Whilst watching The Gifted, it occurred to me that its Polaris could be customized from a Marvel Legends Jessica Jones. Shortly thereafter, I saw someone had used this recipe. Not being the first person to execute it dampened my zeal to make one. When I decided to try my own, I found the price of loose Jessicas had skyrocketed since I acquired mine. Then I saw a bootleg custom The Gifted Polaris on eBay. I don’t normally go in for these gray market pieces, but this one included a superb Emma Dumont likeness I’d not seen in this scale. (Perhaps it was hydroshrunk from one of an unlicensed 1/6 scale Polaris, of which there are a few varieties?) My winning bid ended up being only slightly more than an official Marvel Legends figure. It was supposed to be delivered within the broad range of June 10 – August 4. A China Post tracking number was created on May 21 when I ordered it & then nothing. As 2020 was an exhausting string of calamities, I decided to wait patiently for it & save my anxiety for other matters. The day before its last possible delivery date, I leaned “this user is no longer registered on eBay” from my purchase history. The other listings for this product from assorted sellers disappeared too. That’s the karmic thanks I get for trying to be a good citizen of the ‘Net & alerting other fans to its existence.
Dare I trust AliExpress? Its price was double the refund I received from eBay. (A version with Lorna’s head on Elektra’s body was moderately cheaper.) I decided to go for it while they were still in stock rather than miss out & pay triple later. (It doesn’t appear to be available there anymore either, so I did something astute for a change.) I shaved a few bucks off via a coupon from a friend, Kinou Menthe, who was already a customer. I had to specially authorize my credit card to make this payment. The downloadable invoice PDF did not reflect the coupon, which panicked me greatly. It arrived three weeks later, which is quite reasonable considering I ordered it amidst a pandemic. Then I panicked that the reason it had such a good likeness with a professional paint job is that it was stolen from Hasbro’s secret production line & an official version at a more reasonable price would soon be unveiled now that Fox X-Men are back on the table. Thus far one hasn’t materialized (he wrote as as he rushed to publish this before the inaugural Marvel Fan First Friday of 2021).
The hoodie she comes with is tailored very nicely. Unfortunately it didn’t match anything Polaris wore on the series. She looks better without it. I wanted to see how Lorna Dane’s head looks on Jessica Jones’s body so she’d have a leather jacket. Unlike other Marvel Legends with the classic balljoint necks, Lorna’s head refused to detach. Furthermore her hair was hard & pointy plastic rather than rubber. (It’s also red beneath the paint.) My thumb bled from trying to denogginize her. It may be literally scarred for life. The boil & pop method took longer than usual, but eventually I succeeded. I had to use it again because Lorna’s head was stubborn about being transplanted. Sorry, Jess, but I like Lorna more! The stress exacerbated a hairline fracture in Jessica’s neck. Just swapping the arms might’ve been easier. I wanted to swap The Gifted Lorna’s head onto X-Factor Lorna’s body for a photo, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.
I put Jessica’s head on the other body which essentially makes her the version from SDCC’s The Defenders set. I also returned her gloved hands. This sleeveless look makes Jessica Jones look more like a bruiser. She can wear the hoodie, which isn’t accurate to her series either. I acquired gesturing hands from Squirrel Girl because comics teens have the same size hands as live action adults. The plastic skintones almost match too. I gave Lorna’s fists to Doreen Green. Now she can punch things like nature intended! This switcheroo was a difficult choice as Doreen isn’t always a pugilist. I’d considered going halfsies. Aside from one memorable moment, however, Polaris is most commonly seen doing open hand gestures on the show. I would still be able to swap them back & forth had I not given Lorna impasto rings & (too short) nails.
My original plan involved getting another Magik to harvest for boots & energy swirls. Once I acquired Polaris, all the Magiks that had been clogging the pegs of local Walgreens for months mysteriously vanished. It’s probably for the best as I don’t need to worry about what to do with the rest of a second Magik. I don’t need to slice through calves & drill into legs to get the boots on either. The bootstraps were cut from from cardboard with buckles from foil off a vodka bottle with a mermaid mascot. Jessica wears sensible flats, so I couldn’t replicate the incline of Lorna’s. To make heels for her steel-toed boots, I ended up cutting down the foam soles I discarded whilst crafting Gotham’s Firefly. This appropriate since Michelle Veintimilla played Carmen Guerra, a rival flame for Eclipse. The foam doesn’t deform as much here as Lorna is lighter.
