Real Name: Jean-Paul Beaubier
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Northstar can direct kinetic energy into superhuman speed.
Jean-Paul Beaubier was born to a Quebecer family in Montreal, but after his parents died in an automobile accident during his childhood, he and his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie, were separated. Jean-Paul is later adopted, but his adopted parents are killed after only a couple of years. Prior to his debut as a superhero, Beaubier competes as a professional skier. He became an elite level skier during his teenage years, prior to his mutation surfacing. Once he developed his mutant ability he became virtually unbeatable and eventually bored of the sport due to the lack of competition. He becomes an angry and rebellious youth and, as a young adult, joins the Front de Libération du Québec, a terrorist group organized to win independence for Quebec from Canada, however, he soon becomes disgusted with the group's tactics and renounces terrorism. Beaubier then joins Alpha Flight, a superhero group financed by the Canadian government, where he reunites with his sister Jeanne-Marie, who takes the name Aurora.
Jean-Paul takes the name Northstar and has a lengthy career with Alpha Flight. For a brief time, Northstar quits Alpha Flight and returns to his previous profession as a professional skier and competes in the Olympics, but is forced to return his medals when his mutant powers are once again revealed as it is suspected he may have been subconsciously using his powers to give him an edge.
After returning to the team, Northstar adopts an orphaned baby named Joanne, who is infected with HIV. After the child dies, Northstar reveals to his teammates and the public that he is gay.
After Alpha Flight disbands, Northstar writes a memoir called Born Normal about his experiences as being a mutant and gay.
During the Eve of Destruction story arc in Uncanny X-Men #392 (2001), Northstar is recruited to an improvised team of X-Men by Jean Grey who is recruiting familiar and never-before-seen mutants. Along with Wolverine and Cyclops, these are the only X-Men available to rescue Professor X, who has been captured by Magneto and is being kept prisoner in Genosha. Jean meets Northstar at a book-signing appearance, where he is mobbed. One of the crowd turns out to be carrying a gun. Northstar foils his own assassination attempt at superspeed. Later, he meets one of the new mutants, an invulnerable young man who goes by the name of Omerta. This man is very homophobic and it leads to an actual fight between the two on the driveway of the X-Men's mansion. Omerta believes his powers will save him, but a couple dozen punches at superspeed seriously rattles him.
Northstar works with the X-Men to save the life of a mutant child who cannot stop exploding. Despite his speed, Northstar cannot save the boy, who perishes simply because of his powers. Soon after, at the request of Professor X, Northstar soon officially joins the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #414 (2002) and soon becomes an instructor at the Xavier Institute, teaching business, economics, and French. He is also shown teaching flying classes. Northstar becomes a mentor to his own squad of young mutants, Alpha Squadron, and forms a close mentor relationship with student Anole. During his time at Xavier's, he forms a close friendship with Annie Ghazikhanian, a former nurse at the Xavier Institute. Annie realizes that Northstar has developed an attraction to Bobby Drake. Bobby remains oblivious, despite Northstar, who was currently sick, saving him from the misguided anger of a jealous mutant.
In a story-arc in 2005, HYDRA forms an alliance with the cults the Dawn of the White Light and the Hand. The groups had been recruiting new agents from the superhero community by killing, resurrecting, and brainwashing them. The X-Man Wolverine is one of their victims, brainwashed into becoming a HYDRA assassin. He eventually attacks the X-Men. During the battle that follows, Northstar is killed. One of the New Mutants, Elixir, manages to heal Northstar's wounds but is unable to revive him.
S.H.I.E.L.D. requests that Northstar be decapitated in order to prevent a resurrection, but the X-Men are against it. They wish to contact Northstar's family first. Before anything can happen, Northstar's body is stolen by Elektra, another brainwashed victim of HYDRA, though it would later be revealed she is a double agent seeking to infiltrate the Hand. Once in HYDRA's possession, a resurrected Northstar leads an attack with Elektra on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, crippling S.H.I.E.L.D. and putting Nick Fury in critical condition. Northstar also takes the time to kill racists and homophobes all across the country, seemingly at random. Wolverine, who had been deprogrammed of the brainwashing, goes on a killing spree to take down the cults and kill all the active members. Realizing that Northstar's predicament is his fault, Wolverine tries helping his former teammate. They meet in a small bar to talk things out. Wolverine realizes Northstar has regained his 'flash', the ability to generate a brief blinding light. Northstar refuses to listen and Wolverine is attacked by the other Dawn of the White Light mutants. He is subdued and taken to their base. There, Wolverine activates a trio of decommissioned Sentinels from S.H.I.E.L.D. and has them kill all the mutants except for Northstar. When Northstar refuses to tell Wolverine the location of HYDRA's command center, Wolverine knocks him out and calls S.H.I.E.L.D. to pick him up and psychologically "deprogram" him. Although the "deprogramming" procedure that is used on Wolverine is deemed a success, this would not be the case for Northstar. A recovering Nick Fury is seen making a report to the X-Men's Kitty Pryde that Northstar's body had never been found after Elektra had stolen it. Fury explains that Northstar is presumed dead, even though Northstar is very much alive (and apparently insane) and in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
Not long afterward, the mysterious group of superhumans known as The Children of the Vault abducts Northstar from the S.H.I.E.L.D. holding facility in order to use him and Aurora to kill their enemies, Sabretooth and the X-Men. They attack the school under The Children's command and make quick work of several X-Men, notably Iceman and Anole, whose encounter with Northstar briefly shakes him from mind-control. Leaving Aurora to battle the X-Men, Northstar begins a search of Sabretooth before encountering Rogue. As Rogue uses Northstar's powers against him, the two battle in high-speed until Cable appears and psychically subdues Northstar.
In X-Men Annual #1 the X-Men take Northstar and Aurora to the S.H.I.E.L.D. heli-carrier in an attempt to fix the mental damage inflicted on the twins. Using their V.R. equipment the X-Men allow the twins to relive their lives at an accelerated pace. The process is interrupted near the end of the session by Exodus, creating a telepathic connection between the twins. Using each other's emotional support they apparently manage to face their inner turmoils. This allows both brother and sister to gain a higher level of control of their powers, which they use to save Rogue from the Acolyte (and one-time X-Man) known as Frenzy. Northstar and Aurora are presently in the company of the X-Men.
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #120
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
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Xavier Institute Staff (Marvel)
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