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Destroyer and Union Jack II

Contributed by Frank Gembeck

Both British born, Roger Aubrey and Brian Falsworth were close, if competitive, friends in the ’30’s. It hasn’t been made clear how long they were more than friends, but the implications have made it out to be quite a long time. They had both approved of the British government’s appeasement to Hitler, allying themselves to the Third Reich, until the war broke out and they discovered just how evil Hitler truly was. They tried to leave Germany, but Nazi officials wouldn’t let the good publicity that Falsworth’s support generated be undone. The Falsworths are a very notable family in British society. Brian was thrown in prison, while Roger was taken by Nazi scientists.

Brian’s cellmate was a scientist that had developed a formula similar to the Super-Soldier Serum which gave Captain America his strength. Not wanting the Nazis to have his formula, the scientist had Brian drink it. He instantly became stronger, and escaped from the prison. He became the costumed champion the Destroyer, and fought the Nazis on their own soil. Meanwhile, experiments on Roger left him shrunk to a foot tall, but left him with his full-size strength. He joined the Crusaders as Dyna-Mite. Eventually, Roger and Brian were reunited. Brian had since taken on the mantle of Union Jack at his father’s suggestion. His father being the first Union Jack. Brian had joined the Invaders along with his sister, Spitfire. Roger was restored to his proper size and took on the Destroyer identity for himself (Yep, they were so close they even traded clothes). They parted again as Roger stayed in Germany to fight and Brian remained with the Invaders.

After the War, Brian and Roger reformed the V-Battalion to apprehend escaped war criminals, a group formed by the first Citizen V to fight Nazi occupation in France during the war. They remained very close till Brian was killed tragically in a car accident in 1953, dying in Roger’s arms. At some point, Roger was given a Super Solider derivative serum that allows him to keep operating as the Mighty Destroyer. He continued to lead the V-Battalion until recently when the position was dumped on Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch.

Brian Falsworth first appeared as the Destroyer in Invaders #18 and as Union Jack II in INVADERS #21. His death is revealed in CAPTAIN AMERICA #254.

Roger Aubrey’s first appearance as the Destroyer is in Mystic Comics #1 (1940). Rogers first appearance in modern comics was in Invaders #13. He appears as Dyna-Mite in Invaders #1; as the Destroyer in Invaders #26; as V-Battalion leader in Thunderbolts #30. Hints of their relationship occur in Invaders #34 (1978)

Brian Falsworth, Destroyer, and Dyna-Mite created by Roy Thomas and Frank Robbins.

Art by Allan Kupperberg and Frank Spinger (first image) and Lewis LaRosa , Jim Royal, and Angelo Tsang (second image).

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