Polaris and Trauma

I wasn’t going to make a post about this until/unless something new from Marvel pushed me into it. But it’s been grating on me enough that I want to make a post.

There are many ways a person may react to trauma. There is no one “right” way to react. The idea of reacting the “right” way falls into the “perfect victim” problem. You can’t just dictate that a certain behavior is what you would expect a survivor to exhibit. That a certain thought is one you would expect a survivor to have when faced with memories or with more, new traumas. You can’t carte blanche say “This is how all survivors think and act and feel.”

But when you’re writing a character, their thoughts and feelings and actions when faced with trauma need to come from a foundation of how they have thought and felt and acted in response to trauma previously. That needs to be taken into account even when they’re not currently facing trauma, since it’s a part of who the character is and what they’ve been through. It’s called character development. You develop the character. You don’t pretend things in their past didn’t happen and try to start over from scratch. You work from who they already are.

Marvel is not doing this with Lorna. Has not been doing this. And it’s frustrating as fuck to see.

I harp on the Genoshan genocide because that is a huge, weighty, character-defining experience that Lorna went through. It’s on par with Magneto surviving the Holocaust and Wolverine going through the Weapon X program. It wasn’t just a one and done situation. You don’t have a character go through an experience like that and just ignore it. It’s supposed to be too big to ignore.

Yet Marvel somehow does it. And it makes no sense even in the fictional world itself, because there should be reminders everywhere for Lorna. She was considered Genosha’s sovereign princess in its final moments, and in Uncanny X-Men #442-443, we even saw people bowing to her as their queen. Even if Lorna wanted to forget, why would all of those people, all of them, not be reminders of that history? Either in Lorna’s thoughts, or in wherever she goes?

We saw her develop from Genosha. We saw her struggle with the mental barbs and wires of trauma. We saw her worldview shift and grow from that trauma. By the end of Austen’s run, we saw Lorna as someone who would never want Genosha or anything like it to happen again, and she was ready to be more aggressive about it.

Part of what bothers me isn’t just that Marvel ignores Genosha. It’s that Marvel increasingly looks to me like they’re trying their damnedest to wipe it out from her history. Like they want people to forget it ever happened to her so badly that they want to try different ways of replacing it with new traumas.

When X-Factor #243 happened, I was, and still am, pleased that Lorna finally had her origin story told. I like that origin story. I support it. It’s a good origin story, and I think her reaction to it was perfectly fine. But in the back of my mind, a tiny, tiny part of me was concerned that Marvel might attempt to “replace” her surviving the Genoshan genocide with that. It didn’t happen, thankfully, but the risk remains.

Then a couple years ago, in Age of X: Prisoner X, Marvel had a scene where Lorna remembers major moments in her life. One of the images was… Lorna kissing Havok. Because Marvel has this desire to force her into existing mainly as Havok’s girlfriend. But what they didn’t include, was an image of her surviving the Genoshan genocide.

And then we have last year’s X-Factor #4, which was so dedicated to trying to misuse Lorna to raise the story’s stakes and make death seem more intense that it disregarded not only that Lorna survived the Genoshan genocide, but also how she fought in an actual war out in space (and the related casualties), and went through deaths of teammates she was much closer to in a prior version of X-Factor.

I realize this doesn’t seem like much to have an issue with yet. That’s why I wasn’t going to say anything until/unless something more happened with Marvel that pushed me into it. But I just need to say it now.

Marvel’s ignored Lorna surviving the Genoshan genocide for 15 years. They’ve had Red Skull exploit the Genoshan dead, Jean fight Cassandra Nova on Genosha’s ruins, and Storm show outrage over the genocide. But they can’t be bothered to acknowledge what Lorna went through even once. Even in passing. And even in passing honestly and seriously wouldn’t be sufficient especially after 15 years of nothing, but the fact they can’t even remind people that it happened to Lorna for a single panel is damning and frustrating and wrong.

X-Factor #4 should have explicitly acknowledged what happened to Lorna and worked with it carefully, compassionately, considerately to make what it was trying to achieve make sense with her. I can’t say I would’ve been fine with how she was depicted if it had done so. I’d have to see what was done, though for the sake of honesty I’m doubtful I would’ve been on board with X-Factor’s depiction even then. But I wouldn’t be so pissed about it because at least then the biggest thing to happen to Lorna would be acknowledged.

And part of my frustration with X-Factor is because honestly, I think leaving out what happened to Lorna on Genosha was deliberate. I think an editor at Marvel, not the writer, doesn’t want her to be remembered for that part of her history because doing that would require admitting she’s done meaningful things and had meaningful experiences and is worth a damn for something besides stroking Havok’s or some other (usually male) character’s goddamn ego for the billionth time in 52 years.

I think there’s a desire within Marvel to erase the most important thing that’s ever happened to Lorna because they don’t have any respect either for Lorna or the trauma connections that any readers might have connected with through her.

People generally seem to be aware that Lorna’s been through A Lot Of Shit. That’s good. It’s one side of the coin, and it’s progress, because just a decade ago were were in a place where nobody seemed to have that in mind.

But now it feels like people at Marvel don’t think they can ignore how she’s been through A Lot Of Shit, but do think they can get away with wiping out the worst Lot Of Shit she’s been through and replacing it with something else that’s much smaller, much less meaningful for her, something that could easily be set aside and diminished to keep her on the sidelines supporting whoever they think is more deserving of respect than her.

And that’s something I don’t want. I don’t want such an integral, deep, cutting thing about the character and who she is and what she’s been and become wiped out because some asshole at Marvel doesn’t like Lorna enough to want it to mean anything. It means something to me. It means something to plenty of other people, countless because there’s no way to see a tally, but you have no idea how much power that carries even if it’s just one person who gets something out of it.

