Notes to Top Ten #7

by Jess Nevins

Revised 24 March 2002

Updates in blue.

Page 2

Panel 1. The character in the bubble above M'rrgla Qualtz looks like DC's Brother Power (the Geek).

Page 4

Panel 1. For those who aren't up on their Norse religion, the gods on the left are the Norse Odin (the "all-father" of the Norse gods, one of whose names is "Woden," which is used on page 5) and Frigg, his wife and the goddess of love and fertility. Odin is shown here far more authentically, mythologically-speaking, than he has been in Marvel Comics.

My guess as to the drinks listed on the board in the upper right:

Page 5.

Panel 1. The blue dwarf is actually the Egyptian god Bes, a god of "human pleasures and jollity."

Panels 3-4. The red-bearded, loud-mouthed god referred to here as "Thunor" will be more familiar to modern readers as the Norse thunder god Thor. His portrayal here is far truer to the actual Norse mythology than the Marvel Comics' version of Thor is.

Page 6.

Panel 1. CleV says, "The photo behind the main one makes it look like on Earth 10, Jimmy Olsen turned into Elasti-Turtle Boy as a result of S.T.O.R.M.S." Trevor also noted this.

Page 7.

Panel 6. For some reason those are Smurfs rifling the pockets of the no doubt opium-smacked Chinese god. Of that god, Carolyn Son adds that

The god is possibly the god of wealth, Ts'ai Shen. Associated with gold  and silver. Normally he's acompanied by attendants, holding his wealth. Might be an ironic comment, because he's being robbed. Note, I'm not a 100 percent on this, but here's a link with an image. Note the pearls and the feather on the statue.
Clev adds, "I wonder if the thieving Smurfs could actually be a result of the Chinese god being strung out on Hyperdrene."

"Kvasir Blue Sanguine Mead" is a reference to the legend of Kvasir, the Norse god whose blood, mixed with honey, created the mead of poetry. The legend is told here, on the very good Encyclopedia Mythica site.

Ronald Byrd notes that this is probably the Babylonian god Marduk who is leaving Godz.

Page 8.

Panel 1. The raven flying around, who was seen on Odin's shoulder in earlier pages, is either Huginn or Muninn, Odin's two ravens.

Panel 3. Zeus is of course the Greek father of the gods. Ammon was actually an Egyptian god who eventually became identified with Zeus.

Note that Zeus is lighting his cigar with a rod or scepter of some kind. As far as I know Zeus never had a symbol of this shape (better seen on Page 9, Panel 1), his more common symbol being the aegis, but what this scepter did remind me of was the Buddhist vajra, which means "thunderbolt" in Sanskirt. Zeus, remember, is a storm god and given to lobbing thunderbolts when peeved.

Page 9.

Panel 1. I can't identify the god behind and to the Zeus Ammon's right, smoking a cig, but his head indicates that he is a god of the American Pacific Northwest. Jason Adams is probably right when he says that "it is a god of the American Southwest, one that is commonly depicted in Navajo sand art."

I don't know who the bare-breasted woman flying by overhead is. Yi-Sheng Ng says, "I believe the bare-breasted flying goddess is the
unnamed Cretan mother-goddess."

I can't make out what is on the cup that Zeus is holding in his left hand. Jason Adams says it's just an ice cube.

Panel 2. The blue god on the far right is the Hindu god Vishnu, and I think the god to Vishnu's left is the Buddha, but I can't identify the gods to the right of Zeus Ammon.

Panel 3. The elephant-headed god at the bar is Hindu god Ganesha, the god of "knowledge, wisdom, literature, and fire." Vesa Lehtinen notes that he also creates and removes obstacles.

Page 10.

Panel 1. Astrocitizen says, "Norse myths have trolls and whatnot crawling or being made from the corpus delicti of slain monsters and giants all the time.  I donít think this ever happened to Thor, but it does set a precedent thatís proven here at least."

Panel 3. Thor, in Norse mythology, rode a chariot drawn by two goats, more information on which is provided here.

Page 11.

Panel 1. I suppose it's time I spoiled the issue. The mistletoe and such are all part of Balder's mythology, which you can read about here.

Panel 3. Starting on the left: Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas; unknown; an Aztec or Mayan god (the headdress is a giveaway); I think the creature with the black conehead is Ereshkigal, the Sumerian goddess of the underworld; Ronald Byrd identified the hawk-headed god, who is of course the Egyptian god Horus; and I'm not sure about the one to the left of Frigg, who Clev speculates might be the Egyptian "Hatshepsut (she wore a false beard to emphasise her claim to Kingship), although I don't think she was a goddess."

Panel 4. The bathroom directions are interesting.

Panel 5. I don't know who the god on the left is.

Page 12.

