A Top Ten Who's Who
by Jess Nevins

Revised 29 October 2001

All images on this photo are copyright 2001 Wildstorm Comics.

All updates are in blue.

Charon. Charon is the coroner for Top Ten. Not much else is known about him, but based on his name (Charon being the ferryman of the dead in Greek mythology) he would be well-suited for autopsies and perhaps have death-related powers or abilities.

Dust Devil. Duane Bodine does not seem to have any superpowers, but has a thick accent and uses a pair of high-powered revolvers.

Girl One. Sung Li was very acrobatic, had greater-than-human speed, and could rearrange the colors and designs on her naked body; the designs on her body often reflect her moods and reactions, as in issue #2, when she is angered and the word "kill" appears on her body. As mentioned in issue #11, she was a synthetic being, bioengineered by Mickey Millions ("former world's richest boy") and his colleague Roy Radium ("of `Science Lad' fame"). Cedric notes that Girl One may be based on Chinese pin-up star Sung Hi Li. 

Hyperdog. Kemlo Caesar's powers seem to be limited to his being an intelligent, talking dog. He's also got a set of prosthetic armor which allows him to walk upright and which is armed with "shock conductors." He is attracted to human women and is involved with Annette "Neural 'Nette" Duvalle.

Nick Ford points out that "Here in the UK `Caesar' is a brand name of Dogfood, specifically aimed at Toy dogs - chichuauhas and the like."

Irma Geddon. Irma Wornow doesn't seem to have any superabilities. She has a suit of body armor which changes configuration from issue to issue but which is heavily armed and has thermonuclear capabilities. She is married to Ron, a precognitive, and has two children, Cherry Bomb and Cerebra. She is a self-described "patriot," which is reflected on some of the conservative messages seen on her armor.

Jack Phantom. Jackie Kowalski has the ability to turn herself immaterial. She is a lesbian.

Jackson, Synaesthesia. Syn has "synaesthesia," which is a mental disorder in which people perceive input in non-standard ways, seeing sounds and hearing colors. In Syn's case this means she can read people and objects empathically and has vague precognitive abilities. She has the hots for King Peacock.

Gene Ha clarifies the preceding:

She can't see the future exactly (like Irma's husband), but she can see omens of the future others can't see.  And these synaesthetic impressions can make her very nervous.  She was originally, in the script, a much more jittery person than I  drew.

Jetman. Captain Traynor, at some point before he joined Top Ten, was the hero Jetman. Jetman flew the plane Beauty, and was in all likelihood a stereotypical flying ace, ala Blackhawk and G-8, but he does not seem to have any other powers. He is gay, and the implication in issue #11 is that he was involved with another flyer, a Blackhawk analogue or someone similar. The forthcoming 49ers graphic novel, the sequel to Top Ten, will supposedly reveal all.

Joe Pi. Joe Pi, the robot replacement for Girl One, is an officer from Turingville on Parallel Nine. He has a wide range of law enforcement-oriented programs, various advanced sensors, and a wicked wit. He may have further powers but those have not been shown yet.

King Peacock. John Corbeau, perhaps due to his Yazidi faith or perhaps due to superpowers of his own, has superstrength and agility and can "speak" to immaterial objects. As he says in issue #4, "all stone is matter. All matter is Melek Taus. Melek Taus talks to me." He is married to Mareka and has two children.

Micro-Maid. Sally-Jo Jessel is the forensic pathologist for Top Ten. She does not seem to have any powers of her own, but she wears a suit of power armor which allows her to shrink herself or, as seen with Gograh in issue #4, other people.

Monsoon. Sergeant Hector Lopez is the desk sergeant for Top Ten. He seems to have weather control or weather generation powers. Jason Adams says, of Monsoon's costume, "Monsoon's costume is covered with symbols and designes from meteorlogical charts. The 'H' on his head doesn't stantd for 'Hector,' it's the symbol (along with the what seem to be his eyes) for a high pressure system. He has a low pressure 'L' on his right shoulder."

Multi-Girl. Officer McCambridge has the ability to split into multiple bodies, each of which seems to have a different superpower.

Old Toby contributes the following about the symbols on Multi-Girl's body:

"The symbols on her body represent her chakras, or vital points. In Indian mystical tradition it is believed that there are seven chakras of the human body arrayed along the spine: The anus, genitals, naval, solar plexus, heart, throat, and head.  This last is traditionally depicted as a "third eye" on the forehead above the other two, but Multiwoman's symbol is shown in front of her eyes, when it isn't there she has two regular eyes.  Note also that one of the lower chakras appears to be missing, perhaps it is tucked away where we can't see it, or maybe Gene was working from a source with a different enumeration of the chakras.

