Notes to Top Ten #10

by Jess Nevins

Revised 29 October 2001

Updates in blue.

Page 1

Panel 1. The two kid gangs fighting are the Boy Commandos and the Newsboy Legion, both kid gangs created during the 1940s for DC Comics by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

On the front of a building in the lower left are the words "Dream's Older," which is a reference to "Dream's Older Sister" (i.e., Death) in the DC series Sandman.

Panel 2. Heather Kamp, among others, points out that the two kids here are Jan and Jayce, from Space Ghost. Ronald Byrd points out that G-Whiz's appearance is based on the Flash's, in Kingdom Come. Astrocitizen says

I think “G” Whiz is an amalgamation of two obscure Golden Age super- speedsters: The Whizzer and Johnny Quick, not just in name construction, but also the references to the Whizzer’s mongoose blood origin, and Johnny Quick’s trademark “multiple person” after image effect, done excellently with the pizza delivery boy from earlier in the series.
Panel 4. On the left, enjoying some poppers, are Apollo and the Midnighter, from Wildstorm's The Authority. In the middle of the panel, dancing, are Josie and the Pussycats, from the self-titled cartoon series. In mid-air is Captain Caveman, from the eponymous cartoon show. To G-Whiz's right is Frostbite from Wildstorm's DV8. On the far right is the Marvel hero Northstar; Clev and Rob Means note that he seems to be chatting with Element Lad, from DC's Legion of Superheroes. (The joke in this panel is that several of these characters are either gay, in continuity, or have long been rumored to be gay)

Heather Kamp and Ronald Byrd point out that the singer is Marvel's Dazzler, who debuted as a disco singer. Ronald also notes that the woman on the stage next to her is the White Queen, a Marvel villain.

Rob Means adds, "Note the lyrics in the bar scene:  they reflect the identification of mutation with homosexuality that was a major theme of Chris Claremont's X-Men."

Page 2.

Of the pixies I think the only two who are meant to be recognizable are DC's 'Mazing Man (lower left) and (perhaps) Death, from DC's Sandman. Ronald Byrd points out that the devil with the pitchfork resembles Harvey's Hot Stuff and that the "ram-headed pixie might represent Quark, Longshot's partner from his miniseries." Dan Nitzani says, "The pixie in the cowboy hat may be a Bamph from the Dave Cockrum Nightcrawler limited series from the early 80's." Astrocitizen says, "There’s three more that seem familar: The Wasp, Golden Age Mr. Mxyzptlk (with the  moustache and cane), and I think the creature to the left of him is the Smee, the assassin creature from Promethea #1."

Page 3.

Panel 1. Dan Nitzani says, "I'd be willing to bet that the female pixie just to the right of Toybox is Amythest, Princess of Gemworld." Sir Deuce adds that the talking pixie is Marvel's Mephisto.

Panel 2. The pixie in the upper left looks like DC's demonic Etrigan.

The pixies obviously repeat nonsense rhymes based on the last word said. The Etrigan pixie, however, has merged two famous palindromes--"Madam, I'm Adam" and "A man, a plan, a canal--Panama" into one long palindrome.

Panel 3. The pixie in the middle of the panel looks like DC's plant villain Jason Woodrue. Sir Deuce notes that the pixie in the far left is Marvel's Dragon Man.

Panel 4. John Dorrian cleared up my confusion by noting that the pixie speaking here is Szasz, the pixie who bedevilled Supreme during Alan Moore's run on that title. The pixie on the right looks like the DC supervillain Eclipso.

Panel 5. Martin says that the pixie here reminds him of a Smurf because of the pants.

Page 4.

Panel 1. Gene Ha identifies the character in the mural's far right as Colonel Lilliput, Robyn Slinger's father.

Panel 2. Jason Adams says, "It's more readable later on, but Kemlo's t-shirt says "Ghost Dog/Way of the Samurai" which is an excellent film by Jim Jarmusch."

Page 5.

Panel 1. The clerk here is similar in looks and dress (except for the backwards-worn baseball cap, of course) to Shakespeare. He has appeared several times before.

Panel 2. Note the pixie's words. (Sir Deuce rightfully points out that this pixie is DC's Amazo) The first word he says, which in previous panels has been the last word said by someone else, is "catamite," which means, roughly, a boy kept by an older man for sex. So Smax, who obviously is irritated with the pixies, has (between panels) called one of the pixies a catamite.

Panel 3. The pixie in the upper right looks somewhat like DC's trickster character Ambush Bug. Rob Means sees another pixie as being Marvel's Nightcrawler.

Panel 5. "G.O.J.O. Real American Coffee" is a reference to the comic book version of G.I. Joe, whose battle cry was "Go, Joe" and who was presented as a "real American hero" (thanks to Ronald Byrd for correcting my mistake here).

Page 6.

Panel 4. Jason Adams says, "I can't identify the other three people with Ultima, but the man on the right holding a fiddle is probably supposed to be Roman emperor Nero." Sir Deuce says, "could the lizard being be an homage to Fantasia's "Dance of the Hours" segment's alligators?"

Page 8.

Panel 1. Ronald Byrd points out that the character on the far left may be DC's Kilowog. CleV says,

The character on the far left may also be one of the full sized dragons from Excalibur's Cross-Time Caper.  On the other side of
the pool could be the Gnome from some obscure issue of Super Friends I was just reading ...  Behind him is Rocket Red something, one of the early JLI-ers.
The character in the lower right hand corner, the eyeball-headed guy, is one of the Residents, that most mysterious of bands, here likely fresh from their appearances in Matt Howarth's Savage Henry.

Martin says, "that's Rocket Red Seven to the right of the pool with a star on his chest...and next to him is either Scarecrow or one of Hugo Strange's monstrous mental patients from a veeery early Batman."

Page 9.

Panel 1. I thought I'd already mentioned this, but apparently not. Ronald Byrd points out that the mural is done in the style of Jack "the King" Kirby, hence Ultima's comment that the mural "is a King."

Page 11.

Panel 2. Brenda Clough says, "Ultima tells Synaesthesia that her perfume is called "Joy."  This is a real perfume, a very expensive one by Jean Patou.  The slightly cheaper formats of expensive perfumes are "eau de" whatever, and so there is a version called "Eau de Joy."  And back in #3, page 15, Syn hums the melody she remembers for Alexei, who identifies it as Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."  Obviously her synaesthesia is punny!"

Panel 3. Ronald Byrd points out that Kemlo is eating out of a dog dish, but that he's using a utensil. Adam Lytle says, "To the right of the cafeteria counter, there seems to be some sort of beverage dispenser that Irma is using. The sign on the dispenser says: "Simbiote -- We're a good part of your life." and the words seem to be written over what appears to be a graphic representation of Venom, the Spider-Man villain's face."

Panel 5. Sir Deuce says, "Ultima's  bolts look like the old Eclipse Comics logo."

Thanks to: Jason Adams, Astrocitizen, Ronald Byrd, Brenda Clough, "Sir Deuce," John Dorrian, David Goldfarb, Gene Ha, Heather Kamp, Karfan, Todd Kogut, Adam Lytle, Martin, Dan Nitzani, Mike Schiffer, tphile, CleV.

E-mail me

Notes to Issue #1
Notes to Issue #2
Notes to Issue #3
Notes to Issue #4
Notes to Issue #5
Notes to Issue #6
Notes to Issue #7
Notes to Issue #8
Notes to Issue #9
Notes to Issue #10
Notes to Issue #11
Notes to Issue #12
Notes to Deadfellas
Top Ten Who's Who

Back to my Comic Book Annotations