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Union Jack

Union Jack by Mike Perkins
Real name
Joseph Chapman
Current alias
Union Jack
Identity
Alignment
Affiliation
Knights of Pendragon; Invaders; MI13
Universe

Characteristics
Gender
Hair
Status
Citizenship
Occupation
Superhero
Origin
Place of birth
Britain
First appearance

Captain America #253 (USA)

History

Joey Chapman, the son of a dock worker from Liverpool, met his best friend Kenneth Crichton while studying art at university. Crichton was the grandson of the original Union Jack — Montgomery, Lord Falsworth — who had been a costumed crimefighter in both the first and second World Wars, and the nephew of Brian Falsworth, who before his death had been the second Union Jack (Crichton's mother Jacqueline had herself been a WWII era crime-fighter as Spitfire). When Lord Falsworth's evil brother John, the vampire Baron Blood, returned to cause chaos Montgomery was old and crippled and Ken Crichton too weak to oppose him so Joey volunteered to become Union Jack in order to help old family friend Captain America deal with the menace. With Baron Blood defeated, Joey continued as Union Jack with the Falsworth family's blessing.

Joe eventually joined the superhero team the Knights of Pendragon. During this period, Joe actually gained genuine super powers, enhanced strength, speed and endurance, as he was granted a portion of the mystical Pendragon Power by the entity known as the Green Knight. Fighting alongside other Pendragons including Dai Thomas, Albion and Captain Britain, Union Jack helped defeat the demonic Bane, gaining a new costume in the process, as well as a customised motorcycle with an on-board computer he called Beryl (provided by the Falsworths).

He changed his look again shortly afterwards (twice) when the Pendragons discovered magical armour in their new headquarters, the Green Chapel, ending up with a kind of high-tech armour which helped him considerably in the Pendragons' battles with opponents such as the Mys-Tech organization and (due to a misunderstanding) the cyborg Death's Head II. Following the defeat of Mys-Tech, however, the Pendragons disbanded and Joe's Pendragon power gradually faded, though it is unclear if it left him entirely. He reverted to his original costume and continues to serve as one of Britain's heroic protectors.

Powers and abilities

Powers

(Formerly) Enhanced speed and endurance.

Strength level

(Formerly) Stronger than normal human.

Paraphernalia

Transportation

(Formerly) Customised motorcycle with a talking on-board computer named Beryl.

Weapons

Silver dagger; Webley 455 calibre pistol.

Notes

Despite being a British character (or rather, three characters), Union Jack was originally created by Marvel Comics in the USA. Joe Chapman, the third Union Jack, became a Marvel UK regular in the first series of Knights of Pendragon and continued to appear in British Marvel comics until the line was cancelled. He has since returned to the ownership of Marvel US, and continues to appear in American Marvel titles set in Britain.

Trivia

  • Union Jack provided the inspiration for the later independent character Jack Staff.
  • Union Jack's debut predates the first appearance of Captain Britain by three months.

Links

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