Notes to Top 10: Beyond the Farthest Precinct #4

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.
Politely-phrased additions and corrections are welcome at

Page 1. Panel 3. "FredEx," done up in the same font style as Federal Express, may be a reference to former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell, who dubbed himself "FredEx" for his supposed ability to deliver.

Panel 19. The dress the two women are holding has the Superman logo on it, but I am unaware of any iteration of Supergirl or Superwoman ever wearing such a dress.

Page 5. Panel 1. Robyn is drinking from a cup with the Batman logo on it.

Panel 5
. That would appear to be Spider-Man standing behind Robyn. Paul di Filippo, hereafter "PDF," says that this scene is an allusion to a similar scene in the second Spider-Man film.

Panel 6. Moving left to right: Iron Man, a doorman, Batman (visible through the door), Robyn, Warren Worthington (Angel of the X-Men) and the Shadow. PDF adds that Iron Man, Batman, Warren Worthington, and the Shadow are all millionaires and so belong in this posh lobby.

Page 6. Panel 1. The construction crew in the upper left are: Magneto (magnetically levitating the I-beam); the Human Torch (welding the I-beam); Stilt-Man  (handing boxes up to another member of the crew); and the Juggernaut, lifting an I-beam.

The poster on the left of the panel, "Amazon Purple Healing Rays Walk-In Clinic," is a reference to the purple ray which Wonder Woman invented to heal injuries.

The poster to its right, "World Heavyweight Championship Bout: Palooka vs. Murdock," is a reference to Ham Fisher's Joe Palooka and to "Battlin' Jack" Murdock, the father of Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Marvel's Daredevil.

The plaque to its right reads "LexCorp Construction," a reference to the company operated by Lex Luthor.

The sign "Bloodbath & Beyond" is a reference to the Simpsons episode, "The Cartridge Family."

Walking on the sidewalk are Thor, Frankenstein's Monster, Dumb Bunny of the Inferior Five (with her back to the reader), Daredevil (leaning on the "Daily Bagel" newspaper box), Mandrake the Magician (though he could just as easily be Zatara or any of the many other comic book magicians modeled on Mandrake), Dan Clowes' Lloyd Llewellyn (who looks like Jim Valentino's Normalman), what PDF says is Moebius' John Difool, and the Guardian (crossing the street). (I can't place the superhero flying over the Guardian).

PDF notes that the garbage men and the sign "Trashman Hauling" is a reference to Spain's Trashman.

The street sign, "Rocketeer Ave.," is a reference to the Rocketeer.

Panel 2. The policeman on the left is Al Capp's Fearless Fosdick. To Robyn's left is Dr. Strange; examining Robyn is the Eye of Agamotto. To Robyn's right is Sargon the Sorcerer.

Panel 3. I can't remember the name of the hero onthe left. To the right is the Shining Knight, Captain Cold, Robyn, and the outline of Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt.

Page 8. Panel 1. "Project JOOTS" is a reference to Douglas Hofstadter's "J.O.O.T.S.," a.k.a. "jumping out of the system," or examining a problem from the outside.

Page 9. Panel 1. "New UBIK spray can" is a reference to Philip K. Dick's "ubik," which is salvation available in the form of an aerosol can.

Panel 2. "Buzz Cola" is from the Simpsons. "Slurm" (partially obscured by Smax) is from Futurama.

Panels 2-3. "Doctor Qubit" and his lack of focus is a jokey reference to the qubit, the quantum bit which expresses superposition.

Panel 3. PDF says that Qubit is "dressed in a kind of technocrat's uniform, like someone out of H. G. Wells's The Shape of Things to Come."

Doctor Qubit is likely stroking Schroedinger's Cat.

That may be the Joker's smile in the background. Qubit is spreading Peanuts butter on to Wonder Man bread.

Panel 4. The seven prostitutes here are: Will Eisner's Silk Satin, Will Eisner's Sand Serif, and Steve Gerber's Nevada (and her ostrich) (PDF identified all three of those); Harvey Kurtzman's Little Annie Fanny, Jessica Rabbit, Bill Ward's Torchy, and Milt Caniff's Miss Lace (from "Male Call").

Page 10. Panel 2. The figure on the Subliminal Kid's screen is Alfalfa and his dog Pete, from the Little Rascals.

Panel 7. "Colonel Simonson's Frog Legs Original Recipe" may be a reference to Thor #366, in which Walt Simonson turned Thor into a frog.

Page 11. Panel 1. The illustration on the cover of the "Colonel Simonson" carton is of Walt Simonson.

Page 12. Panel 4. PDF says, of the rings within rings, "the effect is intended to recall the similar series of rings that appear at the end of a Warner Brothers' Looney Tune."

Page 13. Panels 2-5. The robot "Rikby-2001" is a reference to Machine Man, created by Jack Kirby (an anagram of "Rikby") and first appearing in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rikby-2001 is even drawn in Kirby-esque fasion in panel 4.

Page 14. Panel 1. The minister is Kurt Busiek's Confessor, from Astro City.

Page 15. Panel 2. That is the Rumor (from Top 10, v1) speaking to Robyn's father.

Panel 5. Trust PDF to come up with this one:  the figure in bed with Phillipe is "a female version of the grotesque living puppet figure into which the villain Abra Kadabra turned the Flash in the Silver Age Story "The Plight of the Puppet Flash.""

Page 16. Panel 2. That is R. Crumb's Mr. Natural on the far left. I'm not sure who that is behind him. To the right is the winged helmet of Thor. To the right of Smax is Marvel's Loki. I'm not sure who that is behind Peregrine. On the far right of the panel are Goscinny's Asterix and Obelix.

Panel 4. PDF notes the presence of Jim Woodring's Frank on the left. On the right is Otto Messmer's Felix the Cat.

Page 17. Panel 1. The metal creature on the right may be Marvel's Destroyer.

Page 18. Panel 4. If there's a joke to Qubit's comment about J.K. Rowling's prose style, I'm not getting it.

Page 20. The grotesque statues in the upper left are the Seven Deadly Sins lining the tunnel leading up to the wizard Shazam in the Captain Marvel stories. The name of the stadium, "Beck Memorial Stadium," is a reference to C.C. Beck, the artist for the original Captain Marvel stories.

I don't know who the group in the lower left (to the left of Kemlo) is. Above them are Marvels' Frightful Four (Medusa?, Wizard, Trapster, and Sandman standing behind Irma Geddon). Behind the Frightful Four are the Badoon. In the background, behind the Badoon, are (I think) the Blimp and Dumb Bunny of DC's Inferior Five. In front and to the right of them are Marvel's Sinister Six (Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven, Elektro, Dr. Octopus). Behind the Sinister Six is Dr. Strange. In front of the Sinister Six are the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Magneto, Toad). I don't know who those two characters are behind the Brotherhood.

Page 21. Panel 4.  PDF says, "The Neopolis Capes are a variegated bunch of humans, robots, animal-people, demons, etc.  But the Sprawlburg Brawlers  are all animated, bulked-out empty uniforms, just like out of a Silver Age Weird Sports story."

Thanks to: Alicia, as always; Paul Di Filippo.

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