St. Patrick’s Day – Lorna and Jean!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This was commissioned from j-likes-to-draw.

As you can see, the artist’s style is more realistic. She tried putting the headpieces on their heads but it didn’t look right. I was concerned it might not be obvious it’s Jean with it, so we went with putting them on the counter.

I considered Lorna and Wanda, or Lorna and Wanda and Jean, but ultimately I felt Wanda couldn’t really fit with my goal of working with the green and how long these two characters have known each other (since 1968!).

NX tweet on Polaris and Magneto

Something I’ve been meaning to post for a while now and just never got around to it before.

NX is an official Netflix Twitter account. I think it’s the studio behind their original programming, but I’m not certain about that. The first tweet in this string was rating other well-known X-Men characters, and a lot of people asked for their thoughts on other characters.

I’ve seen a lot of Lorna referred to as underrated, and at this point, I don’t think it’s an accurate estimation of how the general public views her. I think it’s an estimation of how Marvel views her. A lot of people take their cues on how they think the general public sees a character based on how Marvel treats them.

Wolverine is overrated because he gets way more emphasis than he should from Marvel. Magneto is overrated for the same reason. Likewise, Lorna gets almost nothing from Marvel, and typically has things stolen from her to benefit other characters. Ergo, she’s underrated, otherwise Marvel would treat her better. Right?

But she’s really not underrated by the general public. You don’t know what you don’t know, so people who don’t realize she exists aren’t able to rate her. And the people who DO know she exists and have put much thought into her, they seem to realize she has way more potential than Marvel’s been willing to acknowledge and use.

Reasons for a Polaris solo

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.

A response

This was a reply to my pointing out that Lorna wasn’t included in the family tree I talked about on my previous post.

And the below is what I posted to Tumblr a little earlier.

Maybe this is sincerely what happened. An artist, given some guidelines and not much else, doing what he could with the resources he had. Magneto and Polaris aren’t on Wanda’s family list on the wikia right now, after all. So an innocent mistake is perfectly possible.


This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Here’s everything I can remember right this second of the same type that has happened to Lorna onlysince I discovered her in 2009.

  1. House of M portrait redrawn to remove her
  2. Excluded from family moments in Avengers vs X-Men, No More Humans, Axis
  3. Excluded from X-Men franchise 50th anniversary amalgam covers, yet Havok got to be on them
  4. Attempts to replace Lorna, first with Enchantress on Axis, then with Luminous on Uncanny Avengers
  5. Cover for All-New X-Factor #14 (issue of Lorna with Wanda) withheld until Friday before release, while Axis variant cover tinted to make Enchantress look more like Lorna is out months in advance
  6. Lorna’s return to comics with X-Men Blue, which included a cover focused on her, is hijacked to promote Havok and make it all about him
  7. Excuses made by Brevoort for why Lorna “can’t” be Magneto’s daughter or why she “can’t” be part of major events because they’re “only for A-listers and B-listers”
  8. General excuses for why she’s somehow not viable for a solo, mini, oneshot, leading a team book, things much more obscure characters get in spades

What I’ve learned is that Marvel screws Lorna over and then excuses are made after the fact to try to paper over it.

“ANXF #14′s cover didn’t come out sooner cause it was a double shipping month!”

“Lorna wasn’t included in the 50th anniversary covers cause it was whatever the artists wanted to draw!”

And I suppose if all of those artists decided not to draw the O5 then they’d just not be acknowledged. And that it was absolutely necessary stick to “double shipping month” rules for a cover release, and that Marvel would always strictly adhere to that rule under all circumstances.

The fact of the matter is, people at Marvel have a bias against Lorna and they spout whatever excuses come to mind to justify their biases. At one point, an editor tried to use not receiving tweets asking about Lorna as a justification for not putting much focus on her.

I’ve been putting up with Marvel’s bullshit for a decade now. They had plenty of chances to demonstrate a different side. And there were times where I thought they were doing so – leading ANXF, having her origin story told, letting her be a big figure for Secret Wars – but each of those were either undermined in some way or precursors to things like throwing her into limbo or promoting Havok at her expense.

My perception of Marvel is one of a company that doesn’t actually give a shit about quality or improving on the past or diversity. Just a company that wants people to THINK they care about those things, while doing the opposite everywhere else they can get away with.

It’s going to take a lot for Marvel to convince me otherwise now. Because they’ve spent 10 years showing me this is who they really are underneath the PR stunts and empty words.

Polaris excluded from family tree

This family tree was drawn for a Vision volume meant for end of last year that was canceled. Notice something missing?

That’s right. They excluded Lorna. Again.

They can’t claim Lorna was excluded due to the twins’ retcon because Magneto is present. They can’t claim Lorna’s “too small and distant” to because Crystal, Luna, Wiccan and Speed are all here. The ONLY person in the family that Marvel has left off is Lorna.

The previous volume from 2016 included Tom Brevoort as an editor. He was also editor behind Children’s Crusade redrawing a House of M portrait to remove Lorna, Lorna not being acknowledged as part of the family in Avengers vs X-Men, and trying to replace her with first Enchantress in Axis and then Luminous in Uncanny Avengers.

According to the Marvel wikia page at least, the canceled volume that was set for end of last year did NOT include Brevoort. It DID include C.B. Cebulski though, and it’s fair to expect Brevoort would have been heavily involved in plans for this if he was on the prior volume.

There is a perception by some that either Marvel is perfect and has never discriminated against Lorna, or that it used to happened but doesn’t anymore. This happened end of last year. This is clear-cut evidence of their attitude toward her and how it’s still happening today.

