Way back after X-men came to theaters I, like I am sure many others might have, went in for a subscription to the comic. During that time I got my hands on Uncanny X-men #414, the issue Northstar joins the the team. I hadn’t heard of him but after reading I felt like I got to know a good bit on what this guy was about. Thinking back on 414 and picking up Astonishing X-men #51, getting to know characters like Northstar is the sort of thing that makes being a reader most rewarding. Here’s why!
So right off the bat Northstar is a gay. And he owns his own company. And he is actually quite successful. And he’s also a bit of a jerk, but hey, we let Tony Stark get away with worse. That’s just where he starts off; practically ten years ago in our time. Since then I’ve learned tons of things on comics, academically and as a reader. Now I read back on 414 and I think to myself, “OH, of course that’s Sean Phillips!” I could see it in every panel that this was the same guy who drew the Criminal series. Since 414 Northstar became a member of the X-men, taught at the Xavier Institute, became a better hero because of his experiences at the school, and fell in love.
414 told me that Northstar could be a team player again, that despite being a jerk and much like Tony Stark, he really did care about saving people; gay, mutant, or otherwise. It’s that sort of character that really makes a readership. Look at Booster Gold or Guy Gardner fans, there are few but those readers are true die-hards to those characters. On the surface, they can be annoying or completely unlovable but they are true heroes to the core and awesome.
Not only was he one of the first openly gay superheroes in print, he’s the first to get married. It’s that sort of moment that makes a long time reader proud and rewarded for having stuck around. Sort of like watching that episode of Justice League Unlimited, when Booster Gold gets to save the day and get the girl.
This time though, Northstar gets the guy. Looks like he one-upped Tony Stark after all…