A few days ago, it was confirmed that X-Men Blue is ending, and Bunn is off the X-Men books as he goes to other areas of Marvel. I have a few things to say.
Editorial vs Writer
I’ve seen some people say Bunn kept getting interference from editorial. If that’s true, and if things I’ve complained about concerning his writing happened only because of that interference, then I apologize for as hard as I was on him.
However, I did also repeatedly say that I needed clear signs it was editorial and not him, and I never got those signs, so I had to assume it was primarily Bunn’s choices as a writer. And as such, until I see proof, I have to lean toward the expectation that “editorial got in his way” is more likely fans of Bunn wanting to write off problems as things he had no control over.
Expectations vs Reality
When I originally found out about Bunn, I read the Magneto series both cause knowing Magneto fed into knowing Lorna, and because I hoped Lorna would show up there and get the same care and attention Bunn was giving Magneto. I assumed quality for Magneto would trickle down to quality for Polaris, which led me to imagine all sorts of things could happen.
Not that every story arc or issue would be “about Lorna,” as that would be absurd and greedy. But I expected that when she did show up, she would get some really good stuff out of it.
Instead, most of her presence with Bunn writing her has been what she can do for Magneto or Havok. How Magneto having a daughter can boost his profile. How Havok’s ex can give insight into who he was before inversion. Even Lorna’s big return was really all about how she could benefit those two men. And then, not content with Havok having stolen the sole issue where Lorna could have shone, he was then given a five-issue story arc.
That was not what I expected and hoped for with Bunn when I supported him taking over as her writer. Frankly, I expected editorial to refuse to let her be used. But in a scenario of Bunn getting to use her more than that, I expected great things from him.
I expected scenes of Lorna talking to teen Jean and teen Iceman because they came from a time shortly before they would’ve met teen Lorna. I expected that Lorna and Magneto’s shared Genosha history would be featured prominently. I expected that if Malice was used, Bunn would delve into the vast potential behind it. I even fandommed that perhaps the time travel device Bunn introduced was going to bring teen Lorna in, or that the Sentinels that helped the teen O5 were controlled by Lorna.
I don’t know with 100% certainty why none of that happened. Maybe editorial shot it down. Maybe Bunn didn’t care enough about Lorna as her own character to want to do anything like any of that.
The Overall Takeaway
My overall takeaway is that Blue ending, and Bunn moving on to other areas of Marvel, is… good. At least for Polaris.
Under Bunn, Lorna didn’t really reach any important milestones or development like she got with Peter David – who I also didn’t exactly like writing her, but I came around to him by the end of ANXF as he made real efforts to fix things in response to complaints.
The three things that can be said for Bunn having written Lorna is that she interacted with Magneto, Malice came up again, and she was on a flagship title. But I can’t say he made good use of her, because he didn’t. We learned nothing new. She didn’t achieve anything new. And with the teen O5 going away soon, it feels more and more like he wasted a golden opportunity to tell such amazing stories.
Someone I used to talk to, used to say Lorna needs a writer that will champion her before she’s able to get real use and real attention at Marvel. The impression I got out of what Bunn’s done with Lorna is that her champion wasn’t Bunn. If he was, he would’ve done more with and for her. If editorial resisted, he would’ve fought for her. At the very least, he would’ve said more publicly to show interest in her so fandom could talk to him and he’d have fandom as a bargaining chip.
I don’t want a writer writing Lorna that only sees Lorna as Magneto’s daughter or Havok’s ex. If it’s editorial who sees her that way, I don’t want a writer writing Lorna that isn’t willing to push back against editorial’s misguided ideas of who Lorna is. I want a writer for Lorna that sees her potential and wants to use it.
I wish Bunn the best wherever he goes. If editorial was screwing him over like some fans say they were, I’m glad he’s switching to where editorial can’t do that to him anymore. I thank him for not making things worse for Lorna when he could have. And if he sees her potential some day, or he gets up the will to fight for her to be treated better by Marvel, then I’m open to him writing her again – but with an understanding that I’ll need some convincing that things will be better the next time around.