(Earliest (1989-1993), part #2)
This is the second half of this article. The previous half is Jubilee (Earliest) (part 1).
Madripoor by night
The resourceful Jubilee pitched in whenever Wolverine was out of it. She procured food, cash and medicine. Somehow, they got a junk and sailed it all the way to Madripoor. With the X-Men gone, Wolverine needed help from his contacts there.
The X-Men who had gone through the Siege Perilous had lost their memories, and had created new lives for themselves. Thus, Psylocke was coincidentally in town – but she was now a super-assassin called Lady Mandarin.
This led to Wolverine clashing with Matsuo Tsurayaba, and with the Mandarin. The Mandarin was appalled by how American Jubilee was, and wanted to turn her into his antiquated view of a model Chinese teenage girl.
Wolverine managed to bring Psylocke back to her senses and restore her memories. With Jubilee’s help, they defeated the Mandarin and left.
Further Madripoor adventures ensued. Such as a surprise training exercise with the Harriers, or teaming up with the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) to stalk Fenris (Andrea and Andreas Strucker).
(These books, coloured by Glynis Oliver, also have two Asian women — Jubilee and Psylocke — with different skin tones. That wasn’t common in 1990s US comic books. IIRC it also was Oliver who came up with a working colour scheme for Jubilee’s outfit.)
Genosha, mon amour
In 1991, anti-mutants fanatic Cameron Hodge allied with the government of Genosha for capture strikes against the X teams. Jubilee, Wolverine and Psylocke responded by sneaking into Genosha.
The depowered Boom-Boom (Tabitha Smith) and Rictor (Julio Richter) were freed, and Jubilee was detailed to protect them. But the three youths instead ended up harassing the Genoshan gendarmes, to prevent them from concentrating their forces.
In the fray, Jubilee was wounded by Hodge – but the mutants were victorious, and the Genoshan regime collapsed.
The mutant teams then reorganised. The X-Men thus had a new roster – including Wolverine and Jubilee. They also adopted the old blue-and-gold uniforms for a while.
Jubilee… in space !
The team unexpectedly ended up deep in Shi’ar space, working with Deathbird to depose the Warskrulls from the Shi’ar throne. Once they could come back, the other X-teams were incommunicado.
The X-Men thus headed toward Muir Island, and discovered that everyone therein was now under the influence of the Shadow King. Xavier brought in his original students (then known as X-Factor), and this small army of mutants narrowly won.
Jubilee spent most of the engagement under the Shadow King’s influence. Being thus exposed to her dark side shocked her.
In the wake of this case, Jubilee was apparently removed from the field roster of X-Men. This presumably was for safety reasons. However, she continued to hang out with Wolverine.
I don’t think you’re ready for this J. Lee
Jubilee often became entangled in Wolverine’s adventures. These included :
- An assault by the android Albert, in a mistaken attempt to “free” his friend Elsie-Dee from Wolverine.
- Being part of a large response to end Mechadoom’s threat.
- Getting captured by Mojo. During this misadventure, the horrified Jubilee ran into Abcissa, an alternate future version of herself who served Mojo. Howbeit, Abcissa ceased to exist when Jubilee rebelled.
- Accidentally participating in a war in Japan between Wolverine and local allies, and factions of the Hand. During this case Jubilee worked with Yukio the Wild One, and learned about Mariko Yashida – who had just been murdered by the Hand.
- Teaming up with Terror to defeat fanatical ecoteurs in Oregon.
- Following Wolverine as he allied with John Wraith to unearth an unprecedented amount of Weapon X Project secrets.
- Helping Wolverine overcome his grief after the losses of Mariko Yashida and Silver Fox.
Along with a small crew of relaxing X-Men, Jubilation was also caught in an ambush by Omega Red (Arkady Rossovitch). The X-Men dispatched his crew, but Wolverine was captured.
A combat rescue op was organised. Psylocke vouched for Jubilee so Lee could join. This nearly went pear-shaped due to stronger opposition than planned for, but Jubilee more or less pulled her weight.
