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The Abandoned An’ Forsaked – What Happened to Polaris’ Powers?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every week, we will be examining comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent). Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of The Abandoned An’ Forsaked. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today we take a look at an abandoned Chris Claremont plotline from the early 1990s, where he gave Polaris new powers.

Okay, during the late 1980s, the mutant mistress of magnetism, Polaris, spent a lot of time possessed by the Marauder known as Malice…


After the seeming death of the leader of the Marauders, Mister Sinister, Polaris began to break free from the control of Malice…


but not before a woman who claimed to be her sister showed up and had her kidnapped and taken to the Savage Land…



(As you can see, the X-Men showed up to rescue her)

In Uncanny X-Men #250, Zaladane steals Polaris’ magnetic powers…


The upside of her powers being stolen is shown, though, by Malice now being seemingly erased from Polaris’ mind entirely…


And later in the issue, Polaris develops NEW powers…


(Notice Alex’s attitude change, which Polaris notes – that’s an important plot point)


Polaris is separated from the rest of the X-Men at the end of the story.

We next see her in Uncanny X-Men #253, where her new powers seem to have an odd effect on others…




Now rescued by Banshee, she ends up on Muir Isle. Once there, Moira MacTaggert explains her powers somewhat…


In effect, Polaris is drawing power from (and it appears causing, as well) negative emotions. The problem is that she is on an island with a guy with multiple personalities, Legion. Her power to empower negative emotions works like a charm on the evil personality within Legion, causing him to take control and capture Polaris for his own little game…



A couple of issues later, Legion uses Cerebro to help look for the X-Men (who the Muir Isle folk now know are alive). This allows the Shadow King to take control of Legion…


Here’s the important point. This is the FIRST TIME that the Shadow King has become involved in Muir Isle.

In Uncanny X-Men #269, we see that things are going poorly on Muir Isle. Polaris’s negative emotion powers are now being used by the Shadow King (that Ms. Marvel is not actually Carol Danvers, but just for the sake of this piece please just pretend that it is – it is far too complicated to get into right now who she really is)…



In X-Men #275, Magneto kills Zaladane…


Now we come to the Muir Isle Saga, where the Shadow King has taken control of the whole island, using a “nexus” to control everyone…


Polaris IS that nexus, as X-Factor discovers in X-Factor #69 (from this point on, the stories are no longer written by Claremont – Fabian Nicieza handles the next few pages and Peter David does the very last page)…



Shadow King now takes total possession of Legion.

In Uncanny X-Men #280, the X-Men fight against their possessed friends while Xavier is fighting the Shadow King on the astral plane.

The X-Men come up with a way to cut off the nexus…



As you can see, now that she is cut off from the Shadow King’s control, Polaris’ new powers are gone…


And in X-Factor #70, we see she now has magnetic powers again…


The problem, as it is, is that the Shadow King did NOT cause Lorna’s new powers, so the destruction of the Shadow King should not have eliminated the new powers. Clearly, Claremont had SOME plot designed for Lorna’s new powers (in Marvel Age, he even discussed giving her a new code name to go with her new powers) but plans were derailed and when Claremont left, whatever he had planned was abandoned and the whole thing was forsaked by now having it be Shadow King who was behind her new powers and his destruction led to her reversion to normal (and the death of Zaladane presumably led to the return of her stolen magnetic powers).

Now, I understand that an alternate theory is that as soon as Zaladane died, her powers WOULD have gone to Polaris but the Shadow King somehow kept that from happening and it was only upon his death that her powers were able to return to Polaris and as soon as they did, her new powers went away. That’s certainly not a terrible theory, but I don’t think it really holds, as it still doesn’t explain why she gained these new powers. The retcon of “the Shadow King gave them to her to help control others and when he died, they went away” does.

But really, whatever reasoning you have for how her new powers went away, it is clear that whatever it was, it wasn’t what Claremont originally had intended, so either way, it is an abandoned and forsaked idea. I wonder what Claremont did originally plan for her?