Today’s X-Men Blue #18 from Marvel Comics by Cullen Bunn, R B Silva, Adriano Di Benedetto, Rain Beredo, and Joe Caramagna has what may be the singularly best line in all of today’s comics for me. I read it, and I about laughed out loud.
And not because of the idea of the audience knowing something the character doesn’t. Far from it. It feels much more meta than that to me.
And it all has to do with this little exchange between a Generation X-era Jubilee and alternate reality vampire weather witch, Bloodstorm.
A little housekeeping out of the way: this is a time travel caper, so this is a younger Jubilee from around her days at the Massachusetts Academy… sort of. I won’t spoil the whole deal there, it’s worth checking out for yourselves.
What I found especially amusing about this little exchange is it felt like a meta comment jumping out of the narrative for a moment: a little moment where it looked like there isn’t a single person who likes the idea of Jubilee as a vampire, not even the character herself.
For those that don’t know, Jubilee was turned into a vampire years ago by then-X-Men writer Victor Gischler, a man who while Wikipedia describes him as an American crime writer seemed to have a bit of an obsession with vampires — especially in comics. After all, he did the Death of Dracula one-shot (even though Dracula had just died in Captain Britain and MI13 at the time, having to create a convoluted idea of there being more than one Dracula), the Curse of the Mutants plot that brought vampires into X-Men again (and left the at that time de-powered Jubilee turned into a creature of the night), a Fear Itself tie in that again included Dracula, a Buffy spinoff following vampire Spike and Angel & Faith, which of course involved the Buffy vampire slayer and one-time love interest, Angel.
The problem was, the vampire schtick made no sense for Jubilee in particular. A character that is predominantly about fun and energy and brightness becoming a creature that has to stick to the shadows felt stupid and not helpful to what made the character unique and fun.
It’s also proved a problem for writers a lot of the time who have seemed to have some trouble with what exactly this means for Jubilee (with a vampiric power set that has never felt stable or set and constantly in flux), to how to relate her vampiric nature in any kind of meaningful way (leading to at one point in the current Generation X run it only really being related by the fact she was nearly always seen drinking blood from a thermos).
Well, this little throwaway line tickled me. Maybe there’s plenty of folks behind the scenes at Marvel who hate the idea of vampire Jubilee, too? Maybe Bunn is one of them?
At any rate, while Generation X is sadly coming to an end, the last issue solicits to leave us with some hope that this frankly stupid chapter in the character development of firework-shooting mallrat Jubilee may finally be coming to an end:
GENERATION X #87
CHRISTINA STRAIN (W) • AMILCAR PINNA (A)
Cover by TERRY DODSON
Survival of the Fittest Part 3
• It’s JUBILEE vs. M-PLATE…vampire vs. vampire!
• Will the GEN X class be able to defeat MONET/EMPLATE and save the school?
• All this, plus: Witness a major milestone for Jubilee!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99