Also proof that I made the right call to drop everything Disney until Lorna gets the solo, mini, oneshot or team book leadership she deserves after especially last year.

Polaris, Prisoner X = Gifted, perceived value at Marvel

Preview from Prisoner X

I don’t know how to do a shortcode for a link preview, or if it’s even possible on WordPress with a shortcode, so I’ll just use a link.

The above image is a preview from an AIPT article. Comparisons have already been made between various images of Prisoner X and the version of Lorna on Gifted. Even if there weren’t already, I would’ve eventually brought it up when the book started publishing.

I’m currently getting two takeaways from this usage of Lorna and what it means regarding how Marvel perceives her value as a character.

Takeaway #1: Timetable.

The episodes of Gifted version Lorna locked up took place in fall 2017. It’s now spring 2019. That means Marvel coming up with this scenario, approving it, and creating it all took a little over a year. IF (big if) we assume the gears got turning immediately, this is the length of time it takes for Marvel to turn fan interests and demands into a new project. But then, there’s…

Takeaway #2: Marvel thinks Lorna doesn’t deserve to be the star of anything.

Despite this scenario clearly being at least partly inspired by what happened on Gifted’s version of the character, Lorna is not the leader nor the main star of Prisoner X. That role belongs to Bishop.

Now before Bishop fans complain, let me make one thing clear: I am not saying Bishop does not deserve to lead a book. What I AM saying is that Lorna could and should have easily had a book of her own to be the leader or star of while Bishop had his as well.

Instead, Marvel took a scenario that starred Lorna, made Bishop the star, turned Lorna into a secondary character, and applied the title of an old 90s comic for good measure.

What this tells me is that even with:

  • Gifted’s version of Lorna being the most popular on the show,
  • growing demand for her to have a solo, and
  • everything Marvel did to screw her over for Havok’s benefit last year on Blue

Marvel still thinks of her as too “worthless” to merit even due credit when an idea that she was used for on TV gets used in the comics.

If you question why I’m not engaging in anything Disney until Lorna gets a solo, mini, oneshot or leads a team book again, this sort of behavior out of Marvel is why.

They appear to give her things, and technically to a certain extent they do. But they keep screwing her over in the details, the deliberate execution of what they do.

In the most technical terms? Lorna being on Prisoner X rather than nothing is good. And maybe she’ll be written amazing on it. It’s not out yet. Can’t tell.

Just like how Lorna being on Blue was technically a good thing, but then everything about her got undermined to promote Havok and partly Magneto. And how Lorna was prominent in Secret Wars, only to be thrown into limbo for two years. And how when she finally got to spend time with her sister Wanda, Marvel made certain the cover for it didn’t go out until the Friday before release, they didn’t promote it at all, and then they promptly made Wanda and Pietro suddenly not Magneto’s kids again.

Marvel keeps doing things that look good on the surface. Then you look at the details and the details suck. And then they and some of their apologists that think Marvel can do no wrong will act like there’s no actual problem, or like these deliberately compromised projects should be revered because they’re better than nothing.

Despite the fact if this was Storm, or Wolverine, or Jean, or all sorts of other characters, fans would be pissed, and Marvel wouldn’t risk such treatment because they know better.

Marvel has a very “You want this? Oh yeah, well we’ll pretend to listen, give you something that technically fits but violates the spirit of what you want, and expect you to be satisfied” attitude to complaints. This isn’t me waking up one day and saying all of this out of nowhere. I now have 10 years of experience to draw from, that forms the basis of why I think and react the way I do toward this company.

I was planning to read Prisoner X. I’m unsure at the moment, but I’m still leaning toward doing so. Despite the fact Bishop should have a different book to star/lead, and Lorna should be the star/lead of this one given the source Marvel is clearly drawing from in making this book.

And that’s all I have to say right now.

Polaris overdue for solo tweets

A question was asked on Twitter: which Marvel characters people think are overdue for a solo.

That naturally prompted several people – including myself – to outright say Lorna. Here are the tweets I’ve seen so far.

The previous had a reply of someone agreeing with them.

There’s plenty more Polaris tweets out there! But I wanted to get this one across right now as it shows more of the demand for Lorna to get a solo.

Polaris: codename worth, change?

I’ve been thinking about Lorna’s codename of Polaris this morning.

Throughout her character history, she’s had different sorts of temporary codenames. Some of them were her own choosing, but most were forced on her by villains. Magnetrix, M-2, Malice, Pestilence.

The codename of Polaris never really sat right with me though. Don’t get me wrong. At the moment, it’s her most common, most identifiable codename and I think she needs to keep it.

But what purpose does it serve? The name references the north star, tied to the magnetic north pole, but it doesn’t really feel like a name that particularly stands out as having deep meaning. Where does the star element factor in? Why that and not some other word play on magnets?

One of my suggestions for making her existing codename more valuable is to play on the mix of how the star gives off light within the darkness, and how it’s stood throughout time as a guiding light for humans trying to find their way.

But that’s just working with the name we’ve been given. The next question is: would an entirely different name be better?

When I say this, I’m thinking about Carol Danvers. For a long time, she was called Miss Marvel. Then, very recently, she was renamed Captain Marvel while Kamala Khan became Miss Marvel. I’m sure there are many other cases out there (Monica Rambeau comes to mind), but it raises this question for me of if there might be a good name she could change to.

Which if it happened would require Marvel to do a hell of a lot more with Lorna so people grasp the name change. Same as if they radically changed most of her costume.

So I raise these questions. If anyone wants to add, what are your thoughts?