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Citizen V

Avengers: Endgame
by yo go re

...Citizen S...Citizen T...Citizen U...

Baron Helmut Zemo adopts the alias Citizen V and leads the heroic Thunderbolts into battle against various villains.

Thunderbolts #1 had possibly the greatest surprise twist of any comic, when the team of new heroes was revealed as disguised Masters of Evil. Zemo introduced himself to the press as the grandson of the original WWII Citizen V, which was a lie, of course - the "grandson" part, not the "WWII Citizen V" part. There really was a Marvel character called Citizen V, introduced in 1942's Daring Mystery Comics #8. That was his only appearance until the name was brought back into use, and eventually it was revealed that he'd been killed by Heinrich "Glue Head" Zemo, Helmut "Melt Head" Zemo's dad.

The original Citizen V (who was basically a professional grafitti vandal) wore a drab brown uniform - quite a far cry from the Citizen V we all know today. Say what you will about Zemo's fascist ideals, he designs a good costume. Recognizing, like many right-wingers, the value of pretending to be a true patriot, Vee's suit is red, white and blue. Well, technically the blue suit was originally purple, but the coloring was inconsistent across various books back then. Since Citizen V didn't wear normal superhero boots and gloves, this figure uses the wrapped forearms and lace-up boots Daredevil introduced, and adds a new belt that's basically just a swirl of straps.

Of course, Zemo would need a mask to disguise his melted face, and his normal one wouldn't do, so Citizen V wears a blue hood and a white mask with no features other than solid indentations over the eyes. The top has two horns, like Iron Man's short-lived helmet, possibly meant to represent a V and tying in to his purloined name.

Citizen V reuses the same body Zemo had, which makes snese, but also draws attention to an oversight: one of these two figures should have included an unmasked head. You'd have been able to swap it to either one of them! If we can get unmaksed Deadpools, we should also be able to get an unmasked Zemo. We do get Citizen V's sword, which can either be held in his right hand or tucked into his belt, and his cape and the star-spangled shoulder pads it falls from (though in the comics, the stars on the right were raised elements, but here they're just painted). Since the cape is sculpted, it does prevent some posing, but not much.

The figure comes with the right leg of this series' BAF, Endgame Thanos.

We once said there's a shortage of Thunderbolts characters. That's still true, but Citizen V brings us one step closer to setting the imbalance right. And since there were several Citizens V who stepped up after Zemo was revealed, it's also possible this is truly a heroic character, not a pretender.

-- 06/11/19


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