The legacy of Britain is tied to several Marvel mainstays: Captain Britain. Union Jack. Excalibur. But with the changing political reality of the United Kingdom, it seems even Marvel supervillains are taking their shots at 'Brexit.'
Marvel Comics have always liked to consider their stories set in a world just like our own, only with superheroes and the occasional alien invasion. For the most part, though, the comic book publisher avoids explicitly referencing current political events. Barack Obama appeared as Marvel's American President in a handful of issues (largely because he's a comic book fan) but he was an exception, rather than the norm. Since Marvel's comics will ultimately be collected in trade paperback form and read for decades, mentioning current politics is a risk. But 'Brexit' has crossed the line for one villain.
An amusing exception is this week's Doctor Doom #1, in which the tyrant king of Latveria Victor Von Doom becomes the world's most wanted. Superhuman assets across Europe are sent to take him down after being framed for a terrorist attack, including the British hero Union Jack. Doom is unimpressed with his opponent's attempt to bring him in single-handedly, and decides to turn his own insignia against him:
Doctor Doom #1 goes to greater lengths than usual to flesh out the political world Doctor Doom is operating in. Writer Christopher Cantwell tosses in subtle dialogue helping give a sense of Latveria's role in European politics; the EU is opposed to Latveria, for example, leading to nearby countries like Symkaria pursuing aggressive policies (in the hopes of getting on the EU's good side). Given the circles Doom moves in, it's not hard to imagine Brexit becoming something of a joke, as a never-ending story that looks set to consume British politics forever. Now even Doctor Doom sees a British flag and decides it's time to crack wise about matters 'back at home.'
It's amusing that the Marvel superhero Union Jack thinks he can single-handedly take down Doctor Doom, a supervillain who's matched the combined might of the Avengers and the Fantastic Four; indeed, this may be a further gentle jab at Britain's national pride. To Union Jack's credit, he does get in a few good shots, but there's just one problem; Doom was actually trying to surrender. In fact, he only seems to fight back out of pure ego, that anyone would think he could be taken down by a third-tier hero like Union Jack.
Fortunately for the British vigilante, he's soon backed up by a mercenary called Agent Zero; if not for his intervention, Union Jack would have paid the ultimate price for Doom's hubris. A clearly irritated Doom neutralizes them both, before calmly telling them: "I'd like to inform you both that I intend to surrender"
Doctor Doom #1 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.