"The Three Brave Men"
V Annual 1986 (World International Publishing Ltd.)
The resistance gains some unexpected help in an
attack against a Visitor bigwig.
Donovan and Julie pull up to a line of cars at a police
roadblock as they head north out of Los Angeles. A fracas
ensues up at the front of the line and a man jumps out of his
car and begs Donovan and Julie to let him in. Despite
trepidations they do, as the man's car suddenly blows up, taking
out the roadblock. The resistance truck continues on its mission
to an air base in the desert.
The man identifies himself as Walt McBain, seeking revenge on
the Visitors for killing his family back east. He joins Donovan
and Julie and their other two resistance companions, Jim and Max,
on their mission. The plan is to attack the air base, now
controlled by the Visitors, and steal some fighter jets in order
to attack the convoy of a Visitor bigwig who is on walkabout,
seeing the conquered territory.
Two other groups of resistance fighters are already in place
around the perimeter of the base and with the three prongs of
attack, the group is successful is taking two F-111s and a
Harrier jump-jet. But during the fight, McBain is slightly
injured and discovers, to his own shock, that he has lizard skin
underneath his human covering...he's a Visitor! He manages to
hide the damage from the others and as he goes up in one of the
F-111s with Donovan, he gradually remembers his true past;
brainwashed to believe he was human in order to more easily
infiltrate the resistance and sacrifice himself by blowing up a
large gathering of resistance leaders with a micro-bomb planted
in his skull.
As the resistance fighter jets move toward the Visitor ground
convoy, they must engage in a dogfight with Visitor skyfighters.
Jim's and Max's planes are destroyed, leaving just Donovan and
McBain's fighter. McBain decides to side with the resistance for
real and ejects himself from the jet as the convoy is crossing a
bridge, using the micro-bomb in his skull to destroy it, killing
the Visitor bigshot.
Donovan, never even knowing of McBain's true nature, reflects
that Jim, Max, and McBain were three of the bravest men he'd ever
This story appeared in the British V
Annual 1986, a book of short stories, articles and
games all about V,
geared towards kids.
The men maintaining the roadblock at the beginning of the story
are described as cops, yet at least one of them turns out to be
a Visitor in the fracas with McBain. Were these Visitor agents
disguised as human cops in order to stage the fight that allows
McBain to gain sympathy with Donovan and Julie? If so, how did
the Visitors know the two resistance leaders would be there?
Page 34 refers to the aliens' false human skin as plastiflex. In another story in this same volume, "Hero", a transparent cage holding
rat in Diana's lab is also referred to as being made of plastiflex...two
rather different forms of the plastic, I guess. In the
V novels, the pseudo-skin
is often referred to as dermoplast instead.
Why does McBain act as if there is heavy fighting in New York? It's
supposed to be protected by the red dust still. It could be
argued that the fighting he mentions is due to the Indian Summer
experienced this year as depicted in
The New England Resistance.
How did the resistance van make it past the road block? Even if
McBain's gunshot and exploding car killed the two cops (which
isn't clear), there was no other backup to stop or chase down
On page 36, the resistance squad steals two F-111 fighter
bombers and one AV-8A Harrier jump-jet, armed with Sidewinder
missiles. Both models are real planes built for the U.S.
military and used by them from the late 1960s through 1990s.
Some allied countries still use them. The illustrations of the
planes in the story are pretty accurate. The
Sidewinder is a short range missile which
has been in use by the U.S. and other nations for decades.
Page 38 describes the Harrier as using a Pegasus engine. This is
also accurate, the Pegasus being an engine series made by
Also on page 38, Jim, piloting the Harrier during the dogfight
with the skyfighters, says grimly, "V for VIFFing." VIFF stands
for Vectoring In Forward Flight, a rapid braking by a fighter
jet with its vectoring nozzles. This type of maneuvering was used
extensively by English pilots during the Falkland Islands
war against Argentina in 1982 and Jim must have used it against the
Page 38 also describes the F-111 as being powered by a Pratt and
Whitney TF30 turboshaft engine. This is true.
Why did the resistance have to steal fighter jets to attack the
Visitor ground convoy? They have captured a number of
skyfighters over the course of the war.
Page 39 reveals that the Visitors have a special heating unit
designed to heat up McBain's dermoplast skin so he can more
easily pass for human. Did John Langley have something like this
during his infiltration of the resistance in
"The Hero" and
"The Betrayal" and also Lewis in
"Printer's Devil"? Otherwise,
Robin would have recognized that they had colder skin like
Page 39 also reveals that McBain is a brainwashed Visitor
infiltrator who has a micro-bomb planted in his skull, with a
programmed mission to gain access to a meeting of resistance
leaders and blow them all up and himself in the process. This is
similar to the case of Dr. Earl Meaghan, a human who had a
micro-bomb planted in his own skull in order sacrifice himself
in blowing up the L.A. mothership in "Shatterday"
(his plan was thwarted).
Who was the Visitor big wig the resistance assassinated with
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