Jubilee also joined a crew of X-Men responding to tension in New Orleans between the Thieves’ Guild and the Assassins’ Guild. Though this wasn’t meant as a combat mission, it turned into the eradication of Brood infiltrators underneath the Big Easy.
X-riss X-ross will make you jump, jump
During the Summer of 1992, the X-Mansion was taken over by Mojo. Jubilee was among his brain-controlled “actors”. Professor X soon helped her break the control. Then Jubilee taunted Wolverine so he’d break his – correctly betting that he wouldn’t attack her. Mojo was overthrown, and replaced by Mojo II – The Sequel.
Jubilee was then part of a team of X-Men reinforcing their Excalibur colleagues in the UK. They dealt with a jolly large band of ruddy large trolls, then found a lovely solution for coexistence.
Ms. Lee didn’t take an active part in the X-Cutioner Song events. But in their wake, she ran into Professor Xavier. Xavier had briefly recovered the use of his legs, and was enjoying strolling around whilst it lasted. Jubilee offered to teach him rollerblading, and they goofed around until Xavier’s legs went inert again.
Jubilee took a minor part in the elimination of the Skinner of Souls, a deadly Russian mutant – and in the Mys-Tech Wars .
When Illyana Rasputin died of the Legacy Virus, Jubilee was greatly affected. She had been one of her frequent caregivers, and seeing a little girl die shocked her. To ease her grief, she clung to a plush Bamf, which originally had been a gift from Kitty Pryde to Illyana.
Jubilee’s savage robot revenge
Ms. Lee was dispatched by Professor X to the Savage Land, along with Wolverine and Rogue. Whilst attempting to escape from a tribe of pterosaur-riders, Jubilee performed well with her stolen flying steed, earning the respect of her captors.
They adopted her as a member and threw a coming-of-age party for her. It would include marrying a tribal lass, since to them Jubilee’s garb and short hair meant that she identified as a lad. But Storm and Bishop interrupted the party and took Jubilee away before it could get too awkward.
Jubilee then returned to the outbacks ghost down with Wolverine for a patrol. Finding a leftover timewarp from Gateway, Jubilee peered through. To her shock she saw the actual past in Hollywood, as hitmen forced her parents into their car to induce a fatal accident.
Wolverine and Jubilee were then attacked by a far-future Sentinel robot – from the squad that had been brought to the present by Trevor Fitzroy. After nearly killing them, this Sentinel reactivated MkII Sentinels and repaired their master weapon, intended to trigger a huge solar flare and sterilise the Earth.
However, it ended up renouncing and leaving. This was in part due to puzzlement over Jubilee showing empathy toward MkII Sentinels, who were themselves struggling with their nascent capacity for emotion.
Using information from Jubilee’s vision of the past, she and Wolverine tracked down the hitman behind the Lee murders. Though she talked a big bloodthirsty talk Jubilation was unable to gravely harm her parents’ murderers, to Wolverine’s satisfaction.
In late 1993, Magneto ripped out the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones. Logan survived by the barest of margins, and had considerable trouble adapting. Dr. Moira MacTaggert tasked Jubilee with ensuring that Wolverine wouldn’t exert himself, and take time healing.
Wolverine eventually decided to leave and be by himself. He convinced Jubilee to stay with the X-Men, and left her a letter – plus his favourite cowboy hat.
I wasn’t going to, but I’m the annoying sort who associates years with songs… Let’s see something very 1992, punchy, loudly glamorous, ranked high in the billboards – so something Jubilee would like… Why, my fav En Vogue song would fit the bill.
En Vogue was an interesting attempt at reviving 1960s Black girl groups such as The Supremes. It scored some big hits during the era covered by this character profile. I suppose you could see it as a forerunner for Destiny’s Child.
A short, skinny kid with short hair and too much energy.
