Polaris (comics)


Polaris (comics)

Superherobox|

caption=Polaris.
Art by Billy Tan.
character_name=Polaris
alter_ego=Lorna Dane
species=Human Mutant and Human Mutate (cyborg)
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="The X-Men" #49 (October, 1968)
creators=Arnold Drake
Don Heck
Werner Roth
Jim Steranko
alliances=X-Men X-Factor Muir Island X-Men Genosha The Twelve Acolytes of Magneto Horsemen of Apocalypse Starjammers
aliases=M2, Magnetrix, Pestilence, Malice, Magneto the Second
supports=
powers=Currently: Internal technology replicates lost mutant ability to manipulate electromagnetic energies allowing flight, force-fields, concussive blasts and the manipulation of ferrous metals.
Formerly: Also could convert emotions into enhanced physical strength. Temporarily gained the ability to ingest and manipulate disease due to machinations of Apocalypse.|

Polaris (Lorna Dane) is a Marvel Comics superhero, a member of the X-Men. Created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Jim Steranko, she first appeared in "X-Men" #49 (October 1968). A mutant, Polaris can control magnetism. She has a long-held suspicion that Magneto is her biological father, which was confirmed by genetic testing. Questions about her origins have been one source of mental instability for Polaris, which has complicated her long term relationship with the X-Man Havok, to whom she was engaged. [Uncanny X-Men #421, 2003] As the daughter of Magneto, she is the half-sister of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

Polaris has appeared semi-frequently in X-Men comic books throughout the years. She was a member of the 1990s-era Pentagon-sponsored mutant team X-Factor.

Fictional character history

Origin

Lorna Dane, the girl who eventually becomes Polaris first appears in issue #49 of "Uncanny X-Men", when the villain Mesmero uses his "psyche-generator" to summon mutants in North America with latent powers [X-Men #50, 1968] . Lorna finds herself compelled to travel to San Francisco, where Mesmero is. There she randomly encounters Bobby Drake (the X-Man Iceman), who trips her with a piece of ice and convinces her to come to his apartment. Soon after she discovers the X-Men, and they in turn learn she is a latent mutant. Mesmero and his androids capture her and take her to their desert headquarters, with the X-Men in pursuit. They place her inside a "genetic stimulator," which alters her genetic structure so as to allow her to exercise her previously latent powers.

When the X-Men attempt to rescue her, Magneto seemingly reveals himself as the leader of the group behind her abduction--and, more importantly, claims to be Lorna's father. Despite the X-Men's assertions that Magneto is evil, Lorna cannot bring herself to fight her own father. Magneto's ruse does not succeed for long. Iceman provides evidence that convinces Lorna that her birth parents had died in a plane crash years earlier. She then turns against Magneto and joins the X-Men [X-Men #60, 1969] . Unbeknownst to Lorna, the Magneto who claimed to be her father is revealed to be an android, and when Lorna first encounters the real Magneto in the Savage Land, she is surprised that he does not know who she is.

Lorna Dane's first "code name" is Magnetrix [X-Men: The Hidden Years #3 (2000)] , but she quickly decides that that is a bad idea. This does not keep Havok from continuing to use that name as a way to annoy her and flirt with her.

When the old and new X-Men fight the island Krakoa together, Lorna displays her major power potential for the first time when she disrupts the Earth's magnetic field, flinging Krakoa into deep space.

For a while, Iceman has a crush on her but Lorna doesn't truly reciprocate the feelings. She does however, fall in love with her teammate Havok [X-Men #58, 1969] (Alex Summers, the brother of the X-Man Cyclops). The two leave the X-Men to pursue their mutual interest in geophysics. They move to the Diablo mountain range in California, then eventually join Moira MacTaggert at her facility for genetic research on Muir Island.

