Jubilee Costume History
Jubilation Lee was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Marc Silvestri for the 1989 issue of Uncanny X-Men #244. Jubilee would come from a very privileged background, but unfortunate events have continually shaken her world to the core. However, she always proves her resilience and manages to overcome the obstacles life throws her way.
Jubilation Lee’s parents were wealthy Chinese immigrants. She was born in Beverly Hills, California and fit the 90’s teen image. Jubilee was an accomplished gymnast. She was talented enough, that there were talks of being an Olympic hopeful. Sadly, her life and future hopes were shattered when a pair of hitmen assassinated her parents. Their death caused Jubilee to be placed in an orphanage. She quickly ran away and started living in the Hollywood Mall. At first, she simply stole food and tried to avoid detection. However, one day when she was trying to escape mall cops, her mutant abilities manifested. Jubilee had the ability to create burst of multi-colored energy plasmoids. During the chase, she released an enormous blast of light the disoriented the security guards chasing her. This would be a small sample of what Jubilee was capable of. Jubilee took to calling these these globules of energy fireworks. She was able to manipulate the direction they traveled, the form they took and when they would explode. The intensity of the plasmoids could range from a harmless light show, to detonating matter at the subatomic level. Although she had the power to make the equivalent of a fusion bomb, her morals have kept her use in check.
After Jubilee discovered her mutant powers, she quickly devised a new method of survival. She uses her powers to create a colorful spectacle and entertained the mall customer for money. The mall was unable to catch Jubilee on their own, so they called in the M-Squad to deal with her. Jubilee was able to hold off these mutant hunters for a while, but it was Dazzler, Psylocke, Rogue and Storm who ultimately rescued her. Jubilee secretly followed these four women through a portal that led to the X-Men’s base in Australian. Jubilee was once again in hiding and survived by scrounging for food and clothing. While hiding in the base, Jubilee fights Nanny and discovers that her powers protect her from mental brainwashing powers created by other mutants. It is also during her time hiding in the base that she realizes the deadly potential of her powers by blowing up a cybernetic dog. Despite these battles, Jubilee was able to keep her existence hidden from the X-Men until they left the underground base. She willingly exposed herself after witnessing Wolverine tortured by the Reavers. It took time to build up the courage, but she eventually snuck Wolverine back to her hiding spot in the base and nursed him back to health. Wolverine’s healing factor was completely taxed and he had not fully recuperated when the Reavers had found their secret hideout. They escaped and Jubilee once again proved her worth. Jubilee and Wolverine would team up on several adventures. She became his unofficial sidekick. Their relationship was a bit difficult for many readers to understand, since Wolverine is known for being a loner. However, Jubilee’s need to fill the void left by her parents death and Wolverine discovering the joys of parenthood helped solidify their bond. When Wolverine brought Jubilee into the X-Men, she was accepted right away. As the newest and youngest member, she was placed in the Blue Team with Cyclops, Rogue, Beast, Gambit, Psylocke and Wolverine. Jubilee not only proved herself against many of the X-Men’s greatest foes, but also formed close friendships with her new team members.
Jubilee would eventually leave the X-Men and join a team of mutants closer to her own age. Generation X was led by Banshee and Emma Frost. They and guest teachers would instruct the children not only on how to hone their skills, but also regular school curriculum. Jubilee’s time working with the more experienced X-Men led to her being vital in many of the team’s battles. While in Generation X, she discovered that Hunter Brawn was the one responsible for her parents death. She once again proved her power and moral strength when she leveled his warehouse, but left him alive to face justice in the courts.
Generation X was disbanded and Jubilee moved back to L.A. with her former team member Skin. She attempted to start an acting career, but experienced the stereotyping and sexism embedded in the casting process. Their former team leader Banshee had created a more militaristic group called the X-Corps and recruited Jubilee and a couple of her former teammates to join the team. They are hesitant, but go along to keep an eye on Banshee. When Jubilee left X-Corps, she returned to Los Angeles. A series of events would leave Jubilee emotionally defeated. The Church of Humanity kidnapped Jubilee, Skin, Magma and many other mutants, then crucified them on the lawn of X-Mansion. Skin was killed and anti mutant sentiment caused his remains to be cremated, instead of buried at the cemetery. She was only able to work with the X-Men for a short period of time, before Cyclops had her take a break in fear of her emotional well being. Hope, a long lost relative, adopted Jubilee, took her back to Los Angeles and enrolled her in Payton High School. This fairytale soon came to a crashing halt, when her Aunt’s past as an assassin caught up to her. Hope was thought to have perished in an explosion, but in reality is revealed to be cybernetic.
