(Joseph "Joey" Chapman
) is a fictional character in the Marvel Universe
and the third person to take on the role of Union Jack
. He first appeared in Captain America
#253 (January, 1980).
After a few appearances as a guest character in the mainstream Marvel line of comic books (Captain America, Namor, Marvel Comics Presents), Chapman would be a major character in the Marvel UK
comic book series, Knights of Pendragon
, alongside Captain Britain
, Kate McClellan
and Dai Thomas
. The series would run between 1991 (volume 1 #1-18) and 1992-1993 (volume 2 #1-15).
Chapman has appeared in two limited comic book miniseries. Creators Ben Raab and John Cassaday depict Chapman's fight against a sect of vampires in the 1999 three-part mini-series, Union Jack.
Chapman stars in yet another self-titled mini-series in late 2006, spun off from his appearance in Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America, written by Christos Gage with pencils and inks by Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennesy, respectively.
Fictional character biography
Chapman's incarnation as the current Union Jack is unique in the fact that he is not a member of the Falsworth line or part of any British aristocratic family. Rather, Joey Chapman is the working class son of a shipbuilder, born in Manchester
, England. While visiting his friend, Chapman learned of Baron Blood
and donned the Union Jack
costume to help fight the vampire. With a bullet resistant costume, Chapman usually carries a gun of some variety (changing it as appropriate to the mission) and a silver-edged dagger used for supernatural foes.
Chapman is also one of the heroes teleported from Earth to Battleworld when the Grandmaster took all the heroes of Earth for the Contest of Champions. Upon his return to Earth he would stop a group of his anti-establishment friends from defacing Falsworth Manor. He would also help save Namor alongside his future girlfriend Jacqueline Crichton and Namor's cousin, Namorita from neo-Nazis, having to battle Master Man and Warrior Woman in the process.
Knights of Pendragon
Chapman would later become a member of the Knights of Pendragon, and as Union Jack
, alongside Kate McClellan
and Captain Britain
, failed to prevent the kidnapping of Kate's son, Cam by Bane
leading to a battle with Bane. He also joins the other Pendragons in the search for the Holy Grail at Kitsford tumnus, and fight fellow Pendragon, Iron Man
. After the battle, the Pendragons are formed and Chapman encounters Mr Fantastic
, Invisible Woman
and Black Panther
and travel to Hong Kong where he is killed by Dolph. Chapman would later wake at Avalon
where he joins the Pendragons to battle and finally stopped Bane.
Later, while making a public appearance at Stark's Questworld, Chapman had no choice but to battle malfunctioning robots where he received a new armor which would later evolve into a new stronger mystical armour. Life as a Pendragon didn't get any easier as he fought Magpie, tried to stop the Cape Wrath Breeder Reactor from overloading and traveled to Arakne where he met and fought with Spider-Man and the Warheads.
When the villainous company Mys-Tech revived his enemy Baron Blood, Chapman infiltrated the company and once again destroyed his foe, inadvertently starting the Mys-Tech wars.
Shortly after the defeat of Mys-Tech, Chapman, alongside the Pendragons fought Death's Head/Minion, Magpie and the Lemurians of Earth-313. Upon the villains defeat, the Pendragons disbanded and Chapman would revert back to his classic costume.
After the Pendragons disbanded, Chapman carries on protecting Britain. However, he failed to prevent Baroness Blood
from using the Holy Grail to become immune to sunlight and lost his friend Kenneth Falsworth (the true heir to the Union Jack mantle) from vampirism and death. He was also seen protecting civilians from unnatural winds.
Chapman would also protect reporter and ally of Cable, Irene Merryweather from mercenaries of the Hellfire Club.
Chapman would be mainly seen, however, when the entire Earth was threatened including during the Maximum Security storyline and when he was being held prisoner, alongside many of Earth's heroes, by Graviton, until they were all saved by the Thunderbolts. When Captain America "died" a notably upset Union Jack would speak a eulogy at Cap's memorial.
Joey shares a relationship with Romany Wisdom, the sister of X-Men ally Pete Wisdom. Although the relationship ends, Chapman stays in contact with Wisdom as she provides him with vital research on the occult.
Wearing an updated, militaristic version of his old costume Chapman joins the modern incarnation of the Invaders
, led by Jim Hammond
. Chapman becomes romantically involved with his New Invaders teammate, Spitfire
. However, the relationship does not last and they part because of the vast age difference. They still remain good friends and partners. With the Invaders they battle Axis Mundi
for the Interceptor, a ship built by the Thin Man
, fight Baroness Blood and her minions after they kidnap Spitfire and fight Meranno
and his rogue Atlanteans to prevent world flooding. After this battle and his break up with Spitfire, the Invaders would go their separate ways.
At the request of S.H.I.E.L.D.
, Chapman would help his good friend Captain America
in searching the London Underground
for the Red Skull
's agents. Chapman, Rogers, Spitfire, and Sharon Carter
worked together to prevent neo-Nazis and the Red Skull from devastating London.
Moving on from his vampire hunting days, he leads a makeshift team of heroes - including Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Sabra and the third Arabian Knight - to defeat a group of super-powered terrorists intent on blowing up London
Chapman appeared in Captain Britain and MI: 13, as explained by writer Paul Cornell, "One of the great things about this title is that, because all British superheroes are de facto part of MI-13, we can visit disparate parts of the Marvel UK scene without it being a big deal. Joe (not 'Joey', who's called Joey? Okay, kangaroos in Aussie, but apart from that...) is going to want to check in with [his former girlfriend Spitfire] soon. Because they parted amicably, and that's still fine with him. Right?". However, Chapman did not leave MI5 to become part of the permanent team, although he is seen working along Spitfire (who is in MI:13) to clear out a nest of "Sons of the Serpent".
Powers and abilities
Like those who held the title of Union Jack before him, Joey Chapman is an athlete in peak physical condition. In addition, his strength, speed, and endurance are enhanced by the Power of the Pendragon
. He carries on the Union Jack tradition by using a Webley .455 revolver
(though often uses other pistols depending on the mission he is completing) and a silver dagger which he uses for supernatural foes. His costume is also bullet-resistant.
Joseph Chapman's major appearances have been collected in a number of trade paperbacks
- Captain America: War and Remembrance (by John Byrne and Roger Stern, with pencils by John Byrne and inks by Josef Rubinstein, tpb includes Captain America #253-254, 1981, 208 pages, July 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2693-7)
- Union Jack (written by John Cassaday and Ben Raab, with art by John Cassaday, 3-issue mini-series, December 1998 - February 1999, tpb, 96 pages, April 2002, ISBN 0-7851-0934-X)
- New Invaders: To End All Wars (written by Allan Jacobsen, with art by Jorge Lucas and C. P. Smith, tpb collects New Invaders #1-9, October 2004 - June 2005, 216 pages, July 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1449-1)
- Captain America: Red Menace Volume 2 (written by Ed Brubaker with art by Steve Epting, tpb collects Captain America #18-21, July - October 2006, 104 pages, December 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2225-7)
- Union Jack: London Falling (written by Christos Gage, with pencils by Mike Perkins and inks by Drew Hennessy, 4-issue mini-series, November 2006 - February 2007, tpb, 96 pages, July 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2181-1)