I’ve said before that I never really cared about anything Marvel had to offer until I discovered Polaris. Tonight, I decided it would be useful to look back through my history concerning Marvel. I might’ve done one of these a while back, but I don’t think it covered pre-2009.
Also for those seeing my blog (again) for the first time since February, the tagline quote of my blog is taken from a comment made by a guy that seems to hate me.
Anyway, here we go, and I’m not giving years or dates until I get to 2009 cause that would be telling. Even if you might be able to pick up on things.
I had toys of Cyclops and Wolverine as a kid. I had no real concept of who they were. I knew Cyclops shot lasers from his eyes. I knew Wolverine had claws. That’s it. I didn’t watch any Marvel cartoons whatsoever. What I DID have was plenty of Batman toys, and exposure to DC films.
A local rental store carried comic books too when I was a kid. I remember seeing a cover that had Thor on it. If I bought and read any, I sincerely do not remember.
I remember renting an Avengers game, and playing someone else’s copy of an X-Men game and using Storm.
I watched the occasional episode of X-Men Evolution whenever it was on TV. I also became interested in anime music videos, so I watched several of those focused on X-Men Evolution’s version of Rogue.
Of course, I saw the first two X-Men movies. Pretty much everyone did. I also watched the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. I think I had the soundtrack for the first Spider-Man film cause I remember listening to “Hero” by Chad Kroeger plenty of times, though not because it was part of the film. I saw Iron Man in theaters too like most people did.
I might’ve rented some games. I honestly can’t remember. I was more into Final Fantasy and RPGs in general.
By contrast, I was really getting into DC content. I watched Smallville when it aired new for the first five seasons, and got those seasons on DVD. I watched Justice League Unlimited when it aired new on TV, loved it, got both seasons on DVD. Then went back and watched Justice League episodes.
2009 – 2011
I discovered Polaris by jumping around the Marvel wiki. Honestly don’t remember why I was on it in the first place. Maybe for drawn or written porn I saw online.
After I learned of Lorna, I immediately went out to a comic shop and bought multiple comics and collections that had Lorna on the cover. I don’t think I really had a guide to go by. One of those collections was Jeff Parker’s Exiles which was amazing.
At some point, I watched all of the Wolverine and the X-Men cartoon cause it had Lorna in it. My original reaction to the show before I learned of Lorna was to spurn it for putting Wolverine before the franchise that made him.
Somewhere around this, I was on 4chan talking about how Lorna should return from space, and some guy said she should stay in space to “keep her away from characters that matter.” Doesn’t matter if the guy was trolling, it’s stick with me ever since.
I continued to see Marvel films as they came out until the Axis retcon. I bought and played a couple Ultimate Alliance games, the Captain America console game, and the Deadpool game, in this span. Oh and at some point around ANXF, I bought one of the Spider-Man games written by Peter David. I technically should be putting this in each year but I’m too lazy to remember those dates or look them up cause they don’t really matter.
Mike Carey wrote Five Miles South of the Universe, which I was very supportive of. It brought Lorna back from space. It confirmed her status as Magneto’s daughter, and subtly confirmed she was a mutant again. Up until then, the last word on her powers was that Celestial tech used by Apocalypse to restore her powers was doing something to her, which implied she was some sort of cyborg rather than a mutant.
This is about when I learned of a certain editor being a tool toward Lorna in the Avengers books and in general. Said editor did an excellent job of killing a huge chunk of my interest in books under their purview. I did buy and read SOME issues of Avengers vs X-Men cause Lorna appeared, but stopped when she stopped showing up and when it became clear it wouldn’t actually use Lorna.
I also learned of Lorna being sent to X-Factor again with Havok. On the one hand, I think I judged Peter David too hastily in assuming the worst. On the other hand, in retrospect I do think it was somewhat justified on account of a) it was Lorna forced back to the book she was on in the 90s, and b) the cover to announce implied it was a continuation of trying to isolate her into a role of “Havok’s girlfriend.”
Peter David did Lorna’s origin story issue which turned out much better than I expected and greatly improved my opinion, but then he had Lorna claim she never wanted to see her father again which instantly negated that progress.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes came out. Until then, I really wasn’t interested in any of the Lego games. Even after I tried the demo for this game, I didn’t like it. But I bought it on release at full price cause Lorna was in it, and I ended up liking the final game. It led to me buying and playing a bunch of other Lego games too.
