Action Comics #707 (February 1995) as seen in Super-Homem No. 6 (April 1997).
Page 41, panel 2. Marzan street is a reference to Superman inker José Marzan Jr. Carlin street is a reference to Editor Mike Carlin.
Action Comics #747 (August 1998) as seen in Super-Homem No. 36.
Page 2. On the top left, the ship is reminiscent of those in Stewart Cowley’s Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD.
Page 3. The fighters’ inverted gull wings look like those of the F4U Corsair. Do not mistake this, though: the F4U was American; these are Japanese. Also, the short nose and the cockpit do not match the long nose and the cockpit of the Corsair.
Action Comics #748 (September 1998) as seen in Super-Homem no. 37 (November 1999).
Page 13, panel 4. Swan street is a reference to Curt Swan, one of the most prominent pencillers of Superman in the Silver and Bronze Ages.
Page 19, panel 20. Lara, Kal-El’s mother.
Page 20, panel 28. The starcradle that saved Kal-El from exploding Krypton.
In page 21, nearly all panels refer to the story arc published in the Superman titles in this and the preceding three months. Panel 83 depicts the starcradle leaving Krypton.
The Adventures of Superman #520 (February 1995) as seen in Super-Homem No. 6 (April 1997).
Page 22, panels 1 and 2. Jurgens store is a reference to Superman penciller Dan Jurgens.
Page 38, panel 2. J.L.E. Schwartz is a reference to longtime DC Editor Julius “Julie” Schwartz.
Page 39, panel 4. “Mortco” is possibly a reference to Mort Weisinger, a Superman editor of the 1950s-1960s.
The Adventures of Superman #533 (March 1996) as seen in Super-Homem No. 15 (January 1998).
5th page. “Broome street” is a reference to John Broome, the Flash’s penciller in the 1950s-1960s.
15th page. There is a Dalek in the background.
12 to 15th pages. Undoubtedly a reference to the San Diego Comic-Con.
14th page, panel 2. Jonathan Kent joking about comics.
18th page, panel 1. A reference to Dick Dastardly, from the Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines animated series.
The Adventures of Superman #542 (January 1997) as seen in Super-Homem No. 21 (July 1998).
Page 25, panel 3. “Carlin’s” is a reference to Editor Mike Carlin. “Karl” is a reference to Writer Karl Kesel.
The Adventures of Superman #560 (August 1998) as seen in Super-Homem no. 36 (October 1999).
This story is written in the Silver Age’s simplistic style of often silly stories. It is also drawn to represent the Silver Age depiction of its characters and to emulate the Silver Age drawings overall, although its inking is still contemporary in its profusion of details. Superman’s S-symbol, uniform colour and cape are throwbacks to the Silver Age.
Page 2. Batman and the Batmobile are drawn as in the Silver Age. The bat symbol, however, is a contemporary interpretation of the Silver Age symbol, which never looked as robust. The story’s title is typical of the Silver Age, and just as silly.
Page 4, panel 6. In the Silver Age, Jimmy Olsen had a wristwatch that could emit ultrasound and with which he would thus call upon Superman’s help.
Page 6, panel 4. In his mind, Superman sees his wedding to Lois Lane as in Superman: the Wedding Album.
Page 7, panel 4. In the Silver Age Superman mythology, red kryptonite caused unpredictable changes to Superman’s body or powers.
Page 8, panel 1. Red kryptonite’s effects would often be as silly as one sees here.
Page 8, panel 5. The onomatopoeic story’s title is a throwback to Batman’s series of the 1960s.
Page 9, panel 2. The Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble’s secret society and men’s club in The Flintstones. They wore hats like this.
Pages 13-15. This summary of the early lives of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne is not at all consistent with the characters’ actual biographies, either during the Silver Age or at any other time. However, it has many elements that are consistent with their Silver Age biographies. At the time, many stories would show the two heroes befriending each other during their childhoods, knowing each other’s secret identities and having adventures together from an early age. In the Silver Age, young Lex Luthor was shown to have lived in Smallville and to blame Superboy for the accident that made his hair fall off.
Page 14, panel 3. Lana’s rescue seems to be a reference to some Superboy story of which I am not aware.
Page 15, panels 3-5. This is actually the earliest story that I know of showing Bruce Wayne as Robin, but the context suggests that this has happened before during the Silver Age. If any of my Readers knows of the precedent, please advise!
Page 15, panel 5. “World’s Finest” is how DC Comics called the Superman-Batman duo during the 1950s and 1960s. Also, it is the name of the DC title that showed their joint adventures, including stories of Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne as youngsters.
Page 16, panel 3. Professor Emil Hamilton is a character created after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. His appearance here does not fit the Silver Age pattern and is a telltale sign that all is not what it seems. He lost an arm during the Fall of Metropolis storyline in 1994, but he immediately replaced it with a cybernetic arm.
Page 17, panels 1-3. Jor-El and Lara are shown as they were consistently represented during the Silver Age, in a strong contrast to their Byrne-designed, post-Crisis appearances.
Page 18, panel 1. In post-Crisis continuity, Hypersector is a part of Metropolis.
Page 19, panel 4. Batman’s speech mimics DC Comics’s motto for the Elseworlds stories.
Page 21, panels 2, 4 and 6. This is the same white-haired girl from the most recent Superman stories, now revealed in her true nature.
Page 21, panel 3. This is Superman in the Golden Age, as seen in the most recent Superman stories.
Page 21, panel 5. This is Superman in 2999, as seen in the most recent Superman stories.
Page 21, panel 7. This is contemporary Superman, as seen in the most recent Superman stories.
The Adventures of Superman #561 (September 1998) as seen in Super-Homem No. 37 (November 1999).
Pages 1 and 2 are reminiscent of Superman’s out-of-continuity Imaginary Stories of the Silver Age where he had superchildren, often with Lois Lane. Close examples can be found in Superman #131 (August 1959), Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #23 (February 1961), Superman #162 (July 1963) and Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #55 (February 1965).
Page 3, panel 4. The W in “swooshhh” looks like the Cyrillic letter shcha.
Page 7, panel 3. At the back, the Silver Age’s entrance to the Fortress of Solitude.
Batman #1,000,000 (November 1998).
This story continues from DC One Million #1 (Nov 1998) and will only make fuller sense to the Reader who has read that prior story, which gives the context of both the 853rd century and the challenge to be faced by Batman here.
There is not much of a story here really, but more of a showcase of analog elements between the mythologies of the two Batmans, some shown directly, others explained by Robin.
Page 2, panel 1. The Durla Octopus move took place in DC One Million #1 (Nov 1998), page 16, panel 3.
Page 2, panel 2. The regular Robins have always been called “Robin, the Boy Wonder”.
Page 2, panels 4-6. This event took place in DC One Million #1 (Nov 1998), page 16, panels 5-6.
Page 14, panel 1. Meta-Clay is the 853rd-century counterpart to Clayface, the villain in Batman comics who is able to shapeshift at will.
Page 15, panel 2, and page 20, panel 3. The 853rd-century Batman has an origin story much resembling that of regular Batman.
Page 16, panel 1. Riddle City is the counterpart to the Riddler, down to being green and sporting question marks.
Page 17, panel 4. It seems that Dice-God is the counterpart to some Batman’s foe, but I cannot identify which one.
Page 21, panels 1 and 5. The Laugher is the 853rd-century counterpart to the Joker.
Batman’s escape throughout Pluto’s underground feels very much like a videogame with successive phases.
Batman 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998) as seen in Batman: vigilantes de Gotham no. 28 (February 1999).
Third story, page 2, panel 2. The boxes are labeled “Dix San”, certainly because the story was written by Chuck DIXON.
Fourth story, page 9, panel 5. The leaflet says “DC artist? missing — authorities ecstatic”.
Sixth story, page 1, panel 2. One of the books is by A. Goodwin. Archie Goodwin is a Batman editor (though not at the time this story was first published).
Seventh story, page 9, panel 7. Alfred is a former actor. This is why he is improvising a Hamlet speech.
Batman Annual #20 (1996).
“Posea” is “Aesop” backwards. Aesop was a Greek who told fables with morals.
Batman: Arkham Asylum: Tales of Madness #1 (May 1998).
The plot device of telling stories is at least as old as the Decameron, having been used in The Canterbury Tales and as recently as Salò and Sandman: Worlds’ End.
Page 18, panel 6. If this is not an imitation of Astérix’s Obelix punching a Roman, I will eat my hat. Even if I currently do not own one.
Page 33, panel 4. “Boy Blunder” is a reference to Robin, the Boy Wonder.
The Batman Chronicles #11 (January 1998) as seen in Lendas do Cavaleiro das Trevas no. 3 (April 2002).
The first story is an homage to the first Batman story ever, in Detective Comics #27 of 1939. The first panels are the same: bored playboy Bruce Wayne asking the Commissioner if anything interesting takes his time. Then the visit is over. Later one sees the start of the legend: Martha Wayne’s call for help, young Bruce’s realization of his parents’ deaths, his promise of vengeance, his preparation, his brooding in the study, and the entrance of that ominous bat — all are duplicated word for word. Likewise the Batman’s uniform is heavily reminiscent of that first issue: his cape, symbol, belt, boots and especially gloves are markedly different from those of later times. Moreover, the drawings and dialogues are precisely in the same styles (and rudily drawn at that) as in Bob Kane’s early stories.
Third story (“Curse of the Cat-Woman”), page 3, panel 2. Behind Alfred, movie posters can be seen showing that he had a career as an actor. In the mainstream DC Universe, Alfred (whose surname is indeed “Pennyworth”) had a theatrical career before he became Bruce Wayne’s butler. Also, the pirate movie seems to have “Santa Prisca” in its title. Santa Prisca is the Caribbean island where Bane comes from, Bane being Batman’s greatest foe in, and in the five years before, January 1998.
Third story, page 3, panel 3. In the mainstream DCU, “a butler’s work is never finished” is indeed Alfred’s usual catchphrase.
Third story, page 3, panel 4. In the previous page, Lt. Gordon already described Bruce Wayne as an excellent detective who prefers to work alone. Now Wayne says he does not smoke. All Batman’s traits.
Third story, page 5, panel 1. In the contemporary mainstream DCU, Harold is a hunchback mechanic who cares for the Batcave.
Batman Chronicles: the Gauntlet #1 as seen in Batman No. 32 (June 1999).
Page 8, panel 5. “Terranova” is the name of the undercover policeman in the TV series Wiseguy.
Page 18, panel 2. Liotta can be a reference to actor Ray Liotta, of Goodfellas.
Page 18, panel 4. A reference to Bill Mantlo, a Marvel writer.
Page 31, panel 7. The magazine is House of Mystery and the “CD” logo is evidently DC’s.
Batman: Gordon of Gotham #1 (June 1998).
Page 8, panel 3. The building on the left holds the name “Giordano” near its top, from penciller Dick Giordano.
Batman: Gordon of Gotham #2 (July 1998).
Page 5, panel 2. Larry, Moe and Curly are, of course, The Three Stooges.
Page 6, panel 4. Cuchulain was an Irish warrior, his name is Declan and he wears green. Yep: he’s Irish, alright.
Page 6, panel 5. A sawbones is a physician or a surgeon. This is the exact reason why Captain Kirk calls Dr. McCoy “Bones”.
Batman: Gordon of Gotham #3 (August 1998).
Page 5, panel 7. The penciller got a revolver’s arrangement wrong. In his drawing, the cartridges seem to fit into the grooves between the cylinders — not into the cylinders as they should!
Page 21, panel 3. How stupid does Gordon have to be to go meet the main criminal in his own personal fortress? and to talk to him this openly!
Batman: Gordon of Gotham #4 (September 1998).
Page 15, panels 2-4. Note Cuchulain’s position and firing angle, as well as the revolver which is probably lower than the roof. Gordon would never have been able either to come from behind stealthily, to forward his leg over Cuchulain’s right arm, to avoid falling down to the street below, to move Cuchulain’s arm backwards, or to have the revolver’s accessories fall on the roof.
Batman: Huntress/Spoiler: Blunt Trauma #1 (May 1998) as seen in Batman: Cataclysm.
P. 236, panel 2. “Soft rock” is written with the same font and on the same logo as the Hard Rock Café.
P. 243, panel 3. “Gorfinator” is a portmanteau of the obvious Terminator franchise with then Batman editor Jordan B. Gorfinkel. The studio could only be Warner, of course.
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #66 (December 1994) as seen in Um conto de Batman: de volta à sanidade: parte dois (November 1995).
