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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: End Game "End Game"
V #18 (DC Comics)
Written by Paul Kupperberg
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Dick Giordano
Cover by ?
July 1986

Elias confronts Leslie; the Resistance must destroy the Visitors’ red dust counteragent.

Story Summary

As the Visitor troops begin their search for the access code tape in the remains of Club Creole, some resistance members who are keeping watch over the site attack. The Visitors chase them off and go after them, with the leader telling Elias they'll be back to conclude the search after the rebels are dealt with.

On the L.A. mothership, Diana allows her medical staff to cure Frank's cancer and makes a deal with him and Jack for the herb and its accompanying fertilizer that counteracts the red dust toxin. Meanwhile, Loren, whom we learn is a fifth columnist, sends a message to his resistance contacts about Diana's quest for the herb.

At Club Creole, Donovan agrees to be a decoy to any spies outside, pretending to make a break for it with the Visitor access codes tape, while Elias actually keeps the tape with the intention of leaving shortly after to take it to safety. But before Elias can leave, Leslie shows up again begging for it. Elias still refuses and Leslie pulls a Visitor gun on him, but then can't bring herself to pull the trigger. She says that she and her husband work for the resistance and the Visitors have captured him and will kill him if she doesn't bring him the tape.

The Visitors ferry Frank and Jack back to their commune, but when they arrive, Frank's wife does not want to give anything to the Visitors from what she has heard about them. So Diana's troops simply pull their weapons and take what they want.

Back in L.A., Donovan, with Julie's help, loses his stalkers. Julie informs him of the message received from Loren about the herb. It has been decided that they must use the access codes on the tape to infiltrate the mothership and destroy the samples. Thanks to Leslie's delay, Elias is still at Club Creole when the two arrive and Elias gives them the tape and they leave. Leslie comes out of hiding and asks how he could do that. Elias tells her to shut up and strikes her.

Donovan, Julie, and other resistance fighters make it on board the mothership and successfully destroy the herb and fertilizer sample and distilling process, which was almost complete. The codes also get them off the ship and Donovan and Julie take their skyfighter to the commune to also destroy the farm itself so the Visitors can't return for more. (Presumably the commune members will reform elsewhere, though there is also some indication that some may decide to rejoin the world.)

At the club, Elias has realized that Leslie is really a Visitor disguised as his former flame. He peels the dermoplast skin off her face and she admits the ruse, that Leslie died during Diana's conversion process so she was supplied with the woman's memories. Elias then kills her in rage and sobs over the loss of the woman from his past.



Didja Know?

This was the last issue of the comic book published. This issue and the previous were a flashback story taking place before the burning of the open city, hence the issue numbers (17 and 18) seem out of place in my V chronology.

Didja Notice? 

This issue continues the many nods to the classic film Casablanca, made in regards to Los Angeles and the Club Creole's similarity to the city of Casablanca, Morocco and Rick's Café Américain. Here, the Visitors insist on searching the closed down Club Creole for the Visitor access codes tape like the Nazis insisted on searching the closed down Rick's Café Américain. Elias even says, "This is a nightclub, not a rerun of Casablanca!"

After the Visitor troops in the remains of Club Creole are attacked by resistance fighters, the Visitors chase them off and go after them, with the leader telling Elias they'll be back to conclude the search after the rebels are dealt with. Seems kind of dumb to leave the job unfinished in the first place, let alone telling Elias they'll be back so he has a chance to hide the tape somewhere else!

Page 6 describes the L.A. mothership as a Sword of Damocles over the heads of the city's denizens. The Sword of Damocles is from a Greek legend that tells of the man Damocles who exclaims that the emperor Dionysius is truly fortunate for all his power and fortune. Dionysius offers to let Damocles exchange lives for a day so he may feel what it's like and the man eagerly agrees. Damocles is then treated like a king and enjoys a sumptuous meal in the court. Only after he finishes eating does he notice a sword dangling precariously above, held by a thread, whereupon Damocles asks the emperor's leave, saying he no longer wants to be so fortunate. The tale is meant to illustrate the constant fear and danger felt by those in power. In modern times the metaphor of the Sword of Damocles is meant to suggest a precarious situation just waiting to turn deadly.

On page 8, Elias says the unnamed resistance member from "For Old Times' Sake" turned the tape over to him, so he ought to be the one to take it to safety. But, the man gave the tape to Chris, not Elias!

On pages 15-16, Donovan's stalkers attack him for the tape until Julie screeches up in a car and yanks him out of the fight, as planned. But it's never revealed who his attackers really are...they appear to be human! Perhaps they are just Visitors in human clothing to blend in.

It has been revealed to the reader that Loren is a fifth columnist and on page 18 he references Zon in his thoughts. So, he's not only a fifth columnist, but a follower of the outlawed religion of Zon. Are the majority of fifth columnists also followers of Zon?

On page 18, the resistance appears to have entered the mothership with Earth guns and on later pages are holding Visitor laser weapons, probably picked up from fallen troops as they made their way through the ship. But the sound effects of the humans' weapons continue to be that of gunpowder-and-bullet guns!

On page 21, Leslie turns out to be a Visitor disguised as Elias' old flame. She reveals that the real Leslie died under Diana's attempt to convert her, so her memories were supplied to the imposter in order to deceive Elias into handing the tape over to her. This would seem to indicate that Diana is able to record the memory impressions of a person in the conversion chamber and then implant them into someone else.

Also on page 21, Elias kills the imposter pretty brutally, with a gunshot at point-blank range while he holds her down!

The final panel of the story shows Elias holding the body of Leslie, who now appears with a different hairstyle and clothes. Presumably this is not meant to be taken as a literal image, but a symbolic one of Elias mourning the death of his former lover. 

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