Sunday, May 11, 2014

UNION JACK AND THE DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON

(No, sadly this is not the title of an upcoming Marvel team-up style series. But could you imagine...?)

Remember the other day when we covered CAPTAIN AMERICA #254, in which young Joey Chapman took on the guise of Union Jack? Well, that was in 1981. Not much came of Union Jack for several years afterward. He made some appearances in the Marvel U.K. comics, where he joined the super-group called the Knights of Pendragon, and he popped up in John Byrne's NAMOR series in the U.S. for a two-parter involving Spitfire and a reunion of the Invaders. But overall he was dormant for quite some time.

Then in 1998, Ben Raab and future superstar artist John Cassaday produced a limited series titled UNION JACK, which served as a sequel to the original Roger Stern/John Byrne origin. Jack remained relatively low profile in the years that followed, with only occasional appearances in CAPTAIN AMERICA and a brief stint as one of Chuck Austen's NEW INVADERS, until he again popped up to headline a mini-series in 2006.

Both UNION JACK series have been collected in trade paperback (and both are available on Marvel's Digital Unlimited service as well), and I've decided to spend a couple Fridays on them here.

Then, after UNION JACK, I'm going to go back to the funky seventies for a one-shot Marvel released in 2006, titled DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON: DEADLY HANDS (also on Marvel Digital Unlimited for those who have any interest). The comic reprints a serial starring Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, then IRON FIST supporting characters, from Marvel's black-and-white DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU magazine. Written by Chris Claremont and drawn by the late Marshall Rogers, this is a story I grabbed on a whim when the reprint was released, mainly because I was a fan of Claremont's IRON FIST run from the seventies (which I also intend to cover here someday). I barely remember reading it, so we'll see why it left so little of an impression on me.

And following the DEADLY HANDS one-shot, I'm going jump back into the twenty-first century, and return to Marvel Digital Unlimited, to take a look at Colleen's and Misty's 2006 DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON limited series, by the same creative team that brought us SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST (including the writing duo behind AME-COMI GIRLS) -- Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Khari Evans.

All of this will take us into June, and then my next longer-term Friday series will begin.

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