Lorna Dane met the original team of X-Men while still a student. When the villain Mesmero used his "psyche-generator" to summon mutants in North America with latent powers, Lorna found herself compelled to travel to San Francisco, where Mesmero was. There she encountered the X-Man Iceman, who stripped her with a piece of ice and convinced her to come to his apartment. Soon after she discovered the X-Men, and they in turn learned that she was a latent mutant. Mesmero and his android Demi-Men captured her and took her to their desert headquarters, with the X-Men in pursuit. When the X-Men attempted to rescue her, Magneto seemingly revealed himself as the leader of the group behind her abduction—and, more importantly, claimed to be Lorna's father. Despite the X-Men's assertions that Magneto is evil, Lorna could not bring herself to fight her own father. Iceman returns from meeting with her foster parents who told him that her birth parents had died in a plane crash years earlier. This information caused Lorna to turn against Magneto. Unbeknownst to Lorna, the Magneto who claimed to be her father is revealed to be an android. Shortly after, Lorna was captured by Sentinels, but was rescued by the X-Men. Lorna joined the X-Men and began living at Xavier's mansion. Lorna aided Havok and the X-Men in repelling the alien Z'Nox's attempted invasion of Earth. Lorna Dane's first "code name" was Magnetrix, but she quickly decided that she did not like this name. However, that did not keep Havok from continuing to use that name as a way to annoy and flirt with her. Lorna, with Havok, is later seen battling the Hulk. When the old and new X-Men fought the mutant island Krakoa, Lorna displayed the full potential of her powers for the first time by disrupting the Earth's magnetic field, which sent Krakoa into deep space. For a while, Iceman was attracted to her, but Lorna did not truly reciprocate the feelings. She did however, fall in love with her teammate Havok. The two leave the X-Men to pursue their mutual interest in geophysics. They moved to the Diablo mountain range in California, and later joined Moira MacTaggert at her facility for genetic research on Muir Island.
Lorna received a new costume of Shi'ar design, when her mind came under the domination of the Shi'ar Intelligence agent Davan Shakari, also known as Erik the Red. It was Erik the Red who gave Lorna the codename Polaris, which she has continued to use ever since. At the time, Shakari served D'Ken, then emperor of the Shi'ar Galaxy. Shakari kidnapped Alex Summers and Lorna, and subjected them to a powerful form of mind control. He turned them against the X-Men in an attempt to assassinate Professor Charles Xavier. A massive battle ensued at Kennedy International Airport, with the duo battling the X-Men. Polaris was defeated by Storm, but Shakari managed to escape with both her and Havok. Xavier eventually freed both Polaris and Havok from Shakari's control. Polaris and Havok remained inactive as members of the X-Men, though they did return from time to time to assist the team. With the X-Men, they battled Proteus on Muir Island. For the most part, Lorna and Alex remained in civilian life for a number of years, settling in New Mexico and completing their college degrees. They were forced to reluctantly help the X-Men in Arcade's Murderworld. Their new life was interrupted when the Marauders ambushed them around the time of the Mutant Massacre. Polaris’ mind was overtaken by the psionic being known as Malice. Under Malice’s control, Lorna attacked the X-Men as leader of the Marauders. Shortly thereafter, the Malice entity found that it had become permanently bonded to Lorna’s body. She led the Marauders against the X-Men during Inferno. After Mister Sinister was seemingly killed, Malice's hold over Lorna weakened. Temporarily regaining control of her own mind, Lorna was able to place a phone call to the X-Men in Australia for help, but they arrived 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 arrived in time to witness Zaladane's getaway, though Havok managed to infiltrate her army in disguise while the X-Men followed. In the Savage Land, the X-Men found that Zaladane had amassed an army of Savage Land natives who were being mentally controlled for her by Worm, one of the Savage Land Mutates. Zaladane revealed that she is in fact Lorna's sister and, using the High Evolutionary's machinery, stripped Lorna of her magnetic powers, taking them as her own. In addition, the process managed to finally separate Lorna from Malice. Zaladane and her forces clashed with Ka-Zar and the X-Men. During the encounter, Lorna's secondary mutation activated: she grew in height, became invulnerable, and gained superhuman strength. Zaladane's army was released from Worm's control, and Lorna finally regained her freedom. Having nowhere else to go, Lorna went to Moira MacTaggert's mutant research station on Muir Island. On her way there, her secondary mutation activated again, as evidenced by a sudden increase in height. At this time, she discovered that her new mutation also affects those around her, amplifying negative emotions such as anger and hate.
