I realise I'm putting my head in the lion's mouth here, but I'm not a huge fan of Polaris' costumes in general. Looking at the set here, it's really only costumes 6 and 9 that I'm a big fan of. That said, #9 was what she was wearing in the first few issues of X-Factor I ever read (around #117), and #6 gets automatic points just by its associations to Peter David's first X-Factor run.
That said, I'm undecided about whether I prefer her newest costume to the original (leaving aside the fact that I don't think a great much to either). I get what you mean about it being simpler. Were it up to me, though, I might lose the cape.
Agreed on the tiara. When is there not room for a tiara?
Oh I love the 90s too. That's when I started reading. Characterization was fantastic in the 90s. There were real moving moments like the death of Illyana, Rogue and Gambit's relationship was still fresh, Jean and Scott's trip to the future. Lots of good stuff.
Oh she needs the cape. It's very very imporatant. Saying that I think it's on its way out based on David's most recent X-Position anyway.
Some nostalgia is fine, but nostalgia to the point where it starts to blind one to what is good or bad for a character is not good. There were aspects of any run with Lorna that were good and bad and if one can't look at each thing analytically and instead are blinded or at least have their views very colored by the positive feelings one had when they started reading X comic when they were young then it is a real problem.
Its why Lorna's characterization and personality keep being rebooted to different eras (the worst being the Claremont era) when they take over writing her. It doesn't come off as a natural evolution to the character at all. It comes off as writer X was in love with Uncanny when he grew up reading comics in say the 70s so he is going to make Lorna like she was back then and to hell with what the last writer wrote her as. A large segment of fans are the same way. Now that she is back on X-Factor how many have made clear in one way or the other they want her reverted to the way she was in 1991 in virtually every way? That isn't character development and evolution, that is simply rebooting a character so that some fans can feel like they are reliving their 'golden years' when they were younger reading X-Factor.
If you are analyzing Lorna in an era you have to divorce yourself of your emotional attachment to the era, the book and the writer. That rarely happens I know, but that is why I called you several years ago on seeing only the bad in Austen's run with Lorna and none of the good that came from it. Too many online fall in love or in hate with a certain writer which either blinds them to the good things that writer did for a certain character or the bad things.
I very well can checklist the things that each writer (who wrote Lorna) did that I regard as developmentally good and bad no matter if the run was Austen's, PAD's, Milligan's, etc. I read comics in the early 90s as well as many other people here and first introduction to X-Factor was in the late #60s into PADs run. But, that doesn't mean I will ever let my positive feelings about my 'wonder years' influence my mental checklist of the positives and the negatives.
I dislike both of them. Lorna's costume should (1) remind readers that this is one of the most powerful female characters that Marvel has period as she controls one of the four basic forces in the universe. Lorna being in a street level costume or standard super hero costume doesn't do that. She also needs a costume that (2) reminds readers that she historically straddles the philosophical divide of mutant community. She needs a costume that (3) reminds the readers that she is mutant royalty. Finally she needs a costume that (4) looks great on her and works with her hair color.I realise I'm putting my head in the lion's mouth here, but I'm not a huge fan of Polaris' costumes in general. Looking at the set here, it's really only costumes 6 and 9 that I'm a big fan of. That said, #9 was what she was wearing in the first few issues of X-Factor I ever read (around #117), and #6 gets automatic points just by its associations to Peter David's first X-Factor run.
Her space era costume at least as depicted in X-Men Legacy managed to fulfill #1 and #3. At times I disliked how it was depicted regarding #4, especially the headgear like how it is depicted now (it was done far better in X-Men Legacy).
Her origional costume managed to fulfill all four in my opinion. The little skull managed to fulfill #2 which her current outfit does not and it managed to fulfill #4 better then her current one in my view thanks to its more elaborate nature and its better designed headgear.
Her 'team' X-Factor costumes at best in some peoples opinion (not mine) managed to fulfill #4 and that is it. I will wait to see what happens to her outfit going forward, but while I dislike her current costume and made that clear for years, I would be far less happy with her going back to a team or street level costume that at best could only manage to fulfill #4.
Last edited by jmc247; 04-17-2012 at 11:39 AM.
Great analysis on the costume! I didn't quite think of things that way, but it totally makes sense.
Take for example her original costume revamp for Brubaker's run. The removal of the skull was like the erasing of everything Bru didn't like, the "extreme" developments that took place with Polaris after the age of Claremont.
Her new, streamlined costume is symbolic of a return to a simpler time when Polaris was just an extra and the only notable thing about her character was her devotion to Havok. Removal of the intricacies of her original costume design is symbolic of the hard reset Bru did to her character.
