Featured Columns

December 4, 2016

Character Spotlight: Northstar

Faster than a speeding bullet. Able to fly and move just shy of the speed of light. A hero of two team’s, a twin, and a mutant. Who is he? Northstar! A hero with a dangerous past. Where does this all start? Let’s find out!

Jean-Paul Beaubier was born along with his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie, the two would live with their parents until a terrible car accident killed their parents. The twins were separated and Jean-Paul would go live with a new family. He’d spend his time becoming a world-class skier and winning many medals inclusing Olympic gold. Soon, his mutant powers came into existence and his skills enhanced so much that skiing was no longer a challenge.


Finding like-minded individuals who believed in Quebec being free from Canada, Jean-Paul would join an organization until he learned they were willing to commit acts of terrorism. He’d leave in disgust after rescuing a bus full of people that would have been their next target. He’d learn that Canada was forming a super team and offered his powers to the cause. He’d learn that his sister had also joined the team, having developed her own mutant powers. Furthermore, the two would learn that when they touched they gained a new power that allowed them to create a blinding light.


The twins would turn out to have a tumultuous relationship as adults, frequently fighting until Jean-Paul would leave the team and rejoin several times. While on a skiing trip Jean-Paul would have to publicly show he was a mutant to save a life. This brought all his skiing medals under suspicion so he gave them up since he couldn’t tell when his powers activated either.


While on a mission, Jean-Paul would find an abandoned baby who had AIDS, he take the child in and raise her until the illness took her. Jean-Paul became outspoken about AIDS and helping those who had it and helping others get tested. He’d also come out as gay, quit the team and right a book about his life as a gay mutant hero.


His book a success, he would soon be recruited by the X-Men to help out in the United States. He’d often help young mutants who were entering the Xavier Institute. Things would get hectic when Jean-Paul would be killed by the cult, the Dawn of the White Light and the deadly Hand. The Hand don’t like to waste a dead body so they revived him under their control, using him for nefarious purposes. Eventually he’d be saved by S.H.I.E.L.D. but while in a mentally vulnerable state, was kidnapped and brainwashed by another group and had to struggle his way back to his own freedom.


Deciding to take and break from heroics, Northstar would get back into snow sports for fun and become a celebrity for it again. He’d even start selling his own brand of sporting goods. Finding financial success he’d also find love with and man named Kyle and eventually the two would be married with many heroes in attendance. Jean-Paul would come back to working with the X-Men along with his sister and the two have as argumentative a relationship as ever.

There you have it! Northstar is an important character in comics as one of the earliest openly gay characters and the first to have a wedding in comics. Though he seems to have disappeared for the most part, many mutants have also followed him in just bot having much air time. Which is also shame. Northstar had a wedding issue but should have followed suit with a series of being a married couple. Hopefully some day sooner Tha ┬álater we’ll get that book or something like it. See you next time.

Suggested Reading
X-Men #120
Alpha Flight
Marvel Fanfare #28

Dr. Bustos


One Comment

  1. Marvel REALLY dropped the ball when they did basically NOTHING with Northstar after that huge wedding issue. It’s things like that that make fans look at Marvel with a side eye because all of that looked very opportunistic to just cash in on Northstar being gay.

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