Notes to Top Ten #4

by Jess Nevins

Revised 24 March 2002

Updates in blue.

Page 1.

Panel 2. Ronald Byrd notes that "One of the bystanders is sort of a lava lamp version of the Metal Men's foe Chemo."

Panel 3. The big grey thing in the lower right is the "Awesome Android" of the Mad Thinker, a Marvel supervillain. CleV notes the distinctive foot and tail of Nightcrawler, a Marvel hero and member of the X-Men, in the upper left of the panel. Nathan Alderman says, "The faucet-headed man may be a joke on the now-defunct 'Kitchen Sink Press,' which had a faucet logo, or a reference to 'The Human Enigma,' a background gag seen in cartoonist Steve Purcell's 'Sam & Max Hit The Road' computer game." Brian Robison says, "The female android on the far right appears to be a lean, mean shopping machine."

Panel 5. CleV points out the "Oh Shit" on Girl One's chest. Ronald Byrd adds, "Notice that a storm cloud is hanging over Monsoon, a phenomenon I don't think we see in any other story."

Page 2.

Panel 1. This scene is a reference not just to various monster movies, with Gograh seeming to be a gone-to-seed Godzilla, but also to the end of White Heat, with Gograh quoting James Cagney (from just before the oil tank on which Cagney is crouched explodes) and, I think, to the hilarious Joe Lansdale story "Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program," about a Godzilla struggling with his addiction to destroying cities. (The story can be found in High Cotton, an excellent new collection of Lansdale's short fiction)

The tankers tied to Gograh's waist are for All-Star Beer, seen in the bar in issue #1.

Ronald Byrd wonders if that is Space Ghost carved into the side of the building in the lower left.

Page 4.

Panel 1. Astrocitizen, doing yeoman's work, notes, "Girl One’s covered with the spiral designs which replace characters’ eyes in more  cartoonish anime when they’re overcome by something.  Since Girl One’s Asian, this may be intentional."

Page 9.

Panel 2. Nathan Alderman says, "'Get Mr. Fischmann back to Spielberg's prop department.' Steven Spielberg's 1975 breakthrough hit Jaws starred a tempermental and problem-plagued mechanical shark that the film's crew nicknamed 'Bruce.'"

Page 11.

Panel 2. Marcelo de Castro Bastos and Ronald Byrd note that the name of the rave joint, "Chemicals and Lightning," is a reference to the origin of the Silver Age Flash and Kid Flash of DC Comics.

Page 13.

Panel 1. The enormous bust in the background seems to be of DC's spaceman hero Adam Strange.  Ronald Byrd notes that "The figure holding up the tower seems to be Samaritan from Kurt Busiek's Astro City."

F. Peneaud wonders if the figure in the cap is Mezz Mezzrow, from Mike Baron's Nexus.

Page 15.

Panel 3. The Millie the Mover comic book is a reference to the Silver Age Marvel character "Millie the Model." Eddie03 and Adam Lytle note that the doll is Lenore, from the eponymous comic, and that you can actually buy a doll like this.

Panel 4. The Businessman comic reminds CleV of the Monty Python skit, "Bicycle Repairman," who lives in a world of superbeings. Nathan Alderman says, "'Businessman: Lo, There Shall Come An Auditor!' Spoofing Stan Lee's traditionally bombastic cover prose."

Page 16.

Panel 3. The poster on the wall is for the Clint Eastwood film Pale Rider (thanks to Nathan Alderman for correcting my error here.)

Page 17.

Panel 1. I'm sure that at least two of the pedestrians along the left are from something, but I don't know what it is.

Page 18.

Panel 1. The layout of this panel is a reference to the ad for the "Fall of the Mutants" storyline in Marvel's X-books.

Carolyn Son, among others, notes that the man with the "Xtreme Play" slogan across his chest (which I literally can't read, due to my own version of color blindness) is a reference to DC's Mr. Terrific, who has "Fair Play" written across the chest of his costume. Ronald Byrd notes one character wearing the costume of DC's Metron. A number of people pointed out that the woman saying, "Guhhh" has the costume of DC's current Star-Spangled Kid. Sir Deuce says that the woman is actually Sufferin' Till Suffrage, from Schoolhouse Rocks.

Serandel says, "This is probably a coincidence, but the penguin in the lower left seems to me like a giant version of Pingu, the main character of Pingu, a Czech? plasticine-dolls animation TV show. "

Page 19.

Panel 1. Smax is holding a woman wearing the costume of Saturn Girl, of DC's Legion of Super-Heroes.

Page 20.

Panel 1. I can't believe I forgot to include this. F. Peneaud notes the presence of Marvel's Wolverine in the advertisement. Brian Robison says, "Not only is it Marvel's Wolverine in the advertisement, but he's depicted as in the X-Men's Japan excursion in the mid-1980s. Perhaps this represents a tie-in with Gograh as a Japanese movie monster?"

Page 23.

Panel 3. The costumed woman with the bottle in her hand walking between the cars on the left of the panel is dressed like DC's Huntress (the Golden Age villain).

"Quadruple Lass," on the marquee, is a reference to Duo Damsel/Triplicate Girl (thanks to CleV for correcting my mistake here) of DC's Legion of Super-Heroes. Duo Damsel, aka Luono Taine, is from the planet Cargg and possesses the ability to split herself into two separate and identical bodies. (She originally could divide herself into three separate bodies, but one of the bodies was killed in combat by Computo)

The curly-haired poppet on the right-hand side of the panel is, I think, a miscolored Little Orphan Annie, with her dog Sandy trailing behind her.

Standing in front of Sandy and buying some undoubtedly illegal narcotic is one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Nathan Alderman says, "The cat-headed guy doing business with the Fabulous Furry Freak Brother may be Ralph Bakshi's Fritz The Cat. His jacket reads 'Ripoff Park Band' in a similar fashion to the drum on the cover of the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'"

Ronald Byrd and Rob Means note the presence of Sister Bertrille, the Flying Nun, in flight to the left of the "Sex Acts" sign. Jason Adams wonders if that is Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon under the "Sex Acts" sign.

Rob Means wonders if "The `Stretchable Sluts' marquee may be a reference to the Elongated Man's nickname, the 'Stretchable Sleuth.'" Rob also see DC's Phantom Stranger just below the Flying Nun.

Panel 4. Ronald Byrd notes the "Mike the Merciless" grafitti is a sort-of reference to Ming the Merciless.

Thanks to Jason Adams, Nathan Alderman, Astrocitizen, Marcelo de Castro Bastos, Ronald Byrd, Eddie03, Sir Deuce, CleV, Adam Lytle, Michael Norwitz, F. Peneaud, Brian Robison, Serandel, Carolyn Son.

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Notes to Issue #10
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