Union Jack (2nd series) #2

Issue Date: 
December 2006
Story Title: 
London Falling: Part 2

Christos N. Cage (writer), Mike Perkins (pencils), Andrew Hennessy (inks), Laura Villari (colors), Cory Petit (letters), Brad Johansen (production), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Andy Schmidt (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The members of RAID continue their attacks on London. Union Jack, Sabra, Arabian Knight and Val spread out in an attempt to take them out quickly. Union Jack teams up with Sabra, while Val and the Knight have to work together. Joey and Sabra head into a tunnel, where a group of villains want to destroy a train filled with people. Luckily, Joey rescues them and even takes out the bad guys. Afterward, he and Sabra decide to go Tower Bridge, where more RAID goons are causing damage. This battle is even harder than the first one and, after an attack of Bombshell, Sabra gets hit and the smoke coming out the bombs causes her to lose her vision. Union Jack acts as her eyes for a while and, together, they take out most of the villains, though when Joey punches Crossfire into the river below, he doesn’t resurface and appears to have drowned. After Sabra’s vision returns, she and Joey go to Heathrow, as Val and the Knight have the hardest time dealing with the bad situation over there. The RAID agents highjack a plane and plan to crash it down into Buckingham Palace. The combined powers of Val and the Knight, however, are enough to take out the villains protecting the plane, though they aren’t able to prevent the plane from airing up. Sabra and Joey arrive just in time to take out the suicidal pilots, and Joey’s flight simulator skills from his MI5 training days and Sabra’s skills as a trained pilot are enough to bring the plane and its passengers back down. As Joey exits the plane, an unpleasant surprise waits for him: the Corruptor uses his powers to take over the minds of Sabra, Arabian Knight and Val! He orders them to kill Joey, and to afterwards destroy all of London!

Full Summary: 


Jack O’Lantern, Shockwave and Jackhammer attack a train filled with people in a tunnel. Some people manage to run out of the train, but still are injured by more attacks of the villains.

Meanwhile, above the city, Union Jack, Sabra, Val and the Arabian Knight fly in one of SHIELD’s flying cars over the devastated city. Joey can’t believe he is responsible for all this. Sabra tries to tell Joey this isn’t his fault, but he doesn’t believe that. Joey realizes it was his warning that made people rush out of London. He doesn’t think it’s a coincidence RAID decided to strike early, when the streets were choked with evacuees. Sabra reminds Joey he told people to stay in their homes; not to stampede like cattle. Val informs her teammates that, at SHIELD, when somebody attacks the base, they worry about whose fault it is after they bombed the attackers into a fine red mist.

Joey agrees with what Val said. He decides to stop whining and uses the intercom in the flying vehicle to contact MI5’s Wapping unit. One of those agents appears on a small videoscreen in the car, and reports that the villains have collapsed the Thames Tunnel at both ends. The Wapping unit is trying to dig through it, but it’s slow going. He explains the train conductor’s last message said the villains had punched a hole into the tunnel wall. In short, it’s a sodding disaster.

Union Jack tells his team what to do. He orders Sabra that, since she can fly and is the most powerful member of their team, to take on Tower Bridge. He wants Val and the Arabian Knight to head for Heathrow. Once their situations have been sorted out, Joey wants them to report in and afterward go where things are worst. He himself will handle the Tunnel. Joey jumps out of the car, and dives into the river below them. Sabra thinks it seems reckless for Joey to go in there alone, as he is just one man. The Knight disagrees: he heard Union Jack’s voice, and saw the look in his eyes. He admits that, in the past, Union Jack was a man to reckon with. But now... this is a man to fear.

Back inside the tunnel, Jackhammer continues to wreck more havoc. Jack O’Lantern tells him to be careful, as he doesn’t want the wall Jackhammer is punching to fall, collapsing in on them. As water sprouts of the wall, Jackhammer tells his teammate not to worry. He explains he’s got a master’s degree in engineering, and has studied this tunnel; from the original construction to when they reinforced it in the ‘90s. He knows exactly what it can take. More water comes out of it, and Jackhammer thinks that should do it. On that moment, Union Jack punches his way out of the wall, and grabs Jackhammer by his throat! He proclaims that London has had about enough from the likes of him. Joey keeps hitting Jackhammer until he’s down.

Joey goes to stand on a train, and spots Jack O’Lantern and Shockwave approaching him. Jack thinks he’s dealing with Captain Britain and panics a bit. Shockwave corrects Jack, calls him a tosser and tells him they are instead dealing with Union Jack. Jack is relieved, as for a second he was actually worried. He throws some fired up pumpkin bombs at Union Jack. However, they bounce off of his costume, and Joey grabs one of the bombs and throws them back at Jack, taking him out.

