Citizen V and the V-Battalion: The Everlasting
What is this book about?
Since World War II, they have remained in the shadows, fighting for world stability. They are the V-Battalion, descendants of the heroes of the Golden Age. Citizen V is back! This time for real though, John Watkins III, returns as the lead covert operative of the paramilitary peace organization, the V-Battalion! Unlike in the last Citizen V series where we thought John Watkins III was back, but really it was just Baron Zemo who had taken over his mind and body. His first adventure back in the field, now free of Zemo’s influence, is returning an assassin his grandmother killed decades earlier, stopping a civil war from erupting in small volatile countries all over the world, an awakened sleeping giant that can absorb the living energy of every single person in China and defeating a Babylonian god that can absorb souls.
Why should you read this book?
Much like the previous Citizen V series, the central idea that drives this book, is what happens to super-heroes when they are nearing the end of their lives and discover that their lifelong struggle hasn’t left the world a better place?
In that way, it’s similar to The Dark Knight Returns. Except the V-Battalion never retired. So, Roger Aubrey, The Destroyer has been trying to attain world peace his whole life and in his eyes, failing to do so. So he’s angry and bitter and he’s making judgements that do more harm than good. He alone makes for good storytelling but couple him with the traditional younger wise-cracking swashbuckling cool-looking hero, Citizen V it makes for an even better story. In this way, it’s almost even more like the The Dark Knight Returns with The Destroyer being Batman and Citizen V, being Robin.
I think probably the best reason I can give you to read this book is that the V-Battalion is the exact opposite of SHIELD. The V-Battalion is different than SHIELD. They’re willing to go the extra mile and do things that SHIELD wouldn’t. The V-Battalion is like The Punisher and SHIELD is like Captain America.
I feel like the V-Battalion could be Marvel’s answer to DC’s Justice Society of America or JSA, as they are both quite similar in tone. They both have the old guard joining up with the descendants of deceased members. It would be difficult for Marvel to pull this off, because the reason why Justice Society of America did really well is because they have heroes who are beloved. Whereas with the V-Battalion, many of the golden age heroes are unknown to people who are not casual readers of comics. The only golden age character who people might have an affinity for is, the original Human Torch.
I would say the reasons to read this book, are not all that different from the reasons to read the first Citizen V comic. This book came out several months after the attacks on September 11th. Citizen V and the V-Battalion: The Everlasting is a story that could’ve be used in the same way other Golden Age comics were used back in war-time in the old days. As motivational and inspirational media to get your mind off the depressing things that were happening during war-time. To distract you from the real fact that real terror is happening around you and to give you hope with colorful costumes, heroic impossible feats and tall tales.
You can buy the books I’m recommending individually here.
Here are my favorite parts from this book:
I really like the genetic inheritance of passing the mantle down the blood line of Citizen V. I also liked the touch that Paulette doesn’t want this lifestyle. That she’s only doing it to honor her husbands legacy. She’s concerned that if she continues this lifestyle, will she pass it down to her son. Fast forward, her son and grandson became Citizen V’s. Thought this sequence was a nice touch:
I really like the imagery here with the Collective Man’s entrails spewing out all over the place. Reminds of me the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scene in Ghostbusters. But aside from that, you can see in this panel Roger Aubrey’s poor judgements coming to light after a lifetime of feeling like he’s failed the world. So he’s getting more and more desperate the older he gets to try and make world wide peace:
I thought this was a cool cameo of Thor in a flashback sequence fighting Marduk. I’m always captivated seeing Thor flashbacks pre his first appearance in Journey Into Mystery. I also like the juxtaposition of Thor banishing and depowering a god much like Thor’s father, Odin, did in to him:
Even though I think The Destroyer being head of the V-Battalion makes for better stories, I do like a happy ending. So I’m pleased to see Roger giving up his role and letting go and giving up the leadership to The Human Torch. Particularly for what he says here about humanity: