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Comic Book / La Guerra de los Antartes

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Take that, Evita! You never declared war against an alien invasion!

Cor-du-ra te-rres-tre, mag-na-mi-ni-dad an-tar-te. Cor-du-ra te-rres-tre, mag-na-mi-ni-dad an-tar-te.
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La guerra de los Antartes is an Argentine comic book made in the 1970s by Héctor Germán Oesteheld and Gustavo Trigo. Oesterheld wrote it when he was working at the "Noticias" magazine, a propaganda outlet of the Montoneros terrorist group (and with no relation with the modern "Noticias" magazine, published by Perfil).

The action began at the Argentine antarctica, where a base was overrun by unknown forces. It soon becomes clear that they were dealing with an alien invasion. The few soldiers present were incapable to stop the OVNI, who buried itself in the Antartica and created a massive headquarters. All the countries in the world joined forces to attack the aliens, to no avail. Then the aliens made a threat: Earth must surrender, or else Dallas (United States) and Smolensk (Soviet Union) will be destroyed. The armies movilized to protect both cities, but they were destroyed anyway, by unknown means. The aliens made a new threat: Earth must surrender, or else Chicago and Boston (United States) Krakov and Leningrad (Soviet Union) will be destroyed. Earth surrenders. The world leaders meet the alien leader at Stonehenge, who gives them the ultimatum: Earth must give South America to the aliens, and there shall be peace. The United States and the Soviet Union agree; as the Antartes had agreed to mantain their status as world powers. Zaire proposes an alternative action to destroy the aliens, but the Americans nuke their country, to prevent it.

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The people in Argentina heads to Plaza de Mayo, to find out what will happen now; and the aliens show up above Casa Rosada. They try to convince the counsels to rule on their behalf, but they refuse, and manage to kill them. The president, the "Grone" Andrada, gives a last order: "War to the Antartes!". The other aliens, still in the ship, kill him right there, at the balcony of the Casa Rosada, and start a killing spree.

The story was not finished: In the real world, "Noticias" was closed by decree of president María Estela Martínez de Perón, and the police overran the staff. Most people who had the old "Noticias" magazines got rid of them, to avoid the risk of being considered tied to the terrorist Montoneros. For many years, the comic book was lost, until Colihue managed to republish it.

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Tropes:

  • Alien Invasion: A recurring theme in Oesterheld's works.
  • Alternate History / Writer on Board
    • The invaded country is not the "real" Argentina, it is an Argentina where the Montoneros had successfully "liberated" the country and established a socialist utopia (of course, there has been no president named "Andrada" in Argentina, nor a ruling socialist Council). And, as said, Oesterheld was a member of Montoneros back then.
    • The "Grone" Andrada is an expy of Juan Perón... or, more precisely, an expy of Perón as imagined by the Montoneros, rather than the actual Perón. Montoneros thought that when Perón returned from his exile he would lead the country to a socialist utopia and promote them to formal military ranks. Rather than that, he supported the right-wing faction of Peronism instead, and created an anti-terrorist group (the AAA) to destroy them. Still, Montoneros still deluded themselves in that Perón was their natural leader, and that his ministers were manipulating him.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The aliens are initially named "Antartes" because their base is at the antarctica. When they appear, they called themselves "antartes" with no clear explanation.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The United States and The Soviet Union. Then again, remember who wrote this...
  • Boring, but Practical: The antartes can discover the resistance leaders and fry their brains with some unknown tech. The resistance discovered that they can block those things by wearing aluminium on their heads. But the antartes discovered the resistance at the workshop anyway. Not because of any alien technology: because their neighbours denounced them.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Exploited by the resistance. The aliens have some weird tech that, somehow, melts the brains of those who plot against them. When they start to fall victim to it, one of them ordered to stop thinking about the aliens, to think about something else, anything... and took some porn magazines lying around. "Think about THIS!!!"
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The aliens took control of all radios and TV stations. You could not find a single one that was not repeating their omnious Cor-du-ra te-rres-tre, mag-na-mi-ni-dad an-tar-te. Cor-du-ra te-rres-tre, mag-na-mi-ni-dad an-tar-te.
  • Great Offscreen War: There are several mentions to a US invasion attempt of Argentina, which was repealled by Andrada and the Council. There was even a "New 17".
  • Hotline: When the alien invasion became evident, the hot lines between the presidents of all countries started to be used full-time.
  • Kryptonite Factor: The shields of the aliens do not work inside buildings.
  • Last Stand: President Andrada's last speech, at the balcony of the Casa Rosada (yes, the same one used by Evita), was a declaration of war. The aliens killed him right there.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The world leaders are completely incapable to do anything against the aliens, and even agreed to give up South America to be spared.
  • Nuke 'em: The international reaction when the alien invasion became public. As guns are useless, all the atomic bombs in the world were aimed to the Antarte star at the same time... and nothing happened.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: At one point, a member of the government tried to tell himself that things were not so terrible, that Argentina already had puppet governments that obeyed what the world powers instructed (Rivadavia, Mitre, Justo, Onganía, Lanusse). Then again, remember who wrote this...
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The aliens speak punctuating every sylabe of every word.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: Oesterheld could not finish this story, but Italian authors tried to make a little homage by providing proposed endings for the story.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The guy in Antartica, talking with the radio to the base as he approached the base overrun by aliens, joked that he would prefer to be fishing in Tigre. Base control reminded him that his reports were being sent directly to the President of Argentina... and the United States, the Soviet Union, London, France, etc. An alien invasion is serious stuff!
  • Shooting Superman: Subverted. The aliens have shields that protect them from mundane gunfire. When Andrada declared war on the Antartes, the Council members all took out their guns and fired against the aliens at Casa Rosada. They fully knew that it would be useless, that the only purpose of their attack would be to go down fighting... and then, unexpectedly, the aliens WERE killed: it seems that their force field is useless inside walls.
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