X-Men '97 Brings Back The Original Voice Of Jubilee For A Perfect Guest Role

Warming: this article contains spoilers for the "X-Men '97" episode "Motendo / Lifedeath, Part 1," so proceed with caution.

Since "X-Men '97" is a revival of "X-Men: The Animated Series," the creators of the nostalgic continuation of the Marvel mutants' story made sure to bring back as many of the original voice actors as they could. Sadly, both Norm Spencer (Cyclops) and David Hemblen (Magneto) passed away in 2020, making them unable to return, but Ray Chase and Matthew Waterson are doing fantastic jobs filling in their respective shoes. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hale replaces Catherine Disher as Jean Grey, Chris Potter switched from Gambit to Cable for "X-Men '97," with A.J. LoCascio taking over as the Ragin' Cajun, and Morph is now voiced J.P. Karliak. 

But there was one voice actor from "X-Men: The Animated Series" who purposely opted not to reprise their role in order to allow someone else the opportunity that otherwise might not have been afforded to them. 

Alyson Court was the original voice of Jubilation Lee, aka Jubilee, a character who is Chinese-American. However, when Court, a white Canadian, was cast in the '90s, Hollywood wasn't as progressive when it came to giving roles to actors from the respective backgrounds of the characters they were bringing to life. So Court made it clear that while she would be happy to return to "X-Men '97" in another role, she wanted an Asian actor to take over the role of Jubilee. That's how we got Holly Chou doing an incredible job of bringing Jubilee to life while keeping the spirit of Alyson Court's performance alive. 

Thankfully, the creators of "X-Men '97" found the perfect role for Alyson Court to tackle in the recently released fourth episode of the animated series. The character is named Abscissa, and fans of Marvel Comics know exactly why that's brilliant casting.

Jubilee saves herself

In the fourth episode of "X-Men '97," the interdimensional villain known as Mojo returns. Somehow, this gnarly villain has managed to sneak a suspect video game system called Motendo into Jubilee's room at the X-Men mansion, and it ends up sucking Jubilee and Roberto da Costa (aka Sunspot) into a deadly video game world created by Mojo that also happens to take some cues from X-Men video games that fans know and love. But if Jubilee and Sunspot die in the game, they'll die in real life, and because Mojo is a twisted creature, this is all being broadcast as entertainment across many dimensions.

As Jubilee and Sunspot battle their way through Mojo's video game, they keep getting help from somewhere outside of the game, increasing Jubilee's health and even helping them make a quick escape. At the end of the episode, it's revealed that the mysterious person helping them is none other than Abscissa, an alternate version of Jubilee. In the comics, Abscissa is a version of Jubilee taken into the distant future by Mojo and forced to be a servant. In "X-Men '97," she's a digital clone that Mojo created to test various versions of the video game he trapped Jubilee and Sunspot in. But rather than perishing like the other clones, she survived, now resembles an aged, futuristic version of Jubilee, and returned to help the real Jubilee escape. 

Rather than having Holly Chou voice the digital clone of Jubilee, "X-Men '97" brings back Alyson Court, taking her full circle from the original "X-Men: The Animated Series." Sadly, Abscissa disappears with the rest of the Motendo video game's code after Mojo is defeated and his digital world is destroyed. 

The episode puts a neat little bow on Jubilee's story though, with the character realizing that she still has a bit of growing up to do. Having previously been annoyed that Magneto wouldn't allow everyone to head to the arcade for her 18th birthday, she was quite frustrated. But her experience in Mojo's Motendo trap helped her understand that being part of the X-Men means that she can't always enjoy the spoils of being a teenager. However, that doesn't stop her from sharing a kiss with Sunspot by the episode's end.