Is Polaris Still a Mutant or Not?

In every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without actively retconnng away the previous story. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Today's my buddy Michael's birthday and he's such a big Polaris fan that I thought I'd tackle a fascinating period in Polaris' comic book career, the period where she lost her mutant powers, got them back, but the question is...if you lose your mutant powers and then someone else gives you powers just like your old powers, are you still technically a mutant?

It all began in House of M #7, when Scarlet Witch said those famous three words...

Doctor Strange managed to use his magic to save as many mutants from her reality-altering powers as he could, and he ended up saving roughly 1,000 or so from losing their mutant abilities. However, that still meant roughly a million or so mutants were suddenly, well, you know, NOT mutants.

It seemed as though Scarlet Witch's powers specifically altered those closest to her, as of the people who lost their powers, Magneto, Quicksilver and Polaris were the most notable ones. Professor X was another major one. Otherwise, it was a pretty lackluster group of mutants who actually lost their abilities. Dani Moonstar, Rictor, Jubilee, Blob, not exactly a Murderer's Row of famous characters, ya know? Heck, Iceman was specifically shown to have lost his powers in House of M #8, but that was revealed to be a mistake right away (I featured that in an old Abandoned Love).

Anyhow, in X-Men #177, we learned that Polaris was one of the mutants who lost her powers...

She runs into her old friend, Val Cooper, from X-Factor, and makes her promise her that she'll keep her missing powers a secret...

Okay, so Polaris then goes off and tries to figure out this whole power situation. She gets caught up in some strange situations with the villainous Leper Queen. Meanwhile, Apocalypse shows up and he is once again recruiting mutants to be his Four Horsemen. At the end of X-Men #185, we see that his new Pestilence is Polaris!!

There's then a quick back-up story that shows us how Apocalypse captured her and tortured her, while giving her her new abilities...

Okay, so the next issue, the X-Men defeat Apocalypse (like, REALLY easily. So easily that it's, like, dude, what is even the POINT of you, Apocalypse, if you're getting your ass kicked so easily? Survival of the fittest my butt!). So the X-Men defeat the Horsemen and discover that Pestilence is Polaris. Havok gets a great moment where he gives her mouth to mouth despite, you know, her being PESTILENCE!

So the X-Men take her to the X-Mansion and she seems to be getting back to normal, but then we discover that she has powers, but specifically NOT mutant powers, but instead a version of her abilities provided by Apocalypse's Celestial technology...

When her fellow Horsemen, Sunfire and Gambit (Gambit is the worst in this storyline. The WORST), she turns them down and also reveals that her magnetic powers are back, but, of course, we just learned that it was because of the Celestial technology mimicking her old powers...

Or IS it?

Page 2: The Twist!

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