Monthly Archives: October 2014

Jubilee: Getting Her Spark

Jubilation Lee is an X-Men character that has not been included in film adaptations, unless you count the brief cameo appearances in X-Men, X2, and X-Men: The Last stand. It was an interesting decision on the film-makers’ part to have Jubilee take a back seat in the films given her close relationships to other mutants, particularly with Wolverine.

Her “Mall Rat” Beginnings

Jubilee By Aaron PageMs. Lee was introduced to X-Men fans in 1989. The girl belonged to a wealthy Asian-American family in Beverly Hills and became a very talent gymnast at a young age. She seemed to have an ideal life, but that would change drastically. In her early teen years, tragedy stuck and both her mother and father were murdered by a pair of hit men, Reno and Molokai.

The teenaged girl was then placed in an orphanage after her parent’s deaths, but it was not long before she ran away and hid in the Hollywood Mall, where she stole food to survive.

Throughout her stay at the shopping complex, Jubilee had to constantly evade mall security, and it was during one of her run-ins with the officers that she discovered her powers for the first time.

While running from the two security officers, she emitted a large, energy blast that temporally  blinded and disoriented the men. It was after this occurrence that Jubilee began using her powers to entertain mall-goers for money, but mall security soon tried to apprehend the girl, one again, but this time for her unauthorized performances.

Instead of having to escape the officers on her own, Jubilee received assistance from a few female members of the X-Men team, and she ended up secretly following her saviors back to one of their bases. This is also during this time that Jubilee witnessed Wolverine getting kidnapped by the Reavers,  a team of criminal cyborgs dedicated to the destruction of the X-Men.

The teen eventually helps save Wolverine from his captors, and the start of their very close relationship begins as well. The two mutants would go on several missions after the rescue, and these missions helped Jubilee and Wolverine develop a father-daughter relationship, which is why it was so strange to see the X-Men films follow Wolverine so closely without the young mutant that many fans consider to be his “unofficial sidekick.”

Like a Firework

It seemed like a missed opportunity to not show off a mutant with powers that were very underrated in the X-Men cartoon. Jubilee has the power to generate bright bursts of multicolored energy plasmoids from her fingertips,  or what she likes to call “fireworks”. These light energies are under her complete mental control, and the strength of the energy varies and can range from a multitude of brief flashes of light capable of temporarily blinding a person, to light with the same capabilities as explosives.

A Chance to Sparkle?

Perhaps she can get her chance to display some of those powers with the upcoming film X-Men: Age of Apocalypse. As I have mentioned in a previous post, Gambit will have his redemption time in the film, and Jubilee may be another character who gets some of the spotlight. She is a part of a team led by Gambit called X-Ternals during the time of this story arc. Jubilee displays a greater level of control over her power in this plot line; in fact, she shows the full extent of her powers by destroying a Shi’ar ship single-handedly. Now that is the Jubilee fans want to see! As details of the film slowly come to light, maybe we will find Jubilee at the forefront of the story, rather than just the background.


Gambit: His History and His Future

One of my favorite male X-Men characters has to be Gambit, otherwise known as Remy Etienne LeBeau. The New Orleans native did not have an ideal upbringing, which is putting it mildly, but it only adds to the depth of his character and his attraction to X-Men followers.

A Nontraditional Upbringing

Gambit By Jeremy Roberts

Abandoned at birth due to his strange, red eyes, Remy was kidnapped by members of the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild. The infant was then given to theAntiquary, a power in the New Orleans Underground who dealt in the stealing and selling of children. The Guild Prophecies, with which the Antiquary was obsessed, mentioned that a red-eyed man referred to as Le Diable Blanc, or the white devil, was prophesied to unite the rival Thieves’ Guild and Assassins’ Guild of New Orleans.

Believing Remy was the man the prophecies described, the Antiquary soon placed Remy in the care of Fagan’s Mob. This was a gang of street thieves who would raise the child, teach him the ways of thievery, and also keep a close eye on the child.

After a decade of living on the streets, Remy attempted to pick the pocket of Jean-Luc LeBeau at the mob’s encouragement. Jean-Luc LeBeau happened to be the patriarch of the Thieves’ Guild at the time, and it was not a coincidence that the mob wanted Remy to cross LeBeau’s path. Jean-Luc took Remy off the streets and adopted him into his own family, just as the mob had hoped… Unknown to the child, his encounter with Jean-Luc LeBeau was carefully orchestrated by the mob in order help the prophecy of peace move forward.

A Lack of Media Exposure

Though Gambit’s story is filled with plenty of interesting, dark subject matter, the mutant has not had much screen time. Gambit did not enter the Marvel universe until 1990, and with the help of the cartoon that also came out in that year, he quickly became a fan favorite; however, aside from the years he appeared in the X-Men cartoon, he has only stepped out of the pages of comic books once with the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Gambit did not have a large role in the film, and his character was not portrayed as seamlessly as I had hoped.  He was an underutilized character, and  his abilities were not shown to their full potential. In fact, Gambit was depicted as a less threatening mutant in comparison to Wolverine, which is an unfair representation of the red-eyed mutant, considering he did kill omega-level mutant the Dark Phoenix.

Redemption Time

Though Gambit was not shown as the fierce fighter comic-book readers know him as, the bio-kinetic mutant will have a second shot at impressing movie-goers with the upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse in 2016. Not many details have been revealed regarding plot, but there are a few story arcs that the writers could be using for production (something we will certainly discuss soon).

Regardless of the storyline, this is certainly exciting news! Gambit will finally have the chance to show off who he really is on the silver screen, and maybe fans will get that solo film soon after? Time will tell!

Cosplay: Getting Started with Mystique

IMG_3496 - CopyGetting Started

I cosplayed as comic book Mystique just this last April for the C2E2 convention (Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo), and as I have mentioned before, I have only recently entered the cosplaying world.

