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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

 UFO: Alien Brainwave UFO
"Alien Brainwave"
Countdown #58, March 25, 1972
Writer: Unknown
Art: Jon Davis


The aliens implement a plan to manipulate the world president.


Read the Technodelic story summary at the Internet Archive




This is a 6-page, self-contained story in Countdown #58, March 25, 1972.




On page 1, a new hovertrain link opens in London's King's Cross station. King's Cross is an actual railway station in London.


The new hovertrain is said to achieve a speed of 300 mph. This was believed to be an eventual attainable speed by a hovertrain at the time the story was written. However, the top speed later achieved in the real world is around 250 mph.


Page 1 identifies the dignitary present for the opening of the hovertrain link as the world president. This seems to follow with references to a centralized world government in "The Alien Ally" and a world navy in "Ghost Ship".


It seems rather too easy to ambush the president of the world, both by the aliens and, later, by Straker's men at SHADO.


On page 2, Straker remarks to Freeman that there have been no UFO sightings for two months.


On page 2, the world president is sitting in an office in Whitehall as a guest of the British Prime Minister. Whitehall is a district of London, where the governmental offices and many minsters' residences are located. The Prime Minister at the time this story takes place (mid-1980s) was Margaret Thatcher, though it may well have been someone entirely different in the UFO universe. The President makes the decision to shut down SHADO, further implying he is the actual world leader.


Page 4, panel 6 implies that the world president lives or has his main office in Washington (presumably D.C.). Is the world president an American?


On page 4, Straker manipulates the President into paying him a visit at SHADO headquarters. It is revealed here that SHADO has the ability to erect a force field over the building.


At the end of the story, the President is grateful to Straker for saving his life and his reputation from the aliens' mental manipulation. Straker tells him, "As the one man who has the power to shut down SHADO, from now on, I reckon you can count on us keeping more than just an eye on you!" This actually sounds a bit ominous; a shadowy defense organization watching the world president's every move in order to prevent him from threatening the organization again! Recall that General Henderson has accused Straker of letting his power go to his head in the past. It would make an interesting story arc to have Straker actually step too far such that he was essentially acting as puppet master of the leader of the world and has to be made to realize he's gone too far. 


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