With the vote on Scottish independence falling in favour of the continuation of the United Kingdom, how familiar are you with British Superheroes and how independence could have affected them?
Never as high profile as their US peers, there are a number of British superheroes whose story arcs and appearance could have been radically affected if the Scottish independence referendum had seen the vote turn the other way.
Overnight the ballots were counted as a staggering 85% of all eligible voters turned out to decide the fate of the future of Scotland. A majority yes vote would have see the country declare independence and leave the United Kingdom, in favour of strengthened ties with the European Union. With a marginal majority of 55% choosing to remain British, there are a few comic book characters no longer facing the prospect of having to shell out for a new set of spandex costumes.
The Spider | Peter Parquagh (Earth-311) | Marvel
Gifted his amazing powers after being bitten by an unusual spider, Peter was an orphan born in England and raised by his Scottish Uncle Benjamin and his wife. Peter Parquagh served as Sir Nicholas Fury’s assistant in this alternative Earth. His adventure are primarily set in England around 1602 with plots that revolved around Queen Elizabeth.
Due to his historic timeline The Spider would obviously not have been affected by the recent vote, but faced his own national battles. Raised in Scotland by Scottish family he may not have been well received in England at that time due to the preparations of James VI, King of Scotland and his plans that would eventually see him succeed Elizabeth and become King of England in 1603.
The Union Guy
Union Jack | Joey Chapman (Current) | Marvel
Joey Chapman is the third and current character portrayal of Union Jack. The first, James Montgomery Falsworth, exists in a timeline set during World War One whilst his son Brian Falsworth took over the mantle during the second World War. Unlike his predecessors, who come from an aristocracy, the current Union Jack is a working class man fighting the peoples cause.
Interestingly the character of James Montgomery Falsworth appears in the motion picture Captain America: The First Avenger as a POW that Captain America liberates. His story at this point has not been expanded upon.
With Scotland no longer part of Britain the blue and white of the Saltire would surely have been removed from the British Flag commonly referred to as the Union Jack. So a new costume and potential name change would have been a real prospect.
Captain Britain | Brian Braddock (Current) | Marvel
Originally created as the British equivalent to Captain America, Captain Britain’s powers were granted in a far more mystical way by the magical ancient druid Merlin and his daughter Rosa. Brian Braddock, the man behind the mask, was born in the county of Essex in England and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Unlike the current Union Jack who is a champion of the working class, Captain Britain is from aristocracy and sworn to uphold and defend British law.
Also featuring core elements of the British Flag, Captain Britain would also have been facing a costume re-design, though far less radical than Union Jack. Britain would also have remained, all be it diminished in size, so the name would have endured.
Jack Staff | John Smith | Image
Similar in many ways to Union Jack, many of the characters in the Jack Staff series were loosely based upon Marvel characters. John Smith (As common a name as can be found in England) works as a common builder. Known to have been around since the 19th century Jack Staff’s only clearly defined super-power is the ability to move energy. Other than that he is agile and acrobatic.
Facing the same problems as Union Jack, Scottish independence would have required a costumer rethink and possible name change, though with less obvious reference to the British flag, Jack Staff could perhaps have continued under his existing moniker.
Nevertheless, Britain remains intact and these patriotic heroes can continue as before. Although a ‘What could have been’ scenario, it does raise the question – what would the creators have done had Scotland gained independence? Hardly a mainstream character, would Union Jack have been retired altogether? Perhaps we’ll never know.
See any we’ve missed? Hit us up in the comments.