After leaving ‘straya, Jubilee sports a strange outfit. Green shorts, a bright green vest, a heavy yellow coat, small green booties. It only makes sense as a reference to Robin’s costume. She also sports colourful circular earrings, crossed by a name plate reading “JUBILEE”, and a big visor (almost a faceplate).
The exact shape and colour of the shorts and shirt will change, but the yellow trench coat and the visor are the anchors of her “costume”. Eventually, her outfit stabilises toward broad-cuffed blue gloves and booties, broad denim shorts, magenta T-shirt, magenta visor. It is *loud* but it actually works.
Jubilee prefers wearing practical, boys’ clothing. She’s not allergic to skirts and the like, but she isn’t particularly interested in looking feminine either – except for her signature earrings.
Though she talks a lot, Jubilee has the vocabulary you’d expect from a 13-or-14 year old who didn’t do well in school. But heh, if all else fails she’ll just make words up or misuse them.
Jubilee’s room has plushies you’d expect from a much younger girl. But her plush Bamf is a memento of Illyana Rasputin, and a teddy bear seems to be a memento of her parents.
Oh, and her eyes are often blue, because comic books.
Early on, Jubilee is something of a cliché Valley Girl – but as a young teen. She speaks in mid-1980s Valspeak, craves attention and applause, and yearns to grow up and become tall and beautiful and curvaceous and glittery and have a $500K designer wardrobe.
She’s also a self-reliant petty criminal, with no trust whatsoever in the authorities and the system. And though she acts upbeat and kewl and showmanlike, she misses her parents very much. Every year on the date of their death, Jubilation writes them a long letter.
Jubilee is a motormouth, and a bad-ish attitude kid. The latter is more of a defensive posture – underneath, she means well. But she’ll never deal well with authority or constraints.
Jubilation wants to look cool and distinctive (if a teenager’s notion of “cool”). But she is young enough to still considers that boys are kinda icky and a bit dumb.
During this era, she audibly matures. The Valley language tics recede, and get partially replaced by a mish-mash of then-current media references. The language tics tend to be more early-1990s-specific, and less California-specific (such as calling Wolverine “Wolvster”).
Blah blah blah blah…
Jubes is big on sass, backtalk, and fast-talk. She wants to be loud, edgy and cool – but despite being 13, she somehow approaches that without acting like an arsehole. The cutting remarks, sassy babbling, fast talk and ego-diva-posing are to affirm herself, not to put other people down. Unless they did do something worthy of scorn, or are looking down on her.
Originally, Jubilee alternates between cocky overconfidence (if she has the upper hand) and being scared poop-free (if she doesn’t). But as she spends time with Wolverine and X-Men, she learns to have more balanced and intelligent responses. She can remain openly scared, or unusually enthusiastic when having fun, but that no longer hinders her much.
Jubilee easily gets bored, her attention tends to flicker, and her mood can change quickly as circumstances do. She improves a bit over time, but sustained attention isn’t her thing.
Lee has a solid level of physical courage once in combat, but she’s easily grossed out. And even though she’s Wolverine’s sidekick, she would never kill someone. Despite all the posing and sass, she’s an empathic and altruistic person.
She also has a remarkable level of emotional endurance when it comes to being true to herself, and being her own person.
Relationships, part 1
Jubilee soon grows attached to Wolverine, who eventually become a parent figure for her. She often demands his attention and that he speaks to her. Early Jubilee also worries a lot about Logan, since she can see that his healing factor and vitality are diminished – yet he keeps pushing himself to an unreasonable extent.
She’s also jealous of anybody who commands too much of Wolverine’s attention. Jubilation is still hurt by the loss of her parents, so anything taking away a paternal figure from her is a threat. Likewise, she’ll verbally lash out at anybody disrespecting Wolverine.
For months, Jubilee distrusted Psylocke. She hated the idea of being near a telepath. Plus, Psylocke’s fabulously fetching frame made Jubilee feel like a runty eight-year old. She didn’t like Gambit either, as he seemed *too* smooth and too slick.