Things for from bad to worse when Jubilee is one of the many mutants to become powerless after M-Day. She begins working at a halfway house to help other depowered mutants. She is kidnapped by Omega Red, but Wolverine is able to use S.H.I.E.L.D. to save her. Jubilee would lay low for a while and reappeared as a member of the New Warriors, fighting under the codename Wondra. Jubilee was the first member to be recruited into this latest version of the team and placed second in command. Night Thrasher gave her a piece of technology that may have been based on The Wizard’s Wonder Gauntlets, to compensate for her loss of superpowers. The technology gave Wondra super strength and limited invulnerability. She was also able to use hover discs to fly around. Jubilee left the team, after discovering her new team was not always being utilized for noble purposes.
She moved to San Francisco, California and tries to cope with the loss of her powers. She finds some young mutants, who tell her about an island for mutants called Utopia. Although Jubilee does not rejoin the X-Men on Utopia, she does find peace with her powerless mutant identity.
Just when things started to turn around for Jubilee, she was infected with a bio-engineered virus released by a vampire suicide bomber. As a result, Jubilee and many others were being transformed into vampires? Jubilee’s metamorphosis into a vampire occurred much slower than other affected. However, when she left the safety of Utopia and was bitten by Dracula’s son Xarus, the change was complete. Jubilee does not regain her mutant powers, but does take on the powers of a vampire. She now has super strength, speed and the ability to turn into vapor. She also has their weaknesses toward sunlight, garlic, silver, religious symbols and need for blood. At first Jubilee had to be held in a prison on Utopia, but she was eventually taken in by a group of vampires calling themselves The Forgiven. They had figured out a way to move past their need for blood. Jubilee finds peace once again and she even was able to adopt Shogo.
X-Men Thrift Store
Jubilee’s first outfit was not really a costume, but the remnants of the X-Men’s wardrobe closet. When Jubilee was hiding in the X-Men’s Australian base, she was forced to scrounge for supplies to survive. This included clothing. She could be found wearing Storm’s Vest, Wolverine’s gloves, Dazzler’s leotards, Rogues boots and Longshot’s bag. She also had a pair of sunglasses that would become a part of her signature style.
Jubilee’s original costume was still closer to street clothes than an actual uniform. She wore the outfit consistently while working with Wolverine and it would set the standard for her future costume and iconic look. She wore a sleeveless t-shirt, a pair of shorts and a yellow raincoat. At first, this outfit consisted of green shorts and a red shirt. This look was intentionally created to resemble another famous sidekick, Robin. However, to separate her from being a copy of Batman’s famous sidekick, the shorts were changed to blue and her shirt to pink. Her trademark yellow trenchcoat remained the same. The accessories to this outfit were her recognizable pink sunglasses and round round earrings with her name on them. This is the look Jubilee would often return to between costume changes.
After the X-Tinction Agenda, the X-Men were issued standard uniforms to help them be unified as a team. These uniforms were updated versions of the original costumes created by Moira MacTaggert. The look was very similar, but they incorporated body armor and other special features. The yellow one piece body and blue fabric covering the limbs was instantly recognizable. Of course, they were given matching yellow boots and gloves. For those who did not know this was an X-Men uniform, they included a red belt with a large X on the buckle. To add her own personal touch, Jubilee kept her pink shades and large earrings.
Generation X Uniform
When Jubilee left the X-Men and joined the younger Generation X, she was given a new uniform. She now wore a dark red metallic bodysuit. For added protection, she was given large yellow armour plated boots. Jubilee also wore yellow fingerless gloves and elbow padding. The belt buckle still had a large X on it, but it was now colored blue to stand out against the red costume. This time, Jubilee only kept her yellow trenchcoat to personalize the ensemble.
Adrienne Frost opened the Massachusetts Academy to the public. To help hide the identities as Generation X mutants from rest of the students, Jubilee and her teammates were given new costumes. The red and yellow color scheme was kept, but the color was more evenly distributed. Red fabric was used to cover the arms and legs, but there was now a large yellow body section. The boots and gloves remained yellow, but had even more padding. Since these costumes were designed to hide their secret identities, Jubilee would wear a mask for the first time.