Page 20, panel 2. The Joker as drawn by Jerry Robinson in the 1940s-1950s.
Page 20, panel 3. Batman as drawn in the 1950s.
On a personal note, Joe Staton and Steve Mitchell’s drawings resemble those of MAD magazine’s Jack Davis.
Batman: Secret Files and Origins #1 (October 1997).
Page 20, panel 2, refers to the time Bruce Wayne spent studying with police forces over the world, as told by prior origins stories.
Page 20, panel 4, refers to his training by the League of Assassins, as later recounted by the film Batman Begins.
Page 20, panel 5, refers to Bruce Wayne’s training in the Alaskan wilderness as recounted by Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 (Nov 1989), page 1.
Page 21, panel 1, is Bruce Wayne’s comeback to Gotham as depicted in Batman: Year One, page 4, panel 6, and in B:LoDK #1, page 14, panels 1-2.
Page 26, panel 4. The original bat-face on the front of the Batmobile, except that the car itself is updated.
Page 28, panel 3. After Bob Kane, Dick Sprang was the most important Batman artist in the 1940s and 1950s, hence “Sprang fine artists materials”. On the left, “Gorf’s Fine Bagels” refer to Batman Editor Jordan Gorfinkel.
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #74 (May 1998).
Page 21, panel 4: “Sly Arnold is the Verminator” is an obvious reference to Sylvester Stallone (aka “Sly”) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has repeatedly played the Terminator.
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #78 (September 1998) as seen in Batman: vigilantes de Gotham No. 38 (December 1999).
Page 17, panel 4. Bruce Wayne has indeed made a castle to be built on the Moon as a part of his possessions. It is called the JLA Watchtower and he visits it often.
Page 19, panel 3. Firewall is a reference to the real-life Firestone, as much as Macrosoft takes its name from Microsoft.
Batman: Shadow of the Bat #79 (October 1998) as seen in Batman: vigilantes de Gotham No. 38 (December 1999).
Page 20, panel 3. The helicopter is a Hughes 500D, with a T-tail and rounded nose.
Catwoman #56 (April 1998) as seen in Batman: Cataclysm.
Page 109. 1700 Broadway was DC Comics’s address in New York at the time of this issue.
Catwoman #1,000,000 (November 1998).
Differing from other One Million issues, this one picks up the story precisely where another issue leaves off; in this case, at the end of Batman #1,000,000 (Nov 1998).
Page 6, panels 1, 2 and 4. The hovering batrobot appears at least partially modeled after Babylon 5‘s Shadow ships.
Page 7, panel 2. The reference to the Joker is a mistake. As was seen in Batman #1,000,000, page 21, panel 5, the Joker’s 853rd-century counterpart is called “the Laugher”.
Page 8, panel 2. The Anti-Riot Tank resembles the tank Batmobile from The Dark Knight Returns #2.
Page 10, panels 1-3 and 7. The skulls and tubing are reminiscent both of Alien and of the Sandman’s helmet.
Page 10, panel 3. “404 wasteland” is probably a reference to the HTTP error 404, i.e. “file not found”.
Page 14, panels 3-4. The sonic trachea blast is reminiscent of Black Canary’s superpower.
Catwoman’s entrance into the 853rd-century Batcave feels very much like a videogame with successive phases.
Page 20, panel 4. Again a reference to the Joker, which is certainly a mistake. The text probably means to refer to its 853rd-century counterpart, the Laugher.
Page 21, panel 4. “She’s got a ticket to ride” is a line from the Beatles’ song Ticket to Ride.
Page 21, panel 5, and page 22, panel 1. As in Ridley Scott’s Alien and its sequels, slime is an announcement to the xenomorph’s imminent appearance. The 853rd-century Killer Croc resembles it with his double mouth, prominent dagger-like teeth, spiny back and eyeless head at the tip of constant-cross-section extensions. Also resembling Alien, the heroine means to escape by piloting a spacefaring shuttle, only to find the giant human-eating alien waiting for her inside.
DC One Million #1 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 3, panel 2. Plastic Man refers, of course, to Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, and his wife, Sue Dibny.
Page 7, panel 3. The JLA fought the White Martians in the New World Order story arc, beginning in JLA #1 (January 1997).
Page 10, panel 1. The Worlogog was introduced in the Rock of Ages arc of JLA, a few issues back. It appears that either the One Million crossover is a sequel to Rock of Ages, or RoA was merely a very elaborate setup. Alternately, though, I believe that both stories can stand on their own, but joined at the hip by the Worlogog, because some plot points in 1M are contingent upon others that were established in RoA. Evidence is the introduction of the 853rd-century Hourman and Superman in the last issue of the RoA arc.
In a fourth hypothesis, it may be that 1M is the second attempt to make some RoA plot devices (or points) work.
Page 17, panel 2. The statues represent former League members Oliver Queen, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen — all deceased. Therefore this appears to be a memorial garden.
Page 19, panel 3. The martial arts move is named after the “Durla octopus” race. In the DC universe, the shapeshifters from the planet Durla are tentacled as octopi. Their most famous specimen, Chameleon Boy, first appeared in 1960 as a member of the 30th-century Legion of Super-Heroes. They feature prominently in the 1988-1989 miniseries Invasion!.
Page 24, panel 1. “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” are the narrator’s lines describing Superman in the 1940s’ radio plays, which have since become a staple description for the Last Son of Krypton.
Page 24, panel 2. This is Belle Rêve prison, which is mentioned in page 13, panel 1, as developing mounting tensions. It specialises in holding superpowered inmates.
Page 25, panel 2. Of course, Mr. Mxyzptlk is a reality-altering imp from the 5th Dimension and one of Superman’s foes. One wonders if Ms. Gzntplzk is related to him, or if maybe this sort of spelling is commonplace in the 5th Dimension. The marriage of a Superman to a 5th Dimension inhabitant with this kind of name spelling is quite a plot twist in the Superman mythology.
Page 25, panel 4. “Up! Up and away!” is the phrase Superman always spoke moments before taking off, in the 1940s radio plays as in TV incarnations since.
Page 26, panel 3. As befits Northern Mongolia, the righthand-most helicopter appears to be either an Mi-8 or an Mi-17.
Page 26, panel 5. The Rocket Red armours were created by Green Lantern Kilowog and sported by the Rocket Red Brigade, a Soviet team that debuted in DC Comics in 1987. From then to the early 90s, DC had heroes from many different countries join the Justice League and this included two successive Rocket Reds.
DC One Million #3 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 133, panel 2. As usual in stories featuring Nazi projects that have not been built in real life, the Blitz-engines are monstrously large tanks, being multiple in size to any real-world creation. They are double-tracked and come with at least four turrets each, sporting what appear to be the total of one large main cannon, at least five smaller cannons and one machine-gun, which is also unprecedented. The body is stepped in three “terraces” below a turret. The Blitz-engines’ shape does not match its apparent inspiration, which would be the unbuilt, thousand-ton Landkreuzer P.1000 Ratte. Also, if you pay attention, Savage’s rampage in these two vehicles makes no sense in the context of this story. How would he wage his “war on the nations of the world” with only two armoured vehicles? What use would they be to him? How could he expect them not to be defeated in short order? And, last but not least, what are they firing at in the middle of the desert?
Page 137, panel 1. OK, hold on — what of the engines’ crews? Even if Savage were somehow alone inside one of them, there is still the other!…
Page 147, panel 4. The Huntress’s plan will blossom in next issue, from page 6, panel 4.
DC One Million #4 (November 1998).
Page 3, panel 1. This appears to be the 853rd-century OMAC.
Page 3, panel 4. “Shining Prince” and “Atomic Lantern” are names that bear a resemblance to those of old 40s and 60s DC heroes as the Shining Knight, Atomic Knights and Green Lantern. “Delta Centurion” reminds me of the Alpha Centurion, who was in the JLA for a short while after Zero Hour. In all likelihood, these are intentional suggestions that the original heroes have counterparts in the 853rd century.
Page 6, panel 2. Lallor is a planet that appeared in the Legion of Super-Heroes stories of the 1960s, being the operating base for the native Heroes of Lallor. The planet had a part in the Invasion! miniseries of 1988-1989.
Page 6, panel 4. “Helena” is the Huntress’s name. She presented her plan to the JLA (but not to the reader) in last issue’s last panel.
Page 7, panel 1. 1. The Justice Legion of Super-Zoomorphs may be an 853rd-century analog to Earth-C’s Zoo Crew of the pre-Crisis multiverse. 2. Master Mind may be the 853rd-century equivalent to Captain Marvel’s foe Mister Mind. 3. That flying horse, on the top right, wears an 853rd-century Superman’s cape. 4. The most prominent ship on the right resembles Crusade‘s Excalibur.
Page 10, panel 1. As an effect of the time distortions, Zauriel’s speech is the same as in page 1, panel 3.
Page 11, panel 1. “Up! Up and away!” is the phrase Superman always spoke as he took off, in the 1940s radio plays as in TV incarnations since.
Page 11, panel 2. The Khunds were alien enemies. Their most notable appeareance was taking part in the Dominator-led invasion of Earth in the Invasion! miniseries.
Page 15, panel 1. As the Flash says, I have been wondering over this since they first mentioned a plan to kill Superman with kryptonite. After 83 thousand years, one would expect the kryptonite’s decay to have all but eliminated it. How long could its half life be?
Page 15, panel 3. Since page 8, I cannot get over Morrison’s preposterous notion that Solar System distances seem to be covered in a matter of minutes, either by missiles or heroes. Now, to top it all, sounds from Mars cover the same distances in the same short time… through space. Indeed, in space no one can hear me rant.
Page 17, panel 2. OK, so Superman literally broke the time barrier. I get it. But how did the other Legion members come through???
Page 18, panel 2. The exploding planet is, of course, Krypton. The departing ship carries the infant Kal-El.
Page 19 is enveloped in Hourman’s cloak.
Page 20, panel 3. On the lower left, in front of Green Lantern, there appears to be an analog of Psi-Mon. On the lower right, there appears to be an analog of Firestorm.
Page 22, panel 2. This is obviously a tie-in to the next JLA issues. Plastic Man is listening on the left.
Page 22, panel 4. Another tie-in. Maybe then-upcoming Our Worlds at War?
Page 24, panels 1 and 2. On the left you can see Chronos, watching over the arrival of Vandal Savage and then leaving.
Page 24, panels 3-4. Oh, do not get too emotional. Savage has survived worse. He will get by.
Detective Comics #680 (December 1994) as seen in Batman No. 2 (December 1996).
Page 36, panel 6. Of course Oracle understands Robin. She too lived a double life, being Batgirl while her father did not suspect it. In fact she has a double life even now, as Oracle.
Page 48, panel 4. Batman is depicted with his face split as Two-Face’s.
Detective Comics #721 (May 1998).
Page 15, panel 5. Sheldon Park is named after Sheldon Moldoff, a Batman writer in the 1940s.
Detective Comics #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 102. These fighting ships are based on the Mil Mi-24 assault helicopter. The ship on the foreground (or shall we say “forespace”) and the topmost ship resemble the early Mi-24, with gun placement as in the Mi-24P. Much more so, the one on the left midpage has a cockpit shape identical to that of the Mi-24D and later variants. Anyway, even if not modeled necessarily on the Mi-24, all ships clearly are rotorless helicopters, as can be seen from overall shape, tadpole fuselages, engine and engine intake placement, and horizontal stabilizers. The rightmost ship resembles some Aérospatiale helicopters, such as the AS 350 or SA 365.
Elseworld’s Finest #1 (1997).
“World’s Finest” is the title of a series from the Golden and Silver Ages of comics where Superman and Batman teamed up. This story seems to be inspired in (and is probably an homage to) the pulps from the 1930s, where dashing heroes would rescue explorers from the clutches of desert warlords and then proceed on daring expeditions to find lost cities of old. Obvious visual references, taken from the same original pulps, are the Indiana Jones films and such similar-themed adventure works as the Alan Quatermain and The Mummy feature films.
The covers from issues #1 and #2 both feature, at their very bottoms, stylised versions of the Superman/Batman logo combining the bat and an S.
Page 1 refers to the Platinum Age of Comics, to the pulps that led into the Golden Age. Captain Marvel is imagined with clothes and guns as he would have been if drawn in 1928. Raymond Beck is a reference to Captain Marvel’s creator, C.C. Beck. Freddy and Mary are, respectively, Freddy Freeman and Mary Batson, who turn into Captain Marvel, Jr., and Mary Marvel. Freddy depends on crutches, as in the regular Fawcett and DC comics. Sugar and Spike (pun certainly intended) was a comic book series by Sheldon Mayer published by DC from 1956 to 1971.
