Notes to Top Ten #5

by Jess Nevins

Revised 24 March 2002

Updates in blue.

Page 1

Panel 1. The symbols on the refrigerator are, from top to bottom, the eagle motif on Wonder Woman's breastplate (not tiara, as CleV points out), the Green Lantern's ring, the x in the X-Men's costumes, what Marcelo de Castro Bastos points out is Youngblood's Y (Rob Means feels it's a V, from Alan Moore's V for Vendetta), and (I think) Zorro's z. Sir Deuce says that it's not Zorro's z, but the Oz logo from L. Frank Baum's Oz books.

Panel 2. The phone is shaped like the early, Silver Age armor of Marvel's Iron Man.

Marcelo de Castro wonders if the animal in the poster is a reference to Rocket Raccoon. FunCommie, of this poster, says

I just have to point out the poster in the background, a parody of those "Hang In There" posters cat-people hang up in office cubicles worldwide.  The poster is, or, at least, was very popular, depicting a cute wittle kitten holding itself up on a string, just like a person.  Here, the kitten is wearing a Captain Marvel-esque outfit and a  space helmet, but the idea is the same.
Panel 3. Rob Means points out presence of Thor's "t" on the stove.

Panel 4. Edward Felipe notes that the lamp on the table is "the Dread Dormmammu. He was a villain from Marvel's Dr. Strange, and his flaming head is appropriately replaced by a light bulb here. The Steve Ditko costume design is unmistakable." Marcelo de Castro and Rob Means point out a Spawn symbol on the cork board.

Page 2

Brian Robison says, "Neopolis has so many underground hideouts that the sewers include directional signs."

Page 5.

Panel 1. It's more obvious here than it was in issue #4, so I'm pointing it out here. The rave-rat on the left is dressed like the Legion of Super-Hero Saturn Girl; the rave-rat on the far right has an outfit similar to the DC heroine the Star-Spangled Kid. Sir Deuce notes that it's not the Star-Spangled Kid, but Sufferin' Till Suffrage, from Schoolhouse Rocks.

Page 8.

Panel 1. The bar on the right is Godz, which we will see more of in later issues. The gods entering the bar would seem to be Mayan; the god leaving the bar, Chinese or Buddhist.

Page 9.

Panel 2. Rob Means points out Marvel's Arabian Knight flying above the Sidekix sign.

Panel 4. The billboard ad references not just the Incredible Hulk's 1970s tv show, with its memorable phrase, "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," but also the infamous stretchable and never-ripping purple pants of the comic book Hulk.

The character flying via his surfboard would seem to be a reference to the Marvel hero the Silver Surfer. This super surfer, at least, actually looks like a surfboard.

Panel 6. Marcelo de Castro Bastos and Rob Means point out SHIELD's Helicarrier on the freeway.

Page 16.

Panel 3. Jason Adams notes, "apparently, the robot prostitute is named Gerda. She seems to be composed of girders. haha." Brian Robison says, "Per Jason Adams's note: back on page 10, panel 2, Neural 'Nette refers to the robot by her full name, Steel Gerda."

Page 21.

Panel 3. Krakatoa, for the less history-minded among you, is a volcano in the Sunda Straight between Java and Sumatra. It is most famous for its 1883 eruption, one of the most spectacular and destructive in recorded history. So the billboard not only riffs on the diner's owner (seen in panel 5), but also on the nickname for coffee, "java."

Panel 4. Ronald Byrd notes the sign with "Id the Living Diner" in the background, a take-off on Marvel's Ego the Living Planet character.

Page 22.

Panel 1. Here in the real world Roy Lichtenstein used comic book panels and figures and presented them in a fine art format, as part of the Pop Art movement to use ordinary objects as subject matter. On Earth-Top Ten, his work would undoubtedly incorporate superheroes, as seen in the painting above the diner bar.

A number of folks pointed out that the haloed waitress on the far right appeared in the bar in issue #1, on page 30, panel 1.

Panel 4. Early versions of Batman's Batmobile had a bat's-head-shaped front. Shall we assume the car seen in the picture is the Ratmobile, then?

Page 24.

Panel 2. Ricardo Rubio Sanchez says of the mice, "In the right, there are copies of Captain America, Captain Marvel (Shazam) and Martian Manhunter."

Thanks to Jason Adams, Marcelo de Castro Bastos, Ronald Byrd, Edward Felipe, "FunCommie," Sir Deuce, Rob Means, Michael Norwitz, Brian Robison, Ricardo Rubio Sanchez, CleV.

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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
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