Nation X: X-Factor #1
No, not that X-Factor, and no, not the other one… the new one with Jamie Madrox and crew doing their private eye work in Manhattan. That one. They come to visit Utopia Island, the new home of the X-Men, in this one-shot by invitation for a tour and friendly get-together. Northstar appears in a few panels as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508.
Upon their sudden teleportation arrival, Wolverine tenses up, thinking it’s trouble and cracks a good one, “Been a good day and a half since we had a tussle!” The X-Men have been continually attacked, invaded, assaulted and generally under siege constantly since moving to Utopia Island, so the little in-joke by Peter David really gave me a chuckle. Northstar and Pixie drop in just after X-Factor arrives, and strangely, Madrox doesn’t remember Northstar at first. Note that they met in Alpha Flight #107 and fought together in the graveyard in that issue when Northstar used his super-fast punching power to help Jamie create many copies of himself in a short time. They also met again in the Infinity Crusade and Infinity War series, so it’s sort of odd that he’s unfamiliar to him. It has been almost 20 years in our time, and Jamie did remember who he was after he reminded him, so it’s possible he just forgot his name after all this time.
One particular member of X-Factor, the alien Shatterstar, who has recently taken on a more modern appearance from his archetypical 90s look, briefly flirts with Northstar. Originally meant to be an asexual being struggling with his emotions, Shatterstar is now bisexual, and is currently dating fellow X-Factor teammate Rictor, who is gay, and who quickly puts a halt to each of the flirty introductions. Peter David also mischievously has Shatterstar approach Iceman, just to add fuel to the “Is Iceman gay?” controversy.
Another visitor to Utopia Island brings trouble: a new character called Crone who keeps a book of prophecy. When Professor X and Darwin confront her and confiscate the book, she grows to enormous size, prompting a rescue by Nightcrawler and Northstar. Unfortunately, the book falls into the drink during the rescue and is eaten by one of the swarming sharks (??!?!) who are circling the island.
Northstar is shown with a slightly altered costume from previous appearances: he’s got a white belt and white stripes going down the sides of his arms and legs, along with distinct boots and gloves, not just white portions of costume by his hands and feet. It’s a minor alteration that stands out for those of us who keep track of these sorts of things.
Note: although Mister Jeffries was a member of the X-Men at the time, he does not appear in this issue.