Good Things Marvel Has Done for Polaris/Lorna Dane (since 2009)



For the past several months, I’ve complained a lot about Marvel and things they’ve done wrong with Polaris and everything related to her. I think I’ve been completely justified, but I don’t like that I haven’t done enough to acknowledge the good things that DID happen for Lorna in that same time span.

I’m not forgetting or ignoring those bits. I love and appreciate them. I want to spend more time focused on them, but things keep happening that sideline chances to show it.

So in the interest of recognizing the good work some people at Marvel are doing, and the moments where the company allows them to happen, here’s a list of the POSITIVE developments and treatment Lorna has received since 2009, IMO.

Note: this does not include things Marvel canceled due to the Disney buyout, like the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon and Exiles.

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Addressing the depowering of Lorna by her own sister would have been awesome. Lorna mentioned it enough in the past, mostly to Pietro but to others as well, and obviously it was an unresolved issue between them. It would have been a great chance but they missed it. I’m grateful for the issue as well even if I didn’t like it.

I’m really really sad that we probably won’t see the twins interacting with Polaris for a looong time. Especially Pietro, since he was starting to establish a brotherly relationship to his little sister. Wanda never interacted that much with Lorna either way (something that definitely should have happened more than just one issue after practically a decade.)

Gambit was overstepping his boundaries, that’s true, but it’s Gambit, I don’t think anyone could really stay mad at that guy. He even acknowledged that Lorna turned into a great leader in ANXF #13 and that he had been hard on her. And then he shoved his tongue down her throat, but as I said it’s Gambit. He was written as a bit more of a creep than usual but I didn’t really mind.

I guess, what I’m saying is that I liked the contrast between the first issues and the latest ones and how Lorna slowly overcame everything, turned into a respectable leader and once more became the Polaris we adore. She is my second favorite superheroine after Rogue and even that may switch at any time.

And worst issue for me would be definitely ANXF #18. And everything that came after that because Quicksilver obviously. I get it that they had to get him out of X-Factor and into the Uncanny Avengers for the whole awful retcon thing but I think they could have done it in a better way, not with him arguing with Lorna over Sunfire (he was right about that btw) and then abandoning the team alltogether. Anyway, what’s your best issue?

The big thing with Lorna and Wanda depowering her on M-Day is, it caused a LOT of trauma for Lorna.


It gave Lorna such an identity crisis that she didn’t know what to do with herself anymore. She literally ran out in front of a Sentinel hoping that the Sentinel nearly killing her would somehow reactivate her powers. That’s how much her powers and mutant heritage meant to her – she was willing to risk dying to get them back.

She eventually left the X-Men as a result, but it made her vulnerable for Apocalypse to take her and turn her into Pestilence… which included torture like this.

Her time as Pestilence then led to her getting hunted down by an anti-Apocalypse cult out to kill her, which was used as an excuse to send her into space with Havok rather than as an excellent story opportunity. While in space, she was once again tortured.

All three of these things happened to Lorna because Wanda depowered her on M-Day. If she had her powers, she wouldn’t have been tortured and exploited by Apocalypse, which wouldn’t have led to the anti-Apocalypse cult forcing her into space, which wouldn’t have led to Vulcan torturing her. And Wanda depowered Lorna specifically because they’re family.

It’s something that needed to be addressed, would’ve made for a great story, but which Marvel really really didn’t want to be acknowledged and told. It might be easy to say Peter David didn’t want to address it, but the truth is more likely that Marvel wouldn’t allow it, given their track record with Lorna and her family for the past 6 years.

Lorna didn’t need to “turn into” a great leader in the way All-New X-Factor did it. She already had most of what she needed to be one, otherwise she wouldn’t have been replacement-leader in moments for Alex during 90s X-Factor and outer space, Madrox’s replacement-leader in recent X-Factor, and Magneto’s way of keeping up appearances on Genosha in the early 00s.

That’s the problem. Just because she wasn’t a leader in her own right until ANXF doesn’t mean she didn’t have enough experience already to be a great one. ANXF completely disregarded her leadership history and made her look incompetent as a starting point, partly to make it look like it was ANXF that made her into a great leader.

Gambit overstepping his boundaries is fine if it fits for him, but Lorna letting him do it unchallenged is not. Lorna would have, and should have, made him stand down. The main problem wasn’t Gambit’s behavior, it was Lorna being written as letting him get away with it without consequences of any kind. If we go with Lorna as previously shown with leader skills, she would’ve censured him strongly. If we go with “raging moron” Lorna of ANXF #4 and #6, she would’ve attacked him as a threat to her authority. Neither happens.

If there is one thing All-New X-Factor did NOT do for Lorna, it is make her into a respectable leader. It turned her into a bad one out of nowhere, then restored the respectable leadership qualities she already had before All-New X-Factor.

What it DID do was allow her to be leader of her own team for the first time in her history, but that’s not the same thing. Props need to go to Peter David for being the first writer to let her actually lead her own team, and giving her some great moments within (e.g. ANXF #14 and recruiting Gambit, IMO), but props don’t need to go to him for making her into a great leader when it meant tearing her down first.

My best issue is still All-New X-Factor #14, because Lorna and Wanda. 😛 ANXF #1 was a good starter. I have to admit Peter David did a great job with Pietro on ANXF #12 and #13. ANXF #7 and #8 were also great, so good that I honestly think it should’ve been the very first arc of the entire book. It does a much better job of grabbing attention and presenting the stakes for mutants.

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