I think Bunn sees Magneto as the primary focus, and everyone else is a satellite character. This means that Polaris becomes a simpering daddy’s girl help meet, Scarlet Witch is always blamed for HoM for mutant savior angst, and Quicksilver is to provide a rival/enemy to make him look heroic. It debases and distorts them for Magneto, but again, that is all Bunn cares about. Like how Soranik (DC, Green Lantern) started to revolve around Sinestro (her father) when Bunn started to write them.

@allwillbeone said: 

Bc, it’s Cullen Bunn. I knew it.

I’ll be replying to two people at once here.

I don’t think Bunn has used Scarlet Witch or Quicksilver much yet, and we can’t say how he would treat them as a result. We’ve seen enough about Bunn’s view of Polaris and other women to say something about that though.

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of people say that Psylocke was basically turned into a foil for Magneto. I’ve seen similar said about Emma Frost’s depiction during X-Men Blue #8 and #9, that those issues largely presented Emma in a manner that was beneficial to Magneto at Emma’s expense.

Treatment of Polaris in various Bunn things itself has issues.

The end of the Magneto solo had two problem spots specific to Lorna: Lorna written as scandalized by Magneto putting any lives at risk to save the world, and Lorna getting sucker-punched by her dad in that she somehow supposedly never anticipated him trying to siphon all her energy like a battery to do the job all by himself.

Deadpool and the Mercs for Money had her appearance altered to have Magneto’s helmet and collar just in green. All by itself, in the right context, this can be a good thing. The Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon did it well. It becomes a problem when taken with the Magneto solo’s ending and the next thing: X-Men Blue.

Several months before it would release, Polaris’ return on X-Men Blue was touted as a meaningful thing, announced at a conference with an X-Men Blue #9 cover devoted to her. The senior X-Men editor also talked about her a fair bit then.

Then, in the following months, it all went silent. Bunn showed at least some excitement about getting to write Havok, and even brought him up at times in interviews, but he didn’t care enough to talk about Polaris at all. When the time came, he was eager to spend most of X-Men Blue #8 building up Havok’s prestige, letting him interact with other characters and implying he’s a threat.

What did Polaris get? The “honor” of being defined exclusively by who the men in her life are. Havok and Magneto. “She’s Magneto’s daughter!” “She’s going to mop the floor with her ex!”

Okay but why the fuck is she taking this action at all? What does she want in all of this? Does she just want to beat up her ex Havok and be her father Magneto’s puppet, or does she actually have a reason for her course of action? Why is she on this book at all?

And then we get to X-Men Blue #11. The conversation with her father was okay. She said a lot of words that look nice. But then she’s written as acting like she’s completely floored by the idea that the base is attacked, as if a woman who nearly died on Genosha and witnessed millions murdered in a surprise genocide wouldn’t have the sort of trauma that makes her expect an attack no matter how safe you feel. And this happened entirely so Magneto could “correct” her by saying the goddamn obvious.

Followed by Polaris getting easily defeated with the rest of the teachers, because Magneto got defeated too, and obviously if Magneto’s going down that easy then his “lesser” support Polaris will too. Can’t have Lorna showing up Magneto when they have the same powers, just like we couldn’t have her showing up Havok when he’s leader of teams she’s on.

Then I saw Blood Storm get multiple pages worth of backstory and effort to get inside her head that Bunn never once tried to do with Polaris and never will.

I think about things like Uncanny X-Men too. For that whole run, Bunn said he hoped to bring Polaris back, but all he ever did was have Sabretooth say she smells nice in passing.

Here’s the gist of things. When I started reading Bunn, I had concerns about some of his choices, but I chalked them up to Marvel interfering. I assumed pretending she never suffered through the Genoshan genocide was Marvel editorial being dicks. I assumed Bunn not getting Polaris on Uncanny X-Men was Marvel execs being dicks cause they didn’t want her on any books.

But after the past several months? I don’t think that’s what’s going on at all.

I think Bunn doesn’t care about Polaris or what she can offer except insofar as how it might benefit Magneto or other characters he actually cares about.

If Bunn cared about Lorna, he would’ve been excited to hype up her return for X-Men Blue #9 in the same way he did for Havok.

if Bunn cared about Lorna, then in X-Men Blue #9, he would’ve given her the sort of in-depth character history talk and inside-her-head bits he’s giving Blood Storm right now.

He wouldn’t leave everything she is to be defined exclusively by the men in her life and what outside characters like Jean Grey say about her. His writing decisions betray that he’s so far outside caring who she is, how she thinks, what she believes that he sticks to having Jean Grey exclaim the most basic of basic cliff notes. Stuff that doesn’t even matter and won’t get anyone to care about who Lorna is or what she’s doing on this book.

Nobody gives a shit about a character who seems to exist solely to be a foil for another character, especially a man. I saw it firsthand when I had to fix perception of Rosa Farrell from Final Fantasy IV. So, so many people saw her as a useless damsel in distress because they defined her solely by her relationship with Cecil Harvey.

It took several years of pointing out that Rosa wasn’t just a damsel Cecil had to rescue twice. She was a badass who crossed a desert crawling with monsters all by herself and only walked out of it with a sickness anyone could get. She was a compassionate mother figure who managed to help a little girl get over her fear of fire – a fear the girl had because fire killed her mother and destroyed her home village. She was a selfless defender who, when everyone else in her party was about to die, offered herself up as a sacrifice to save their lives.

But according to people who only defined Rosa by Cecil, she was just a pain in the ass that slowed your journey down. When a female character is defined exclusively by the men in her life, not by her own actual qualities, people start to think she sucks.

That’s what I see in Bunn’s treatment of Polaris so far. An attitude that she exists only to be defined by Magneto, Havok and other characters he actually cares about. Characters that aren’t her.

Bunn says a lot of nice things when he’s asked. Shoot him a message and he’ll say some great things. On his own, without someone asking him, he doesn’t volunteer the slightest bit of interest in Lorna. He doesn’t answer interview questions with “I have big plans for Polaris that involve her history on Genosha.” He doesn’t put out teases on Twitter hinting at potential stories he might be thinking of for her. He doesn’t do any of the things someone that actually likes Lorna would do for the simple joy of getting to do it and feeling eager to show it off to the world.

Look at Emma Dumont by contrast. She’s posting instagram photos of the Polaris figurines she’s bought. She’s geeking out over Lorna’s potential relationships. She’s sharing Polaris fanart, and doing interviews with green hair.

I don’t expect everyone, including a writer, to be as committed to Polaris as Emma Dumont, but there’s a massive gulf between Emma’s excited fandom and Bunn’s virtual wasteland of interest.

If Bunn isn’t interested in writing Polaris the actual character, and is only interested in writing Magneto’s daughter or Havok’s ex or X character’s rival, then I’d rather she not be on X-Men Blue at all. Bunn can find or create other characters to fill the roles he plans to use Polaris for. Let a different writer write her. 

At this point, I quite frankly think the only reason he says he likes her and wants her around is so he can use her to benefit other characters. Nothing to do with Lorna herself. He hasn’t shown me anything that suggests otherwise. He’s only said some stuff that does not match his actions.

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