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Union Jack #4

Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"London Falling"

Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Mike Perkins(p), Andrew Hennessey(i), Laura Villari(c)
Publisher: Marvel

The conclusion to Union Jack is another good, solid super-hero oriented action movie done in panel form. The issue perhaps should have ended sooner, but the unnecessary epilogue doesn't damage the overall pleasure the reader will receive from the finale.

The fight against the Dreadnaught, the giant robot seen in last issue's cliffhanger, easily outweighs the trite ending. Union Jack and his unlikely teammates employ smart stratagems against their unfeeling foe. Blows and counterblows make sense, and finally we get an idea of whether or not Jack still possesses the Powers of Pendragon. He does. There's simply no way Jack could have survived the robot's backhand without them.

Gage does reduce Jack's power, and this was a smart if confusing thing to do. Perhaps, he should have demonstrated early in the story that Jack wasn't just a non-powered crimefighter. The reduction keeps him within the realm of street level hero, and the character's history allows him to believably operate in the espionage arena.

In addition to confirming Jack's power status and his smarts, Gage gives Sabra a standout moment in which Mike Perkins takes full advantage. The author also uniquely involves the people that Jack seeks to protect and in an uncontrived fashion gives them the equipment to make their actions plausible.

Had Gage just ended the book with Union Jack saying good-bye to his teammates I probably would have given the finale a perfect score, but Gage just cannot resist tacking on a predictable end-note.

While I can't get behind the entire series, I can fully recommend these last two issues of Union Jack. Given Mike Perkins excellent photorealism laced pencils, Andrew Hennessey's carefully crafted inks and Laura Villari's muted colors, I can say the trade paperback will be worth coin.



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