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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: For Old Times' Sake "For Old Times' Sake"
V #17 (DC Comics)
Written by Paul Kupperberg
Pencils by Denys Cowan
Inks by Dick Giordano and Arne Starr
Cover by ?
June 1986

The Resistance comes into possession of a Visitor code tape, smuggled from a mothership; the Visitors stumble onto a counteragent for the red dust.

Story Summary

In one of the resistance's captured Visitor skyfighters, Donovan and Julie search for and find a Visitor communications center in the farmland outside L.A. and destroy it with the ship's guns. But two Visitor patrol fighters are also nearby and pursue them. Donovan turns the tables and destroys one and damages the other. But the damaged fighter turns the tables again and damages the humans' craft. A final turnaround allows Donovan to hit the enemy fighter again and it crashes into the snowy mountains where the red dust will finish off the occupants.

In Los Angeles, Willie, Chris, and Tyler are cleaning up the debris of the Club Creole wreckage (from "Reflections in Terror"). A resistance member from another group finds them there and leaves them a computer tape of access codes for the mothership. He is being pursued by the Visitors, so he must hide the tape with them while he flees.

On the mothership, Diana learns of the pursuit and deduces that the fleeing human must have left the tape with the local resistance members suspected of hiding out in Club Creole in the past. She determines to handle the retrieval operation personally. Meanwhile, a Visitor officer named Joshua informs her of the crashed patrol in the mountains and wants to retrieve the bodies for autopsy to study the effects of the red dust. She gives him permission to retrieve the corpses.

In the mountains, it turns out the two Visitors in the crashed fighter have survived. They were found almost immediately by two men named Frank and Jack from a nearby isolated commune that does not know of the Visitors' evil plans for Earth. They care for the two injured aliens at the crash site, feeding them an herbal broth from the commune that appears to be protecting them from the red dust. Soon, Joshua's shuttle arrives to investigate the site and the Visitors are able to con the two humans into thinking they are benevolent and ask them to accompany them back to the mothership.

Back at the ruins of Club Creole, Elias is found by an old flame named Leslie. It turns out she now works for Science Frontiers and is looking for the stolen Visitor access codes tape. Elias gets angry when he learns this, figuring she is just using him again to find the tape. He tells her to leave and, reluctantly, she does.

On the mothership, Diana treats Frank and Jack hospitably, for now. She does, however, order Loren to dissect the two surviving Visitors to learn how the herbal broth was able to protect them. After his study, Loren believes the herb can be duplicated in the laboratory and will bestow permanent resistance to the red dust to any Visitor who ingests it.



Didja Know?

This issue was the second-to-last issue of the comic book published. This issue and the next 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? 

Page 1 mentions that agriculture is California's economic staple. This was true in 1986 when the story was published. Currently computers and other high tech products are the base of the state's economy, with agriculture second.

On page 8, Willie is seen cleaning up debris in the remains of Club Creole and Chris and Tyler are nearby as well. But, considering the whole point of the resistance members blowing up the restaurant in "Reflections in Terror" was to trick Nathan Bates and his men into believing that the resistance was destroyed and its members killed, why would they be publicly seen cleaning up the wreckage?

Page 9 reveals that Tyler and Chris still have plans to try to kill Nathan Bates, picking up where they left off in issues 3-6 (see "Alien Conflict").

On pages 11 and 12, we see a portion of the mothership we've not seen before but the area is not identified. Perhaps an engine room? From the view out the window it appears to be located in the lower section of the ship.

On page 12, a Visitor called Joshua uses the exclamation, "Zal!" Presumably this is a Visitor word.

Page 10 shows the L.A. mothership hovering over the city, yet on page 11 the crashed Visitor patrol fighter is described as being several hundred miles below the mothership! Of course, this is just another example of the comic's ongoing inconsistency in depiction of the L.A. mothership as being regularly in orbit instead of hovering over L.A.

On page 16, Elias says he hasn't seen Leslie since college. From what we know of Elias' past, I was under the impression that he'd never attended college!

We've seen the Visitors eat fruits and vegetables before, but on page 17 Diana reacts with disgust at the thought of it. I guess she's just a pure carnivore!

Tyler is seen smoking a cigarette a couple times in this issue even though we've never seen him smoke anywhere else.

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