Today’s Generation X #86 has a big change to Jubilee, everyone’s favorite sparkly, explode-y X-Man in a yellow jacket and wonky shades. And it has everything to do with how she’s a vampire.
Yes, Jubilee’s status quo has been shaken up considerably in the past decade, from the familiar “fireworks” display of her energy plasmoids, which she could direct to change color and shape and explode on command — to having no powers except those commonly associated with vampires, because she is a vampire. And it seems that if the Generation X series is going to be a casualty of Marvel’s infamous March 2018 cancellations, at least it’s going to go out with a bang.
But perhaps I should start at the beginning.
[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Generation X #86.]
Even though Jubilee has been a vampire since the Curse of the Mutants crossover seven years ago, it’s not a facet of Marvel Comics canon that has penetrated the cultural consciousness beyond regular readers of X-Men. The rollercoaster of her changing powers really began in 2005’s House of M miniseries, in which the Scarlet Witch used her reality-warping powers to depower the vast majority of mutants. Jubilee was among those who lost their abilities.
Then, in Curse of the Mutants, Jubilee was present when a vampiric “suicide bomber” stepped into the sunlight in a crowded public plaza, deliberately undergoing a sort of solar detonation in order to infect the crowd with a virus that would turn them into vampires as well. But, after some training, Jubilee learned how to be a nice vampire who didn’t typically eat people unless they were, like, real jerks. Eventually, she even got an amulet that would allow her to walk around in the sunlight without dying!
She also adopted a cute orphaned baby named Shogo.
Anyway, that brings us to Generation X #86, the penultimate issue of the series, in which Jubilee and the ragtag band of mutant students she’s teaching have to band together to defeat the threat of the vampiric Monet St. Croix in order to save the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.
In the fight, Monet tears off Jubilee’s amulet and throws her outside into the daylight, whereupon she immediately bursts into flames. And then, for characteristically self-centered reasons, Quentin Quire, telepath and former host of the Phoenix Force, trades the shard of the Phoenix within him for Jubilee’s life.
From the final page of Generation X #86, it seems like Jubilee hasn’t just been restored to a good old human baseline, but that her fireworks are back as well.
It’s not a bad achievement for a book that’s about to see its end. Commenters on the Marvel subreddit are greeting the move with great excitement. One might even say ... jubilation.