Upon examination, Dr. MacTaggert was at a loss to explain Lorna's new mutation, although she did 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 joined the Muir Island X-Men team formed by Moira and former X-Man Banshee. This team defended Muir Island from the attacking Reavers, who were hunting for Wolverine. Prior to this time, it had not been clear that Polaris was actually drawing strength from being a nexus for negative emotional energies. Polaris’ status as a nexus, however, was perceived by the villainous Shadow King. The Shadow King used 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. Polaris was 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, Polaris’ magnetic powers return 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.
Polaris was then asked to join the newly formed X-Factor by Valerie Cooper, and, tired of hiding out on Muir Island, she accepted. Havok and Polaris were set as its leaders. Although joining X-Factor offered Polaris the chance to reunite with Havok, their relationship remained largely unresolved. Polaris was able to come to terms with her experiences with mind control thanks to psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Samson, helping her to develop her confidence. Polaris developed a strong belief in Xavier's dream while a member of X-Factor. Polaris became the government's secret weapon against a possible attack from Magneto, with the government hiring the mercenary Random to test her abilities. Malice later 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. Shortly thereafter, Havok was kidnapped by agents of the Dark Beast, who forged a note explaining that Havok needed to get away from Polaris. This devastated Polaris, causing her to feel abandoned and betrayed. X-Factor's atmosphere changed as the criminals Mystique and Sabretooth were forced by the government to join the group. Polaris began to question her place on the team after this, especially as most of her original teammates were no longer active. She discovered Havok's fate as he attacked X-Factor with the Dark Beast's agents, apparently under mind-control. After Havok was defeated, Polaris tried to reach out to him, only to be attacked and severely injured when she felt she could trust him. When Sabretooth betrayed and attacked the team, Polaris was severely injured. After recovering from her injuries, and learning that Havok's "terrorist" activities had been a front for his true undercover work, Polaris forgave him, although she rejected him romantically. She also agreed to join Havok's new X-Factor team. However, during their first team meeting, she could only watch as Havok was seemingly killed in the explosion of a faulty time machine constructed by the mutant from the future, Greystone. Although Havok had left Polaris in charge of his team while trying to stop Greystone, she apparently did not feel like she could keep the team together, and they disbanded shortly thereafter.
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, a team of mutants supposedly destined to usher in a new golden age for mutant-kind. 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 the reduced state of his powers at the time.
After Apocalypse was defeated, Polaris 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 enjoyed the education in her powers that she received. 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 she was defeated and left the country with the Avengers. She later returned with Quicksilver to help oppose Magneto's tyrannical rule. Although Quicksilver was discovered and forced to leave Genosha, Polaris maintained a low profile in order to covertly transport refugees from the war to other nations, as well as monitor Magneto’s actions. After Magneto’s spine was severed by Wolverine, Polaris was able to steal a blood sample from his medical tests, which she used to confirm that Magneto was her biological father. When Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels destroyed Genosha and massacred millions, Polaris was one of the few survivors. She was left emotionally scarred after witnessing the massacre after being unable to save them.
Later, some of the X-Men went to Genosha to survey what occurred there. They encountered a nude and deranged Polaris in Genosha sometime after its population was massacred by Cassandra Nova's Sentinels. 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, leaving her at the altar for 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. 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. 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, however, Polaris pushed him away.
It was revealed that Polaris had lost her powers on M-Day, but had avoided telling her teammates. When confronted by Valerie Cooper, who has knowledge of her power loss, Polaris claimed 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 mind-wiped, she ingested viruses from the World Health Organization and was attempting to create a meta-plague. In the climactic battle between the X-Men, the Avengers, and Apocalypse, Wolverine discovered a choking Pestilence was Lorna. She was recovering in the X-Mansion when former Horsemen of Apocalypse Gambit and Sunfire returned to take her away. She arose and refused to go with them, but also decided to quit the X-Men. 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 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. Polaris seemed 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.
Following the death of Corsair at the hands of Vulcan, Polaris 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, was captured and incarcerated on an underwater planet by Vulcan. Lorna was later shown to still be a prisoner of Vulcan and his forces. While being tortured, it is revealed that she has some form of healing factor that helps her fight off toxins and poisons. Vulcan ordered her to be heavily drugged so they can further study this. She was later freed by Havok and the other Starjammers, who vowed to kill Vulcan.
War of Kings
Polaris and the Starjammers played a large role in the War of Kings storyline, which also featured Vulcan, The Inhumans, Nova, and The Guardians of the Galaxy. Pursued by a Shi'ar superdestroyer after escaping, Lorna uses the fact that she is Crystal's sister-in-law to allow the Starjammers through the Kree's defensive shield. After the Shi'ar Imperial Guard's attack on Crystal and Ronan's wedding, Lorna plays a minor but pivotal role in regaining Kree popular support for the Inhumans by making sure that Crystal's humanitarian acts towards the injured Kree civilians are broadcast all over the Kree networks. After this, she once again joins the Starjammers on their mission to rescue Lilandra. They promptly commandeer a Shi'ar Ironclad (which she helps capture by magnetizing the Starjammer to its hull) which they then use to join the main Shi'ar fleet until their cover is blown when they rescue Rocket Raccoon and his Guardians of the Galaxy. Following the surrender of the Shi'ar to the Inhumans, Lorna remains on the Shi'ar homeworld along with Havok and Rachel. Through Ch'od, and apparently due to the incident of Rachel and Korvus both loosing the connection to the Phoenix Force, it is known that Polaris, Havok, Rachel and Korvus have departed for Earth.
Polaris and the other Starjammers become intangled in the intrigues if a Shi'ar colony. They are telepathically controlled by a native hoping to wipe out both the natives of the world and the Shi'ar rulers for mistreating him. He is defeated by the Starjammers with the aid of the X-Men.
Back with X-Factor
They return to Earth just as the X-Men undergo their Schism. After the supposed death of Jamie Madrox, Wolverine asks them to lead X-Factor Investigations. X-Factor accepts them and after the return of Madrox, they all lead the team together. On the anniversery of her parents death, Lorna shows a picture of her parents on the day of the crash that killed them to Longshot. Longshot's abilities trigger and he gets a vision of the past. He refuses to tell Lorna, which prompts her to force Monet to use her telepathy to probe his mind and show her what happened.
Monet shows her what happened; Lorna's father takes her and her mother up in an airplane. In the sky, he confronts her mother about her affair with Magneto and the fact that Lorna isn't his daughter. The arguments turns heated which wakes up the young Lorna. Lorna starts crying and yelling at them to stop. When her mother finally snaps at her, Lorna's powers manifest and she generates a magnetic pulse that tears the plane apart and the resulting crash kills her parents. Lorna survives the crash however and is found by Magneto who was drawn there by her magnetic pulse. Magneto tells her that she isn't ready for a life with him yet and that she needs something normal. He has his associate Mastermind use his illusionary powers to re-write her memories. The resulting illusion is revealed to be a cause for Lorna's history of mental instability.
Upon learning this, Lorna has a mental breakdown and lapses between periods of comtatose and psychosis. Her X-Factor teammate and friend Siryn makes a deal with an ancient god of death to take her place in exchange for Lorna's well-being. The deal is made and Lorna recovers.
The team quickly becomes involved in the Hell on Earth War, which is launched by the birth of the 7 billionth soul on Earth, Wolfbane's son Tier. Polaris and the rest of X-Factor endevour to protect Tier from the Hell Lords, who seek to kill him and claim the Earth as their prize as part of an ancient deal. Mephisto manages to surprise the other Hell Lords by disposing of them and conquering Earth on his own, without killing Tier. With Tier being the only one that can stop Mephisto, he decides to go after him along with X-Factor, and succeeds in killing him. Former X-Factor member Guido suddenly kills Tier and becomes the supreme lord of Hell, so that he can use his power to ressurect Monet and put the world back the way it was.
