Real Name: John Polk

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (unidentified alternate Earth) human mutate

Occupation: Adventurer, worker at the Polk Grove

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: The Avengers (Black Widow/Natalia Romanova, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Thor/Thor Odinson)

Enemies: Blizzard, Justin Hammer, Kang the Conqueror, the Leader (Samuel Sterns) and his Humanoids

Known Relatives: Martin (father), Jean (mother), Deborah (sister)

Aliases: "Big Bro," "Dude" (nicknames from Deb), "Son" (nickname from "Pop")

Base of Operations: The Polk Grove in central Florida, USA

First Appearance: (as an advertising mascot for the Florida Dept. of Citrus): The Adventures of Captain Citrus promotional materials (2011);
(adapted into a Marvel comic, non-616): Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 (October, 2014)

Powers/Abilities: Bonded to a set of strange (possibly extraterrestrial) solar pods, Captain Citrus was capable of projecting blasts of "pure Florida sunshine" and could form crude objects composed of solar-based "hard light" such as a battle staff or shield. The pods allowed Captain Citrus to fly and absorb energy of all kinds (especially solar energy), which the pods could then store. If Captain Citrus was seriously injured or unconscious, the pods could act independently to use their built up solar energy to stimulate local plant growth and apparently heal Captain Citrus.

Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 195 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Black; (as Captain Citrus): Green

History: (Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#2 (fb)) - Visiting the Polk Grove in central Florida with his sister Deb, John mentioned an interest in trying out for the football team. When Deb commented on how skinny John was, he explained that he had been eating right and drinking his orange juice. Deb remarked on how the freak storms seemed to be rotting the oranges but John peeled the orange and showed Deb that just because something looks one way on the outside does not mean it is the same on the inside. He then prepared to pack up the ladder that Deb was using before a tree branch above it was struck by lightning. After diving for cover, John and Deb saw two strange, glowing orbs. John thought they looked like seeds and tried to grab one, only to have the two pods bond to the top of his hands. As the freak storm seemed to worsen, Deb grew concerned for their parents, who were inside the nearby house. Instinctively using the solar pods to generate an heroic costume, John's musculature was bulked up and he rescued his parents from the storm, revealing that the pods had somehow transformed him. The super villain Blizzard soon interrupted John's explanations, claiming that, with the climate not what it used to be, it was time for the Polk family to move somewhere else. He then informed them that his employer Justin Hammer would happily compensate the Polk family for their land, albeit at a cheaper price due to the recent cold damage. Refusing to go anywhere, John fought Blizzard, asking how long Blizzard thought his cold could withstand "pure Florida sunshine" before being froze where he stood by the villain. While Blizzard monologued about how Hammer planned to build a factory on the Polk's land, John's sister Deb fought back and was thrown aside. Seeing his sister in danger made the frozen John wish he could do more, prompting his solar pods to activate and thaw the ice. John then tossed Blizzard to some nearby alligators, forcing Blizzard to flee, claiming that he wasn't being paid enough for the trouble. With Blizzard gone, Deb dubbed John Captain Citrus and John vowed to protect his family and community.

(Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 (fb) - BTS) - Strange solar pods fell into the backyard of young John and his family. The pods quickly bonded with John, giving him superhuman powers that John used as the super hero Captain Citrus. Some time later, Captain Citrus noticed a clearing in his neighbor's orange grove that resembled a construction project covered with a huge tarp.

(Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 - BTS) - Captain Citrus followed the "My Plate" (ChooseMyPlate.gov) guidelines to make smart food choices that helped keep him healthy and fit.

(Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1) - Days later, while eating dinner at his family's orange grove, John told his sister Deb to at least drink orange juice if she was not going to eat breakfast before overhearing a news report of the Avengers' attempts to quell an attack by hundreds of creatures in Orlando, Florida. Starting to get up from the table, John was questioned by his father about where he was going. John replied that he had to help the Avengers. Commenting that the solar pods had chose him and that he had to use the pods to help others, John was told that his parents were proud of him by his father, who warned that the attack in Orlando sounded dangerous. Despite knowing that his parents worried about him, John knew that if lives were at stake, he had to use his powers to save them. Using his solar pods to transform into Captain Citrus, John left for Orlando. Arriving on the scene just in time to blast an android Humanoid that was about to hit Captain America, Captain Citrus introduced himself and asked if the Avengers needed a hand. Captain America replied that they could definitely used his help and, noticing that Captain Citrus had damaged the Humanoid, asked what Captain Citrus had blasted the Humanoid with. Citrus revealed that he had blasted the android with "pure Florida sunshine" and then created a battle staff and shield out of "hard light." Thinking that Captain Citrus might hold the key to bringing down the Humanoids, Captain America summoned the Avengers to his location, where he introduced the team to Captain Citrus and announced that Citrus would focus his solar energy through the hammer of Thor, who would then use the energy to create a wide-arcing beam to disable the Humanoids. Captain Citrus and Thor then did just that, easily disabling the Humanoids before Captain America visited with a police officer and asked why he didn't lift a finger to help against the Humanoids. Unsure what had just happened, the officer explained that, as crazy as it sounded, everything appeared normal to him throughout the fight. Captain Citrus revealed that he had recently seen what appeared to be a construction project and thinking that the clearing could not be a coincidence, Captain America asked Citrus to lead the Avengers to the clearing. Once there, the Avengers and Captain Citrus noticed a gigantic machine surrounded by Humanoids. Thor easily busted the team inside the machine, where they found the gamma-mutated Leader, who telepathically froze the Avengers in place while he revealed his plan to use his Mental Manipulator machine to boost his own intelligence. Captain Citrus soon managed to free himself from the Leader's influence, suggesting that perhaps the solar pods created a connection between himself and the local orange groves that allowed him to break free. The Leader quickly tried to appeal to Captain Citrus, offering to rule the world side-by-side with Captain Citrus but Citrus refused to betray his family and flew off to destroy the Mental Manipulator despite the Leader's insistence that Citrus would die trying. Using his solar pods to absorb the lightning powering Leader's Mental Manipulator, Captain Citrus succeeded in burning out the Mental Manipulator's lightning absorption dish but fell unconscious due to energy overload. The newly freed Avengers made short work of the Leader, who revealed to the Avengers that Captain Citrus had seemingly sacrificed himself to stop the Mental Manipulator. Black Widow soon pointed out that some sort of interaction seemed to be occurring between Captain Citrus' solar pods and the local plant life in the orange grove. Revived by the orange grove, Captain Citrus was commended by Captain America on how the efforts of one person could save all of humanity and mentioned that Citrus' family would be very proud. As Iron Man took Leader into custody, Captain Citrus flew off, commenting on his day meeting the Avengers, fighting one of their worst foes and helping save the world...and how it all started with a glass of orange juice.

(Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#3 (fb) - BTS) - Captain Citrus was asked to speak at the United Nations summit on Pediatric Nutrition.

(Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#3) - John helped his family repair their Florida home after the recent battles with Blizzard and the Leader before transforming into Captain Citrus and leaving to speak at the United Nations summit. During his speech at the UN, where he emphasized the importance of 100% Florida orange juice in providing essential Vitamin C, Captain Citrus was shocked when Kang the Conqueror appeared on the video screen and interrupted him, taking over the UN and sending an android sentry to prevent escapes. Kang then released poison gas into the UN building's air vents but Captain Citrus created hard light shields to cover the vents while he led those inside the building to the roof for air. Almost as if on cue, Captain Citrus was met by the arriving Avengers, who had been tipped off to Kang's attack by Nick Fury of SHIELD. While the Avengers battled Kang's android, Black Widow informed the heroes that Nick Fury had discovered that Kang was broadcasting his message from the central Florida orange groves. Unwilling to let Kang succeed with his plan on his home turf, Captain Citrus accompanied Black Widow to the orange groves, where the two heroes battled Kang personally. During the fight, Kang hit Captain Citrus with various weapons at his disposal including a sonic projector and a concussive beam but Citrus continued countering the attacks. While Captain Citrus battled Kang, Black Widow secretly attached a device that caused Kang's weapons to shut down but before he could be taken into custody, Kang teleported away. At first insisting that he would follow and that Kang couldn't escape, Citrus was calmed by Black Widow, whom he accompanied back to the UN building, where the Avengers had defeated Kang's android. Following the battle, Captain Citrus was thanked for his assistance by Captain America.