Shockwave is impressed, but thinks he still got a chance, recalling he even fought against the best martial artist in the world. Joey asks Shockwave if he’s talking about Shang-Chi. Shockwave confirms that, and gives Joey a hard punch in his stomach! He also triumphs he beat Shang-Chi within an inch of his life. Shockwave kicks Joey down, admitting Shang-Chi is strong, and chooses to consider them as equals in strength. Joey gets back up, and informs Shockwave he read the file about his battle with Shang-Chi. The file also read that the second time the two fought, Shang-Chi cleaned Shockwave’s clock. Joey gives Shockwave a few fast hard punches, and thinks this situation can be compared to that old battle.

Shockwave falls into the water, and still stands. He laughs, telling Joey that he learned from those mistakes. That’s why he’s wearing the waterproof suit. He fires some electrical shocks at Union Jack, who dodges them all. He jumps right back at Shockwave, holding a knife ready. He tries to slice through the suit of Shockwave, who panics. He tells Joey that, if he exposes the wires, they’ll both be electrocuted! Joey manages to slice through the suit, and is willing to take that risk. As Shockwave’s suit starts to spark and explodes, Joey quickly jumps into safety. He says it’s just as he figured it would be: the suit’s designed to shut down in case of a short. He knew a coward like Shockwave wouldn’t risk his own neck.

MI5 members in their flying cars pass the tunnel and, as Joey tries to exit the tunnel, they see each other. Joey tells them he’s fine, though he feels half-dead. He wants the MI5 to help the injured, and to loan him one of those cars, as it looks like he’s got some unfinished business to attend. He sees Jack O’Lantern trying to escape on his disc. Joey quickly steps into a car and follows Jack through the tunnel. Jack tells Joey to let it go, as he knows when he’s defeated. He’s just trying to get out of this country now. Joey starts shooting at Jack, who asks him to stop as he’s going to get them both killed. Joey doesn’t care about that, if that’s what it takes to stop Jack. He hits Jack from behind, who crushes into a wall and explodes!

Joey survives the blast, and drags Jack O’Lantern out of the tunnel. There, he meets up with the MI5 crew. They explain they’ve plugged the leak Shockwave made and got the survivors stabilized, and now want to give him some medical attention. Joey tells the crew stabilizing the people isn’t enough: he wants them well. And he wants to extradite Jack to a country with the death penalty. The MI5 crew tries to stop Joey from walking away, telling him he’s in no condition to go on. Joey wants to talk later, as right now he’s got to see a lady about a bridge.

Meanwhile, at Tower Bridge...

Sabra defeats the villain called Tenpin and flies him away from the other villains. Crossfire isn’t worried, planning on freeing Tenpin from jail later. He tells his companions to keep on firing, as they are getting paid by the body. Standing on top of the bridge, Bombshell asks Crossfire if he can’t use his ultra-sonics to control Sabra’s mind. Crossfire can’t because Sabra is flying too fast. If he strikes, she’ll just get out of range. Bombshell wonders if Sabra knows what Crossfire can do.

Crossfire thinks so. He knows Sabra is from the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. And he thinks Sabra probably knows about Bombshell’s implants as well. The two see Sabra flying back towards them, which Cross thinks is a good case, and points his gun at her. Bombshell reminds Cross that they saw Sabra is bulletproof. Cross smiles it’s a good thing Bombshell is pretty or else he would be mad at her now. He reminds her they are Death-Throws, who hit anything they aim at. And now, he’s aiming at Sabra. He fires the gun at Sabra, knocking her from the air!

Below, Ecstacy and Ringtoss prepare to finish Sabra off, as the super-heroine is falling in their direction. Ringtoss explains that, since a blade can penetrate a bulletproof vest, he wonders if his razor-sharp rings will cut through Sabra’s pretty flesh. However, on that instant, Joey crushes his car into the villains. They get hit so hard they fall off the bridge, into the water below. Bombshell wonders if the two could have survived that fall, however Crossfire doesn’t want to think about them, as now they’ve finally got a target that can bleed.

Union Jack asks Sabra if she’s injured. Sabra gets up and says that she’ll be all right, but can’t see anything right now. Her eyes hurt too much. She thinks if she’ll get too close to Crossfire, she’ll be mind-controlled. Joey says she knows that. And he knows he’ll be blown out of the sky before he gets near them. A bomb almost lands down on the two, but luckily Joey manages to push both himself and Sabra into safety in time. Unfortunately, the bomb destroys the flying car. Joey quickly grabs Sabra by her wrist, and suggests that he’ll act as her eyes while she’ll be his protection. He points Sabra in the directions of the villains standing on top of the bridge. A moment later, Sabra tears through most of them, while Joey punches Crossfire into the river below.

