Union Jack (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
January 2007
Story Title: 
London Falling: part 3

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

Brief Description: 

Union Jack manages to defeat the Corruptor, but this still doesn’t bring Sabra, Val and the Arabian Knight back to their senses. Joey decides to set them up against another, so he has more of a chance of winning. He has Sabra take out the Knight by playing on the fact they dislike each other. Joey manages to defeat Val by himself, and later uses a gas pill from his utility belt to take out the super-strong Sabra. As his allies get transported back to MI5’s infirmary to heal them up, Union Jack is praised for his attempts to help the common man. Even all the news channels like him. Joey travels back to MI5’s headquarters, where he gets a briefing from Gavin. Later, Ecstasy attacks the base, wanting to rescue her teammates MI5 holds captive. Only a bright flash of light can take the villainess down. Joey thinks about using the Arabian Knight’s sword for it, but only he can use it and the Knight himself still isn’t up for it. He suggests that Joey kills him, so that the Knight’s power can be transferred to Union Jack, however Joey refuses to do that of course. Joey contacts Captain America in the hope he has a solution to his problem. Cap reveals that the hero Cloak might be of help, but he’s busy in Queens and it might take a while to reach him. Joey thanks for the tip, but he just thought of something else. He tricks Fasaud into charging up one of his electromagnetic pulses, which hits Ecstasy and takes her down! During the next mission briefing, Sabra, Val and the Knight are recovered. Sabra still gives the Knight a hard time, but Joey asks her to stop doing that, as the Knight has proven himself in his eyes, to which Ruth agrees. Gavin reports that sixteen people died during Ecstasy’s break-in, and she managed to transport Shockwave out of his cell, but Gavin doesn’t consider that villain as such a big loss. He has more awful news to report: RAID has managed to grab hold of a Dreadnought robot and plans to unleash it on the city. Just as Gavin says these words, the attacks take place downtown, and Union Jack and the others rush to save the day.

Full Summary: 

Union Jack is under attack by the mind-controlled Sabra, Arabian Knight and Val! The villain responsible for their condition, the Corruptor gloats that he could take control of Jack as well, but he doesn’t see why he should bother. He sees Union Jack as nothing more than a glorified acrobat, which shouldn’t be a concern to him. And with all the cameras around the battle field, Corruptor adds, it seems much more dramatic to have Union Jack’s allies murder the symbol of England before her citizen’s eyes... and then lay waste to London itself!

As Union Jack dodges the attack of his allies, he admits to himself that he can barely stand, and it feels like he has cracked at least two ribs, his left eye is swollen and now he’s facing three elite super-agents with nothing but a dagger and a World War One-era pistol. Joey can honestly say he never thought he’d miss fighting vampires. Joey fears that even with their minds addled, he can’t possibly go toe-to-toe with them. He’s certain that Sabra alone could tear his head off, even without her energy-quills. Dodging a slash from the Arabian Knight’s sword and also Val’s bullets, Joey realizes that the two are aiming to kill him. He knows he only has one chance at this, and that’s to take advantage of their confused state. He has to stay out of their way, long enough to make the puppets deal with the puppet master.

Joey jumps right in front of the Corruptor, who wants to finish Union Jack off with his bare hands. However, at that moment, Sabra, Arabian Knight and Val all aim at Union Jack at the same time. He sees this and jumps away, with the blast ending up taking the Corruptor down. Joey hopes that his allies are feeling like themselves again now, but they aren’t. They shoot and fire at Union Jack again, who jumps in a nearby standing empty car. Starting the car, Joey uses a device to contact MI5 and asks to speak to Director Gavin. A receptionist of MI5 claims that Gavin and asks Union Jack if it’s urgent. A blast hits the mirror of Joey’s car, and he shouts at the receptionist of course it’s urgent!

Sabra stops the car using her strength and slams it apart. Union Jack can just in time open the door and roll out of it. Gavin calls out to Joey asking what the problem is. Union Jack explains that the Corruptor turned MI5’s allies into enemies. He adds that he took out the Corruptor, but nobody is regaining their senses. He warns Gavin that unless he’s got some ideas on how to deal with the situation, their friends will attack London after killing him and they’ll have one hell of an international incident on their hands. Gavin asks Union Jack to hang on a moment. Dodging another slash from the Arabian Knight’s sword, Joey jokes that’s easy for Gavin to say.

