One of the first new additions to the X-Men after their founding lineup was established, Polaris has a long-rooted history with the team — most prominently, that she's the only biological child note of Magneto. Initially contesting his claim to her parentage, it was eventually confirmed to be true. Not surprising, since they both share the exact same skillset.
She's also known for her romantic relationships with various X-Men. After a brief flirtation with Iceman (before he came out), she began a relationship with Alex Summers / Havok, the younger brother of stalwart X-Man Cyclops. They've spent the majority of their shared publication history in a state of "Will They or Won't They?" limbo, and almost got married at one point. Let's just say getting left at the altar didn't do wonders for her psyche.
Speaking of which, Lorna's struggles with mental health are another prominent aspect of her characterization. While it's never been spelled out as being anything specific, many have interpreted her Yandere-ish tendencies and depressive states as bipolar disorder. She was even manipulated into becoming the supervillain Malice for a few years, and once served as Pestilence in Apocalypse's Horsemen. What can we say — it seems to run in the family.
As a long-running character in the Marvel Universe, Polaris has appeared in various other media since being introduced. She showed up in a few episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series, as well as Wolverine and the X-Men. In live-action, Polaris features as a regular on FOX's The Gifted, portrayed there by Emma Dumont. This version of the character emphasized Lorna's issues with mental illness, as well as make reference to her familiar parentage.
- Uncanny Xmen (various volumes)
- X-Factor (various volumes)
- X-Factor vol. 3 (2006 — 2013) note
- All-New X-Factor (2014 — 2015)
- X-Men: Blue (2017 — 2018)
- The Gifted (2017 — 2019), portrayed by Emma Dumont
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2012) (cameo appearance)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013), voiced by Tara Strong
- X-Men: The Animated Series (1994 — 1997), voiced by Terri Hawkes
- Wolverine and the X-Men (2009), voiced by Liza del Mundo
Polaris provides examples of:
- Action Girl
- Acquired Poison Immunity: One of the side-effects of her brief run as Pestilence is she gained an immunity to being drugged. When a prisoner of Vulcan, his people kept trying to keep her unconscious, only for her immune system to fight off the drugs with increasing speed, at which point Lorna would get loose and start breaking things.
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- Battle Couple: With Havok, most of the time.
- Beta Couple: She and Alex are often seen as a sort of second-tier version of Alex's brother Scott and Jean Grey.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Lorna has a serious temper (not surprising, given the various horrible things that've happened to her). As Jamie Madrox once notes, every now and then she reminds people she is Magneto's daughter. Like, for example, making an evil alternate version of Captain America blow his own head off.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: By Erik the Red in the mid-70s, to kill the X-Men. On the plus side, it's when she got the moniker "Polaris".
- Broken Bird: Repeatedly, especially since horrible things just keep happening to her.
- BrotherSister Team: Seems to get along quite well with Quicksilver during their days in Serval Industries' X-Factor.
- Brought Down to Normal: She lost her powers during Decimation by her half-sister, but soon got them back through Apocalypse repowered her using Celestial technology. It's not really known whether her X-Gene has been reactivated or it's simply the technology.
- Cain and Abel: With Zaladane, who might be her sister. "Might", because we've only got Zaladane's word for it, and nothing else has ever backed it up (Zaladane's protracted case of dead doesn't help).
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Due in part to the "severe trauma" thing, she got very protective of Havok during Chuck Austen's X-Men run. Finding Annie standing over him, Lorna threatened her with several scalpels.
- Cool Aunt: For her niece, Luna Maximoff◊ (Quicksilver's daughter). She even allows the little girl to sit on her lap◊.
- Curtains Match the Window: Green eyes, green hair. Not to mention she usually wears green lipstick and often wears a green costume.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially when written by Peter David (in fairness, everyone written by Peter David is a snarker).
- Demonic Possession: Gets possessed by psychic entities a lot, and often for prolonged periods (years of publication, in one case).
- Depower: Zaladane once stole her powers. Lorna got them back after Magneto killed her.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Her most common method of using her powers is to manipulate metal.
- Full-Frontal Assault: During Grant Morrison's New X-Men, she was found by the X-Men at ground zero following the total annihilation of Genosha completely naked and insanely raving about final electromagnetic messages sent by Magneto before violently lashing out at the team.
- Fun with Acronyms: Her middle name is "Sally", which means that her initials spell out LSD, this has not gone unnoticed.Gambit: Your initials are LSD?Polaris: Explains a lot, doesn't it?
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Not often, but they have been known to glow when she's pissed.
- I Believe I Can Fly: With electromagnetism.
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- In the Blood: Usually averted, in that she's nothing like her father, but during Chuck Austen's run she was Maddened into Misanthropy. She eventually shook it off.
- Lady of War
- Leotard of Power: Most of her outfits include some form of leotard with a cape, as well as a tiara.
- Love Triangle: In the 60s, there was one between her, Iceman and Havok. It returned in the 00s, with the temporary inclusion of Nurse Annie.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Whether Magneto actually was her father was a long-running plot point for decades after her introduction. The early 00s eventually confirmed that she was.
- Most Common Super Power: It's very easy to see how she could be the Scarlet Witch's sister.
- No-Sell: An alternate Malice tried possessing her during Blue. Lorna was soon able to fight her off, but not before Malice killed several people.
- Poisonous Person: During her period of time as Pestilence in Apocalypse's Four Horsemen.
- Purple Is Powerful: Some of her outfits over the years have included purple, and she's every bit as dangerous as her father.
- Selective Magnetism: As with her father, writers can never decide if her powers are derived from her physically or psionically.
- Self-Made Orphan: Accidentally killed her mother and the man she considered her father at the age of 3, when her powers manifested whilst they were all flying a plane when she got upset due to a loud fight they were having over her mother's adultery.
- Shock and Awe: Some writers actually have her using electricity, which is indeed part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Took a Level in Badass: After being repowered by Apocalypse, she got a significant power boost. She even managed to severely hurt Vulcan, who until that point had been an Invincible Villain.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: During Chuck Austen's run, though she did have the justification of being at ground zero for the total annihilation of Genosha, which drove her insane. And again during All-New X-Factor, after finding out the truth about her mother's death, mixed with experiencing hell on Earth.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Common for most X-Men, but Lorna had a very nasty one. When she was three years old, her powers activated when she saw her mother and her mother's husband arguing about Lorna's real father and her mother's adultery. Her powers activated and took down the plane they were on. Magneto then showed up to rescue her, and had Mesmero use his Psychic Powers to block the memories of what really happened, which are called out as having caused the instability to fester and resulted in her... less than solid mental health.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Alex, of course. She had a mental breakdown after Alex left her at the altar. After 2012, they broke up in part because of Lorna's sudden spike in bad-temperedness.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Like dear old dad, excessive use of her powers has made her a little nuts in the past.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
- Yandere: When she found out that her boyfriend was dating with Nurse Annie, she was not very happy (In fairness to Lorna, she was suffering from horrific trauma, and Alex dumped her right at the altar).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Or green, in her case. It's connected to her powers, first activating when she first used her powers.