Marvel Halloween Spooklight 2015 Day 17: Union Jack

Every day this month a new supernatural character or story from the Marvel Universe gets the spooky spotlight leading up to Halloween!

For a working class British bloke, Union Jack sure finds himself facing off against the undead on a regular basis. Then again, that’s part of the territory for the hero whose predecessor served in the Invaders with Captain American, Namor, Spitfire, Human Torch, and others when they originally fought Baron Blood during World War II.

The three-issue UNION JACK limited series from the late 1990’s written by Ben Raab and drawn by John Cassaday captures that mix of common life with the supernatural in a story that finds Joey Chapman facing vampires in both his personal and super hero lives.

After a series of bloodsucker attacks, Jack discovers that they’re not just out looking for some sanguine satisfaction, but the Holy Grail of myth. To attain her goal, the recently revealed Baroness Blood will use every trick in the book, including turning children to her side for the chance to sip from the cup on just the right day and become immune to sunlight and other vampire slaying implements.

Even with so much working against him—including his friend-turned-vampire Kenneth Falsworth—Union Jack perseveres thanks to the unique set of skills and advice passed down from his predecessor.

All of this leads to an epic finale that starts at Falsworth Manor and comes to a head in Glastonbury. Union Jack battles his way through a legion of vampires at the first locale, but a surprise element destroys the ones at the latter: Baroness Blood. After drinking from the grail herself, she destroys it, letting the rising sun kill her blood-lusting followers, including Falsworth.

This limited series excels at mixing the super hero and monster elements that make up the Marvel Universe thanks in large part to a master artist like Cassaday working his magic on his first Marvel outing.

FRIGHT FACT: Joey Chapman first appeared in another story packed with bloodsucking baddies. Back in CAPTAIN AMERICA #253, he dropped by to visit Falsworth Manor with Kenneth as Captain America investigated the reappearance of Baron Blood. The next issue, Joey put on the Union Jack uniform, which previously belonged to Kenneth’s grandfather, and helped battle the vamp with Cap who decapitated the villain with his shield.

Come back tomorrow for another Halloween Spooklight on GIANT-SIZE CHILLERS!