We’ve seen how important these things are. We’ve seen how Black kids are inspired by seeing Black superheroes in Black Panther. How little girls are inspired by Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman and Black Widow. Even with adults, we’ve seen how Superman has touched some people to do good things with their lives and in the lives of others. Fiction isn’t just fiction. It means something to us on a deep, heartful, primal level. To cut something with so much weight and pretend it doesn’t mean anything at all is just all kinds of wrong on a level I can’t even put into words.

For some people, it’s “with great power comes great responsibility.” For others, it’s seeing Lorna survive a genocide, struggle through her trauma, and from it become ready to fight for a worthy cause instead of shrinking into a void like some would prefer out of her.

That’s it, that’s the end of this post. My inboxes are open for anyone that wants to get super double mad at me for having feelings.

Polaris Mistreatment Bingo: X of Swords

This is the newest in my Polaris Mistreatment Bingo card series, that I fill out after each event. I’m including reasons for my selections, and why I didn’t select other things.

Let’s begin.

Trait given to another character

For how Emma Frost was depicted far more like Lorna would behave if written properly, than the way Lorna was depicted.

That’s not to say Emma wouldn’t behave that way without Lorna around, but just how horribly Lorna was misrepresented makes this stand out. I was on the fence on whether to use this one, and decided Lorna’s treatment by comparison was bad enough to warrant it.

History gets ignored/Character development ignored or undone

Lorna’s depiction concerning Rockslide’s death.

Lorna is a survivor of the Genoshan genocide. On top of it, she was seen as a sovereign princess in its final moments, and millions of people died all around her while begging for her specifically to save them. We saw her deal with the trauma of it in the 00s.

Marvel’s been acting like it never happened for the past 15 years. Which is bad enough on its own, but it got taken to a whole new level of fuckery in X of Swords with Lorna depicted like she’s never once experienced someone die near her. This event had her acting horribly traumatized by Rockside’s death and blaming herself when a) they had no personal connection, and b) he wasn’t even anywhere near her.

This depiction MIGHT have been acceptable if the story explicitly pulled in her experience with the Genoshan genocide, or we were told her mental state was horribly altered by the prophecies being put into her head. As it stands, the story ends up treating Lorna like someone who’s broken to pieces over the death of a mutant she doesn’t even know, yet she somehow never once thinks about all the millions of people who died on Genosha that she failed to save. I’d say this alone qualifies as bingo for the whole card for how bad it was.

Character keeps changing to fit story

This is pretty blatant. She goes from fairly calm and confident in a fight, to a broken down mess over Rockslide’s death, to suddenly trying to give a stirring speech at his grave. All over the place.

Misused to make threat look more threatening

That’s what Rockslide’s death was all about. Its whole point was just to have people going “oh shit, these guys are dangerous despite our resurrection protocols.” Which is in itself a horrid disservice to Rockslide, but this post is about Lorna, not Rockslide.

By extension, Lorna’s depiction in this story was all about misusing her to emphasize the threat. Every line out of her mouth was meant to amp up emotions and make death out to be bigger and more horrific than it’s usually taken as in comic books.

And don’t get me wrong. Character death SHOULD be a big deal. But characters shouldn’t be written horribly OOC to make that happen. Furthermore, there were other characters who actually knew and cared about Rockslide that would’ve made way more sense as the focal point. I can’t say if any of them would have reacted the way Lorna was misrepresented, but they had more right to panel time for this purpose (whereas Lorna SHOULD have been on Empyre).

Bait and Switch Promo

We had multiple variant covers this year that made Lorna look powerful and cool, only for contents inside the comics to depict her as the exact opposite.

The variant cover for X-Factor #4 continued the pattern with this.

This variant cover drew a lot of speculation. Was Lorna going to die and be resurrected? Was she going to lead a mutant army to battle? Was she going to be a Swordbearer?

It turned out, none of the above happened. The closest she came to “leading” anything was her little speech at Rockslide’s grave. And before that, readers got a massive dump of Lorna acting like she couldn’t lead her own way out of a paper bag during battle despite decades worth of comics.

For that, bait and switch promo is 100% appropriate.

QUESTION: brainwashed or mind-controlled for others’ stories

This goes into the realm of fan speculation. Hence the question mark.

There is a theory that the woman who implanted the prophecies in Lorna’s head (I’ve forgotten her name and given this event sucked for Lorna, I don’t care enough to look it up) ended up altering her mind in the process. Even simply putting the prophecies in Lorna’s head and her having to say them can be construed as a form of brainwashing or mind control. But it’s a dubious, gray area issue. The theory is a theory specifically because the comics don’t say that’s what happened, it’s left to readers to imagine whatever they want. So, it might apply, depending on one’s views.

NOT SELECTED: Defined entirely by connection to a man

I considered this one from the combination of her written talking to Havok to mock her dad, and her depiction over Rockslide’s death. I only didn’t include it because 1) she pulled down the citadel (or whatever it was called), 2) she had the role of giving prophecies, and 3) her speech at the end of X-Factor #4 was more than simply Lorna talking about a man.

NOT SELECTED: History gets retconned

While Lorna’s mistreatment here ignored her surviving the Genoshan genocide, it didn’t say or do anything that would outright retcon that history. It’s very possible to reconcile X of Swords with her experience as a survivor at a later date.

A final note

What you see here is within the limits of the card I made a year ago. There is absolutely mistreatment not represented on the card. We had Magneto yelling at Lorna, and that yelling somehow shaking the prophecies loose. We had Lorna written as thinking she doesn’t want to exist. These are very obvious problems, and they give more reason for creating a new card that could encompass this kind of treatment by future comics published by Marvel.

