waitingforthet:

I’m actually not sure how old Carter Ghazikhanian was supposed to be. Anyway, blaming subtle telepathic manipulations for bad behavior is a pretty easy out for any X-Person who seriously fucked up.This comic is, as is usual for Wednesday’s comics, chosen by my Patrons. Speaking of…

Check my Patreon out if you’d like to support the comic, even a little bit helps. Or just to check out the reward tiers, I tried to make them fun: https://www.patreon.com/waitingforthet

20 Relationships That Hurt X-Men Comics (And 10 That Saved Them)

Oh hey, it’s yet another garbage CBR article written by someone that doesn’t care at all about Polaris. And who’s probably a Havok fanboy to boot.

I’ll save you a click. Here’s the text.

For a long time, the X-Men were simply five mutants. They finally got some new blood in the form of Cyclops’ brother, Alex. A mission had the team rescuing Lorna Dane, a beautiful green-haired woman with magnetic powers. She and Alex were drawn together and soon embarked on a romantic relationship. They left the X-Men for a time but later returned and kept their romance up while fighting evil. They also worked together as part of X-Factor.

True, there have been roadblocks. Each has succumbed to mind control that put the other in danger. Havok once dumped Lorna at the altar to send her over the edge. Yet they still stick together in the X-Men and show how they have an almost magnetic attraction to one another that’s created an enduring off-and-on romance.

First: the article author acts like Havok came first and Lorna came second, when Lorna had her big intro with X-Men #49-50 and Havok appeared in #54.

Second: the author conveniently leaves out how Havok’s had one new romantic relationship per decade while Marvel’s only ever allowed Lorna to have one in all 50 years (or two if you count Iceman).

Third: the author conveniently leaves out the circumstances behind Lorna stuck with Havok, how they all hinge on forcing Lorna to go with him when it’ll look good for him. “They left the X-Men” and “they worked on X-Factor” doesn’t get across how Lorna was shafted with the role of “supporting character girlfriend for his story.”

The bottom line is that what Marvel’s done to Lorna with Havok isn’t “an enduring off-and-on romance.” It’s enduring abuse of a female character for the benefit of a male character.

The writer of this article proves it himself with my very first point. If it was good and special like he bullshits it being, he would’ve accurately described how Lorna was brought into the fold. Instead, he spins to make Havok look good at Lorna’s expense. Tries to make it sound like Havok comes first and Lorna comes after him as a damsel to save.

I do have to thank the writer for one thing though: it reaffirms the fuck out of my decision to not buy anything Marvel after this year until Lorna gets a solo, mini, oneshot or leads a team book without Havok. If people are going to talk about Lorna like this, Disney is even less deserving of money and support than I thought until they fix it.

20 Relationships That Hurt X-Men Comics (And 10 That Saved Them)

I wrote a thing on Twitter about Lorna, Marvel, and treatment of her in relation to male characters. I’m bringing it over here because I feel I got to an important place with it.

When Marvel actually bothers to acknowledge Polaris exists and use her, the biggest obstacle to overcome is getting them to see Lorna as her own character. It’s a problem that’s more insidious than it first appears.

Marvel editors and writers are entrenched with an idea of Lorna as defined by men. Which is an annoying problem, because Lorna started out very feminist and empowering for her time, especially compared to Jean as SHE was written at the time.

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Then, over the span of a few decades, Lorna’s treatment by Marvel declined from “not who takes who to the next sock hop” and “I’m nobody’s girl,” to fawning over how she gets to be Havok’s domesticated pseudo-housewife/girlfriend that needs him to rescue her.

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Marvel writers and editors forget who Lorna is SUPPOSED to be. They only remember what later writers, especially Claremont, turned her into. So when they’re asked to do things with Lorna, they keep falling back on the bad later stuff instead of referring to the good early stuff.

Which is why they have problems with writing her male relationships. Gambit on All-New X-Factor and Magneto on X-Men Blue, both cases started out treating her relations with those men in the same way her relation with Havok has been historically treated.