Pages 2-3. Gabby, Thomas, Big Words and Scrappy are indeed the Newsboy Legion (as in page 3, panel 1) seen in Superman comics from the Silver Age, connected both to Suicide Slum and to Jimmy Olsen. The Fox and the Crow was a comics series published by DC during the Golden and Silver Ages.
Page 2, panel 2. A reference to Aquaman, king of Atlantis, who can indeed breathe underwater.
Page 3, panel 4. Shuster University is a reference to Superman creator Joe Shuster.
Page 4, panel 1. Thaddeus Bartholomew Lang may be a reference to the inventor Thaddeus Lang, from Superboy #37 of 1954.
Page 8. Perry White, from the regular Superman comics.
Page 9. Inspector Dan Turpin, from the regular Superman comics.
Page 9, panel 2. A reference to Maggie Sawyer, police captain in the regular comics’ Metropolis.
Page 17, panel 1. The “Ferris Tri-Motor” is the Ford Tri-Motor, which, by the way, appears in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. At the time in real life, there were not full transatlantic flights yet. Note how the font for “Ferris” matches Ford’s. The name “Ferris” refers to the main airplane manufacturer in the DC comics, which is Ferris Aircraft of the Green Lantern comics.
Page 17, panel 3. This is Hal Jordan, Ferris Aircraft’s test pilot in the regular Silver Age comics.
Page 19, panel 5. Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, who would have nine lives if she were a cat. In the regular comics she is a thief who has an unresolved platonic issue with Bruce Wayne.
Page 21, panel 2. Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow of regular comics, is another rich man who pretends to be idle.
Page 25, panel 2. Carter Hall, archaeologist and egyptologist, was the Golden Age’s Hawkman. While digging in Egypt, he discovered himself a reincarnation of Pharaoh Khufu.
Page 25, panel 3. Nabu being Antiquity’s wizard whose helmet allowed him to fuse with a mortal and thus bring about Dr. Fate.
Page 26, panel 1. In the regular comics, the League of Assassins is Ra’s al Ghul’s sect of obedient killers.
Page 26, panel 3. The Egyptian-styled hawk and Hall’s comment are references to his being both a reincarnation of Khufu and the regular comics’ Hawkman.
Page 27, panel 1. Of note are (1) Clark’s suit, whose arm guards are as seen in the regular comics’ Kryptonian suits; (2) the Superman chest symbol; (3) the essentially Superman-coloured suit, with blue overalls, red cape and yellow trimmings; (4) his boots; (5) the Kryptonite-like crystals around; (6) the Superman symbol on the column behind him.
Page 27, panel 2. Behind Clark, two statues holding Krypton up, as do the statues of Jor-El and Lara in the Fortress of Solitude. He is the only person because that is where his dream has put him. Also behind him is the Eradicator device.
Page 27, panel 4. A floating Eradicator and a Superman symbol are crumbling like everything else.
Page 28, panel 5. A possible reference to the RAF’s World War II-era misinformation about eating carrots to see in the dark (thereby hiding the true edge that was the radar).
Page 37, panel 4. In the regular comics, Ra’s wants Bruce Wayne to marry Talia so they will spawn perfect children for his reformed, post-genocide world.
Page 38, panels 1-2. Again the Superman-coloured uniform, now with a bigger red cape, fewer alien trimmings, the S-motif on three pieces and a Kryptonian headband.
Page 41, panel 4. Batman’s utility belt.
Page 47, panel 3. Bibbo is Superman’s less-than-subtle friend in the regular comics.
Page 48. This Elseworlds Lex Luthor is a ripoff of Captain Nemo, noble lord of the Nautilus, sinking ships from the comfort of his lavishly appointed rooms. Possibly also a nod to Alan Moore’s take on the character in his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Elseworld’s Finest #2 (1997).
Page 15, panels 4-5. Note the half-foot-sunk soil, compacted by Kent’s fall.
Page 16, panel 2. Note Superman’s logo on the statue’s head as well as over the entrance to the main building. Certainly Argos is Supergirl’s original city?
Page 18, panels 1 and 3. Note the diamond logo on the cadaver’s chest.
Page 21, panel 5. “Catch up with Ra’s al Ghul” — how? By what means of transportation? “Heard the local Indians mention a man who fell from the sky” — and understood them?? And then knew where Clark was??? And then found him before he recovered conscience????
Page 21, panel 6. “He’s holding Lana and her father captive in the city” — And how would you know that? or the fact that Argos is in that direction — bearing in mind that you were unconscious, off the plane when it landed and away from the walking team when they found the city?
Page 21, panel 7. And how would you know of a hidden stairwell?
Page 25, panel 1. “When Bruce donned the armor and helm of that long-dead sorcerer, the charming rogue vanished — replaced by a silent, seemingly supernatural warrior.” This is reminiscent of DC Comics main continuity hero Dr. Fate, who starts off as Kent Nelson but who, on wearing the helm of Egyptian sorcerer Nabu, becomes its vessel for supernatural power and is replaced by a different entity than himself, no longer human.
Page 26, panel 1. See the Superman diamond shape on the wall.
Page 16, panel 2, and page 26, panel 2. The crystals around confirm that Argos is Kryptonian: reminiscing the Fortress of Solitude.
Page 27, panel 1, to page 31. The Godstone is quite obviously the Eradicator.
Pages 28-29. As in every Indiana Jones movie, the villain is consumed and dissolved when attempting to wield the ancient power of a sacred artifact.
Page 33, panel 3. “An entire race of Supermen”.
Page 46, panel 1. As in the regular chronology in the early to mid-90s, Luthor’s right hand is mechanical.
Page 46, panel 4. Clark destroyed the Eradicator away from Earth, as he tried to do in Action Comics #652 (April 1990).
Page 46, panel 6. Superman descends to earth in a godlike stance, in much the same way he does in Kingdom Come and later in the Man of Steel film.
Page 47, panel 1. “Dynamic duo” is how Batman & Robin have been known from their start in 1940. Also, “despite our differences” addresses the completely different approaches that these two heroes have had highlighted since the early 1970s: one a symbol of hope, flying under clear skies with a colourful uniform and a smile; the other a brooding warrior of dark justice, stalking at night with a dark grey uniform and a grim outlook.
Page 47, panel 2. “World’s Finest” is the title of a series from the Golden and Silver Ages of comics where Superman and Batman teamed up. “Jerry Kane” is a fusion of Jerry Siegel and Bob Kane’s names — respectively co-creator of Superman and creator of Batman. The drawings match the style of Golden Age comics, especially the victim’s Joker-induced smile and the Batmobile. The Superman/Batman logo differs from but reminds us of the later logo from the 2000s. Behind it one can see the Daily Planet’s building, not identified as such possibly because it is the same newspaper publishing the comic strip. Finally, it is strange that Batman would “follow the Man of Steel’s lead”. Also, the story fits the type of stories from that period.
Page 47, panel 3. Does Clark’s face resemble Christopher Reeve’s ever so slightly?
Page 47, panels 4-5. Note that Lana’s pendant and Kara’s earrings and pendant are all shaped as Superman’s symbol. Kara’s pendant has a K that may stand either for “Kara” or for “Kent”. Also, Kara is Clark Kent’s daughter, keeping the name in the family as this was the name of Supergirl, Kal-El’s cousin, during the Silver Age.
Page 48. This is a combination of both Batcave and Fortress of Solitude. The tyrannosaur, the Joker card and the giant coin, as well as the environment itself, are from the Batcave. The shrunken city of Kandor and the statues of Jor-El and Lara holding Krypton up are from the Fortress, as is the Kryptonian battlesuit seen in the Superman comics from the late 1980s to late 1990s. On the staircase’s side one can see a cover from World’s Finest sporting the DC logo in-comic, as well as another Daily Planet cover referring to the Dynamic Duo.
In the end one can see that Clark has married Talia and not Lana — as he does marry Lois and not Lana in the regular comics — and that Bruce marries Lana and not Talia, in a cross-pairing of the usual arrangements that are usually set but not realised in the regular comics (i.e. Clark-Lana and Bruce-Talia).
Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl (September 1998) as seen in DC Millennium No. 4 (June 2002).
The title is a reference both to Elseworlds (of which this is one) and to World’s Finest — which was a Silver Age DC title where Superman and Batman teamed up. Superman and Batman were themselves the World’s Finest. The story is set in an alternate reality where Bruce Wayne is not Batman, but Barbara Gordon is still Batgirl, and she is the most prominent crimefighter in Gotham City. Also, there is no Justice League, but only its predecessor in the regular DCU, the Justice Society of America, albeit as an analogous to the JLA.
Page 55, panel 1. In the regular DC Universe, Venom is the addictive steroid that gives supersize and superstrength to its users, most notably Bane.
Page 55, panel 3. In the regular DCU, Professor Emil Hamilton is a friend of Superman’s. In contemporary continuity, he would not willingly cooperate with the Joker.
Page 56, panel 2. In the regular DCU, the Tarantula is a vigilante from the 1940s, who was a member of the All-Star Squadron.
Page 58, panel 2. In the regular DCU, the blind Dr. Mid-Nite is a man. Also, note that the second person from the left is Green Lantern Abin Sur. In the regular DCU, Abin Sur was the Green Lantern in charge of Sector 2814, which includes the Earth, but he died and was succeeded by Hal Jordan. His uniform here is different from the one he wore in the regular continuity. Third from the left is the Flash, also with a very different uniform from the regular continuity’s. The character next-to-last appears to be Ambush Bug, a one-time member of the Justice League with powers of teleportation and luck but otherwise incompetent. Last is Hawkgirl, not always a member of the Justice League in the regular DCU.
Page 58, panel 4. This Captain Marvel differs significantly from the regular DCU’s.
Page 59, panel 1. Batgirl refers to the word “Shazam!”, which, when uttered by Captain Marvel, turns him back into the powerless Billy Batson. In the regular DCU, “Oracle” is the identity assumed by the wheelchair-bound Barbara Gordon, under which she accesses practically any piece of electronic information to aid the crimefighting efforts of others.
Page 59, panel 2. Barda was trained in Apokolips by the villainous Granny Goodness.
Page 67. The Supergirl-Lex interaction is reminiscent of that in the regular DCU when Matrix-Supergirl was new in Metropolis in the early 1990s.
Page 68, panel 2. In the regular DCU, secret Project Cadmus and the S.T.A.R. Labs are rivals to Lexcorp.
Page 69, panel 2. In the regular DCU, the “Man of Tomorrow” is Superman.
Page 73, panel 1. Izaya is Highfather, the New God who presides over New Genesis and is Barda’s father-in-law.
Page 74, panel 3. In the regular DCU, the Batcave is located underneath Wayne Manor, outside of Gotham City’s limits.
Page 75, panel 3. In the regular DCU, Timothy Drake is the third Robin.
Page 79, panel 1. Among others, the Justice Society seems to include (from the top) someone who seems to be a fusion of Fire (formerly Green Flame) and Ice, a Blue Beetle analog, a Jade analog who wears a Green Lantern suit, Firestorm, a Booster Gold analog and Black Canary.
Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl (September 1998) as seen in DC Millennium No. 5 (July 2002).
Page 40, panel 4. In the regular DC Universe, Professor Emil Hamilton was the true creator of many Lexcorp inventions and Luthor stole credit from him.
Page 44, panel 3. The Justice Society looks like a patchwork of regular DCU heroes. From the left: the Flash has his Silver Age looks and is presumably Barry Allen; Captain Marvel retains his late-80s appearance, as it was when he joined Keith Giffen’s Justice League; Wonder Woman wears her 1940s uniform as seen in John Byrne’s recent retconning; Black Canary wears a mask as she never has in the regular DCU; and I do not know who the hero is on the right.
Page 49, panel 1. Wonder Woman looks as she presently does in the regular DCU (differing from her previous appearance in this Elseworlds story).
Page 49, panel 2. Supergirl emerging from the rocket is very much a reference to her first appearance in the regular DCU on the cover ofAction Comics #252 (May 1959).
Page 53, panel 3. In the regular DCU, Kal-El is Superman, Supergirl’s cousin.
Page 54, panel 5. In the regular DCU, Big Belly Burger is Metropolis’s fast food chain.
Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl (September 1998) as seen in DC Millennium No. 6 (August 2002).
