- Ah, Killraven, why did you have to come along? Life was so much less complex before ... and also healthier!
- -- Sabre
Appearing in "For He's a Jolly Dead Rebel!"Edit
- Rattack (Death)
- Abraxas (Death)
- Martian High Overlord
- Vampyrum spectrum deviates (mutated vampire bats)
- Sabre, Toby, other slavers
- Kendall, Gor, Manfred, other Martian slaves
- Mint Julep, other freewomen
Synopsis for "For He's a Jolly Dead Rebel!"Edit
New Year's Eve, 2018 AD. Killraven and his freemen, along with Mint Julep and her freewomen, fight their way through the catacombs underneath the White House, which is now the headquarters of the Martian invaders. One of the vampire bats catches Carmilla Frost off guard and almost bites her throat, but M'Shulla kills it with a precision crossbow shot. Mint Julep finds a door into the archives. Frost notes that it's New Year's Eve, but Killraven says there's little cause for celebration.
In his command post, the High Overlord receives reports from the sensor-matronics system: several humans are in the catacombs. He calls Abraxas, who is at the slave market at the Lincoln Memorial, on the vis-com system and tells him to capture Killraven. Abraxas orders Sabre to take his Cavaliers to the catacombs.
Killraven finds an audio tape labeled 4/15/72. He tosses it to Frost, who wants to use it as a streamer. Elsewhere in the catacombs, Rattack mourns the rats that Killraven killed. The freepersons exchange anecdotes at their New Year's "party," but they are rudely interrupted by Sabre, who wings Killraven in the arm. Sabre marches his captives away. Rattack and his army of rats arrive soon afterward. The rats catch the scent of Killraven's blood and trail him.
At the Lincoln Memorial, the High Overlord tells Killraven that his escape from the rats (last issue) has only inflamed the rebel cause. The High Overlord promises to carry out Killraven's death sentence. Suddenly, though, Rattack and his rats appear. Abraxas seizes Rattack. The High Overlord tries to shoot Killraven with a beam from his gauntlet, but he hits a slave instead. Killraven fights with the other slaves and turns his back on the High Overlord, who prepares to blast him. Sabre fires at the High Overlord, but the beam bounces off his chest and hits a column. "You don't think we'd give you anything that could hurt us?" sneers the High Overlord. The column, though, falls, followed by the roof above it, and the next column, and the roof above that one ....Abraxas throws Rattack aside, his flesh ripped by the suction cups of Abraxas's arms. The rats smell blood and tear Rattack to pieces. The statue of Abraham Lincoln topples and buries Abraxas. Sabre disappears. The High Overlord is buried in the rubble, but he has already started to dig himself out when the freepersons leave.
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- This story takes place in the reality Earth-691.
- Killraven's wound, caused by Sabre's "flintlock laser," would not bleed if the weapon were a true laser—the beam's heat would cauterize the wound. Presumably the name is a mistranslation from the Martian, and it is some other type of energy weapon.
- "The Painting" reprints 4 pages (pages 1, 3-5) of a 5 page story.
- This issue includes Value Stamp #58, the Mandarin.
- The letters page includes a letter purportedly from Marv Wolfman. It reads, "The latest issue of WAR OF THE WORLDS was simply INCREDIBLE. It was the very BEST issue of WAR OF THE WORLDS since Marv Wolfman's issue, though, to be truthful, I wish Marv was back on the book" (Wolfman wrote issue #20).
- The tape Killraven finds obviously has some connection to the Watergate scandal (as announced at the end of the previous issue), which unfolded between 1972 and 1974. President Nixon taped conversations in the White House. Sometime in April 1972 he probably approved the break-in at the Democratic National Committee office at the Watergate Hotel, but no tape of that conversation ever surfaced. This story seems to conjecture that this key piece of evidence (and, no doubt, others) would stay hidden in the White House basement for almost fifty years.
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