And in both cases, ANXF and X-Men Blue, the writer DID eventually do better in her dynamic with Gambit and Magneto, respectively. But that they had such trouble at all underscores the problem Marvel writers and editors have of a tendency to devalue Lorna and overvalue men.

When I complain about Havok forced on Lorna, this is the fucking reason why. This is supposed to be a write-up for her, but instead, it’s a write-up of how she’s been used for the benefit of men around her.

I deliberately removed the user’s name and handle because I don’t want him to be harassed, and that would accomplish absolutely nothing anyway if it did happen.

What matters isn’t who said it, it’s why they said it. That reason is the impression they get of Lorna because of her history with Havok. Because of all those decades, this user – and many others – perceive her as a character that exists for men. That can and should only be seen in terms of how she can advance the stories of men, add status to men, make men look good by being around them. Never what Lorna herself has accomplished, how she’s developed, what she’s been through.

This is why I hate Havok after X-Men Blue, and why I’m so fiercely against Havok forced on her. It’s Marvel muddying the view of who Lorna actually is. It’s disregarding her value because they can’t seem to care enough about this female character to do right by her, because she’s not popular like Jean Grey or Storm or Emma Frost so they can get away with it.

@marvelentertainment: “You want Polaris to be given respect as her own character and have her full potential explored without dragging her down with past bad depictions? Pfft, as if we’d ever do that. Also we refuse to give her any kind of meaningful platform or promotion.”

Also Marvel: “Hey guys, we’re gonna make moving Havok past his past poor depictions into a major facet of his current use, and we’re gonna do it by making him the leader of an important new book we’re actually willing to promote.”

This is not a dig on Matthew Rosenberg in any way.

It’s calling out Marvel for continuing to put Havok on a pedestal and giving him a bajillion different opportunities and promotions while absolutely refusing to give Lorna any support.

Now, if this was Lorna, I might have complained a little about Lorna being written as making a mistake so two men could berate her, but I’m only saying that because I don’t want to mislead anyone on what my views could be in a similar situation.

The fact is that I really don’t know how I would respond if it was Lorna instead of Havok here. Maybe I would’ve been okay with it because she wouldn’t have known, as shown here. I won’t know how I’d react with certainty until Marvel is actually using Lorna and doing the sort of things they do for Havok and characters like him ad nauseum while they refuse to do it for Lorna.

Analysis: Harley Quinn, Polaris, men in their lives

I don’t talk about Harley Quinn as much on here as other topics. My main view is that she was my favorite character of DC comics, the “rebirth” ruined her by throwing away her entire harlequin character theme to make her more or less “clown girl,” and any popularity we see for her today is much less than she could’ve had if DC hadn’t thrown away her identity.

Right now, I’m bringing this up not for Harley Quinn, but for Polaris and the way @marvelentertainment seems to see and treat her.

Harley Quinn

Despite my complaints, my reasons for those complaints, and what I’m certain would be happening if DC did things right by Harley Quinn, there’s still an important truth that must be acknowledged: Harley Quinn is currently incredibly popular. She could be more popular if done right, and much of her popularity right now is due to DC shoving their “reimagining” of Harley down everyone’s throats, but it doesn’t change the end result.

So why is current “Harley Quinn” popular? People can cite a lot of different things. People can disagree, or bring up a huge mishmash of elements. However, there’s one specific aspect of her newfound popularity that applies here: the popularity of “Harley Quinn” is not because of Harley’s connection to Joker but in spite of it.

Harley Quinn was created to be Joker’s henchgirl in the animated TV series. She became popular with her initial appearance and got recurring roles. This led to Harley getting fleshed out as a former psychiatrist that was seduced by Joker’s nature and ultimately became a domestic abuse survivor. Essentially, that was her origins – to be “beneath” Joker, to be his victim that was once a smart professional woman.

