|First appearance||Invaders #7 (July, 1976, as Jacqueline Falsworth); Invaders #12 (December, 1976, as Spitfire)|
|Created by||Roy Thomas
|Alter ego||Lady Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton|
Sufficient super strength
Trained airplane pilot
Exceptional athlete and hand-to-hand combatant
Spitfire first appeared in Invaders #12 (December, 1976) and was created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins.
Fictional character biography
Jacqueline "Jackie" Falsworth was born in Maidstone, England, and is the daughter of the original Union Jack (and the sister of Union Jack II). As a teenager during World War II, she met the superhuman team the Invaders. Baron Blood attacked her, and the original Human Torch rescued her. She was revealed to have been bitten by Baron Blood, who abducted her again; this time she was rescued by Captain America. She received a transfusion of artificial blood from the Human Torch, which endowed her with superhuman speed. She used these new powers to save the Torch from the Blue Bullet. She became an adventurer and took the name Spitfire and joined the Invaders, and went on her first mission with the Invaders. She operated as a special agent for the United Kingdom and Allied Forces during World War II, as well as the United Kingdom's Home Guard.
With the Invaders, she parachuted into Nazi Germany. She was captured by the Nazis, and was about to be executed when she was rescued by Union Jack. She battled Warrior Woman, and escaped from Germany with the Invaders. With the Invaders, she fought the Teutonic Knight, and helped prevent the assassination of Winston Churchill by Baron Von Strucker. Alongside the Invaders, she clashed with Master Man, and freed the Mighty Destroyer from captivity. After some time off, she returned to active duty with the Invaders.
Jacqueline married a British nobleman, Lord Crichton, and together they had a son, Kenneth Crichton.[volume & issue needed] Kenneth was later seduced by a vampire cult leader, Baroness Blood, who bore him a son.[volume & issue needed] Kenneth became a vampire as well and took the name Baron Blood, but his lover betrayed and murdered him.[volume & issue needed] At the war's end, she retired from costumed activity. She became the Chief-Executive-Officer of Falsworth Industries.
Decades after World War II, she was reunited with Captain America for the first time in many years. She was present during his final battle with the original Baron Blood. Her super-speed faded as she grew older, although she was able to use her superhuman speed for the first time in a decade to overcome a criminal. She later aided Namorita and the third Union Jack Joey Chapman in rescuing Namor from the original Master Man and Warrior Woman. She was shot in overpowering the Nazi, and received another blood transfusion from the Human Torch. The transfusion not only restored her youth and powers, but also established a psychic link between her and the Torch.
Soon after, she returns to her role as Spitfire and encounters the mutant sorceress, Selene. Spitfire’s son Ken is worried about his mother’s social life. He tries to set her up with gentleman they know, but Spitfire explains that dating has been a bit weird for her ever since she was de-aged 48 years. Nevertheless, she begrudgingly agrees to the date and enters the pub to meet the guy. Meanwhile, Selene, having learned of Spitfire’s recent rejuvenation, arrives and takes Ken hostage. Spitfire chases them to Selene’s meeting point, where she has tied Ken to a remotely controlled explosive. One word from Selene, and Ken dies. Selene tells Spitfire she can save Ken by offering up her rejuvenated body for dissection, but Spitfire refuses, beating her up instead. She races to save Ken just as Selene triggers the bomb, rescuing him just in time. With the day saved, she agrees to give the blind date another try.
She later joined the New Invaders, but resigned with most of the other members after the Torch's death.[volume & issue needed] She also had a brief relationship with Chapman, but they broke up due to the large age difference.[volume & issue needed]
She joins MI-13 as part of Britain's response to the Secret Invasion by the Skrull Empire.[volume & issue needed] She befriends,[volume & issue needed] and later suffers the loss of 'John', a Skrull that had been on earth for decades and was fighting for England.[volume & issue needed] In battle with two Super-Skrulls, Spitfire rips out their throats with her teeth, displaying vampire traits from her Baron Blood bite that have been previously unseen. Captain Britain and MI: 13 writer Paul Cornell commented on her new traits, stating that:
In recent years she's realized that she has actually started to be able to use certain vampiric abilities, and that the fangs appear when she gets angry. But she feels no blood lust, and has no need to drink it, and it's all completely under her control.—Paul Cornell
Even Spitfire herself shows some reservations about using her vampiric powers, as seen in the aforementioned attack on the Super-Skrulls:
This is not how I am. But sometimes, this is how I have to be.—
When new MI:13 recruit and vampire hunter Blade first meets Spitfire, he stakes her. She survives only thanks to the powers of fellow MI:13 member Faiza Hussain and later begins a romantic relationship with Blade. During Dracula's attack on Britain, Jacqueline's vampire son Kenneth visited her and led her into a trap, where Dracula magically forced her into servitude. While she initially resisted, it seemed that he was eventually able to convince her to become one of his minions; it was later revealed that Spitfire has been a double-agent the whole time, always helping Wisdom in gaining intelligence on Dracula's whereabouts.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Jacqueline received superhuman powers as a result of a mutagenic reaction to a vampiric bite by the original Baron Blood, and a subsequent transfusion of artificial blood from the original Human Torch. As Spitfire, she possesses the ability to run at lightning-fast speeds, with reflexes & reactions, coordination, agility, and endurance to match. When she runs, a trail of non-damaging fire appears behind her. She can create cyclones by running in circles, and can run up walls and across water. Her skin is also hardened to withstand the rigors of such speed, providing a type of body armor, and her costume is synthetic stretch fabric chemically treated for protection from friction and other hazards of superhuman speed.