All-New X-Factor came out. I was excited in lead-up. Disappointed and complained during arc #4-6 for its treatment of Lorna. Annoyed by Marvel not promoting ANXF #14, and commissioned art to promote to offset Marvel refusing to do so. ANXF eventually evolved for the better but Marvel still canceled it.
Also was annoyed by Axis trying to “replace” Lorna with Enchantress, while excluding Lorna. Something the Avengers side would trying to do post-Axis by creating Luminous as a new “sister” for Wanda and Pietro, who’s also conveniently color-coded.
The Axis retcon ended my watching Marvel films, and by extension shows that would come out. I vowed to not watch any of them until the twins were restored as Magneto’s kids. That’s still in place, but now superseded by Marvel’s toolishness toward Lorna.
I remember pushing for Lorna to be on Bunn’s Magneto book during this time, as well. I started reading his book specifically because there was a chance that Lorna could appear in it, and even if she didn’t, Magneto being her father at least gave some background to Lorna’s relations and how things might go with her and him.
I would have read the Scarlet Witch solo book if Marvel hadn’t done its Axis retcon. Just as I read the Magneto solo for Lorna ties, I had no reason to read Wanda’s book due to lack of them.
The Days of Future Past mobile phone game (no longer available) came out and had Lorna as free DLC. I bought it, I played it. I didn’t really like playing it on phone though. I had hoped the company would eventually convert it to PC or console, but sadly they never did. I really didn’t like playing any games on mobile phone at the time.
I think I did watch Days of Future Past around this time, mainly on account that the little girl in Peter’s home was speculated to be Lorna.
Secret Wars happened. I was very happy with Lorna appearing in so many places. I REALLY loved her treatment on Secret Wars: House of M. I bought everything she appeared in.
I had an instinctive red flag warning afterward that Marvel was only using Lorna so much because they planned to drop her into limbo and not use her….
Okay, I think the Marvel Legends figure might’ve come out in this time. Aside from that, my instinct proved correct and I should’ve listened to it. Marvel did what it had during Secret Wars because they wanted to look good before throwing her into limbo.
Lorna was used primarily to promote Havok and Magneto, and it pissed me off.
A reveal at C2E2 implied X-Men Blue was going to be a big return for Lorna after her absence. Instead, it ended up being all about promoting Havok, and how Lorna could be exploited to do so. Subsequent issues then ignored Lorna’s past character development and in-common aspects so Magneto could have stories and dialogue focused on making him look and sound good. I stopped reading after ~15 issues, Bunn started to improve his treatment of Lorna around Magneto and I was set to come back, but then he wrote a story arc dedicated to Havok and my desire to read anything more from Blue instantly died. Bunn tried to pretty it up a bit with Lorna as a temporary team leader but it didn’t come anywhere close to making up for how thoroughly Lorna kept getting used as fodder for Havok’s promotion ahead of him leading a team book.
On the bright side, Gifted released with Emma Dumont as Lorna. I had some issues with decisions made, but still loved it as it did much better by Lorna than anything Marvel had done with her since Jeff Parker… until the show did a horrible job in its handling of Dreamer’s death.
This is where I need to give an aside. I think character death is worthless and terrible. There are plenty of ways to use characters in intriguing ways that don’t require death. But, if it’s going to be done, there are ways that make it at least not so bad. I felt Walking Dead managed this most of the time – give a character a big glorious moment, provide plenty of introspection to grasp and appreciate what was being lost, and often an entire episode is devoted to that character. Gifted didn’t do that. It had everyone act needlessly stupid to get her into a position to die, then rushed on to the next part of the story as if her death was just a tiny bump in the road.
I stopped watching the show at this point. I struggled with the matter for several days, because as a Lorna fan, I wanted to keep watching for her. But I had to stick to principles. If it was Lorna treated that way, I would’ve been ranting and pissed. So I stopped watching the show, and only would’ve returned if a) Dreamer returned, and b) the show handled death better going forward (if used at all). Sadly, the show never did either and got itself killed off as a result.
It also proved another red flag warning of mine true: if the show was so cavalier about Dreamer’s death, who’s to say they wouldn’t turn around and treat Lorna poorly in the future to promote some other character they liked more? Which as I’ve heard, they did exactly that when they introduced Reeva.
The Gifted stuff played out as I said above.
2018 was also the year Mlad and I made a 50th anniversary comic for Lorna. I tried plenty of other things to get anniversary celebrations going, but they weren’t successful. I tried to get a hashtag going on Twitter and nobody else participated. I encouraged anniversary fanart and fanfic outside of me commissioning it, and nobody made or commissioned any. People DID make fanart and fanfic in this time, especially of Gifted version Lorna. But they didn’t participate in the anniversary component.
