Frere Jacques: (Born Jacques Molay Valmont, 1905-1940). One of the pre-eminent French heroes of the 1930s, Frere Jacques was a political and religious powerhouse, and a fierce opponent of tyranny in all of its forms. He died in 1940, fighting against the Axis powers during the invasion of France.
Much of Jacques' early life was shrouded in mystery. An orphan, he was raised in a strict Catholic orphanage, named for the long-deceased final grandmaster of the Templar Knights. Jacques was always a faithful boy, taking to the doctrines of the faith like a duck to water, and was manifesting minor miraculous powers by the age of 20. Unlike most supers of the day, Jacques felt no need to hide behind aliases, freely demonstrating the power that God had bestowed on him to the faithful and doing everything that he could to protect people. Although he was not a true monk, and did not eschew violence as most of God's faithful did, he soon became known as a man of faith, and the moniker "Frere Jacques" had stuck as early as 1926.
Strictly religious and conservative, Frere Jacques strongly supported the re-institution of the monarch and the expansion of the power of the Catholic Church, and as a middle-aged man fell in with the then-rising political party known as Action Francaise. Early on, Jacques would wax eloquently on the need for France to follow tradition and to respect its past, feeling as he did that the threat of Communism was one that all people needed to face against in the climate of the day.
Matters came to a head, however, when public dissatisfaction with the French goverment of the time led to wide-scale riots on February 6th, 1934. The violence was spearheaded by Action Francaise and other far-right wing agencies, and Frere Jacques was shaken by what he saw as an attack on society itself. His powers were instrumental in limiting the damage of the night, with matters coming to a head as Jacques faced off against Le Feu Juste in order to protect the (far-left) president. After the riots came to a close, Jacques quit Action Francaise in frustration and disappointment, preferring to side with more moderate right-wing politicians. From that point on, he spoke out as fiercely against the dangers of fascism as he had of communism.
The Second World War
Jacques was one of the most vocal opponents of France's policies of appeasement towards Germany and Italy in 1937-8, repeatedly saying that this would only lead to disaster. During this time, he also became the leader of the French Superhuman Army (ASF), a quiet initiative designed to ensure that French superhumans would rally to war if the worst should come to pass and Germany should seek to invade. Originally formed out of fear of spillover from the disasterous wars in Spain, the ASF stationed many members across the Maginot line as matters grew tense with Germany's invasion of Poland.
When Germany launched its invasion of France, Frere Jacques joined an armed column moving to support their troops, and came in contact with Blitzkerig in Belgium. Their battle was a fierce one, but ended with the French hero had an apartment pulled down around him, crushing him to death.
Many of the faith-based heroes of Western Europe continue to hold Frere Jacques as an example of how compassion and tradition can walk hand in hand, and the New Templar Order considers him to be its spiritual founder, despite the fact that he was never technically a member. There are also seven streets, two train stations, three churches, and an airport that have been named in his honour. Despite many calls from the French faithful, the Vatican has held to the belief that Jacques' powers were consistent aspects of his nature, and not granted miracles of God, and has thus far denied him canonization.
Powers And Abilities
It is generally believed that Jacques was a natural super, but some reports suggest that his powers may have been mystical in order (a hotly contested subject in many circles). Regardless, Jacques' power stemmed from his unwavering virtue; when he felt that he was defending a righteous cause, his strength was immense, his speed was incredible, and he could literally call sunlight at any time (this light was proven to be effectively natural sunlight in 1935, when he defeated the vampire lord Mordecai Lanford.) Jacques also possessed the ability to heal injuries with a touch, although his ability extended only to injuries that the body could heal on its own, speeding recovery and doing little else.