Panel 1. The god on the right is obviously Krishna, the Hindu god who is the avatar of Vishnu. I'm guessing that the god on the left is Allah, because by Muslim tradition Allah's head could not depicted. (It would be disrespectful, even blasphemous.) A number of people, Nathan Alderman and cyrano among them, disagree and think it's JHVH, or Jehovah, the Jewish conception of God, based on the font seems to be based on Hebrew text. Brian Robison says, of this,

The font of the god on the left is DEFINITELY based on Hebrew text, though of course the letters don't correspond properly. Specifically: the I is Vav, the O is Samekh, the Y is Tzadde, the N is a modified Aleph, the C is a reversed Beth, the L is an inverted Daleth...etc. etc. So this god is certainly Jehovah.
The god on the right might be any of the thousands of Chinese gods. I'm assuming that the peach he is holding is the peach of immortality guarded by Xi Wang-Mu.

Yi-Sheng Ng says

I can positively identify the Chinese God as Shou, sometimes called Shou Xing or the Star of Longevity.  He carries a peach as a symbol of immortality.  I would doubt that Allah's talking to Krishna; I imagined him to be a pre-Islamic god of light, such as Ahura-Mazda or another of his forms; I believe he's still worshipped in a form through Parsism.  Allah is just the Islamic moniker of your Adonai-Jehovah representation of a disembodied ominpresent monotheistic god.  The point about religious depicitions in Islam is that you can't portray the faces of the *prophets*, i.e. Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, etc. as that creates craven images.
Panel 2. Charybdis was a sea monster in Greek myth. Heather Kamp maintains that the Encyclopedia Mythica, which I have linked to for Charybdis, has the story of Charybdis wrong, and that only Scylla was a monster. Matt Kimmich says that "the joke about Charybdis is that she was a whirlpool that, quite literally, sucked down ocean-faring ships."

I'm not going to annotate the rest of the puns, as I figure they're obvious.

Page 13.

Panel 4. The god on the right is Loki, the Norse god of fire and evil.

Page 14.

Panel 1. In Norse mythology Loki was, in fact, the spawn of giants (Farbauti and Laufey) and the begetter of monsters (the Fenris wolf, the Midgard Serpent Jormungand, and the death goddess Hel).

Panel 4. Ragnarok, in Norse mythology, was the final battle in which the gods and their enemies die.

Page 15.

Panel 1. The character on the right side of the panel would seem to have the costume of the Marvel martial arts hero Iron Fist.

Page 16.

Panel 1. Ronald Byrd, among several others, says

M'rrgla Qualtz's teammates from the Seven Sentinels---Atoman, Sun Woman, and the Hound---appear to be parallels to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman; Qualtz's codename, "Vigilante from Venus," parallels that of J'onn J'onzz, the Manhunter from Mars.  All four of these characters, of course, were founding members of the Justice League of America (in original continuity, anyway); as with the Sentinels, there were seven founding JLA members.

Page 17.

Panel 2. Ronald Byrd wonders if "the Krell Armada may be a reference to the Krel, the ancient alien race mentioned in the movie Forbidden Planet."

Panel 3. Ronald Byrd points out that Sun Woman "swears `by Helios,' the Greek sun god (although her shield actually looks more Aztec than anything else); Wonder Woman, of course, also had connections to Greek mythology."

Page 20.

Panel 1. Flying overhead is the Marvel supervillain the Hobgoblin. Ronald Byrd adds that

The Hobgoblin is wearing the mask of a similar villain, Jack O'Lantern, perhaps an oblique reference to the fact that the first Jack O'Lantern became the second Hobgoblin; moreover, he's riding the "flying broomstick" originally used by the prototype for both characters, the first Green Goblin, in his first appearance.
In the lower left, to Micro-Maid's left, is a mime wearing the costume of the Marvel hero Black Bolt. (The joke being that Black Bolt, because of his powers, must remain silent.) Sprawled against the column is Bucky, the Marvel hero and former partner of Captain America. (The joke being that his sign says, "Really dead, please help" and Bucky being one of only two Marvel characters, along with Spider-Man's Uncle Ben, who will never be brought back in the comics)

Page 21.

Panel 5. This character is apparently the source of ongoing confusion, so I'll say it again: the samurai character in the deli is a reference to John Belushi's Saturday Night Live Character.

Page 23.

Panel 2. The image on Kemlo's shirt is familiar to me, but I can't place it. Mike Zeidler says, "The picture on Kemlo's shirt is of Dirty Dog, who plays in the Puppet Band in Pee Wee's Playhouse. Probably a reference to Kemlo's character or lack thereof."

Page 24.

Panel 1.Astrocitizen says:

Also, more inferences that the Ghostly Goose is a Plastic Man analogue: when he's first mentioned, the victim says she just got out of a checkered cab. The diner where Jack Phantom's goosed has checkerboard motif tableclothes and upholstery. And the chair where we see his chesire cat smile also has checkboard uphoalstery, specifically red and dark blue checkerboard.

Thanks to Astrocitizen, Ronald Byrd, cyrano, Sir Deuce, Heather Kamp, Matt Kimmich, Vesa Lehtinen, Yi-Sheng Ng, Brian Robison, Carolyn Son, Trevor, CleV, Mike Zeidler.

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Notes to Issue #4
Notes to Issue #5
Notes to Issue #6
Notes to Issue #7
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Notes to Issue #9
Notes to Issue #10
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Notes to Issue #12
Notes to Deadfellas
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