Jack Staff

Real Name: John Smith, builder

Identity/Class: Unknown

Occupation: Builder

Affiliations: formerly member of the Freedom Fighters (Sgt States, Blazing Glory and Tommy Twister); former ally of Unit D; ally of Mr.Green; has worked with Q; ally of Tom Tom and Becky Burdock

Enemies: The Spider; Templar Richard; Sergeant States

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: None known

Base of Operations: Castleton, England

First Appearance: Jack Staff #1 (Dancing Elephant Press, April 2000)

Powers/Abilities: Agile and strong, though not necessarily to a superhuman level. Wields a staff which he can energise to punch through metal. As he points out to one opponent "the power isn't in the staff." He is agile enough to block bullets with his staff.

In spite of being active during World War II, he appears no older now in the modern day than he did back then. He was active during the sixties as well, and recent comments he has made suggest he was also around (though not in his costumed persona) back in the late Victorian era. The most likely explanantion is that he doesn't age for some reason, but other possibilities do exist - he may go into periods of suspended animation, he may be able to time travel (jumping forward a few decades every so often), he may even be subject to continual cases of reincarnation (which would require him to have been killed in the early 1940's and again sometime in the 1970's for the ages to match in the sixties and the modern day - unlikely but not impossible).

History: Jack Staff was originally active as a superhero in the 1940's as one of the Freedom Fighters, alongside Sgt States, Blazing Glory and Tommy Twister.

Following the war he continued to fight the good fight. In the 1960's he worked with Unit D, hunting the supercriminal known as the Spider and others like him. In the 1980's, Jack Staff fought his "last" battle against the rampaging military weapon Hurricane. He was nearly killed (along with a toddler Becky Burdock) and Castletown was half destroyed before he used his power to blast the rage out of Hurricane. It was during this battle that he was revealed to have a benefactor/employer figure called Mister Green, who had recruited him for an upcoming war. Jack blew up at Green when he discovered that he was more concerned about recruiting Hurricane than the damage done - "Find someone else. I'm done." He then disappeared for twenty years and everyone forgot about him, including Becky.

In early 2000 he reappeared, not looking a day older, when the Castleton Slasher murders made him fear that Templar Richard was active again. The killer turned out to be his old friend and former team mate Sergeant States instead, but having revealed to the public that he was still alive, Jack found it difficult to return to obscurity. His civilian identity was penetrated by his old foe, the Spider, who sought his aid in retrieving a stolen Spider-suit, before framing him for a crime he didn't commit.

Comments: Created, written and drawn by Paul Grist.

Jack's original four issue story arc was first conceived by Paul as a story for Marvel Comic's Union Jack character. However Marvel already had a mini-series in the works for the character, and weren't interested. Rather than let it go to waste, Paul modified it (in a big way, as the version that finally appeared could not have fitted in the Marvel continuity of the characters), and created the character of Jack Staff. After a dozen issues from Dancing Elephant Press, Jack is now being published in colour by Image comics. A collection of the original run, Everything Used to Be Black And White, was recently released.

Mister Green is a figure very much like the Man of Shadow that is trying to recruit Becky. This are likely agents of opposing sides in their hyped war. Green, it appears, is the guy responsible for making everyone forget about Jack Staff, and he was last seen proclaiming there'd be a new champion to replace Staff whilst holding Becky's toy rabbit...

Thanks to Charles Ellis for additional information.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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