It is now, at long last, in 1991, that someone (namely Peter David) puts some effort into defining Polaris as an actual character. Realising that this post would require me to read some of his early X-Factor run was a genuine pleasure. The '91 reboot represents some of the best writing of the era, at least where Marvel was concerned.
One day there might be time to discuss David's run in more general terms (it's certainly worthy of study), but for now the key point is that David made Polaris into an actual person. The consequences of Lorna's low self-confidence and repeated external manipulation finally began to make themselves felt. She is referred to a psychologist, but refuses to speak, seeing his attempts to "get in her head" as one more act of mental violation. Eventually, though, he allows her to come to terms with herself, in addition to persuading her that she may be borderline anorexic.
This, at last, is the beginning of a genuine character. I've spoken before about the fact that the "flawed hero" archetype usually relies on a very narrow field of potential flaws, usually a dark past, torturous present, or a temperament unsuited for beating up super villains without killing them. Polaris tries to be a hero despite her low self-esteem and resulting extreme weight-loss. For all her fear of both recommitting to Alex and of losing him, and her conviction that she is unworthy of her role in X-Factor, she pushes it aside when it comes to the crunch. As time passes she begins to build her esteem, and becomes the moral backbone of the group. Now at last, she is strong and compassionate because she has overcome her demons, not simply because it's the accepted template for comic book heroines.