John Watkins was the first to assume the mantle of Citizen V. During a time when France was occupied by the Nazis, John was leader of the V-Battalion, a group of resistance fighters including Paulette Brazee (She-Wolf), and assisted the French resistance in the fight against the Germans. Eventually his actions led him to help Captain America stop Particle X from being released upon Europe by Baron Zemo.
John Watkins and Citizen V were created by Ben Thompson and first appeared in Daring Mystery Comics #8 (1942).
Mayor Story Arcs
Citizen V's original character appeared during the Golden Age of Comics, when many characters currently popular made their debuts. Citizen V was more or less not as well known as his fellow heroes, but his actions and bravery contributed more than he is credited for. Like many other heroes during the time of his debut, Citizen V was incredibly patriotic, willing to lay his life on the line for others around him and for his country. His change came when World War II broke out. Citizen V fought alongside the allied forces and helped defeat the Nazi regime in Europe. During his time in the war, he got into a romantic relationship with teammate Paulette Brazee.
Death and Legacy
John had become a hero during World War II but was ultimately killed by Baron Heinrich Zemo during the Warsaw uprising. However, John left a legacy behind as his relationship with Paulette Brazee had resulted with her becoming pregnant, and in time she would give birth to a baby boy.
The character of Citizen V would live on as well as others would take up the mantle. Firstly, John's wife Paulette would become the second Citizen V, and later the identity was passed over to his son, John Watkins Junior. In modern times, the Citizen V identity was used again by Baron Helmut Zemo, son of the original Baron Heinrich Zemo. He took the identity as part of his plan to portray as heroes with the Thunderbolts.
One important distinction to remember regarding Citizen V's name is that the "V" is the letter as opposed to the roman numeral for 5. This is important because, during World War II, there was a popular slogan "V for Victory" that was often shouted or cried out, and Citizen V used it or variations of it a few times.
John Watkins, Jr.
The son of John Watkins and Paulette Brazee. Like his father and mother before him, also adopted the identity of Citizen V. He was active with the V-Battalion in the 1970s, and once made a deal with Amahl Farouk to gain information about the mysterious Babylonian god, Marduk.
Powers and Abilities
The original Citizen V, John Watkins Sr. has no innate super powers or abilities although, he is a very skilled hand to hand fighter. In addition, Watkins Sr. was shown to be incredibly accurate marksman, as well as a strong swimmer and athlete. Among his abilities were tremendous leadership capability, often leading Battalion V into combat, boosting moral, and a steadfast devotion to his cause.
An Ultimate Marvel version of John Watkins, Sr. appears as a super solider (in name only) and member of the United States Marine Corps, though in a different uniform than his brothers in arms, during the Battle of the Tenaru in 1942. He is instrumental in regards to the moral of the American soldiers, whose spirits appeared to be crushed by the Imperial Japanese Army. John Sr. is shot and dies during the battle, his blood coating the nearby American flag. This lasting image is pictured by a photographer and spread throughout the world invoking emotions in people everywhere. Eventually the photograph finds its way into the President of the United States hands, President Roosevelt. The President orders an actual super soldier and Captain America is created.