Comments: Original version created by Ramon E. Peralta, Jr.. Adapted into Marvel Comics by Ralph Macchio, Kev Sharpe, Rick Magyar, Don Ho, Allen Martinez, Victor Olazaba and Joe Rubinstein.

One thing of note is that while the version of Captain Citrus seen in this profile was mostly designed by Marvel Comics with input from the Florida Dept. of Citrus, the actual character of Captain Citrus is completely owned by the Florida Dept. of Citrus and not by Marvel Comics. As if all of the references to orange juice in the comics did not make it obvious, Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1-3 were Marvel custom comics published in conjunction with the Florida Dept. of Citrus. While #1 was released as a physical copy, #2-3 were digital comics only. All three of the comics can be read in digital form at the Florida Dept. of Citrus' Captain Citrus page.

According to the advertisement/PSA in Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1, Captain Citrus' physical challenge involved staying "powered up" with 60 minutes of physical activity every day and drinking 100% Florida orange juice for the energy to stay active. His challenge invited challengers to think of 3 physical activities they enjoyed, plan what time of day they will do each activity and decide how many minutes for each activity to add up to 60 minutes.

The Avengers in the Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1-3 had costumes of various eras of Avengers' history. For example, Black Widow had her typical black leather "spy" outfit, Thor was wearing his J. Michael Straczynski post-resurrection era armor, Captain America's uniform resembled a combination of the Ultimate Captain America outfit and the cinematic universe outfit and Iron Man appeared to be in his Extremis-era armor. Since the Samuel L. Jackson-looking Nick Fury shows up as head of SHIELD in #2, the Captain Citrus stories would take place on an alternate reality, likely one that other custom comics would occur on.

Had he been active as a super hero at the time of Marvel's Fifty-State Initiative, Captain Citrus would've been a shoe-in for membership into Florida's Initiative team, the Command.

Unless otherwise specified, all of the characters and objects in this profile originated on an unidentified alternate reality other than Earth-616.

Thanks to Snood for pointing out that a version of Florida Citrus' Captain Citrus existed prior to Marvel's involvement, created in 2011, and a BIG THANK YOU to Captain Citrus' creator Ramon Peralta himself for providing a lot of background info on Captain Citrus' creation and images of his original forms and possible allies!! This original, advertising mascot version of Captain Citrus was created by the aforementioned Ramon E. Peralta, Jr., founder and creative director of Peralta Design, whose firm was hired by By Kids for Kids who, in turn, was hired by the Florida Dept. of Citrus to help develop a character that would help promote orange juice's health benefits. To quote Mr. Peralta himself concerning the creation of the heroic Captain Citrus: "The Florida Department of Citrus sponsors and conducts research programs in several areas of health, wellness and nutrition to understand the benefits of incorporating fresh citrus and citrus juices into a healthy diet and lifestyle. In addition to being Creative Director and Founder of Peralta Design, from a client-facing perspective, I served as VP Creative/Creative Director for By Kids for Kids, an educational marketing company based in Stamford, Connecticut and I worked with them to help create what would become Captain Citrus. Initially, his working name was Captain O, then Captain C, and then I came with the name Captain Citrus and it was approved. Captain C was also used interchangeably when referring to the Creative Juices Challenge. Early versions of the character had a double-C "CC" on his chest and eventually, it became just a C. The original mock ups were pulled from iStockPhoto.com's royalty-free vector illustrations. Since we didn't have a huge budget to work with, sketching original concepts from scratch was cost-prohibitive. Instead, we were able to quickly provide a variety of directions as concepts: A Superhero/Superman type of character, a gator character and a round, orange-shaped character. We went with the orange-shaped character and his origin slogan went like "From a not-too distant galaxy comes an orange hero full of Vitamin C!" I ended up redrawing Captain Citrus from scratch as an orange with a leaf cape. Ms. Vitamin C was also an original creation though she never made it to the real program (we love her boots). Eventually, Captain Citrus was turned into a living/breathing mascot for the FDOC that visited kids in schools. I think that was the start of the end for this version because as a real-life character, he appeared to be obese, or unhealthy, in his round format. He didn't exactly translate well from 2D to 3D..." Mr. Peralta also provided some images relating to Captain Citrus' creation (all quotes are from Mr. Peralta himself):

(on right): "This was the original royalty free character that was the 'base' for Captain Citrus, before I transformed him into an orange, complete with leaf stem and orange peel texture:"

(on left): "This was an early, crude concept illustrating the transformation"







(on right): The Superhero/Superman-type design. "This concept was originally rejected and ironically, it's pretty close to where we are with the latest Marvel version."

