Second Lieutenant Jean Havoc (ジャン・ハボック, Jan Habokku) is one of Colonel Roy Mustang’s most trustworthy subordinates at the Eastern Headquarters and one of the few privies to the Colonel's goal of becoming Führer.
A self-proclaimed 'country boy', Havoc is usually rather laid-back and almost never seen without a cigarette in his mouth, but is an honest, loyal and hard-working soldier who leads his own subordinates by example. Although not the most intelligent, Havoc more than makes up for his simplicity with common sense and cleverness - often providing a sarcastic, real-world perspective to counter the over-the-top antics of his comrades - as well as a particularly high combat aptitude. But the fair-haired son of eastern Amestrian shopkeepers does have a noteworthy weakness: throughout the series Havoc's poor luck keeping a girlfriend plays a recurring theme, as shown when he is forced to leave a new relationship in East City when being transferred to Central with Mustang and when he is spurned by Major Alex Louis Armstrong's younger sister Catherine Elle Armstrong.
2003 anime series
In the 2003 anime series, 2nd Lt. Havoc plays little more than a supporting role in the storyline, providing comic relief and backup alongside his comrades Heymans Breda, Vato Falman and Kain Fuery. Notable instances of Havoc's involvement include the point at which he and Master Sergeant Fuery are lightly wounded by ricochet fire while attempting to sneak up on Edward Elric and Alphonse Elric near Resembool and his mission, near the end of the series, to act as a decoy for the Amestrian Military by disguising himself as Mustang during the Colonel's coup in Central City.
In the manga, however, Havoc plays a more significant role in the story, beginning in volume 9 with the Barry the Chopper mission to lure out the Homunculi. In Chapter 34, while Warrant Officer Falman is charged with standing guard over Barry, Havoc visits their safe house in the slums, bringing additional weapons and provisions for Falman to use. He mentions to the two that he has finally found a new girlfriend in Central City named "Solaris", but she is revealed to be Lust posing as a human in order to gather information from him regarding Colonel Mustang's activities. Fortunately, Havoc reveals nothing vital or confidential about his work to her.
During the plan to extradite 2nd Lieutenant Maria Ross to Xerxes, Havoc acts on the scene, providing Roy with the false corpse and Ross' prison tags from inside a secret tunnel located behind a dumpster. Havoc then ushers Ross away through the same tunnel to rendezvous with Breda and Fu, mentioning that Edward Elric's arrival was an unforeseen hitch in the plan, but that the Colonel would work something out.
Immediately after Ross' safe passage out of the country, Havoc is assigned (under the codename "Jacqueline") to covertly survey Falman's safe house. He works with the support of Lt. Hawkeye and Master Sergeant Kain Fuery in order to respond when the Members of the Ouroboros make their move to recapture Barry the Chopper. After three days of vigilance, "Jacqueline" is given the order to strike when Barry's reanimated body - sent by the Homunculi - arrives on the scene to eliminate Number 66. Havoc bursts into action to support Falman and Barry, dressed in covert ops gear and mask, but (though Falman was unaware of Havoc's surveillance) the Warrant Officer recognizes the 2nd Lieutenant due to the scent of cigarette smoke on his person.
Havoc drives Barry's body outside, where Hawkeye can offer them sniper support, and joins up with Colonel Mustang and Alphonse Elric in pursuing the two Barrys to Central Alchemical Laboratory Number 3. Jean and Roy venture deeper into the hidden reaches of Lab 3, which Havoc notes as having "the stink of violence", and are confronted by Lust, who reveals herself to be a Homunculus.
Though Lust manages to disrupt Roy's primary mode of combat by rupturing a water pipe in the room and dousing his gloves, Havoc is able to aid Roy by providing a spark from his cigarette lighter after the Colonel transmutes the water into combustible hydrogen and flammable oxygen, creating an explosion that incinerates Lust's body. But when the two get closer to investigate, Lust regenerates and impales Havoc through the abdomen with two of her bladed fingers, causing him to collapse and fall unconscious from the blood loss.
Roy is able to use fire to sear Havoc's wounds closed and staunch the bleeding and, after Lust is defeated, the two are brought to a hospital. There, Hawkeye and Mustang discuss the current situation, what they have learned from the last mission. and how to proceed in uncovering the truth. Havoc then mentions that they will not be able to count on him in the future, as he cannot feel either of his legs. Lust's attack in Lab 3 had injured his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down.
