MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“Union Jack is a British operative, spy, and master of hand-to-hand combat embroiled in the world of European politics.”
If America’s got Captain America, certainly some of the other countries would have their own nationalistic equivalents, right? Of course they would. As it so happens, Britain’s actually got two; the more parallel-y named Captain Britain is a less direct counterpart. That role more goes to Union Jack. Created retroactively in the ’70s, despite his common placement among the Invaders, Captain America’s WW2-era team, Union Jack is a rare WWI-based hero. The original Jack, Lord James Montgomery Falsworth would eventually pass the mantle onto his son Brian. Following Brian’s untimely demise, Falsworth trained another protegee, Joseph Chapman, who has been in the role since the ’80s. Union Jack’s got a pretty distinctive design, so he’s no stranger to action figures. I’ll be looking at his latest today.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Union Jack is figure 4 in the Hulk Series of Marvel Legends. This is Jack’s second time as a Legend; the first was also a Hasbro release, and was also part of a series that built a Hulk figure. However, he was from a darker period in Hasbro’s run, and is at this point over a decade old, so an update seems more than fair. The basics of the Union Jack uniform have remained more or less the same throughout all three incarnations (apart from a period of time when Chapman was sporting a Captain Britain-looking costume), but this figure is clearly most inspired by Chapman’s ever so slightly modernized gear. In a pinch, though, it works as any of them. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation. Though the original prototype was built on the 2099 body, the final product has switched him to the Bucky Cap base. Personally, I don’t mind this so much, as I like the general aesthetics a little more on this body, but it’s too bad he missed on the extra shoulder joints. He gets a new head, plus add-ons for the belt and wrist/ankle straps. I really dig the new head; it really does a great job of selling that there’s a full face underneath of the mask. I also really like the piping around the eyeholes and running down the sides. Union Jack’s design is pretty dependent on the paint not sucking, and fortunately the figure fares pretty well in that regard. The whites could maybe be a little more solid, but otherwise the application is all quite clean. They also got the patterning of the Union Jack correct, which is more than can be said about the previous figure. Union Jack is packed with a revolver and a knife, both of which are re-used parts. In the case of the revolver, this is a little sad, as it means that Jack doesn’t get his signature Webley, and instead gets something more generic. It serves alright in a pinch, but it’ll bug me until the end of time. Also included is the right arm of the Hulk Build-A-Figure.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve always loved Union Jack’s design, and as such I’ve always made it a point to track him down when he gets a toy. I was very happy to see him pop back up, and I’m thrilled to be able to finally retire the older figure, who was seriously starting to show his age. Union Jack is a rather by the numbers figure, but that doesn’t at all hinder him, and he’s definitely vying for the spot of my favorite in this line-up.