I wanna go back over things that happened with Cullen Bunn, Polaris, and my perceptions and reactions to Bunn as things progressed with him.

I started out highly supportive of him. I wanted Lorna able to interact with her father Magneto, and out in broader areas of the X-Men and Marvel universe where she could interact with other characters. I liked what I saw of the Magneto solo. I thought Bunn would be a good fit.

I really liked the scenes where Lorna and Magneto used their powers together. I liked the nod to Lorna’s history possessed by Malice.

I didn’t like Lorna somehow suckerpunched by Magneto, her powers drained. It felt like Lorna used as a tool instead of a character, and it didn’t seem to consider how that happened to Lorna before. But I didn’t say much about it. I felt the good had outweighed the bad, and I gave Bunn credit for the great depiction of Lorna on Secret Wars: House of M. Plus I had just come off Peter David, how I was hostile about him before he wrote a single new issue with Lorna. I felt I should give Bunn a chance to do more with Lorna first.

Two years passed with Lorna blacklisted from the comics. Bunn said he was going to include Lorna in Uncanny X-Men. It didn’t happen. I blamed Marvel editorial.

Then Bunn wrote an alternate universe Polaris in Deadpool and the Mercs for Money. I was pretty happy about that. Though I expected it to amount to nothing after two years of Lorna blacklisted. My original response was entirely positive. At the time, I didn’t see anything that bothered me about her use there.

Then, when Marvel announced Lorna’s return at a convention (the Chicago one, I forget what it’s called), including with a cover that was an homage to X-Men #50, I was cautiously optimistic.

Keep in mind. After two years, I came to expect Marvel wanted to bury the character, and editorial didn’t like that she had fans. Particularly as the spat between Fox and Disney kept going. Giving Lorna this return sounded great, but I expected we’d get little to nothing and then she’d be thrown back into the blacklist.

It’s when Havok started to figure into Blue that things went south real fast.

I noticed Bunn wasn’t saying anything at all about how he would soon be writing Polaris on X-Men Blue, unless specifically prompted by a question. He showed no excitement, enthusiasm or interest. By contrast, he was very happy to tease that he was going to write Havok – by posting a picture of his collection of Havok comics.

This was an immediate red flag for me. Bunn’s about to bring back Polaris, who has a cover dedicated to her return, whose return got announced at a convention, and what he’s most eager to tease is… writing Havok?

I didn’t say anything bad about Bunn at this point. I decided to wait and see what happened.

Then X-Men Blue #8-9 happened. And it exceeded my worst worries about what Bunn intended to do.

X-Men Blue #9 was supposed to be Lorna’s big return. It was supposed to be a chance to see this amazing underappreciated character show what she can do with a bigger platform, interacting with other major X-Men characters.

Instead, it was all about building up Havok. Presenting him as a major threat to the teen O5. Giving him a team to work for him. Giving him a chance to work with Emma and meet Briar. And then, on top of it, making Lorna’s fight with him all about how Lorna exists entirely to a) redeem Havok some day, and b) serve her father Magneto’s goals, needs and interests.

I was pissed. I was lied to as a reader who had supported Bunn, and Lorna was robbed of her moment in the spotlight. Everything got hijacked for Havok and Magneto’s benefit (moreso Havok than Magneto), and they didn’t need one damn bit of it.

Treatment of Lorna continued to have problems. In multiple cases, her history was ignored for Magneto’s benefit. So Magneto could make some smart quip that made Lorna look stupid. Or so Magneto had a little helper for a scene focused squarely on him.

After way more issues than it should’ve taken, Bunn started to do a little better with Lorna. He let Lorna work with her father in positive ways. He let her briefly train teen Angel and Jimmy. The latter wasn’t interacting with teen Jean and teen Iceman like Bunn should’ve done, but it was better than what he was doing.

Then he brought Havok back. And I lost all remaining respect I ever had for him.