Polaris Mistreatment Bingo

A year ago, I made this template after seeing people do a “bingo” for other things on social media.

Since then, I’ve filled this out for each event. Here’s House of X/Powers of X and X-Men: Empyre.

After this post, I will be making a new post every time I fill out a new card, using the relevant tags. The new posts will go into my reasons for what I selected (or didn’t select). This is just to get the old stuff on my WordPress.

I may make a new version of this card in the future. There have been some regular problems with recent events that aren’t represented on the card, and more common than other things on the card. I’ve also had enough to make a bingo every time but too scattered across the card, so a reordering may be needed.

Polaris and Leadership

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. I’ve had myriad things I’ve talked about in various places, but this is really the first thing that feels blog post worthy. It includes my views on the current X-Factor in relation to this topic.

Lorna and leadership positions is a complicated subject. Over the course of her existence, she’s been involved in teams and gained some measure of leadership experience within them. She’s also had moments where she was considered a leader figure – someone that isn’t leading a team, but had people who considered her an icon to follow.

I think it would be helpful to simplify this with a chronological breakdown of where she’s been in the comics… and where she is now.

  • Viewed as Queen of Mutants taking over for her perceived father Magneto (X-Men #49-50, 1968)
    • rejected at time both because “Magneto evil” and “Magneto not father”
  • Secondary/stand-in team leader (X-Factor, 90s)
  • Stand-in for Magneto taking his form via image inducer (Genosha, late 90s/early 00s)
  • Viewed as Queen of Mutants again after Genoshan genocide (Uncanny X-Men #442-443, 2004)
    • rejected at time while dealing with mental issues, but definite leader philosophies and will shown
  • “Second in command” (in theory) on Starjammers (late 2000s, early 2010s)
  • Fill-in leader for X-Factor (2012/2013)
  • FINALLY TEAM LEADER (All-New X-Factor, 2014)
  • Fill-in team leader again (X-Men Blue, 2017)

That’s the overall picture. Now let’s talk about it.

For many hardcore Marvel/X-Men fans, and some casual fans, the default perspective of Lorna in terms of leadership is connected to 90s X-Factor. She’s sometimes referred to as “co-leader” of that team, but it’s been pretty blatant that she hasn’t truly been considered by Marvel to be a leader or equal partner coming out of 90s X-Factor like that term should convey. When she went on to Starjammers, it was from Havok recruiting her to the team with a heavy emphasis on him leading it. He’s also repeatedly received leadership positions (Uncanny Avengers, Astonishing X-Men, etc) in the comics since the 90s while Lorna has not.

Equal partners would be getting equal opportunities. The lack of them for Lorna means that at least people at Marvel never truly considered her a co-leader of X-Factor. Only his subordinate. Second in command.

That gets me into the progression of Lorna in terms of leadership. Before the 2010s, she has a history of being used to fill in where most convenient for other characters’ needs. The implication is that Lorna does not exist to lead. She exists to support the leader, and keep the team together for the leader’s sake in their absence. She exists to be used for the benefit of whichever character is deemed by Marvel to be the one who shall lead. Her actions and remarks all feed into this idea. She may get to have moments where she gets to lead, but the underlying suggestion is that she’s only keeping the chair warm for the “true” leader’s return.

This FINALLY changed with All-New X-Factor. She FINALLY got to lead a team of her own for once. It took 46 years to happen, but happen it did.

… And her leadership was undermined. Both in the text at first, and by Marvel as a whole the entire time.

In the text, ANXF #4-6 presented Lorna as a woman who is somehow incapable of keeping herself together and making good calls. This flew in the face of her past experience as a stand-in which should have been understood as providing a foundation to build on. Those issues in essence treated Gambit like the “real” team leader, and Lorna as leader in name only. We saw it with things like Gambit recruiting Danger to the team while Lorna sulked to the side like she had no say in if she joins, and Gambit actually physically pulling Lorna’s arm to stop her plan of action as leader in #6, and Lorna just letting him do both without having words about how it undermined her as a leader. Later issues thankfully treated Lorna MUCH better in this regard, which is why you see me recommend ANXF #7-20 regularly. But the problems of those issues remains.

Outside of the text, Marvel gave ANXF no promotion. Pietro wasn’t on ANXF covers while Days of Future Past was in theaters. ANXF didn’t actually tie into Axis at all (which is pretty damning considering Axis used the dead of the Genoshan genocide, something Marvel’s been pretending never happened to Lorna for the past 15 years). All-New X-Factor #14, the issue of Lorna and Wanda spending time together as sisters, was buried as the second issue of a double shipping month (meaning people are less likely to know it released and buy it) with no cover for it out until the Friday before release (so nobody could see a visual and preorder the comic to show interest to comic shops, thereby limiting buzz and sales).

In short, Lorna’s only turn as the actual, intended leader of a team was undermined at its start in the script, and sabotaged on the promotion level.

And now we get to post-ANXF.

Lorna was in limbo from 2015-2017. When she finally held another leadership style position, on X-Men Blue, it was back to the “fill-in leader” dynamic. Lorna not leading a team cause she’s supposed to lead it. Only leading cause who’s supposed to be there isn’t right now.

This would be fine as a temporary, holding pattern sort of thing before Lorna moving forward to other things. Or if bigger things were happening for her. But then we get to the current X-Factor…. where Lorna is a team member.

ONLY a team member. She’s not leading this team. She’s not doing other, more important things outside of X-Factor that would make this a side gig. X-Factor is literally the only thing she’s doing.