It was not long before the mutants in the school were exposed. This is not surprising since they had been running around without masks for years. Since there was no longer a need to wear masks, Generation X was given new costumes. Jubilee had a red and yellow halter top that formed a huge X on the front. She had a matching pair of tight red and yellow shorts with black leggings underneath. Rather than wearing her trademark yellow trenchcoat, Jubilee changed things up and had a baggy fur trimmed jacket. She still had a pair of colored shades.
It was not long before the team was given customized reddish brown uniforms. It was made of a special smart material, but was never tested in actual combat. The team was disbanded before any missions presented themselves. Jubilee had a short black bodystocking that covered her from above the knees to her elbows. She had a pair of reddish brown shorts that were similar to her original costume. She also had a matching T-shirt with yellow lining and a large yellow encircled X on the chest.
X-Corps Business Suit
attire. She had a pair of black dress pants and a red longsleeve shirt. Jubilee also wore a simple black tie to add an air of professionalism.
With no mutant abilities, Jubilee had technology integrated into her costume to give her superpowers and was going by the codename Wondra. Her yellow and white full bodysuit did a wonderful job of hiding her identity and removing any trace that the person underneath was once the X-Woman Jubilee. Jubilation Lee always liked to brand herself; as Jubilee, she had her name written on her earrings and as Wondra, she had her name written in white down the sleeves. To add more protection, she had ribbed yellow padding on the side of her legs. Her head was completely covered in fabric and yellow lensed goggles concealed her eyes. Large power gauntlets gave her the super strength she needed to be effective in the field.
Jubilee’s next costume as Wondra was more simple in its design. Instead of looking like an alien, she gave the impression of a ninja. She had on a form fitting black bodysuit and the mask only covered the lower half of her face. The costume was accented with thin yellow lines along the arms, over the shoulders and across the chest. These lines created the image of a W, which is more subtle that writing Wondra all over the fabric. Another pair of stripes ran up her legs and across the waist to form a similar W at her waist and gave the illusion of a belt. Her yellow boots matched the thin lining of the costume. The only other color came from the gray power gauntlets needed to enhance her strength.
Turning into a vampire is rarely a smooth transition. While Jubilee was in leagues with Xarus, she tried to look the part of a stereotypical evil vampire seductress. She had on the sexy black leather bodysuit and a neckline that went far enough down to expose her now ample chest. The leather pattern woven across her midriff and hips only help accentuate her womanly curves. Her high heel boots added to this deadly look. The only color in the ensemble was a ruby medallion worn to protect herself from the sun.
The Vampire Jubilee
When Jubilee came to terms with being a vampire and still the person she was before, her costume changed to fit her identity. She now had a full black leather bodysuit, that was firmly closed in the front. Jubilee’s boots were much more practical and lost the highheel. Most importantly, she was once again wearing her signature yellow raincoat and pink sunglasses.
Jubilee has been brought from the comic book pages to real life on several occasions.
Generation X was a 1996 made for TV movie. It was originally a pilot, but could not grab the fan based needed to be picked up as a regular series. The movie starts with Jubilee and Skin being accepted into the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. The X-Mansion in the show was used again for the 2000 X-Men film franchise.
Heather McComb was cast as Jubilee. This childhood actress had a long list of credits before being cast as a teenage mutant. Her character had many similarities to her comic book origins. She was highly intelligent, curious and could generate colorful bursts of plasma energy from her hands. A few changes were made for her mainstream television appearance, like having some psychic abilities. They also cast the Chinese American Jubilation Lee with a caucasian actress. Little things.
Jubilee did not play a major role in the 2000 X-Men movie or its follow up X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand. However, the creators of these films made sure to give Jubilee a cameo appearance.
Katrina Florence can be seen in the classroom scene with Rogue. She is writing in her notebook, while wearing her recognizable yellow jacket and sunglasses.
Kea Wong had the opportunity to portray Jubilee in both X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand. She is not wearing the classic yellow coat, but they made sure to utilize her more in the overall story.
Jubilee costumes are not as readily available as other comic book superheroes. However, her “mallrat” beginnings have made assembling a costume from everyday clothing an easy task for cosplayers.
Google Images (Images appeared on several sites and was unsure of original)
And of course: Reading way too many comic books.
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