Dr. Polaris

Dr. Polaris

(pop culture)
Steel girders and tools from a construction site torpedo toward the flying Emerald Crusader on the cover of Green Lantern vol. 2 #21 (1962), courtesy of “The Man Who Mastered Magnetism!”—Dr. Polaris, created by writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane. Dr. Neal Emerson is an amiable physicist who becomes a media darling by exalting the medical benefits of polarity, earning him the nickname “Dr. Polaris.” Continual exposure to electromagnetism causes Emerson to develop a good/evil split personality, his malevolent side pulling him to crime. Adopting the supervillain guise of Dr. Polaris and wielding a magnetic gun that attracts, repels, and levitates metal objects, Polaris pummels Green Lantern (GL), who luckily beats his new foe by coaxing out Emerson's benign personality. Emerson's warring psyche made Dr. Polaris an unpredictable enemy. He eventually learned to internally generate his magnetic powers, abandoning his weapon. With each encounter with GL, Polaris became more dangerous. He clobbered the hero with his “magnetic fist” in Green Lantern #47 (1966) and funneled flailing innocents into a magnetic field in #135 (1976). As his powers and madness have increased, so has his worldview—thirsting for world domination, Polaris has skirmished with numerous DC Comics superheroes, including the Justice League, the Teen Titans, Steel, the Ray, and the Flash. After years of Jekyll/Hyde personality struggles, Polaris sold Emerson's benevolent soul to the demon Neron in the 1995 crossover Underworld Unleashed in exchange for even greater power. Despite his near-infinite power and ability to connect with Earth's magnetic field, Dr. Polaris sought Superman's aid in Action Comics #827 (2005) to ward off a new “mistress of magnetism” named Repulse. He was apparently killed during a hero-versus-villain death duel in Infinite Crisis #1 (2005), when the superhero the Human Bomb, incensed over the murder of his Freedom Fighters teammate the Phantom Lady, blew Polaris to bits.