I thought that I would not have the skill needed to pull off a costume worthy of the characters I wished to emulate, but I proved otherwise to myself. The only thing that held me back from pursuing my dream was me, and the same holds true for you. It does not matter if you can sew, paint, or apply make-up, you can still participate in cosplay and have a great time!

There were plenty of things I learned while doing this cosplay, especially since it was based heavily on make-up, and I want to share my experience with you. Hopefully, with some tips and tricks regarding body make-up, you will decide to join me in the cosplaying world!

Picking Body Paint

MehronMy first thought was heading to Party City and using their face and body paint. Now, for my boyfriend, who was playing Azazel, the paint worked perfectly in red; however, the blue paint I needed was not the best consistency; it was runny and would leave patches of skin showing when I tried to apply more.

I did some research and I found Mehron Paradise Face Paint in Dark Blue. I highly recommend this makeup. It was a perfect consistency, and, as a beginner, it was very easy to work with the make-up. The coverage was excellent, and it did not appear cakey. I had smooth, blue skin just like Mystique!

Painting the Body

C2E2I did most of my own body paint, a fact for which I am very proud, but the painting process did require a helper for the hard-to-reach spots.

To paint my face, ears, and complete upper body, it took close to five hours the first day. By the second day of the convention, we got it down to four hours. By the third day, we had mastered the painting to under three hours!

What made the two-hour difference? Baby Powder. Though the paint did layer well, areas such as the forearm crease, neck, and armpit were difficult to paint without cracking. This is where the baby powder came in to save the day. I thought I needed many layers of paint before “setting” the make-up (applying power to keep the make-up from fading). What I learned is that it is actually best to alternate between make-up and powder. It allows the make-up to build much more easily, and the powder gives the make-up something to hold on to. Let’s just say that with this method, my make-up still looked fresh, even after six hours of wear!

Adding Depth to the Make-Up

EyeDustI knew that I wanted more than just blue paint, and I had to do something more for Mystique’s sake, because let’s face it; Mystique is gorgeous and some blue body paint would not be doing her justice. I had to glam up the look. I needed some sparkle.

Yes, it sounds silly, but a sparkle element would catch light and add some depth to the flat, dark blue paint. A sparkle element could easy help me highlight areas of my face and give the make-up a more realistic feel.

So how did I get my sparkle? Eye shadow was the answer. I found NYC Color Sparkle Eye Dust in Brilliant Sapphire. The shadow was more of a thick powder (hence the “dust” term in its name), and it did just the trick. Not only was I ensuring the makeup was safe to place around my eyes, but it also helped conceal any areas where the paint job was less than par and contained brush strokes.

Finishing the Look

Mystique Close UpNow that my skin was the right shade of stunning blue, I needed to do the beauty make-up! For Mystique, I did a liquid eyeliner, black mascara, a black eyebrow, and a red lip.

There was one aspect of the Mystique costume that did concern me and that was her skull headpiece.I had created my own out of foam, and then I painted the piece, but I had no idea how I was going to attach it.

All I could think of was glue, glue, glue. What could be my glue? I then had the best realization: False eyelash glue. I happened to have some because of a Halloween costume I did the previous year and it worked like a charm, even with the face paint and eye dust! The best finishing touch were my yellow contacts, completing the whole make-up.

I hope this has helped you realize that cosplaying is something anyone can do, and I hope even more so that I see you at future conventions!


SideShow Collectible Jean Grey

Sideshow Collectibles has been making original collectibles since 1994, and last spring, the company unveiled yet another breath-taking figure. During the past several months, it has been a leading lady of the X-Men universe that is the figure to snatch up. This time fans have the pleasure of adding the powerful telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey to their shopping cart.

Let’s just take a moment to soak in the excellence. Donning her yellow and blue 1990’s attire, Jean stands eighteen inches tall, posing in one of her signature stances. I have to admit, as soon as I learned this figure was on the market, I was excited. The artists really captured the likeness of the Jean Grey portrayed in both the comics and the X-Men cartoon. In fact, for those that purchase the Exclusive edition, an additional portrait will be included, allowing collectors to choose from having a Jean Grey with flowing hair and a Jean Grey with the ponytail hair style of the 90’s cartoon.

Excuse me while I wipe away a tear of happiness and gratitude. I absolutely love when a figure comes with customizable options such as this, and it is not the first time Sideshow has given the buyer options. They did the same with their Rogue figure back in 2011; though, in that instance, I was not necessary happy with one of portrait options being a more modern take on the 80’s Rogue, but that is for another post.

In regards to the Grey figure, I have to say that I would have my Jean sport her long flowing hair like in the comics. As much as the ponytail look reminds me of Saturday mornings as a kid, I still cannot separate the image of Jean Grey and wild, red hair.

Now, I am sure some of you must have been disappointed when I mentioned the figure made its debut last spring… but no worries; this figure is still available for pre-order! Yes. You still have a chance to be one of the 750 collectors to have the 90’s Jean Grey on your shelves in April of 2015…. if you can afford $359.99 (Something I am desperately debating).

You are welcome.



Movie & TV News | Book & Comic Reviews | Everything In-between

Mutant A Day

Comics Podcast Gay LGBT

The Nerds of Color

Pop Culture with a Different Perspective

Longbox Graveyard

Marvel and DC comics and community

Image of Indie

A Showcase of Image Comics and the World of Alt. Comic Books.

Group Exercise: Instruct, Invite, Inspire

Teaching fun, effective fitness classes

Easy Peasy Vegan

living ethically and healthfully on a budget

Defining Games

Let's talk games

Super Simple Software

Technology for regular people

Tech For College

Helping Students Integrate Tech