As it is unlikely that Havoc will be able to return to active service with his injury, he decides to accept a discharge from the military and makes plans to live as a civilian, helping out at his parents' general store in the eastern countryside. When Roy - feeling responsible for his friend and comrade's plight - hesitates to let Havoc give up, Jean explodes at him, demanding that the Colonel leave him behind and stressing that there is no time to waste pitying a pawn that can no longer move if Mustang is to reach the top. Roy begrudgingly complies, but states that he will be forging a path to the top on which he expects Havoc to catch up with him.
Havoc continues to work out his upper body from his hospital bed using small weights given to him by Breda, despite protestations from his worried mother, and declares that he will strive to catch up to the others, even from outside the military. When Führer King Bradley forcibly disbands Mustang's unit, scattering Breda, Falman, Fuery, and Hawkeye, Havoc remains the only member of the team able to move and act freely. He is able to pass on Hawkeye's message regarding The Promised Day to Mustang before being transferred to an eastern hospital.
In Chapter 89, during Mustang's attack on Central Command, 2nd Lieutenant Rebecca Catalina and 2nd Lieutenant Maria Ross arrive as backup in an armored truck disguised as an ice cream truck that is laden with fresh ammunition and sophisticated weapons. When Roy asks who ordered them in to help and provided them with such equipment, Ross patches him into Jean Havoc, who has been running a covert weapons trade under the cover of the Havoc General Store.
In Chapter 108, the final chapter, Havoc is shown in the photos on the few pages going through physical therapy, so he may have regained some movement in his legs. In the final episode of the second anime, Marcoh offers to heal Roy's eyes to help him restore Ishval, but Roy insists that he will use the stone after Marcoh uses it to restore Havoc's legs.
- Jean Havoc's shares great character design's similarities with the character "Jack" from Arakawa Hiromu's discontinued manga series Shanghai Youma Kikai. Additionally, Lust resembles the character "Miss Nynetales", Jack's boss from the series. Jean and Lust's relationship during the Fullmetal Alchemist manga appears to have been a reference to that project.
- Like nearly all military personnel in the Fullmetal Alchemist series, Havoc is named after a military vehicle, vessel or weapon, in this case, the WWII light bomber A-20 Havoc or a Russian attack helicopter, Mil MI-28 havoc.
- Despite no such nationality being explicitly stated to exist in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe, Havoc has multiple characteristics that suggest he is of French-equivalent descent, including his height, hair and eye color, compulsion toward cigarettes, obsession with women, and Francophonic name. Additionally, the covert arms dealership may be a reference to the French Resistance WWII.
- His surname, Havoc, also has French origins as a military term in the phrase Crier Havok, a signal for soldiers to seize plunder.
- Arakawa stated she decided to make Havoc a smoker when she first outlined the main plot line of Fullmetal Alchemist in preparation for the later scene of the death of Lust, in Chapter 39. She needed someone who would carry a lighter to be used by Mustang once his gloves were destroyed.
- Havoc can be seen putting his right hand in the group picture on the cover page of Chapter 107.
- Mustang's subordinates are named after chess pieces; Havoc's is the "Knight". The Knight is the most elusive and maneuverable piece in chess, being able to move in an "L" shape and even jump over pieces, appropriate considering Havoc's quick and sly nature in the manga.
- During their altercation with Lust, Mustang reveals that Jean has a weakness for pretty women with large breasts, causing him to exclaim "I LOVE big boobs!"
- In the OVA "Kids", the young lookalikes of Edward, Alphonse, and Winry pass by a group of kids playing cards on a sidewalk. The kids resemble some of Mustang's men from the series, and one of them looks notably like a child version of Havoc.
- Jean Havoc is the seventh most popular character in the series according to the recent fan poll.
- Due to his smoking, the people close to him are able to recognize him because he "smells like an ash tray", despite being in disguise.
- His first name is mispronounced as "Gene" in all English dubs, despite his Japanese name using the more appropriate French pronunciation of "John".
- In the manga Jean's mother made an appearance while Jean was in the hospital to deliver his military discharge papers and also has a polite conversation with him regarding his rehabilitation. Her appearance was reduced to a background appearance in the 2009 anime where her face isn't shown.
- At the end of the 2009 anime, Mustang is implied to have used part of the Philosopher's Stone that was given to him by Marcoh (to retrieve his eyesight) to also heal Havoc. This is also shown at the end where there's a picture of Havoc, now standing completely, with Rebecca and Breda. The manga just shows a picture of him during rehabilitation.