Fast forward. As Harley grew as a character, her horizons expanded. She developed a lesbian relationship with Poison Ivy. She had zany adventures in her own solo series (which I read, and was great up until somewhere around issue 25 or so). That was, I believe, the height of her popularity pre-”rebirth”. History with Joker came up, but amazingly, it was stories not involving Joker that got pursued the most when she was at her best.

Likewise, the popularity of the current “Harley Quinn” is never tied to stories involving Joker. One of the most popular relationships “Harley” has had in recent years is with Power Girl, to the point where a whole set of comics was made focused on it. When the Suicide Squad film came out, most of the tweets I saw concerning that version of “Harley Quinn” were about how great she was in the film when Joker wasn’t part of the story. And, as WB plans to make a Joker solo film, I see TONS of complaints from people about how shitty such a film would be vs wanting a Gotham Sirens sort of film featuring Harley.

Long story short? Harley Quinn was created to be “beneath” Joker, but when she finally got real, deliberate focus on herself as her own character, people came to love her more than Joker. The guy she’s supposedly “beneath.”

Polaris

Here’s the connection for Polaris: Havok.

I’m going to be fair to Havok, for Havok fans. He’s not a villain like Joker. When he’s actually written respectfully, he’s not an abusive shitheel.

However, how he is when written well does not change how their relationship was written for decades and how it always gets written when writers at Marvel try to bring it back.

Polaris was created as the daughter of Magneto who wants to be her own woman. The late 60s did still have sexism which trickled into some of her treatment, but Lorna was quite independent and more feminist than your average female character at the time.

Over time, and especially in the 70s and 80s, the idea of Lorna as “beneath” Havok (and several other characters) got pushed more and more at Marvel. Unlike DC with Harley Quinn, she wasn’t created with that toxic relationship. The toxic relationship was forced on her.

Their relationship is always Lorna acting as a supporting character for Havok’s stories.

Sometimes she’s written crying on his shoulder and blaming herself for crimes she didn’t commit, for no reason other than for the “big strong man” Havok to look good “comforting” her.

Sometimes she’s being tortured by the villain so we can see Havok’s “suffering” at hearing her in pain.

Sometimes, for no damn reason whatsoever, any concept of agency for herself is thrown out so she can spout about “what Alex would do.”

Sometimes, her entire purpose on a book is exclusively to be a reminder of “how wonderful the great and glorious Havok” is supposed to be, through things like having her spout “this isn’t you” or having her memories used to “restore” him after a multiple-issue story with him at the center.

And sometimes, big moments for her – like when she gets her origin story, or when she leads her own team for the first time – just have to have Havok shoved into them just so he can benefit.

Long story short: Marvel’s attitude toward Lorna is that she’s “beneath” Havok, and they keep going back to that over and over and over again.

They keep giving Havok opportunities they refuse to give Polaris. They keep forcing him into her stories and giving him a big voice, often even letting him hijack her whole damn story.

Marvel keeps refusing to let Lorna be her own character with her own amazing stories told, new relationships developed, her own spotlight that has nothing to do with this toxic relationship she’s had with this specific man that executives and editors and writers working at Marvel can’t stop nutting over.

And you know what?

Harley’s Success Could Be Polaris’

Harley Quinn is popular and succeeding right now in spite of setbacks like throwing out her harlequin theme. As said, “Harley Quinn’s” popularity comes because Joker isn’t forced into her stories and dragging her down. In fact, during the whole “rebirth,” the initial Suicide Squad stories where the Joker connection was played up most are actually the least liked.

The same applies with Lorna. Aside from some Austen moments, the great majority of full-bore Polaris fans do not fan over her because of Havok. They’re fans because of her mental health difficulties. Or her support of mutant rights issues when treated well. Or her history and subsequent development as a survivor of the Genoshan genocide. Or her place within the broad Magnus family, or so many other things.

Polaris is an awesome badass with many layers of complexity and massive amounts of untapped potential. What’s happening with Harley Quinn demonstrates that even if Lorna was a pale imitation of her full self, she would still be immensely popular as long as Marvel stopped dicking her over by forcing Havok on her and treating her like she’s “beneath” him.

