Thursday, 2 October 2008

Twelve Vital X-Men Characters You Probably Don’t Know

8: Polaris

Who Is She?

Lorna Dane is a woman with the ability to control metal. Like Magneto! She also has trouble consolidating her wish for mutant harmony with the realities of her life. Like Magneto! And she has from time to time had a bit of a breakdown, and turned evil. Like… well, you get the idea. The similarities to Magneto may be somewhat due to the fact that she may be his daughter, although in honesty the resemblances stop there. Lorna has always been a more heroic character than Mags, and has been one of the main members of the X-Men for quite some time, in the process enjoying a long-term relationship with Cyclops’ underappreciated little brother, and helped to save the world a few times. She looks like this:

Sadly, despite looking totally awesome all the time, Polaris has never been given a proper chance as a mainstream X-character, and has instead been lumbered with a heckload of trauma. She’s had her powers removed, then given back, then removed, then taken back, and all the while she’s had to watch while the other X-Men become famous. She’s the X-Man who was left behind, essentially, and all of this (coupled with that supervillain daddy issue she has) gave her a few mental issues. And then, because writers like to damage her, she then became one of the only survivors of a genocide. Yeah. Seriously. Lorna went full-on crazy for a long while after that, and turned completely-flippin’ mental in front of all the other X-Men. She tried to hide the crazy, but when her fiancé then left her at the altar – girl seriously can’t catch a break – she snapped and attacked everyone.

The pain doesn’t end for Lorna, because THEN her powers were taken away from her, and she was brainwashed and tortured by a long-time enemy of the X-Men, who set her against them. She was defeated, and that’s where the second age of Polaris begins. After all this time of mental illness and getting the tar knocked out of her, Lorna decided enough was enough, and she went off on her own, powers regained and ready for action. Oh, but then she got stranded out in space along with Rachel Summers, and is currently stuck in an interstellar jail-cell, getting tortured. Life’s tough.

Why Is She Important?

She sounds a lot like a character who nobody cares about, eh? Her life has been nothing if not made completely miserable by the comic-book writers. But at the same time, Lorna has become a very important character to the X-Men universe because she is one of the only female X-Men left. The others have either been killed off, or sent to parallel worlds, or left drifting in space trapped inside a giant bullet (bit odd, that one, I’ll grant). Slowly but surely, all the female characters in the X-Men series are being taken aside, and that leaves Polaris as one of the only strong female characters left for the franchise. Hopefully, she’ll be sent back home from space soon, as plans have recently been drawn by the creative teams to break her out, and when she does return home it’ll mean that finally we can have some variety in the female voices present within the ranks of the X-Men. She’s also an astonishingly strong and variable character, because of all this hell she’s been through, and you could completely imagine that one day she’ll be one of the leading lights of the X-Men. For the moment though, she is still important for anyone interested in the X-Men, because of her connections. She’s dating one of the Summers brothers, is the daughter of Magneto, and has featured in essentially all of the biggest X-Men stories. She’s been there from the beginning, and is still going strong.

She’s also my favourite character. She has green hair, for goodness sake!


  1. Lorna is my favorite X-Men character named after a cookie.

  2. Man, you must have really liked the head of SWORD in Astonishing.

    I never really got into Polaris, but to be fair I've never actually read much with her in it. Whenever I'd pick up an X-book again, she'd be off on one of her breakdowns.