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Marvel Universe 



Marvel Universe

Real Name
Lorna Dane (legal name since adoption, given name unrevealed)

Pestilence, formerly Malice, Polarity, Magnetrix, M-2, Magneto the Second


U.S.A. (presumed)

Place of Birth

First Appearance
(As Lorna Dane) X-Men #49 (1968), (as Magnetrix) X-Men: The Hidden Years #3 (2000); (as Polaris) X-Men #97 (1976)

X-Men #54-58 (1969); X-Men #108 (1977); Uncanny X-Men #144 (1981)

Lorna Dane was orphaned only weeks after her birth when her parents supposedly died in a plane crash. She was adopted by the Danes, a couple who claimed to be her mother's sister and brother-in-law, and did not learn of her adoption or the fate of her birth parents until she was nearly twenty years old.

Lorna had been born with green hair, which she always kept dyed brown so that she would not be seen as "different." Lorna’s hair color was the only outward sign of her latent genetic potential for magnetic powers, but certain genetic factors were absent which would have allowed her to exercise those powers. In the normal course of events, Lorna would never have been able to use these powers. However, the intervention of Samuel "Starr" Saxon, the master roboticist whose brain patterns were later preserved in the Machinesmith, altered the normal course of events. Saxon had constructed an android duplicate of Magneto, the self-styled mutant master of magnetism who was believed dead at the time, and a small army of androids with strange powers called the Demi-Men. Saxon's plans were to use these androids as his means of accumulating vast wealth and power, while deceiving the world into believing them to be examples of evil mutants, who had become objects of widespread fear.

Saxon sought mutants to help lead his army while he gave directions through the Magneto robot. First, Saxon had the robot Magneto recruit the hypnotic mutant Mesmero to serve as second in command. Then, Saxon decided that a mutant who was a natural source of vast magnetic power would be useful in dealing with his metal robot army. Saxon acquired a "psyche-generator" which Mesmero used to summon mutants in North America with latent powers to San Francisco, and the nearest such mutant was Lorna. Mesmero and his androids captured her and placed her inside a genetic stimulator, which altered her genetic structure so as to allow her to exercise her latent powers. Mesmero then used his hypnosis on Lorna to alter her personality so that she would sympathize with the faux Magneto and believe him to be her father.

Shortly afterwards, however, Mesmero dropped his control over Lorna, overconfidently assuming that she would obey her supposed father unquestioningly. Contrarily, after it was revealed to her that Magneto was not her father, Lorna assisted the teenage mutant heroes known as the X-Men in defeating the villains. Lorna subsequently joined the X-Men, and for a time she was romantically inclined towards her teammate Iceman. Eventually, Lorna fell in love with Alex Summers, the X-Man known as Havok. Neither Lorna nor Alex wished to lead lives as costumed adventurers, and after discovering a mutual interest in geophysics the pair left the team and began doctoral research in the Diablo mountain range.

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Lorna and Alex settled in New Mexico, completed their degrees, and occasionally - and reluctantly - aided their former teammates. The pair’s idyllic lifestyle was interrupted when they found themselves hunted by the team of superhuman assassins known as the Marauders. Lorna was possessed by the psionic entity known as Malice, who forced Lorna to attack Alex and the X-Men as the Marauders' leader. Malice later discovered that she and Lorna were permanently bonded due to interference from their individual energy matrices.

Eventually, Malice's hold on Lorna weakened and she was able to contact the X-Men for help. However, they arrived too late to save Lorna from being kidnapped by Zaladane, a priestess from the hidden Antarctic jungle known as the Savage Land. Zaladane claimed to be Lorna's sister, and used a device to transfer Lorna's powers to herself, purging her of Malice's presence in the process. Strangely, as a result, Lorna developed alternate powers, including superhuman strength and nigh-invulnerability, and also grew considerably in height and mass.

Lorna headed for the mutant research station on Muir Island off the coast of Scotland. En route, Lorna discovered that she drew her newfound strength from negative energy after the crew of the freighter she was travelling on began acting strangely. Lorna's new powers drew the attention of the psionic being known as the Shadow King, who used Lorna as a gateway to allow him access to Earth from the astral plane. The X-Men defeated the Shadow King and, after Zaladane was killed by Magneto, Lorna's magnetic powers were restored.