Mind controlled

Lorna receives a new costume, which is of Shi'ar design, when her mind comes under the domination of the Shi'ar Intelligence agent Davan Shakari, also known as Erik the Red. It is he who gives Lorna the codename Polaris, in "The X-Men" #97 (1976). At the time, Shakari serves D'Ken, the now-deposed emperor of the Shi'ar Galaxy. This is previous to the reign of D'Ken's sister Lilandra. Shakari kidnaps Alex Summers and Lorna, and subjects them to a powerful form of mind control: they are turned against the X-Men and attempt to assassinate Professor Charles Xavier. A massive battle ensues at Kennedy International Airport with the duo battling the X-Men. Polaris is defeated by Storm, but Shakari manages to escape with both her and Alex. Charles Xavier eventually frees her from Shakari's control.

Lorna and Alex return from time to time to assist the X-Men. For the most part, they remain in civilian life for a number of years, and lead a happy life. They settle down in New Mexico and complete their degrees. This life is interrupted when the Marauders ambush them around the time of the Mutant Massacre. Lorna's mind is overtaken by an evil being known as Malice [Uncanny X-Men #219, 1987] . Malice's energy matrix is very compatible with Lorna's powers, and the two become inseparably grafted together.

As Malice, Lorna leads the Marauders for several years. After Mister Sinister is seemingly killed, Malice's hold over Polaris weakens. Temporarily regaining control of her own mind, Lorna is able to place a phone call to the X-Men in Australia for help, but they arrive too late. Lorna had been taken to be with her alleged half-sister Zaladane, a priestess for the Savage Land's Sun People. The X-Men arrive in time to witness Zaladane's getaway, but Havok manages to infiltrate her army in disguise while the X-Men follow. There, in the Savage Land, the X-Men find that Zaladane has amassed an army of Savage Land natives who are being mentally controlled for her by Worm, one of the Savage Land Mutates. Zaladane reveals that she is in fact Lorna's sister, and, using the High Evolutionary's machinery, strips Polaris of her magnetic powers, taking them as her own [X-Men #250, 1989] . In addition, the process manages to finally separate Lorna and Malice. Zaladane and her forces clash with Ka-Zar and the X-Men, who are trying to free Lorna. During the encounter, Polaris' secondary mutation kicks in. She grows in height (towering over Alex Summers), becomes invulnerable, and gains superhuman strength. Zaladane's army is released from Worm's control, and Lorna regains her freedom.

Having nowhere else to go, Lorna heads for Moira MacTaggert's mutant research station on Muir Island. On her way there, her secondary mutation kicks in again (as is evidenced by her increased size). At this time, she discovers that her new mutation also affects those around her, amplifying negative emotions such as anger and hate.

Upon examination, Dr. MacTaggert is at a loss to explain Lorna's new mutation, although she does confirm that the only way Zaladane could have taken her powers away was if she had been a biological sibling. Shortly after her arrival, Lorna was on hand to help Moira and Banshee defend Muir Island from the attacking Reavers, who are there looking for Wolverine.

Prior to this time, it had not been clear that Polaris draws her strength from being a nexus for negative emotional energies. Lorna's status as a nexus, however, is perceived by the villainous Shadow King. The Shadow King uses Polaris as a gateway to allow him access to the physical world from the astral plane, causing a world-wide increase in anger, hatred, and violence in the process. Lorna is freed of his influence with the help of X-Factor and the X-Men during the Muir Island Saga. Upon the defeat of the Shadow King, Lorna's powers return ["Uncanny X-Men #280", 1991] due to a combination of Zaladane's death a short time before and the neural-disruptive psionic blade of the X-Man Psylocke, leaving no trace of her increased size, strength, or emotion-control powers.

X-Factor

She was then asked to join the newly formed X-Factor by Valerie Cooper, and tired of hiding out on Muir Island, she accepted [X-Factor #71, 1991] . Lorna and Alex were set as its leaders. Her joining X-Factor offered her the chance to reunite with Alex, but their relationship remained largely unresolved. Since this time X-Factor has changed dramatically, and so has Polaris, growing stronger and more sure of herself, and more independent from Alex. They tried to maintain the relationship but they broke up and reconciled multiple times. Polaris became a mainstay of X-Factor and became the government's secret weapon against a possible attack from Magneto. Malice returned to bother her once more but Havok and Polaris, out of their love for each other, each tried to absorb her, preventing the other from being possessed. In the end, Malice perished at the hands of Mister Sinister.