Polaris came bagged with two green flame fists like Fire & Kyle Rayner. It’s better than nothing, yet not quite how The Gifted depicted her magnetic energy. I borrowed the green swirls from retro Dr. Doom. I’d like a spare pair so they don’t need to share. Perhaps one day I’ll make my own from hot glue? The magnetic waves of the other Polaris also look nifty.
Lorna’s head was exceptionally well painted, aside from her skin tone being too dark. (It could possibly also work as Jodele Ferland as Dark Matter’s Five.) I’m not sure if it was an Underworld filter (Len Weisman only directed the second episode, although he executive produced a bunch) they were using, but Lorna always looked inhumanly pale. (Perhaps it was the reason The Magic Ians cast Dumont as The White Lady?) So I repainted her head, neck, & hands too. It’s hard to tell, but I gave her smoky eye shadow too. Now she’ll blend right in in Gotham, the town that dreaded sunrise.
Lorna’s aesthetic was a form of camouflage since you’d expect a goth-punk’s hair to be dyed rather than naturally verdant. Jessica’s leather jacket looks perfect for Lorna, so I wonder if The Gifted’s costume designer used the same type for her early outfits? I considered festooning her jacket with spikes until I had flashbacks to stabbing myself on her hair. I tried giving her Wanda’s coat for a more unique look since I had a spare from Speedy, but it was too tight. I painted her jeans black because that’s what she usually wore on the series. The result was a monochrome figure. To avert this, I gave her the olive leopard print shirt she only wore in the sixth episode. As much as I love green, I usually prefer it when Lorna’s hair doesn’t match her wardrobe. It’s a spiffy shirt that adds some color to her outfits, however, so she could’ve worn it more often. She doesn’t even wear it with a leather jacket, making this custom officially inaccurate.
An anti-psychic diadem would add something to this mundane outfit. Because of the way her hard plastic hair was molded, however, I couldn’t get a complete replica to fit on her head. Since it pushed her hair back, I’d have to slice of a big chunk of her locks. Even the 2/3 tiara I whittled it down to didn’t look right on her forehead. So I opted not to use it. There are plenty of Polaris costumes without green tiaras, so I don’t think losing it was unpardonable. (How’d she make Magneto’s Pog slammer change color?) It just makes her a season one one Lorna. To make her hair less lifeless, I added metallic green to give it some sheen. Since I didn’t affix the metallic headband, I didn’t need to worry about her hair blurring into it. Then it became too sparkly, so I threw a black wash on top.
Since the headband didn’t work out, I had to do something else to make her look less ordinary. So I kitted her out with thigh cutlery! Her three knives are corrugated cardboard handles with plastic blades whereas their sheath is thin cardboard with Historex tape straps. I managed not to glue the sheath to her leg so it can be adjusted. (She maintains all her leg articulation, which I prominently kept off display.) She only had one set at the end of season one, which meant less work for me. (She wore a different coat, shirt, & pants for that scene, making this even less screen accurate.) Although they may look out of scale, her knives weren’t the petite throwing blades a flatscan knife-thrower would favor. The Hellfire Club kitted her out with daintier knives for both thighs.
New York Toy Fair has been cancelled this year, so an official version would be unveiled via livestream instead. As I’d just made the first season edition, I’d prefer them to go with one of her second season outfits. Her battle gear looks like what if Typhoid & Bloody Mary merged. (Alice Eve did such a great job!) The Mithril shirt look is nice too. Hasbro probably won’t make either since it’d need to make all new molds instead of recycling Jessica Jones. The odds would be better if her show hadn’t been axed, but Hasbro wouldn’t even give the X-Men’s title character his iconic X-wheels.
This was a more intensive custom than Mr. Sinister’s neck & possibly Black Tom. I hope you enjoyed learning how it was made in excruciatingly unnecessary detail. All in all, it’s a less horrifying kitbash than Polaridactyl. Now I have to get to work customizing her red & gold costume nobody else likes! It didn’t even make its way into this collector’s nice range of custom Lorna costumes. In the meantime, here’s some musings about Polaris in the comics.