So again, let’s consider this trajectory.

It took Lorna 46 years to finally lead a team of her own, on X-Factor. She ROSE to that position after decades of being kept behind, under the table, not properly explored, where even her origin story took over 40 years to be told.

Now it’s 6 years after Lorna led All-New X-Factor. And her progression in those 6 years has been from leading a team… to only filling in when the leader is out… to only being a team member on someone else’s team.

To put it simply: she’s been regressed.

The current X-Factor tried to smooth this over in the first issue, and with interview comments beforehand.

Interviews tried to call Lorna the “true north star” of the team, like she’s a guiding light. The problem is, a guiding light is not a leadership position. It’s a supporting character position. It’s the same position she had when she was on 90s X-Factor: providing support for Havok to be the “best leader he can be.” It’s the same position she had when she got sent out into space with Havok.

Guiding light supporting characters do not exist to have their own dreams or their own potential realized. They exist to help the leader realize theirs. They may have excellent moments within that narrative. Merlin of Arthurian legend does. But in the end, the guiding light character is not meant to have great things for themselves. They’re meant to refine a diamond in the rough so that diamond can shine brighter, with the implication that at full potential they’re much better than the guiding light could ever possibly be.

In so doing, the guiding light character is only to be remembered for how they were of benefit to the leader they supported. Not for what they personally accomplished or what thoughts, feelings, goals, aspirations they had of their own. If the guiding light character performs a miraculous feat, they may get credit for that feat, but the credit isn’t for their own development or own desires in life. It’s for boosting the leader’s goals.

This sends a message: this character isn’t “good enough” or “interesting enough” to ever be a leader for themselves. They’re “more appropriate” helping everyone else’s profiles rise.

Gambit did not have this problem on All-New X-Factor. When he was on ANXF, Marvel had recently given him a 17 issue solo book (2012-2013), and he was actively the leader of the Thieves’ Guild.

He had done something big just a year before, and status-wise he was actively doing something bigger than ANXF simultaneously.

Marvel is not doing that for Lorna.

The only, ONLY things she’s done so far in the past year are have Magneto talk at her about resurrection in House of X for a few pages, have Cyclops talk at her about his son on X-Men #1, some actual good pages in Deadpool #6 (outside of X-Men), and be a team member on X-Factor.

By comparison, Rachel has more usage and exposure. She was on the X-Men book too. Recently, she was present for Kate Pryde’s funeral on Marauders. She’s had a LOT of presence in relation to X of Swords as one of the swordbearers. And she’s undoubtedly showed up in other places I haven’t seen.

This is not to say “Rachel shouldn’t get those things.” That would be absurd and wrong. This is to put into context how Marvel is treating Lorna.

Marvel may try to claim she’s in a respected position on X-Factor. But if it’s truly respected, why is she not getting at least as much usage beyond X-Factor as Rachel? Why is X-Factor really the only thing she’s doing?

To go from leading X-Factor back down to merely being a team member on it and doing or getting nothing else is, to me, insulting. It’s like giving someone a demotion and thinking that a lot of nice sounding talk about them in a PR release somehow makes up for the fact they’ve been demoted.

My ultimate opinion is this: Lorna should not be on X-Factor.

She’s not leading the team. She’s not doing more important things outside of it. For all intents and purposes, it’s a hole in the ground they stuck her in to avoid her having any presence elsewhere, avoid complaints that they’re not using her, benefit the book by way of her association with it, and benefit the other characters by how interest in her can be exploited to draw eyes to the other characters.

If she had other things going on elsewhere that are more important, this would be fine. She doesn’t. So it’s not. All it does is drag down impressions of her away from the progress she was making and back toward a backwards, regressive idea of her based in the 90s where she’s only good for supporting and building up other characters (mostly men).

By sparing her from X-Factor, even if she’s in nothing else for many years, she at least retains that last position of her as leading ANXF whenever a much better Marvel comes along that has more respect for her.

And I don’t want her taking over leadership from Northstar. Leah obviously loves the character and wants him to lead it. She should get to do what she wants. Fans of Northstar should get to continue to see him leading it. But he doesn’t need Lorna dragged down to get him there. He can do all of that just fine without her anywhere near the book.

Lastly, this has nothing to do with Leah’s writing. I’ve made no judgments about her writing itself here – if she’s a good writer, if she’s a bad writer, any of that. She might write good scenes for Lorna within the context of the scenario she has here. That’s irrelevant.

What I’m judging is Lorna’s lack of respect out of Marvel, her being artificially restricted to this book with the title of what she was on 30 years ago, demoted from a leader to a team member. The bias and disrespect is palpable.

A few pages of something good (which, so far, none of it covers even one millisecond of her experience with the Genoshan genocide) for a fleeting moment do not in any way offset the net bad of completely destroying perception of her as a leader or leader figure for decades to come.

Instant gratification is trash if it’s going to kill you.

Maybe I sound overly harsh to some people. Maybe I seem too judgmental. But I’ve been a fan of the character for 11 years now. I’ve witnessed the way Marvel thinks and acts, and how decades worth of poor treatment and negative attitudes about her have undermined everything she is and could be. I’ve read pages of her treated poorly so other characters can look good at her expense. I’ve seen comments from editors where they insist she has no fan interest cause they have some bullshit idea in their heads and don’t want to put any real thought into it. I’ve seen those same comments serve as indicators when they excluded Lorna from comics where she belonged, and forced awful things from the past on her out of their nostalgia.

I don’t want a couple pages of puff to make the bad look better. I want REAL change in a positive direction for Lorna. I’m not going to be satisfied with less than that.

