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Union Jack

Union Jack, art by Mark Perkins

Union Jack is one of the superhero characters that were published under Marvel Comics. He was a hero whose mantle was taken by various fictional characters including, James Falsworth, Brian Falsworth, and Joseph Chapman.

In 1976, the original Union Jack (James Falsworth) created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins first appeared in The Invaders comic series issue #7 to #9. In the series, Union Jack was shown in flashbacks of World War I, as he fights together with the fellow members of the Freedom’s Five, against the supervillain, Baron Blood. In the subsequent series, the creator later revealed that Baron Blood was Union Jack’s brother.In the following year, Thomas and Robbins featured Union Jack in The Invaders issues, including issues #12, #14 to #15, and issue #18 to #19. During the 18th and 19th issues, the creators began to featured Falsworth’s son and successor, Brian Falsworth, who’s formerly known as the Destroyer.In the Midnight Sons Unlimited series, issue #9, written by DannSlott and James Fry III, Brian Falsworth was also featured. In the story, Brian Falsworth teamed up with the Blazing Skull to protect a fundraiser against a Nazi attack. However, it was in The Invaders issue #20-21, where Brian finally took his father’s role as Union Jack in an attempt to rescue his sister as well as the rest of the Invaders team.

In issue #23, released in December 1977, the older Falsworth appeared as a supporting role where he helped Dyna-Mite in search for a cure to his size reduction. Following Dyna-Mite’s (aka Roger Aubrey) size restoration, he was then introduced as the new Destroyer in issue #26, released in March 1978.Furthermore, James Falsworth also appeared in the comic series written by Roger Stern and John Byrne, ‘Captain America series,’ issue #1. In this issue, the older wheelchair-bound, James Falsworth, appeared together with his second successor, Joey Chapman.Aside from the previous comic appearances, James Falsworth was once again featured in Citizen V and the V-Battalion: The Everlasting issue #1, where he was seen on his son’s funeral. Roger Aubrey, Brian’s lover, was also featured in the comic issue.Nevertheless, Brian was reincarnated in the Captain America issue #616, released in 2011.

Union Jack’s Personas

James Montgomery Falsworth

James Montgomery Falsworth was the original Union Jack that operated during World War I along with the Freedom’s Five. His most notable enemy was Baron Blood, his vampire brother. Subsequently, during World War II, James Falsworth, as Union Jack, became a member of The Invaders.  Falsworth’smembership to The Invaders had happened after Human Torch, a member of The Invaders, saved his daughter’s life and revived her through a blood transfusion. Due to Human Torch’s blood, Falsworth’s daughter, Jacqueline, was granted a super-speed power. Eventually, Jacqueline became a costumed superhero named Spitfire. Union Jack showed his gratitude by offering his mansion as The Invader headquarter. In the following years, during a fight against Baron Blood, Falsworth’s legs were crushed, resulting in his superhero career to end.

Brian Falsworth

Brian Falsworth is the son of James Falsworth, born at Falsworth Manor, in a village in the north of London. Growing up, Brian and his friend, Roger, were initially sympathetic and supported the peace between Germany and the UK. However, at the end of the 1930s, they discovered the inhuman existence of the Nazi Regime. As a result, Brian and Roger were then sent to jail. Eventually, Brian was given to a German scientist who was responsible for the super-soldier formula –the same formula that was given to Captain America.Brian gained his superpowers and escaped the Nazi prison. Since then, he became a costumed superhero that fights Nazis and called himself,“The Destroyer.”

Meanwhile, Rogers was used in experiments. His body was reduced in size and was given the name, Dyna-Mite. Rogers, now called Dyna-Mite, was deployed against Allies.Subsequently, in the 2008 comic series of Avengers/Invaders, Union Jack appeared as part of Invaders in WW II.

Joseph Chapman

Joseph ‘Joey’ Chapman, the son of a working-class shipbuilder, was born and raised in England. During his youth, he attended an art school where he became friends with Lord Montgomery Falsworth’s heir, Kenneth Crichton. When Joey visited the Falsworth estate, he learned that the elderly Lord Falsworth was once the British hero Union Jack. He also discovered that Falsworth had been the wartime ally of Captain America during the fight against his vampire brother, Baron Blood, who now returned from his apparent death.

At the time of Baron Blood’s attack, Falsworth used himself in an attempt to lure his brother into an ambush. However, Falsworth suffered from a heart attack. Before he died, it was decided that Chapman should take the mantle of Union Jack, rather than Crichton, his grandson, and the original heir. Falsworth died thereafter, leaving Union Jack’s legacy unto Chapman’s arms.

Superpowers and Abilities

Union Jack’s ability in hand-to-hand combat was exceptional. Aside from this, he also carries a Webley .455 pistol, and a steel dagger along with his bullet-proof superhero suit. In addition, Union Jack possessed superhuman strength, stamina, and speed, further enhanced by the Power of the Pendragon.

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