- Not a slave. I am free...free...
- -- Killraven
Appearing in "John"
- Killraven (First appearance)
- Freemen (First appearance)
- John (First appearance)
- Martians (First appearance)
- Martian Hunter-Slaves (First appearance)
- Warlord (Only appearance; dies)
- Mint Julep (First appearance)
- Marvo (First appearance)
- Koko (First appearance)
- Martian tripods
- Rocket-powered bullet train
Synopsis for "John"
In the ruins of New York City, near 5th Avenue, a young boy, John, and his mother forage for food in the ruins of a grocery store, but flee when they hear a loud noise outside. Running, they see Martian tripod war machines razing the area with heat rays. Hiding, they see through binoculars that the Martians' facility by the river is on fire. Running, John's mother sees that they are being pursued by Martian Hunter-Slaves. John's mom shoots at them with a handgun, but they return fire and greivously injure her. She tells John to run, but he refuses to leave her. As she begs for their lives, the hunters decide that John will be worth a bonus from their keeper, but that his mother is too old to be of value and their leader kills her. Before the leader can do anything else, he's hit between the eyes with a shuriken-like weapon.
The hunters are attacked by Killraven and his Freemen, who soon slay them all. Most of the Freemen are confused about John crying, but Old Skull knows he is crying over his mother - he is the only one old enough to rememeber everyone having mothers. When Hawk asks Killraven why he'd risk himself to save the boy, Killraven remembers his own mother's death under similar circumstances. Killraven asks John if he has any people, and John says his "Gramps" lives nearby.
John takes them to the underground bunker where Gramps lives, now the only survivor apart from John out of seven hundred who used to live there. Gramps confronts the Freemen at first with a gun, and they panic when they see him, thinking his skin is splitting - they have never seen someone old and wrinkled before. When Gramps hears Killraven's name, he is impressed, having heard of his victories against the Martians via radio equipment. Realizing the Freemen's ignorance of the history of the Martian invasion, Gramps shows them historical footage showing the history of the conflict. As it draws to an end, they hear the sound of energy weapons outside. More of the Keeper's hunters invade the bunker, led by the Warlord.
The Freemen attack, and Killraven kills the Warlord with his sword, before the rest of the hunters retreat. The Martians' poisonous black vapor starts to flow into the bunker, and the Freemen look for an escape route. Gramps shows them one - a rocket-powered bullet train that can have them out of the city in seconds. Gramps makes Killraven promise to raise and protect John, as he needs to remain behind to activate the escape mechanism manually. Killraven agrees, but just as they are about to leave, a Martian tripod enters, but Killraven realizes it's unshielded and destroys it. As more tripods enter, Gramps activates the train and the Freemen and John escape. As the tripods target Gramps, he activates a self-destruct mechanism, and blows up most of the city's remains.
Outside the remains of the city, the Freemen watch the destruction, and John cries about his mother and Gramps. Hawk tries to strike him, sick of him snivelling, but Killraven blocks him, saying that he must go up against him if he raises a hand to John. As Hawk continues to complain, he's interrupted by a female voice - they are confronted by the bounty hunter Mint Julep and her army, who says they're her prisoners. As the Freemen start to resist, the bounty hunters open fire...
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