Spoilers for The Union #5 ahead!
Bulldog, the British Wolverine, tried to emulate one of Wolverine’s signature moves—the Fastball Special, with humiliating results in The Union #5, on sale now in print and digital.
The Union is a new team of British superheroes, brought together by the mysterious Britannia, and representing the countries comprising the United Kingdom: Britain, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. When Britannia is killed in action, Union Jack is pressured into taking over leadership duties. As a result, Bulldog, a former black ops agent, is promoted to the regular team. In the previous issue, the team’s financial backer, Steve Darwin, betrayed them and took possession of the Empire Stone, an object that gives its user fantastic power; Darwin wishes to use it to reshape the United Kingdom for himself.
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In the issue, written by Paul Grist, with art by Andrea Di Vito, inks by Le Beau Underwood, colors by Noland Woodard and letters by Travis Lanham, the team has rallied together to try and defeat Steve Darwin. Needing a distraction, Bulldog turns to Snakes, the team’s enormous, muscle-bound brawler, and asks if he can do a “fastball special.” His teammate the Choir asks what that is, having never heard of it. Bulldog cannot believe she has not, calling it a “standard manoeuvre.” A confused Snakes picks Bulldog up, and instead of throwing him as the move traditionally calls for, he kicks Bulldog instead. Bulldog is incredulous over it, but he does plow right into Darwin—and the team gets the distraction they need. Working together, they are able to thwart Darwin’s schemes of conquest and restore the Empire Stone to its rightful place.
Part of The Union’s appeal is seeing how various American superhero concepts and moves translate into a British setting. So far readers have seen the Beefeaters as a heroic version of HYDRA and a cybernetically-enhanced Corgi assassin named Craig. The joke here is the British superheroes, outside of Bulldog, do not even know what the Fastball Special is, so when Snakes goes to try it, it makes perfect sense he would mess it up. When he does flub it, readers can see the shock and humiliation on Bulldog’s face. Keep in mind this is also a new team and are not quite the well-oiled machine Wolverine and Colossus are. And while Snakes may not have pulled the Fastball Special off exactly right, it still does what Bulldog intends.
The Union just concluded, and hopefully readers will not have to wait too long to see the adventures of the British Wolverine Bulldog and his teammates again. They have proven themselves as heroes time and again and have the makings of a great team. Hopefully, Bulldog and Snakes will have the Fastball Special on lock next time.
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