There’s a new Marvel superhero team coming to the United Kingdom, now that The Union has officially been revealed. Written by Paul Grist with art by Andrea Di Vito, the series will be rolled out during Marvel’s Empyre event and presumably will feature the United Kingdom-based superhero team protecting their homeland from the Kree and Skrull invasion.
The teaser image released by Marvel is all the news thus far, showcasing the appearance of the new team. The only instantly recognizable hero on the team is Union Jack. Introduced in The Invaders #7 in 1946, Union Jack is a mantle passed down to several superheroes over the years. There’s also a hulking figure wearing a hooded, Ronin-like costume with a strange glow emanating from his right eye. Who this heavily-shrouded figure remains a mystery, but his identity seems conspicuously hidden (more deliberately than the other heroes of the group).
Traditionally, the Marvel Comics version of the UK has fallen under the purview of MI-13. The fictional spy agency employs mutant spy Pete Wisdom and is the central focus of the comic Captain Britain and MI-13 by Paul Cornell. Previously, The Knights of Pendragon, published by Marvel UK, was another British superteam. The X-Men team Excalibur is also usually based in the United Kingdom, with the recent relaunch seeing Betsy Braddock reluctantly take the mantle of Captain Britain from her brother. The new team, consisting of Captain Britain, Rogue, Gambit, Jubilee, Rictor, and Apocalypse, has also encountered Pete Wisdom.
But how the events of the latest Excalibur series will feature into The Union remains to be seen, but they will almost certainly set the stage for a new team of superheroes to take the spotlight. With Betsy Braddock now holding the title of Captain Britain, it seems the United Kingdom may be seeking to form their own super-team… without ties to the mutant nation of Krakoa. This certainly could lead to a dust-up between Excalibur and The Union down the road, but with Empyre on the immediate horizon, they will undoubtedly have their hands full with the Skrull and Kree invasion from Emperor Hulking.
Still, Excalibur has been making some major waves in Marvel’s magical landscape throughout Great Britain, and given the presence of both Apocalypse and the ties to Krakoa, it seems extremely unlikely that these two super-teams won’t cross paths. When it happens, it will almost certainly be sooner rather than later. The more pressing question: is the United Kingdom big enough for both of them? And if not, can the country survive the emergence of The Unions?
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