Northstar in Uncanny X-Men #531

Uncanny X-Men #531
Feb 2011

The “Quarantine” story arc continues in this issue as part two unfolds. The X-Men on Utopia are suffering from the HX-N1 virus, a mutant-only illness that causes power loss and, apparently, a lot of sweating. The quarantine strictly covers the X-Men’s island headquarters of Utopia, leaving only a small handful of mutants unaffected, including Northstar, who appears in two panels as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in issue #505.

Northstar is one of the mutants organized by Angel into a de facto team also consisting of Storm, Pixie and Northstar’s new BFF, Dazzler. The team intersects with two ongoing plot threads that had been isolated up until this point:

First, they show up at a scene of destruction in San Francisco caused by an impostor team of X-Men. Angel calls into base, reporting that they got there as fast as they could, to which Northstar responds, “Ahem.” It’s his only line in the entire comic and is just so perfectly arrogant while also introducing him as a superspeedster in the caption above. It’s a quick little bit of characterization by writers Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen. Wait, who? Yes, Fraction is phasing out of Uncanny as Gillen phases in, a somewhat welcome change to the creative team.

Second, the de facto team is sent by Cyclops to intercept The Collective Man, an old, old Alpha Flight baddie that Sasquatch fought one-on-one (and lost!) in the Contest of Champions series from 1982. After ignoring Pixie’s request to stand down, the de facto team swarms in, as depicted in a Storm-centric splash page, with Northstar flying alongside. Greg Land traces him in a pose he typically uses for flying characters, seen from an aspect that obscures the character’s legs, and without the circumscribed “X” on his costume.

Note: Dazzler’s butt does not appear in this issue.



4 Responses to “Northstar in Uncanny X-Men #531”

  1. Flightpath07 Says:

    No ands, ifs, or butts…sigh…

  2. Flightpath07 Says:

    btw, not a big fan of that ‘flying pose’ … looks like lazy art to me…

    • Suzene Says:

      This. That doesn’t read “flying” to me so much as “plummeting”.

      Why does Northstar only seem to get any page time when Land’s on art duties?

      • rplass Says:

        By the numbers: There have been 24 issues of Uncanny since Northstar re-upped in issue #508 inclusive of issue #532 and exclusive of #520 in which Alpha Flight did not appear. Of those, Greg Land traced 11 of those issues. Northstar appeared in 10 of those issues and 5 other issues penciled by either Dodson or Portacio. So the actual rate is 2:1

        By comparison, Jeffries appeared in 6 of the 11 issues traced by Land and 12 issues pencilied by either Pacquette, Dodson, Portacio or Tolibao, a rate of 1:2.

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