"The Deadly Rites of Spring"
V #10 (DC Comics)
Written by Cary Bates
Pencils by Carmine Infantino
Inks by Tony DeZuniga
Column enlists the Resistance in a plan to stop the Visitors
imminent invasion of New York.
As the issue opens, the gigantic Visitor Walter gets a human
makeover and heads to New York City to kill Donovan.
In New York,
Donovan, Julie, Willie, Kyle, and Elizabeth are coaching new
resistance recruits in fighting the invaders. Kyle catches Mayor
Alison Stein spying on the class and she reveals she is not the
real Mayor Stein, but a Visitor triple-agent! She reveals that
Diana captured Mayor Stein and then killed her for an affront
during interrogation. Then she, the imposter, concocted a scheme
with other fifth columnists to protect New York from Diana's
plan to invade the city. The resistance members sign on to the
While the rest of his crew moves forward with enacting the plan,
Donovan is ambushed by Walter and finds himself in the fight of
his life. But during the brawl, Donovan finally gets a hold of
Walter's own bio-blaster weapon and kills him, Walter's last word
being the name of his beloved Diana.
At Gracie Mansion, Diana, having learned of her imposter mayor's
defection, kills her. Soon after, Diana is enraged to find that
the imposter's plot to extend the New York winter, thus
preventing the red dust's recession, has come to fruition.
With New York safe for the time being, our west coast resistance
crew heads home.
This is a rather weak story. The depiction of the red dust
bacteria's weakness against heat is extremely oversimplified
here. Apparently, the first day of Spring will cause
the bacteria to die off! In fact, in
"The Swordmaster", it is
stated that it's not so much the heat that kills it, but the
lack of a rejuvenating period of cold winter. In our current
story, New York's winter is just ending, so the bacteria should
be nice and revivified and ready to survive another summer. Even
if artificially extending winter was the answer to keeping the
Visitors out, does it justify the ecological consequences to not
only the northeastern seaboard, but other parts of the world
which are now experiencing more heat and less precipitation
because so much of it has been diverted to the northeastern U.S.?
On the cover, Lydia is drawn so that she is leaning against the
painted V and her left foot is resting on the UPC bar code box!
Page 1 suggests that even though the northeastern part of the
U.S. is protected by the red dust, Visitor vessels are still a
common site in a solely observatory capacity.
Page 1, panel 1 shows the Statue of Liberty cocooned in a
lattice of steel girders. In 1985 when this issue was published
the statue was undergoing renovation and looked very much like
this. In the background are what appear to be the twin towers of
the World Trade Center.
Page 1, panel 2 reveals a new portable exo-adapter which allows
Visitors to quickly don a human disguise.
The image of Walter's human face looks rather like Marlon
Page 2 reveals that David Bates' townhouse is in New York's
famed Greenwich Village. This is an upper middle class
residential neighborhood in lower Manhattan.
On pages 3-4, Julie seems to contradict herself from one page to
the next. On page 3 she says the red dust is effective
"...except in temperate climates, where the warmer temperatures
render the red dust harmless after a time." This is a fairly
accurate representation of the red dust as discussed on the TV
series. But on page 4 she says, "...your city has been
relatively safe up till now, thanks to this year's unusually
long winter..." and goes on to say "...once the warmer
temperatures set in--the red dust which has been protecting the
northeast will dissipate!" The key point is in her earlier
statement that warm temps render the dust ineffective after
a time. So the first pangs of Spring should not be nearly
enough to cause the red dust bacteria to die off.
Also on page 4, Julie says that the Visitors have only a small
amount of the red dust antidote; just enough to allow a few Visitor
infiltrators in the protected regions. This goes somewhat in
hand with the statements in the novel
Symphony of Terror.
However, we still get no explanation why they can't study it to
learn how to manufacture more!
In the V universe, there
was apparently a long summer in 1984 and a long winter season of
1984-85. The long, Indian Summer is mentioned in the novels
The Texas Run and
The New England
Resistance. And this issue of the comic book reveals a
long winter, so, though the winter started late, it must also
have lasted unusually long.
On page 5 the concerned New York citizens who've met with Julie,
Donovan, Kyle, and Elizabeth ask who they can turn to for help
because the "...commando team from the first invasion hasn't
reappeared." Presumably they are talking about White Christmas,
the group who put a crimp in the Visitors' plans for New York in
East Coast Crisis.
But why would they "reappear"? There hasn't been a significant
public threat to New York by the Visitors since then. Secondly,
our L.A. crew is quite familiar with the White Christmas members
from their interactions in
East Coast Crisis,
Death Tide and
Path to Conquest. Why
don't they reassure the assemblage that White Christmas is still
ready to spring into action if necessary? I suppose you could
argue that it's better to keep White Christmas' continued
existence quiet in case of spies and also to encourage this new
assemblage to prepare to fight for themselves.
Page 6, panel 2 indicates from
the street sign that David
Bates' townhouse may be located
at 4th and Charles in Greenwich
Village. A search on
shows a similar neighborhood
there, though not the same exact
structure as the Bates
Notice the buildings and
street lamps are similar
On page 6, panel 3, the ersatz Mayor Stein uses the word "sulk"
when, most likely, she means "skulk". This could have been a
clue to the assembled resistance members that she wasn't human;
she misused an English word in a manner similar to how Willie does!
Page 7 seems to suggest that the L.A. mothership has been
hovering over New York instead of L.A. the past several days, in
preparation for an invasion. Seems like a good way to give away
your plans, not to mention the risk of exposure to the red dust
bacteria if any were to get past the ship's air filters.
As Diana and Lydia engage in their practice stun-bar session on
page 8, Lydia is brought to her knees and surrenders,
commenting, "We are now even in our physical encounters...a
final match will have me the victor." She must be referring to
their earlier "death-match" in "The
Champion" in which she bested Diana. Perhaps that defeat has
prompted Diana to step up her own combat training regimen as
On page 9, Philip seems to give a hint of the Leader's bid for
peace with Earth as seen in the upcoming final TV episode
On page 11, the Mayor Stein imposter, Marla, reveals that the real
Alison Stein was captured by the Visitors and then killed by
Diana in a staged escape attempt.
Also on page 11, the ersatz mayor refers to her human face as a
On page 12, the ersatz mayor describes a plan to install a
device on the spire of the
Empire State Building which will
alter the weather of the northeastern seaboard and prolong
winter to keep the red dust bacteria active. The weather
alteration plan, referred to as Operation Cold Snap, is somewhat
similar to Diana's own, more global, weather altering plan in
Path to Conquest,
referred to as Project Icewind.
On page 14, Donovan mentions Columbus Circle. Columbus Circle is
a landmark near Central Park with a monument statue of
Christopher Columbus atop a column.
Page 17 reveals that Julie knows how to pilot a helicopter.
Maybe Donovan taught her?
On page 18, one Visitor calls another Kuju. I assume that's a
Visitor name, not an Earth one.
On page 19, Walter uses a Visitor weapon we've not seen before,
a neutronic grenade.
On page 20, Donovan uses a Visitor weapon he took off of
Walter's belt. It's a square-shaped device which Walter calls a
bio-blaster. I'm not sure what is different about it from a
normal Visitor blaster other than it's shape. Donovan fires it
at Walter and a beam strikes the Visitor, killing him.
I guess Diana has taken a dose of the red dust antidote, because
she appears at Gracie Mansion to kill Marla without any ill
effect on herself.
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