Lorna was subsequently recruited into the new government-sponsored X-Factor where she was at long last reunited with Alex. She became a mainstay of the team, and also became the government's secret weapon against a possible attack by Magneto. Malice returned to plague Lorna once more, but she and Alex attempted to absorb her, preventing the other from being possessed. In the end, Malice perished at the hands of her master, the evil geneticist Mister Sinister.

Later, X-Factor was forced by the government to employ the renowned mutant criminals Mystique and Sabretooth, and Alex seemingly went rogue. As a result, Lorna began to question her place on the team, and her fears were eventually justified after Sabretooth broke free and ran amok. Alex eventually revealed his true plan to stop the sinister machinations of the alternate reality counterpart of the X-Men's Beast, and Lorna forgave him for his actions. However, she could no longer trust him and so called off their relationship. Lorna subsequently rejoined X-Factor only to watch as Alex was seemingly killed in an aircraft explosion.

Weeks later, Lorna encountered the X-Man known as Nightcrawler in a church. She confided in him that she was sure Alex was still alive and that she felt as if she were being followed. A group of shape-shifting alien Skrulls, who were working with the ageless mutant despot Apocalypse, had been following her, and they broke into her apartment to retrieve the headgear from Alex’s original costume. Lorna subsequently learned that she was one of the fabled Twelve, destined to usher in a new golden age for mutantkind. Alongside the X-Men, she travelled to Egypt to battle Apocalypse. During the encounter, Magneto, another member of the Twelve, found that he could use Lorna to tap into the Earth's magnetic field with incredible force, effectively hiding his current reduced-power state.

After Apocalypse was defeated, Lorna travelled with Magneto to the island nation of Genosha to keep him empowered in order to help maintain his rule and to learn more about the nature of her powers from him. Ultimately, Magneto launched a full-scale assault on Carrion Cove, the last city opposing his rule, in order to gain access to technology that would restore his full abilities. Lorna attempted to stop him, but was defeated and left the country only to later return covertly to help oppose Magneto's tyrannical rule.

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Genosha's population was later massacred by the giant mutant-hunting robot Sentinels. Upon investigating, the X-Men found Lorna alive in the ruins, naked and apparently insane. Lorna had been possessed by the ghosts of those who died residing in magnetic fields, and using their memories and her powers she finished building a monument dedicated to Magneto and played his last recorded message to the world.

Lorna returned to the Xavier Institute where she learned that Alex had been discovered alive, albeit comatose. Lorna met Annie Ghazikhanian, the nurse who had cared for Alex in a convalescent home, and callously attacked her. Only Charles Xavier’s intervention prevented Lorna from seriously injuring Annie. Reunited with Alex, Lorna proposed marriage to him, however on the day of their wedding Alex stopped the ceremony and broke off his relationship with her. Incensed, Lorna sought to kill Alex and his new love Annie, but was stopped by Alex's teammate the Juggernaut.

Lorna subsequently sought Xavier's help in discovering the cause of her violent tendencies. Exploring her thoughts, it was revealed that Lorna had learned she was actually Magneto's biological daughter shortly before Genosha had been destroyed. The full repercussions of this revelation have yet to be explored.

Following the advent of "M-Day," Lorna was among the world's mutants who had lost their powers. Though she attempted to keep her depowered state a secret from her teammates, eventually the truth was revealed and she left the team.
Accompanied by Alex, Lorna found herself drawn to the being known as Daap but was captured by Apocalypse shortly after encountering it and transformed into his new Horseman Pestilence. She appears to have been given the ability to ingest and synthesize new plagues, controlling the virulence and particular genetic markers. Pestilence was a critical part of Apocalypse's plan, which was to infect all humanity with a deadly disease and only offer a cure to 10% of them, to bring the numbers of humans and mutants back into balance. When the X-Men crashed Apocalypse's plans, he moved things forward and ordered Pestilence to leave the fight to spread her plague. However, Iceman knocked her out before she could escape. Upon realizing her identity, the X-Men took her into custody after Havok gave her emergency CPR. Polaris was brought back to the Mansion for treatment, where it appears that Beast and Emma Frost were able to clean out all the diseases, and reverse the brainwashing. Lorna left the Mansion to clear her head and figure things out. However, she was attacked by anti-Apocalypse cult soldiers in the desert. But, she did not use her powers for fear that she may lose control. The X-Men came to her aid in defeating the cult members and she was reunited with Havok. Lorna decided to rejoin the team to help Professor Xavier in stopping Vulcan from destroying the Shi'ar Empire.

Contributors: WSST and Acotilletta2