Page 33, panel 5. The “child in the other rocket” is Kal-El, who is Superman in the regular DC universe. In that universe, Kal-El is “the Last Son of Krypton” and is vulnerable to dying by kryptonite radiation.
Page 36, panel 4. Barbara’s father, wearing mustache and glasses, is Commissioner James Gordon. Seated in the row behind, Thomas, Bruce and Martha Wayne.
Page 36, panel 5. In the regular DC universe, it was also Joe Chill who killed the Wayne couple.
Page 37. This is exactly Batman’s origin in the regular DC universe — except that the dead were the Wayne couple, and young Bruce did not have a gun and remained defenseless.
Page 38, panel 2. In the regular DC universe, Bruce Wayne discovered the cave with the bats.
Page 38, panel 3. In the regular DC universe, Barbara Gordon became Oracle, hacking into electronic systems in the search for information.
Page 38, panel 4. This was Batgirl’s uniform in the regular DC universe.
Page 39, panel 2. Detective Harvey Bullock, a member of Gotham’s police in the regular DC universe.
Page 39, panel 4. The jacket, the fishnets and the canary symbol suggest that the woman on the right is Black Canary.
Page 40, panel 1. In the regular DC universe, it is frequently argued that Superman stands for hope and inspiration.
Page 43, panel 1. In the air: Koriand’r (Starfire). On the right: the Blue Devil.
Page 44, panel 1. One of the microphones belongs to the Daily Planet, the newspaper where, in the regular DC universe, Clark Kent (Superman) works.
Page 45, panel 1. In the regular DC universe, it was in Kansas that the ship bringing Kal-El fell.
Page 48, panel 5. In the regular DC universe, Batman keeps Luthor’s kryptonite ring as “insurance” against Superman.
Page 49, panel 2. The faces in the background face the reader and are drawn more realistically than others in the story. We can wonder if they belong to the creative team.
Flash #94 (September 1994) as seen in Novos Titãs No. 125 (August 1996).
Page 35, panel 2. On the floor, the covers of Showcase #4 (September-October 1956) and The Flash #105 (February-March 1959), respectively the first issue with the Silver Age Flash and the first issue of his own title. Also, Showcase #14 (May-June 1958), the fourth issue with the Silver Age Flash.
Page 35, panel 3. The Captain’s Log and the arrowhead symbol are both Star Trek staples.
The Flash #115 (July 1996) as seen in The Flash: Race Against Time!.
Page 89 (page 19), panel 6. This panel is an exact reproduction of the opening to the Quantum Leap TV series, where Dr. Sam Beckett entered the unfinished time machine and traveled to the past.
The Flash #125 (May 1997) as seen in Super-Homem No. 30 (April 1999).
The first pages, where Major Disaster brings about the accident, are essentially a repetition of Swamp Thing #35 (April 1985), where a swordfish is thrown from the roof of a vehicle, except that the villain was Jason Blood and he did not come to the point of being the actual triggerer behind the accident.
Page 55, panel 2. “Dooley Bros.” is a reference to Editor Kevin Dooley.
Page 59, panel 3. “Broome” is a reference to John Broome, a Flash penciller of the 1960s.
Page 68, panel 1. “Augustyn” is a reference to Brian Augustyn, this story’s writer.
Page 75, panel 5. “WG 47” is a reference to the WD 40 lubricant, whose name is trademark.
The Flash #138 (June 1998).
Page 21, panels 1, 3 and 5. You need not pay close attention to see that the kids have changed between panels. For example, in panel 1 the rightmost boy is wearing a yellow shirt with vertical lines; in panel 5 the lines are horizontal. The boy wearing glasses has a green shirt with a black collar; in panel 5 his hair is bigger and the collar is green. And so the blond boy’s hair has changed as well, and so on.
Page 22, panel 5. On the left you see student’s grades posted to a wall. Grant and Marky (Grant Morrison and Mark Millar, the story’s writers) get an A in Creative Writing; Ronnie and Johnny (Ron Wagner and John Nyberg, pencils and inks respectively) get an A (can’t see in what); Gaspar and Tom McCraw (letterer and colorist) also get their A’s.
The Flash #140 (August 1998) as seen in Super-Homem No. 37 (Nov 1999).
Page 3, panel 1. Wally refers to a yearly gathering to fight world threats. This is something of an in-joke, because it is probably a reference to the fact that, every year, DC arranges for a company crossover where, for one month or two, most titles and every major hero are indeed involved in fighting a world threat. Also, on the fourth row from the back, the Martian Manhunter.
Page 5. Dick Grayson (Nightwing) and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner are Wally’s best non-speeding friends, Grayson because of their time together as Teen Titans and New Teen Titans and Rayner since their friendship in the JLA became a successor to that of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan.
Page 6, panel 2. Could Plastic Man’s handkerchief be an attempt at lightening the mood?
Page 10, panel 2. Linda was frozen in The Flash #116 (August 1996) and threatened by Kobra’s assassins in Flash #99-100 (March-April 1995).
Page 12, panel 5. Carmine Infantino was the original penciller for the Silver Age Flash and, as such, is the namesake of one of Keystone City’s landmarks.
Page 16, panel 4. On the flying slips of paper: Grant is probably writer Grant Morrison; Gaspar Saladino is the issue’s letterer; Tom McCraw is the colorist; L.A. Williams is assistant editor; Kupps is probably Paul Kupperberg, the editor; John Nyberg was inker until two issues before; Mark Millar is the writer; Brian is probably Brian Augustyn, former Flash editor.
Page 17, panel 1. Gone are the days when one could smoke on board…! And good riddance too.
Page 20, panel 1. Booster Gold is the hero from the future who was a part of the JLA from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s. His motivation was always to profit from merchandising, so this soda seems to materialise it for him somewhat. One should bear in mind that this is an alternate future.
The Flash #141 (September 1998) as seen in Super-Homem No. 38 (December 1999).
Page 9, panel 1. A reference to Gorilla Grodd, a telepathic, hyperintelligent gorilla that was a major foe of Barry Allen’s (inherited since by Wally West as his own) and always intent on conquering the world.
Page 14, panel 3. In fact, the prediction is that the Sun will become a red giant in approximately 5.4 billion years. The bearded man wearing red boots is probably Superman.
Page 14, panel 4. Twenty billion years is nothing close to the real number of years until the death of the universe. The actual number goes beyond ten to the thousandth power; more like ten to the googolth power.
Page 15. According to the Sandman series, Death will be the last to die. There would necessarily be no one else alive, which is logical, because the last living being will also die and Death will have to be there to take it. Wally would not remain after Death. Anyway Wally’s solution for his problem is similar to that found by Superman in Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey: Book Three.
Page 19, panels 2-3. In Mark Waid’s The Flash #115 and #117, Linda’s love is a beacon for Wally to find his way home from the Speed Force through time. Now Wally casually retrieves Linda from the dead in three-fourths of a page without much of an explanation or any emphasis on the significance of this moment or of this discovery of an ability. It may be that, in this story, Mark Millar is somewhat banalising Waid’s take on the connection between Wally and Linda.
Page 21, panel 2. In fact, Captain Marvel is a little boy (Billy Batson), but precious little anyone knows it.
The Flash #142 (October 1998) as seen in Superman No. 2 (September 2000).
Page 10, panel 2. The white-haired gentleman is Max Mercury, the most experienced speedster, who has been tasked with mentoring Bart Allen/Impulse.
Page 10, panel 3. As usual, Bart behaves recklessly. This is partly caused by his lack of exposition to the dangers of the world, having been raised in virtual reality. His codename “Impulse” is descriptive of his attitude of jumping to action impulsively, often into danger for lack of understanding it.
Page 10, panel 4. Linda’s speech is riddled with Star Trek jargon. As “Ensign Allen”, Bart is made akin to a Starfleet officer. The Klingons, Ferengi and Romulans are the Federation’s enemies (though the Klingons and Ferengi are not enemies at the same time — but no matter).
Page 14, panel 1. Donna Troy is Wonder Girl (in which guise she wore red for most of her career), Garth is Aqualad and Roy Harper is Speedy. The three of them, along with Wally West as Kid Flash and Dick Grayson as Robin, made up the original Teen Titans of the 1960s. (Afterwards the New Teen Titans were formed sans Aqualad and Speedy).
Page 20, panels 1 and 3. Probably a reference to The Flash #141 (September 1998), where Wally rescued Linda from death by outrunning the Black Flash.
The Flash 80-Page Giant #1 (August 1998).
Page 11, panel 1. The story is called “A Tale of Two Flashes” certainly as a reference to Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities”, especially because one Flash is from Keystone and the other, from Central City, one across the river from the other. The story is dedicated to Julie Schwartz because he was the one who proposed and edited the original story of The Flash #123, “Flash of Two Worlds!”, where one met the other for the first time and which thereby began the whole multiverse concept at DC. This 1998 story is an homage to that 1961 story and takes place precisely one year later — except that now this is set post-Crisis, so there is not (nor can there be) one reference to the two Earths. John Byrne never explains how the two Flashes came to meet, because he could not do it and, at the same time, respect the original story’s continuity. The most respectful treatment would be precisely what he did: not to explain the first meeting.
Page 17, panel 4. The caption says that the three villains conceived a plan “as told in ‘The Flash of Two Cities’”. This is a mistake. The 1961 story was called “Flash of Two Worlds!” and is the story so described. Now “The Flash of Two Cities” is the name of the story in The Flash #123, but not the one of 1961 — rather, the one of 1987, whose cover and story are references to the precursor 1961 story of the same-numbered issue of the preceding same-name series.
Page 28, panel 23. Of course the email server belongs to America Online. After all, America Online was the Internet provider in the Time Warner group — which DC belonged to.
Page 30, panels 7-8. These two mice can only be Pinky and the Brain. Every night, Pinky would ask “what do you want to do tonight?” and Brain would reply “The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!” Not only do these two mice look exactly like their animated versions (Pinky tall with large eyes and prominent teeth, Brain short with a squat enormous head and a brooding countenance under a heavy brow), their question and answer are the same! Of course, Pinky and the Brain is a Warner cartoon, and DC belongs to Warner.
Page 39, panel 1. “Libby” is Jessica Chambers’s mother, Libby Lawrence, aka Liberty Belle, a Golden Age super-heroine.
Page 39, panel 4. This mouse is here because of page 28, panel 11, where Bart thinks of scaring Jesse.
Page 43. This is Lightning (later to be known as Max Mercury) vibrating through the door in the speedsters’ most useful trick.
Page 59, panels 2-4. The Russell baby follows on the footsteps of one Kal-El, sent by their loving parents away from their doomed world…
Page 60, panel 3. Ira West is Iris West’s father, as established in the 1980s or before…
Page 60, panel 6. There. See? Iris West was actually born in the 30th Century! And she was adopted in the same fashion as Clark Kent was.
Page 61, panel 1. Certainly a reference to actual events. The San Diego convention is certainly Comic-Con.
Page 62, panel 1. The glass is true to the British pint glasses.
Page 62, panel 2. Also a certain reference to actual events.
Page 64, panel 2. Diana Prince was Wonder Woman’s secret identity in pre-Crisis continuity.
Page 64, panel 3. “Identity crisis” is a major case of foreshadowing! Indeed, DC released a miniseries by that name in 2005. However, this identity crisis here is a reference to the Crisis on Infinite Earths: a maxiseries which revised all of DC’s continuity in a “bloody stroke of genius” — in a literal sense to boot, as it killed away many characters, including the second Flash, Barry Allen.
Page 69, panel 1. Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin wrote stories in 1975 where they were characters meeting the super-heroes they wrote about in their real lives (Justice League of America #123-124) while genius writer Grant Morrison wrote Animal Man #25-26, where he, too, gets to meet his character.
Page 70, panel 4. The computer’s brand is Olivetti. This is the penciller’s surname, but also the name of a popular brand of portable typewriters in the 1980s. Coatbridge is indeed located in Scotland and presumably where Mark Millar lived? Coordinates are 55 degrees 52 minutes North, 4 degrees 1 minute West, just outside the Glaswegian metropolitan area.
And then you finish reading and you find out that the eighty-page giant only had seventy pages.
Gog #1 (February 1998) as seen in the The Kingdom TPB.
Gog #1 is a sequel to Kingdom Come: its bleak start is the aftermath to the A-bomb detonation in KC #1. Therefore:
Page 2 shows the five beings that watch over humanity as seen in KC #3, page 10: the Phantom Stranger, the Guardian Ganthet, Shazam, Izaya Highfather, and Zeus.
