Minorities in cartoons: Jubilee

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is Jubilee, a character in the “X-Men” comics. Jubilee first appeared in “Uncanny X-Men” #244 (May 1989). Longtime “X-Men” writer Chris Claremont and artist Mark Silvestri created Jubilee.

Background

Jubilee (real name: Jubilation Lee) was born the only child of wealthy parents, and grew up in Beverly Hills. One weekend, her parents lost both their fortune (in the stock market) and their lives. The latter came about when they were accidentally killed by hit-men seeking the wrong targets.

Initially sent to an orphanage, Jubilee ran away and began hiding out in a nearby mall. There, she survived by stealing food and using her powers to entertain mall patrons for money. Finally fed up with her antics, mall security decided to hire professional mutant hunters to remove her from their property. After being rescued from said hunters by several X-Men (including Storm), she decided to secretly follow the mutant heroes back to their home base. “Home” at the time was in the Australian outback; Storm and the others had traveled to southern California via a portal generated by a fellow mutant.

Initially, Ms. Lee kept her presence around the X-Men’s home base as secret as possible. Jubilee’s full presence was eventually revealed after helping Wolverine from a deadly trap. She soon became something of a sidekick to Logan, accompanying him on various adventures. Jubilee also ended up officially joining the X-Men as its youngest member.

Jubilee’s powers consist of the ability to generate explosive and colorful “fireworks”-like energy blasts. Recent stories have seen her lose her mutant powers, then get turned into a vampire. (Don’t ask.)

Other media

Outside of comics, Jubilee’s a regularly featured background character in most “X-Men” media.

The 1990s “X-Men” cartoon is her most prominent media appearance to date. Jubilee was one of the main characters in the show, even appearing in the opening credits. Alyson Court voiced Jubilee. Court is a Canadian voice actress who also voiced Lydia in the “Beetlejuice” cartoon.

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