Character Spotlight: Polaris

by Ryan.L on August 18, 2017

The green haired vixen known as Polaris to most, and Lorna Dane to friends and family has been an on again, off again X-Man for many years. While not being one of the original five, Polaris made her debut in Uncanny X-Men #49 on October 10th 1968. Since then she has been a member of the X-Men, X-Factor, the Marauders, the Acolytes, the Twelve, the Starjammers and even a Horseman of Apocalypse.  

While sometimes being an X-Man most fans associate her with X-Factor. She had been a mainstay in that series from X-Factor #70 in 1991 to when the team would disband in X-Factor #149 in 1998. She has spent some time in space and the last time we saw Polaris was in the short 20 issue run of 2014s All-New X-Factor. Recently she has shown up in the pages of the acclaimed new series X-Men Blue. In celebration of her return to the X-books we take a look back at some great moments in her past and some must read stories.
Please note that there will be some spoilers when we get to what Polaris is currently up too. If you have not read the last two issues of X-Men Blue you might want to avoid that part of the article. I will give you a heads up when we get into spoiler territory. Skip past it to our list of some must read Polaris stories.

Now Lorna’s origins starts off a little mysterious but many years later would be explored more in depth. We would find out that on a plane to Las Vegas with her mother and father who was the pilot, were arguing over the fact that a DNA test proved Lorna’s mother had an affair and Lorna was not his child. This caused a lot of distress for Lorna and it activated the x-gene inside her. The trauma catalyzed the manifestation of Lorna’s power over magnetic fields and caused her hair to turn green. Unable to control the immense power she tore the plane apart killing her mother and father.
Arriving on the scene after sensing the magnetic energy, Magneto and also his associate Mastermind would show up at the wreckage. Unbeknownst to Lorna, Magneto was the very man who had an affair with her mother. He is her father and he decided that she would benefit from a safer, more normal environment so he had Mastermind wipe all the memories of the crash and her mother from Lorna’s mind. One day he would return for her when she is ready for a life only he could offer her. The Dane family, sister and brother-in-law to the man who raised Lorna and subsequently died in the plane crash would adopt her. They would force her to dye her hair brown and she grew up unaware of her true parentage.
Later Bobby Drake Iceman would come to Lorna’s aid. He would end up taking her to the Xavier institute as his budding attraction to her pushed him to want to protect her. Many of the other X-Men were not fond of Iceman’s decision as he jeopardized their whole operation by bringing a stranger to their home. The X-Men would discover that Lorna was in fact a mutant and was welcomed with open arms.
Iceman had strong romantic feelings for Lorna, and these feelings were somewhat returned but she had hesitations on joining the X-Men. She felt she didn’t have what it took to become a superhero. The Sentinel program would be reinitiated and Lorna was among the first targets and was captured. There she met another mutant who was also taken captive, Alex Summers aka Havok. The two had immediate chemistry and Larry Trask the Sentinels commander would use that to his advantage. Lorna realized being saved for a second time that she couldn’t just sit by the sidelines and she ended up joining the X-Men.
Things didn’t go smoothly as tension between Iceman, Lorna and Havok caused a lot of friction. Even resulting in Iceman getting injured in one of the fights between himself and Havok. This resulted in Havok and Lorna leaving the team but eventually returning but then leaving again after a time for New Mexico to pursue their degrees in geophysics. Though one day Erik the Red appeared at their door. Davan Shakari was using this alias now as it was once used by Magneto, and he took Lorna and Havok by surprise. Controlling them to assist him in his plan to stop Charles Xavier from meeting Shi’ar princess Lilandra. He also was the one to give Lorna the code name that she would now be forever known by, Polaris. The X-Men eventually defeated them and Xavier managed to free Havok and Polaris from the controls of Davan Shakari.
Things would change for Polaris when the psychic entity Malice would take over her body, from the orders of Mr. Sinister. Malice using Lorna’s body would become the leader of the Marauders. She would battle the X-Men many times, and even Psylocke’s telepathy couldn’t overcome the hold that Malice had over Lorna. With the seemingly demise of Mr. Sinister during the Inferno event, Lorna managed to take control of her body. Though being taken captive by Zaladane, the leader of the mutates and claiming to be Lorna’s sister activated a machine that would transfer Lorna’s magnetic powers to Zaladane. Strangely though Lorna would gain some new powers as well. She grew larger, developed super-strength and nigh-invulnerability. Turns out Lorna was drawing her power from other people’s anger and rage.
After a battle with Legion and the Shadow King, Psylocke’s psychic blade was pushed through Lorna’s head, disrupting the nexus and the Shadow Kings source of power. Legion was comatose, Xavier severely injured, the world saved, and Lorna now free from the Shadow King’s device, had her magnetic powers back.

