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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Prince and the Power "The Prince and the Power"
V #13 (DC Comics)
Written by Cary Bates
Pencils by Carmine Infantino
Inks by Tony DeZuniga
Cover by Jerry Bingham

The Resistance strikes a deal for the return of Prince Bron.

Story Summary

On the road with Prince Bron, Donovan and Julie's car is attacked by a trio of Visitor skyfighters. Bron reveals that his pendant of the Crystal Cluster of Zon emits a unique radiation that must have led them to him. But the two humans (with Bron's cooperation) turn the tables on the Visitors, threatening to kill the royal son unless the recently captured resistance members are released unharmed, at which point Bron will be returned.

Meanwhile, two fifth columnists help Willie to escape from the mothership. But Diana's fake Willie makes it to the resistance first and he is chosen by them to be the liaison between them and the Visitors for the prisoner exchange.

While this is happening, the real Willie reconnoiters a Visitor rehabilitation camp and captures a Visitor ground vehicle that has the capability to monitor transmissions to and from the mothership. Learning of the prisoner exchange and the fake Willie's involvement, he makes his way to the designated exchange point and surreptitiously slips aboard the Visitor shuttle. After the exchange is made and the shuttle is flying off with Bron, fake Willie reveals to the prince that Diana's plot is to kill him in order to convince his father to continue the invasion against Earth. Hearing this, the real Willie jumps from his hiding place and tackles his double and kills him. 

TO BE CONTINUED IN V #14!

 

Didja Notice? 

On the cover, the markings on Diana's uniform are on the wrong sides.

On page 1, one of the skyfighter pilots calls another Dacco. On page 4, two Visitor guards use the names Xadu and Kobba. On page 11, Diana refers to one of her men as Joris. On page 17, a Visitor soldier refers to another as Krako. These all sound as if they are Visitor names, not the aliens' Earth designations.

When the three skyfighters move in on Donovan and Julie's vehicle demanding the return of Prince Bron, Donovan comments they are "...circling in closer for a view to their kill!" This may be a reference to the James Bond film, A View to a Kill, that was released about 6 months before this issue.

On page 3, Julie refers to the weapons being fired at them from the skyfighters as mega-lasers. I'm not sure if that's just her own nickname for them or an actual term used by the Visitors.

Also on page 3, Bron reveals that he wears around his neck the rarest gem on his world, the Crystal Cluster of Zon. He apologizes for forgetting that it emits a unique radiation that is probably easy to track on Earth, leading the Visitor skyfighters to them. It seems unlikely that even a member of the Visitor royal family could get away with wearing jewelry symbolic of a religion outlawed by his father, the Leader.

Willie's refusal to betray his resistance friends under torture leads one of his guards to speculate that he has adopted the human phrase "death before dishonor". This is a phrase that goes back at least to the times of ancient Rome when the Roman soldiers would shout it as a battle cry. 

Some Visitor symbols appear on a refuse dump chute on the mothership on page 8. V symbols

On page 8, two fifth columnists help Willie escape the mothership and one of them says, "...may Zon be with you..." which may be a reference by the writer to the "May the Force be with you" phrase of the Star Wars saga.

On page 9, Julie seems to be thinking of the possibility of she and Donovan having a kid and being a family, just as they're posing as now. This despite the fact that she seemed to have given up on him and focused on eventually reuniting with Stephen Maitland after the war at the end of "The Secret Underground"

Also on page 9, Bron seems to be speaking some Visitorese as he meditates, though the characters shown are not from the official Visitor alphabet. He is using the aforementioned Crystal Cluster of Zon to induce a meditative trance. Might this be the same thing Philip was doing with a geode-like rock, without explanation, in "The Secret Underground"?
Crystal Cluster of Zon
   
On page 12, we are introduced to a previously unseen form of Visitor transportation. One of the human boys who sees it calls it a flying skateboard. the flying skateboard

On page 13, Julie, for Donovan's benefit, refers to some young female motorists who've broken down on the road as P.Y.T.'s. She means Pretty Young Things.

On page 15, a resistance mechanic is working on a damaged skyfighter and says he needs to cannibalize more jet engine parts to get it airworthy again and Kyle complains that they already raided parts from a 727 for it. By 727, he is referring to a Boeing 727, a mid-size jet airliner.

On page 16, we see that the fake Willie knows enough about the real one's mannerisms to mangle English words and phrases occasionally, saying he escaped capture "by the epidermis of my teeth."

Page 17 shows us the outside of a Visitor rehabilitation camp in the San Fernando Valley of California. The San Fernando Valley holds much of the city of Los Angeles as well as the cities of Burbank, Calabasas, Glendale, Hidden Hills, and San Fernando.

On page 17, two Visitor soldiers are driving a strange little vehicle that could be either Earth or Visitor transportation. It has wheels rather than anti-grav technology, but it does have what Willie calls a "mega-range communicatrix" built in for monitoring transmissions to and from the mothership.
Visitor vehicle

On page 17, a Visitor soldier comments that the San Fernando Valley air is squalid and smog-infested every day. It seems to me that with the Visitor occupation of southern California, the use of internal combustion engines has probably gone down since gasoline would be expensive and somewhat hard to obtain, not to mention humans would be mostly huddled in their homes or place of work to stay out of Visitor sight, so the smog levels should have gone down.

Also on page 17, one of the Visitor soldiers uses "By Diana!" as an exclamation of surprise when Willie drops into their Jeep from the tree branch above. I guess this shows the level of power and fear Diana has attained among her troops. 

On page 19, panel 1, the Visitor shuttle transporting the resistance prisoners is shown with four "modules" making up the vessel. But in panel 2, it's depicted with 11 modules! And then on page 20 through the end, it's depicted as a standard one-module skyfighter!
Visitor shuttle Visitor shuttle

On page 20, fake Willie's comments give us our first indication that the Leader himself is questioning the continuance of the invasion of Earth.

When the real Willie tackles the fake on page 20, the fake exclaims, "By the will of Zon--where did you come from?" Again, why would a loyal lizard soldier be using the name of the prophet of an outlawed religion?

Bron takes over flying the shuttle while the two Willies are fighting, but what happened to the original pilot? Since the fake Willie was already on the ground before the exchange, some other Visitor crewman had to have flown it to the exchange point.

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