For the fun of it, let’s take a look at Marvel thinking toward Polaris. The “logic” behind certain actions both done and possible, as well as defenses of Marvel behavior (past or potential).
1) “There isn’t enough interest in Lorna to justify using her”
If you take a real look around online, this is just patently false. Interest in Lorna is still high. When Gifted was doing well by her, she was all over the place, managing to garner far more attention and interest than anyone expected. There’s also been a general move in pop culture toward all the things Lorna best exemplifies when used well.
You have to be completely tone deaf about the current state of society to think Lorna has no place or use.
But even without that, Marvel’s not been shy about using and promoting plenty of other characters that don’t have anywhere near the same level of interest in them. Lockjaw got his own miniseries. So did Multiple Man. Marvel even created a miniseries for a brand new character they created only for that miniseries (Worst X-Man Ever). Basically, Marvel’s saying that a brand new character with almost no marketing who they will never use again somehow has more worth and interest than Lorna.
Without Gifted or anything else to go on, the argument would remain that Marvel needs to make at least one real attempt with her before they can safely consign her to the dungeon of nothing. Marvel has not done that. Therefore any argument of “no interest” in her is colossal bullshit.
2) “This fan is saying things we don’t like, so we’ll take it out on their favorite character”
This is in response to the idea that complaining about Marvel mistreating Lorna results in Marvel treating the character poorly, refusing to use her where appropriate or necessary, etc.
There are a lot of fans in the world. Fans have different viewpoints. It’s natural. One thinks something’s good, one thinks something’s bad, one eats cheese wheels all day. But it says something all on its own if Marvel is “punishing” all fans because they don’t like the words and actions of one or a few.
For one, it further demonstrates that they have no respect for Lorna or her worth. If a couple fans’ thoughts are enough to sour them on a whole ass character, they’re doing their jobs wrong and have no business working at Marvel. I manage to not blame Havok for the sins of creatives who have mistreated Lorna for his benefit; you don’t see me saying Havok should be blacklisted from comics because of that history. I recognize the character is separate from things I hate about his usage.
For two, it demonstrates a very clear lack of respect for fans and consumers as a whole. You have however many fans exist in the world who absolutely adore the character and see great things in her.
In the past 10 years, I’ve seen the kind of impact she has. I’ve felt moved by fans who said they have a figurine of her at their desk at work for emotional support. I’ve seen tattoos by people who cherish her enough to have her (or a symbol of her) inked onto their arms or legs. I’ve gotten pissed after learning that racists verbally abused a black Polaris fan for cosplaying as her.
If Marvel is ignoring aaaaallllll of those shows of fandom, all those life experiences, because they’re mad that I or any other fan is calling them out on poor behavior (even if they don’t think I’m valid in what I’m saying), then Marvel is a flat out shitty company. People behind those decisions don’t deserve to be in control of characters that hold so much meaning to fans.
Even if taking the POV of “Marvel can’t dignify fan demands cause they result in more,” it’s hardly dignifying fan demands to use Lorna where necessary. You don’t have to give Polaris a solo book to acknowledge that her time on Genosha was an essential character moment for her and use it in events where Genosha is important.
When you refuse to do the bare essentials because you don’t like one person demanding far more, you’re saying every single fan has no worth in your eyes and you do not respect them in any way.
3) “Her use in <insert old decade> is her best use and we must recapture it”
This is nostalgia talking. Pure and simple. There are certainly many things about Lorna’s history that can and should be used and explored, but it should never be about simply trying to copy-paste a time that some guy really liked when he was growing up. Progress is about moving forward, not looking back and drawing Twitter handles on an old picture.
4) “Fixing decades worth of problems would take too much time and effort”
This has two gaping hole fallacies.
One, it assumes that if you can’t fix every single problem then you shouldn’t attempt to fix anything. In reality, fixing one thing is better than fixing nothing. People of color who have been wronged in the United States will never see full reparations for all the harm done to them, but at least SOME things can be done, however small. Lorna’s situation obviously doesn’t compare, but the same basic logic applies.
Two, we go back to how this amounts to Marvel saying Lorna is a nobody character who doesn’t deserve good treatment. If this were someone like Jean Grey or Invisible Woman, Marvel would trip over themselves to clean up past messes because not doing so very visibly reflects poorly on them. It’s symptomatic of lack of respect for the character – and other characters like her.
5) “Now isn’t the right time, other things/characters take priority”
Okay then, when IS the right time?
Lorna’s existed since 1968. That’s 51 years. Does that mean there has been not a single month out of 612 months that fits as the right time for her? Will her time come 51 years from now? Will it come centuries from now when we’re all dead?
I used to think “Lorna needs X before Y is reasonable to ask for.” Then I saw them give minis to characters like Lockjaw and Multiple Man, and ignore her as part of the Magnus family and try to replace her, and undermine her to promote Havok on Blue and subsequent work.
I’ve learned that if you give Marvel an excuse to hold her back, they will absolutely run with it. An “unreasonable” demand is only “unreasonable” because Marvel thinks she doesn’t deserve that level of respect and likewise doesn’t have enough respect for her fans to pursue it.
This is everything I can think of at time of writing. I will add to this post if anything more comes to mind. Feel free to reach out via Tumblr/Twitter or the contact form on here if you have any I’ve missed.