Gavin reveals that according to MI5’s files, the Corruptor infects his victims with a toxin secreted by his skin. Once his victims are infected, it has to run its course, and taking out the Corruptor himself won’t work. Taking a kick in the face from Sabra, Union Jack mocks that he already noticed that. Gavin claims that the situation isn’t hopeless. The Corruptor’s toxin targets parts of the brain affecting anger and impulse control, making victims highly suggestible to the Corruptor’s orders. With him out of the way, Union Jack can take advantage of his allies’ impulsivity. He has to direct them at more natural enemies. Joey sees where Gavin is getting to, and also sees Sabra and the Arabian Knight teaming-up to take him down.

Union Jack tries to mock Sabra, taunting her that he’d never see her getting all cozy with an Arab, a comment which confuses Sabra. Arabian Knight powers up his sword and tries to hit Joey with it, but he jumps away and instead the blast hits Sabra. Joey tries to fake that the Knight has turned against Sabra, and that she fell for his charade like a stupid cow. Sabra gets angry, calling the Knight “terrorist scum” and tries to hit him with her blasts.

While Sabra and the Arabian Knight fight each other, Joey smiles that these odds are much more to his liking. He ducks away from a punch from Val. He grabs her arm, mocking that she sure is a great fighter in her mind, but thinks she really isn’t so great. With Val unsure how to respond to that, Joey knocks his head hard against hers, taking her out. Joey thinks that, with Val now down and Sabra beating up the Knight, it leaves him with Sabra, who once fought the Hulk one-on-one and lived to tell the tale. Sabra takes out the Knight, and wants to destroy Union Jack now, because he called her a stupid cow. Joey tries to joke that he meant that in the nicest way possible, but she doesn’t believe that. Sabra screams, and tries to hit Union Jack but ends up getting her fist stuck in a car that stands behind them.

Joey decides to use the only weak spot on Sabra he knows she has: breath. He takes out a pill out of his utility belt, and releases a green gas from it, which he hopes will knock Ruth out. However it doesn’t, and Joey gets a hard hit in the face to endure! But as Joey tries to get up again, the gas Sabra breathed kicks in, and she faints! Joey knew his new belt pouches would come in handy some day!

Some time later...

An ambulance has arrived and takes the defeated allies away on stretchers. Joey uses his communicator to inform Gavin about this. Gavin is surprised Joey defeated them all by himself. Joey sarcastically thanks Gavin for his confidence. He warns to have restraints ready at the infirmary because there is no telling if everyone will be back to themselves when they wake up. He asks where to go next. Gavin wants Joey back at the MI5 headquarters. He explains that the first strike force may have been suppressed, but they’ve still got enemies unaccounted for. They need Union Jack on standby and Gavin knows Joey needs some medical attention himself.

Joey suggests he help with the search and rescue himself, but Gavin doesn’t want to hear about it. He realizes there will be countless more people trapped if they don’t find every last member of RAID in the city. He demands Union Jack back at headquarters, and won’t take no for an answer. He reminds Joey about what happened last time he ignored one of his orders. Joey knows and promises to be on his way. As he walks to a car, people start cheering for Union Jack’s triumphs. Gavin hears it and asks what the noise is all about. Joey thinks it’s just some people not realizing what a cock-up he made out of things. A bystander denies that remark by saying that he was one of the people on the plane, and he is glad Union Jack saved his life.

Union Jack tends to the man, asking him if he booked the flight because he warned people on the telly about the terrorist attacks. The man confirms that. Joey informs the man it was also his fault that his life needed to be saved. The man thinks Joey must be daft. He mentions that he drives a taxi. All day, he and his mates are ferrying rich folks to the airport. The man asks if those people knew what was going on. Joey confirms that the word was being spread. The man says that blokes like him weren’t informed, not until Union Jack’s warning. The man admits that maybe he made a stupid choice, heading for Heathrow instead of hiding in his basement like Union Jack told him to do. But it’s because of Union Jack that he got to make a choice. And the man would rather die of stupidity than ignorance.

The man wants Joey to chin up, and mentions that they all appreciate somebody’s looking out for them. And thinks it’s about time someone did. He doesn’t want to hear Joey second-guessing himself again, as that hardly suits a leader. Joey tries to say he hardly is a leader, but now everyone starts cheering for him again, saying quite differently!

Later, at the MI5 headquarters...

Union Jack’s actions are praised on the television networks, but Joey knows people just appreciate his work. And he knows more people need his help, so he wants to know what he’s doing waiting around at the monitors. Gavin wants more information. They’ve got interrogators and telepaths working on their captives, but they don’t know much. However, Gavin is certain that, if they piece together what little they get from each captive, they may learn where the others are hiding. He also mentions to Joey that his allies should be waking up soon. Joey is glad to hear that, but he still doesn’t like doing nothing.

