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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Hero "Hero"
Author Unknown
V Annual 1986 (World International Publishing Ltd.)

Diana exposes the resistance leaders to a new virus.

Story Summary

On the mothership, Diana tests a new strain of virus on a rat. The test is successful in that it causes paralysis in the rodent, but leaves it safe to be eaten by the Visitors. Diana launches a plan to test on humans--specifically the local resistance leaders--next.

Two days later, a new resistance member named Joe Drake sells out his comrades, and the Visitors attack a secret resistance meeting place, using the new virus. Donovan, Julie, Elizabeth, and Kyle are left paralyzed as the squad moves in. But Willie surprises them and fights them all off. Then he manages to rouse Elizabeth slightly and she uses her strange mental powers to tap into the memories of both Diana and an alien orderly in the hovering mothership. She receives details of an earlier experiment in which all the human subjects were killed by an earlier strain of the virus, except for one, a young man named Ray Peterson, who then escaped. Elizabeth tells Willie to find this Ray Peterson to use his antibodies to formulate an antidote to the virus.

Willie runs outside into the L.A. battleground and soon bumps into a motorcycle gang member called Runt. Runt says he knows Ray, who is a member of another motorcycle gang in the area. Hopping on Runt's Harley together, the man takes Willie to a ranch house in the hills where the Rats gang meets, only to find it under siege and about to be overrun by a squad of Visitor troops. Runt and Willie pitch in to drive the Visitors off, then they meet up with Ray.

That night, Ray gives a blood sample and a resistance doctor develops an antidote from it. Donovan, Julie, and Elizabeth are restored to normal health.



Didja Know?

This story appeared in the British V Annual 1986, a kids book of short stories, articles and games all about V.

This story is actually called "The Hero", but , since the TV series already has an episode by that title, I've chosen to call this one simply "Hero".

Didja Notice? 

Page 14 refers to the transparent cage holding the experimental rat as being made of plastiflex. This must be a Visitor material as there does not seem to be a similar Earth material by that name. In another story in this same volume, "The Three Brave Men", the aliens' false human skin is also referred to as plastiflex...two rather different forms of the plastic, I guess. In the V novels, the pseudo-skin is often referred to as dermoplast instead.

Diana's rat is depicted in the illustration as white with red eyes, indicating it is an albino. Albinism is a congenital disorder in which a vertebrate has a lack of, or defect in, the production of the pigment melanin.

Page 14 also makes reference to the current resistance plan to blow up a power station next to the Visitors' largest chemical plant. Perhaps the chemical plant mentioned here is the same one featured in the earlier story in V Annual 1986, "The Day That the Rains Didn't Come".

On page 16, Elizabeth seems to connect mentally with individuals aboard the mothership, tapping into their memories of the virus to which she and the other humans in her party have succumbed.

Page 17 mentions that Nathan Bates is dead, placing this story sometime after "The Betrayal".

Page 17 also reveals that the Science Frontiers building is now wrecked; "The Poison in the Apple" reveals that Science Frontiers is defunct since the death of its CEO, Nathan Bates. While searching for help, Willie seems to think he can find another resistance member there, but it's not explained why he would think so.

On page 17, Runt refers to the Visitors as "creepy crocodiles" and "two-bit dinosaurs".

Runt rides a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Harley-Davidson is a major motorcycle manufacturer in the United States.

When Willie races off at Elizabeth's command to find a man named Ray Peterson who happens to be immune to the new Visitor virus, he just happens to bump into a man who knows Ray and can take him to him!

Page 17 reveals that there are two motorcycle gangs in the L.A. area called the Cougars and the Rats.

Possibly the name of the "Rats" motorcycle gang is an allusion to Ray having been one of Diana's earlier test subjects, just like the rat rodent she exposes to the virus at the beginning of the story.

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