I recently talked on Twitter about how Polaris not only deserves a solo, but she’s also ideal for one given her circumstances. I’ve decided it would be a good idea to actually make a list.
#1: History of Poor Treatment
This is the reason I talk about most often, so it’s only fair to make it my very first point.
Lorna has decades of being treated poorly, primarily to promote other characters. Mainly Havok, but you also have Malice, Mister Sinister, Zaladane, Storm, and so on.
It doesn’t stop just at depictions though. She’s been excluded from events she should’ve taken part in. Her long history with Jean and Iceman, and her family ties to Wanda and Pietro and Magneto, have been repeatedly ignored. Marvel generally treats her like a character who was introduced in the 90s but is also somehow inherently “bad” and “unworthy” of focus because that’s how Claremont framed her.
A solo would be a chance for Marvel to make up for that. She’s been robbed of her spotlight and potential for all this time, so giving her a big spotlight that makes the most of her potential would go a very long way toward setting things right.
#2: Other Characters With Solos
If you take a look at what other characters out there have received solos, Marvel’s had no problem with giving far more obscure characters a chance to headline one. Domino, Multiple Man, Chamber, even Lockjaw got a miniseries and he’s a dog.
This isn’t per se a reason why Lorna specifically should get a solo, but it’s a reason for why any argument that she shouldn’t get one or other character should take priority is invalid. If other, more obscure characters can get solos, then Lorna can too.
#3: Lack of Use With Teams
Lorna’s history post-60s is largely not committed to X-Men teams. People associate her with X-Factor, but that’s a result of 90s nostalgia, not actual mainstay status. Not forgetting the fact that most of what people see of her from X-Factor is “was Havok’s girlfriend and a member of the team,” not Lorna herself.
This includes lack of Lorna used as a team leader. She didn’t get that until 2014 with All-New X-Factor, meaning it took over 40 years while many characters got to be team leaders in half that time.
But since Lorna hasn’t really been committed to teams over time, this provides a perfect reason for her to have a solo.
She has no special loyalty. No group binding her to them by shared philosophy or goals. If she did, she would’ve been much more heavily active in a team, and she would’ve led one decades ago.
That means she operates better alone, and feels more comfortable lone wolfing it. Actions she takes of her own accord and without thinking about how it might affect her father or the X-Men make more sense. Her obligation isn’t to them, it’s to herself and what she thinks is best for the world and mutants.
#4: Plenty of Story Gaps
There are a LOT of aspects about Lorna that have not been covered. While these days you could probably find out what Jean’s favorite brand of soup was when she was 12, or how old Cyclops was when he lost his first baby tooth, we know next to nothing about Lorna’s character history.
Why was she dyeing her hair brown to hide her natural mutation green?
Why did her foster parents hide the fact she was a mutant? Did they know Magneto was her father?
What was Lorna doing when she was traveling the world after regaining her powers through Apocalypse? Did she learn any new languages? Fight any terrorist groups?
We only just got Lorna’s origin story through Peter David in X-Factor #243, in 2012. It took over 40 years to find out that much. There’s so much else we don’t know. A Polaris solo can cover all of it, and the mysteries of those gaps can fuel years of stories.
#5: Her History is a Mess
If you take a look at her history that we know so far, it really is a mess. Marvel’s past of mainly using her to benefit other characters means there’s such a tangle to cut through if you want to get a thorough understanding of the character and what she’s been through from 1968 to today.
Marvel has never retold how Lorna got to know the X-Men. They’ve been ignoring what happened to her on Genosha for over a decade. There’s also what happened with Malice, and Zaladane, and so much else where modern audiences could benefit from a real look if Marvel is willing to put real effort into it.
It’s not just retelling though. It’s also modernizing. Lorna dyeing her hair brown just cause it’s green is really absurd in the modern context because having unnatural colors for hair is fully accepted today. Nobody would see a girl with green hair and think “Yep, she’s gotta be a mutant, guaranteed.” They’d think she dyed it. Retelling these stories would allow Marvel to let these details fit the world of today, and streamline all the weird mess into something the average person can understand.
But there’s one more point tied to this I have to make.
#6: Deep Character Analysis
The first and foremost value of a solo book is that you get a deep understanding of who a character is, where they’re from, what they value, how they think. A dedicated title makes all of this much clearer than it would be on a team book or major event where that character’s traits need to be weighed with all the other characters’ traits.
And this is something Lorna really, really needs. Too much of her history has been getting used as an object or plot device, not as a character with a POV and thoughts and feelings of her own.
A solo for Lorna would be a chance to dig into that perspective we rarely ever get to see in the comics themselves. We could see how being possessed by Malice has affected her sense of control over her life. We could go beyond Doc Samson’s session with Lorna on body image to grasp how Zaladane changing her powers in turn changed her self-perception. We can get how the horrors of the Genoshan genocide still haunt her, and what type of woman she is from those trials.
Lorna isn’t a sex object for Havok to bang, or a punching bag for the hero/villain of the month to beat up. She’s a character that has Seen Some Shit (TM). Marvel constantly fails to grasp this, and a solo is the perfect place for Marvel to stop, take a good hard look at Lorna and realize how much more she is than they realized.
#7: Relationships Need Rebuilding
Lorna’s long history means she has relationships that Marvel is actively, perhaps aggressively not using. She was Jean Grey’s first female best friend before Claremont threw Lorna overboard and gave Storm that role. She was Iceman’s first love interest a long time before he came out. She’s Wanda and Pietro’s sister, Magneto’s daughter, Crystal’s sister-in-law and Luna’s aunt. Plus aunt for previous incarnations of Wiccan and Speed.
Marvel hasn’t been using these relationships for decades. Even in X-Men Blue, the PERFECT place to acknowledge Lorna’s history with Jean and Iceman, Bunn never had Lorna interact with them and instead gave her one scene with Angel and an AU Wolverine.
You know where would be an excellent place to bring these relationships back? A Polaris solo.
A Lorna-centric focus would allow for setting aside all the other uses of Jean, Iceman, Wanda, Pietro, Magneto, etc, to see the specific history Lorna has with them. They could reminisce about how simple the X-Men were in the early days, or discuss what it was like on Genosha. There would be no agonizing over whether or not those moments feed into whatever event or team story arc is going on. They would feed into Lorna’s story as the title character.
Not to mention that the promise of actually learning new things about popular characters would be pretty appealing for people. We’ve seen stories about the Phoenix and Jean’s ties to it done to death. We haven’t seen anything about Lorna and Jean’s life as they lived it prior to the franchise mutant boom.
These are only seven points that come to mind immediately for me in the course of writing this post. Think about that. I didn’t even have to struggle to think of any of this. Imagine what else I might have missed.
If someone says Lorna isn’t viable for a solo, or there’s nothing that could be done with her, they’re absolutely wrong. They have no idea what they’re talking about. They haven’t put thought into her potential and history to a point of properly weighing what can be done.
If Marvel can put out solo books for incredibly obscure characters cause it strikes their fancy, they can publish a solo book for this character who’s been repeatedly wronged and lately incredibly popular (against all original expectations) thanks to a TV show version of her.