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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"The Love That Hath No Name"
The Phantom Double Shot: KGB Noir #3
Written by Earl Mac Rauch
Illustrated by Dennis Chacon
Cover by Dennis Calero


An intern leaves the Institute to escape from the telepathic emanations of a baby alien held captive there.


Story Summary


A young woman named Brandy at the Banzai Institute West awakens from a dream about an unknown planet. She contacts Buckaroo and tells him she has to leave; she can no longer take the telepathic contact with the alien baby being held and studied there.


As she packs, the alien communicates telepathically with her, begging her to help it/them and not to leave. But she does. Mrs. Johnson drops her off at the nearest bus station. There, she is approached by a group of Russian tourists asking directions, who turn out to be KGB agents who kidnap her.


The alien being held at the Institute senses her trouble and, in its fury, grows to larger and larger proportions, breaking free of its acidic containment vessel and the Institute, heading out into the desert. It follows Brandy's thought path to where the agents' vehicle has broken down with a flat tire on the highway. The creature strikes and destroys the vehicle while the agents are held at gunpoint by the quickly arriving Buckaroo and the Cavaliers.


The creature hugs Brandy and tells the humans to kill it now, for it can not live much longer outside of its acidic tank and Perfect Tommy ends its life.




Didja Know?


The title of the story is possibly a play on the phrase "the love that dare not speak its name", originally derived from the 1894 poem, "Two Loves" by Lord Alfred Douglas and interpreted as a euphemism for homosexuality. Here, the love is between an alien and a human.



Didja Notice?


The tank-top Brandy wears sports what appears to be a stylized version of the Japanese symbol of the Land of the Rising Sun.


On page 2 of the story, Buckaroo remarks that the NSA asked the Institute's exobiology team to examine the alien baby currently held captive there. NSA stands for the National Security Agency, a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Defense Department.


When Brandy is asked the way to Tucson on page 4, she responds that it is south. This tells us that Complex 88 (or the Banzai Institute West) is located somewhere to the north of Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is a city of half-a-million people in southern Arizona, only 60 miles north of the Mexico border.


On page 4, the Russians offer Brandy a ride in their Plymouth Brougham. "Brougham" is a term describing a sedan body-style vehicle, usually meant to denote the more luxurious versions of an automobile model. Plymouth made a few different Broughams for various model vehicles from 1960-1976. I'm not sure what Plymouth model it is we see them driving here.


At the end of the story, the Russians reveal they are part of the KGB, the national security agency of the Soviet Union. This would seem to suggest that this story takes place before 1992 since the KGB ended with the fall of the Soviet Union in November 1991. 


The KGB badge held up by the agent on the last page of the story is a reasonable approximation of the actual emblem that was used by the KGB.


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