Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CBR Jubilee

To celebrate the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past in theaters, let's review much simpler shorter story.

From one of my all-time favorite writers, Robert Kirkman!

Comic title: Jubilee TPB
Art by Derec Donovan, Michael O'Hare & Casey Jones 
Written by Robert Kirkman

Published by Marvel Comics
From 2011 (2004)
Lineup Marvel Universe/X-Men series
Format: Trade paperback collecting Jubilee #1-6.

Jubilation Lee - aka Jubilee - was a pure 1990s creation. She was just a "mall rat" teenage girl who's only real memorable trait was wearing a yellow tenchcoat and her sole powers being mutant-fireworks (and depending on the writers, only causing from small energy "plasmoids" to huge explosive blasts).

That and appearing on the fan-favorite X-Men: Animated Series cartoon, of course.

Her popularity only really took off once they tagged her as Wolverine's default sidekick, in-between Shadowcat and X-23.

In 2004 Marvel Comics launched Jubilee's first solo series. Penned by none other than Robert Kirkman, only short of a year since he had started the now long-running famous Walking Dead series.

It was finally the occasion to explore this lil' mutant super heroine away and outside her usual X-Men comfort zone. Away from her father-figure and "mentor" Wolverine (but that wouldn't last long - more on that below!).

And finally get some character growth to explore different storylines mostly away from Marvel's usual constant epic multiple books-wide epic story arcs.

Following her adventures on the X-Men team book Generation X, Jubes was needing some well-deserved time off. A break away from the usual crazy life at the Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.

Good thing she just found and was contacted by a long lost relative of her, her aunt Hope Lee.

In fact Hope was even eager wanting to adopt her to finally get some kind of family of her own. They both lost Jubes' parents many years ago and she only found out about Jubilee recently.

Jubilee gets to come over to Los Angeles and live with her aunt Hope in her huge gorgeous home.

Jubilee is enrolled at the Payton Noble High School and finally gets to experience a normal life... for a little while.

Falling in love with boys, getting in trouble and living her life as free spirited as always.

Our "Fresh Princess of Bel-Air" gets a new friend, Meg. School life sees Jubilee confront some jocks, face a jealous pompom girl. But then it happens... She kinda freaks out by accident and displays her mutant powers! Oh, no!

... but things are not lost yet! Principal Avery and his assistant won't be expelling her just yet. They kinda use this excuse to force her to be a peer advisor, to help out students in trouble. Her experience as a mutant can possibly help her relate with other kids with a problem being integrated and all.

She reluctantly accepts the deal and one thing after the other, she befriends another young mutant around the block.

Shane Shooter is a young mutant living in the streets of L.A.  He runs a gang and commends respect around him thanks to his ability to shoot blasts out of his fingers (hence the nickname).

But the kid is really a good guy at heart.

Jubilee and Shane escape from an attack between gangs. He later takes her to the school prom... but that is a really boring party and they simply ditch it early on.

They almost kiss and then... Wolverine comes to visit unexpectedly!

Finally Jubilee finds out the truth behind her aunt.. She's a mercenary/assassin. Hope works with her partner, the not quite so butler-Brad. They are all caught in the middle of a firefight. Hope only really wanted to quite this job for a quieter family life with Jubilee... But an old acquaintance of her force Hope's retirement to be postponed.

Explosions! Shout-outs!

Hope apparently disappears never to be seen again (although we later find out she's not dead and apparently has a cybernetic leg of sorts..?). Too bad this was since never followed upon this day....

Jubilee would finally move back to the Mansion with Wolvie.

It's a pretty fun story. Jubilee's always such a great fun character, 'girl only wants to have fun! Jubilee's self-titled series is fun and action-packed. Wolverine's guest appearance at the end makes for a fun epic climatic finale!

The covers were drawn by Casey Jones who gets to pencil the final issue.

This was meant as on-going at first, but would be canceled after only six mere issues sadly... 

Jubilee would meanwhile end up depowered after Marvel's billionth epic crossover event House of M (which incidentally was the event sole responsible for Marvel's ever-incessant quarterly events since then). And she would finally be turned into a vampire (!!) much later on, but that is the story for another time...

Overall, Jubilee is a fun recommended enough book for any fans or newcomers to the X-Men franchise.

She's a great entry-point character, a very fun wisecracking heroine. And this is no different, Kirkman's Jubilee title was a fun adventure for the young heroine on the West Coast, out of the X-Mansion and all the usual craziness in the X-Men titles. Here more down to Earth and all the more "real". Her day to day life might not be as epic (not counting the epic finale) but it makes her that more relatable.

She's always been such a fun character!

And X-Men titles in my eyes are at their finest when they focus on a single character outside the usual fight between good guys and bad guys.

Having Jubes as main protagonist here keeps a certain light-hearted approach.

My only real nitpick would be regarding the art. The artwork is overall fun and slightly cartoon-ified, but that's not the issue here. It's the weird off-putting coloring, which is way oversaturated (just check out Jubilee's unnaturally yellow skin they gave her in the scans below! It just seems way off and almost stereotypically racists... and thing is, it gets worse as you go through the series/issues, she actually ends end with such a different skin color from her own aunt!!)

I give it:
2.5 / 3 Howards!

No comments:

Post a Comment