Enter X-Factor. Valerie Cooper assembled a government sponsored team of mutants. Polaris as well as Havok, Quicksilver, Multiple Man, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane would take over the team name as Jean, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman and Archangel would return to the X-Men. Many battles would ensue and even Mr. Sinister and Malice would appear again. Sinister wanted Polaris to allow Malice to take control of her, but Havok objected and tried to take the psychic entity inside himself, but eventually Malice would leave both of them in agony. An angered Sinister would snap Malice’s neck and let Havok and Polaris to leave.
Later a trouble Havok unable to control his powers caused some friction between the lovers. It also didn’t help that a fake note was planted in Lorna’s room that Havok need time and space away to sort out his life. Believing the note to be true this drove Lorna to seek therapy and the team member who planted the notes shoulder to cry on. A battle would then cause Polaris to need to spend some time in the hospital.
Many changes to the X-Factor team would take place and many more battles. Polaris would be injured again but once she was healed she agreed to join the revamped X-Factor with fellow members, Havok, Multiple Man, Shard, Fixx and Greystone. This team was no longer under the governments control and they would become well-respected superheroes that dealt with all threats, not just mutant threats. Although during one of their first meetings, Greystone started to develops a case of temporal insanity. He started to construct a time machine to return to his native time. Havok tried to reason with him, but ended up leaving Polaris in charge of the team. The device malfunctioned, seemingly killing Havok. Although we would later lean it transported his mind to another reality. Polaris felt that she wasn’t capable of keeping the team together and they ended up disbanding weeks later.

Fast forward many years and many battles, even some very traumatic ones. Polaris learns that Havok is indeed alive. She rushes to Xaviers to be by his side even though she has just recently been through a traumatic experiences learning that Magneto is in fact her father. Things start to decline even more for Polaris as Havok starts to fall for the nurse who has been caring for him. The truth comes out on Havok’s and Polaris’s wedding day and she just ends up snapping. With Xaviers help they worked through some of the issues but even he mentioned that Polaris was a changed woman.
The entire Marvel Universe then changed as the House of M hit. The fallout from the event left 90-95% of the world’s mutant population depowered including Polaris. She tried for a while to hide the fact she had no powers, putting herself and her teammates in danger, and thus Polaris left.
Later she would be captured by Apocalypse and with the use of celestial technology she would be altered into his new Horseman, Pestilence. She was later saved and it turned out the electro-magnetic powers Apocalypse’s technology had hardwired into her was on a level similar to her mutant powers. In a move to deal with her internal struggles she left the Horsemen, the X-Men and also ended her relationship with Iceman and also decided to forgo a relationship with Havok. She wanted a fresh start and went to Egypt to find out why Apocalypse had gifted her these new powers.

The X-Men and Xavier came to her aid once again and offered her to join them on a trip to the Shi’ar Galaxy. There a Shi’ar Empire split in two the X-Men allied themselves with Empress Lilandra opposing the revived Emperor D’Ken. Eventually with an injured Xavier, they were trapped in space and joined the Starjammers, guiding a revolution against Emperor Vulcan and the Shi’ar forces.
Now Back on Earth and the majority living on Cyclops island nation of Utopia, Polaris and Havok both found themselves uncomfortable living there. Since many conflicts arose once Wolverine asked if they would like to rejoin X-Factor, the two of them eagerly accepted. After some tramatic events and fearing her team dead, Polaris went to a bar and started to drink heavily. This resulted in her being very belligerent and the bar was trashed. Polaris was very intoxicated and picked several fights resulting in herself being arrested.

Harrison Snow a CEO of Serval Industries decided to put together their own corporate superhero team All-New X-Factor. He went to see Polaris in jail and offered her a spot on his team, to which she gladly accepted. There was a lot of conflict between Polaris and Quicksilver and he eventually left the team. The Secrets of Harrison Snow eventually are revealed that he is a refugee from 2099. The book ends but doesn’t give a solid sendoff to the series and fans are left wondering what’s next.


