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Comic Book / Union Jack

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"In the past, Union Jack was a man to reckon with, but this... this is a man to fear."
— Arabian Knight

Union Jack was a 2007 Marvel Comics mini-series written by Christos Gage and drawn by Mike Perkins, in which the titular hero, Britain's champion, teams up with three other heroes (Contessa, Sabra, and the Arabian Knight) to battle an army of supervillains who are trying to launch an attack on London.

This miniseries contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Sabra is the champion of Israel, and the Contessa was a highly-ranked SHIELD operative.
  • Affirmative-Action Legacy: Sort of. Chapman is the first working-class Union Jack. His predecessors were both in the upper class.
  • Badass Israeli: Sabra once fought the Hulk to a standstill. Even the Arabian Knight grows to respect her.
  • Badass Normal: Joey Chapman, the current Union Jack, is just an average working-class guy who happens to be in ridiculously good shape.
  • Batman Gambit: The terrorists count on Union Jack trying to warn the public about the terrorist attack, and then attack the London Tower Bridge and Heathrow Airport when everyone tries to flee the city.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mess with England around Joey Chapman. Also, do NOT lecture Sabra about how a woman's proper role is as a wife and mother...
  • Captain Ethnic: Gage and Perkins made an effort to avoid this with Union Jack, Sabra and especially Arabian Knight. In the former case, they played down Chapman's connection to the extremely British Knights of Pendragon. In the latter cases, they gave Sabra and Arabian Knight less "ethnic" costumes and did away with the Arabian Knight's flying carpet (in-universe, Knight explains that he had it taken apart and turned into a bulletproof vest.)
  • Contagious Powers: The Brian Falsworth Union Jack gained Shock and Awe powers after being struck by Thor's lightning.
  • Continuity Nod: Union Jack's relationship with Spitfire, which occurred during the The Invaders series a few years earlier, is mentioned.
  • C-List Fodder: Most of the supervillains that appear as part of R.A.I.D.'s forces are C-listers like Jackhammer, Crossfire, and Ecstasy.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Sabra lost her son in a terrorist attack.
  • Dirty Coward: Most of the supervillains turn into cowards after Chapman catches up to them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Batroc the Leaper was approached by R.A.I.D. for their planned attack, but turned them down. He also tried to talk his teammates Zaran and Machete out of it.
  • Flying Brick: Sabra.
  • French Jerk: Averted with Batroc the Leaper, who actually decides to help Union Jack, because he doesn't like terrorists.
  • Genius Bruiser: Jackhammer's got a master's degree in engineering.
  • The Ghost: The Director General, who's being scapegoated for the British government's slow response to the R.A.I.D. attack.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Dreadnought.
  • Jerkass Realization: Arabian Knight tells Sabra that a woman's proper role is to be a mother. He hadn't known that Sabra was a mother, but lost her son in a terrorist attack until after she nearly broke his neck.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Gavin, who allowed the attacks to happen in order to make his boss look bad so that she'd be fired and he'd get promoted.
  • Mind Control: Crossfire and the Corruptor both have this ability. The Corruptor uses it to temporarily turn Union Jack's allies against him.
  • Multinational Team: In addition to the titular British hero, there's the Contessa (Italy), Sabra (Israel), and Arabian Knight (Saudi Arabia).
  • Oh, Crap!: Jackhammer's expression when Union Jack sneaks up on him says it all.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are at least three characters with "Jack" as part of their codename in this miniseries: Union Jack, Jack O'Lantern, and Jackhammer.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Union Jack spends most of the miniseries on one.
  • Shameful Strip: Ecstasy is completely naked except for the darkness that she manipulates. When Union Jack wipes out her powers, she's left completely nude.
  • Smug Snake: Shockwave declares himself to be the best martial-artist in the world because he once managed to beat Shang-Chi, and doesn't think that the fact that he had to use his powers to do it disqualifies him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Sabra and Arabian Knight are not thrilled to be working together, given that they're on opposite sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Jack-O-Lantern invokes this trope by name just before Union Jack rams him into a wall.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Union Jack, full stop.
  • Would Hit a Girl: After stripping her of her powers, Union Jack clocks Ecstasy for good measure. He wasn't inclined to be merciful after seeing what she'd done to her victims.
  • You Are a Credit to Your Race: Sabra and Arabian Knight take this attitude towards each other.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the third issue, as Union Jack fights exhaustion - and guilt over all the people who were caught while trying to flee London in a panic after he let slip that there was a terrorist attack on the way - he gets a pep talk from a cabbie.