men, life was never harder than it was when she was captured and de-aged by the insane cyborg known as Nanny.
Despite not beginning as a force of evil, the woman known as Nanny suffered severe mental damage at the hands of anti-mutant activists and became convinced that she alone was capable of saving mutant children, even if that meant killing their parents to bring them under her care. In Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s Uncanny X-Men #248, Nanny and her partner, Orphan Maker, were attempting to seal Havok, Psylocke and Dazzler within robotic battle suits to revert them back mentally to children. Nanny and Orphan Maker were unsuccessful in their plan and escaped. Storm gave chase but was caught in the tentacles of Nanny’s ship. Out of sheer panic, Havok fired an energy blast at the ship and seemingly destroyed it along with Storm.
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Unknown to the X-Men, Nanny had actually left a Life Model Decoy of Storm for them to find. In truth, Nanny had put Storm into a machine and reverted her physically back to being a pre-teen child. Storm’s memories were muddled and spotty, leaving her unable to fully remember who she was or that she was even a mutant. Storm was soon found in her child-like state and brought to a hospital. There, however, the evil extra-dimensional being known as Shadow King became aware of Storm’s predicament and sought to subdue her. Storm escaped the hospital and began a life as a runaway.
Storm’s new life as a waif didn’t last long; she fell into a trap set by Shadow King and was nearly taken by him and his personal army of monsters known as The Hounds. Luckily, another mutant arrived and saved her; this new mutant was named Gambit. Traveling with Gambit all across the Southern United States, Storm was taught how to be a proper thief. She loved the thrill of stealing solely from the bad guys and giving their spoils back to those more deserving, acting as a modern-day Robin Hood.
But all good things must come to an end, including Storm’s reversion to childhood. Cameron Hodge, Commander of the anti-mutant organization the Right and proponent of the extreme anti-mutant actions taken by the Genoshan government, became instrumental in bringing Storm back to her proper age as an adult as the “X-Tinction Agenda” crossover began in Chris Claremont and Jim Lee’s Uncanny X-Men #270. As the combined forces of the X-Men, X-Factor, and the New Mutants fought against Hodge, Storm was captured and brainwashed briefly by Hodge. During her capture, Hodge placed Storm in the mutate transformation process and thus restored her to her proper age. In her battle against her own teammates, Storm unleashed her mutant energy and managed to free herself of the mental shackles Hodge had placed on her.
Since the “X-Tinction Agenda” event with Cameron Hodge, Storm has managed to remain her proper age as an adult. As absolutely bizarre an event as it was, if it wasn’t for Nanny and Orphan Maker capturing Storm and forcing her into their twisted machine, Storm would never have met Gambit. History would have unfolded in a radically different fashion. Gambit himself has played a pivotal and integral role within the X-Men, both as benefactor and antagonist, so without Storm’s fateful encounter with the Cajun mutant, the history of the Marvel Universe could have played out fairly differently.
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