Polaris was one of the first mutants to develop a secondary mutation before that was officially a thing. (Technically it’d be her tertiary mutation since green hair is her primary mutation.) After she was freed from Malice’s mind control, Zaladane stole her magnetic powers. Lorna has the worst luck! Then she suddenly developed the power to become an Amazonian cheesesteak by absorbing negative emotions. I don’t understand how that works, but we were robbed of an arc on The Gifted where she gets swole with even swoler hair. (Not to mention her gigantic Wolverine hair when she was Malice-possessed immediately before. Season three could’ve had such crazy wigs!) Then she got her old abilities back after Magneto killed her possible sister. Nobody knows what happened to her interim power.
Now that Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver have been re-retconned not to have been Magneto’s kids for more MCU synergy, it seems Lorna has had to pick up double the estranged daughter slack. That’s a disservice to her as an independent character, especially since her characterization had previously been criticized for being too dependent upon Havok. (TV Lorna was more independent of Eclipse despite him being made of better boyfriend material.) Her debut story subverted expectations when it turned out Magneto wasn’t her dad just because they had the same power. Wouldn’t Dr. Moira MacTaggert have told her if he was her pops whilst she was on Muir Isle? This was further corroborated in Age Of Apocalypse when Beast used Mr. Sinister’s resources to confirm they were unrelated. (If you say AOA’s Polaris just had different parents, that opens a giant can of worms as to whom was truly a divergent timeline doppleganger or a genetically distinct individual that conveniently approximated someone from 616.) Since they’d been unrelated for decades, they went overboard with characters verifying this new family tie. This doesn’t even broach whether Lorna & Magneto are related to Zaladane, whom he killed.
Why don’t writers & fans think Lorna is compelling enough without an illustrious daddy? I’m not fond of the retcon, especially since Uncanny X-Men #380 implied she & Magneto were having a fling. Exchanging magnetic energy whilst shirtless sure seemed a Comics Code approved metaphor for boning to me. I doubt Grant Morrison or Chuck Austen had read that issue before they overwrote her parentage anyway. It’s not like it’s an editor’s job to let writers know a revelation could could appear disgusting in light of events from another’s not too distant stint.
Even if you disregard my unpopular headcanon, this retcon didn’t do daughter or dad any favors. It turned out that lil’ Lorna’s powers crashed the plane her mother & stepdad were on. Magneto conveniently shows up moments later & has Mastermind repress this traumatic memory from her, despite that not being how Mastermind’s powers work. That’s the cause of her mental instability. Magneto would continue being an absentee dad until the day Lorna got her DNA results back. Then he threw her a big surprise parade shortly before Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels genocided Genosha. Lorna survived by being buried in nuclear mud & becoming the “black box recorder” for the last moments of millions of dying mutants. (This makes sense in comic book science?) The mental overload would be a good excuse for a sudden daughter delusion, but this random revelation has since been treated as fact.
Leah Williams is very salty about The Gifted fans voting for Polaris in the X-Men vote. Why didn’t she anticipate that Lorna getting recent mainstream exposure would skew the vote? I don’t know why she agreed to put Polaris on the ballot in the first place if it would mean greatly reducing her role in X-Factor. (It contains her & Notrthstar so their codenames can be extra confusing.) Why offer up a character you had longterm plans to spotlight? Don’t blame me; I voted for Tempo! Or you could’ve voted by hair.
Emma Dumont wearing a green bandana with a pink & black plaid shirt in Wrong Turn is closet cosplay of Polaris’s Shi’ar outfit. (They still haven’t explained how Lorna knew Davan Shakari.) Those dastards wouldn’t give her a pink bodysuit! At least art briefly imitated life so she can cosplay herself.
I had my share of issues with The Gifted, but Polaris wasn’t among them. Unlike most adaptations that radically overhaul characters, its Lorna Dane managed to still evoke her core. I would gladly trade Riverdale’s life for more The Gifted. That can’t happen for a variety of reasons, but everybody cross their fingers & toes that Kevin Feige & Ryan Reynolds were also fans of Ms. Dumont’s performance so she can reprise her role in Deadpool 3!