Since the ending of All-New X-Factor we haven’t heard from Polaris until now. The latest two issues of X-Men Blue, #8 & #9 Magneto sends Polaris and Danger to assist the X-Men (Jean, Beast, Angel, Iceman) in rescuing Cyclops and Briar from New Tian and their captor Emma Frost. Polaris slams in and takes down Havok who is under Emma’s influence so the others can locate Cyclops. After defeating Emma and escaping New Tian they learn that Magneto has asked Polaris and Danger to take over as teachers of the team while he will be indisposed because of Hydra Captain America.
This is an exciting time for fans of Polaris because we finally have her back in the X-Men books, and one of the top x-book on the market right now at that. Cullen Bunn is writing X-Men Blue and he really has a handle on mixing the old style of x-books from the 60s with the excitement of modern day comics. Things are sure to get interesting with the feisty Polaris mentoring the young time displaced mutants.

Here are some must read stories of Polaris:

1. X-Men Masterworks Vol.5
(Collects Uncanny X-men #43-53, Avengers #53, Ka-Zar #2,3, Marvel Tales #30) 
Get ready for a crash course in X-MEN, students! Lesson #1: It ain't easy being a mutant. No sooner has their mentor Professor X, died than Magneto and the brotherhood of evil mutants show up! Only a study in teamwork with the Avengers can help our grieving heroes make the grade. Losson#2: Think twice before inviting family over. A friendly house call from the Juggernaut or Polaris, daughter of Magneto, isn't an appealing off-campus adventure! Lesson #3: Battling enemies including Mesmero, Blastaar, Red Raven, Warlock and Computo may cause cramps. Be sure to stretch before jumping into the pool! And extra credit, pull and all-nighter with the origins of Iceman and Beast, and a rare Angel solo story!

2. X-Factor Visionaries by Peter David Vol.1
(Collects X-Facter #71-75)
Alumni of the X-Men, the New Mutants and the Avengers join refugees fom odd corners of the X-Universe as the government's lates super-effort, but Mister Sinister and his Nasty Boys don't want this team to survive long enough to get its roster straight! 

3. Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3: Holy War

(Collects Uncanny X-Men #421-427)
The return of the Canadian super team Alpha Flight... but do they return as friends or fores? The hunt for the mysterious religious sect known as the Curch of Humanity concludes, but what secrets will they have in store for one of the X-Men? PlusL A wedding between two of the X-Men's longtime members!

4. X-Men: Decimation - The Day After
(Collects Decimation House of M - the Day after, X-Men #177-181)
It was the worst day in X-men history. Now it's the day after. The House of M is over, but the effects will be felt for the rest of their lives. How do the X-men pick up the pieces in a world that has completely changed?

5. X-Men: Blood of Apocalypse
(Collects X-Men #182-187)
When his people need him the most, he shall return! Lord Apocalypse is here to lead mutantkind into the future of the earth and only the strongest can survive! Plus, just wait untill you see his new Horsemen!

6. Uncanny X-Men: Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire
(Collects Uncanny X-Men #475-486)
Vulcan is out for revenge and has his sights set on the Shi'ar Empire... and only the X-Men can stop the rogue Summers brother.

7. X-Men: Emperor Vulcan
(Collects X-Men: Emperor Vulcan #1-5)
It's brother versus brother and the outcome could decide the fate of billions.

8. War of Kings: Road to War of Kings
(Collects X-Men: King Breaker #1-4, Secret Invasion: War of Kings)
The X-Men have been defeated. Havok, Polaris, and the Starjammers are being held and Tortured in the most secure prison in the universe.

9. War of Kings
(Collects War of Kings #1-6, Secret Invasion: War of Kings & War of Kings: Who Will Rule)
What Happens when an Inhuman-led Kree go to war with the Shi'ar led by the crazed Summers brother Vulcan? WHen these mighty powers turn their rage upon one another, what happens to those caught in the crossfire? When two mighty ruler wasge war, who will rule?

10. All-New X-Factor Vol.1: Not Brand X
(Collects All-New X-Factor #1-6)
X-Factor is back... like never before! Serval Industries, one of the world's most trusted names in electronics and a leader in cutting-edge internet and weapons technology, has just unveiled their newest contribution to society... the All-New X-Factor!




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