Real Name: Brian Falsworth
Identity/Class: Human, mutated by scientific formula combined with exposure to lightning from Thor's hammer
Affiliations: The Invaders, Blazing Skull, Destroyer, Penance Council of the V-Battalion
Enemies: Baron Blood
Known Relatives: Lord Montgomery (father, Union Jack, deceased); Jaqueline (sister, Spitfire); unnamed mother (deceased); John (uncle, a.k.a Baron Blood); Lord Crichton (brother-in-law, deceased); Kenneth (nephew, Baron Blood, deceased); unnamed grandnephew
Aliases: The Destroyer
Base of Operations: (as the Destroyer) occupied Europe; (as Union Jack) Great Britain
First Appearance: (Destroyer) Invaders #18; (Union Jack) Invader # 21
Powers/Abilities: Brian Falsworth possessed superhuman athletic prowess, but nowhere near Captain America's level. Later, he was changed by magical lightning when fighting Thor to receive the ability to shot electricity from his fingertips.
History: Brian Falsworth and his sister, Jacqueline (later the hero Spitfire), were the children of Lord Montgomery Falsworth, peer of the realm and the Great War superhero known as Union Jack. Their quiet life in the English countryside was cut short by Prime Minister Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1938. Lord Falsworth and Brian had bitter arguments; Lord Falsworth opposed appeasement and Brian supported it. He left home and later appeared in Germany as a dissident. Forced to try to escape Germany once the war broke out, Falsworth was instead imprisoned.
His imprisonment soon changed Brian's views on appeasing the Nazis. He shared a cell with a German scientist who tried to recreate the super-soldier formula that created the hero Captain America, but would not let his experiment fall into Nazi hands. Instead, he gave the only sample to Falsworth, who drank the solution and became physically enhanced. Falsworth escaped prison and became a costumed anti-Nazi resistance fighter within Germany, calling himself the Destroyer. (The Destroyer was originally believed to be Keen Marlow, an American journalist whose imprisonment was due to an investigation of Nazi Germany and discovery of its internment camps.)
As the Destroyer, Falsworth fought for the Allied cause within Germany. On one adventure, he rescued the hero team the Invaders, including his father (now back in costume) from the Nazi villains Master Man and Warrior Woman. He was reunited with his family and friends, as the Falsworth were investigating the origins of the hero Dyna-Mite. Reconciling with his father, he learned of his father's costumed identity during the first World War. Falsworth then took up the mantle of Union Jack at his father's request, returning to Falsworth Manor in England and eventually joining the Invaders. (Dyna-Mite would then take on the mantle of the Destroyer.)
During a battle with Thor, the Norse god of thunder who was duped to join the Nazi cause, Union Jack was mortally wounded by Thor's lightning from his mystical hammer Mjolnir. Coming to his senses, Thor healed Union Jack by drawing the electricity back into Mjolnir, but the process left Union Jack with electricity-generating powers. His newfound powers enabled Falsworth to recover from a period self-doubt, and he continued to serve as an Invader until the war's end.
Following the war Brian remained occasionally still active as Union Jack, and was instrumental in founding the V-Battalion alongside other heroes of the era, including his best friend (and lover) who had been Dyna-Mite (and then the second Destroyer) during the war. A car crash in 1953 abruptly ended his career and his life.
Comments: Thanks to Nothus1 for bringing the Citizen V information to my attention. He states "In Citizen V (2nd mini-series; 2002) Union Jack (Brian Falsworth) was revealed to have had a longtime homosexual relationship with his best friend (who was aka Dyna-mite; and later aka the Destroyer). Writer Fabian Nicieza presumably made much of what he read of English boarding schools....."
Asked about revealing that Brian Falsworth and Roger Aubrey were gay and each other's lover, Fabian Nicieza noted that he had merely publicly confirmed the hidden subtext that he believed Invaders writer (and Brian and Roger's creator) Roy Thomas had always intended to be there. However, Roy Thomas later noted that no such subtext had been intended.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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