Paul Grist Talks Introducing New Superhero Team During King in Black

From the events of the king in black, the Union was born, a new team of heroes representing the United Kingdom. Paul Christus (Judge Dredd, Jack Staff) is writing a series of paintings by Andrea DiVito. Originally it was claimed to be an Empire series, but the coronavirus pandemic dragged things out. It will now be introduced in December as part of the King of Blacks. The team consists of the famous British hero Marvel Union Jack and the new Snake characters, Kelpy, Glee Club and the British team leader. The beginning of the comic promises to be an unpleasant beginning that will challenge these heroes and test the tyres that will bind this team to the limit.

talked to Christ about what fans can expect from The Union when they make their December debut. That’s what he had to say:

(Photo: R.B. Silva, Marvel-Comics)

Marvel announced that the Union is an alliance of the Empire. Now, because of the real world conditions, he makes his debut as king with a black tie. How does that affect the story you’re telling?

Paul Christ: That doesn’t have much effect on the whole story. The link with Empyre has always been a way to introduce new characters and create a comic strip. The couplings have always been quite loose in both cases, as the main action in both cases takes place on the other side of the world! In this case, the change in the course of events is quite important. In the first issue we had to change about 7 pages, and in the second we had to write completely new! Fortunately, only a few pages of the second edition were drawn before the start of the pandemic, and since they were not directly related to the history of the Empire, they could easily have been reclassified as King in Black. But that means I had to throw away some of my favourite pieces from the second edition of the story, because it would have been too difficult to explain what Skull was doing in the middle of the story! Fortunately, in the third edition I can also restore some of the character pieces I wanted to install in the second edition, so that nothing too important gets lost! In the end everything goes well, but that’s not one of the things they teach you at comic school!

(Photo: Andrea DiVito, Marvel Comics)

There will always be a certain amount of baggage in communicating with the hero-patriots, because readers will perceive them as symbols of their country. Why is it now time to tell the story of a team like Union? How do we approach this symbolic element?

To be honest, I’m trying to minimize the symbolism. In my opinion, the figures come from different countries, but I do not use them as representatives of those countries. They’re not meant for patriotic heroes. My usual example is that Wolverine is a Canadian and has been portrayed as a Canadian hero, but I don’t think anyone can say that he should be a symbol of the Canadian character. Here it is. And that’s how I try to approach these numbers.

The only one that comes with the luggage is the Union Jack, which is basically a walking flag. When I was young, the Union Jack flag was a symbol of racism and political ultra-right, and although it has intermingled with time, with Braxite and the more active waving of the political flag, it has become a bit of a trigger for many people in recent years. I think it’s pretty interesting right now. What does the man with the British flag think he represents? After all, Joe Chapman only wore a suit because of circumstances beyond his control. Maybe it’s time he got more control over his life. And although Britain does indeed wear the colours of the flag, it should have gone back to earlier times, for the establishment of countries and borders.

(Photo: Andrea DiVito, Marvel Comics)

What can be said about the relationship between these characters? Is it a well-functioning combat troop or something more dysfunctional?

The relationship between the characters is rather contradictory, because they have been brought together for political purposes. Well, not really, the team is in fact a group of people that unites Britain because it feels the changes that are taking place in the United Kingdom and it tries to give those people a goal, a sense of togetherness, to try to protect them. But to do this, they will eventually be packaged and sold to the public as if they didn’t exist, which probably won’t facilitate cooperation between them! But we often see the team at the beginning of the journey, before the rough edges are smoothed out, and that’s all that makes reading fun!

While you were working on it, what was your favorite character? Were you surprised how one of the heroes became?

The choir is probably the main theme of the story, but hopefully all the characters will get a good show as the story progresses. Great Britain is undoubtedly my favourite country! He’s a man with a long history, as we suggested in the first song. If she has a long future ahead of her, that’s a different story!

(Photo: Andrea DiVito, Marvel Comics)

Tell us about the place. You’re working with Andrea DiVito. What kind of visuals does she make for the show?

The artwork is beautiful. Andrea is praised for her patience in communicating with me, insisting that the places in the story are as close as possible to the real places, although I’m probably the only person who really knows! It doesn’t look like my comics!

After all, it’s hard to think of British heroes like Marvel and not the British captain. How will Betsy Braddock, Brian Braddock and the British captain coat respond to the Union as a team and as a story?

As far as the British captain and his entourage are concerned, I’m probably not the best person to go into this subject. Although I’m old enough to remember receiving the original weekly comic when it was released in the UK, I was disappointed when they made Brian and his family members instead of an ordinary street person. That’s one of the reasons I like Union Jack and Joe Chapman. While the first union may have been Jack Lord, that role is now taken over by an ordinary worker. He didn’t come from a privileged place. That’s where I’m going. Nor am I a fan of all those British heroes rooted in an Arthurian myth. What I try to do with the Union is to have personalities with different roots and experiences. And while there’s no reason why their paths shouldn’t cross, I don’t see that they really have much in common!


Union number 1 will be formed at 2. December for sale.

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