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Northstar (born Jean-Paul Beaubier) is the haughty mutant speedster affiliated with the X-Men.

Origin

Jean-Paul Beaubier and his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie, were orphaned almost immediately after their birth when their parents were killed in a car crash. The twins were taken in by their mother's cousin, however, due to finances, they were forced to send Jeanne-Marie to a private catholic school. Jean-Paul was placed in a foster home at the age of six when his guardians passed away, forcing him to grow up unaware that he even had a sister.

During his teen years, Jean-Paul took to stealing and was eventually caught by Raymonde Belmonde. Belmonde took him in and became his mentor, helping Jean-Paul to come to terms with his mutant powers and sexuality. Jean-Paul also spent some time in a circus, becoming a talented trapeze artist and creating the family he never had with his fellow performers. However, Jean-Paul still had quite a bit of pent up anger and frustration within him which he ultimately expressed by joining the separatist Front de Libération du Québec movement.

Jean-Paul acted as a courier for the Libération before he reliased that their tactics were too violent when he was forced to save the lives of innocent bystanders from one of their bombs. Jean-Paul quickly severed all ties with the Front after this incident. Some time later, Jean Paul secretly used his mutant powers to become an Olympic world ski champion, earning him a bundle of fame and wealth. This fame brought him to the attention of James Hudson, who worked for the Canadian government, and was the founder of the team of super humans known as Alpha Flight.

Hudson had already recruited Jeanne-Marie and his wife, Heather, noticed a resemblance between the two from a newspaper article about Jean-Paul. Thrilled to be reunited with the sister he had never known, Jean-Paul joined Alpha Flight. Adding to the twins surprise was the intense blinding light that was generated when the two touched.

Creation

Northstar was created by John Byrne and Chris Claremont along with his sister Aurora and Alpha Flight. Northstar first appeared in the Uncanny X-Men vol 1 #120 (4/1979) written by Claremont, drawn by Byrne (pencils) and Terry Austin (inks). When Byrne began writing Alpha Flight, he decided to make one of the characters gay, and felt that Northstar was the perfect person. However, comic codes at the time prevented him from doing anything but hint at Jean-Paul's sexuality.

Major Story Arcs

Alpha Flight

As Northstar, Jean-Paul accompanied his sister on many missions with Alpha Flight. Unfortunately their relationship often had its ups and downs, especially when he found that Aurora suffered from a dual personality. As Aurora began to switch personalities more frequently, Northstar insisted that she receive psychiatric help.

Later, Aurora accompanied Northstar to visit his old mentor, Belmonde, but the reunion turned to tragedy after Belmonde was killed by Ernest St. Ives, also known as Deadly Ernest. He mistakenly believed Aurora to be Belmonde’s daughter and kidnapped her. However, with the help of the enigmatic Nemesis, Northstar manages to rescue his sister and St. Ives was seemingly killed. The siblings later argued over Northstar's mistaken assumption that Aurora had romanced St. Ives in order to prevent him from harming her. Shocked at her brother's arrogance and insolence, Aurora angrily told him she never wanted to see him again.

Although Northstar pleaded for forgiveness, Aurora would not accept his apology and eventually ceased operating as a member of Alpha Flight altogether. After the apparent death of Walter Langowski, the twins reconcile their differences, and come together to help defeat a rampaging Hulk in Vancouver. Unfortunately, the twins also found out that when they touched, they now temporarily canceled each others powers due to Aurora's previous alterations on her physiology. Soon after, Northstar's terrorist past was pardoned by the Prime Minister, when he helped to capture a serial killer who was targeting former members of his old terrorist organization.

Versus Loki and Asgard

A short time later, Northstar grew severely ill, and while Alpha Flight sought a cure, the Norse God Loki appeared to Aurora and Northstar, convincing them both that they were not mutants at all, but rather half-elves. This, he said, was the reason why Northstar was dying, as he would not be able to survive without the light that the twins had once shared. Aurora willingly expended her powers to bathe Northstar in her light, finally curing him.

Both of the mutants then traveled to the Elven lands, however Aurora was immediately captured by demons and became trapped in the Asgardian netherworld, while Northstar was welcomed into Asgard by his supposed brethren. Loki was summoned before the higher Gods who berated him for lying to the twins about their heritage. In order to atone for his misdeeds, Loki transported Aurora from the netherworld to the Sainte-Anne de Beaupré monastery in Quebec, but was sent to the netherworld himself as punishment.

Northstar remained in Asgard until his teammates came to his rescue before he could be sacrificed by the Dark Elves who worshiped Llan the Sorcerer. A battle with Llan soon followed, and it was here that Northstar used his powers to restore Aurora's mutant gifts, although the twins could now create a bright light individually.

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