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X-Men Legends
by Monkey Boy

When I first got into comics, Uncanny X-Men was my gateway. At the time, writer Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee had the mutant heroes flying through space battling War Skrulls. I was hooked.

The character I gravitated to immediately was Jubilee. I don't know why; maybe it's because at the time she was the kid/teenager proxy character to let young readers feel connected to the story, like Kitty Pryde before her. Soon after this time, the X-Men cartoon debuted, which put Jubilee center stage.

The mutant Jubilee generates pyrotechnic energy blasts that she calls fireworks, capable of blinding enemies or causing serious damage.

Jubes' characterization was basically a sassy early-90s teen and her power was "making fireworks," so she should have been awful. I'm not sure why, but I always loved her and her character has endured... she's lost her powers, gained a super suit, became a vampire... but to me she'll always be the Chinese-American orphan the X-Men found while shopping in the mall.

We've had a Marvel Legends Jubilee before, as a Build-a-Figure, but it was based on her later (vampiric) design. Now, we finally have one from her Claremont beginnings: bright yellow trenchcoat, bright blue gloves and boots, denim cutoffs, pink shirt... Jubilee's color palette is right out of the early '90s GI Joe era.

I never had the BAF Jubilee, but the new and old figures share surprisingly few pieces: only the upper arms and the coat piece are reused. Jubilee gets two new heads, new lower arms, a new body... and they look great!

The two heads are both very good representations of the character - her short spiky hair, her big "Jubilee" self-logo earrings, and her Asian heritage identifiable without being overly stereotypical. She's also got her trademark pink sunglasses. Unlike the previous Legends Jubilee (which had more modernized shades), this one gets the big clunky wraparounds she had from the very beginning. On the main head, they're permanently attached, but the second head is sans shades. She gets two removable pairs though, which can be used if desired. (Presumably two in case you lose one? Not like she'd wear two pairs at once.) The second head also includes a permanently affixed bubble of chewing gum coming from her lips, which was kind of her thing. She liked gum. Professor X used to give her crap about it. You'll want to be careful with that: the connection is very thin, and it feels like it could break off easily.

Anyway, from the neck down things are just as well sculpted. Her body is petite, as she is a teenager after all. The popped collar on her coat doesn't have the lines Jim Lee loved drawing on them, unlike her series-mate Gambit, but everything else is very nicely done. Her pink top (revealed to be a vest in the times she's been shown without her coat) features the characteristic clasps and Jubilee logo pin, and her pants, boots and gloves are wrinkled adequately. The gloves and boots even get those trademark Lee straps.

The figure's paint is pretty good for a Marvel Legends-level figure. If you have the chance to inspect multiple Jubes figures on the pegs (which is not too likely, since she's proven quite popular) pay close attention to the eyes, which can be a bit wonky, but otherwise the face is mostly clean. Also, you may want to double check that the permanently affixed glasses are on straight.

There's gold accents for her earrings, vest pin and clasps, and it's adequate (if a bit sloppy). At this level, it's forgivable. Her clothes are mostly molded in their color, but the hues are quite vibrant, which befits her loud look. The shorts are rolled up, with the cuffs reflecting a lighter denim shade. This is the sloppiest bit of the paint, as the edge doesn't really match the sculpted cuff and is pretty haphazard. Her glasses and gum bubble are translucent pink, with the shades being significantly darker than the gum.

As a Marvel Legend, this figure meets the expected standards of articulation: ball and hinge neck; peg and hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists; balljointed chest, peg waist, balljointed hips, peg thighs, double hinged knees, peg boot tops, and peg and hinge ankles.

All the joints work well and allow for some cool posing, although the knees and hips can be distractingly visible by the standards of those used to, say, Bandai's Figuarts. The joint at the back of her neck is also weirdly exposed, with the sculpt of the hair ending very high and leaving the balljoint quite visible. But since I'm rarely looking at the back of my figures, it's not super distracting.

For accessories, Jubilation comes with a lot, but is still lacking some key things. We've already discussed the extra head and two removable shades, which is nice. She also gets a Build-A-Figure piece: the torso of the Morlock Caliban. It's big, and is painted deep red and a metallic white.

What she does not get, unfortunately, are any type of effects to showcase her mutant powers. It's a shame, because her previous Legends figure included some, and her hands are sculpted as if she's tossing some fireworks. I suppose some of the old effects that came with the Doctor Strange or Scarlet Witch figures (the comic versions, not the MCU ones) would work, though I don't have any of those figures myself. It would have been nicer to have included them, rather than have to hunt down extras from other toys, but instead I suppose I'll have to be satisfied with two pairs of sunglasses.

Despite a few flaws, this is a really solid figure. None of the issues mentioned above are dealbreakers, and if you're like me, a '90s kid who was basically introduced to comics through this character, then you've wanted this figure for quite some time. And I'm happy to report that it does her justice. If you see one on the pegs, I recommend snapping it up, as they don't stick around for very long.

-- 05/28/19

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