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May 21, 2017

Character Spotlight: Jubilee

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Written by: Dr. Bustos
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Not too many people can go from mutant to vampire, but Jubilee is a shining example. Whether a vampire or mutant there’s two things she’ll always be to those who know her best, an X-Men and a mallrat. So how does a teenager from Beverly Hills become a former mutant turned vampire superhero? Let’s find out!

Jubilation “Jubilee” Lee was born and raised in Beverly Hills, California parents who’d come here from China. She’d grow up happily, going to the nearby malls when she wasn’t in school or training in gymnastics, where she was said to be good enough for Olympic competition. Her mall trips would save her life when her parents were mistaken for another family of Lee’s and had a hit put out in them. To make matters even worse, his family fortune had been lost to the stock market, leaving Jubilee with no one or nothing to support the young teen.

Knowing her way around the mall, she’d go and live in one for some time. Her constant escapes from mall security lead to her discovering her mutant power to make firework-like energy blasts emit from her hands for a variety of uses. Realizing they were dealing with a mutant, security called in the M-Squad, professional mutant hunters. Thankfully, the X-Men were there to help her, fascinated by these mutants, she followed them and went through a portal they’d come from and ended up in a base in Australia.

Staying in hiding on the base, she’d come to know the X-Men as mutant heroes. The team would leave the base, not knowing she was there, leaving the base open for the team’s enemies to take over, the Reavers to be exact. They’d brought a crucified Wolverine with them, leaving him to continuously injured to heal safely. Jubilee would rescue him and the two would escape and begin adventuring together, developing a father-daughter relationship. She’d meet the assassins responsible for her parents’ death but found herself unable to kill them.

Joining Wolverine in his return to the X-Mansion, Jubilee would be forbidden from going on further missing due to her age but would often end up going anyway or because Wolverine let her tag along. Her time at the mansion had her befriending many of its residence such as Charles Xavier and Illyana Rasputin. The death of Illyana due to the Legacy Virus hit her hard, emotionally the she is hit with an another loss, Wolverine leaving the team out of fear of hurting his friends.

Getting away from mansion life, she’d join Generation-X and learn and fight under the tutelage of Banshee and Emma Frost. She’d used this time to deal with all the loss she’d been experiencing in such a short time. Along with having friends her own age and two adults who watched out for her well being. She’d learn who was responsible for hiring the assassins that killed her parent and was able to get them taken in by the authorities.

Deciding to take a breather from heroics, Jubilee would move to Los Angeles to try out acting. Faced with racist typecasting and a sexual harassing agent, she’d join the X-Corp, a militaristic mutant team. During her adventures she and several of her fellow teammates from her Generation-X  days were captured by the anti-mutant Church of Humanity and crucified on the lawn of the X-Mansion. While Jubilee and most of the others would survive, her good friend Skin did not make it. The stress of combat and more lost friends, Cyclops would suggest she take a sabbatical.

Finding out she had a long-lost aunt in Los Angeles, Aunt Hope, she’d go and stay with her for some time. This time as a normal high school going teenager didn’t last long as she’d discover that her aunt was an assassin who belonged to a crime ring. Wolverine would come to assist but it would appear her aunt died in an ensuing battle with her bosses. Jubilee would return the the X-Mansion until Scarlet Witch used her powers to depose most mutants, including Jubilee.

No longer a mutant, Jubilee didn’t feel right staying on the team but did her best to help other depose red mutants. Often by saving the lives of those being exploited or by creating safe houses for them. Being human proved that Jubilee needed technology to help her with continue her life as a hero. She’d take on the persona of Wondra and join the New Warriors to help train the new members of the team.

Though no longer a mutant, Jubilee would would often help both mutant and former mutant alike whenever she could. Teaming with Wolverine never felt like she was intruding on a people’s plight that she was no longer one of, so the two would work together again from time to time. While out with X-Man, Pixie, there is an attack and Jubilee is transformed. No longer human, no longer mutant, no she was undead, Jubilee is a vampire.

While not a mutant, Jubilee felt more comfortable returning to the X-Men as not a human. Which was good because she’d found a baby she was now taking care of and needed the team’s help keeping the baby safe. She’d eventually be able to adopt the baby, Shogo. Finding her tenure with the X-Men too much for a baby, she’d take up work with Hellcat and her super-powered temp agency.

There you have it! Jubilee is one of those characters that perfectly encapsulated the zeitgeist of the 80s and 90s teen. She’d be a main character in the X-Men animated series and make cameos in the X-Films until X-Men Apocalypse where she’d play a role. Wherever she appears next there will be fans waiting to see. Until then, she’s stalking the night, being careful during the day, and taking care of that sweet baby Shogo.

Suggested Reading
Uncanny X-Men #244
New Warriors Vol. 4
X-Men Vol. 4
Wolverine Vol. 2

Dr. Bustos



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