How I Learned to Love the Bomb
Writer : Grant Morrison
Art : David Lloyd
Cover Artist : David Lloyd
: David Lloyd
Letters : Tom Frame
: Art Young
: Karen Berger
Solicitation Text : Bomb-worshipping fanatics are about to set off nuclear missiles, while Constantine finds himself trapped in a... a disco? (sic)
Issue Synopsis : In Thursdyke's church Parson Bayliss is held down, stripped and annointed by the former nuclear bomb protestors. They dress him in robes, paint his face and place a missile-shaped crown upon his head. Reborn as Archbishop Bomb, he rises and leads his followers up to the military base...
There's panic on the streets of Thursdyke as a pair of new arrivals find their car overturned by masked freaks. From the safety of an alley, Una watches as the innocents are dragged from their car and hacked to pieces by the baying crowd. Amongst the mass orgies and brutal killings, Una spots John, his face is hidden under a Margaret Thatcher mask as he leads a merry band of psychopaths down to the canal. "Follow me!" he cries, "Mummy knows best! In your hearts you know it's right!" Realising that John intends to drown them all, Una dives out of the alley, pulls of his mask and tosses it into the canal. As the hapless followers dive in after "mummy", Una slips her walkman earphones onto John's head, somehow breaking him out of the trance.
Meanwhile, up at the military base, Archbishop Bomb and his acolytes have successfully stormed the gates, terrifying the one remaining sane guard. He panics and shoots Bomb, but the injured clergyman makes an immediate miraculous recovery. The soldier is not so lucky: he's torn apart by the Bombheads.
Deep beneath the base, Doctor Poole asks Professor Horrobin to clarify something he's just said. Horrobin mutters almost unintelligebly about awaking "the god within" before beginning a rant about the budget cuts that Poole has made. Not listening, Poole walks around to the back of the machine and realises that it's hollow. Horrobin rises from his chair, a hammer in his hand, and smashes Poole's skull in. As the brain-damaged doctor collapses in agony, Horrobin slumps into his chair and mutters to himself once again.
And throughout Thursdyke, the procession of terror continues: the local darts team, thinking that they are giant insects, nuzzle for sustenance at a dead dog's body; in the pet shop, a man systematically mutilates the bird to discover the secret of flight; children willingly part with their faces to create sticky masks for their parents; bodies hang from all the lamp-posts and blood flows through the gutters.
At a disco named Joanna's, Una comforts John, who is depressed by how easily he succumbed to the note. Una explains that certain types of rhythmical noise cancel out the sound, and that her walkman had saved her from possession. John realises that the note that he felt earlier that night had somehow opened up doors to the collective human subconscious, allowing the repressed desires and lusts of Thursdyke's population to come to the surface. John winces as he realises that his Thatcher disguise represented his need to control others, to make them believe that his way is best. He realises that Una is shaking, and asks her if she's alright. She explains that she's stopped taking her tablets, knocking her psychic abilities into top gear. Slowly picking up on the supernatural vibrations in Thursdyke, she explains that after years of abuse and mistreatment, the town has finally decided to commit suicide. As a consequence, Archbishop Bomb and his followers are planning to detonate the missile base's nuclear bombs!
Realising that there's no time to spare, Constantine darts out the back to find some transport. Luckily for him, a mobile disco van is parked outside. Una says that she has to stay with the kids in the disco, but gives John her Sonic Youth tape to ward off the possessing note. Constantine admits that he doesn't know how to drive, but hotwires the van all the same.
As John makes his way up to the base, Archbishop Bomb and his followers finally find the nuclear missiles. Bomb claims that the missiles contain holy light and orders his men to "break the glass". As the followers clamber on and begin to dismantle the missiles, Bomb wanders out onto the runway where he finds a fighter jet with payload...
Loud music thumps from megaphones atop the disco van as Constantine weaves his way clumsily toward the missile base. As the music grows closer, the hypnotised masses regain control of their minds and start to flee the missiles. John stops a young man who babbles apologies and then points him in the direction that Parson Bayliss went in. John arrives at the airfield just in time for the plane to take off.
Una is comforting the children in the disco when the lights suddenly go out. The doors of open and a group of masked lunatics enter. They drag Una out to a car in the street, where they will burn her as an offering to the god of dawn. However, their their "god" has arrived early: Archbishop Bomb points the nose of the missile-laden jet plane down towards the expectant crowd. The group cheer as they, the street they are stood on, and everything within a mile radius, are consumed by the burning light.
The morning sun rises on what used to be Thursdyke. News crews attribute the damage to "radical anti-nuclear groups", whilst rescue crews pick through the rubble and ash. John turns away and walks on into the pale dawn.
Issue synopsis written by James Wilkinson