Issue Date: July 2005
Story Title: Into The Light
Staff: Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (writers), Michael Ryan (pencils & cover), Rick Ketcham (inks), Pete Pantazis (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters),Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Last week, both the students and the X-Men were ordered by S.H.I.E.L.D. to stay in their mansion, because of the danger of a mind-controlled Wolverine. Wolverine attacked the school, but the X-Men, S.H.I.E.L.D. and some other heroes quickly reacted and went after him. Northstar was one of the heroes that helped out, but he was no match for the feral mutant. Northstar and Wolverine fought, but Jean-Paul ended up being killed by his claws! Josh desperately tried to heal the wounds, but with no such luck. Jean-Paul Beaubier is dead. Today, Emma Frost and Cyclops inform all of the students that there will be no classes for the entire week, and at the end a memorial service will take place. At the same time, David still avoids Noriko, and Josh is being ignored by everyone unless they have to work together. Sofia shares a few moments with Julian, and they talk about his experiences with Jean-Paul when he used to be Julian’s advisor before Emma. However, Julian refuses to go to the memorial, since it’s boring. The next day, Dani, Iceman and Polaris are called on a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. A doctor wants to disconnect Northstar’s brain from his corpse, so the Hand won’t have a chance to resurrect him. However, they are too late, as Hand ninjas, led by a resurrected Elektra, attack and kidnap Jean-Paul. This upsets Dani, who thinks she’s now useless in a battlefield. Despite these events, the memorial continues, and some old friends of Jean-Paul pass by for it. At the end of the service, the great Canadian hero is honored by a statue in his memory.
The Xavier Institute For Higher Learning. Last week, night time.
The New Mutants are standing outside the mansion. They watch the various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents guarding the house. They talk about how impossible it seems that Wolverine has turned on them, but Sofia realizes that it’s not his fault. She heard that some mind control was involved. Kevin approaches Laurie, and tells her that she shouldn’t be outside, as it isn’t safe. Laurie gets upset, and shouts at Kevin that she is aware that Wolverine is in his beast-like state at the moment, so should he attack she can save herself with her pheromone powers and calm Logan down.
Kevin asks where Josh is. Laurie tells Kevin that she’s glad that he exposed the relationship, and that nobody wants to talk to Josh anymore unless they have to. Kevin wants to know how she’s dealing with the break-up. Laurie gets even angrier, and tells Kevin to go away, as she’s tired of being the weak one and doesn’t want to be manipulated. She takes off. Kevin is startled and surprised to see Laurie having become so hardcore.
David suddenly hears a hard noise. Everyone looks around, and can just in time jump to safety when Wolverine crashes the X-Jet through the house! Northstar tells the kids to stay back, and informs them that Wolverine is present. The X-Men will handle it, but they and the rest of the students have to remain there. Laurie offers Jean-Paul to help with her powers, but Jean-Paul realizes that Laurie’s advisor would never forgive him should anything happen to her. Northstar, followed by Shadowcat, runs into the forest. Jay follows them, thinking that his healing powers should keep him safe, and helps scout for Wolverine. David tries to warn Jay that he might not always have those powers, but he’s warning comes too late. Jay is already deep in the forest.
Suddenly, another S.H.I.E.L.D. plane arrives, and Captain America jumps out of it, which amazes Josh and he goes to check it out. Noriko asks David what he means about Jay not always having his healing powers. David notices Josh running away, and ignores Noriko and follows him into the forest. He quickly catches up with Josh, and tells him not to follow the heroes, as they are dealing with a dangerous Wolverine out there. Josh thought that David wasn’t talking to him anymore. Noriko comes too, and tells David that they aren’t finished yet.
Captain America approaches the kids, and tells them that it’s over. They ask what happened, but Cap says that the teachers will inform them. Josh looks over Cap’s shoulder, and realizes what has happened: Northstar… is dead! Dani tries to calm the scared kids down, but they start to cry. Josh desperately tries to heal Jean-Paul, and the wounds close, but that’s it. Northstar’s really gone. Josh cries, and Dani tells Josh that there isn’t anything he can do.
