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!).

Views on Polaris and Prisoner X

It’s been a couple days since the news broke about Polaris in Prisoner X. Here are my views on it.

That Lorna is in something, rather than nothing, is a good thing. I won’t be able to say whether this specific depiction is good or bad until it actually releases. Within that, I’ll be buying digitally issue by issue based on what people say.

My base assumption is that all the other books happening at the same time are characters manipulated into accepting an alternate reality, and the characters on this book are aware and kept prisoner to stop them from fixing the situation.

However, this still isn’t enough.

Lorna was in forced limbo for two years. When they brought her back, they announced it at C2E2 where they appeared to plan on making it a big return for her, only to use her as a way of promoting Havok and Magneto (mostly Havok) at her expense. Her use on Blue then proceeded to mostly treat her as a supporting character for the stories of men around her, especially Havok. What could have been great story arcs for Lorna (Malice, leading a team, etc) ended up being lesser, extremely limited plot points for a story arc dedicated mainly to Havok. If they happened at all.

And then of course, there’s this fucking cover.

And after all that? Havok got to lead his own team book while Lorna got tossed aside for several months until now.

People like to praise the Malice and team leadership moments in Blue, but they don’t stop to think of what those moments could’ve been if they were used for their own stories instead of serving as part of putting Havok on a pedestal. If Malice was its own story arc, we could’ve seen how Lorna’s Malice history affected her character philosophy up to today, and how society sees Lorna. If team leadership was its own arc, we could’ve seen far more robust dynamics between the characters.

Blue also could’ve delved into Lorna’s long-ignored history with Jean and Bobby through her interactions with the teen versions of them. We didn’t get that because she wasn’t being used for herself. She was being exploited to promote men around her and their stories.

Marvel spent two years refusing to use Lorna, brought her back only to let Havok hijack her return and bury any stories she could’ve had on the altar of promoting him, and then went on to give him his own book while abandoning Lorna completely.

I’ve said before that Lorna deserves better because she’s popular on a TV show now, because it’s her 50th anniversary, and because she was treated poorly for decades. Which are all still true. But the biggest reason she deserves better right now – and the reason I’ve been so pissed off with Marvel since Spring – is because of how Marvel treated her these past few years. Especially for Havok’s benefit earlier this year.

Lorna getting to be in Uncanny X-Men and have a good scene with X-23, without Havok, is good. Lorna getting to be in Prisoner X as part of a team, again without Havok, is also good. They’re a small step in the right direction.

But they’re a very far cry from everything Marvel did for Havok at her expense.

If Marvel can do everything they did for Havok, the least they can do is give Lorna a team book that she leads. That’s the bare minimum.

I’m not attacking Prisoner X here. I won’t know if it’s good or bad until it comes out. For all I know, it’ll be the best Lorna’s ever been written in anything, and I’ll cherish it as such.

But it still won’t be the solo, mini, oneshot or team book that Lorna deserves after how she was treated mainly for Havok’s benefit. For decades, but especially this past year. She deserves fair use to make up for that. I’m not going to be satisfied until she gets it.

Uncanny X-Men #1 Thoughts

I’m reading this issue because people have posted things online that show Polaris with a meaningful role. I may not read future issues. My status with Marvel until certain things happen is only reading stuff Lorna is in.

There’s too much stuttering and ellipses in the beginning. It’s distracting. I say this as someone who’s abused them way too much with my own writing in the past.

Fun banter between characters is good. Adds more of a sense of atmosphere, that there’s more to the characters than just whatever story is taking place.

The talk about Forearm is a promising suggestion that good stories don’t have to come from big epic fights, they can come from “less epic” fights and other areas.

With Senator Ashton Allen, it seems like there’s an understanding of how important dealing with politics is for the franchise even as the script riffs on it.

“We can give them normal lives.” “This guy. I may have to fly away if I can’t control my temper, Betsy.” And now I’m hearing ‘Farmer Refuted’ from Hamilton in my head.