As for me being nostaligic. I had only read a couple of appearrances with Polaris in the 90s, mostly crossover stuff like X-Cutioners song. Dark Seduction was my first real introduction to Polaris in any real way. Even with that I think Peter David wrote the best Polaris. I read his original run retroactively mostly last year. He took what had happened to her as a character and decided on a direction for her that was different to how she had previously been written. I think she made the most sense in his run. Everyone wants her to be politically minded and is annoyed that she's not going to be this way now that she's on X-Factor. Peter David was the first writer to make Polaris politically minded, prior to him she was just arm candy for Havok or she got kidnapped. If she suddenly becomes Switzerland it's a reversion of his own development with the character and I really don't see that happening. He also mentioned in the last X-Position that Havok and Polaris relationship had become stagnant, their going to address it and possibly split up. There's already steps to taking her out of Havok shadow where Brubaker(arguably) put her back.
In general I agree. I prefer the cape and the tiara. I think she should look powerful and regal. However the most important thing is that she's written in this way. I don't think it's as important what she's wearing imo.I dislike both of them. Lorna's costume should (1) remind readers that this is one of the most powerful female characters that Marvel has period as she controls one of the four basic forces in the universe. Lorna being in a street level costume or standard super hero costume doesn't do that. She also needs a costume that (2) reminds readers that she historically straddles the philosophical divide of mutant community. She needs a costume that (3) reminds the readers that she is mutant royalty. Finally she needs a costume that (4) looks great on her and works with her hair color.
I don't like those costumes because they're really generic. The great thing about characters wearing unique costumes is that it shows off more individuality, so they can stand out. In comics, that visual is really important, because if everyone looks the same to you (with only minor differences like hair color), you're less likely to care for that specific character. And the "everyone looks the same" in a team might be good if it's a well-known character, but unfortunately, Lorna is extremely underappreciated both by Marvel and by readers (mostly due to the former). She currently needs every advantage she can get to garner interest.
Something that's incredibly insulting to a long-time fan can turn out to be hilarious or downright deserved in the eyes of a new fan. A writer can transform a nun into a prostitute in one comic, and unless there's a massive backlash to tell them otherwise, the new reader will just take "that woman's a prostitute and should always be seen as one" as gospel truth. From there, efforts to undo that damage, to get that nun to be respectably portrayed as a nun again, are severely hurt by fans that think being a prostitute is the only right way to treat that character.
It's a lot of why I get so outraged any time a company canonically ruins a character. There are tons of readers that don't know any better, will never even try to look at things objectively (well, as objectively as you can with these things). They will just go into everything else measuring by how they were first introduced to Lorna. No matter how perfect and amazing some new development is for Lorna, there will always be someone out there that got introduced to her at a time that makes them think the only right way to write her is to have everyone within earshot trying to kick her in the face. All we can do is mutually hope for Lorna to get treated better across the board, so that the next generation of readers view her with more respect than the last one.
Anything that happens to her on X-Factor will likely be forgotten when the book ends. Only hardcore Polaris fans will remember. She'll always get reset back to the 70s. The x-books always rehash the same characters in the roles they are always going to be locked in. Polaris will always be an extra.
Hi jmc247. Nice to see you again :)
In general, I think you're absolutely right about the nostalgia factor. Indeed, I have no doubt that under other circumstances you'd be quite right about the nostalgia factor as it relates to me.
With regard to Polaris, though, I think you're off base. I can't check right now (I left my old X-Factor's at my parents when I moved out in '98, which in itself maybe says something), but I reckon that at most, I have ten comic books featuring Lorna before she appeared in Davis' UXM/XMN run around the turn of the millenium. I'd argue that's enough to form a mental image of a character (hence why I'm a Number Nine fan), but I'd question whether I could have formed a connection to the character herself in that time.
Indeed, whilst my favourite handling of Polaris - in the hands of Peter David - was indeed during the '90s, it wasn't until not too long before I wrote that article that I read those issues for the first time. That's not to say I necessarily disagree with your take on the Austen years (beyond the points I raised at the time), but I think it's hard to argue it's '90s nostalgia that's led me to my conclusions about anything more complicated than Lorna's wardrobe.
Her one tiny chance to rise about per place as determined in the mid 70s was smothered in its crib thanks to RAFOTSE and her being dumped in space. At the time I didn't realize how terrible nostalgia was, but I do now.
Last edited by jmc247; 04-17-2012 at 02:24 PM.
So far, at least on here it's becoming apparent that people who are happy about Lorna's return to X-Factor didn't read David's original run when it was first published, only retroactively and thought it was the best Polaris. You can't be nostalgic for something that wasn't in the past. My past with Lorna is really Dark Seduction.
Needless to say I have had to revise what I am saying right now about a dozen times to make it nicer as right now I am feel like burning my Marvel comic collection and taking every Marvel comic off my pull list.