In the years after World War II, as Spitfire aged she ceased the use of her superhuman speed. Due to a second transfusion of artificial blood from the original Human Torch, Spitfire today has the body of a teenage girl, although she is chronologically many decades older. Her hair was originally still white from age, but it began turning blonde again.
It is said by the mutant sorceress, Selene, that Spitfire seems to possess a mutant regenerative power triggered by her transfusion of synthetic blood. With intensive study of her metabolism, blood stream, and glandular system, Selene hoped to one day duplicate the process.
She has some vampire abilities including fangs that appear when she is angry. However, she feels no blood lust and has no need to drink it. She has shown superhuman strength sufficient enough to break a sword made out of titanium and also displayed a healing factor as she was able to heal a broken back and ribs in a few panels.[volume & issue needed]
Spitfire is a trained airplane pilot and exceptional athlete and hand-to-hand combatant, utilizing her ability to move at superhuman speeds, due to training by the original Union Jack and Captain America.
Spitfire's major appearances have been collected in a number of trade paperbacks:
- Invaders Classic (written by Roy Thomas, with pencils by Frank Robbins and inks by Vince Colletta/Frank Springer):
- Captain America: War and Remembrance (by John Byrne and Roger Stern, with pencils by John Byrne and inks by Josef Rubinstein, TPB includes Captain America #253-254, 1981, 208 pages, July 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2693-7)
- Union Jack (written by John Cassaday and Ben Raab, with art by John Cassaday, 3-issue mini-series, December 1998 - February 1999, TPB, 96 pages, April 2002, ISBN 0-7851-0934-X)
- New Invaders: To End All Wars (written by Allan Jacobsen, with art by Jorge Lucas and C. P. Smith, TPB collects New Invaders #1-9, October 2004 - June 2005, 216 pages, July 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1449-1)
- Captain America: Red Menace Volume 2 (written by Ed Brubaker with art by Steve Epting, TPB collects Captain America #18-21, July - October 2006, 104 pages, December 2006, ISBN 0-7851-2225-7)
- Spitfire (2010) #1 (October 2010) one-shot collected in Women of Marvel (Mighty Marvel) TPB that also collects X-23 (2010 3rd Series) #1 (November 2010) and the Women of Marvel one-shots Sif (2010) #1 (June 2010) Firestar (2010) #1 (June 2010) Rescue (2010) #1 (July 2010) Dazzler (2010) #1 (July 2010) Galacta: Daughter of Galactus (2010) #1 (July 2010) Namora (2010) #1 (August 2010) Lady Deadpool (2010) #1 (September 2010) Valkyrie (2010) #1 (November 2010) and Women of Marvel (2010) #1 - 2 (January - February 2011) 352 pages, February 2011, ISBN 0-7851-4953-8
- Invaders #7
- Invaders #9
- Invaders #11
- Invaders #12
- Invaders #18-21
- Invaders #30
- Invaders #34
- Invaders #41
- Captain America #253-254
- Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special Vol. 2 #4
- Namor the Sub-Mariner #12
- Marvel Comics Presents #89
- Super Spy Weekend: Spitfire, Comic Book Resources, March 8, 2008
- Captain Britain and MI: 13 #1
- "Very British Vampires: Paul Cornell talks vampires and vampire hunters within the Marvel U’s newest super team" by Marc Strom. Posted 2008-06-17. marvel.com
- Captain Britain and MI: 13 #5
- Captain Britain and MI: 13 #6
- Captain Britain and MI:13 #9
- Captain Britain and MI:13 #10
- Captain Britain and MI:13 #13
- Avengers Arena #5
- Spitfire at Marvel.com
- Spitfire at the Comic Book DB
- Spitfire at the International Catalogue of Superheroes