X-Factor's atmosphere changed as criminals Mystique and Sabretooth were forced by the government to join the group. Lorna began to question her place on the team and finally found her suspicions to be justified after Sabretooth ran amok almost killing the whole team.

When Havok finally revealed that his "terrorist" activities had been a front for his true undercover work, Lorna forgave him although she rejected him romantically. She also rejoined X-Factor only to watch as Havok was seemingly killed in the explosion of a faulty time machine constructed by the mutant from the future, Greystone.

Weeks later, Nightcrawler encountered Lorna in a church and she confided in him that she felt she was being followed and that she was sure Alex was still alive.

A group of Skrulls working with Apocalypse were indeed shadowing her and broke into her apartment to retrieve the headgear from Havok's original costume. Lorna then learned that she was one of "The Twelve" [Uncanny X-Men #376, 2000] ; a team of mutants supposedly destined to usher in a new golden age for mutantkind.

Polaris journeyed with the X-Men to Egypt to battle Apocalypse. During the encounter, Magneto, another member of The Twelve, discovered that he could use Lorna to tap into the Earth's magnetic field with incredible force, effectively hiding his current reduced-power state.

Acolyte

After Apocalypse was defeated, Lorna returned to Genosha with Magneto to supply him with power and help him keep order. She believed she was doing it for the greater good, but also knew that she enjoyed the education in her powers that she was receiving [Magneto: Dark Seduction #1-4, 2000] . In the end, Magneto launched a full-scale assault on Carrion Cove, the last city opposing his rule, in order to gain access to technology that would restore his full abilities. Polaris attempted to stop him, but was defeated and left the country with the Avengers. She later snuck back in with Quicksilver to help oppose Magneto's tyrannical rule.

Polaris later went to Genosha to help out Magneto and monitor him. When Sentinels destroyed Genosha, she was one of the few survivors. She was left emotionally scarred after witnessing the massacre while being unable to save them.

Trauma

Later, some of the X-Men went to Genosha to survey what occurred there. They encountered a nude and unhinged Polaris in Genosha some time after its population was massacred by Cassandra Nova's Sentinels [New X-Men #132, 2002] . When Polaris rejoined the X-Men, the extremely traumatic experience had left her with a darker, more ruthless personality, even killing some members of the anti-mutant Church of Humanity. Havok broke up with Polaris after they were about to be married [Uncanny X-Men #425, 2003] , leaving her for the nurse Annie Ghazikhanian. Traumatized and humiliated, the unstable Polaris went berserk and commenced to go on a rampage that nearly resulted in her killing Alex. Juggernaut succeeded in knocking her out, though only temporarily. She remained this way until some psychic therapy with Professor Xavier. Polaris promised to do no more harm and she was accepted back to the X-Men.

Polaris also told the X-Men that she had discovered that Magneto was her true father after all [X-Men #431, 2003] . Before the destruction of Genosha, she had a blind genetic test performed and this demonstrated her real paternity.

Iceman later admitted to Polaris that he still had feelings for her and after some mild flirtation, the two began a relationship. The relationship was not to last, however, since Lorna's other relationships (namely with Havok) were still unresolved. Havok has confessed to still loving her after Annie had left him.

Decimation

It was revealed that Polaris had lost her powers on M-Day ["X-Men" vol. 2 #177] , but had avoided telling her teammates. When confronted by Valerie Cooper, who has knowledge of her power loss, Polaris claims that her power loss is psychological and she believes she is preventing herself from using them. Polaris eventually was forced by circumstance to accept that her powers were gone and admit the fact to the rest of the team - whereupon all the other members of her squad, except her would-be-paramours Iceman and Havok, revealed to her that they had already guessed it. She then left the mansion with Havok to "search" for her lost powers, irrationally convinced they lay with an alien named Daap, a seeming twin to the deceased X-Statix member Doop, who she had seen on a recent mission in space. Daap soon crashed to Earth and kidnapped Polaris and the Leper Queen, the leader of the anti-mutant group known as the Sapien League.

Horseman of Apocalypse

Apocalypse took them both, restrained the Leper Queen, and forcibly transformed Polaris into the new Pestilence. Seemingly mindwiped, she ingested viruses from the World Health Organization and was attempting to create a meta-plague. In the climatic battle between the X-Men, the Avengers, and Apocalypse, Wolverine discovered a choking Pestilence was Lorna. She was recovering in the X-Mansion when Gambit and Sunfire returned to take her away. She arose and refused to go with them. Polaris decided to leave that night to search for Apocalypse in Egypt. She went alone and was later hunted until Havok and the new Uncanny X-Men team saved her. Emma Frost has also noted that her powers seem to be mutating, and that Apocalypse fused unknown technology to Lorna's nervous system to replicate her lost magnetic powers.

The Rise and Fall of The Shi'ar Empire

After being rescued from an anti-Apocalypse cult ["Uncanny X-Men" #475] by the new team, Polaris agreed to join Professor X, Darwin, Havok, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, and Warpath on their mission to stop Vulcan. Her current relationship with Havok is still developing. In Uncanny X-Men 484, Polaris seems to finally show concrete signs of forgiving Havok, telling him to "just shut up and kiss me" after the team won their first battle against the entire regiment of Shi'ar soldiers in their beginning struggle against D'Ken and in support of Lilandra. Although Havok initially rebuffs her advances, hesitant to "start up again after" everything that happened between them, Lorna says that he needs to "blow off some steam" and the scene ends with them kissing. Polaris helps in the big fight and seriously hurts Vulcan and Gladiator with her powers, but in the end she is one of the X-Men left behind.

tarjammers

Following the death of Corsair at the hands of Vulcan, ["Uncanny X-Men" #486] Polaris has joined the newest incarnation of the Starjammers, intending to kill Vulcan and restore Lilandra Neramani to the Shi'ar throne. Their mission proved unsuccessful and Polaris along with Havok, Ch'od, and Raza are currently being held prisoner on an underwater planet by Vulcan. ["X-Men: Divided We Stand" #2]

X-Men: Kingbreaker & War of Kings

Marvel has announced that Polaris and the Starjammers will play a large role in the upcoming War of Kings storyline, which also features Vulcan, The Inhumans, Nova, and The Guardians of the Galaxy. [http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.4329]

Powers and abilities

Polaris' mutant powers, which were originally dormant, enabled her to sense and control magnetism, including manipulating metals which are susceptible to that force. She can also manipulate the Earth's magnetic field to allow herself to fly [X-Men: The Hidden Years #18, 2001] , generate magnetic energy pulses, and create force fields. She has bright green hair, the first indication of her mutation. At first, she dyed her hair brown to hide this. In recent comics, she appears with her characteristic green hair.

Earlier in her history, Polaris lost her magnetism power, but gained the ability to absorb negative emotions from the environment and use it as strength, endurance, invulnerability, and increased size. She also became more violent during this time, presumably because of the negative emotions she was storing within. Those around her also became more volatile and aggressive. Under the Shadow King's influence, the range of this effect was vastly increased, reaching at least from Scotland to Egypt.

Polaris was among the mutants depowered by Scarlet Witch during the House of M storyline, and as such no longer possesses her natural mutant powers. However, due to Apocalypse's recent manipulations, a strange technology was hardwired into her nervous system (as well as her skull and spine) which artificially replicated her natural magnetic abilities. The limits of her new techno-magnetic powers are unknown, but Lorna has said they bear a resemblance of the power she used to possess and they are more dangerous and harder for her to control. In "Uncanny X-Men #476", she is referred to as one of the biggest threats of the current team by the opposing Shi'ar Imperial Shockers, cybernetic guards.In the "Emperor Vulcan" storyline it became obvious that her power level is significantly heightened, as she shields the Starjammer against the attacks of a whole fleet of starships and was shown to directly destroy at least one enemy battleship with a magnetic blast.

