Although we’re on the cusp of 2015, many websites from
The X-Men Apocalypse movie is moving ahead and will be bringing plenty of new mutant faces to the movie. One of the most interesting inclusions will be an X-Man that seems out of nowhere, Jubilee. To fans of the comics and old cartoon show the reaction seemed to be “her?” Here’s a look at the comic history of the X-Men’s resident sidekick and mallrat Jubilee.
1. Jubilee’s real name is (seriously) Jubilation Lee, because comics have high standards for the real names of superheroes.
2. Her comic creators were Chris Claremont (writer) and Marc Silvestri (artist). Her first appearance in the comics was for Uncanny X-Men #244 in May 1989.
3. Jubilee has one of the most unique, i.e. completely 90’s, costume in comics. Her signature look is a yellow coat that looks like a raincoat, hot pink sunglasses, pink top, gloves and boots.
4. Her mutant powers are fireworks, because her name couldn’t be any more on the nose. The term for what she can do is pyrokinesis, which is a cooler way of saying that the fireworks she produces are plasma energy that she can control and detonate at will. To be fair, the cartoon always treated her powers as a joke, never letting her cut loose. The comics, on the other hand, did show Jubilee master her powers and put them to incredible use to the point where she could blow holes in walls.
5. She is a Chinese-American born to wealthy parents in LA. At an early age, she developed a love for gymnastics and, like all 90’s kids, the mall. A run-in with mall cops spurred her powers to manifest and she decimated the entire alley the cops chased her in. Unlike most mutants, Jubilee ran straight home to tell her parents about what happened to her. Like a certain ice queen, she tried to contain the powers and not worry about it. The death of her parents, however, put her in the care of her neighbors, but she soon ran away to go live in the mall. She literally ran away to live in a MALL.
6. Turns out that the mall she was living in was quite popular. Four X-Men were shopping and her curiosity causes her to follow them. A mutant-hunting group hired by the mall called M Squad attacks Jubilee at this point, which the X-Men see and defend her. After this brief battle, the X-Men return to their base via a portal that Jubilee manages to slip into unnoticed.
7. Quick caveat for this next part; the X-Men are no longer at Xavier’s School in New York. Due to a long series of events involving death and resurrection and magic spells, the X-Men are operating in hiding out of Australia. This is where the portal leads and Jubilee with it. Instantly regretting the decision to follow, she is too afraid to make herself known to the X-Men and takes up hiding nearby. I choose to believe she built a cardboard mall.
8. Jubilee stays out of the way of X-Men for the time being, until they are attacked by the evil group the Reavers, who had resided in the base before the X-Men claimed it for their own. Most of the team is gone and Wolverine gets captured and is crucified on wooden X. Jubilee finally makes a move, helps a weakened Wolverine escape the Reavers and nurses him back to health.
9. She builds a mentorship with Wolverine and starts to settle into her consistent role for much of her early comic life: the sidekick. When they rejoin the X-Men in full, she stays with him as a part of the X-Men Blue Team, fighting alongside Cyclops, Psylocke, and Rogue. She is able to hold her own despite being the plucky sidekick, but is finally sidelined by the team when they decide she is too young to help them anymore. With no mall to retreat to, she stays in the X-Mansion.
10. Fast forward many years and story arcs to Jubilee getting a new outfit and new team. Sadly, no matter how much she grows up, she won’t leave the raincoat look alone. She joins a new school for young mutants headed by Banshee and Emma Frost called Generation X. This introduced a slew of new mutants and inspired a legendarily bad TV miniseries, in which Jubilee is prominently featured.
11. Going even further into her future, the next major status quo change for Jubilee is when M-Day occurs. The end of House of M depowers 90% of Marvel’s mutant population by the magic of the Scarlet Witch, and while many X-Men were able to escape that fate, Jubilee was not one of them. Unlike many of the newly depowered mutants, Jubilee still does what she can to help. She becomes a pro-mutant activist and even works at a halfway house for mutants affected by M-Day.
12. With no firework power but the will to be a hero, the next chapter of Jubilee’s life was the New Warriors. This new incarnation wanted to make amends for the previous group whose actions had led to the disaster that jumpstarted Civil War. Her new hero persona is Wondra and she uses high tech gauntlets that gave her gravity controlling powers. She finally ditches the rain coat. Sadly, this team-up doesn’t last long as Jubilee is unable to trust the leader of the New Warriors, Night Thrasher, and the team is disbanded.
13. Jubilee moves to San Francisco, where Cyclops had the school relocated after vicious attacks by anti-mutant groups left the New York Mansion in ruins. She keeps her distance from the new school, known as Utopia, even though many of the students ask her to come back. She declines, but stays close by and keeps tabs on the mutants.
I am a vampire, I am a vampire…
14. Sadly, this was during the Twilight-era of literature and so vampires needed to rise again in comics. Jubilee is involved in a suicide bombing at a café that leaves her alive but covered in the blood of all those around her. She is brought to Utopia to recover and is discovered to have been infected with an incurable virus. Turns out she is becoming a vampire and was infected by Xarus, the son of Dracula (stop laughing, comics is serious business). She even manages to turn Wolverine into a vampire. When the X-Men, teaming up with Blade and Dracula, defeat Xarus, they take Jubilee back to Utopia and imprison her, unsure of what to do with newly vampired Jubilee.
15. The rest of the X-Men are scared of having a vampire around and treat her like an outsider. Even though she is able to use Wolverine’s blood and healing factor to control her urges, she still suffers bouts of rage when her temper flares. When she is framed for a massive vampire murder, Wolverine takes her away where he hopes to help her gain control over her new powers. It works and they even manage to clear Jubilee’s name in the process. She returns with Wolvie to Utopia and she rejoins the X-Men as their resident vampire.
16. The latest adventure with Jubilee involves her rescuing and caring for a baby boy in the comic X-Men, an all-female team consisting of Storm, Rogue, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, and Rachel Summers. The baby had been unfortunately mixed up in a situation involving space bacteria, and the X-Men worked with Jubilee to protect the baby. The threat eliminated, she learns the baby’s name is Shogo and adopts him as Shogo Lee.
17. Jubilee’s most notable non-comic version is from the 90’s-era X-Men animated series. The cartoon used her as the introduction to the X-Men and stays true to much of her origin, including being saved by the mutants in a mall. She forms a close relationship with Wolverine, but really remains the plucky sidekick for the whole of the show, never reaching her comic potential.
18. While her being in a new X-Men movie may seem like news, the character of Jubilee had a cameo in all three X-Men films. She was portrayed by different actresses in X-Men and the sequels, although many of her scenes were cut from the final film. She was considered for a time to be included in X-Men: Days of Future Past, according to concept art from the movie. It is clear that the concept art uses the actress Jamie Chung as a reference.
19. Jubilee has also appeared in many of the X-Men videos games, but is typically only in a supporting role. She appears in Marvel vs Capcom as a helper character. Her biggest gaming role is in X-Men Legends, where she is a playable hero complete with raincoat.