- Jean-Paul Beaubier chose to be a great many things. Things we should all admire him for. He chose to be a hero. He chose to be a member of Alpha Flight. He chose to be an X-Man. He chose to be a role model. And recently he chose to be a teacher. He could have stayed on an X-Squad, but he knew that helping you was so important, it needed to be his full-time task. We honor him today for all those choices.
Jean-Paul Beaubier was an infant when his parents were killed in a car crash. He was soon adopted by a family named Martin and separated from his twin Jeanne-Marie. Jean-Paul led a rather lonely childhood, often getting into trouble. As a teen, he attempted to steal from a man named Raymonde Belmonde, who was himself involved in shady dealings. Belmonde helped the young Jean-Paul deal with his emerging super-human powers and perhaps with his homosexuality as well.
Jean-Paul eventually left Belmonde and joined a circus in France as an acrobat. Always fiercely nationalistic, Jean-Paul returned to Quebec and joined a radical Separatist movement called "Le Front de Liberation du Quebec." However, he discovered their terrorist activities and left the group after stopping a bomb on a bus, with no official recognition that he was ever a member. Jean-Paul then decided to turn his passion for skiing into a career, and with his powers of speed quickly became an Olympic champion.
After gaining notoriety as a sport star, he was contacted by James MacDonald Hudson, who had already met Beaubier's twin Jeanne-Marie. Jean-Paul was intrigued to meet the sister he never knew and joined Department H as Alpha Flight's "Northstar." He was present when Alpha Flight first fought the X-Men in Calgary in an attempt to reclaim Wolverine, who had once been Department H's "Weapon X."
Unfortunately, Jean-Paul's abrasive personality made staying a member of Alpha Flight difficult. He was increasingly disdainful of Jeanne-Marie's relationship with Sasquatch (an attitude which may actually have been jealousy), and eventually left the team after a fight with his sister over an implied insult to her propriety. (Aurora then had Sasquatch manipulate her powers so that she was no longer identical to her brother.) While he was not officially a member at the time, Northstar later joined Alpha Flight when Loki's Firefountain opened in Ungava Bay, Canada, because Aurora was suffering from a bout with her schizophrenia at the time. When Phoenix attacked Alpha Flight, blaming them for a psychic distress call she received from her father (Cyclops), Northstar chose Rogue as a target. Rogue kissed Northstar to drain his powers, and immediately became privy to all Jean-Paul's secrets, presumably including his sexual orientation. Interestingly enough, during the ensuing encounter with the Firefountain and the people transformed by it, Northstar agreed to touch Rogue's skin to see if Anodyne had cured her.
Later, Northstar was forced to rejoin Alpha Flight at the Eye of the World when Talisman issued a mystic summons for help in their efforts to free Sasquatch's soul from the realm of the Great Beasts. Upset at being manipulated, he almost left immediately, but Snowbird used her powers to force him to stay. With Northstar's help, Alpha Flight managed to rescue Walter's soul, though Sasquatch's body was destroyed and his soul was now trapped in the box armor.
It was not long before Sasquatch tried to regain a more human form, which led him to locate a humanoid body in another dimension. Unfortunately it turned out to be the Hulk, and Sasquatch refused to displace his former colleague and friend, so his soul again was lost. When Alpha Flight responded to calls to put down the returned (and rampaging) Hulk, Northstar and Aurora tried to use their gestalt light powers, but instead their touch shorted each other's powers out, due to the genetic changes Sasquatch had performed on Aurora.
Northstar stayed with the reconstituted Alpha Flight for quite some time after that. Eventually his past as a terrorist was revealed to all (though Alpha had known for some time) when his former commander began killing off his subordinates and Jean-Paul was forced to save them. Fortunately, because he took part only in very limited terrorist activities, none of them murderous, Northstar was pardoned by the Canadian government.
Shortly thereafter, Jean-Paul took up skiing again as a means of distancing himself from Aurora's new relationship with Roger Bochs. His secret identity was inadvertently revealed to the world when he rescued a skier who had been accidentally mind-controlled by Kara Killgrave. Because Northstar could not prove that he never used his powers in competition, he was stripped of his medals from his amateur career. Meanwhile, Kara Kilgrave tracked Jean-Paul down and apologized, but then succumbed to her fantasies and "persuaded" Northstar to be her boyfriend and take her to a remote island. While Jean-Paul swam in the ocean, Kilgrave's pheromones washed off and he grew very angry with her, so she returned them both to Alpha Flight.
Weeks later, Jean-Paul contracted a mysterious illness that resulted in a hacking cough and limited his healing. Then, during a battle with Pestilence, the villain accelerated Jean-Paul's illness even more, though seemingly not to fatal levels. At the same time, Aurora's schizophrenia worsened and she appeared on the edge of insanity. Recalling the Firefountain in Ungava Bay, which had evolved those who touched it to their fullest potential, Alpha Flight traveled to the north in the hopes of finding a cure. Journeying into a dark netherworld, Northstar took a turn for the worse, and Aurora volunteered to stay behind with him while their comrades continued the search. In the meantime, the twins were contacted by Loki, who informed them that they were really half-elves, and that being away from their true home was causing their respective illnesses. Aurora then expended all of her light to heal Northstar, but was drained and abducted by demons. The other Alphans recovered Northstar and escaped, but sealed Puck and Aurora in the netherworld behind them. Then a shining gate opened and Northstar ascended to join his people in Alfheim.
Unfortunately, Loki had lied, and the elves revealed that Northstar and Aurora could not have been elvish at all. However, the elder gods had already punished Loki for his manipulation, so at least none of the Trickster's plans for Northstar came to fruition. Still, Northstar was trapped in Asgard until some reserve Alphans found a way to rescue him - just in time, as he had been captured by trolls intending to sacrifice and eat him. In a case of "out of the frying pan and into the fire," the Alphans (including Northstar and the now-powerless Aurora, who had been rescued earlier) battled Llan the Sorcerer, who was the reason the expedition to Asgard had been organized in the first place, as Alpha Flight needed every member for the conflict. Aurora was soon beaten down and nearly eaten by demons, so to save her life, Northstar tried to transfer his power to her, just as she had done for him months before. The transfer worked, and the twins were again able to generate their blazing light, which helped the rest of the team beat Llan and his minions.
Northstar remained an active member of a reorganized Alpha Flight for a while, surviving through the apparent abduction of his sister and then finding her again as a prisoner of Headlok. Following Headlok's defeat and Aurora's return to active duty, Jean-Paul discovered a baby abandoned in a dumpster, while in combat with the rest of the team. The child was HIV-positive and had already manifested AIDS symptoms, but Jean-Paul adopted her and named her Joanne. Sadly, Joanne died shortly thereafter, but her life and death catalyzed something inside Northstar, and he called a press conference at which he announced he was a homosexual. Northstar remained a member of Alpha Flight while the team was in existence, but left angrily during a suspension of operations due to anti-mutant sentiments.
Northstar spent much of his time in this period searching for Aurora, who had disappeared following her breakup with Weapon Omega/Wildchild. He managed to stop her from killing Wildchild in a fit and brought her back to Canada for treatment, but she was abducted (and later released) by the Brotherhood of Mutants. Northstar eventually found her, half-insane, in the school in which she had grown up and taught. Though she eluded his grasp, Jean-Paul eventually got her treated with the help of his original Alpha Flight teammates, who discovered that Jeanne-Marie's worsened condition was part of a plot by Department H to destabilize certain mutants. The original team was reinstated, but Northstar stayed only a short time.
