X-Men: Curse of the Mutants

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X-men: Curse of the Mutants at face value seems like a desperate stretch. We’ve run out of mutant versus human stories, or mutant versus mutant, or mutant versus space aliens, or demi-gods, so let’s go for the mutant versus vampires storyline. As absurd as it sounds, the story actually works and sets in motion the re-birth of a character that had been falling out of X-men universe for some time. That is of course, Jubilation Lee.

After the events in House of M, Jubilee is one of the mutants that loses her powers and for those of us who have witnessed her contributions to the X-men, know that this is no big loss. The X-Men have moved their headquarters to San Francisco, on the island of Utopia, but now with no powers at all Jubilee refuses to join the team on the island and stays on the mainland. Fearing the onset of depression, Cyclops sends Pixie to check up on her. While they are having lunch at a bistro in downtown San Francisco, a suicide bomber attacks. Only there was no bomb. The bomber himself just exploded, showering all those around him with his blood and the virus within. The virus transmitts the disease that turns humans and mutants alike, into vampires.

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And Jubilation Lee is infected.

Cyclops, knowing that this cannot be an isolated incident, sends the X-men to investigate while Jubilee is kept under watchful care. What they find is that vampires en masses are descending on San Francisco and more importantly, toward the island they call Utopia.

With the overthrow and murder of their leader, Dracula, the vampires have created a coalition of all their factions under the leadership of Dracula’s son, Xarus. Using his power over the weakened Jubilee, Xarus calls her to him. But he is only doing this to set a trap. He was the other X-Men to follow so that he can turn them as well. Especially Wolverine. What follows is a battle between vampire and mutant, with one definite casualty. Jubilee is turned into a vampire, a change that is not reversible.

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Jubilee for years has been nothing more than a sidekick to Wolverine. A surrogate daughter until the much more lethal and cooler X-23 came along. Her mutant power was basically shooting really bright sparklers out of her hands. The bubble gum she was consistently popping had more of an effect than her sparklers. Jubilee was there for Wolverine to take care of and show a softer, gentler side to Logan.

In Curse of the Mutants she takes on a more powerful and grown up role. In her transformation from powerless mutant to vampire, there is also the growth of little scared girl to sexy fearsome vampire vixen. The moment when she bites Wolverine, taking him by surprise should have been a story line moment that brought bigger things.

But like most of what happens when Marvel has a good idea lately, they simply don’t know what to do with it.

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The other eye opener her is Scott Summers. Cyclops has for years been second fiddle to Professor X and even losing leadership to Storm and Jean Grey from time to time. Here though, he is a tactician. A military mind that uses his people and their skills to fight back the onslaught of the vampire invasion. He is pretty cool and brilliant. He is what he always should have been as the leader of the X-men.

For Jubilee, Marvel needs to figure this character out. You have a vampire, who is learning to control her hunger and is far more appealing than Blade or Morbius. It’s time to let her shed the yellow raincoat and bubble gum and let Jubilee become a woman all on her own. If you don’t think a strong female lead that deals with vampires and werewolves and the like won’t sell…then you need to take a look at Anita Blake and company.

Curse of the Mutants is a pretty good read, far out there, but then again, it is a comic book and a pretty good one at that.

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