Generally, she’s wary out of constant risk awareness. Earning her trust takes a fair while. But over time, Jubilee came to trust all X-Men, as they had adopted her as a member without any fuss.
Relationships, part 2
X-Men ally Gateway had an interest in Jubilee. He let a portal linger so she could follow the X-ladies to Australia, greeted her when she came through, pointed her toward a hiding place, left behind a time portal that would allow Jubilee to see a key point of her past…
However, it is unclear whether Lee realised this.
Curiously, Lee and the somewhat authoritarian Xavier have a rapport. Yes, it doesn’t *sound* like they get along. But they are aware that the way they repress their childhood losses and trauma, and pretend they’re unaffected, is very similar.
“Major league lumpoids… think they’re sooooo cool — prob’ly the luckiest moment of their day is when they find their feet to put on their shoes, y’know !”
“I gotta replace these bandages, an’ — phew-stinkee — clean the mess. I’d try for a hospital, but the upstairs is like jam-crammed with the oppos. Ultimate bad news bears, y’know. Total toadstools.”
(To Wolverine) “You gotta do something about this macho attitude. I mean, it is like so lame…!”
“‘course, it pays to be resourceful. Revenge being, like, the mother of inspiration right ? Or something.”
Wolverine: “Do you *ever* quit with the motormouth ?!”
Jubilee: “Hey, ideal world exists in a state of balance, right ? You talk so little, leaves a big hole inna scheme of things, someone’s gotta talk a lot to make up for it, y’know ?”
(In Madripoor) “These critters better be dead, pal ! I’m an American. I don’t eat anything that wiggles !”
Axe (Jerome Hamilton): “Here’s the kid ! Mus’ be the Canuck’s new sidekick !”
Jubilee: “‘scuse me all to blazes, Mr. sexist pigdog… but why can’t he be *mine* ? I mean, *I* do all the work, take the risks, pull off the daring rescues — why’s *he* always get the publicity ?”
“*IT* ! [Elsie Dee] is a *thing*, Forge ! Don’t *you* start anthropho… anthromopho… making like it’s human !”
Yukio (in a skintight black leather catsuit): “Any friend of Wolverine is a friend of mine.”
Jubilee: “How come he doesn’t know any plain girls with frumpy tastes in clothes –?”
(After a giant pterosaur grabs her and flies away with her) “Hey, can we *discuss* this ? I mean, are we in a totally non-negotiable situation here ? Do I at least get frequent-flier miles ?”
Surprised hostile goon: “Hey ! What in ..?”
Jubilee: “Ah-ah ! Watch the language ! Children present !”
“*I* don’t babble ! You’re thinking of the Beast !”
“WHO YOU CALLIN’ A ‘CHILD’ ?”
Cannonball: “Is the Professor there ?”
Jubilee: “Nope. Pappa Cueball’s gonzo.”
“Yo, Wolvster, you okay ?”
(To X-Force) “… and I’ll say it again losers ! Yer nothin’ but a whining bunch o’ head-padded, hyper-thyroided, pig-headed, spoiled brat, poorly dressed, overly accessorised, delusionary disadvantaged X-Men WANNABES in major need of a total ‘tude adjustment !”
(To the X-Men) “How in the name of Oprah-Montel-Rafael do you guys deal with this kind of pain all the time an’ still look at yourselves in the mirror ?”
(This refers to 1990s TV talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey, Montel Williams and Sally Jesse Raphael).
DC Universe History
For some reason I would feature her as the sidekick of Bat Hero (Bruce Wang), from a parallel reality where China becomes the global hegemon and colonises the Americas (with Gotham as East Macau).