Bombshell panics and threatens Joey to leave her alone, or else she’ll throw another bomb at him. Joey tells her to do it: at this range, the explosion will take them both out. He knows he might survive thanks to his reinforced suit, but isn’t so sure about Bombshell. He manages to talk some sense in the villainess and she puts the bomb out, deciding to give up. Sabra meets up with Joey and informs her Crossfire hasn’t resurfaced yet, and thinks he probably drowned. Sabra explains that her vision is already starting to come back, and she just received word from Val. Unfortunately, things aren’t sorted out at Heathrow yet.

At Heathrow, where...

Firebrand brings an airplane down, which crashes right before Val and the Arabian Knight. The Knight has had enough of the too-long standoff. Sooner or later, he suspects, Firebrand will burn up the entire plane and all of the passengers inside it. Val disagrees. She thinks that, if Firebrand really had planned to do that, he would have done it by now. She thinks the villains need the passengers to keep them heroes and a potential air strike at a distance. She’s certain that the villains are planning something that will cause even more devastation.

A noise is heard. Val and the Knight’s worst fears are realized: the RAID members have seized the cockpit of the plane, and started up its engines. “Not again!” Val screams. She wants to stop the plane from going up, but gets hit by one of Boomerang’s... boomerangs. He refuses to be taken down by a chick, since he has been in this thing for so long. He won’t even be taken down by a chick with such a nice rack. Val sees how the boomerang ricochets, and gets an idea. She shoots some bullets on it, causing the boomerang to alter course and hit Boomerang himself. As luck wants it, the boomerang destroys Boomerang’s gasarang that hangs on his suit, ripping it open. Caught by surprise, Boomerang inhales the gas and falls unconscious. Val triumphs that they don’t made her the deputy director of SHIELD because of her “nice rack.”

Arabian Knight and Firebrand face each other. Firebrand shoots flames at the Knight, but afterward the Knight is unscathed! He explains that his predecessor’s magic carpet has been remade into the costume he now wears. The carpet protects him from harm. He hopes that Firebrand’s suit does the same for him, and slashes his sword through the villain. Val tells the Knight to hurry up, as the plane is almost up in the air. Val starts shooting the plane, but the bullets don’t do anything against it. The Knight slashes his sword through the plane’s wheels, but it still goes up.

Inside the plane, the RAID agents laugh, wanting to destroy Buckingham Palace. However, a moment later, Sabra and Union Jack fly through the plane’s window and punch out the agents. When Sabra asks Joey if he can land this thing, he replies that he logged time on MI5’s simulator and so, unless Sabra is a trained pilot, he’ll have to do it. Sabra confirms she actually is a pilot, but with the landing gear down she should stabilize the plane from outside. Joey gives her a go, and Sabra flies back outside while Joey takes on the control panel. He then pushes on some buttons and pulls the yoke with all of his strength. Finally, he manages to get the plane safely down. He goes back outside, and tells his teammates they can’t rest just yet until all of the plane’s passengers are safe.

Unfortunately, Sabra, Val and the Arabian Knight have all been brainwashed and are under control of... the Corruptor! He orders them to destroy Union Jack first, and after that, they’ll have to destroy all of London!

Characters Involved: 

Union Jack III (Joey Chapman)


Countessa Allegra Valentina de la Fontaine

Arabian Knight II

Bombshell, Boomerang, Corruptor, Crossfire, Jackhammer, Jack O’Lantern, Firebrand, Knick-Knack, Oddball, Ringleader, Shockwave, Tenpin (all RAID members)

MI5 wapping crew (all unnamed)

various people in peril (all unnamed)

on video screen:

MI5 informant (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Shang-Chi’s and Shockwave’s two battles against another can be found throughout Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu #42-43. Shang-Chi himself is at this point a member of the new Heroes For Hire team, as seen in Heroes For Hire (2nd series) #1-3.

Bombshell, Crossfire, Knick-Knack, Oddball and Tenpin really were part of a team called the Death-Throws once. The team made its debut in Captain America (1st series) #317.

Val’s “Not again” shout when the RAID goons hijack a plane to crash it into Buckingham Palace is a reference to the real-world terrorist attacks from September 11, 2001.

Issue Information: 
Written By: