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Watchdogs

The Watchdogs are a paramilitary organization based in the southeastern United States, dedicated to eradicating those elements they feel would corrupt the nation by imposing their brand of morality upon the American public. They use vandalism, arson, flogging, lynching and other acts of torture upon institutions and people whose behavior they do not desire. They have occasionally resorted to murder.

The Watchdogs believe themselves to be the arbiters of the public good and consider their cause a crusade for decency and righteousness. They publicly denounce anything they believe to be immoral, such as pornography, abortion, sex education, and the teaching of evolution.

There are over one thousand members of the Watchdogs nationwide. The head of the organization is simply called Watchdog One. Each realm (state) is ruled by a Head Dog and a Pack Leader heads each pack (local unit). Individual members refer to each other as Dog-Brother. When a new member joins, he or she is asked to swear the following oath: "I solemnly vow to walk the virtuous path, to safeguard society from the forces that would corrupt it, and to destroy the enemies of decency, of morality, and of the values upon which our country was founded."

When the Watchdogs burned an adult book store and killed its proprietor, the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted the Commission on Superhuman Activities to infiltrate the organization. The Commission sent John Walker, who had assumed the role as the new Captain America when the original Captain America temporarily resigned, and his partner, Lemar Hoskins, then called Bucky, on the mission. Walker proudly accepted his first official mission as the new Captain America, even though it meant returning to his home town of Custer's Grove, Georgia. Hoskins portrayed an agent looking for local women to appear in a pornographic magazine. Walker barged in and staged a fight with him, landing them both in prison. A former friend of Walker's, named Harold, released him by paying 200 dollars for bail.

Harold explained that he was a member of the Watchdogs and that they were interested in initiating Walker. During the initiation ceremony, the Head Dog sent Walker and sixteen Dog-Brothers to burn a library which refused to remove certain books they deemed unfit for reading. Meanwhile, the Head Dog was supposed to lynch Hoskins. Walker managed to slip away and change into his Captain America guise. He defeated the sixteen Watchdogs and thwarted their plan to torch the library. Hoskins's augmented neck muscles allowed him to stand up to the stress of strangulation long enough to snap his handcuffs and tear himself down. He then defeated the Head Dog.

The new Captain America and his partner then proceeded to bring down thirteen more Watchdogs attempting to fire-bomb the Kleppel Health Clinic in Harristown, Alabama for distributing birth-control information to teenagers.

When the new Captain America's identity was revealed on national television by Left-Winger and Right-Winger, the Watchdogs kidnapped Walker's parents and forced him to surrender to them. He capitulated to them but as they were about to lynch him, Walker used his own augmented neck muscles to break free as Hoskins had done. Since he had been forced to relinquish his shield to the Watchdogs, however, the group opened fire on Walker's parents, murdering them. Walker went berserk, killing nine of the Watchdogs and leaving sixteen severely wounded.

Since that incident it has been learned that the Watchdogs were at least partially funded by the Nazi known as the Red Skull. The organization is still very active despite its reduction in numbers caused by Walker as Captain America.

FIRST APPEARANCE: Captain America #335

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