Union Jack is one of the first British superheroes that I found on the shelves of my Local Comic Shop. I had read of few others before fining him at the end of 1999. King Cobra and Spring Heeled Jack from the pages of Hotspur come to mind, but Union Jack was the first British hero I had been exposed to since my renewed love of comics a year or two before, when I’d picked up a Wolverine re-print. At the time I hadn’t heard of Captain Britain and though I was well aware of Captain America, I never had a whole lot of interest in him. The third man to call himself Union Jack, Joey Chapman, was the first Flag-Clad superhero that I really paid attention to and I’d say that a main reason for that was the front cover and how Union Jack was leaping off a building to face a potential legion of the Walking Dead, alone!
The 1999 mini series captivated me.
Maybe because at the time I was a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and the premise of a superhero fighting vampires was something that I never expected to see. Now bear in mind that at the time I wasn’t all that aware of, or interested in, anything beyond Marvel Comics and even within Marvel I was pretty much an X-Men only kind of person, so the idea of vampires in comics being fought by a guy in spandex wasn’t ever anything I had even contemplated. But once I had seen that cover?
Union Jack has been one of my favourite characters ever since. I do all I can to pick up comics that I know he’s in, and there are several back issues that I’m tracking down that feature him in them that I would love to add to my collection.
Whether it is Union Jack’s working class back ground, his refusal to ever give up, or simply his nationality, I find that he’s a character I am able to identify with more than any other; he’s just a bloke from Blighty who loves the country he fights for, and will do anything for the people of Britain.
One of the fanboy highlights from Captain America: the First Avenger for me was when I realised that the first Union Jack, James Montgomery Falsworth, appeared without costume as part of the Howling Commando’s (played by J.J. Field). It wasn’t the cameo that was so exciting for me, but what it could mean for Union Jack in the future of the MCU. By establishing the first Union Jack had an association with Captain America, it opens the door for the current Union Jack to appear in either Agents of SHIELD, Captain America: Civil War, a future Netflix series, or even one of the Avengers movies coming up in the next five years.
Now, I think that Union Jack appearing as Britain’s flag wearing hero would make more sense than Captain Britain appearing in the MCU. Union Jack has been more closely associated with Captain America, than Captain Britain generally has been (Joey Chapman’s first appearance wearing the flag was in Captain America Vol 1 #253), and with the admittedly small amount of screen time Falsworth has already received, sliding the working mans hero into the MCU would be easier than the more aristocratic Captain Britain. Now obviously I’m a bit biased here, I think we all know that, but Union Jack would make an excellent supporting character to a Captain America, or an Avengers movie.
Whether Marvel Studios know this as well, only time will tell.
“My dad once told me “If you care about something you’ll try your hardest and that’s all you can do. So it doesn’t matter if you succeed or fail.”. Nice bloke, dad.” – Union Jack – Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth