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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Peace on Earth? "Peace on Earth?"
V #16 (DC Comics)
Written by Cary Bates
Pencils by Carmine Infantino
Inks by Tony DeZuniga
Cover by Jerry Bingham

Donovan, Julie, and Bron are sentenced to death by the children of Mayville; the Leader arrives at Earth.

Story Summary

The issue opens with Donovan, Julie, and Bron being held in the Mayville jail as Bozz and the children prepare for their execution. Bron has found that his pendant (which he calls the Djon) was damaged in his last tussle with Bozz and attempts to repair it.

On Catalina Island, Elizabeth has a nightmare that she deems prophetic and tells Kyle that she feels they must get back to Los Angeles right away, though she doesn't know why.

As Bozz is about to proceed with the execution of his prisoners, a skyfighter lands in the middle of town, disgorging a contingent of seven Visitor troops seeking Prince Bron, whom they've tracked by the radiation of the Djon. In the jail cell, Bron suddenly manages to get the Djon working properly and uses it to blast a hole in the back wall of the cell to escape. The Visitors give chase to the three and Bron sacrifices himself in the ensuing battle, shot by laser-fire from a trooper. He dies and the Djon causes a cocoon to suddenly develop around him and levitate off into the sky.

The other troopers are stunned by the sight of the royal death-capsule and the shock allows the kids, with Donovan and Julie, to take down the Visitor troops. Julie uses a ham radio to contact the Las Vegas resistance and learns that the adult population of Mayville are on their way back home (having been freed from captivity by Ham and Chris in "Blood on the Wind").

Meanwhile, out in space, Philip and Diana witness Bron's capsule rise upward to be delivered to the suddenly arrived Sentinel Ship from the Leader's royal fleet. Diana insists on shuttling over to the Sentinel Ship to find out what is going on. She gains entry and is overjoyed to see Bron's dead body. She is convinced his death will enrage the Leader and cause him to escalate the war. Suddenly, Lydia steps out from the shadows and explains that her faked death was part of the Leader's plan to convince Visitors and humans alike that his son's crash-landing and abduction on Earth were accidental and not part of a secret mission to gather information. Bron was using the Djon to send information directly back to his father. Lydia tells her that the Leader has made his final decision, but won't reveal it to the infuriated Diana.

On Earth, Donovan, Julie, Kyle, Elizabeth, and Willie are all back in L.A. being chased by a Visitor laser-Jeep. They are cornered in an alleyway and about to be shot to death when a booming voice from the mothership commands all Visitor troops to cease hostilities. Elizabeth senses it is the Leader and that he has a strong desire for peace.

 

Didja Notice? 

On page 2, Bron refers to his crystal pendant as a Djon. In "The Prince and the Power", he refers to it simply as the Crystal Cluster of Zon.

Page 3 mentions the "vitro engines" of a skyfighter. As far as I know, "vitro" is not a word by itself, so I'm not sure what is meant by the description.

Thanks to the engineering skill of Miki, the resistance now has skyfighters that are converted to also be used for submarine warfare.

As he tries to repair his Djon on page 6, Bron comments, "If I can just get the transducus back in realignment..." I'm pretty sure "transducus" is not a real word, but I guess it means something to the Visitors!

On page 6, a Visitor skyfighter pilot refers to his copilot as Rork. This may be a Visitor name rather than his human sobriquet.

On page 6, a kid refers to Bozz as Bron!

On page 7, a Visitor skyfighter pilot refers to the invasion of Earth as a "misbegotten war". This may be an indication that the Visitor troops are beginning to think the Leader's invasion of this world was a mistake, perhaps one of the reasons an alleged truce is soon to be declared by the Leader in "The Return".

Also on page 7, the pilot is revealed as the Visitor captain who raided Mayville weeks ago, Mordos. This is likely a Visitor name.

On page 8, Diana is informed that a resistance skyfighter shot down a Visitor patrol vessel just off Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach is one of the beach cities of Los Angeles county.

Also on page 8, Diana's subordinate refers to the destruction of the resistance's L.A. headquarters, the Club Creole, some months ago, but neglects the far more recent destruction of the base at the movie studio/ranch (depending on one's interpretation of where the siege that occurred in "Meanwhile, Out in Space..." actually happened).

As Kyle and Elizabeth fly away from Catalina Island in the skyfighter on page 11, Kyle tells her he suddenly just had the strangest feeling he'll never come back to the island. This may have been a bit of an in-joke by writer Cary Bates referring to the fact that the announcement of the V comic book's cancellation occurs in the letters page of this issue, with only two flashback story issues left to be printed, so the Catalina resistance base would never be seen again. Or, it could also be a reference to Kyle's possible death if the Leader's shuttle actually blows up as the cliffhanger ending of "The Return", the series' final episode, suggests.

On page 14, Bron's death triggers the Djon in some way and a glowing cocoon forms around him and levitates itself up into the sky until it disappears. Is Bron's cocoon related to the type of cocoon which transformed Elizabeth in "Dreadnought" and her clone in "Reflections in Terror"? (Although on page 15, Rork refers to it simply as a royal death capsule as he sees it ascend.) 

On pages 16 and 18, we see a Sentinel Ship from the Leader's royal fleet. The drawings look suspiciously like artist Carmine Infantino's Imperial Star-Destroyers when he was drawing Marvel's Star Wars comic from 1978-1981.
The Leader's Sentinel Ship The Leader's Sentinel Ship
The Leader's Sentinel Ship

On page 17, Julie is on a ham radio to the resistance relay station in Las Vegas and informs the kids of Mayville that their parents are on their way back from captivity in Chicago aboard a 10-wheeler heading west on Route 80. Route 80 is probably a reference to Interstate 80 which runs from Teaneck, NJ to San Francisco, CA, passing near Chicago and through Nevada. This would place the fictional town of Mayville somewhere in northern Nevada.

Diana arrives on the Sentinel Ship via an unusual-looking shuttle pod of some kind, never before seen.
Visitor shuttle pod

After turning up alive on the Sentinel Ship, Lydia explains to Diana on page 20 that it was an unfortunate junior officer whom she saw disintegrated in "Blood on the Wind". Did Philip somehow get this unfortunate officer to cooperate with the subterfuge which would end in her own death? After all, she spoke as if she were Lydia moments before she was executed.

On page 22, a white Visitor Jeep with a laser mounted in the back appears to chase Donovan, Julie, Kyle, Elizabeth, and Willie. This is the first time in the comic book series that we see one of the "laser-Jeeps" that have been used a number of times in the TV series (though the laser gun drawn in these pages is much smaller than the ones seen on TV).  

The story ends with our heroes cornered in an alleyway, about to be shot to death when, suddenly, the Leader's broadcasted voice commands all Visitor troops to cease hostilities. This is the same as the opening scene of the final episode of the TV series, "The Return", though these pages do contain some differences.
The dialog is slightly altered as well as some words added to tie it into the Prince Bron story.  
Our heroes are also wearing different clothing here.  
Lt. James does not appear to be present.  
The Visitors state that the voice ordering them to cease all hostilities is the Leader's. In the episode, it is obviously Philip's.  

Notes from V-Mail

The V-mail column of V #18 reveals that if the comic had continued, Miki would have become a contender with Elizabeth for Kyle's affections. 

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