V #18 (DC Comics)
Written by Paul Kupperberg
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Dick Giordano
Cover by ?
confronts Leslie; the Resistance must destroy the Visitors’ red
As the Visitor troops begin their search for the
access code tape in the remains of Club Creole, some resistance
members who are keeping watch over the site attack. The
Visitors chase them off and go after them, with the leader
telling Elias they'll be back to conclude the search after the
rebels are dealt with.
On the L.A. mothership, Diana allows her medical staff to cure
Frank's cancer and makes a deal with him and Jack for the herb
and its accompanying fertilizer that counteracts the red dust
toxin. Meanwhile, Loren, whom we learn is a fifth columnist,
sends a message to his resistance contacts about Diana's
quest for the herb.
At Club Creole, Donovan agrees to be a decoy to any spies
outside, pretending to make a break for it with the Visitor
access codes tape, while Elias actually keeps the tape with the
intention of leaving shortly after to take the it to safety.
But before Elias can leave, Leslie shows up again begging for
Elias still refuses and Leslie pulls a Visitor gun on him, but
then can't bring herself to pull the trigger. She says
that she and her husband work for the resistance and the
Visitors have captured him and will kill him if she doesn't
bring him the tape.
The Visitors ferry Frank and Jack back to their commune, but
when they arrive, Frank's wife does not want to give anything to
the Visitors from what she has heard about them. So Diana's
troops simply pull their weapons and take what they want.
Back in L.A., Donovan, with Julie's help, loses his stalkers.
Julie informs him of the message received from Loren about the
herb. It has been decided that they must use the access codes on
the tape to infiltrate the mothership and destroy the samples.
Thanks to Leslie's delay, Elias is still at Club Creole when the
two arrive and Elias gives them the tape and they leave. Leslie
comes out of hiding and asks how he could do that. Elias tells
her to shut up and strikes her.
Donovan, Julie, and other resistance fighters make it on board
the mothership and successfully destroy the herb and fertilizer
sample and distilling process, which was almost complete. The
codes also get them off the ship and Donovan and Julie take
their skyfighter to the commune to also destroy the farm itself
so the Visitors can't return for more. (Presumably the commune
members will reform elsewhere, though there is also some
indication that some may decide to rejoin the world.)
At the club, Elias has realized that Leslie is really a Visitor
disguised as his former flame. He peels the dermoplast skin off
her face and she admits the ruse, that Leslie died during
Diana's conversion process so she was supplied with the woman's
memories. Elias then kills her in rage and sobs over the loss of
the woman from his past.
This was the last issue of the comic book published. This
issue and the previous were a flashback story taking place
before the burning of the open city, hence the issue numbers (17
and 18) seem out of place in my V
This issue continues the many nods to the classic film
Casablanca, made in regards to Los Angeles
and the Club Creole's similarity to the city of Casablanca,
Morocco and Rick's Café Américain. Here, the Visitors insist on
searching the closed down Club Creole for the Visitor access
codes tape like the Nazis insisted on searching the closed down
Café Américain. Elias even says, "This is a nightclub, not a
rerun of Casablanca!"
After the Visitor troops in the remains of Club Creole are attacked
by resistance fighters, the Visitors chase them off and go after
them, with the leader telling Elias they'll be back to conclude
the search after the rebels are dealt with. Seems kind of dumb
to leave the job unfinished in the first place, let alone
telling Elias they'll be back so he has a chance to hide the
tape somewhere else!
Page 6 describes the L.A. mothership as a Sword of Damocles over
the heads of the city's denizens. The Sword of Damocles is from
a Greek legend that tells of the man Damocles who exclaims
that the emperor Dionysius is truly fortunate for all his power
and fortune. Dionysius offers to let Damocles exchange lives for
a day so he may feel what it's like and the man eagerly agrees.
Damocles is then treated like a king and enjoys a sumptuous meal
in the court. Only after he finishes eating does he notice a
sword dangling precariously above, held by a thread, whereupon
Damocles asks the emperor's leave, saying he no longer wants to
be so fortunate. The tale is meant to illustrate the constant
fear and danger felt by those in power. In modern times the
metaphor of the Sword of Damocles is meant to suggest a
precarious situation just waiting to turn deadly.
On page 8, Elias says the unnamed resistance member from
"For Old Times' Sake"
turned the tape over to him, so he ought to be the one to take
it to safety. But, the man gave the tape to Chris, not Elias!
On pages 15-16, Donovan's stalkers attack him for the tape until
Julie screeches up in a car and yanks him out of the fight, as
planned. But it's never revealed who his attackers really
are...they appear to be human! Perhaps they are just Visitors in
human clothing to blend in.
It has been revealed to the reader that Loren is a fifth
columnist and on page 18 he references Zon in his thoughts. So,
he's not only a fifth columnist, but a follower of the outlawed
religion of Zon. Are the majority of fifth columnists also
followers of Zon?
On page 18, the resistance appears to have entered the
mothership with Earth guns and on later pages are holding
Visitor laser weapons, probably picked up from fallen troops as
they made their way through the ship. But the sound effects of
the humans' weapons continue to be that of gunpowder-and-bullet
On page 21, Leslie turns out to be a Visitor disguised as Elias'
old flame. She reveals that the real Leslie died under Diana's
attempt to convert her, so her memories were supplied to the
imposter in order to deceive Elias into handing the tape over to
her. Does this indicate that Diana is able to record the memory
impressions of a person in the conversion chamber and then
implant them into someone else?
Also on page 21, Elias kills the imposter pretty brutally, with
a gunshot at point-blank range while he holds her down!
The final panel of the story shows Elias holding the body of
Leslie, who now appears with a different hairstyle and clothes.
Presumably this is not meant to be taken as a
literal image, but a symbolic one of Elias mourning
the death of his former lover.
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