X-Men Giant Size #1
No, not Giant-Size X-Men #1 from 1975, the one-shot that relaunched the adjectiveless X-Men title later renamed Uncanny X-Men. Flip around the title and you get this book – a one-shot out of the adjectiveless X-Men title that started up in 2010. By reversing the title, “Giant Size” no longer modifies “X-Men”, and it’s a good thing because it’s hardly giant – just a 40pg issue, not the 68 pages we used to get. Northstar appears in a few panels as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508.
Utopia, the island home of the X-Men, is invaded yet again, this time by the Neo, a group of super-evolved mutants who have also experienced depowerment and an inability to procreate as a result of the Scarlet Witch’s reality-altering in House of M. Inexplicably, they launch an all-out assault on the island and just about every inhabitant of the island comes out to its defense, including Northstar. Unfortunately, due to the enormous number of mutants on the island, this is one of those issues where nearly everyone (not Mister Jeffries, though!) appears very tiny in the background and only a few main characters are featured.
Northstar is shown in battle against Pillar (name not revealed in the book but identified subsequently in X-Men: Earth’s Mutant Heroes #1, an OHOTMU-style handbook published the following week), one of the Neo who appears to be an enormous stone giant and who is able to take down Namor, no easy feat indeed! It’s not clear exactly why Northstar was sent to battle an enormous stone giant, as his power set seems incompatible with that type of opponent. What is he going to do – use his super-fast punching power to pulverize fist-sized chunks out of the guy? It would take years! It would have made more sense for him to be paired up against some of the other Neo, but since the scene starts in the middle of the battle, the fog of war leaves us to wonder.
The book itself is split into “now” and “then” segments; the “then” segment being an extended hidden memory retcon flashback explaining the sudden appearance of yet another set of invaders: the extremely powerful Evolutionaries. Back in the “now” segment, the Evolutionaries end the battle by killing off all the Neo by ripping them apart. Northstar can be seen very tiny again in a single panel with Namor, who has apparently recovered, as Pillar is disintegrated.
Later, Northstar can be seen again rather small, standing among a very rattled group of X-Men as they realize that all Neo everywhere have been exterminated. It should be mentioned that the images shown on this post are highly magnified, as the actual size of the three Northstar’s images in the book are (in order from top to bottom) one, one and one and a half inches – hardly Giant Size at all!
Note: there are three variant covers for this issue including a blank cover, which is the first blank cover in the Alpha Flight Collection, a cover by interior artist Paco Medina taken from a much larger promotional poster for the “First to Last” story arc, and a “50 years of Fantastic Four” cover by Simone Bianchi which wraps around to a low contrast reprint of the cover to Fantastic Four #544 on the back, with art by Michael Turner.
|X-Men Giant Size #1 – blank variant|
|X-Men Giant Size #1 – Medina variant|
|X-Men Giant Size #1 – Fantastic Four variant obverse|
|X-Men Giant Size #1 – Fantastic Four variant back cover|