'The Gifted' Premiere: Who Is Polaris?

The Gifted premiered tonight on Fox and shone the spotlight on one of the lesser known mutants in Marvel Comics history, Polaris.

Despite not being a household name, Polaris actually occupies an important position in X-Men history, and it seems the version of Lorna Dane portrayed by Emma Dumont in The Gifted is ready to raise the character’s profile to new heights.

Lorna Dane was created by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko and first appeared in X-Men #49 in 1968. She was one of the first mutants to join the X-Men after the original five, officially becoming an X-Man in X-Men #60.

Lorna first met the X-Men while she was a student. She was unaware of her mutant powers until the villain Mesmero summoned mutants with latent abilities and she found herself drawn to him. Mesmero kidnapped Lorna and unlocked her mutant powers over magnetism, a power she shared with the man who claimed to be her father, Magneto.

However, the Magneto who claimed to be Lorna’s father was later revealed to be an android, leaving the question of whether Magneto actually was Lorna’s father unanswered for some time. It was years later that Magneto was finally confirmed to be Lorna’s father, and that Magneto and Mastermind her suppressed Lorna's powers and her memories of them after her first manifestation of her powers occurred on a plane and killed her parents.

After the new class of X-Men joined the team in Giant-Size X-Men #1, Polaris left the team with boyfriend Alex “Havok” Summers to pursue other interests. She remained a supporting character in the series and was drawn back into the superhero life when she was possessed first by the Marauder called Malice and then fell under the influence of the Shadow King.

Rather than rejoining the X-Men, Polaris founded a new iteration of the government-backed mutant team called X-Factor alongside Havok. She remained on X-Factor for years before both she and Havok rejoined the X-Men, went to outer space to become space pirates battling Havok’s long-lost brother, and eventually returned to join two more new iterations of X-Factor.

Most recently, Polaris has been working with her father to train the time-displaced original X-Men at their hidden mansion in Madripoor in the pages of X-Men Blue.

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Throughout her history, Polaris has had to deal with mental illness, which tends to get tied into the many times she’s been mind-controlled by villains like Mesmero and the Shadow King. In The Gifted, Polaris will maintain this aspect of the character, being diagnosed as bipolar, and has also been confirmed to be Magneto’s daughter.

The Gifted airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.