NYCC 2010: Immonen and Noto Reunite WOLVERINE and JUBILEE


As any fans of early '90s X-Men comics — or the X-Men cartoon —  knows, Wolverine and Jubilee have a long history, with the former acting as a mentor and protector of the latter.

As of the "Curse of the Mutants" arc over in X-Men, though, the dynamic has changed rather drastically, since it looks like Jubilee has been turned into a vampire and all. Such a thing has a way of alterting a relationship.

Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto are re-teaming the pair in Wolverine & Jubilee: Curse of the Mutants, a three-issue series starting in January 2011 that takes a look at the current state of the duo and if their bond can survive the latest developments. Newsarama talked with both creators of the book, announced Friday afternoon at New York Comic Con, to find out more. [Note: Art from the series was not available to press at deadline. Image above is from X-Men #3.]

Newsarama: Jubilee and Wolverine were one of the most popular Marvel pairings back in the late '80s and early '90s . Kathryn, even though circumstances are rather dire in this series, is it fun to be able to reunite such a well-liked duo?

Kathryn Immonen: It's a whole lot of fun, in no small part due to the fact that, in a lot of ways, they've never been further apart. Both of them are going to have to struggle against their better judgment in order to try and figure out not only what the rules of engagement are for their relationship but if a relationship is even possible given the fact that Jubilee's a vampire and Wolverine's decidedly not okay with that. (Can understatement break the Internet? Apologies in advance.)

Nrama: And since there has been some time since Wolverine and Jubilee were regularly interacting in the comics, does that distance play a part in the story?

Immonen: Not really. These two are so firmly tied to each other, they couldn't break the bond if they tried. And they will try. And again, any continuity distance pales in importance when compared to the ideological break they've got going on. It's a real case of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer except that Jubilee currently defies both of those categories. And this is very much a 'right now' story both in terms of how it dovetails with the current story lines as well as its tremendous urgency for the character.

Nrama: Phil, correct me if I’m wrong, but since your major Marvel interior art thus far has been Avengers: The Origin and X-Men Origins: Iceman, this is essentially your first interior work in the present-day Marvel Universe, right? Are you approaching things differently at all?

Phil Noto: Yes, it's my first 'modern' Marvel book. I am approaching it a bit differently. I'm known for my retro-style art and while I'm keeping some of that sensibility, I'm going for a slightly darker, more dynamic look for this series.

Nrama: Also, other than the Iceman one-shot, it's also your first extensive work with X-Men characters. Are you a fan of these characters?

Noto: Yes, very much so. I couldn't be more thrilled to be drawing the mutants. I always enjoy working on different characters and books and the present-day X-Men were literally at the top of my "Still-need-to-draw" list. Nrama: Jubilee has been through a lot in the last few years. Losing her powers, being turned into a vampire. Psychologically, where is she at in this series?

Immonen: She must be one hell of a bulletproof peach by now. But really, when we pick up with her, she's a complete disaster fueled by a lethal cocktail of anger, fury, guilt, remorse and some more anger. The X-Men are doing what they can to figure out how to bring her back into the fold in some way... whether she wants it or not.

Nrama: And how is Wolverine dealing with all of this? Obviously, he's a realist and knows he'll have to deal with Jubilee if she becomes a real threat.

Immonen: Sure, he's a realist but he also knows a thing or two about really bad decisions and Jubilee's going to make some astonishing ones in this series on her way to finding out what, if anything, is left of her underneath the chewy layer of vampire id. But one of the really central changes in their relationship is that now, Jubilee is going to outlive him and that's a fairly shattering shift that affects his ability to be sanguine about what's going on. Jubilee is now the one that can afford to play the long game. And old loyalties die very hard for him.

Nrama: How would your characterize the central conflict of the series? Is it Wolverine vs. Jubilee? Wolverine and Jubilee vs. external forces? Jubilee vs. herself?

Immonen: Can I first say that I'd like to see this be the new set of criteria in high school English classes for identifying the conflict. I think it would work way better, especially for female students.

It's really about how the internal conflict that Jubilee is experiencing, or tragically not in some cases, affects her relationships with … everyone, frankly. And how it totally drives her decisions and, consequently, the action. Everyone is trying to fight this thing that she's become but it's unclear to Jubilee how much of what everyone objects to is actually a part of who she is.

Nrama: What other characters play a role in the series?

Immonen: Wolverine, of course, and Rockslide … actually a lot of the young X-Men. Emma Frost gets her oar in. And there is a group of very wealthy, enigmatic and gracious Ladies who offer up a 17 year old's wildest dreams.

Nrama: How has working with each other been thus far?

Immonen: To say that I'm excited is an understatement of epic proportions. (Whoops. There goes NORAD). I'm incredibly fortunate to have someone of his extraordinary calibre on this book, we all are.

Noto: Kathryn's great! I've been a big fan and as excited as I was when I heard about the miniseries, Kathryn was the icing on the cake. She's got a great take on the characters and the cast and locations in the story are super fun to draw.

Happy to see Wolverine and Jubilee back together, even under dire circumstances?

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