Lorna Dane (Polaris) & Remy LeBeau (Gambit) // All New X-Factor #1
I wasn’t originally going to word vomit about this, I was just going to sit back and bask in the magic of it, but holy shit no I can’t hold myself back. I had no idea about All New X-Factor because I’m kind of out of the loop unless it’s about Thor lately (I know, I know, shame on me) so seeing the panels of Pietro popping up here yesterday were a complete surprise to me! Which means I knew about it before picking this issue up, but it in no way lessened my joy to read about it because ♥ ♥ ♥ LORNA AND PIETRO OMG. ♥ ♥ ♥
Literally, the only way this could have been better is if you’d dropped Magneto or Crystal into the picture. Or Wanda! But the heart of what I really wanted was Lorna and Pietro interaction because PAD is pretty fucking magical when he’s on the ball, when he does that sibling dynamic that works so well for them. One of the comics that I think stands the test of time more than anything are PAD’s run on the first volume of X-Factor, back in the ‘90s, where he did so very much to define some of those characters, including Lorna and Pietro. And that was even before we officially knew that Lorna was Magneto’s daughter!
The thing about the writing when PAD’s on the ball is that he does his homework and pays attention to detail, which will come up in his writing. He likes experimenting with their powers, he likes creating new definitions for them, but he does it in a way that’s building on what came before. Even in this issue, he’s already referencing things that happened recently with the characters (Remy’s interactions with Joelle, the last time Pietro and Lorna saw each other, Pietro’s falling out with the Avengers, etc.) and will build forward from those things.
But he also establishes the characters on their own. Already Lorna’s doing amazing in a leadership role and it’s so great to see my baby girl just being totally badass. The scene on the plane where she casually takes out an air missile without thinking about it, the absolutely confident way she carries herself in the conversation with Remy, both in charge and still warm-hearted, THAT IS MY GIRL. Almost nobody has Lorna feelings like I have Lorna feelings and this issue was great for me as a Lorna fan.
It’s also great for me as a fan of the Magnus family fuckery because you don’t understand how great it is that Lorna is cool and calm and collected and in charge for everything we see of her… until Pietro shows up. Until her brother shows up and then it’s immediately snapping into that kind of banter that siblings have, the way only family can just totally wreck your cool.
And that’s why I love Pietro, too. Oh, my poor precious darling, he really wants a family but he’s so screwed up that it keeps getting wrecked for him and he really is trying, but in a lot of ways he doesn’t know how to take responsibility for his actions and that’s why he’s had all these falling outs with people, why he’s so distant from Crystal and Luna. Not that I really blame him for being at odds with the Avengers because I don’t care how sympathetic your reasons are, you can’t expect to be forgiven for being the “good guys” and yet they were going to kill his sister. Maybe their backs were against the wall or whatever, but I am 100% okay with Pietro not being able to stand being in the same room with anyone who voted for that and that it eventually eats away at any teamwork they might have had.
And, yeah, House of M wasn’t justified and he definitely spiraled out of control after that (though, it’s interesting how little attention is paid to all the times Pietro has been mind-controlled and nobody says anything about how that affects his actions and mental state), but I think it’s interesting that they’ve clearly shown that Pietro has been dealt some pretty bad hands.
That’s why I love this line-up, because Pietro has a sense of family here and it's good here. It’s ouchy, because they are family and they do have the ability to hurt each other, but they also both know that their bio-dad is a piece of shit (look, I love him and I find him fascinating, because he’s incredibly complicated and has his reasons, but from their point of view, he’s a piece of shit) and yet part of them craves that approval, even as they rebel against it. Pietro and Lorna understand each other so well, which means seeing them on the same team again is really great for me.
But also I just really love this because OMFG PIETRO YOUR ENTRANCE IS THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. Thank you for coming in crotch first, you are a gift for me. And then there’s Remy’s snarky comments along the way and it’s just.
Bless you, PAD, for a team with Pietro, Lorna, and Remy on it is the greatest gift I could have ever asked for.
Nobody has feelings like I have Lorna Dane feelings.
The first time I saw those top three panels, after Gambit had been whisked away and now Pietro was taken as well, I thought, oh no. The moment her teammates are taken, Lorna falls to her knees in despair? Really? Not even an attempt to reach after them or look around or anything? Shock in the moment is totally understandable, but instant collapsing as soon as her teammates are gone? Sigh, okay.
This is in the span of a moment’s thought, mind. And then I read on, where I saw Lorna’s fucking FURIOUS face and then I saw her spreading her arms out, saying, you want to play with me? FINE, LET’S PLAY.
And then she just WRECKS SHIT.
Let me roll around on the floor in the sheer amount of Lorna feelings I have for a few minutes here, because you do not understand the depths of my love for Lorna THE LOVE OF MY LIFE Dane.