Gavin thinks Joey must have been asleep during the briefing with Fausaud. He reminds him there’s the villainess, Ecstasy, who’s unaccounted for, and not to mention that unidentified WMD. He adds that RAID launched these strikes to show the world they can inflict terror. Even though RAID has also shown the world they can be beaten, Gavin is certain they aren’t finished yet. On that moment, gunshots are heard on the monitors.

It’s Ecstasy! Ecstasy orders her minions to free the captors, which they set out to do. Joey tells Gavin to get to safety while he’ll go take care of things, but Gavin holds him back. He believes Joey doesn’t have a chance against Ecstasy. He suggests they let her have the prisoners, since most of them are useless anyway. Joey can’t believe his ears: those prisoners are mass murderers! Gavin corrects that those prisoners are also injured and unconscious, and more. But they can’t let Ecstasy free Fasaud, since his body is made of electromagnetic energy. If he gets into MI5’s systems he’ll cripple the company, and sent them back to the Stone Age!

Joey wants to hear a plan, if Gavin has one. He does. He explains that Ecstasy’s power comes from a dimension of darkness. The only thing that can stop her is a source of mystical light, such as the Arabian Knight’s scimitar. He wants Joey to go to the infirmary, to get the Knight mobile or use his sword by himself. Gavin’ll head to Fasaud’s cell and promises that if Ecstasy gets too close, he’ll use MI5’s EM pulse device to eliminate him.

Joey quickly rushes to the infirmary, where Val, Sabra and the Knight are lying on beds. After Val asks what’s going on, Joey explains the attack and asks a nurse how the Knight is doing. She explains the Knight has a concussion. He’s conscious but disoriented. Joey explains to the Knight that they are under attack and that his sword is the only thing that can stop Ecstasy. He asks the Knight if he can stand. The Knight claims he can, but he immediately collapses again once out of bed. The nurse corrects that the Knight is in no shape to fight, and notices that neither is Joey. Joey helps the Knight back in bed and asks to lean the sword. The Knight reveals that won’t word, adding that while the sword’s master lives, it’s magic won’t fuction for anyone else. But there is a way: Joey has to kill him!

Joey thinks the Knight still must be delirious. The Knight denies that, claiming that, if he dies, the sword can be passed on to Union Jack so he can do what is necessary. He would gladly give up his life to save so many others. Joey thinks about it for a while, but declines to do it. There’s got to be another way! Val suggests Joey to come with him, but he instead wants her to take care of the Knight. If he improves, they have to come find him. Val asks Joey what he’s going to do. He runs out of the infirmary, not having a single clue.

Union Jack runs through the hall and uses his communicator to be patched through to Avengers Tower. He knows they are away, but he’ll speak to Jarvis or anyone who’s available. Surprisingly enough, Joey gets to talk to Captain America! Joey asks Cap what’s going on, as he thought the Avengers were on a mission. Cap replies that Iron Man and Spider-Man are on their way to Washington, and that he’s there alone. Cap just saw the reports from London and can be there in ninety minutes.

Joey thanks Cap for the offer, but as he sees corpses lying around in the hallways, says it’s too late. It’s the Avengers’ database information Joey needs. He wants to know what they’ve got on Ecstasy. Cap explains that, according to Doctor Strange, Ecstasy steals her powers from a hero named Cloak, but there are reports of him being active as recently as last night. Joey is more interested in learning how to beat her. He thinks that, aside from overloading her with a magical light source, there has to be another way because he doesn’t really like that idea much. Cap adds that it’s not Ecstasy’s light her darkness feeds on. It feeds as much on life energy. Magic aside, it would take a superhuman who generates large amounts of energy, like Cloak’s partner, Dagger. Cap suggests they try to locate Cloak and Dagger but that might take a few hours.

Joey asks Cap if he really said biological energy, which he confirms. That just gave Joey an idea, and jokes that, if he survives the day, the drinks will be on him. He meets up with Gavin, who stands in front of Fasaud’s cell and asks Joey where the Knight’s sword is. Joey tells Gavin he’ll just have to trust him on this. Joey informs Fasaud about his friends’ rescue party, and that they can’t let that happen. Fasaud, while charging up some electricity in his cell, tells Union Jack not to open his cell door, if he values his life. Joey mocks that if he would value his life, he would have gone home hours ago. He tells Fasaud to say his prayers, because he’s coming in.

