Notes to Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #2

by Jess Nevins

The text here, except where otherwise credited, is © copyright 2005 Jess Nevins, and may not be duplicated, in part or in whole, without my permission.

Page 1. Panel 3. “Kent Clarkson” is a reference to Clark Kent, the civilian identity of Superman. Paul Di Filippo (hereafter PDF) points out that the newspaper is The Diurnal Wanderer, which translates to "The Daily Planet," the newspaper which Clark Kent writes for.

Page 2. Panel 2. “Space-Starfish” is a reference to Starro, the enemy of DC’s Justice League of America.

Panel 3. "Ulrich von Bek" is a reference to Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion Ulrich von Bek. The "Steel Tsar" is a Michael Moorcock novel. Presumably "Count Destino" and "Madame Typhoid" are also Moorcock characters.

The person in the picture is the Red Skull, the villainous Nazi arch-enemy of Captain America.

Page 3. “Bugs Siegel” is a reference to gangster Bugsy Siegel.

PDF describes Sean Cindercott as looking like "an evil Tin Man of Oz."

Page 4. Panel 1. On the left is the Nautilus, the submarine piloted by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island and in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series.

In the foreground is a stormtrooper, from Star Wars, holding up a Bith and a Mon Calamari.

Panel 2. Contrary to what I thought, that is not Marvel’s Namora swimming, but (per PDF) Mera, Aquaman's wife.

“Yewá" is an orisha, or spirit, of death and the graveyard, in the Yoruba religion.

Panel 3. Piloting the ship is Grant Morrison's Seaguy.

Panel 4. On the left are Elzie Segar’s Popeye and Bluto and Marvel’s Namor the Sub-Mariner.

“Venusian Fireworms” may be a reference to Mister Mind, the alien worm who plagued Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel Adventures #22-46 (1943-1945).

“Blue Beetles” is a reference to Steve Ditko's Blue Beetle.

"Captain Dough" is a reference to Chris Mars' "Pale Captain Dough's Angling Dismay."

Page 5. Panel 1. In the top center of the panel can be seen Spongebob Squarepants

Mounted on the wall is the head of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Per PDF the poster on the wall is that of Namorita.

The face on the poster on the desk is that of Captain McAllister from the Simpsons.

The “Cthulhu Nymphs” are a reference to the aquatic alien god Cthluhu, from H.P. Lovecraft’s comedy stories.

Panel 2. I don't know who or what "Captain Columbia" is.

Page 6. Panel 1. The woman is Will Eisner’s Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. The boy in the middle is not Lo-Zar, as I thought, but (per PDF) Jack Kirby's Kamandi. The man on the right is Marvel’s Ka-Zar.

Panel 4. “Yggdrasil,” in Norse mythology, is the World Tree.

In the lower right of the panel are tubes similar to those used in hamster and gerbil cages.

Page 7. Panel 1. To the left of Sheena is The Man In the Yellow Hat and Curious George.

“Collossus [sic] Has Storms” is a pun: S.T.O.R.M.S., in the world of Top 10, is an A.I.D.S.-like disease, but Storm is a female member of the X-Men, and Colossus is a male member.

Flying above Ka-Zar and sabretooth tiger Zabu is Underdog.

Panel 3. “Wile “E” Coyote” is a reference to the coyote continually victimized by the wicked roadrunner in the Warner Brothers cartoons.

Panel 4. The crow is Frank Tashlin's Crawford Crow.

Panel 5. “Squirrel, Rocket J.” is the full name of Rocky Squirrel, life partner of Bullwinkle J. Moose, of the Jay Ward and Alex Anderson cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Page 8. Panel 3. It is fitting that the “Hypnotists, Illusionists, Teleprojectors, Hallucinogenicists, Ectoplasm-Renderers” Union (a.k.a. Hither) is on “Maya Boulevard;” in the Hindu faith “Maya” stands for the illusion of the world.

Panel 5. The ghosts floating and walking through the frame may be a reference to the ghosts of Krypton imprisoned in the Phantom Zone in Superman comics.

Playing cards are Mr. Bones, the Golden Age Thinker, and the Ultra-Humanite, all from DC Comics.

Page 9. Panel 1. Oof. I should have got this. PDF points out that the receptionist is Princess Projectra, from DC's Legion of Super-Heroes.

The sperm-shaped ghost may be Slimer, from the Ghostbusters cartoons.

Panel 2. In the lower left may be the ghosts of Abel and Cain, of DC Comics (most notably from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics).

Panel 6. This is Doctor Psycho (the “Doctor P” mentioned on Page 8, Panel 1), the mind-controlling enemy of Wonder Woman.  He is drinking Duff Beer, the favored brew of Homer Simpson. One of the porn mags he is reading, Big-Butt Babes, features Jack Kirby's Big Barda.

Page 11. Panel 2. Swinging overhead is Spider-Man. Flying below him is the Blue Beetle's Beetle Ship. Flying below the Beetle Ship is Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's The Fly. PDF points out that below the Fly is Herbie the Love Bug, from the Disney movies.

The street sign reads “Perdido,” a reference to China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station.

On the sidewalk on the left are Z and Weaver from Antz and Atta from A Bug's Life. In front of them is DC’s Ambush Bug.

In the panel foreground are Marvel’s Mantis, Marvel's Wasp, Jack Kirby's Mantis, Jack Kirby's Forager, the Archie Comics Fly, and Flik from A Bug's LIfe.

Panel 3. The bug-headed woman is a Khepri from Perdido Street Station.

Behind and to her right is The Tick.

Page 12. Panel 4. I can't help but think that the comments about "Bugtown" here are also a reference to Matt Howarth's Bugtown

Page 13. Panel 1. PDF points out the presence, in the flames, of Marvel's Mephisto.

Page 15. Panel 1. PDF says, "The poster features a sexy female chrome robot like those of Japanese artist Soroyama."

“Selenia” is a pun, combining the mineral “selenium” with a reference to Tejano singer Selena.

One of the posters features C3P0 and R2D2, from Star Wars, singing “Ode to a Death Star.”

Panel 2. PDF notes that Chase Craig and Russ Manning's Magnus, Robot Fighter, Maria from Metropolis, and a Squiddie from The Matrix are present in this panel. 

Panel 3. PDF notes that David the Boy Robot and Gigolo Joe, both from A.I, are present here.

Panel 4 The "Los Hermanos Hernandez" sign is a reference to Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez.

Walking on the sidewalk is the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.

Panel 6. The female android is Platinum of Robert Kanigher's Metal Men.

Page 16. Panel 3. PDF notes that El Tigre "looks like a metal version of the head bandito from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

Panel 4. The poster in the background is a reference to the iconic poster for the Al Pacino Scarface.

Page 17. Panel 1. “RexCorp” is a reference to “LexCorp,” the company owned by DC’s Lex Luthor.

Panel 2. The guards for the RexCorp speaker are DC’s Deathstroke, unknown, DC’s Deadshot, unknown, Marvel’s Deadpool, and Marvel’s Elektra.

Panel 3. The RexCorp speaker is Scooby Doo, although in the world of Top 10 he is known as "Rex Ruthor" (as his nameplate says); Daphne, Shaggy, and Velma, Scooby’s pushers and the ones who kept him addicted to Scooby snacks, stand to the right of Scooby Doo.

Protesting in the crowd are DC’s Cheetah, Congorilla, Lobo, and Starfire.

“What if you mindswap and wake up in chains?” may be a reference to an episode of Quantum Leap in which Sam Beckett leapt into the body of a lab primate.

Panel 4. The image on the viewscreen of the Subliminal Kid is, as PDF notes, the famous 1960s image of the kneeling woman wailing over the dead student at Kent State.

Marvel’s Electro is wielding a brick. Other protestors in this panel are Marvel’s Madrox the Multiplying Man, DC’s Chameleon Boy, and DC’s Shaggy Man.

Page 18. Panel 1. In the lower right of this panel is Hawkeye.

Panel 2. PDF notes that on the viewscreen of the Subliminal Kid are images of the Japanese planes bombing Pearl Harbor.

Panel 3. The group are dropping jellybeans, as Harlequin did in Harlan Ellison’s classic musical slapstick comedy story “’Repent, Harlequin!’ Cried the Tick-Tock Man.”

PDF notes that the anarchists' gliders are duplicates of those used by Marvel's Green Goblin.

Panel 4. Among the protestors are DC’s Doctor Mid-Nite, Marvel’s Iron Man, and DC’s Blue Beetle.

Panel 6. Visible on the Subliminal Kid's screen is Ronald Reagan, who liked eating jellybeans.

Page 21. Panel 1. “WayneTech” is a reference to Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. The Batman.

Page 22. Stretching is DC’s Elastic Man. Eating something may be Marvel’s Thing. Crouched on a pillar is Marvel’s Vulture.  

Thanks to: Alicia, of course; Paul Di Filippo.

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