Guy that attacks Bishop has me thinking of goons from Dark Knight Returns.

As Jean meets with Storm, I find myself thinking this is a scene where Polaris could have very easily shown up too. Since, y’know, Lorna was Jean’s closest female friend before Storm. And Marvel has yet to actually let Lorna interact with any version of Jean in any meaningful way for a long time now. Same issue as how Lorna didn’t spend any time with teen Jean and teen Iceman on Blue, and didn’t get any scenes with Iceman after he came out.

Armor and Anole banter seems to be noting that the writers (at least) realize Marvel has a bad habit of introducing characters and then completely abandoning them. Glad they’re aware and doing things with some characters to deal with that ongoing problem. Waiting for that to apply to Polaris, rather than Marvel doing nothing, or doing something but undermining it for myriad reasons.

I have a little more more to say, for the Polaris and X-23 scene that’s been shared by others. Before I do, though, I want to actually post the scene and the script pages tied to it. If there was more Lorna, I’d be selective on what I post. 

Okay, thoughts now.

I liked this scene Lorna was in. It’s fun, it demonstrates she has value, and it allows her to have great banter with X-23. Or, to put it another way, another female character. I’ve felt very strongly lately that Lorna’s best chance of being written well and respectfully is if she’s interacting with other female characters. I feel this scene was more proof to the point. Short as it was, her use mattered for her rather than for the benefit of another character, and the two women got equal respect.

Also, of course, I’m glad she’s wearing her iconic costume for this scene.

Adding SFX to the black panel was a good call. Lack of SFX would’ve implied silence, I think.

If it seems like I should be more excited than I am, it’s because I’m guarded. I’ve gotten used to a pattern from Marvel where moments like this are a precursor to Lorna getting thrown into limbo for two years, or used exclusively to promote Havok, or whatever else happens. I’ll start sounding excited when Lorna gets a solo, mini, oneshot or team book she leads and Marvel’s giving her a real chance for once while she has it.

And with that, we’ll see if I have a reason to read the next issue or if this ends up being all I read of it.

I’m pleased to finally present the big project I’ve been dying to reveal: the cover for a Polaris 50th anniversary minicomic!

I’ve commissioned Mlad for what will be multiple pages of what I think captures her history and core nature. The minicomic will be released as each page is completed over the course of the next several months.

I hope you all enjoy this and what’s to come as much as I have and will!

I decided to make Polaris in Soul Calibur 6, after I saw someone else’s version made by request and I felt I could make a version that would in my opinion match her more closely.

I chose Azwel for fighting style because I felt that fit Lorna more. Make multiple types of weapons out of thin air? Float and levitate? Aw yeah.

It’s obviously not an absolutely perfect version. The character creator is more limited than I remember Soul Calibur being in the past. I worked with what I had. Unfortunately, that also means some red and blue power uses couldn’t be changed. I changed it where I could.

Past Polaris commissions – 50th Anniversary

It’s the 50th anniversary of Polaris aka Lorna Dane. To celebrate, I’m posting the SFW art I’ve commissioned since 2009. Some will be familiar to regulars cause I’ve posted it already. Some will seem new because it’s older, likely before I even had a Tumblr account.


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I commissioned decoysnake on this one for Lorna’s 50th anniversary. It’s loosely based on the Kris Anka concept art of a more modernized costume that still retains her core look. I increasingly realize the beauty of this piece each time I look at it, like that uniform crease on her leg.


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This is with boxofwant. In retrospect, I think my mind was too bogged down in Gifted’s idea of Lorna to realize that this doesn’t really fit her character as she really is outside that version of her. Still great work obviously! Love the swirl of her hair.


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RenX has a series on various female characters punkified, and I commissioned him for that with Lorna and Wanda, also as part of the 50th anniversary. It’s cut off on the left because too much skin is showing for me to consider it SFW. His picks and art of the tattoos are what I enjoy most, very character-centric. What you can’t see in this version is Wanda’s kids’ names on Wanda’s ankles.


