John Watkins was a British lieutenant during World War II. Seeing himself as simply one man but typical in his hatred of the Axis powers, Watkins fashioned a costumed identity of Citizen V, the V standing for Victory. He also organized and led a group of civilians against Nazi forces in Europe, calling them the V-Battalion. Citizen V's recurrent foe was the Baron Heinrich Zemo. At one point, Watkins met Paulette Brazee, who was a double agent serving in Zemo's forces. Brazee once helped Citizen V and other costumed Allied heroes infiltrate Zemo's base and destroy one of his villainous plots. Brazee then went on to join Watkins in the V-Battalion and the two became lovers.
Ultimately, Heinrich Zemo led Citizen V and his V Battalion into a trap, where he killed Watkins with his bare hands. The V-Battalion soon disbanded due to the fall of their leader and to Zemo who tracked and killed many of the members. Brazee survived by being smuggled into England where her baby was born.
Years later, the V-Battalion was revived by Roger Aubrey, formerly the hero known as the Destroyer. The Battalion became a clandestine watchdog group working to apprehend escaped war criminals and other villainous plots. Brazee became the new Citizen V, acting as the Battalion's chief operative. Brazee's ultimate fate remains unrevealed, as her son, John Watkins, Jr., and later her grandson, John Watkins III, succeeded her in the role of Citizen V.