Marvel’s first British superhero, “Union Jack”, comes crash-bang-wallop-ing onto your screens in a fan series of web-based films adapted from the comics. This not-so-super superhero, is a loveable rogue that divides his time between his day job on messy missions as an MI5 agent, and fulfilling his true passion of hunting down - and putting an end to - “stinky” vampires. Agent Joseph Chapman, codename: Union Jack, is ably aided by his ever-suffering partner, Romany Wisdom: the brains of the duo, while their forever furious boss, MI5 Deputy Director Philip Gavin, barks endless orders at them. How can Union Jack put a stop to the evil schemes of the big bad vamp, Baroness Blood, when naughty terrorists Axis Mundi are also up to no good? Throw in psychotic master assassin, Slaymaster; sneaky double-triple-quadruple agent, Zaran; elusive puppet-master, Vixen; as well as an array of nasty vamps ... and poor old Jack really has his work cut out for him.
An ambitious and unique Marvel fan series, “Union Jack” shines a light on an as yet unseen shadowy little corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the United Kingdom ... and illuminates its many colourful characters. Created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins, the first Union Jack, James Montgomery Falsworth, appeared in “Invaders” in July 1976 ... months before Marvel’s better-known British hero, Captain Britain, made his debut. Roger Stern and John Byrne then introduced the third Union Jack, Joseph Chapman, in “Captain America”, in January 1981. Our hero, Joey, has been proudly flying the flag in the comics ever since. We follow hapless MI5 agent Joseph Chapman - as Union Jack - as he romps his way through ten half hour episodes. Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a whacky assortment of friends and foes are also along for the ride, in this very British adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a “Marvel Fan Series”?
Simply put: it is a series made by Marvel fans. Obviously, as it is fan-made, the series is not official nor canonical, but it is set in the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe. It goes without saying that we do not have permission, the rights, or clearances, which is the very definition of a fan series or a fan film; however, Marvel and Disney are very supportive of their dedicated, die-hard fans and the creative work they produce.
Why make a “Marvel Fan Series”?
For passion. For fun. For an almighty challenge. To tell stories and to explore characters that Marvel are yet to tackle on their epic canvas. The creative team wanted to work on something big and bold, and so the scale and scope of a lengthy series was appealing. The idea of producing work set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was very exciting and had lots of potential, especially as the British side of Marvel remains unexplored on screen.
How does Union Jack fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
It exists in the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and makes references to it. Our timeline starts in 2017 with the later episodes taking place in 2018, around the time of the events in Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018), and we wrap up our story just before Thanos’s snap in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). We have tried to produce a show that is in keeping with the tone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially their more absurd and humourous outings, such as Thor: Ragnarok (2017).
Why Union Jack?
Initially, when the project was first coming together, we were working towards producing a Captain Britain series, but it quickly became apparent that Union Jack was much more appropriate to what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. There’s quite a wide range of interesting lesser-known British characters in Marvel Comics, but Joey’s adventures hunting vampires and being an agent in MI5 were well-suited to us, our style, and our creative intentions.
Do you stay “true” to the comics?
Yes and no. Some stories are adapted from the comics, others are entirely original stories featuring the characters from the comics. We wanted our hero to be different and not the type of character you would typically expect as a lead in superhero media, and as he doesn’t have superpowers, or any particularly special qualities, it made sense for him to be very different. He’s not special, he’s just an ordinary guy in extraordinary situations. He’s often incapable and out-of-his-depth, and we really pushed the boat out on this at times. In addition, his Britishness also helps set him apart from other familiar characters.
For the creative team, the time was right to take on an ambitious large-scale project like this. The team’s project prior to Union Jack was also an adaptation, and a wave of fan films we encountered led us towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which we felt lacked British characters, particularly as the lead. With the Brexit fiasco and other awkward embarrassments, Britain is undeniably in a bit of a mess, so the project was a timely, unifying, and positive “antidote” that gave us a voice to protest against the things going on around us that we weren’t happy about.