If you’re just tuning in, just stepping into the show, maybe X-Factor looks fine to you. Maybe it seems respectable and meaningful by the way Leah writes her on it. But nice writing means nothing when it’s bundled in a deadly package. A “present” of your favorite book is hardly a present if the gift wrapping is laced with poison and will kill you slowly as you read it.

That is my post. And my rant. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Appearances vs Sincerity

I think people as a whole are becoming increasingly aware of how doing something purely to project the appearance of good values and intent is not as good as actually, sincerely having those values.

When the goal is to do something purely for the sake of appearances, then any work toward that end stops as soon as it’s deemed “enough.” It’s only done as a form of protection against anyone saying it’s not being done. “See, I said I support this cause, I said a lot of nice things about it that one time a few years ago so I’m good.”

When something happens sincerely, though, it’s self-generating toward better for the future. Actions and statements grow organically not from a desire to look good, but a desire to BE good. The difference is important.

Most of Marvel’s behavior regarding Polaris for the past decade has been, I think, about the appearance of doing “enough” for her rather than sincerely wanting to do enough for her. And I think the deterioration of Marvel’s treatment of her since 2015 is a vivid sign of this. Because if they were sincere, they would have spent the past 5 years improving their treatment of her instead of what we’ve seen.

In the early 2010s, there were a lot of things that fans wanted. Lorna brought back from space exile. Lorna confirmed to be a mutant again. Lorna confirmed as Magneto’s daughter (something that had gone untouched for 10 years at that time). Lorna’s origin story told. Lorna leading a team.

From 2012 to 2015, Marvel provided these things, and they were for the most part good.

They did have problems – which I ranted about at the time, and I think I was perfectly fair to rant about.

Her origin story getting told had no promotion, and the arc ended with basically an excuse for Lorna to not interact with her father anymore afterward. All-New X-Factor also never really got any promotion, issue 4-6 treated her poorly (heavily leaning toward acting like Gambit was the real team leader and Lorna’s a member of his team), and various issues besides. And outside of those things, we had projects tied to the Avengers trying to exclude Lorna from the Magnus family, and trying to replace her with other women for a sister role or visual counterpart in Wanda’s life.

But, in spite of those problems, X-Factor #243 did tell her origin story. All-New X-Factor had her leading a team, and let her interact with her siblings. Secret Wars provided Lorna in a great role for her (albeit at times not doing right for Pietro and Magneto) in its House of M, and various other appearances. We also had appearances and acknowledgments otherwise, such as with Savage Hulk going back to Hulk’s first run-in with the X-Men and showing Lorna present.

Then we had a decline after 2015.

She was in limbo for two years (or one and a half, if you count Deadpool and the Mercs for Money). When she returned, it had the APPEARANCE of a big return for her, but in reality she was used to promote Havok and Magneto. On Blue, she led another team, but purely as a backup for the main team and in service to the very Havok-oriented story.

She had good scenes in the Uncanny X-Men event, which was good as she hadn’t been included in a major event in over a decade. But then Prisoner X saw her serving as a supporting character for essentially Bishop’s book. Now, I’ve heard she was written well on it, but “supporting character on Bishop’s book” when the book comes off aesthetically very inspired by Gifted’s usage of Lorna in prison is a backstep to me. Especially when it’s more of a side story.

Then House of X, Powers of X, and X-Men #1 happened.

HoX really only used her as something Magneto could spout exposition to. X-Men #1 only really used her so readers could connect with Cyclops. The only thing “Lorna” about that exchange was a reminder that she’s dated Havok, which in this scenario is the absolute last thing that has any bearing for Lorna.

She’s a survivor of Genosha who was respected by millions and seen as his heir, and she was the one who launched Krakoa into space in Giant-Size X-Men after getting powered up by Storm, Cyclops and Havok. Is that history really worth nothing, especially when other characters like Storm get to be mad about what happened on Genosha despite not personally going through the trauma of it like Lorna has?

Consider that with Marvel’s behavior since. She’s been absent from anything for a year. She wasn’t included on an X-women variant cover, despite there being plenty of room to add her, and other women like Dani Moonstar and Magik included. She’s not on the Quiet Council. She’s not considered Omega even though Magneto is, and various past books have said or implied she either has the potential to surpass him (earlier stories), is already his equal (The Twelve), or has already surpassed him (Genosha, albeit as his powers were weakening).

When she was finally announced on a book, that book turned out to be… X-Factor. The same title name she was on in the 90s. Except this time, she’s not even leading it. She’s a member of this team someone else is leading. And the only thing really mentioned about Lorna in all talk for the book so far is essentially “she dated Havok.”

No mention of Genosha. Or Krakoa. Or being the second woman to join the X-Men. Or even having gone into space on a team with Rachel prior to this. The only thing mentioned is that she was in a relationship with the only man Marvel’s ever allowed her to date in her entire existence (whereas Marvel’s allowed Havok to have an ongoing thing with a different woman every decade, most recently with Wasp).

This is the break down of appearances when there is no sincerity. People at Marvel believe they “did enough” for Lorna when they told her origin story and let her lead a team. It doesn’t matter to them that they sabotaged her chances of those things really getting attention and meaning anything big for her. To them, those few acts even in a void are sufficient for them to go back to treating her as poorly as they did before. To them, those few things that should have happened DECADES ago are something they can point to and say “See, we respect the character, we did these things for her so you should be happy and stop expecting so much.”

That’s a false argument. It implies that Lorna deserves to be treated poorly. That she deserves to be undermined, have her potential squandered, have the important things about her history and their gravity completely ignored by this company. It’s an argument that tries to proclaim that negative bias against the character is supposed to be the norm, that negative views of the character are the “right” way to look at her, and expecting the common decency of due respect and catching up on things that should’ve happened for her a long ass time ago is somehow pushing the boundaries of fair request.

To people at Marvel, Lorna is a D-list or lower character who barely qualifies as a character and wastes panel space.

To me, Lorna is an amazing character that’s supposed to be A-list but keeps getting treated like she isn’t because people at Marvel put their personal biases above what’s right. Starting in the 70s and continuing to today, with rare exceptions.

If Marvel had been sincere in trying to treat Lorna well, and do well with their work as a whole, then Lorna’s history would mean something. She would have a huge voice when it comes to Genosha. The fact she launched Krakoa into space would at least get mentioned. She would be acknowledged as a meaningful woman within the X-Men franchise when they do things like the X-women variant cover.

The lack of these things tells us there is no sincerity from Marvel. Anything they say that sounds good is about appearances, not a genuine desire to do well with what they have and improve upon their past.

This is why I do not trust Marvel. To date, what I have seen from Marvel is that they’re only concerned with putting on the appearance of caring, and don’t actually care about her at all. And don’t want to. Because they undoubtedly think any attempt to understand and empathize on the character is wasted time they could be putting into “characters that matter” in their eyes.

It’s not like this is the only place where we see Marvel, or Disney, saying and doing things for the sake of appearances that it’s clear they’re not sincere about. A commonly observed issue with Disney as a whole is how they keep getting credit for introducing the “first openly gay character” in their films every year, and it’s always something like two extras kissing in the background of a scene for 2 seconds.

This post is mainly for me to vent. But if it’s being read, the main takeaway I’d like to give is to watch for the difference between a company saying or doing something because they want to put on a good appearance for PR reasons, and a company saying or doing something because they sincerely believe in it and want to do good.

The cases where it’s for appearances tend to go nowhere, get sabotaged constantly, and end as soon as the company thinks they’ve done enough to get away with not doing any more.

The cases that are sincere will happen regardless of perceived PR value. Characters will get much needed progress even if they personally don’t like the character or think it won’t sell or make the company look better. It won’t matter how “obscure” a character is, they’ll still be considered deserving of better.

That wraps up this rant.

My Marvel History

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.

Kid Time

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.

The 90s/00s

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.

Polaris Headcanons

I have a lot of different Polaris headcanons. Some of which I find more valid than things Marvel does, on account of how Marvel never thinks or cares about Lorna as her own character. I’ve decided to make this post to collect all the different headcanons I have!

Note: I have enough that it’s entirely possible I may forget some, and have to come back to this to add what I’ve forgotten.

I’ll enter each headcanon, and if I want to say a little more on it then I’ll add text after.

Lorna can change the color of her hair

Lorna’s powers of electromagnetism mean she has access to the whole electromagnetic spectrum – including colors. By this token, perhaps her hair defaults to green because it fits her mood, or because it’s the middle balance of rainbow colors (ROY G BIV).

Lorna is a knight/warrior type

Which does not detract from the princess aspect either (hi Xena). But when I convert characters to medieval settings, Wanda’s a witch. Lorna’s a knight. We’ve seen her don armor before as Pestilence.

In legend, I also think she would slot in well with Arthurian tales as the Green Knight.

Lorna has a Phoenix-equivalent concept of some sort out there

Another user on Twitter recently suggested from art that Lorna could be The Dragon. I like this concept. It pairs well with the Phoenix concept as a mythological creature, dragons are often seen as green and liking to collect treasure (e.g. Lorna’s original gold secondary color), and often perceived as evil (again, going back to the original conception of Magneto as evil).

Lorna creates her own costume with her powers

In my head, Lorna’s costume isn’t cloth. It’s very thin metal, constructed by her using materials that are around her. When she needs to enter combat, she doesn’t dress or undress, she gathers molecules and constructs it however she wants.

Lorna creates art with her powers

This is something I don’t see Magneto doing, but definitely see Lorna doing. Exploring her artistic side as a fun, constructive use of her powers.

Lorna can’t die

Lorna’s existed since 1968. In that whole time, aside from alternate universes, she’s never died.

Realistically, I think this is because Marvel cared so little about her that they didn’t think her dying would serve a purpose. But it pays off because with all the shit she’s been through, to NOT die to me implies there’s something about her that simply can’t be killed. Like her survivor’s spirit and electromagnetic powers work together.

In my mind, at most her body could be destroyed but she would still exist as an electromagnetic entity who rebuilds her body with her powers. Perhaps that’s even what happened on Genosha for real. It would really feed into survivor’s guilt for her, by the way.

Lorna is bi/lesbian

This is one part “I really like this for her,” and one part “she keeps getting treated poorly around men, so maybe women would be better.”

Within this idea, my top pick of a partner for Lorna is Jean. I think it would open excellent doors for the two characters to revisit their history way back to around when Lorna arrived on the scene (before Giant-Size X-Men and all that followed). Second pick for partner may be Emma Frost due to Genosha connections, but I’m really big for the Jean.

Lorna has low-level semi-psychic powers

The “low level” part of this is honestly more to be fair to full-fledged psychics than anything else. Since it wouldn’t be fair if Lorna could be as powerful as a main psychic AND have the rest of her powers.

Over time, research has found electromagnetic waves are able to do a lot of things involving the human brain. Some research can pick up thoughts and dreams. Some research can suggest an action for someone to take. From this, I have a headcanon that Lorna can use telepathy and add/erase/alter memories.

