You were wrong about Jubilee
Written by Lawrence Mayfield
In 1989, the comic book world was introduced to the defiant and spunky young lady named Jubilation Lee, or to most of us, Jubilee. This wealthy Chinese American girl made her way into comics as a teenager trying to take care of herself after both of her parents were murdered. After befriending Wolverine and becoming one of the youngest X-men at the time, this inexperienced girl was forced to hit the ground running as her and her new teammates faced some dangerous situations.
Over the years, the writers have made many changes to this character when it came to her power, abilities and personality. But in this case, I will only be focusing on the Pre-Vampire, powerhouse, Jubilee and focus on what it was that people just couldn't see that made her so great.
Jubilee was not only neglected by her writers, but the community willingly accepted her slow decline, as I dare say the same happened to Dazzler. I would wager that if you asked the average comic lover about who Jubilee is and what does she do, you’ll hear something like “She shoots fireworks”. And in essence, yes, what she does could be described as “fireworks”. This ideal of her simply shooting fireworks is the stigma that will stay with her forever. She has even made it to television as an object of mockery. Watch Xavier humiliate her. (Yes I understand this is comedy and he mocks everyone. It is funny)
The problem with that, is that they are merely looking at her based upon one power and not giving any consideration into how important her or her powers are. This is the same as saying that Beast is “just” blue and an animal, then ignoring the fact that the man is a genius. When you break a character down to a “power” and not who they are and how they use their power, then you put limits on how great a character can really be.
Why am I blaming us and not the writers? There is a quote “ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Now this obviously applies to the real world, and is huge leap to apply it to fictional characters, but hear me out.
Because we did nothing to accept Jubilee, took no time to really appreciate her value to the team, the writers had no problem changing some of the best things about her. Let’s face it, you take the metal out of Wolverine, the people cry out. Where is the outcry for Jubilee? There was none. The logical response would be that it is the writer's responsibility to make her pleasing to the fans, not the other way around. Normally I would agree, but in this case, there was more than enough to make her great. Let’s take a look at what really makes her worthy of an outcry.
Let’s take a look at why you are wrong about Jubilee.
Courage – How many comic book characters had to work their way into being a hero? With countless hours of encouragement and training, eventually making it to the battlefield ready to go, while Jubilee right off the bat was able to take care of herself. Well to a certain extent. Now I am not saying she wasn't scared, but despite her shortcomings, she stepped up to the plate. Though I can respect the fact that Marvel allowed her to take a role as a team leader later on, I will admit that maybe she could have had that part of her emphasized a bit more. But in any case, despite what I would have liked to see, she had the guts to accept the challenge.
Liability? - When you look at the synergy of some characters like Colossus and Wolverine, you will see that Colossus used his tremendous strength to hurl Wolverine into the fray. And we hold confident that Wolverine was able to take care of himself. We also knew that Colossus with his amazing defenses was able to do the same.
We never have to worry about these two. Is it possible that people dislike Jubilee because she might have been a liability to the team? Maybe her possibly getting hurt may be a huge distraction to the others, forcing them to split their time fighting and babysitting?
Let me remind you that this girl did just fine taking care of herself from the beginning. She is an ex-gymnast and as you can see, she is not only agile enough to maneuver around her surroundings, she is also able to take on elite Ninjas and Elite Soldiers fearlessly. Also note that if the X-men felt she were not able to take care of herself, I believe they wouldn't have allowed her to come along.
Let's take a moment to reflect on all of the enemies she has overcome.
- The Reavers cybernetic dog
- Donald Pierce, King of Hellfire Club
- The Hand Ninja's in Madripoor
- Mandarin, blowing up his haven rescuing Wolverine and Psylocke
- Savage Land Dinosaur fliers
- Sentinels with Wolverine in the Outback
- Her parents killers (Reno and Molokai)
- Members of the Shi'ar Galaxy
- Sabertooth. Tazered him when he came into the mansion and doing so saving Bishop
- Members of Phalanx with Emma Frost
-Sauron. She was the last standing X-men, and was able to defeat him saving the ENTIRE team.
- Elite soldiers of the Operation Zero Tolerance
- Monet St Croix
- Hunter Brawn - shot caller of her murdered parents
- Death Horseman Wolverine
SIDE NOTE: Though I hate taking the topic to the Movies, let me remind you that Rogue int he X-Men movies was absolutely worthless. I couldn't even understand why she was in the danger room. How is it that she (movie Rogue) has gotten more love than Jubilee?
I have to admit her outfit didn't fit well into the elite Mutant Team of Awesome. But the girl did have her style, and to this very day, we will never have to guess who she is. The outfit is almost iconic. Love it, hate it, the girl owns it.
I think her not killing played a hand in her popularity. She was content with being useful, but I think the fans wanted blood. Or some serious damage dealing in the least.
By choice, she was none of those. And who wants to cheer for the hero that was just great at helping the other heroes do their job ? Not many, especially having teamed up with such a animal like Wolverine. That is why I suspect X-23 was by far more popular.
The biggest contribution to her lack of fans has to be, in my honest opinion, the X-men cartoon. Everything about that cartoon displayed Jubilee to be everything but awesome.
I believe that Jubilee does NOT belong in the Marvel world. I would even argue to say that she in fact belongs in either the DC universe or the DBZ world. In the DC universe, she would be appreciated for talents and use appropriately. In the DBZ world, she would continue to be a huge asset to her friends, and at the same time learn to projectile her plasmoids more effectively and learn to fly.
Jubilee deserved more than what she got from us, and now that that part of her is gone, we are left grumbling with this new version. My suggestion, let's cry out for Marvel to return her to her old ways, and if/when they do, lets appreciate her for who she is.
Or maybe you think that there is something I am missing? Let's talk about it.