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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
UFO: Brotherhood of Evil UFO
"Brotherhood of Evil"
Countdown #88-92, October 21, 1972 - November 16, 1972
Writer: Unknown
Art: John Burns

 

An alien crash lands in the Austrian Alps on top of a very strange monastery.

 

Read the story summary at Technodelic

 

DIDJA KNOW?

 

This is a 5-part 15-page story serialized in Countdown #88-92, October 21, 1972 - November 16, 1972

 

For some reason, the first two pages of each 3-page chapter of this story are in color, with the third page in black-and-white.

 

DIDJA NOTICE?

 

The story opens in the small village of Hexheim in the Austrian Alps. The Alps are a lengthy mountain range in southern Europe. Hexheim appears to be a fictional village; translated from German, the village's name roughly translates to "Witch Home".

 

Ahnsen refers to the head monk of the monastery as Father Abbot. One of the other monks also later refers to him this way. "Abbot" is a religious title which means "father"...so they are essentially calling him Father Father!

 

Ahnsen points to a mountain and calls it the Hexberg. "Hexberg" translates from German as "Witch Mountain".

 

In the story, there is a monastery on the Hexberg. A number of monasteries do, in fact, exist in the Alps, established by Christians during the medieval period.

 

Page 2 of the story describes Skydiver's missile striking its UFO target. But it's technically not Skydiver's missile, just Sky 1's, the separated aerial component of Skydiver 1.

 

On pages 2 and 3 of the story, the abbot seems to say that the outwardly Christian monastery of Hexheim has actually been a secret house of worship of Lucifer for centuries! "Lucifer", of course, is considered by most modern Christian denominations to be the proper name of Satan before his fall from grace.

 

On page 3 of the story, the alien has a tiny crystal in his gloved hand that seemingly transforms the abbot's mind into an alien mind.

 

Page 4 of the story seems to imply that the Satanic congregation actually calls itself the Brotherhood of Evil.

 

The abbot tells the captured SHADO agent to reveal his secrets "in the name of Abaddon." Abaddon is the name of a place of destruction in the Old Testament of the Bible and also the name of a destroyer angel in the Book of Revelation of the New Testament. The abbot also later calls upon the names of Azrael and Beelzebub. Azrael is the name given to the Angel of Death in some religious folklore of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Beelzebub is generally considered another name for the Devil.

 

The abbot actually seems to have some magical powers, as he is able to use a skrying glass (crystal ball) to focus the SHADO agent's thoughts into visual images. He describes it as a method known to the ancient astrologers. It seems odd to mix magic into the more technologically-based UFO universe, but it is explained by the alien who is taking refuge at the monastery as simply psychic powers (which were shown to exist to a certain extent in episodes of the TV series).

 

Straker draws a pentacle with inscribed symbols from an old book on black magic and shows it to Foster to break him out of the Brotherhood's "spell". An internet search does not reveal this particular pentacle with symbols as necessarily a real one used in arcane magic rituals.

 

On page 11, the abbot tells his captives they will be victims at the congregation's Walpurgisnacht ceremony tonight. Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night) is the eve of St. Walpurgis' Day, a feast day observed in several European countries. St. Walpurgis was a German abbess in the 8th Century. Folklore says that witches would traditionally gather on this night to celebrate Spring. In Germany, it is similar to Halloween in the U.S. For the Brotherhood of Evil, it's obviously something more sinister!

 

The SHADO helicopter Straker, Freeman, and Foster take to Hexheim is named on its fuselage as SHADO 5.

 

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