As the Horseman Pestilence, Lorna has shown the ability to ingest virulent diseases without harm, absorbing their traits, and according to Apocalypse is able to spread a "meta-plague" that will kill anyone who has not been inoculated with the virus' vaccine, the Blood of Apocalypse.

After being released from Apocalyse's control, Emma Frost noted that Polaris' powers seem to be mutating, and that Apocalypse fused unknown technology to Lorna's nervous system to replicate her lost magnetic powers.

Other versions

Age of Apocalypse

Polaris in the Age of Apocalypse reality was one of the many prisoners in Sinister's Breeding Pens, and a victim of the Dark Beast's tests. She had been rendered nearly powerless because Rogue had permanently absorbed her powers when the two had a fallout prior to Rogue being taken to the X-Men. Prelate Scott Summers frees her, but she cannot recognize him; she mistakes him for Magneto, whom she believes is her father. Her fate after she was rescued remains to be revealed.

Mutant X

Polaris works as a long-term member of the X-Men, after Magneto takes over from an ill Professor Xavier. This Polaris knows she is the daughter of Magneto. The X-Men briefly fight and lose against an insane Madelyne Pryor. Later, they seemingly perish in an atomic explosion but survive this as well. Polaris is one of the victims in the reality-threatening battle involving Pryor and the Beyonder. Badly injured, she dies in her father's arms, reassured that everything will be okay.

Ultimate Polaris

In the Ultimate Marvel continuity of "Ultimate X-Men", Polaris is an attractive teenage mutant girl who is a member of the "Academy of Tomorrow", a mutant peacekeeping squad led by Emma Frost. In this continuity, she is also the girlfriend of Havok but as a twist, she was also the ex-girlfriend of his brother Cyclops, whom Havok resents with a passion.

Polaris is framed for killing dozens of people with her powers during a rescue mission, and imprisoned in the Triskelion of the Ultimates with mutant terrorist Magneto. Magneto beats her into unconsciousness with a chair, and then uses her to goad Havok into rescuing her, so that he can escape the maximum-security cell by swapping places with Mystique. In the end, Polaris' name is cleared and she returns to the Academy of Tomorrow.

House of M

Magneto becomes romantically involved with Susanna Dane an American exchange student in Europe who is helping smuggle him from place to place. When Magneto finds out she is having a child he tells her to go home because what she is doing is likely to get her and her child killed. Lorna Dane grows up in California and watches Magneto declare war on the human governments as a child.

Later when the new world order began, where mutants were the ruling class and with Magneto being their monarch, Lorna was residing with him in his palace on Genosha with all his children. Polaris, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were considered royalty in this reality, and Lorna had a close relationship with her father.

Other Media

Television

* Polaris appeared in the animated television series "X-Men" episode "Cold Comfort" as a member of X-Factor. Polaris had been a member of the X-Men alongside her boyfriend Iceman, though they eventually left to pursue a normal life. However, Polaris left Iceman and became a member of X-Factor and fell in love with Havok. She was later featured in the second part of the episode "Phalanx Covenant", in which she aided Beast, Magneto, Forge, Warlock, Mister Sinister, and Amelia Voght battle the extraterrestrial Phalanx Empire.
* Polaris will appear in the new series, "Wolverine and the X-Men".

Films

* In the film "X2", her name appears on a list of names Mystique scrolls through on Stryker's computer while looking for Magneto's file.

Video games

* While Polaris could only be glimpsed briefly in a corner of a cinematic, she appeared in "" having been captured before the game began. She plays a role in the prequel comic book published as a companion to the game.

References


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