Comics · Queer

A to Z: Northstar

Northstar is another Marvel hero, originally of the Canadian team Alpha Flight, later of the X-Men. His powers have to do with superspeed, but without the mystical associations of the Flash. He’s more of the Superman type than anything else, by virtue of his secondary powers — invulnerability, flight, etc. Mostly those are related to the superspeed, for instance having to be invulnerable to withstand that kind of friction.

Northstar has landmark status for two reasons: First openly gay character in Marvel Comics after coming out in 1992, and his wedding to Kyle Jinadu in 2012. That was another big media thing, because some anti-gay organizations latched onto it… I don’t think many little kids were reading Astonishing X-Men at that point, and if they were all the mind control plots would’ve been a lot more traumatic than a wedding constituting the one bright spot in the arc, but you know.

Northstar Astonishing X-Men 51 cover

Some fans actually take have a problem with Northstar and Kyle’s wedding because the comic jumps from “serious relationship problems” straight to “marriage,” and with that I agree. They weren’t ready to get married. However, they’d just been through an intense arc, and I can understand them wanting to make the connection while they could!

I don’t know Northstar terribly well, just from one book and an alternate-universe appearance, but he’s a very interesting character and a good one to know if you’re into LGBT+ representation!

Recommended Reading:

  • Astonishing X-Men Vol. 10: Northstar by Marjorie Liu. (pub. 2013, ISBN not included because there’s some confusion on Amazon, but the title’ll do ya). This volume comes in the middle of an arc, so some things don’t have introductions or conclusions, but you get a pretty good grasp on the arc and the character from this, and it includes the wedding. The volume also contains the (terrible) old coming-out issue. But if you’re looking for those individually, the wedding is Astonishing X-Men #51 and the coming-out issue is Alpha Flight #106.
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13 thoughts on “A to Z: Northstar

  1. It’s a beautiful cover, at least. I would be pretty disappointed over the fan’s concerns, it sounds like… but, not every relationship can be perfect!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice note about traumatic mind control plots and perspective. I just don’t understand people. On a slightly different note, where I am they are finally introducing LGBT aspects into the sex-ed curriculum in schools, and there’s all these protests! So crazy. I look at the changes and say, “About time!”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This is in Canada, sadly. Gay marriage may be legal here, but we still have our social conservative groups who don’t want the schools to teach their kids anything useful about sex.

        Like

  3. Oh yeah, I remember this one. Some people were losing their **** over it. And wasn’t it soon after this that DC announced the Green Lantern was gay?… Also, I agree with the relationship part, but I think it’s good that they were portrayed as a realistic couple, and not a perfect fairy tale thing.

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary – Epics from A to Z
    MopDog – 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apt description. And yep, I think this, Green Lantern, and Kevin Keller’s wedding all happened around the same time!

      That’s a good point. There’s no reason their relationship has to be perfect. The writing was a little rushed, they do jump straight from “relationship problem” to “happy wedding,” but hey. It happens.

      Like

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