Hell, we see that right now with Gifted. That version of Polaris isn’t really the full, true Lorna, it’s just one aspect and interpretation of her. It’s more faithful than what Marvel tends to do with her, but it’s still not fully her. And in spite of that, she’s the most popular character on the show. She’s more popular than Havok was in the films.

Lorna couldn’t just be as successful as Harley, she could be more successful. She has decades of history to draw from. Decades of fandom. Immense untapped potential. And a real, proper focus on her would be something more than what DC does for Harley, giving Lorna an edge.

The only thing standing in Lorna’s way is old, awful, entrenched fanboy biases against her at Marvel. Any argument made by anyone at Marvel along the lines of “she’s not popular enough” or “she’s not enough of a character” or anything like that is just people at Marvel trying to justify their bias.

Harley Quinn started out as a minor supporting character for Joker’s stories and look where she is now. Lorna didn’t even start out as that. She started as her own character and got turned into a minor supporting character for Havok’s stories.

If DC can do great things for Harley, then Marvel sure as hell can do them for Lorna too. They just have to care and stop making excuses.

In my experience, the ONLY good scene Lorna has ever had with Havok that was good for her character in any way was when he left her at the altar.

Why? Because unlike literally all the other times I’ve seen their history as a couple worked with, those scenes and that story actually looked at Lorna and actually cared about her and what she went through.

Lorna in this story may have placed the blame where it didn’t belong (on Annie), and yeah, it made Havok look like a selfish unthinking dick that should have been written with more fairness to his character. But focusing on just Lorna? This hit so many good places.

Up to this point, Lorna had lost nearly everything. She lost her family. She lost millions of lives that looked up to her and expected her to protect her. She lost most of her ability to believe in the goodness of people. She lost control of buried mental issues and gained new ones. In this setting, she was going into the wedding with Havok as someone she thought she had lost, but having recently returned and now thinking she could at least rely on him in the absence of everything else she lost.

Then he suddenly decided to leave her at the altar. In front of everyone still alive that she knew, after having prepared and thought about the day for a long time.

In this sense, the wedding wasn’t about Lorna getting hitched to a guy who’s historically led to Lorna getting written poorly and constantly undervalued by Marvel. It was about Lorna’s hope for a better and brighter future for herself and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel of darkness she’s been going through.

So, Havok leaving her at the altar wasn’t merely losing a partner. It was shattering her dreams for a better tomorrow. Lorna being left at the altar wasn’t about the man. It was about what marrying him represented. Any man could have filled that role if she’d been in relationship with them. It just happened to be Havok.

And that’s what all other uses of Lorna that involve her history with Havok have been missing.

Havok meddling in her leadership on All-New X-Factor didn’t say anything about her leadership abilities. What it said was that Havok has more experience than her, that he’s “better” than her, and that he doesn’t believe in her or trust her abilities. It said nothing about Lorna’s actual ability to lead or what hurdles she has to overcome to be one.

Lorna beating Havok at the beginning of X-Men Blue didn’t say a thing about how strong she is. That might have been the intent, but all it really said is that Havok is so powerful and dominant and important to Lorna’s life that it’s a big deal if she somehow manages to win in a fight with him. If you swapped their roles, Havok beating Lorna would’ve meant nothing for him – because he’s already seen as “superior” to Lorna in Marvel’s eyes. Meaning Havok winning also reaffirms the idea of his superiority. No matter who wins, Lorna loses.

Lorna being used to “redeem” Havok with her memories or her influence in more recent issues of X-Men Blue once again says nothing about Lorna’s character. The excuse might have been “Lorna gets to show a compassionate side,” but that’s a paper thin cover for the fact she’s really just treated like a mix of tool and vessel for Havok’s character issues.

Marvel’s writers don’t understand how to write Lorna interacting with Havok in ways that are actually good for Lorna. Every time they try, they fail. Austen is the only exception I can ever recall seeing.