The X-Men universe is one of the most expansive ones Marvel has to offer. It features a wide range of characters with a whole mess of different and interesting abilities. We have the more well-known ones like Wolverine’s healing/claws combo, Professor X’s psychic powers, and Magneto’s control over all metal. Behind them sit lesser characters with a smattering of powers that range from running through walls to super-strength. But there’s one hero in the X-Men world that, despite her terrible combination of powers, seems to make her way into all too many main stories: Jubilee.
Simply put, Jubilee is the worst. It’s an unfortunate reality, but she was placed in a poor position from her very inception. Her origin story sounds like something out of a Boxcar Children novel, her powers are laughably ineffectual, and the comics insist on putting her at the forefront of major conflicts in spite of all this. And now she’s been cast to appear in X-Men: Apocalypse. We can’t really fathom the “why” of it all, but you can bet we take issue with that decision, and for good reason.
1. No really, she has the worst powers
We should qualify, Jubilee has the worst powers of any primary character. There are tons of lame X-Men who exist on the periphery, but this particular one happens to live at the center of some major stories. What are her powers you ask? In a word, fireworks. Jubilee possesses the ability to produce small bursts of light akin to a series of really bright camera flashes, disorienting and temporarily annoying her enemies. She can also control these bursts to take the shape of streamers, spheres, and a variety of other shapes, making her better suited for a 6-year-old’s birthday party than fighting evil.
2. Her powers were so useless that they written out of the comics and replaced with better ones. Twice.
In the “M-Day” storyline, Jubilee lost her ability to be a slight nuisance to any enemy combatant. She later acquired technology that gifted her with more useful powers, including super-strength, invulnerability, and flight. This later went by the wayside when (and we kid you not), she was bitten by Dracula’s son and turned into a vampire. Currently in the comics, she possesses all the classic strengths and weaknesses of a creature of the night, completing her transformation from circus performer to shameless pop culture icon.
3. Her “other talents” include in-line skating and gymnastics
Heroes in the Marvel universe usually have a whole bunch of interesting other talents independent of their superpowers. Jubilee’s though sit decidedly in the “this lacks practical application” territory. Imagine if Wolverine’s “thing” outside of being an immortal healing warrior was to train and take care of sea monkeys. That’s essentially what Jubilee’s ability to in-line skate and be a low-level gymnast is. Sure, gymnastics can come in handy from time to time, but when they’re paired with the ability make really bright lights, it almost seems like staying up on a pommel horse is the superior skill.
4. The discovery of her powers led to the glamorous life of…mall performing?
When Peter Parker acquired his powers, he immediately signed up for an underground cage match to win a whole pile of money. Wolverine went on a mission of vengeance and murder after his bones were coated in adamantium by the U.S. Military. Tony Stark made a point of privatizing world peace. Jubilee? She got super into mall performing after disorienting some security guards with her fireworks. In a Tom and Jerry-esque turn of events, mall security spent a large portion of their time and energy trying to shut down her unauthorized performances. Really compelling stuff.
5. There’s a reason we’ve gone seven X-Men movies so far without a Jubilee storyline
We’ve gotten so very far without Jubilee these last 15 years in the X-Men movie universe. In the comics, she acts as Wolverine’s de facto sidekick of sorts, essentially the same role that Rogue played in the first movie of the series. Clearly the studio made a decision that a mutant with something that resembles a real set of interesting powers should make the cut, and so Jubilee was replaced. Now she’ll be making her big debut in X-Men: Apocalypse, and our morbid curiosity is getting the better of us. Will we be getting vampire-Jubilee? Is there any possible way to dress up her powers on-screen as anything but terribly ineffectual? These are the questions that deserve answering. We just wish the answers weren’t so imminent.
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