However, on that moment, Ecstasy arrives and is ready to feast. Joey warns Ecstasy that she would better run away, claiming he’s got her old friend Cloak working on taking his powers back as they speak. Ecstasy claims that’s pointless, as she no longer needs to steal powers from that boy. She reveals that the darkness has decided it rather likes her, because she keeps it well fed on delicacies.

Joey opens Fasaud’s cell door and warns Gavin to get down, which he does. On that moment, Fasaud’s electrical light is fired, hitting Ecstasy! Ecstasy powers down completely and is left in her normal, female, naked form! Union Jack notices it looks like her darkness ate something that disagreed with it. He jokes that darkness must have gone back home to sleep it off. Joey gets ready to hit Ecstasy in the face, and she begs him to wait, but he won’t. Normally he’s more of a gentleman to defenseless, naked women but he had to step over bodies of some good people to get here. And he’s in no bloody mood to wait, so he punches Ecstasy in her face, which knocks her out!

Shortly afterwards, at Gavin’s office...

Val, Sabra and Arabian Knight are recovered and attend the briefing together with Union Jack. Gavin has read the preliminary report, and Joey wants to know how many people are now dead. “Sixteen,” Gavin confirms – and Ecstasy teleported Shockwave away before Union Jack stopped her. But, Gavin would trade Shockwave for Ecstasy any day. Since she is RAID’s means of escape, she knows far more about their operation than the others. MI5’s interrogators have learned what the WMD smuggled: a disassembled Dreadnought.

Val isn’t impressed. She recalls that Nick Fury destroyed a Dreadnought robot all by himself. The robots are dangerous, but SHIELD has an exhaustive file on their weak points, from the original model to the 2000 series. Gavin adds that the Dreadnoughts have been improved since then. They’ve got adamantium alloy, stronger weaponry and system-wide upgrades. He’s certain the old tricks won’t work. Union Jack asks Gavin if Ecstasy knows where the Dreadnought has been stashed. Gavin denies that. She just knows the rendezvous point where she was to pick up the crew of RAID agents controlling it. But they can assume the robot itself isn’t far from there. For once, time is on MI5’s side. For RAID not to have unleashed the Dreadnought suggests that they’re still assembling it. They realize they launched their other attacks too early, but it seems this one is sticking close to the original timetable.

Gavin tells the group they’ll join MI5’s agents searching the area near the rendezvous point. That is, if they are all up to it. Arabian Knight says he’s fine, but Sabra strongly disagrees with that. Joey asks Sabra to stop speaking ill of the Knight, because he has proven himself in his eyes. Val agrees with that. Sabra has no choice but to join in. In that case, Gavin tells the group to go for it. After that, the men and women split up for a while. Sabra asks Val what all that was about, because she thought they had agreed on something. Val knows, but Sabra was still unconscious at the time and she saw what happened at the infirmary.

At the back of the room, while looking out of the window, Arabian Knight asks Union Jack if he’s alright, because he looks troubled. Joey isn’t sure: it could be that he’s done in, but asks the Knight if he noticed...

Suddenly, an explosion takes place downtown! The team rushes outside and steps into a flying car. Union Jack thinks the explosion means RAID is back on schedule. They fly to the battlefield, where they find a Dreadnought robot trashing part of the city!

Characters Involved: 

Union Jack III (Joey Chapman)


Countessa Allegra Valentina de la Fontaine

Arabian Knight II

Corruptor, Ecstasy (RAID members)

Phil Gavin

Captain America

a Dreadnought robot

various cheering bystanders (all unnamed)

various medical staff (all unnamed)

various people in peril (all unnamed)

in Gavin’s flashback:

Nick Fury

a Dreadnought robot

Story Notes: 

Before being hired to deal with the villains attacking London, Union Jack dedicated his life in destroying every vampire in London, which he apparently succeeded doing in Union Jack (2nd series) #1.

Sabra’s battle against the Hulk occurred in Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #256.

Union Jack’s conversation with Captain America indicates that the miniseries takes place before the Civil War storyline. The events with Iron Man and Spider-Man in Washington are detailed in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #529-531.

A little more information on Ecstasy: her real name is Renee Deladier and she first appeared in Doctor Strange (2nd series) #74. She fought Strange, Cloak and Dagger in that issue.

Nick Fury fought a Dreadnought in Strange Tales (1st series) #154.

Issue Information: 
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