WARNING: The following contains spoilers for X-Factor #7 by Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Israel Silva & VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Since the formation of Krakoa, the X-Men have formally solidified the definition of "Omega-Level" mutants. But even the mutants who aren't Omega still have more than enough power to break the world if they wanted.
As X-Factor #7 just revealed, Northstar casually confirmed his top speed, and the X-Factor leader could do a massive amount of damage to the planet if he were so inclined.
Northstar, formerly of the Canadian group Alpha Flight and currently the leader of X-Factor, is one of Marvel's more notable speedsters. While the Marvel Universe isn't as full of totally powerful speedsters as the DC Universe, there are still a handful of incredibly fast figures like Quicksilver, the Whizzer and the Silver Surfer. However, Northstar is one of the most impressive, with his mutant ability to propel his body at superspeeds in one direction. Coupled with his ability to fly, Northstar is able to easily describe himself as the fastest mutant alive, especially since Quicksilver is not considered a mutant at the moment. But even if Quicksilver is considered a mutant, Northstar might just have him beat.
While talking with Speed, Quicksilver's ostensible nephew, during his brief visit to Prodigy at the Boneyard, Northstar casually reveals that his top velocity is 189,299 miles per second. As Speed points out, this technically makes him even faster than the speed of light. But as Northstar explains to Speed, there's a reason he doesn't hit this top speed. If he were to propel himself to that rate, he would become almost unstoppable, destroying everything in his path. At that speed , anything Northstar ran into would be obliterated, even living beings. Northstar describes the limits of his powers as allowing him to "garrote the world in half with one lap if I wished."
Although he has a set limit and doesn't quite measure up to some other characters in the Marvel Universe, Northstar can't be considered an Omega-Mutant by the current definition of the term. However, Northstar makes a good case for being at least Omega-adjacent with those capabilities, assuming his boast still has some basis in reality. The biggest downside to going full speed for Northstar would be the physical repercussions on his body. Going at that speed would create a vacuum around Northstar, which would prevent him from breathing, crush his organs and pulverize his bones. It's an attack that Northstar could do exactly once before dying, but with the Krakoan resurrection capabilities, Northstar could theoretically sacrifice himself to perform such a maneuver and then just be restored right after.
This hints at just how deadly Northstar -- and possibly his twin sister Aurora -- could be if he wanted to truly unleash some major damage. While it makes the prospect of someone like Mister Sinister having his DNA as a plaything that much more frightening, Northstar's refresher on his powers serve as a reminder that can keep up with just about anyone in the Marvel Universe, even speedsters who are faster than him.
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