Northstar left the team to publish an autobiography called "Born Normal," and it was at one of his book signings that Jean Grey came to recruit him for a mission to Genosha. Jean-Paul initially dismissed the idea, but then agreed to join her. At the Mansion, however, Jean-Paul immediately came into conflict with the homosexual-weary Paulie Provenzano. Still, he accompanied this "interim" team of X-Men, and actually had to save Paulie's life, giving the other mutant a new respect for him. Once Magneto's plans for world conquest were derailed, Northstar returned to his civilian life.
Teaching at the Xavier Institute
With the "outing" of the X-Men as mutants and the vast expansion of the Xavier Institute, Charles Xavier himself approached Northstar with an offer to teach business and economics to his students. Jean-Paul refused at first, but did grant a request by Xavier to support the X-Men field team operating nearby as they collected a new mutant. The mutant, a boy named Peter, turned out to possess an explosive field that decimated everything within a three- to four-foot radius, and Northstar insisted on flying him to a hospital, so the Blackbird aircraft would not be damaged. Along the way the two mutants struck up conversation and came to accept each other (despite the ten-year-olds uneasiness towards homosexuals), but then Peter's powers flared twice more, and on the second time, Northstar was knocked out and they fell to the ground. Peter suffered severe internal injuries, and despite Xavier's assistance, the boy died. Northstar himself was heavily wounded, but as soon as he regained consciousness he accepted Xavier's offer and transferred to the Institute's faculty.
Northstar functioned as an X-Man for a while, but after the Institute's reorganization and expansion, he decided to teach full-time, and mentored the Alpha Squadron. Recently, while Wolverine was a brainwashed operative of Hydra, Northstar was stabbed by Logan's claws and killed. However, before his body could be disposed of, it was captured by HYDRA, who resurrected him and gave him leadership of the Dawn of the White Light, a death cult of mutants. He also participated in an attack on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier causing it to crash. Wolverine, having been deprogrammed, tracked Northstar down and subdued him, killing most of the death cult mutants. Northstar was handed over to S.H.I.E.L.D., but his deprogramming did not work as well as Wolverine's. At this point, he remained held by S.H.I.E.L.D., though Nick Fury has denied his presence, and only Wolverine, if anyone, knows the truth.
Northstar was later brainwashed by Children of the Vault and fought the X-Men with his sister, Aurora. He was defeated by Cable who arrived right on time. Later his memories were pieced together and his mind 'healed' by SHIELD equipment.
Divided We Stand and Secret Invasion
Following the House of M and Civil War, Northstar sought out Anole, a former student at the Institute who fell in love with Northstar. He tried to convince the young mutant to return with the X-Men, but was attacked and beaten, told to warn the X-Men to leave Anole alone.
Rejoining the X-Men
After the defeat of the Skrulls, Jean-Paul was approached by Wolverine to become a member of the X-Men in order to fill a power gap in their lineup. He agreed to join after being assured that it was not a PR stunt by the X-Men because he is openly gay.
Later while training Surge in the use of super-speed, Northstar stops to give an interview. During the interview he finds out about Simon Trask's Proposition X. He runs back to the X-Men and threatens to quit and go back to Canada. However, he remains with the X-Men throughout several missions, including confrontations with Norman Osborn's Dark X-Men and a rescue mission to retrieve Illyana Rasputin after she is banished to Limbo during the events of surrounding the return of Hope Summers.
A temporal copy of Northstar—from a period of time shortly before the apparent death of Guardian at the hands of Jerry Jaxon—was introduced near the end of the third Alpha Flight series, along with an entire team of early Alpha Flight members.This Northstar is last seen with a similarly time-displaced Aurora, still operating in the Earth-616 present.
During the Chaos War, Northstar alongside Aurora, Sasquatch, and Snowbird are reunited with a resurrected Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman, and Marrina Smallwood.
Rejoining the Alpha Flight
As his old friends reformed Alpha Flight, Northstar returned to Canada and began living with his boyfriend. He refused to rejoin Alpha Flight at first, but reconsidered so he could keep an eye on what he believed to be troubling behavior from his sister.
