A student at New York City's Stuyvesant High School, Northstar was kicked off the school's track team for suspected illegal steroid use, although his unnatural levels of speed were actually due to his mutation. When the X-Men revealed to him he was a mutant and asked him to join them, he turned them down. He felt that separating themselves from humans was segregation and noted that a student, Beast had recently been killed.
Soon after, Sinister, a deranged man who was apparently under orders of Apocalypse to kill several mutants, shot Northstar. Thanks to his quick reflexes, Northstar managed to survive the attack but was left in a coma. After being hospitalized, he was awakened from his coma by the X-Man Jean Grey. Upon being told that Colossus had watched over him all night to protect him from any further attacks, Northstar asked if he was single, startling Colossus so much that his body turned to steel.
Northstar was later recruited by Emma Frost to join the Academy of Tomorrow, a magnet school for gifted children both mutant and human with a more pacifistic and integration-orientated philosophy than the X-Men. Along with fellow students Lorna Dane and Alex Summers, he completed Frost's Advanced Leadership Workshop, allowing him to make use of his powers performing off-campus community service missions in conjunction with local authorities.
When Lorna was framed for murder and imprisoned in the Triskelion in an elaborate scheme by Magneto to escape the prison, Northstar was part of the group of Frost's students who tried to break her out. During a battle with the Ultimates and the X-Men, Northstar showed that he had improved his abilities enough to move faster than the human eye (allowing him to attack without being seen), run across water (though a direct hit from a super-powered person could cause him to sink), and resist gravity (he was able to run up the side of a tall building).
During the battle he showed romantic interest in Colossus. The two had kept in contact, having exchanged email addresses. Northstar asked Colossus to be his date to his school's homecoming dance, which Colossus accepted. But the dance was interrupted by the Brotherhood.
Northstar was later kidnapped by his sister and Alpha Flight, who used the drug Banshee on him. He eventually overdosed and presumably died. However, it appeared that he survived, but was paralyzed from the waist down. He told Colossus to be the hero and stop using Banshee, to which Piotr agreed. Later, Northstar and Colossus watched the sunset.
Powers and Abilities
Directs the kinetic energy in his molecules to propel himself through the air at superhuman speeds, capable of reaching past at least mach 1 and running across bodies of water.
- Like his Earth-616 counterpart, Ultimate Northstar is gay.
- His features are similar to his counterpart, although his ears are no longer pointed, nor does he have silver streaks throughout his hair.
- His powers are also similar, though he has yet to demonstrate the ability to fly, or any abilities related to light emission.
- Nightcrawler described Jean-Paul's speed abilities at being 'Level Six'.