V #8 (DC Comics)
Written by Bob Rozakis
Pencils by Carmine Infantino
Inks by Tony DeZuniga
Chris, and Robin take a detour on the way to
After leaving Los Angeles at the end of
"The Betrayal", Ham, Chris, and
Robin drove to St. Louis, Missouri and were to head to Chicago
from there before a message from Donovan diverts them to a
resistance printing plant in Sparta, Illinois. On the road a big
rig truck is ambushed by a skyfighter and the trio steps in by
blowing up the skyfighter with a bazooka. The truck and its two
occupants, Lewis and Ed, turn out to be hauling a load of paper
to the same plant and they all head off together.
The shipment is delivered successfully to the plant, where the
trio meet the head of the plant, Ted Skimmer. As the paper is
unloaded from the truck, a vial of red dust antitoxin is
discovered smuggled in as well, indicating the plant has one or
more Visitor infiltrators.
That night, Ham, Chris, and Skimmer wait in the paper storage
warehouse to see if anyone comes to find the smuggled vial and,
sure enough, they kill a female Visitor in the ambush.
The next morning, a second disguised Visitor keels over in the
plant and dies from the red dust in the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Robin is growing attracted to the truck driver named
Lewis and they kiss.
Back at the local motel where Ham, Chris, and Robin are staying,
Ham discovers his room ransacked; two Visitors were searching
for the vial. Ham kills one but the other escapes unseen through
the bathroom window.
That night, the escaped Visitor returns to Ham's darkened room
to try again, but Ham is hiding out waiting for him. The Visitor
turns out to be Lewis and Ham shoots, leaving him fatally
injured. Before he dies he tells them his people still win
because there is a bomb hidden in the printing plant that will
blow the entire town off the map. Robin enters and sees the dead
Visitor she had been attracted to and she begins to sob
The workers are gathered at the plant to search every nook and
cranny until the bomb is found. Ham finally finds it hidden in a
spool of paper just as was the vial of antitoxin. He disables
Ham, Chris, and Robin take their leave of Sparta, heading for
Chicago. Ham tells Robin, seated in the back of the van, to keep
an eye out for Visitors, to which she laments, "How can we be
sure I'll recognize them?"
Notes from the V chronology
The fact that Ham, Chris, and Robin are on the way to Chicago and
the newspaper headline of
"Los Angeles in Flames" both show that this story
takes place during or shortly after the events of
hence this issue number (#8) has been placed before issue #7 in
The title of this story comes from the term "printer's devil",
the name given to apprentices in the printing establishment.
The DC house ads for this issue, seen in DC
titles bearing a cover date of August 1985, were kind of
amusing, referencing the contemporary TV commercials for V8
vegetable juice which bore the tagline "Wow, I could've had a
V8!" while a person who just drank a soda pop or something else
unhealthy bops themselves on the head. The kid in the ad below
appears to be hitting himself in the head with a rolled-up
X-Men comic, Marvel's most popular title at the time.
Page 1 reveals that, after leaving Los Angeles at the end of
"The Betrayal", Ham, Chris, and
Robin traveled to St. Louis, Missouri and were to head to
Chicago from there before Donovan's message diverts them in this
When the three are chased by a skyfighter, Robin, on page 2,
voices her opinion that they are after her in order to take her
back to Diana and force her to have another hybrid baby. Robin
has become a bit paranoid due to the events of
"The Betrayal" in which it was
revealed that resistance member John Langley, with whom she was
developing a romantic attachment, was actually a Visitor
infiltrator sent by Diana to impregnate the teenager once again.
Page 6 mentions that the Spartan Printing
Company featured in this story used to print comic books.
Spartan Printing in Sparta, Illinois was a real printhouse that
printed most of the titles published by DC Comics at the time
this story was published (the plant was closed in the early 1990s).
Page 6 also mentions that the red dust is still potent in
Illinois, but apparently stopping the resistance literature is
worth the risk to the Visitors in the skyfighter.
On page 7 a vial of red dust antitoxin is discovered smuggled
inside a spool of paper. But the capsules shown are red instead
of white as depicted in "Liberation
Speaking of the antitoxin, if the Visitors have access to
samples of it to send to infiltrators in the north, why aren't
they able to study and replicate it en masse? This same
conundrum exists in
Symphony of Terror.
Page 10 reveals that the Sparta plant prints a newspaper called
Resistance News. A plant worker is seen holding what is
presumably the most recent issue, with the headline "Los Angeles
Writer Bob Rozakis appears to have written himself into the
story as the character Ted Skimmer, introduced on page 6. Ted
Skimmer is a pseudonym used on occasion by Rozakis. On page
10 Ted also mentions that he used to work for a publisher in New
York; this is probably a reference to Rozakis' employment at DC
Comics at the time.
On page 22 Ham refers to the Visitors as scales.
After discovering the hidden bomb at the plant, Ham tells the
others to back off while he takes it apart. Wouldn't that be a
job better handled by Chris? He has been established ever since
the miniseries and onward as an explosives expert!
In this story, Robin begins to become romantically involved with
Lewis, who works at the printing plant. Later, he turns out to be
a Visitor infiltrator, making this the third time Robin has
become attracted to a Visitor! But it is not explained whether
he was instructed by Diana to seduce her or not. Also left
unexplained is how he was able to go about in the daylight
In a humorous bit on page 23, Ham displays his trademark
sensitivity to Robin when she comments, "...every time I feel safe
or comfortable with somebody, he turns out to be a Visitor!" and
Ham replies, "Yeah, you sure are a magnet for those suckers."
Another ironically amusing exchange occurs
in the final two panels of the story as the trio drives
off to Chicago. Ham asks Robin to "keep an eye out for lizards
back there." And she laments, "How can we be sure I'll recognize
Notes from V-Mail
Editor Bob Greenberger reveals that the covers of issues 7 and 8
were done by Jerry Bingham.
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