The Uncanny X-Men event did actually do a couple good things for Lorna, so I did in fact buy (digitally) and read the relevant issues. Those issues had good scenes for her.
I made an exception to my “no Marvel films” rule and saw Black Panther to support diversity in superhero films. Just as I saw the Wonder Woman movie to support that diversity in superhero films.
That was pretty much it. Nothing happened in the middle.
Prisoner X happened, and I skipped it on account of a couple things. For one, it positioned Lorna as a supporting character for a book led by Bishop, when Lorna seriously needed something more. Which she still needs. For another, the setting was very clearly inspired by Gifted, yet Marvel decided to hand it over to Bishop.
Now, if the scenario had been one where each character is living their own version of a prison, I would’ve been… not exactly fine with Lorna being there, but fine with Bishop leading it. Say, what Bishop sees is a concentration camp. What Lorna sees is either a prison or a mental institution. Another character sees it as a school. Another sees Hell. Etc.
The Havok bullshit reached a breaking point for me toward end of 2018, going into 2019. Throughout 2018 and the first half of 2019, Marvel was obsessive in trying to force Havok onto Lorna wherever they could, while refusing to do anything meaningful for Lorna that would make up for the combo of forced limbo and Havok/Magneto hijacking her possibilities with Blue.
The result: since Jan 1 2019, I refuse to touch anything having to do with Disney as a whole until Lorna gets a solo, mini, oneshot, or leads a team book again. Only exceptions will be if it’s something involving Lorna that treats her well, or I have absolutely no other choice.
House of X/Powers of X/Dawn of X happened in this time, and predictably it completely ignored Lorna. It also has other issues I’m not going to dive into, but net result, everything I saw out of HoX/PoX/DoX and Hickman leads me to the conclusion that Lorna’s better off not used at all right now. Saved for a much better Marvel in the future that gives a damn and can do better by her.
X-Factor is coming. I see nothing good for Lorna in it.
It’s Lorna thrown onto a fringe satellite book bearing the name of the book she was on in the 90s, yet she’s not even leading it this time, which would’ve at least been some small consolation (and satisfied my condition that would’ve led to engaging in Disney content again, if Lorna was treated well).
The immediate press release/promo work for it also raised the massive red flag of Leah Williams talking about how she talked to exactly two fans she’s friends with, one of whom supposedly helped her “see” the Havok and Polaris relationship “in a different light.”
Leah could’ve talked about so much else that wasn’t Havok. There’s Lorna’s history with Genosha and how that would feed into her views on Krakoa. There’s Lorna having launched Krakoa into space way back in Giant-Size X-Men. If absolutely nothing else, she could’ve mentioned how Lorna and Rachel were on the same team in space, or how Lorna should have plenty of tales to tell from having teamed with Jean in the old days. Spoilers wouldn’t have been a risk at all for those two. What did Leah decide to focus on? The worst thing she could’ve possibly picked.
The only thing to come that looks like it could be promising is Empyre. I’m keeping my eye on that. A cover for it has Lorna right in the middle, and synopses place emphasis on Genosha. It’s possible that Empyre just might be the first time in over 15 years that we see that aspect of Lorna’s history get acknowledged and used.
All in all, discovering Lorna made me buy and check out things I never would have without her. I watched Wolverine and the X-Men. I bought and played Lego Marvel Super Heroes, and went on to many other Lego games. I bought and read, both physically and digitally, many comic books: All-new X-Factor, Jeff Parker’s Exiles, the Magneto solo, etc. I have actual Polaris merch, something I’ve only done with video games besides her.
But then Marvel screwing Lorna or her family over led to me engaging in far, far less than I would have otherwise. I stopped watching everything MCU, and eventually ended up cutting out Disney content altogether. Some of that is stuff that I wouldn’t simply “catch up on” if Marvel were to turn around and do better by Lorna some day far in the future.
The Days of Future Past game being a prime example. Some things shut down. Whether they’re events, or video games, or sites, or what have you. When they shut down, that’s it. Done. And I’m fully comfortable with this. Nothing is lost in not giving money to a company that doesn’t deserve it. It’s not my job to ignore everything wrong and bad Marvel does so I can waste my money on things that I don’t really want. It’s Marvel’s job to give me a reason to want what they have.