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Saga of the Victims - The Final(?) Stanza.

Saga of the Victims - The Final Chapter! or Still One Damn Thing After Another! The (almost) Finale!

At the end of the previous issue Anne and Josie were about to be sucked into a whirlpool when a giant tentacle snatched them from the vortex. After the pterodactyls that shouldn't have surprised them too much. Anyway they get dragged down to the mouth but instead of a cephalod's stomach they find themselves inside a submarine commanded by a midget nazi. The pint-sized Nemo claims that just before the end of the Second World War the Third Reich was experimenting with a new kind of U-boat. Once Germany fell he fled with the prototype and he's been raising hell on the high seas ever since. But as it's been getting kind of lonely he's looking for some female company. Asked what's to stop them from overpowering him and taking control of the Mechasquid he tells them he's the only one who knows how to pilot it so that's not likely. Requesting a night to think it over the girls decide to play along as this is the closest thing to a safe haven they've found. They'll watch him until they know how to run the Squid then take control. With that they manage to catch up their sleep (having been fed shortly after arrival) intending to start learning mollusc piloting in the morning. They wind up making their move a lot sooner than they had intended when the Captain pulls into an African Bay and begins sinking native dugouts. They conk him easily but none of the controls respond and they have to abandon ship. Pulled from the water by the natives and uncertain if they've been rescued or captured again they are taken to the village by the silent tribesmen. The natives seem to be from some isolated area as they're acting like they've never seen a white before. An illusion shattered by their giant Warlord who both speaks English and is a graduate of Harvard. Having majored in psychology he returned to Africa and used his knowledge to assume control of this hidden village of cannibals. In other words Anne and Josie just stepped in it again.

While the fourth issue ends with the girls facing death at the hands of the Warlord the fifth issue begins back in New York at the school where all this madness kicked off. Two people (one unseen, one with a human silhouette) are talking about the girls and their unexpected inward strength. The one in charge announces the girls are about to hit the breaking point but if they will shatter is uncertain. Back in Africa Anne seems to have lost it as she challenges the Warlord to stop talking about killing them and do it!

At which point reality truly collapses and they find themselves in a desert with a sandstorm bearing down on them and absolutely no shelter. Yet when the storm has passed while they've suffered greatly ...

The tormentor seems to be pulling out all the stops as they find themselves surrounded by hundreds of snakes. Knowing the snakes can't kill them, only hurt them, they start stomping on them. Which must have upset someone as the ground gave way beneath them and dumped them in boiling water.

Escaping that they find themselves in a cave full of marching undead nazis who lack the zombie pirates gift for speech. Escaping that through collapsing into near catatonia they find the cave filling with sand.

The alien craft transports them back to Manhatten in seconds and dives into Scollard Manse, their school, where it comes to a dead stop. At which point the whole building blasts off into outer space and the issue ends with a promise that all questions will be answered in the final episode. However, as mentioned on the first page, the sixth chapter was never published. If it was ever even written during the first run of this story back in the Seventies let alone drawn is unknown. Only Alan Hewetson and Suso (respectively the writer and artist) could tell us. So what did it all mean? With no definite answers each reader has to come up with his own theory. My personal interpretation is the reason reality got so flexible is that none of it ever happened outside of the girls minds. They were drugged into a state of hypnotic suggestibility and fed nightmares for some sort of brainwashing experiment. Probably a Manchurian Candidate style scenario intended to get perfect spies next to their UN involved fathers. Another theory is that the aliens at the end were the ones running the show as some sort of experiment on how much torment it took to break a human being. Or how much improbability you could pile on before a human's sense of reality collapsed. It's also possible that the aliens were a red herring and the real power behind this was some supernatural force that could manipulate reality. Maybe it fed on fear and gorged if it could break a human's will. You could make a case for all three scenarios and a few others from the evidence in the comic. As for the final declaration that "You have lost!" I can only assume that since they have failed to break whatever was behind it has no further use for them so they've both become expendable. If they would have evaded that fate I have no idea but let's all hope things worked out for the best. Anyway you look at it in the words of Porky Pig, "That's All Folks!"

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