Separated from her X-Factor teammates, whom she believed dead, Lorna slipped into a depression, and while attempting to drink her sorrows away in a New York bar, she began causing a disturbance and trashing the bar. The police showed up, and Lorna in her drunken depression made an attempt at suicide-by-cop. She was saved by her half-brother Quicksilver however, who rescued her and attempted to bring her in by the authority bestowed upon him by the Avengers, in order to save her from incarceration. Polaris lashed out at her brother however, and the two began fighting. Quicksilver managed to knock her unconscious, and she was arrested by the police. She woke up in a holding cell, where a strange man informed her that she was not in prison, and that he wanted her for something called "the X-Factor initiative". Lorna agreed to hear him out.
Powers and Abilities
Magnetokinesis: ability to manipulate magnetism. Although she has the potential to exercise all of the powers that Magneto has, as yet she has only used powers involving the manipulation of magnetic, electrical, and gravitational fields. Moreover, she has yet summon as great an amount of energy as Magneto has. The exact limits on the amount weight that she can magnetically lift at present have not been measured. Since she has, in the past, preferred not to use her powers in combat situations, and has decades less experience with them, she is not up to par with Magneto's level of experience. As with Magneto, it is unknown whether Polaris's powers are purely psionic or whether they derive from her physically.
The main feat made possible by magnetism is Polaris' ability to lift and manipulate metal. She has shown such fine tuned skills as to nearly liquefy, mend, and reconstruct metallic objects, and has some level of influence on the ferrous metals that reside in everything. She once mended and reconstructed silverware and metallic plates into a metallic suit identical to Magneto's costume. She has also rendered a mass crowd unconscious by reversing the flow of blood in every individual by controlling the natural iron in their blood.
- Magnetic Force-Fields: Polaris can protect herself from physical harm, can stretch her fields to protect a large group, and can suspend persons or objects in the air.
- Magnetic Flight: Polaris can suspend herself in flight by riding the Earth's magnetic field.
- Electromagnetic Sight: By concentrating, Polaris can perceive the world around herself solely as patterns of magnetic and electrical energy. She can perceive the natural magnetic auras surrounding living beings, as well.
- Magnetic Pulse: Polaris can focus her magnetic energy into powerful concussive blasts. She can also overload or short-circuit electrical systems. She has been shown destroying Shi'ar warships with single magnetic pulses.
- Energy Absorption: Polaris has been shown absorbing some forms of energy through her magnetic force fields to temporarily boost her own strengths. Early in her career with the X-Men, she absorbed Storm's lightning blast, Cyclops' eye beam, and Havok's energy beam at the same time, giving her enough strength to propel an entire island from the earth and into space.
Her personal polarity is opposite that of Magneto's.
Polaris has a latent secondary mutation. Manifesting when her powers were stripped and taken by her half-sister Zaladane.
Negative Emotion Absorption (formerly, latent again): absorb negative emotional energy to transform into a virtual powerhouse.
- Increased Size
- Increased Strength
- Increased Endurance
- Negative Emotional Release: Her power also released the negativity back into her environment at an enhanced level, which caused others to act more violent, selfish, bloodthirsty, etc.
After the events of M-Day, Lorna found she was among the majority of mutants who had lost their powers.
Meta-Plague Manipulation (formerly): As Pestilence, Lorna had the ability to ingest and synthesize new plagues without harm, controlling the virulence and particular genetic markers. Capable of then releasing this virus or plague as a combined mutated strain or as the various separate plagues they originally were.
Lorna possesses expertise in geophysics, and has earned a Masters degree in that field.
Polaris possesses the normal human strength of a woman of her age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise. When possessed by Malice, Lorna had superhuman strength with an unknown upper limit.
Bio-hazard containment suit. At one point Lorna wore a metal belt with her costume that she would manipulate as a weapon or tool.
The Starjammer, formerly X-Men Blackbird, X-Men Stratojet, Sentinel Air Transport.
- Lorna's green hair is an apparent quirk of her mutation.
Polaris's love interests
In other media
- 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 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, and Amelia Voght battle the extraterrestrial Phalanx Empire
- Lorna has also appeared in Wolverine and the X-Men and has a crush on Gambit.
- 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
- While Polaris could only be glimpsed briefly in a corner of a cinematic, she appeared in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse having been captured before the game began. She plays a role in the prequel comic book published as a companion to the game.