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I commissioned Dwight Sanchez in 2015 during a $25 flash sale for this piece.


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This one comes from InCaseArt (NSFW blog) from 2011. There’s a NSFW variant where Lorna uses her powers to make her costume. I wish at the time that I’d considered having that touch for a SFW version too.


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If you’ve looked at my actual Tumblr page, you’ve seen this one. It’s on my background. soaps is a great artist I’ve known since before I discovered Lorna, and commissioned Rosa from FF4 pieces back then.

In this case, the commission is a result of how All-New X-Factor #14 (where Lorna and Wanda got to interact as sisters) was coming up but @marvelentertainment refused to do anything to promote or support it. Since Marvel wasn’t going to do anything, I wanted to commission something to spread the word.

I still love how this turned out. Captures the fun mood well. I remember when it was first posted that a couple cosplayers said they wanted to reenact this scene. I wonder if it ever actually happened.


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Our last stop on art I’ve personally commissioned is right here with MikazukiShigure from 2012.

At the time, Avengers vs X-Men was going on but Marvel was deliberately excluding Lorna from taking meaningful part in the event – despite the fact that the family dynamics were part of the story. The idea behind this art was for a mock-up cover of an AvX issue that should’ve happened but never did, where Lorna and Wanda face off.

My thought was Lorna going after Wanda because of all the pain Wanda unknowingly caused by getting depowered on M-Day. Headcanon, they’d fight but during the fight eventually come to an understanding before either of them could “win.” Then from there, have a much better relationship as sisters.


BONUS! 

There’s one more piece here that I did NOT commission.

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An online pal commissioned this from DarkShadowArtworks as a gift, in 2014. The “title” up top has generating some good discussion before of what a title font for a solo book for her might look like.

That’s all! This is what I’ve commissioned (or for the final piece, was gifted via commission) that’s SFW up to now. There’s still more to come.

Polaris

Marvel has a “Polaris reading list” on Marvel Unlimited.

Don’t read it. It’s really a Havok reading list of comics that involve Lorna, with only a few things actually relevant to Lorna out of necessity.

X-Men #49, X-Factor #243, and All-New X-Factor are the only suggestions truly relevant for a real Polaris reading list.

Everything else is largely about pushing a narrative that Lorna is weak, ineffectual and easily exploited on her own, and needs Havok to give her value and define her.

Whether it’s implying she can only pull off powerful feats if other X-Men help her, needing Havok to rescue her multiple times, or tagging along on teams led by Havok, the selections here paint a picture of Lorna as a lowly character.

Off the top of my head, this list is missing these key Lorna issues which would be in an actual Polaris reading list.

New X-Men #132

Lorna is found in the wreckage of Genosha, having survived the genocide that killed millions of mutants. She spent the entire time until the X-Men came for her just lying in the rubble, hearing the death cries constantly.

Uncanny X-Men #425-426

When Lorna is listed at the altar by Havok, after the hell she’s been through, she goes on a rampage (and mistakenly blames Nurse Annie for something that’s clearly Havok’s fault). It’s a moment of reckoning where we see Lorna’s done taking shit.

Uncanny X-Men #431

What Lorna went through on Genosha when the Sentinels attacked is seen firsthand – how the people saw her as a celebrity, how she failed to save them, how close she had been to them, and how horrific the ordeal was for her.

Uncanny X-Men #443

Lorna debates pacifism vs violence with Xavier. In doing so, we see a defining core of philosophy for Lorna, built off of her experiences, especially what happened on Genosha.

Polaris

Reminder that Polaris, who finally had her origin story told in 2014 (44 years after her creation), had the story of her awakening powers causing a plane crash that killed her parents. And that Dark Phoenix is basically taking that from Lorna to apply to Jean with cars.

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Remember this. Because although this is a Fox film, it’s in keeping with Marvel’s nasty habit of taking things from Lorna, applying them to other characters they like more, and then never using that aspect of Lorna’s character and pretending it never happened.