Lorna can access the internet at any time with her mind

The internet via WiFi is essentially electromagnetic. By this token, Lorna should be able to access the internet with her brain. No need for a computer, no need for a monitor. She’s already both. What’s more, because it goes straight to her brain, she should be able to read and process faster than someone simply reading from a screen.

This would make her one of the “smartest” people alive. By that I mean, say she encounters someone who’s been poisoned. She can look how to cure that poison immediately. Heck, she could have a live chat with a real doctor. Perhaps even sharing images/video from her brain to see what’s happening in real-time.

The weakness to this, of course, would be any time Lorna enters an area where those waves can’t reach her. If the signal’s cut off, then she can’t make use of it.

Lorna can create audio/video in her mind

If she has access to the electromagnetic spectrum, why not manipulate it to broadcast or record whatever she wants? She could make fake footage that looks like someone said something they never did. She could play her dreams and fantasies on TVs. All sorts of things.


I had a longer post on this in drafts. Then I deleted it. Because it doesn’t need to be a long post.

I don’t expect anything good for Lorna from this book. Period. I could write a big in-depth explainer behind that, which I originally was going to do, but the bottom line is Marvel and the team haven’t given me any reason to think it could be good for her on any level. I can’t even begrudgingly say “Lorna deserves better but this is better than nothing,” because I actually think Marvel leaving her alone is better for her and nothing I’ve seen so far makes me think otherwise.

Lorna’s stuck on a team she was put on in the 90s. The writer either can’t or won’t mention anything about her besides that she dated Havok, even something simple like how Lorna and Rachel were in space together. The past few years have been poor treatment of Lorna in general, but narrowing just to HoX/PoX/DoX, there’s been no acknowledgment of anything Lorna’s done besides Havok.

I don’t expect everything Marvel does to cater to my exact specifications, but if Marvel’s going to use her, I expect key moments in her development like how she survived the Genoshan genocide and was considered Queen of Mutants by those who remained to actually mean something. Instead, we’ve got Storm able to freely cite that genocide while what happened to Lorna is treated like it never happened.

Anything that ignores such a vital moment in a character’s history when it matters deeply, is absolutely worthless.

And even in the off chance that Marvel ever gets its act together and acknowledges what happened to Lorna for once after 15 years of ignoring it, a throwaway line in a single panel is not sufficient both for the importance of what happened and the insultingly long gap from when Marvel last acknowledged it to today. These other characters get to regularly talk about what a horrific event the Genoshan genocide was, but Lorna can only be used for her dad to spout exposition at her or for Marvel to hype up Havok for the billionth time cause they think he can’t hack it without exploiting her? Please.

That’s what I have to say about this book at the moment. Lorna deserves a hell of a lot more and better. Tacking her to a team book she’s not even leading, with the same title as what she was on in the 90s, doing nothing else and apparently with no grasp of what she offers (just “oh she dated Havok”) is not the way. I’m not going to deny the evidence of my eyes and ears.

“Best Kept Secrets” + X-Factor

I’m combining two topics into this post.

I recently had reason to think of “best kept secrets.” Generally, we think of that as a good, endearing trait. Like being a best kept secret makes that thing more valuable, has the extra street cred of being an in-group privilege.

You see that cozy little cafe down the street, the one you’d miss if you weren’t looking for it? They make the best sandwiches you would ever eat. But not many people know about it. It’s a special privilege for those who know about it.

But I heard someone that pointed out: best kept secrets die quietly.

That same little cafe? When times get tough, maybe their business struggles to survive. Maybe it doesn’t survive. And then 50 years after its closure, because it was so small and secret, nobody remembers it even existed. Despite all the good work put in, it’s disappeared from public knowledge.

Polaris is a best kept secret.

She’s an amazing character, with amazing potential, whose background offers a lot of relatable content and depth. We’ve seen what’s possible with this. She was the breakout character on Gifted, even without being able to call upon history (e.g. Genosha) or relationships (e.g. Scarlet Witch) that exist in the comics. We’ve seen tons of excitement and fan content over the years from people who find out she exists.

But that’s the key. They need to know she exists. Which is something Marvel doesn’t want people to know.

I could cite a lot of things, but HoX/PoX/DoX is easiest because it’s recent. Marvel didn’t acknowledge Lorna’s history with Genosha or Krakoa. They didn’t include her on the X-women variant cover. They only used her as something to build up Magneto and Havok, and exposition provided by them. And now, she’s going to be put on X-Factor – not as a leader, but as a supporting character they’re trying to frame as sort of an overseer or advisor or something. And in talking about the book, the only aspect of her Leah mentioned was her relationship to Havok. Despite how, along with so many other things, she could’ve said something about wanting to delve more into Lorna and Rachel’s dynamic due to history in space.

Every single action taken by Marvel lately has been one geared toward forcing Lorna to stay bogged down as a “best kept secret” who serves the whims of whatever characters they like and respect more, or whatever story they want to sacrifice her on the altar of. In spite of how Gifted demonstrated she can be and deserves so much more.

This is not the way. And I reject it.

I’ve had some people, mostly eager fans of HoX/PoX/DoX or Marvel, suggest that Marvel’s treatment of Lorna is more than enough and I should be happy instead of critical. That I’m somehow in the wrong for demanding better for her, and sometimes citing how other characters aren’t getting their due either and should.

I’m not going to be quiet about Lorna. I’m not going to let Marvel kill her as a “best kept secret.” If they can’t do better by her, then they should just not use her and leave her to her fandom making everything of her that Marvel won’t. If Marvel wants to get in the way of that, they’ll see me call out when they do.