Havok had already robbed Lorna of her return and spotlight in X-Men Blue #8-9. That was bad enough, not even counting the decades worth of how Lorna had been constantly torn down to build Havok up.

But now, Havok gets his own five-issue story arc too?! One where the core thrust of the storyline is “redeeming” Havok. Fuck that. Fuck X-Men Blue. Fuck everything.

Bunn toyed with the idea of doing something with Malice, but his failure to actually do anything with it only further magnified his lack of interest in and respect for Lorna. He didn’t use Malice to explore Lorna’s character in any way whatsoever. All he said with it is that Lorna can beat some low rent AU version of Malice, but it happened so quickly that it was clearly just filler. Buried as a tiny footnote in Havok’s story.

Then Bunn had Lorna as leader of a team. Which under normal circumstances, would have been a good thing. But not here. Here, Lorna’s team leadership was a lesser substory to the “great and glorious Havok” getting five issues of spotlight after he stole the 1-2 issues Lorna was supposed to have.

There were some good moments, but they were not enough, and they were too buried into putting Havok on a pedestal (mostly at Lorna’s expense) to have any real worth.

Plus, there was this fucking cover, which I will never get over until Marvel starts giving enough of a damn about Lorna to treat her better than this.

image

This cover is a perfect summary of everything that pissed me off about her treatment on X-Men Blue, and treatment by Marvel in general.

Lorna is a powerful storied character who cares about mutants and mutant rights. She suffered through the horror of seeing mutants she knew and cared about die in the Genoshan genocide. She’s the Mistress of Magnetism. She was introduced as Queen of Mutants.

But in the eyes of Marvel, and how she was mostly written on Blue? She’s just a limp trophy for Magneto and Havok to fight over. She’s just a toy for men.

This is why I’m as hostile about Marvel as I am right now. This is why I no longer have any respect for Bunn. They have this amazing character, yet they treat her like she has no value outside what she can do for male characters.

And as if to cap off just how atrocious and insulting everything that went down with Blue was, Havok proceeded to move on from X-Men Blue to get his own fucking team book with him as the leader.

Havok gets to hijack Lorna’s return, he gets to have his own five-issue story arc, and for what? So he can then get a whole fucking book dedicated to him?

What X-Men Blue did to me was make me loathe Havok more than any character I’ve ever seen, made me lose all respect I ever had for Bunn, and it’s now pushed me to where I’m going to be dropping everything Disney after this year.

On that last point, I’ve said I won’t do that if Lorna gets her own solo/oneshot or a team book with her as leader before the end of the year. I stick by that. It’s just that after Blue, I didn’t expect Marvel to have enough respect for Lorna to do that. So I’m preparing myself for when I make good on what I said I would do.

Everything that happened with Blue has also had a corrosive effect on my views of everyone else that works at Marvel. I’ve heard Matthew Rosenberg considers Havok to be his favorite character. Before Blue, I would’ve been open-minded to him writing Lorna. After Blue, I suspect he’d be such a fanboy for Havok that he’d set out to ruin Lorna for Havok’s benefit with any attempt to write her, and that he’d force Lorna into stuff tied to Havok when Lorna should be nowhere near him for the next 10 years.

All of that said?

It’s always possible I could come back around on Bunn. But it would take a hell of a lot for that to happen.

My default attitude is that I never want him to go anywhere near Lorna again. I don’t trust him to have enough care or respect for Lorna as her own character to do right by her. That means I’d be hostile to him writing her until he proves himself.

As I am now, I would not respond to hearing Bunn is writing Lorna by saying “I’ll wait and see where he goes with this.” I would expect the worst, and say Lorna needs to be taken from Bunn ASAP. But that’s the thing about life. Something is only true until it isn’t. The only way for my mind to change about Bunn is for him to do things that would make me change my mind.

But of course, that’s all contingent on if Bunn is able to treat her well. If he isn’t, then it’s better for him to cut losses.

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