The next morning…
Emma Frost and Cyclops have gathered all the students and X-Men for a briefing. They inform everyone that they were attacked by Wolverine last night, but that he was under Hydra’s mind control. Luckily, Logan has been apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. now and they are confident that he will be restored. Unfortunately, this victory caused the life of one of their teachers: Northstar. Emma says that there will be a memorial for him this weekend, and hopes everyone will attend. She asks the children to consult their advisors. There will be no classes this week, but Emma promises that, afterwards, the classes will resume, and also the finals and the dance will be held. Life must go on, after all. As this is what Jean-Paul Beaubier would have wanted.
Later, Shan talks to the Alpha Squadron, the squad Northstar used to lead. She will take over from him now. Rubbermaid asks why, as she heard a rumor that Shan was going to take over the Paragons squad now, and worries that she might get too busy. Shan knows that she has also other responsibilities and is aware that she won’t be able to replace Northstar, but she’ll do her best to lead the squad the same way he did. Victor starts to cry, and says it won’t be the same.
Shan runs after to him. She finds Victor using his camouflage powers and hides in a tree, but she asks him to show up and talk. Shan tells Victor that she is aware that he and Jean-Paul used to be close, but since Shan also used to be Victor’s advisor, she wants to help him get through this. Victor says it won’t be the same, since Jean-Paul used to understand him and that it was nice to have someone like him to talk to. Shan promises Victor that he can talk to her too, about anything. She will miss Jean-Paul, too. Victor promises to think about it.
Sofia notices Julian standing in the garden, and asks what he’s doing. He says that this is where Northstar used to have his flight class. Sofia apologizes and says that she knows Julian wasn’t at the assembly, and informs him that classes were cancelled. It doesn’t matter to Julian. This is where Flight Class is, and he will fly. He flies up, and Sofia follows him. Julian notices how good she has become, and asks her if she remembers how they first met. Sofia does: Julian was giving her the tour around the mansion when she arrived, and took her to this class.
Julian tells Sofia that she was showing off, too. Sofia recalls how she tried to fly and knocked over all those students. Julian remembers how bad they looked, and how Northstar gave him an “F” for just bringing Sofia there. Sofia apologizes, but Julian smiles and tells her that she was worth it. Sofia notices that Julian misses him. Julian describes Jean-Paul as the tightest-wound person he knows, and that he didn’t take it well when he switched advisors and turned to Emma. But Julian realizes that Jean-Paul cared about his students. About him. A lot. Julian just wants to fly for a while now. Sofia says she’ll follow him, and he thanks her for it.
Meanwhile, Dani, Iceman and Polaris have gathered at a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. A doctor has been ordered to disconnect Northstar’s brain from his spinal column, or else there will always be a chance that the Hand could resurrect him. Dani gets upset, and asks the doctor for a minute since Jean-Paul was their friend. Bobby gets a tear in his eye, and can’t believe that of all the guys they fought in the X-Men, Jean-Paul got taken down by one of their own. And by Wolverine, for god’s sake. Bobby wonders what kind of school makes someone write his own will when they are only fourteen years old. Lorna asks Bobby if he’s alright, and he claims he is.
Suddenly, a bright light appears. Hand ninja’s jump through it, and they are followed by Elektra!
An angry Dani arrives back at the school. Shan notices how upset her friend is and asks what’s wrong. Dani cries, and angrily says that they all tried to stop them, but were useless. She believes that she would have made a difference if she still had her quantum powers or even her psychic arrows, but she realizes that it’s just illusions for her now. Fears and desires. And Dani couldn’t pinpoint what her enemies were afraid of this time, since they were ninja’s and nobody knows what they are afraid of.
Dani knows that she made a commitment when she agreed to come back here: to be a full-time teacher, and give herself to the kids. But now she has learned that she would be useless on a battlefield. Dani tells Shan that only both they and Jean-Paul are one hundred percent devoted to the children. Shan doesn’t understand what happened. Dani informs her friend that the Hand have stolen Northstar’s body.
A few moments later, Shan and Dani go inform Scott and Emma, and tell them that the Hand could resurrect Jean-Paul into one of their assassins now. Scott and Emma don’t know how to react. Dani says its worse enough that the kids have to worry about Wolverine having turned evil, and asks them how they are going to tell the kids they have to fear their former favorite teacher now, too. Scott answers they won’t tell.
Dani calls that insane. Shan calms her down, and tells Scott that won’t be fair to the students. Scott realizes that none of the things the X-Men had to deal with recently are fair, but he wants the memorial to continue, since the kids need closure and the chance to say goodbye. After all, Scott adds, Northstar the hero is dead. Dani understands, but mentions that she won’t participate in the service.
Two days later…
Josh rips a picture apart on which he and David participated in Wolverine’s Fighting Class. Dani enters, and tells Josh that it isn’t his fault what happened, and that he couldn’t prevent from what happened to Northstar, nor could Wolverine, since he couldn’t control his actions because he was brainwashed. Josh tells her that he used to think that Wolverine was the coolest, and could do anything on a moment’s notices. Now, he isn’t so sure. Josh is ready for the memorial, but doesn’t know where he’ll sit, since his friends don’t want to talk to him anymore. Dani puts her hand over his shoulder, and tells Josh that he can sit with her. They walk out of the room together.
Outside, Julian, Rockslide and Tag are walking around. Rockslide wants to know what they are going to do. Julian wants to play with the Frisbee, as usual. Brian is surprised that they aren’t going to go to the memorial, but Julian finds that both depressing and boring, and a waste of his time. Sofia and Laurie pass them, and Sofia overhears the conversation. She doesn’t understand why Josh talks like that. Julian tells her that Northstar used to be his advisor, but since it’s now Ms. Frost he doesn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Julian and his friends walk away together, leaving a confused Sofia behind.
The Alpha Squadron are wandering around the gardens where the service is going to take place. Around it, there are memorial statues for past X-Men members who are now dead. There’s a huge thing in front of the altar, but it’s covered. Victor wants to know what it is, but Shan stops him, since they are going to unveil it after the service. Shan understands, since the squad was closer to Jean-Paul than anyone else, except for maybe his sister. But, unfortunately, she isn’t present today as the X-Men failed to locate her in time. Shan realizes that, today, the Alpha Squadron is Northstar’s family, so she decides to have them a sneak-peek at the mystery item, and lets them take a look.
A few moments later, the service begins. Emma is glad that so many of the students came today, and wishes that they could have shielded them from the loss of a teacher, since that is one of the worst things a student has to face. She mentions that Jean-Paul Beaubier chose to be a great many things, and thinks that they should all admire him for that. She adds that Jean-Paul chose to be a hero. He chose to become a member of Alpha Flight. He chose to be an X-Man. And he also chose to be a role model. But more recently, Jean-Paul decided to be a teacher. He could have stayed on an X-squad, but he knew that helping the students was so important that it needed to be his full-time task. Therefore, they have made a memorial statue for Northstar!
Iceman steps forward. Bobby admits that he was surprised when he found out that Jean-Paul wanted him to read a prayer. But since that was his wish, Bobby reads it. Later, Sasquatch speaks. He tells the students that he served with Northstar alongside his first team in Alpha Flight. Walter sees Jean-Paul as the most haughtier, most full of himself kind of guy he ever knew. But it didn’t surprise Walter when he heard that Jean-Paul had chosen to become a teacher there, since he always knew that the man had a heart as big as the Canadian wilderness.
Beast quotes another prayer. Scott explains that Northstar was a speedster, so strategically he was always on point. But Scott realizes that to Jean-Paul, it was more than that. He had to be the first one to face the danger, so no one else would. Shan adds that there was nothing Jean-Paul cared more about than his students. Shan knows this because she has seen the faces of the Alpha Squadron, and knows the impact Jean-Paul had on them. She thinks that Emma is correct when she says that the man was a role model in every way. Shan says that those of the teaching staff who teach full-time share a bond. And she knows that Jean-Paul felt a kinship with them. And that’s why Shan thinks that Jean-Paul would have liked to have the final words be said by Dani.
Dani stands up, with Josh and the other students looking at her. Dani says that life is just one part of the journey for them. She keeps thinking and hoping that she’ll see Jean-Paul again some day. She’s certain that many of the students and otherwise feel the same way. But she’s aware that isn’t what he would want. Jean-Paul would have wanted her to tell that it will be all right. That they will go on with their lives. So, Dani ends today with words she grew up with. An assurance for the departed: “Go into the light and do not turn back. We will care for everything here.” Everyone takes a final look at the memorial statue, and the sun goes down.
Elixer, Icarus, Prodigy, Surge, Wallflower, Wind Dancer (all New Mutants)
Dust, Hellion, Rockslide, Tag (all the Hellions)
Rubbermaid, Victor Borowski (all Alpha Squadron)
Cyclops, Emma Frost (all Xavier Institute Headmasters)
Karma, Moonstar, Northstar (all Xavier Institute teachers)
Beast, Iceman, Gambit, Polaris, Shadowcat (all X-Men)
Sasquatch (all Alpha Flight)
Hand ninja’s (unnamed)
various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents & doctor (all unnamed)
Elixer, Icarus, Prodigy, Surge, Wallflower, Wind Dancer (all New Mutants)
Rocksilde, Wither (all the Hellions)
Hope, Jessie (all the Paragons Squad)
Rubbermaid, Victor Borowski (all Alpha Squadron)
Beast, Cyclops, Shadowcat (all X-Men)
Moonstar, Northstar (all Xavier Institute teachers)
Captain America, Falcon, Iron Man (all helping heroes)
Wolverine (mind controlled)
various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (all unnamed)
various Xavier Institute students (all unnamed)
First full appearance of most Alpha Squadron members, though only Rubbermaid (Andrea) is the only one who actually gets named. Victor Borowski appeared casually in earlier issues, but the first time in New Mutants (2nd series) #2.
This issue reveals that the X-Men have the same memorial stones like Northstar’s for past members Thunderbird I (John Proudstar), who sacrificed his life in X-Men (1st series) #95. There are also statues for Phoenix IV (Jean Grey), who was killed recently by the Xorn-Magneto imitator in New X-Men #150, and another one for Magik I (Illyana Rasputin), who died a victim of the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #303. At this point, it’s unclear if other deceased members also have memorial statues, but presumably they have.
This issue ties in before Wolverine (3rd series) #25 begins. It’s also the issue in which Northstar was killed by Wolverine.
The confrontation scene with Elektra and the Hand ninjas, who abduct Northstar’s body from S.H.I.E.L.D. is taken over from Wolverine (3rd series) #26.
Northstar’s sister, Aurora, disappeared after the events in Weapon X (2nd series) #22. She hasn’t been seen since, and it’s unknown if the X-Men, or Alpha Flight, know where she is. Northstar mentioned to be aware that she is missing in X-Men (2nd series) #164, but the story hasn’t been followed up after that.
Northstar joined Alpha Flight in the backstory of Alpha Flight (1st series) #10. He left the team a few times, but fully left it after the story in Wolverine (2nd series) #142. During his time in Alpha Flight, he openly said that he was gay in Alpha Flight (1st series) #106. Later, he wrote a successful book about what he went through, and became a great businessman. He first temporarily joined the X-Men to help them defeat Magneto during the Eve of Destruction crossover, but left after they won. He rejoined the team after an invitation from Professor Xavier to teach the students, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #414. During this time, he developed a crush on Iceman, as of Uncanny X-Men #415, but gave up when he realized that Bobby was “straight.” He reluctantly helped the X-Men on missions, but after Cyclops renewed both teams in X-Men (2nd series) #157, Northstar was taken off active duty by Scott to become a full-time teacher, despite Jean-Paul’s objections.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
New X-Men - Academy X Vol. 3: X-Posed (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Homer Jay