by Jess Nevins
Revised 24 March 2002
Updates in blue.
Panel 3. The woman on the right might be DC's Granny Goodness, a "New God" and vicious harridan. Jason Adams thinks it is Forager of the New Gods.
Panel 4. Ronald Byrd points out that the man on the far left is wearing a green version of the costume of DC's Shade the Changing Man.
Panel 3. Nathan Alderman says, "'Li's voice was all black and yellow.' Like hazard signs, police tape, or radiation symbols."
Panel 2. The Sanjak, or Sanjaq, ceremony, involves the worship of a bronze or iron figure of a peacock. This is part of the Yazidi/Yezidi faith, Melek Taus (the Yazidi supreme being) being the "Peacock Angel." For a little more information on the Sanjaq you can read this article and also this article (under the "Peacock Angel" section).
Panel 1. The DC hero the Green Lantern is empowered by his wonder-working "Power Ring," which is what the marquee sign here refers to. Visible on the edge of the building, just below the "Open the damn door" word balloon, is one of Green Lantern's power lanterns.
Jason Adams notes the presence of Star Sapphire, one of Green Lantern's enemies, standing next to the door.
I see one of the cameras droids (“Punch the nose!”) from Phantom Menace along the street and someone who looks like Princess Projectra flying overhead. “Junior League of America Pres--” could be a reference to the Junior Justice Society, a sort of company-driven fan club for the JSA back during the ‘40s. The grafitti mentions Foxbat, a character from the Champions RPG and comic book series.
Panel 9. Those of you not up on your space race history might not know what the photo of Lex and Tanya means or indicates. In the late 1950s and early 1960s primates were launched into space on "manned" flights to test for safety, among other things. (This site has some information on this). Both the Soviets and the Americans sent primates into space. Lex and Tanya (seen here wearing historically authentic costumes) were clearly part of this (Lex's nickname, the "Cosmonaut," being Russian for "Astronaut") and both most likely ran into something during one trip, something which gave them shared telepathy.
Panel 3. CleV says, "Now there's a fuzzy dalmatian-spotted member of Fabulous 5 - doesn't that make 6? (Well, as Smax said, they probably can't count.)"
Panel 1. "Fortress of Pizza" is a reference to Superman's Fortress of Solitude, his Arctic headquarters. Ronald Byrd points out that it has a arrow emblem on the wall, similar to the arrow-shaped keyhole in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Brian Robison says, "The arrow on the "Fortress of Pizza" isn't an emblem, but an arrow-shaped opening in the wall. (If it were a two-dimensional representation of a giant arrow-shaped keyhole, it would be one executed with perfect trompe-l'oeil perspective...alas, on the 2-D comics page, one may never know for sure.)"
The "Rollex Signal Watches" is a reference to Signal Watch that Superman's teen sidekick, Jimmy Olsen, traditionally used to summon him.
The Sidekix are a made-up band, but we will see more of them, or at least the lead singer. Nathan Alderman says, of the Sidekix, that they "resemble the Silver Age Teen Titans: Wonder Girl (though this one's a guy), Speedy, Aqualad and Robin. The Sidekix are drawn in Rob Liefeld's distinctive 'crosshatch and grimace' style."
"Same spam time, same spam channel" is a riff on the "Same Bat time, same Bat channel" end line of the 1960s Batman tv show.
Ronald Byrd points out that one of the signs reads "Multi-Medea," a reference to the Greek sorceress.
Panel 2. The figure on the left side of the billboard advertisement for hairstyling conditioner is of course Marvel's character Wolverine (of the X-Men), whose hair is upswept in much the manner seen here, and which would not achieve that shape naturally without something very much like Not-8 Conditioner. Brian Robison says, "Judging from the oval shape of the 'O's in the word 'conditioner,' the brand name isn't 'Not-8,' but more likely 'Mut-8' (which makes more sense for one of the X-Men)."
Panel 4. Nathan Alderman, among others, points out that 'bastard' is spelled out on Girl One's back.
Panel 3. "Red K" cola is a reference to red kryptonite, the variety of kryptonite which produces random changes in a Kryptonian. What Red K Cola might do to a resident of Neopolis, we can only guess.
Panel 1. The evidence/property room of Top Ten seems to contain, moving from left to right:
`Uncle Gojira' is a reference to the original name of Godzilla, a giant reptile who started out as humanity's enemy and later became its protector. Clearly Ernesto sees this as an act of betrayal. Among Godzilla's enemies, there was indeed a Smog Monster, as Ernesto says, Hedorah.Jason Adams points out that Rorschach and a very out-of-shape Night Owl, from Alan Moore's Watchmen, in the cells. Serandel follows up to this by pointing out the presence of Dr. Manhattan, also from Watchmen, in the cell above Night Owl.
Panel 3. The character on the far right is visually very similar to the Jack Kirby character OMAC, the "One Man Army Corps." The eye in his hands might be a reference to "Brother Eye," the satellite who acted as OMAC's power source and friend. Or it might be a reference to the super-powerful Eye of the Emerald Empress of Venegar, a villainess and member of the Fatal Five, a team who opposed the Legion of Super-Heroes on a number of occasions.
Panel 1. Jason Adams points out that this panel has the first appearance of the Cyclone Kids, seen later in issue #8.
Panel 1. Nathan Alderman says, "The latest victim of the Ghostly Goose is dressed like a Wright Brother, with wings resembling those of the Brothers' first airplane. Could her name be Kitty Hawk?" (Kitty Hawk, North Carolina was where the Wright Brothers first took flight.)
Panel 1. Ronald Byrd points out what I should have gotten the first time around: that "Granny Goodwrench" bears a marked resemblance to DC's Granny Goodness. Nathan Alderman says that at some point in one of the Top Ten letters pages a writer notes that this panel is an homage to Moore's "D.R. and Quinch" series in 2000 A.D.
Thanks to Jason Adams, Nathan Alderman, Astrocitizen, Ronald Byrd, Clev, Rob Means, Brian Robison, Serandel.
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
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