The Union, Marvel’s new UK superhero team, arrives in December, and now an exclusive preview has been released, hinting at divisions within the team.
Marvel has unveiled the first pages starring their new British super-team called The Union, who will be making their debut during Marvel’s King in Black mega event. This five-issue mini-series will be written by Paul Grist, (Kane) with art by Andrea Di Vito (Conan), inks by Drew Geraci (Captain America) and Le Beau Underwood (Scream) and colors by Nolan Woodard (Excalbur) and will be in stores December 2.
Marvel has a long history of British super heroes, stretching back to Captain Britain’s first appearance in 1976. From there, the publisher developed their own line of British comics, sometimes featuring reprints of American comics but also original material; American writers such as Chris Claremont cut their teeth working for Marvel UK, as did prominent British talents such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Alan Davis. And now Marvel shines a spotlight on their British heroes in The Union.
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In an exclusive preview provided to Monkeys Fighting Robots, readers get to see the team close up. Fans get a tantalizing glimpse at Union Jack, one of the team’s members, in action, as well as learning a little about the mysterious Britannia. Readers also see four of the members gathered together for a brief propaganda video, each one representing a part of the United Kingdom: Kelpie of Scotland, the Choir from Wales, Snakes from Northern Ireland and Britannia representing the United Kingdom as a whole. Union Jack, the English legacy hero, has seemingly yet to join the group in the preview, though he’s included on one of his own adventures.
The preview also makes it clear that the book will draw heavily on real world influences, namely the stormy political situation currently happening in the UK. The preview references recent tensions throughout, and the team is partially a response to this, representing an attempt to foster unity, but variant covers have suggested the teams’ villainous backstories may make this a more cynical publicity attempt than an optimistic team-up built on sincere patriotism. The book will also look at the role of the superhero in today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. There is a joke about tea, references to popular British shows Danger Mouse and This Morning, and a nod to the Boaty McBoatface voting outrage, suggesting a mix of wider stereotypes and more targeted UK in-jokes.
The preview raises some questions, specifically how will this relate to the King in Black? The Union were originally planned to release alongside Marvel’s Empyre event, and there is no mention of Knull or symbiotes in the preview, leaving readers to wonder how sincere the connection to Marvel’s eldritch crossover will really be. Also, just how committed are these heroes to the Union? Even in their promo pose, only Britannia seems to be truly invested in the team, and Union Jack’s monologue at the end of the preview hints at his characteristic dissatisfaction with his paymasters. Will the Union be able to hold together in light of Brexit and the stormy political climate in the United Kingdom? While the preview did not answer these questions, fans can expect them to be answered in The Union #1, on sale December 2!
Next: The Hulk: Why One Hulk Villain is a Joke to UK Comics Readers
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