Page 7, panel 2: Superman’s message about right and wrong is his main message in KC.
Page 9, panel 1. “Changes the course of mighty rivers and bends steel in his bare hands” is the description given of Superman in the comics, radio and TV series of the Golden Age.
Page 9, panel 1. “His Kingdom come… his will be done…” is the religious reference to Kingdom Come that evokes Matthew 6, 10 (the Lord’s Prayer).
Page 9, panel 1. The original biblical “for yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory” is replaced by the description given of Superman’s values in the TV series from 1952-1958, “truth, justice and the American way”.
Page 15, panel 1. This is Kal-El’s starship leaving Krypton.
Page 15, panel 2. Clearly a Silver Age hero: Captain Comet.
Page 15, panel 3. Billy Batson.
Page 15, panel 5. Orion.
Page 15, panel 6. Koriand’r and Dick Grayson, aka Starfire and Nightwing, dating (or married) as of at their time in the New Titans.
Page 16 presumably shows events specific to KC: panel 1, Luthor kills Sivana; panel 3, Wally West chiding (whom?); panel 4, the Joker has killed Lois Lane; panel 5, Diana loses her status of princess. But panel 2 is obviously the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents.
Page 17, panel 2: Ra’s al Ghul celebrating the birth of Ibn al Xuffasch.
Page 17, panel 4: Captain Atom’s appearances (back to fore): in the original Charlton Comics; in the Crisis on Infinite Earths (first appearance at DC); in the regular DC Comics; in KC.
Green Arrow #136 (September 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Page 120, panel 3. The JLA Watchtower, on the Moon.
Page 122, panel 3. “John” is probably a misspelling of “J’onn”, but, indeed, during the Silver Age, J’onn was often disguised as detective John Jones.
Page 124, panel 4. “Desolation” is a reference to Green Lantern co-Starring Green Arrow #77 (June 1970); the Harpies, to #82 (February-March 1971); the Black Hand, to #84 (June-July 1971). All of these issues were published during the tenure of Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams on the Green Lantern title. Those stories, though spanning a relatively little number of issues, became an instant classic and have been consistently referred to as such — and reprinted — since. They are historically relevant for being the first time when DC comics would approach serious real world problems ostensibly rather than through otherworldly fantasy abstractions, bringing in adult themes to the readers. This coming of age, and specifically this O’Neil/Adams run on Green Lantern, is widely regarded as the dividing line that inaugurated the Bronze Age of comics, featuring mature themes. Also, these Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories are particularly famous among DC fans for featuring Green Lantern and Green Arrow as “hard-traveling heroes” facing the injustices of America on the road and developing an unbreakable bond of brotherhood despite their radical, incompatible views on the issues at hand (a difference which, of course, helped fuel the stories’ discussions). Over the next fifteen years, the Bronze Age would degrade into the “grim ‘n gritty” trend of super-hero comics, where hard-boiled, callous characters would completely replace the purity of Silver Age rôle models. But this is another story.
Page 125, panels 3-6. This is a reference to Oliver Queen’s death in Green Arrow #101 (October 1995) and to the cover of that issue.
Page 131, panel 2. Connor is wearing a cowl as Oliver would during Mike Grell’s run on the character (1987-1993).
Page 132, panel 2. At the time that Hal Jordan remembers, “Speedy” was the alias of Roy Harper, then Green Arrow’s sidekick. Roy ultimately left Green Arrow’s side and started afresh new heroics under the alias of “Arsenal”.
Page 133, panels 2-4. Amid so much yellow light, how come Jordan’s ring is working properly?
Green Lantern #100 (July 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
This story requires an understanding of its context. From 1959 to 1993, Hal Jordan was Earth’s Green Lantern (except for a brief period in the 80s). For a significant part of this time, he was also regarded as the greatest Green Lantern in the Corps. Then, in 1994, Jordan lost it, killed all other Green Lanterns, killed the Guardians, became the nearly all-powerful Parallax and destroyed the Central Battery. One Guardian, Ganthet, survived and handed one ring to Kyle Rayner, making him the sole Green Lantern. Later, in GL #0 (Oct’94), Kyle met Parallax on Oa, finding a dead planet littered with the bodies of dead Lanterns. After some more conflict, however, Jordan was confronted with his own irresponsible folly and eventually repented. In The Final Night #4 (Nov’96), he matched acts to penance, making the supreme sacrifice.
Page 18, panel 2. This is a reference to Sinestro’s banishment to Qward in Green Lantern #7 of 1961, page 7, panel 5.
Page 25, panel 6. This is a serious super-hero comic, but, for a serious comic’s standard, the winged valkyrie is drawn in the exaggerated European comics style (e.g. Astérix‘s). This is consistent with Kyle Rayner’s profession of comics artist.
Page 26, panel 2. Kilowog trained Hal Jordan, as seen in the miniseries Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn.
Page 31, panel 1. Funny how Brainiac-5’s time-travel control device looks like a tricorder or maybe even the access pad to Quantum Leap‘s Ziggy.
Page 31, panel 2. Kyle was telling the truth. Yet, have the Guardians and Green Lanterns not been convinced too easily? They take his story at face value, without questioning it. This is never wise. Obviously this is not the point here, and the story must move on. Still, for the sake of believability, I would expect war-weary Lanterns to develop a little more critical sense, especially after having fought so many deceiving villains.
Page 31, panel 3. Notice how Kyle is in the shadow and speaks sadly and curtly. He knows of Jordan’s tragedy, guilt and ultimate death.
Page 44, panel 2. In Green Lantern #9 (Nov/Dec 1961), Sinestro was sentenced to orbit the universe in a capsule, which would take some 18G years. Of course he somehow got off a bit early, back to haunt the Corps repeated times, but this panel here seems to be a reinterpretation.
Green Lantern #101 (Early August 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Page 53, panels 1-4. These panels are redrawn from others seen in Superman #80 (Aug 1993). Panel 3 here is the last page in that issue.
Page 54, panel 1, is from Green Lantern #48 (Jan 1994). Panel 2 is from #49 (Feb 1994).
Page 54, panel 3 is Hal Jordan transformed into Parallax, Oa’s floor littered with the bodies of dead Guardians, in issue #50 (March 1994). On the right, the bones of Kilowog, his only remains after being vaporized by Jordan in that issue. In the background, Sinestro lies dead in his usual outfit, except that he wears a white cape. In GL #50, unlike what one sees here, Sinestro’s outfit was a mix of a Green Lantern’s and his own.
Page 55, panels 1 to 3, represents Zero Hour (1994). In panel 1, from the top, clockwise: Damage (then a new New Titan), Batgirl (time-displaced from before having been crippled by the Joker in 1988), Metron, Superman (then with a mullet), Waverider and Captain Marvel.
Page 55, panel 4, refers to Green Lantern #0 (Oct 1994).
Page 56, panel 1, refers to Final Night #4 (Nov 1996).
Page 56, panel 2, is Hal Jordan’s funeral in Green Lantern #81 (Dec 1996). On the left, Superman still sports a mullet. On the right, Alan Scott is now Sentinel.
Page 57, panel 1. “Carol” is, of course, Hal Jordan’s love, Carol Ferris. “Pie” is Tom “Pieface” Kalmaku, his trusted mechanic.
Page 70, panel 3. “Ultimate evil” is a bit of an exaggeration… Kalibak is a minor New God and a third-tier character at most. With inexpressive powers, he is hardly even a threat for Green Lantern; more of an inconvenience. Those in charge of announcements certainly attempted a stretch here.
Green Lantern #102 (Late August 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
It really is impressive how much an inker can contribute to a comic book’s look. As a rule, I abhorred Paul Pelletier’s pencils. This issue had a pleasing appearance, though, by the style, I could not pinpoint who had drawn it. Then I saw it was Pelletier and I realised that the inker was Terry Austin, not the same inker as in Pelletier’s awful Outsiders and Superboy and the Ravers‘ runs. Also, I had read these two series in the Brazilian formatinho, whereas I was reading GL #102 in the regular American format, which is larger. This makes quite a difference as well.
P. 74, panel 4. Ten years are not enough time for Hal Jordan to have had all of those Silver Age, Bronze Age and post-Crisis adventures. I believe the writer has not given the timeframe enough thought.
P. 75, panel 6. This painting, by Kyle Rayner, was unveiled in Green Lantern: Secret Files and Origins #1 (July 1998), p. 22. Also, when Hal Jordan debuted as a Green Lantern in Showcase #22 (September-October 1959), the green colour on his uniform did not cover his shoulders. This is how he appears in the Emerald Knights story arc, where he is lifted from his very first days as a GL. Hal changed his appearance afterwards (around Green Lantern #37, in mid-1965), into the classic look to be seen in the painting, which explains his comment.
P. 76, panel 2. This is the link trainer that took Hal Jordan to Abin Sur’s downed ship in Showcase #22 and in its retelling, Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #1 (December 1989). Here its appearance is as in the former.
P. 76, panel 4. This is a lifesize statue of Kilowog, the tough, no-frills Green Lantern who trained and befriended Hal in Emerald Dawn, emigrated to Earth in the last issues of Green Lantern Corps (late 1980s) and was sadly murdered by insane Hal in Green Lantern #50 (March 1994).
P. 79, panel 2. The overall shape, the small, square air intakes and the deployed twin rear airbrakes indicate that the FP-17’s looks were based on those of the Panavia Tornado. The cockpit and its understreamlined hump are shorter, though, for the FP-17 is a single-seater. The aerials on the fin’s sides seem to be an excess care, as if the penciller were not aware that they are not an essential part of the design. Also, ahead of the fin, the penciller added two protrusions on top of each other. They are not very aerodynamic, and he probably copied them from somewhere else. As a final mistake, if you pay close attention to the port airbrake, you will see that it interrupts the rear cockpit fairing, and therefore it seems to arise from the cockpit. It should have been the other way around, with the fairing interrupting the reader’s view of the brake.
P. 80, panel 2. No offence to hand labourers here, but I do not see it as likely that an aircraft mechanic, as skilled as he should be as such, would suddenly be named a project manager for a new aircraft design. This is not only a complex responsibility to take on and one that would demand seniority and long, gradually-built experience; it requires a completely unrelated background. Not at all his line of work!
P. 82, panel 1. Trope detected. Why is it that, in the stories, people so often recognise others from their kiss?
P. 89, panel 1. (1) The sparks and explosion are surely just for style, especially because a simple fall through the concrete would not be enough to cause them. Also, should real sparks arise, they would immediately ignite the fuel, which is now exposed to the atmosphere. (2) Tom need not worry. Certainly Green Lantern can use his ring to undo the damage that he just made himself.
P. 90, panel 1. As a rule, the ring’s projections remain attached to the ring. They are tangible, but they never have attributes such as heat or the power to ignite. Apparently, the Authors have neglected the ring’s properties and devised a piece of flame that could never have unattached from the ring.
P. 92, panel 1. Gee, how easily Kalibak buckles. Was he not supposed to be a New God, strong and all? Where is his stamina? This was silly.
P. 92, panel 2. This is a Motherbox, a nearly omnipotent living computer, used by the New Gods.
P. 92, panel 4. A boom tube is akin to a wormhole. Therefore, when one looks through it, one should see the destination on the other side. In this case, we see the burning tarmac behind the tube. It is possible that this was a mistake by the penciller. Alternately, it is possibly an indication that the tube was already effectively closed and that one could already see the terrain behind.
P. 93, panel 1. “More violent”, “more dangerous”??? Of course not. Not only was this attack statistically random and within normal fluctuations as much as everything else that Hal has seen before, it is also just a slice of a sample at a specific location. He cannot possibly think that this is representative of anything!
Green Lantern #103 (Early September 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Interestingly, the pencils here (by Jeff Johnson and Anthony Williams) are very reminiscent of Stuart Immonen’s. Maybe it is the inks.
Page 95, panels 2 and 3. One cannot help but read this with Star Trek’s transporter whine in his mind’s ear…
Pages 96-97. (1) The Flash is Wally West. Usually his uniform does not show his eyes, but here it does, as it did when Barry Allen wore it. (2) Surely Hal cannot know Steel: the latter first appeared in the short period following Superman’s death, the same period when Coast City was destroyed.
Page 99, panel 2. The “long story for another time” is the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which killed Barry and had Wally replace him as the Flash.
Page 99, panel 3. Aquaman lost his hand when some piranhas ate it in the awful Aquaman #2 (September 1994).
Page 99, panel 4. As I stated in my comment on GL #102, page 74, panel 4, above, ten years is not a plausible time difference.
Page 105, panel 1. Green Lantern coming down behind the streetlight is an oblique (and possibly unintentional) reference to the final pages of The Dark Knight Returns #4, where Superman does the same in front of an armour-clad Batman.
Page 108, panel 5. The officer had an ungrateful attitude to begin with, and only worsened it. This time Kyle is amply justified and he is even polite to leave without further discussion.
Page 111, panel 2. Donna Troy, Kyle’s prior girlfriend, indeed ceased to exist in the issues of Wonder Woman that were published in the few months before GL #103. However, this disappearance only took the timespan of a few days and, what is more important, Kyle would never have known.
Green Lantern #104 (Late September 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Page 140, panel 4, and page 143, panel 1. This aircraft is strongly reminiscent of the Northrop YB-49 jet bomber and certainly as big. On page 145, panel 1, the dialogue calls it a fighter-bomber, but this is either a lack of research or a poetic liberty.
Page 146; page 149, panel 1; and page 150, panel 4. This bomber is probably intended to look like the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber, although on page 146 its nose section is shaped all wrong (especially the bombardeer’s plexiglas cover). Still, it looks more accurate than the generic shape it had in Green Arrow #136, page 138, panel 3. But the insides of this aircraft have nothing to do with the B-24, being entirely arbitrary and showing a total lack of research on the penciller’s part, as can be seen from page 149, panel 2; page 151, panel 6; page 152, panels 1 and 2; page 153, panels 1 and 2; page 154, panels 2-4; page 155, panels 1, 2 and 4; page 156, panel 2. The whole inside arrangement makes it look like a WWII-era cargo plane, which the B-24 was not (though it was sometimes converted to be).
Page 148, panel 6. In Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, one enthusiastic communist-hating Air Force general sits happily on a nuclear bomb, riding it as it falls to its target.
Page 152, panel 1. One mistake, though: the B-24’s bomb bay doors did not open by pivoting to the outside. Instead, they retracted into the fuselage’s sides, so as not to induce further drag.
Green Lantern #106 (Late October 1998) as seen in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
Again Paul Pelletier delivers pleasing images. This is very far from his cluttered work in Outsiders some five years prior. One wonders how much of the final effect, and possibly the perception of depth, is due to the inker.
Pages 204 and 205, panels 1-2. Now this is a very lousy ending to a timetravel story, one which sadly happens every so often in scifi movies. As a solution to the character’s stranding in time, he appears to jump into the same moment where he had supposedly departed from. BUT
— of course he does not. Let us take younger Hal Jordan. When we first saw this scene in Green Lantern #100, he was battling Sinestro, then Kyle appeared, then they went on to battle together, then they met the Guardians, and then they traveled to a later Earth. It was then that younger Hal departed his time when he left Oa and reached Earth. This is the moment he should jump into, immediately after departure. He never left during the battle with Sinestro. As he now arrives into this battle, he would meet himself a few days younger than he is, and there would be two Hals.
What happened here is the very common writer’s mistake of replacing the character-from-before with the character-from-afterwards, as if the latter suddenly took the former’s place and this former version simply vanished. This seems to close the loop, but the fact is that the character-from-before’s existence is discontinued. Matter should be duplicated but it is not. Compare it with Kyle’s arrival: there was Kyle and there was younger Hal. Now there should be youngest Hal and a-few-days-older Hal, because there is no reason why youngest Hal should no longer be there. He had not traveled from there! Also, why, in this “restored” timeline, does Kyle not suddenly arrive too? There is no reason why. After all, he had come from somewhere (in this case, the Legion’s 30th Century); what would make this trip *not* happen? Nothing. He should still be seen arriving behind Hal, as he did before, and now there is a paradox: slightly-older Hal arrives, but the cause for his arrival should be three Lanterns sending him back there, caused by his displacement in the wake of Kyle’s travel to the present, caused by Kyle’s arrival on Oa — which is nowhere to be seen. So there is ultimately a contradiction too.
A similar criticism to mine can be seen in Bernd Schneider’s analysis of Star Trek‘s “Tomorrow Is Yesterday”, where the same mistake was made by beaming Captain Christopher into his F-104’s cockpit — where he already was.
Page 207, panels 2-3. We see that Kyle is wearing his own ring in his middle finger. This is certainly a plot point, but I do not see where this ring came from to rest in his hand. When Hal told him he would know what to do “with it” (what?), on page 202, panel 3, Hal was clearly wearing his own ring and did not pass it on to Kyle. Yet Kyle is looking at his own closed hand in page 202, panel 4.
And, if it is indeed a ring, what ring is that? Hal was not carrying any ring other than his own.
Green Lantern #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 47, panel 1. “Scotty, I need more power!” “Cap’n, I canna! She won’t take it!” This is, of course, a dialogue between Captain Kirk and Chief Engineer Scott, straight from the original Star Trek series.
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #2 (January 1990).
Page 7, panels 5-6, and page 8, panels 4 and 7. The airplane was certainly meant to look like the Grumman F-14.
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #6 (May 1990).
Page 17, panel 2. “Gardner A. Broome State Correctional Facility” is certainly a reference to Gardner Fox and John Broome. Both were some of DC Comics’s paramount writers during the early Silver Age. The former wrote the first-ever stories of the Justice League of America and others with a sci-fi flair. The latter was the author of the first-ever stories of the Silver Age’s Green Lantern.
Green Lantern: Secret Files and Origins #1 (July 1998) as seen in Super-Homem no. 33 (julho de 1999).
This is a very wrapped-up summary of the careers of the five Earthmen who have wielded Green Lantern rings over the years. It certainly skips the parts where Hal Jordan gave up being a Green Lantern in the mid-1980s and nearly hides the fact that Jordan and Guy Gardner were Green Lanterns at the same time from 1985 to 1992.
Page 3, panel 3. This is the flight simulator from Showcase #22 (1959), first story, pages 1 and 3, panels 2 to 4, to be seen again in the retelling of Hal Jordan’s choosing in Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn #1 (1989), pages 12-15. Here, the simulator keeps the appearance from Showcase.
Page 7, panel 1. Franklin Roosevelt had polio, so he would be unable to stand up. Either this is Harry Truman or Starman’s gravity rod, which is pointed at the president, is perking Roosevelt up. From the left: Hourman, Flash, Doctor Mid-Nite, Hawkman, Atom, Hawkgirl, Starman, Green Lantern.
Page 8. From top left: the airplane looks like a cross between an F-84F and an F-86. Either way, it befits the mid-1950s perfectly, in keeping with the time when Hal Jordan first appeared in the comics. Abin Sur appears as in Showcase #22, page 4, panel 6, a panel not to be seen in GL:ED #1, pages 17-18. Mid-page, Jordan is drawn as in the earliest stories pencilled by Gil Kane (before Green Lantern #11 of 1962): note the lantern sign on his chest.
Page 9. At the top we see Hal Jordan battling Sinestro, his greatest enemy. At the top right, Jordan and Oliver Queen, Green Arrow, appear as partners, in a throwback to Green Lantern #76 (1970) to #89 (1972). Mid-page, on the right, this is the Justice League of America’s original lineup as retconned after the Crisis on Infinite Earths: Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Black Canary, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. Bottom right: Hal Jordan’s hair first appeared with grey streaks in Green Lantern #1 of 1990. There is a later issue (I cannot seem to recall which one) where he states that this is artificial: he used the ring to change his hair so he would appear older.
Page 9, bottom right, and page 10, panel 1. Gardner’s eyes are cast down in shadow because he is speaking of the time when Jordan went mad, was corrupted by absolute power and ultimately died (to be commented on a few pages from here).
Page 10, panels 2-4. Guy Gardner was introduced in Green Lantern #59 (1968).
Page 10, panel 6. Gardner’s bus accident is told in Green Lantern #87 (Dec 1971-Jan 1972).
Page 11, top left: Green Lantern #87, pages 4-5.
Page 11, right: Katma Tui was murdered by Star Sapphire in Action Comics Weekly #601 (1988). Except neither she nor Stewart wore uniforms when she was killed, and her body was mutilated.
Page 12, panel 4. Hal Jordan cured John Stewart in Parallax: Emerald Night #1 (1996), page 26.
Page 13, top right: Jordan and Gardner dished it out in Green Lantern #25 (1992).
Page 13, left: during their fight, Jordan had grey streaks in his hair.
Page 15, top left: Hal Jordan battles Mongul over the Engine City after it replaced Coast City, Green Lantern #46 (Oct 1993), pages 6-10.
Page 15, top right: Hal Jordan grieves for Coast City in Green Lantern #48 (Jan 1994), page 1.
Page 15, bottom right: this is the cover to Green Lantern #49 (Feb 1994), where Hal Jordan takes the rings from many Lanterns in the Corps, as well as the first page of Green Lantern #50 (Mar 1994), where he battles Sinestro.
Page 15, bottom right. Hal Jordan kills Sinestro in GL #50. This is page 17, panel 1.
Page 17, top. This is GL #50, page 31.
Page 17, midframe. This is Kyle Rayner’s initial appearance as a Green Lantern, Green Lantern #50-#51 (May 1994).
Page 18. The text refers to Zero Hour (Parallax attempting to restart time) and to Green Lantern #0 (Oct 1994, when Rayner and Jordan fight on Oa). Oa vanishes in GL #0, page 21.
Page 19. Dr. Polaris and Dr. Light are shown with upgraded powers as a result of the Underworld Unleashed miniseries of 1995.
Page 20, panel 1. On the right, the three Titans are in the current lineup: Impulse, Arsenal (the former Speedy), the second Terra, and Damage. Regretfully, gone are the days of Wolfman and Pérez’s New Teen Titans.
Page 20, panel 2. This is the current Justice League America, or at least the JLA from a few months back, including Wally West as the Flash, Connor Hawke as Green Arrow and Diana of Themyscira as Wonder Woman. Evidence that this is Diana is given by her uniform, in contrast to Hippolyta’s more recent version (which is however a throwback to the 1940s). Clearly, Diana was still alive in this portrait, though she was killed by Neron in Wonder Woman #124-125 in 1997. From the left, after Wonder Woman, are Batman, Aquaman, Superman and the Martian Manhunter. Superman is pencilled so awfully he is barely recognizable. Also, Gardner says he was in one of the Leagues: he means the JLA during Keith Giffen’s tenure as a writer. At the time, none of DC’s major heroes were part of the group, but Guy Gardner was a prominent member in this incarnation of the League from 1987 to 1992.
Page 21, panel 2. Hal Jordan settles his score with Guy Gardner in Parallax: Emerald Night #1, pages 23-24.
Page 21, panel 3. Jordan’s funeral took place in Green Lantern #81 (Dec 1996).
Impulse #1,000,000 (November 1998).
Page 2, panel 1. Vandal Savage launched three Rocket Red armours in DC One Million #2. Please see my comments on the Rocket Reds in the entry on DC1M #1, page 26, panel 5.
Page 5, panel 2. “Max” is Max Mercury, the predecessor to all current superspeedsters, who serves as their guru and as Bart “Impulse” Allen’s justifiably grumpy tutor.
Page 15, panel 5. The Chunk is Physicist Chester Runk, an overweight friend of the Flash’s who was introduced in 1988. He has a singularity inside of his torso, allowing matter to be sent to a pocket dimension of sorts.
Page 20, panel 4. Impulse running around the bomb is very reminiscent of his grandfather, Barry Allen, running around the Anti-Monitor’s antimatter cannon in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8. That was, of course, Barry’s last heroic act and supreme sacrifice.
Impulse Annual #2 (1997).
Page 4. Shemp and Curly are the two most prominent, successive occupants of the position of third stooge in The Three Stooges.
Page 4 — a computer on the desk; page 7 — software engineers, chocolate mocha and cappuccinos, personal websites; page 8 — tanning salon; page 16 — modern submachine-guns; all in the Old West!
Page 20, panel 1. “Kupperberg’s Guns & Ammo”: Paul Kupperberg is the story’s editor.
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World #8 (October 1997) as seen in DC Millennium no. 9 (jul./ago. 2003).
First story, page 3. One of the raging civilians is wearing a shirt with Superman’s new symbol (the one from the electric blue phase of 1997).
First story, page 17, panel 1. In the background, Superman, Martian Manhunter and Captain Marvel, taking part in a battle in the Genesis crossover — of which this issue here gives no explanation: if the reader did not know better, all one sees here is that, out of nowhere, the New Gods and other heroes are in battle for no reason to be seen.