If this is supposed to be such a “great new era” for the X-Men franchise like Marvel and its corporate fans claim, then I expect them to show it. I expect them to treat Lorna and other characters a hell of a lot better. I expect them to interrogate long-standing “traditions” and if they hold any merit. I expect them to radically adapt and improve upon their creative philosophy, to better utilize what they have and touch fans who they’ve missed for so long due to bad policy.

Simply making mutants the dominant species is not a new era. Giving them fluff like their own language, a resurrection process, that sort of thing is just the appearance of change. Real change is deeper and harder.

That’s topic one. I also said I would be talking about X-Factor, topic two.

I’m against the upcoming X-Factor book. I’ve said why. It’s placing Lorna into a supporting character role for a team book led by Northstar, while Lorna isn’t doing something more important elsewhere. More importantly, said team book is named X-Factor, a book she’s been stuck on for 30 years and which she previously led. Lastly, there’s been zero sign of Leah considering who Lorna is for herself. Just her talking to a couple friends she knows who are fans, and taking away from one of them that apparently Havok is more important than anything else about everything Lorna’s been through in her life.

Some people (again, mainly HoX/PoX/DoX fans) think I’m being too hasty and judgmental about X-Factor and what Leah Williams might do with Lorna. They think we haven’t seen enough yet for me to be able to make that determination.

I understand their reasons for thinking this. And I need to pull in some of my own history for full, proper consideration. Back in 2011/2012, when Marvel announced that Polaris was going back to X-Factor written by Peter David, I was pissed. I saw it as a backstep. As Marvel trying to undo Lorna’s character development and revert her to a 90s view of her. I fully expected that Peter David, having written Lorna in the 90s and being older at this point, would feel strongly compelled to revert Lorna to how she was when he last wrote her and ignore anything writers did after him.

About this, I’ve said before: in retrospect, I was wrong and too quick to judge. Peter David ended up doing a lot of good things for Lorna, contrary to what I expected back then. I didn’t imagine him giving Lorna her origin story, having Lorna lead ANXF, or having Lorna build up her relationships with Wanda and Pietro. And when Peter David DID write her origin story, I expected the worst – and was pleasantly surprised.

But that was back then. Things have changed greatly.

I was new to X-Men comics in 2011/2012. I had been told things, and read things, but I hadn’t experienced things yet. I didn’t have much grasp on how Marvel thinks and functions.

More importantly, Marvel’s had more problems with how they treat Lorna in the past few years than they did in 2011/2012. Yes, in 2011/2012, she had been tossed into space and then space limbo. And yes, her getting sent into space was purely to be Havok’s girlfriend. But there were at least bright spots like her time with Crystal and Luna. And just 2-3 years prior, Lorna had a big role on Wolverine and the X-Men, and AU versions of her did great things in Jeff Parker’s Exiles and Fantastic Force. Mike Carey’s Five Miles South of the Universe re-established that Magneto is her father, that she’s a mutant, and her return to Earth could have technically re-opened doors; arguments could’ve been made that Lorna returning to X-Factor was just a baby step to regaining a platform.

Plus, many of the biggest problems with Marvel’s treatment of her seemed isolated to how a certain editor outside the X-books saw her. Not problems within the X-books themselves.

Jump to today. We spent late 2015 to early/mid 2017 with Lorna in limbo. When she DID return, it was primarily to promote Havok and Magneto, and everything she did on Blue was in service to that. What little good that came pre-HoX/PoX/DoX, was a tiny drop amid usage for the benefit of other characters. Like a panel or two of her doing something cool before she talks up Havok to launch him into a new team book he leads.

The trend of Marvel and the X-Men books at present is one where there’s no reason to trust they’ll change course with X-Factor. Especially with the position they put Lorna in, and how Leah’s talked about her so far.

If I turn out to be wrong, I’ll be amazed and own it. Like I own that I was wrong about Peter David, above. But it would not be an unjustified wrongness. It would be absolutely justified by my experiences and observations over the past few years.

Which means that I’m not going to give X-Factor or Leah “benefit of the doubt” when history tells me that would be a mistake.

They can say Lorna is “the north star of the team” as much as they want. I’ve seen others say such things only to do the exact opposite. I saw Motomu Toriyama claim he was going to write Aya Brea as a cool mature woman in her 30s in 3rd Birthday, only to write “Aya” as a woman scared of combat who endures and accepts repeated sexual harassment and has her clothes ripped off for a game mechanic argued as “for realism” (despite Aya being sort of like a ghost). Before revealing at the end that it was Eve in Aya’s body, and killing Aya. I could say I’m going to buy every single X-Men comic out there, doesn’t mean I’m actually going to do it.

You can’t expect me to put faith in this book when both Marvel and the writer are unable to acknowledge any of her own actual character history.

New Polaris/Lorna Dane “soundtrack”

In 2017, on Tumblr, I created my own idea of a Polaris “soundtrack” for the character. It was largely constructed in chronological order of her life.

Three years have passed. New songs have come out. And this time, I’m far more eager to create a “soundtrack” that’s more about capturing her essence as I see it via the songs I know and like rather than trying to code songs to her life events.

So let’s begin!

Golden – Halestorm

Ignorance – Paramore

Joan of Arc – In This Moment

Going to Hell – Pretty Reckless

Monster – Stitched Up Heart

Vicious – Halestorm

Turn Off the Light – Kim Petras ft Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Lightning – Fireflight

White Flag – Bishop Briggs

Nightmare – Halsey

Simmer – Hayley Williams

Control – Garbage

My Tears Flood the Streets – Charlotte Martin

Blindside – Icon for Hire

The Last Hope in a World of Hopes – Temperance

Otherworld – The Black Mages