Newcomer Lana Candor cast as X-Men’s Jubilee



In the mess of retconning, rewriting and reworking that is “X-Men: Apocalypse,” a solid piece of good news has appeared.

Director Bryan Singer announced via Twitter that newcomer Lana Condor has been cast to play Jubilation Lee, known more commonly as “Jubilee.”

Jubilee is a pretty old character, as far as longevity in the comics goes.

She first appeared as a Chinese mall-going teenager in 1989 who could generate colored plasma energy — dubbed “fireworks” in a wildly culturally-sensitive move by the writers — but has grown from that role into a recognizable member of the team.

So the news of Condor is interesting in that another cool character with seriously visual powers is added to the lineup.

More to the point, it also means that the casting crew of “X-Men: Apocalypse” have succeeded, at least in part, in avoiding the recent film trend of whitewashing supporting characters — I’m looking at you, Warner Bros.

It shouldn’t be the least bit surprising or congratulatory to say that this movie managed to include another canonically non-white character played by a non-white actor in a role that could, feasibly, be expanded.

But somehow it feels worthy of mention, given that the last few X-Men movies have relied heavily on Halle Berry’s Storm to fill the color quota from movie to movie and have cycled in a series of bit-part mutants who haven’t often survived beyond the credits.

The X-Men movies are definitely not perfect. Jubilee’s character has actually been included in the first two original X-Men movies, played briefly by different actresses during the usual panning shots of generic mutant activity in Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

It looks like Jubilee’s many story arcs in the comics, though, have gone just as many weird and wacky places as the other long-term X-Men.

She’s actually a vampire now, after being de-powered and summarily sired.

As a functionally immortal member of the team, this means the character could last canonically for a long time — more than enough for Condor to put her own spin on the character.

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