JLA #2 (February 1997) as seen in JLA: New World Order.
Page 32, panel 2. Now without a satellite, the League meets again at the old underground headquarters outside Detroit.
Page 32, panel 4. “Ramos Art Emporium”: Humberto Ramos is one of the Flash’s pencillers at this time. The magazine in the Flash’s hands is Runner’s World, a long-living title for runners.
Page 33, panel 4. The tennis shoes on the cover of Runner’s World seem to form a lightning shape.
JLA #3 (March 1997) as seen in JLA: New World Order.
Page 59, panel 2. “Now they murder your girlfriend and stuff her in a fridge for kicks.” This refers to the gruesome death of Kyle’s girlfriend Alex at the hands of Major Force in Green Lantern #54 (August 1994).
JLA #8 (August 1997).
Page 5, panel 4. Batman’s outfit is reminiscent of that worn by Jean-Paul Valley in the Knightquest storyline, particularly regarding the helmet-like, rigid cowl, the breast-shoulder armour, the forearm devices, the frontwise-open belt, and the elongated leg protrusions.
Page 6, panel 3. This is Seth Brundle, from The Fly, as indicated (1) by name, (2) by his likeness to Jeff Goldblum and (3) his work on the teleportation device.
Page 7, panel 5. The trophy room contains Booster Gold’s suit and the Silver Age Green Arrow’s clever but funny especially-appointed arrows. What is the “IF” ball, though?
Page 8, panel 4. First reference to a key.
Page 11, panel 4. Grant Morrison shows self-consciousness of the ages-old cliché of villains’ monologues and makes referencing fun of it, nearly breaking the fourth wall.
Page 13, panel 4. Another reference to a key.
Page 14, panel 4. By now the references to keys should become obvious.
Page 15, panel 5. Another reference to a key.
Page 19, panel 5. The Joker is simply older, but he does bear a passing resemblance to Jack Nicholson, who portrayed him in 1989’s Batman, by Tim Burton.
Page 21, panels 2, 4 and 5, and page 22. Another self-conscious reference to the cheesy special arrows of the Silver Age, specifically poking fun at their cheesiness.
JLA #11 (October 1997) as seen in JLA: Rock of Ages.
Page 8, panel 1: on the left, under the graphic novel rack, a Hellboy issue floats by. On the right one can see posters for Akira and Lobo.
Page 14, panel 2: of course Circe is reading Ulysses… She was the witch who cast spells on Ulysses’s men in the Odyssey.
JLA #13 (December 1997) as seen in JLA: Rock of Ages.
Page 13 (page 63), panel 1. A-Mind is possibly a reference to the Silver Age Brainiac, an immortal android tyrant. The evil imp from the fifth dimension is certainly a reference to Mr. Mxyztplk, an evil imp from the fifth dimension. Qwewq is possibly a reference to Qward.
Page 13, panel 3. Nightmare and Nemo are guaranteed to be a reference to Little Nemo, the classic comic strip from the early 20th Century, where Nemo traveled the world of dreams. It is also possibly a reference to the Silver Age Sandman, who entered minds in his vehicle, or even to Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, from Jules Verne’s tales. The Hyperwheel treadmill is certainly a reference to the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill, which allowed him to travel between dimensions.
Page 14, panel 2. The octopus god is probably a reference to Cthulhu.
JLA #15 (February 1998) as seen in JLA: Rock of Ages.
Page 12, panel 2. “I sold my soul once and once was enough.” Mirror Master was one of the first villains to be seduced by Neron in Underworld Unleashed (1995).
Page 23, panel 4. “I’m a doctor, Jim, not a tourniquet” is a reference to Star Trek‘s Dr. McCoy, always complaining “dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a –*–“.
Page 37, panel 4. The silhouette belongs to Superman’s successor in the 853rd century in the upcoming DC One Million event.
JLA #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 105, panel 1. As seen in Detective Comics #1,000,000 (Nov 1998), the 853rd-century heroes need to create Solaris. Project Cadmus, a Jack Kirby creation, is an extremely advanced underground lab on the outskirts of Metropolis, dedicated to DNA and cloning experiments, which has been a part of the Superman mythos since the Silver Age of comics.
Page 105, panel 3, and page 106. “Up! Up and away!” is the phrase Superman always spoke moments before taking off in the 1940s radio plays as in TV incarnations since. On page 106, the balloon is empty, as Superman’s jump has taken him into the vacuum of space.
Page 107, panel 1. At one-thousandth the speed of light, Superman is traveling 299.79 km per second. As the Moon is a mean 384.4 thousand km from Earth, he should arrive after 1282 seconds, or 21.4 minutes.
Page 107, panel 2. “Fire photon torpedoes!” is a common order issued by Starfleet captains in the heat of fights between starships… in Star Trek.
Page 111, panel 1. “One light-second away” because, as seen above, the Earth is indeed 1.28 light-seconds away from the Moon, on average.
Page 111, panel 2. The planet Mercury takes its name from the Roman god of speed, so it is naturally connected to the Flash.
Page 111, panel 3. The planet Venus takes its name from the Roman goddess of love, which fits the Amazons of Themyscira.
Page 112, panel 2. A mother box is a device worn by the New Gods of New Genesis and Apokolips, such as Big Barda. It is a nearly omnipotent, living, wallet-sized supercomputer that allows, among many other things, transmutation of matter and teleportation.
Page 113, panel 2. This graph is not actually a graph of pressure over time. If you look very closely, you will see that some abscissas have more than one ordinate.
Page 116, panel 2. Batman’s soul was forced by the 853rd-century Batman to timetravel to the future in DC One Million #1 (Nov 1998).
Page 118, panel 1. A writer’s mistake, of course. “No reaction time at all” would be typical of the Flash’s superspeed. The text probably meant no speed at all.
Page 118, panel 3. Despite the joke and the shapes in page 117, the Flash is topologically outside of Plastic Man’s body, which has taken a concave shape to envelop him like a shell.
Page 125, panels 1 and 3. Starman’s arrival is a direct sequel to Starman #1,000,000 (Nov 1998).
JLA 80-Page Giant #1 (July 1998) as seen in JLA: Tower of Babel.
The first story, “The Green Bullet”, is a contradiction. Page 138, panels 3 and 4, mentions the kryptonite ring that Superman has entrusted to Batman and therefore makes a reference to Action Comics #650 of 1990. In page 142, panels 1 and 3, Superman speaks of the time he killed three murderous Kryptonians in Superman #22 (1988). In page 145, Luthor is a businessman in his Lexcorp building. All three conditions imply this story to be post-Crisis. On the other hand, page 139 shows that the League is headquartered on the satellite and that Batman, Hal Jordan and Superman are in its roll call. This membership is confirmed on page 145, last panel, when Batman undoubtedly lists himself and Superman as part of the League. All this makes this necessarily a pre-Crisis story.
JLA Secret Files #1 (September 1997) as seen in Coleção DC 70 anos No. 5 (Sept. 2008).
Page 158, panel 5. The names on the stores are those of Jon Bogdanove and Dennis Janke (regular artists in Superman: the Man of Steel), Kevin Aucoin, Peter J. Tomasi and Dan Raspler, editors at DC.
JLA Secret Files & Origins #2 (August 1998).
Page 9, panel 3. Robinson Park is named after Jerry Robinson, one of the most prominent Batman writers from the Golden Age.
Page 13. This panel is a direct throwback to Justice League #1 (May 1987), the start of the first JLA incarnation after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. In that issue’s first page, Guy Gardner sits in this exact position, one foot atop the JLA meeting table, the panels behind him. His speech (or thought, in this case) is also the same, nearly word for word.
Page 16, panel 5. Jesse Custer is the main character in the then ongoing series Preacher.
Page 18, panel 4. Barbara has her left hand on the fourth screen from the left. On the first screen is the name of Mark Lipka, inker; on the sixth, that of writer Christopher Priest.
Page 20. The whole Batman/Guy Gardner confrontation is the same as in Justice League #1, page 11, and equally as silent.
Page 38. Behind Prometheus’s helmet, a helmet taken from one of Darkseid’s Parademons. Behind it, the helmet of Nabu. Behind the helmets, a Manhunter robot.
Page 40, panel 1. The Hyperclan destroyed the League’s satellite headquarters in JLA #1 (January 1997). Rumours of the satellite’s destruction in the Crisis on Infinite Earths were greatly exaggerated. Booster Gold’s armours were devised by Blue Beetle in mid- to late-1990s issues to compensate for a loss of his uniform’s technological powers. The casino on the island of Kooey Kooey Kooey was a part of the Giffen League’s storylines in the early 1990s.
Page 41, panel 5. Martian Manhunter is very fond of Oreo cookies. At the back, the covers to Justice League #1 (May 1987) and JLA #1, both of which signaled new beginnings for the League.
Page 42, panel 1. Zauriel refers to an invasion by five allied alien races (including the Thanagarians) that was the subject of the 1989 miniseries Invasion!.
JLA: World Without Grown-Ups #1 (August 1998).
Page 11, panel 3. The Big Book of the Unexplained was a DC title of April 1997, published under the Paradox seal.
Page 11, panels 3 and 4. The chupacabra (goatsucker) was a legendary animal of Latin America, much touted in the late 1990s.
Page 12, panel 5. On the door, there is no wonder that the band name is Blur’s. To Bart, everything comes in a blur!…
Page 14, panel 3. Evidently, a Playtendo is a portmanteau of a Playstation and a Nintendo game system.
Page 17, panel 1. That certainly is Arion, magic wielder Lord of Atlantis. Because Arion is the evil sorcerer’s brother, it follows that the evil sorcerer is Garn, his twin.
Page 17, panels 4-6. Notice that, as Garn comes to life within Matthew, the adults disappear from the picture over the dresser.
Page 20, panel 1. Aquaman has a V-shaped brace over his chest. To his chest’s right (the Reader’s left), it continues into metal plating, but, to his chest’s left, there is only the brace. However, in this panel the colourist made one mistake and painted metal over the left side of the chest. Compare it with page 21, panel 1, which is correct.
Page 23, panel 1. On the far left, the smoking boy is opening a men’s magazine (not Playboy, but Playgl) on the poster page, which has the most full frontal nudity.
Page 27, panel 4. The airplane is loosely based on the SR-71 hotrod. The dialogue is a reference to Terminator 2.
Page 33, panel 1. Maverick is Tom Cruise’s character in Top Gun, a movie whose name is embroidered on the boy’s arm in panel 2.
Page 35, panel 1. On the top left, within a glass encasing, is the uniform of Jason Todd, the second Robin, deceased in 1989. Batman keeps the uniform as an homage to the young hero.
Page 38, panel 2. The president is evidently a Bill Clinton lookalike. Clinton was the POTUS in 1998.
Page 40. Near the top, the floating magazine is Playpen.
JLA: World Without Grown-Ups #2 (September 1998).
Page 2, panel 2. Does this not remind you of the classic cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #1…? But this is not the case.
Page 8, panel 3. The rabbit on the left is Captain Carrot, from the DC comic of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, whose adventures take place on Earth-C.
Page 13, panel 3. Now how did Billy manage to get in the Watchtower?
Page 15, panel 4. After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Justice League was retconned such that Wonder Woman had never been a part of it. In the continuity since, she only joined the League after it no longer operated out of the Happy Harbor headquarters (regardless of this WW being Diana or her mother, Hippolyta). Therefore Aquaman (a JLA founder) knows exactly what was in Happy Harbor, but Wonder Woman does not.
Page 15, panel 6. Of course Steel and Plastic Man would not know of the HH headquarters either. They only joined the League less than one year ago.
Page 15, panel 8; page 40, panel 1; page 47, panels 1-2. Barry Allen’s uniform let his eyes to be seen through the mask, but Wally West’s uniform does not, which is one way to tell them apart. Either the penciller or the inker got the Flash’s design confused here.
Page 16, panel 3. This is probably not a reference, but, funnily enough, Tim Burton directed the 1989 and 1992 Batman movies and produced Batman Forever.