Northstar is a mutant and has displayed the following powers:
- Gestalt Photokinesis: Originally he could only generate light when in physical contact with his twin sister Aurora. Should he link hands with Aurora, they could generate a light equivalent to a lighthouse beacon (one million foot candles) by each sibling’s varying the rate of acceleration of his or her own molecules out of phase with those of the other’s.
- Photokinesis: can generate from his body a bright white light equivalent at maximum intensity to half million-foot candles. He does so by varying the rate of acceleration of the molecules of his body out of phase with one another, thereby generating a cascade of photonic discharges.
- Concussive Blasts: ability to send out powerful concussive blasts that can do considerable damage. He can project these from his hands and out from his body in a series of concussive bursts.
- Superhuman Speed: possesses the ability to propel his body at superhuman speed, becoming a living projectile. Through an act of concentration, Northstar can channel a portion of the kinetic energy of the atomic motion in his body’s molecules in a single direction. This can accelerate his body in a velocity in direct proportions to the amount of kinetic energy he has tapped. It was once theoretically possible for him to reach 99% of the speed of light (186, 272 miles per second in a vacuum), although he never traveled at anywhere near that speed since if he did, he would wreak great damage upon himself and his environment. Northstar can also move a portion of his body at superhuman speed at a time.
- Heightened Reflexes: possesses reflexes far above the average human. Reflexes are so advanced that he can go through an entire apartment, checking all the rooms and taking out the survivors in just mere seconds.
- Accelerated Metabolism: possesses a boosted metabolism that can be used to heal wounds quickly.
- Enhanced Durability: as a side effect of partially robbing his molecules of their atomic motion, the binding forces within and between the molecules increase. This enhances the sheer toughness of Northstar's entire body. This effect gives his skin enough durability to withstand the ravages of wind, friction and air turbulence.
- G-Force Compensation: ability to use his super speed to automatically compensate for any G-Force difference.
- Flight: ability to propel himself through the air. To hover in mid-air Northstar applies thrust downward in a carefully controlled manner. When carrying another, unprotected human being aloft, Northstar does not move faster than 60 miles per hour in order that his "passenger" may be able to breathe easily (Northstar himself can breathe at somewhat higher rates due to training) and so that the "passenger" will not suffer harm from wind, friction, or air turbulence.
Northstar is a world-class professional skier, skilled trapeze artist, and an accomplished novelist. He also speaks fluent French. After resurrection by The Hand, Northstar has been trained in the deadly martial arts. Northstar is very skilled in aerial combat.
Normal human male with intensive regular exercise.
Northstar's costumes are modified so they do not tear when he uses his powers. Northstar wore a visor for a time after becoming a member of the X-Men
X-Men Blackbird, formerly Alpha Flight's "Omnijet"
- Loki once claimed that the mother of Northstar and Aurora was a Norse elf named Danae.
- Northstar is one of the first openly gay superheroes.
- X-Men #120 (first appearaqnce)
- Alpha Flight #10 (origin)
- Alpha Flight #106 (revealed as gay, adopts baby girl with AIDS)
- Uncanny X-Men #392 (joins X-Men for the first time)
- Uncanny X-Men #414 (rejoins the X-Men)
- New X-Men Vol 2 #13, Wolverine Vol 3 #25-#31 (killed & resurrected by Hydra, turns evil)
- X-Men Annual Vol 2 #2007 (restored back to normal)
- Uncanny X-Men #508 (rejoins the X-Men in California)
- 332 Appearances of Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616)
- Media Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 73 Images featuring Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616)
- 16 Quotations by or about Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Jean-Paul Beaubier (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Northstar
- Northstar Fans Character fan site
- AlphaFlight.Net Alphanex Entry On - Northstar
- UncannyXmen.net, spotlight on Northstar
- MutantHigh, Northstar Profile
- OHMU Deluxe Edition #9 (August 1986)
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