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The official Olympics comic strip is marred by the monstrosity of Wenlock and Mandeville

If you like stories with strange alien creatures and a violent subtext, have I got the strip for you!

New Statesman
The most distressing scene from the comic. Image: The Beano

This week's edition of the Beano contains the first of the continuing adventures of Wenlock and Mandeville, the Olympics and Paralympics mascots who are also horrifying monstrosities straight out of a fever dream.

The comic, a speedy little one-page affair, features the pair going for a swim, an act which should be impossible given their seemingly metallic composition and stubby psuedo-legs.

The plot itself involves Wenlock – the orange one with an eye which is permanently set into a frown, thus making him look like an alien overlord setting out to conquer the earth even when he does happy-seeming things like jumping and high-fiving – learning how to swim. While the character's spoken language reveals a happy pair of childish things mucking around in the water, the subtext hints at a far more disturbing plot involving attempted murder.

Mandeville encourages Wenlock – who has clearly communicatied his/her/its discomfort at the idea of leaving the relative safety of the poolside – into the centre of the pool with the promise of an inflatable ring. Just as Wenlock leaves his/her/its comfort zone, Mandeville cruelly removes the stopper of the ring, an act that will almost certainly lead to the death of Wenlock, assuming that the one-eyed organism breathes air, which is frankly not an obvious conclusion at all.

Somehow – and perhaps this is an innate ability of whatever the two mascots are supposed to be – the near-death experience teaches Wenlock how to swim, and also makes him/her/it scream "I love swimming!" in what is surely some ghastly attempt to appease his/her/its captor.

If you want to read the full heartwarming tale, fun for all the family, it can be downloaded from the Beano's website.

Update: As a commenter points out, Wenlock and Mandeville have actually been terrifying children for a year now, with this strip being published in August 2011.