Superhero shows are all the rage, and while Fox owns the X-Men, they plan on getting as much as they can out of it. Alongside their James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence led movies, they created and aired The Gifted, a series starring the complex Strucker family, Magneto's daughter, Polaris, and others.
The show has received positive reviews, largely for its inclusion of classic superheroes that don't get much attention. Polaris is one of the chief examples of this, getting much less press than her more popular sister Scarlet Witch. In adapting Lorna, the show took a fair amount of liberties in evolving her character for a new audience. However, they didn't touch many of the core aspects that make her who she is.
In the comics, Polaris has one of the most unique and bold looks. Not only does she have a full green body-suit, but she also has flowing emerald hair and pale skin. Why wouldn't the daughter of Magneto look so striking? After all, Scarlet Witch is just as bold with her reds.
Though they don't go full body suit, The Gifted's Polaris keeps that stark green hair and that signature look. Furthermore, in some scenarios she even wears the green headband classic to her comic-self. Between the two mediums, whether she's wearing a body-suit or contemporary clothes, she's easily identifiable as the one, the only, Polaris.
Unlike a lot of other X-Men with tons of relationships across different universes and timelines, Polaris almost exclusively is tied with Havok. He's often portrayed as the younger brother of Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops. Similar to his brother, he shoots beams of energy, but instead with his hands instead of his eyes. He and Polaris are long-time lovers who span several different versions of X-Men comics.
In The Gifted, however, Havok is nowhere in sight and Lorna Dane is instead paired with Eclipse, a manipulator of heat and light. Together they even have a daughter. Throughout the first two seasons, they've become entrenched in each others' lives. Creators have vaguely talked about maybe including Havok, but until then, they've completely re-written Polaris' romantic history.
One of Lorna's most defining features in her life is her father. Between the comics and the show, in both Polaris' father is the evil, manipulative, domineering Magneto. Like most of her backstories, he abandoned Lorna and her mother at a young age and has since caused trouble in the world.
While The Gifted does play with their classic relationship notes, they don't change the hard fact she gets her powers from the most well-known metal-bender in the world. He's powerful, he's infamous, and he's her dad.
In the future, who knows how complicated that might get for her.
Throughout her many storylines, Polaris always is some degree of tortured. Whether it's her relationship with the X-Men, Havok, or her father, she's never just living happily ever after.
The Gifted decides to up the ante on that, though, by giving Polaris Bipolar Disorder. Now, not only does she have to deal with an evil dad, weird romance, and her powers, but also a debilitating mental disorder. While representation is always appreciated, having her first confirmed Bipolar-influenced act be murder isn't.
Let's just chalk this one up to an interesting creative decision and hope the writers treat the situation kindly in the future. Goodness knows Lorna deserves some more kindness.
When it comes to the Maximoff twins, it was easy to ignore their dad issues when they had wildly different powers from him. Wanda came out possibly the most powerful magic-user in the universe and Pietro was faster than anyone else. Those don't quite speak magnets or metal, do they?
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Now Polaris, on the other hand, manifested electromagnetic powers that were very reminiscent of her not so good ole' dad. Unsurprisingly, The Gifted didn't change this part of her at all. She has the same iconic powers and the same green, glowing hands. Wherever she goes, her abilities make for quite the spectacle.
By no means were Polaris and Magneto on great terms in the comics, or even in various animated series. In most of them, she was afraid of him, or fighting against him, or wishing she could be free of him. After all, she often was a member of the X-Men or roped into their missions. However, Lorna also didn't want to hurt him. She felt some bizarre level of care for him, and he did for her.
There's no way to describe The Gifted's Magneto/Polaris relationship as anything but ambivalence and hatred. Magneto seems to not care about her, and Lorna wishes he'd find an early grave. In one of her most iconic quotes, she says, "The world hates you, but I hate you even more".
Despite her evil origins, Lorna Dane (or any other name Polaris has gone by) often is raised by her mother and, therefore, is a good person at heart. Though her scars from her father's neglect always hurt her, almost all versions of her end up helping the X-Men or being a member herself. After all, that's where she meets Havok and tries to undo the bad things Magneto has done.
In The Gifted, their Lorna is no different. She's troubled, but she wants to protect the world. Even if that desire gets screwed up sometimes, she wants the world to be a better place for everyone. No matter how snarky or bitter she can get, that remains a core part of her personality.
The first group Lorna Dane ever joined was the X-Men, and most subsequent times after that she joins different subsets of the group. While comic book Polaris has had a lot of different allegiances, she has never been tied to the Hellfire Club. That mostly was restricted to the Emma Frosts and Azazels of the X-Men universe.
However, in The Gifted, Lorna gets tangled up in not Emma Frost, but three Frost triplets trying to run a Hellfire Club of their own. This turns into The inner Circle, an influential group involved in political subterfuge and terrorism. Lorna joins in an attempt to make the world a better place, technically the Inner Circle's goals. Unfortunately, their methods are the questionable part.
Though comic book Lorna doesn't have Bipolar Disorder, she does have a temper. Whenever she becomes very upset, her powers can become a rage. While events that made her angry are justified (Havok leaving her at the alter, fallen comrades), that doesn't make her reactive rage less intense.
Polaris doesn't change this behavior in The Gifted. Her rage leads her to do unforgivable things, like push protesters off bridges. Between the two mediums, her impulsive outbursts are the biggest shared part of her personality. Her past is tortured, her dad is evil, and Lorna is very, very angry about all of it.
And when she's angry, everyone around her will know it.
In the comics, Polaris isn't quite known for motherhood. She only has one child, and that's in an alternate universe (Earth 41001) with the son of Colossus. Otherwise, she and her better known boyfriend/husband, Havok, have never had children. At least, none that fans have gotten to see.
The Gifted completely shook that up by making Lorna and Marcos, AKA Eclipse, have a daughter named Dawn. Dawn is not a character to ever appear in comics, so she's the most unique and original aspect of Polaris' TV counterpart. The show has made Lorna's devotion to her daughter very clear, which will surely be used to cause conflict in later series. It'll be interesting for fans to see how Polaris evolves into this new role as a mutant mother.