(on left): The original alligator concept, Russ T. Gator.





(on right): The finalized version of the orange-shaped Captain Citrus.

(on left): Here we have "..Ms. Vitamin C, who never left the drawing board unfortunately. We wanted to run the gamut of citrus fruits - orange, grapefruit, Lemon the Kid...etc."




(on right): "Captain Citrus, in this incarnation, visited students in Florida every quarter with a new kit chock-full of activities and healthy recipes. The main competition was Captain Citrus' Creative Juices Challenge, which asked kids to create creative vignettes as illustrations, songs, photos or videos that helped promote how great oranges were for your health."

Since the John Polk version of Captain Citrus existed in one of Marvel's alternate realities, the space-born orange hero Captain Citrus, the Superman-like Captain O and Russ T. Gator would likely also be from their own alternate reality.

For more info about Captain Citrus and other projects, visit Ramon Peralta's blog!!

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Captain Citrus has no KNOWN connections to:



Deborah

Deborah was Captain Citrus (John)'s younger sister. She worked at the Polk Grove with John and commented on how skinny her brother was when he'd mention trying out for the football team. After Deborah and John discovered solar pods that bonded to John, Deborah helped John battled the super villain Blizzard, who had been sent by Justin Hammer to ruin the Polk Grove land to allow a cheap buyout. When John drove Blizzard off, Deborah suggested he become a hero with the codename of Captain Citrus. Weeks later, Deb planned to skip breakfast in order to practice her routine for cheerleading tryouts but John suggested that she at least drink a glass of orange juice if she wasn't going to eat. Deb merely commented "I here ya, big bro" in response. Not long after, Deb helped John and her parents repair their home following the recent battles with Blizzard and Leader.









--Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 (#2 (fb), #1, #3,


Martin and Jean

Martin and Jean were John (Captain Citrus)'s parents and the owners of the Polk Grove. When freak storms threatened their orange crop and nearly tore down their home, a transformed John rescued them and helped defend their land from the super villain Blizzard, who had been hired by Justin Hammer to ruin their land in order to buy it cheaply to build a factory. John eventually drove off Blizzard and became a hero called Captain Citrus, devoted to protecting the orange grove, his family and the community. Weeks later, John was eating breakfast with his parents and sister when he saw a news report about an attack in Orlando, Florida. Martin warned John to be careful as John felt obligated to help those in need. Not long after, Martin and Jean helped John and Deb repair their home following the recent battles with Blizzard and Leader.









--Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 (#2 (fb), #1, #3,


images: (without ads)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1, front cover (Captain Citrus main image & Captain Citrus profile logo)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1, p3, pan6 (Captain Citrus in his civilian identity of John)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#2, p5, pan3 (Deborah)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#3, p3, pan3 (Martin & Jean)
iStockPhoto.com, royalty free blue orb image (Early royalty free basis for Captain Citrus)
Peralta designs (early crude Captain Citrus)
Peralta designs (Superman-like Captain Citrus design)
Peralta designs (Russ T. Gator)
Peralta designs (finalized orange-shaped Captain Citrus)
Peralta designs (orange-shaped Captain Citrus & Ms. Vitamin C)
real-life photo (real-life mascot Captain Citrus speaking to children)

Appearances:
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#1 (October, 2014) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Kev Sharpe (pencils), Rick Magyar, Don Ho, Allen Martinez, Victor Olazaba, Joe Rubinstein (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor, creative director)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#2 (2015) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Kev Sharpe (pencils), Rick Magyar, Mark Pennington (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor, creative director)
Avengers Assemble Featuring Captain Citrus#3 (2015) - Ralph Macchio (writer), Kev Sharpe (pencils), Rick Magyar, Bob Wiacek (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor, creative director)


Last updated: 07/29/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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