If dropping the Robin angle, she could have been recruited as part of a Titans West that went nowhere, but carried on. There could be a thing where she and Flamebird work together, everybody assumes that they’re just silly ditzes, but they actually do a pretty good job.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
Jubilee (Earliest stats)
|Dex: 04||Str: 01||Bod: 02||Motivation: Uphold the Good|
|Int: 03||Wil: 03||Min: 03||Occupation: Runaway|
|Inf: 03||Aur: 02||Spi: 03||Wealth: 002|
|Init: 010||HP: 015|
Energy blast: 06, Flash: 06, Fog: 02, Iron Will: 03
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Energy blast and Fog both are Contingent Upon Flash.
- Energy blast has a Range of but 02.
- Energy blast can have an Area of Effect if desired. It covers two yard per AP of additional EV bought using Hero Points when the attack is delivered. Frex, if Jubilee spends HPs to raise her Energy Blast’s EV by 6, it can have up to a 12-yard diameter Area of Effect.
- Flash can have a 0 APs Area of Effect if desired.
- Flash has a Range of but 02.
- Fog has a Special +8 Volume Bonus (over the baseline, so that’s a +13 total) but has No Range.
- Fog is bright light — spraying low-density fireworks everywhere — and can be resisted as such.
- Iron Will is Form Function, and is limited to effects that would force her to betray herself or her loved ones.
Accuracy (Plasmoid-based Powers): 05, Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 05, Artist (Plasmoid lightshows, Gymnastics): 05, Artist (Drawing, Snooker): 03, Charisma (Fast-talk): 03, Evasion: 06, Medicine (First aid): 02, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land, Sea): 02
Area Knowledge (Hollywood malls), Familiarity (Girl Scout skills, Rollerblading, Flashy TV programs), Language (High and Low Shi’ar).
Age (Young), MPR (Dyscalculic), MID of Staying focused, Misc.: body mass is 1 AP.
- Goggles [BODY 01, Shade: 01, Do nothing: 04].
- Snap-on rollerblades [BODY 02, Running: 04, Limitation: Running can only be used on smooth and even surfaces.]
- Jubilee will sometimes have small consumer electronics. During this era that usually means some sort of Walkman (cell phones were still a few years away, especially in the US).
She was an unruly kid
Early on, Jubes has MIN 02 and SPI 02. By the time she reaches Madripoor, she has the listed 03s. Near the end of this era, she’s reached a 04 in both scores.
Her Iron Will and her WIL also started one AP lower.
Design Notes – Energy Blast
The APs of Energy Blast assume that she often spend HPs when using her power offensively. It seems to require extra concentration, and she’s often reluctant to cut loose with the offense.
The GM can at any point declare that the cost for boosting her Energy Blast will be in the Action Genre for the next Phase. This models Jubilee’s developing power, as she sometimes erupts in a huge (and painful) plasma blast without understanding how.
Of course, this usually happens at dramatically suitable moments.
Design Notes – Fog
The Fog is seldom used, since it’d penalise allies as well as enemies – and she can’t create it as a distance. It’s mostly done by spinning, and projecting a quick mess of low-powered pafs to saturate the area.
When she used it against the Harriers, there was a synergy with Psylocke, who can fight without seeing and thus wasn’t penalised by the Fog. This may be why Psylocke vouched for Jubilee to come after Omega Red and the Hand, since that’s a good team-up trick.
Design Notes – Iron Will
The Iron Will thing is a bit heavy-handed, though it’s not the first time I use it (the more recent ones were Colleen Wing and Misty Knight.)
In a clean design, this would be done using solely Hero Points, kept in reserve to resist specific instances of mind control. But it doesn’t work that well for a character with a low Hero Points total.
And there’s no way to control HP spending. So people would just see a higher-than-expected Hero Points total and promptly spend them on EV boosting and LDD and junk food and the like.
A preferential spending rate would work (à la Conditional Soaking). Iron Will ends up being lower-drag and higher-clarity than that, since beyond a price break you also need to raise the cap to boost RV using HPs. But a HP-based solution would be fine if the gaming group prefers it.
Source of Character: X-Men comics and Wolverine comics, mostly.
Helper(s): Chris Cottingham.
Writeup completed on the 20th of June, 2018.