Indian mystics believe that as a person rises toward enlightenment, the serpent Kundalini rises from the base of the spine, opening each chakra in sucession, and allowing energy to flow up the spine. Many Yogic practices are aimed at physically stimulating the chakras to open and thus bring you closer to enlightenment. In some traditions, it is believed that once the seventh chakra has been opened, an eighth chakra appears hovering above the mystic's head (this is, of course, not visable (unless you're a superhero)), this may be represented by her lotus hat.

Multiwoman's main power seems to be to split herself into different beings, each with one or more of her chakras. These beings also seem to have different powers (one per chakra?),  she is mentioned as being one of Top 10's heavy hitters.

In Issue 6, we see her split into four beings: One with the head and lotus hat is flying and seems to be directing the others.  One with the throat, heart, and naval has grown to giant size (and is making a big snowball).  One with the genitals (anus?) is using fire powers.  And one whose chakra we don't see (presumably the solar plexus) is using superspeed."

Peregrine. Lieutenant Cathy Colby, one of the ranking officers at Top Ten, can fly, although whether that is an actual power or only part of her suit is not clear. She is also, as mentioned in issue #9, a devout Christian. A peregrine is a falcon, of course, Falco peregrinus. As it happens, "Peregrinus" was the pseudonym of at least two Catholic writers, one of whom lived at the beginning of the fifth century and wrote the canons of Priscillian (prefixed to the Epistles of St. Paul in many Spanish manuscripts) and the other of whom was St. Vincent of Lerins. Priscillianism was a fourth century Spanish heresy based on Gnostic-Manichean doctrines. Whether or not Moore had this in mind when he made Peregrine a Christian, I don't know, but if not it's an interesting coincidence.

Shock-Headed PeterPete Cheney has the power to generate electricity. His name and appearance are taken from Heinrich Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter: Fearful Stories & Vile Pictures to Instruct Good Little Folks. Struwwelpeter was originally written by Hoffmann for his own three-year-old son, as Hoffmann disliked the other books for children he found. However, the end result was a work of twisted genius and deepest black humor, full of bad children coming to very bad ends. As an example, you can read The Story of Little Suck-A-Thumb, a bad little boy who kept sucking his thumb, despite his mother's threat that "The great tall tailor always comes/To little boys that suck their thumbs." Sure enough, "The door flew open, in he ran, The great, long, red-legg'd scissor-man," who cuts off the boy's thumbs. (In case you're wondering, yes, this was the source for the dread Scissormen of Grant Morrison's first Doom Patrol story arc. In fact, this illustration was reproduced in Doom Patrol #19, Morrison's first issue.) "Shock-Headed Peter," the eponymous "struwwelpeter," is simply a very slovenly boy.

For more information on Struwwelpeter, read the History of Struwwelpeter and then you can read an e-text of Struwwelpeter itself. The illustrations, though, are almost as much fun as the stories themselves, as with the one above. For some illustrations, you can look at this site.

Smax. "Jeff" Smax is invulnerable and has the ability to generate power blasts from his chest. As we can see from issue #6 he comes from a fantasy background, which might explain his pronounced dislike for dragons, elves, and other magic creatures such as pixies (see issue #10). His real name is "Jaafs Macksun," as revealed in issue #11, and he comes from a place where Norse runes are used. He has no father and was raised by his Uncle Mack (recently deceased) and his Aunt Minka.

Stochastic Fats. Willy Beaumont, aka "Stochastic Fats," is dead by the time Top Ten begins, having been "shot through the eye in his own apartment." He was Smax's partner at the time of his death. As I mentioned in the Notes to Issue #1, "stochastic" means “random or involving a random variable;" Stochastic Fats' power, in the words of the essay at the end of issue #1, was "guesswork taken to almost supernaturally precise extremes."

Toybox. Robyn Slinger does not seem to have any superpowers, but she controls a number of robot toys, many of which are armed.

James Dodsworth adds the following about Toybox:

Just been reading the Top 10 Who's Who section and I think it might be noteworthy to mention that the character of Toybox possibly derives from an old character called General Jumbo who appeared in The Beano published by DC Thompson in the UK.  General Jumbo Johnston first appeared in the mid-fifties and appeared on and off for twenty-odd years.  He was a young boy who was given an entire miniature army by a Professor and went on to have "exciting adventures" with  little paratroopers and tanks, etc.
Several folks, Michael Norwitz among them, point out the similarity between General Jumbo and Toybox's father, Colonel Lilliput.

Wolf-Spider. Bill Bailey is the Wolf-Spider. We haven't seen what powers, if any, he has, but we know that he has a power armor "shell." We also know that he lost his legs due to a teleporter accident.

The Word. Harry Lovelace is the hostage negotiator for Top Ten; in his own words, he is "very persuasive. Kind of a super-wheedler." As seen in issue #6, when he uses his powers those who hear him must obey.

Thanks to: Cedric, Nick Ford.

E-mail me

Notes to Issue #1
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
Top Ten Who's Who

Back to my Comic Book Annotations