Page 17, panel 2. These are not precisely the same members as have appeared before, but this group is called Justa Lotta Animals (as indicated at the bottom of the page), a cartoon parody of the Justice League of America that exists in Earth-C-Minus. Originally, Aquaman’s counterpart was a duck, whereas it is a frog in this incarnation of the Animals. Also, these Animals include Superboy, Nightwing and Catwoman counterparts, who were not a part of the original lineup. In the original Animals, a turtle was the Flash’s counterpart, whereas it is a bear in this case; a lamb was Green Lantern’s, whereas it is a turtle here. Also, Martian Manhunter’s counterpart is reminiscent of Mister Mind, Captain Marvel’s enemy. Lastly, Wonder Woman’s counterpart looks notoriously like Warner Brothers’ Road Runner.
Page 19, panel 6. A twisted reference to Terminator 2’s “hasta la vista, baby”.
Page 20, panels 6-7. Grodd climbs the Empire State Building in a reference to the original King Kong movie.
Page 21. Joker Jr. is jailed precisely as Hannibal Lecter is in The Silence of the Lambs. He speaks like Lecter, including his “Clariccccce” teasing in panel 1, his double-meaning references to cannibalism in panel 3 and his mind tricks in panels 4-6.
Page 30, panel 4. This is the Justice League of America’s original lineup after the Crisis on Infinite Earths retconned it without the participations of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It STILL does not seem believable to me. I mean, come on!
Page 33, panel 1. “Holy Moley!” is Captain Marvel’s distinct expression of astonishment.
Page 35, panel 2. The noseart tiger looks suspiciously like Hobbes, from Calvin & Hobbes. The floating figure is reminiscent of Ghostbusters’s Stay Puft.
Page 41, panel 1. The grey bigmouth on the lower right may be a reference to Alien’s xenomorph.
Page 45, panel 3. Note Captain Marvel and Billy reuniting under a magic bolt.
Pages 46-48. The penciller made a mistake with Impulse’s lightning design, making it symmetrical. The penciller of previous pages made it right: the lightning slants down from left to right, with returns in the opposite direction, just as the Flash’s symbol.
Page 46, panel 1. So Matthew is taken away into captivity… and no one even tries to contact his parents?!
Page 46, panel 2. The picture is a little confusing, but the five heroes at the back are actually not in the room; rather, they appear in the wall painting.
Page 48, panels 1-2. This is the founding of the superhero group Young Justice.
Page 48, panel 3. When Wonder Woman debuted in 1942, she wore the symbol of an eagle on her chest. As the years passed, the eagle symbol was gradually transformed into a stylised double W, but always resembled an eagle. And it always drew attention to her breast.
Page 48, panels 3-6. This is Red Tornado, a former member of the Justice League of America. The last panel is a teaser into Young Justice #1 (September 1998).
Justice League: the Nail #1 (August 1998) as seen in Liga da Justiça: the Nail: o prego: parte 1 (December 2002).
Jess Nevins’s Annotations rule and can be found here. I will add little:
The characters in this story are mostly derived from their Silver Age representations, although the continuity is also reminiscent of early post-Crisis stories.
Page 11, panel 1. Despite Alan Davis’s denial that he meant to reference The Dark Knight Returns, what probably happened is that he was unconsciously influenced.
Page 12. Batman sits brooding and silent, as is his wont. The Flash’s uniform, plus our ability to see his eyes, are evidence that this is Barry Allen.
Page 27, panel 5. The crew-cut hair and the uniform folding into the ring are additional evidence that this Flash is Barry Allen.
Page 31, panel 5. The armour indicates that these men are from Team Luthor.
Page 45, panel 4. Alan Davis’s intent with this space war was probably to keep the New Gods from participating in Earth events (or, more precisely, to justify why they did not participate in them), so as to keep his main story simpler while also avoiding the deus ex machina of their influence. I say this because of his admission of reasons for keeping other characters out at the beginning of issue #3.
Page 50. The Joker probably killed Batman’s wards only in order to taunt Batman into killing him in a rage. This would be in fitting with the general theme of The Killling Joke and with a deliberate action of the Joker’s in The Dark Knight Returns.
Justice League: the Nail #2 (September 1998) as seen in Liga da Justiça: the Nail: o prego: parte 2 de 3 (January 2003).
As is the case with issue #1, Jess Nevins’s Annotations are absolute and already explain much that I planned on commenting on… and then ten times more. This is just to complement them with my own observations.
As observed before, this story is a throwback to the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, with some influence from early post-Crisis continuity.
Page 5, panel 1. The foremost Batmobile (also the one least hidden) looks very much like the Batmobiles of the mid- to late-1970s.
Page 6, panel 2. From this point forward, it is interesting to note that, in Alan Davis’s interpretation, Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern ring is constantly and visibly spewing out energy.
Page 7, panel 3. The simplicity of this uniform, plus one’s ability to see the Flash’s eyes, leads one to believe that this is Barry Allen, which is consistent with the story being set in a Silver Age environment. If there never was a Superman, there quite possibly never was a Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Page 8. From Jess Nevins’s Annotations, I realise that all talking Lanterns (Chummuck, Katma Tui, Arisia and Tomar-Re) are deceased in the regular DCU continuity. Katma Tui’s death, in particular, was as gruesome as it was senseless, with her body sliced in Action Comics Weekly #601 by a deranged Star Sapphire (who, as many times before, had taken possession of Carol Ferris’s body to perpetrate her heinous acts). More or less from top to bottom, one can recognise many others from appearances over hundreds of previous issues: Kilowog in the foreground, Galius Zed (the head with limbs), Deeter (with moustache), Hollika Rahn (the white-dressed Mohawk), Xax (the enlarged ant besides Tomar-Re), Larvox (many-limbed cyclops), Penelops (the eye with tentacles), Salaak (four-armed, with 18th-century-style livery), Medphyll (the cyclops plant), Eddore (the diafanous little cloud of gel), Chaselon (the crystal egg), Rot Lop Fan (an Alan Moore creation from Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #3, wearing a bell symbol instead of that of a lantern, as well as a bell ring, because his world does not have a concept of light or vision, so his power is symbolised by sound instead of green light), Ch’p (the squirrel lookalike), and K’Ryssma (the white-skinned, female Lantern with long white hair). Most (if not all) the other Lanterns have also been introduced over the preceding 39 years of Green Lantern mythology.
Page 9, panel 5. Just as it was with the New Gods in issue #1, I believe this to be Alan Davis’s justification for keeping the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps from complicating his main story on Earth.
Page 10, panel 5. Jordan’s attitude, though noble and in line with the 1990s’ ethos, differs from that of his earliest representations in 1959-1960. At the time, the Showcase and Green Lantern titles would sometimes show him assuming aliens to be evil just from their looks, or from someone’s dissatisfaction, and then battling them (as I have commented on before, here and here).
Page 11, panel 2. And who would be an alien with the looks of a glorious American hero…?
Page 11, panel 4. The Nail draws most of its texture from the Silver Age. Therefore Lex Luthor, despite being a millionaire businessman and politician as in the current DC Universe, is also a scientific genius and an evil inventor.
Page 12, panels 1-4. The edge of each panel connects to the edge of the adjacent panel: the lines to the right represent different shapes, but they are extensions of the lines to the left. This gives the page some unusual visual blending. It is interesting to see that comics, as well as any art form, allow room for the artist to play occasionally, just for the fun of it, or to display some prowess, in dabbles that are not necessarily full of meaning; or that maybe are, but not necessarily as a support to the story, much like medieval illuminations.
Page 15, panel 3. Note that the Flash’s very fingertips are not vibrating (as they could not be if he meant to grab Amazo’s brain). That is quite a refinement of the vibrating trick.
Page 16, panel 3. It is not wise to simply discard Amazo’s brain (a priceless piece of precision machinery) in the lair of such an untrustworthy, scheming, master chess player of a megavillain as Ra’s al Ghul!
Page 19, panels 5-6. Batman is pencilled in a style that much resembles the Bronze Age’s.
Page 22, panel 5. Apparently, the Thinker spent his idle time repeatedly solving Rubik’s Cube. Unfortunately for him, he did not have the time to complete his last take on it before being interrupted by the mysterious killer.
Page 22, panel 6. Note, from this point forward, that the xenophobes always refer to anyone different as an “ET” or an “alien”, regardless of their very earthly origins. This is the case not only of Rex “Metamorpho” Mason, but of every other metahuman.
Page 31, panel 1. In the regular DCU, Pete Ross is a childhood friend of Clark Kent’s and currently a senator. Pre-Crisis he knew of Superman’s secret identity, whereas post-Crisis he does not.
Page 40, panel 6. Flowing… Kryptonian robes?
Page 44, panel 2. “Joan” is a good female alias for J’onn Jonzz, aka Detective John Jones.
Page 49, panel 1. Garfield Logan is not the Changeling, but Beast Boy, in keeping with this miniseries’s Silver Age spirit.
Page 49, panel 4. It seems that the Federal Center is also this universe’s version of Project Cadmus.
Page 50, panel 3. Starro the Conqueror was the Justice League’s first foe, in The Brave and the Bold #28, of February-March 1960.
Justice League: the Nail #3 (November 1998) as seen in Liga da Justiça: the Nail: o prego: parte 3 de 3 (February 2003).
As is the case with issues #1 and #2, Jess Nevins’s Annotations contain most of what I would have said, and then a lot more. This is just a complement.
As observed before, this story is a throwback to the Silver and Bronze Ages of comics, with some influence from early post-Crisis continuity.
Page 6, panel 6, to page 7, panel 1. Matt and Abigail Cable and Alec Holland are main characters in the Swamp Thing comics. In particular, in the initial Bronze Age continuity Holland was transformed into the Swamp Thing by the bioregenerative formula — an event that would later be retconned by Alan Moore as actually not a transformation, but the Green taking Holland’s body and parts of his memory as a template for building a new, vegetable creature resembling a humanoid.
Page 11, panel 7. The robot’s helmet resembles Boba Fett’s, Magneto’s and the head covers in The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers‘s Slaver Lords.
Page 15, panel 4. The flames and the feathery layer of Hawkgirl’s helmet are visually connected with the same appearance in a zoom-in.
Page 20, panels 3-6. In the regular DC continuity of the Silver and Bronze Ages, the Earth-2’s Batman found the love of his life in Selina Kyle, whom he later married.
Page 22, panel 6. Liberator #1 looks like a Bizarro Superman. In pre-Crisis continuity, the Bizarro Superman was an imperfect duplicate of Superman and had a #1 plaque on his chest. In post-Crisis continuity, the successive Bizarros are imperfect clones of Superman, beginning in The Man of Steel #5 (December 1986). The appendages in this Bizarro’s forehead resemble those in the forehead of the Silver Age’s Brainiac.
Page 24, panel 1. In the Silver Age comics, Krypto was Superman’s white Kryptonian dog and looked like an Earth dog. In this panel he appears fused with Starro the Conqueror.
Page 24, panel 5. Jimmy’s forehead sports that same S-shaped lock of hair worn by Superman in the regular continuity.
Page 26, panel 2. Selina’s new uniform is basically the same as that of the Silver Age’s Batwoman.
Page 27, panel 3. This is the cradleship that brought Kal-El to Earth.
Page 27, panel 4. Here, the expression “Bizarro Superman” is used not as a name, but as a description for the imperfect clone. In the regular DCU, though, it is the character’s name, as commented on above.
Page 28, panel 5. This is the Kryptonian suit worn by Kal-El when the Eradicator turned him into Krypton Man, as displayed very prominently on the cover to Superman #42 (April 1990).
Page 30, panels 1-3. The Bizarros are prone to disintegration. The three panels show that, when properly hit with enough force after a certain amount of time, their instability causes them to crumble into flakes of white dust. This is consistent with the regular DCU’s Bizarros in the post-Crisis continuity, especially with the demise of the first post-Crisis Bizarro in The Man of Steel #5.
Page 44, panel 1. This panel is strongly reminiscent of Frank Miller’s pencilling style, particularly as seen in Ronin.
Pages 44-45. Having turned himself into a Superman clone of sorts, Jimmy turns out to be as imperfect and unstable as the Bizarros. After a while, the depletion of his powers makes him crumble into white dust as well.
Page 47, panel 3. More than anyone else, the Batman knows how it feels to have one’s parents murdered in cold blood in front of one’s powerlessness.
Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #8 (April 1997) as seen in Astro City: inquisição.
On the cover, on the right upper corner, one can see that Alex Ross painted his adult Billy Batson from Kingdom Come.
Pages 121 and 122 use images from Bill Gunston’s Future Fighters and Combat Aircraft, as demonstrated by my weblog in February 2014.
Page 122, panel 2. Mount Kirby is a reference to legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, an inspiration to many a creator in this medium.
Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #10 (September 1997) as seen in Fábulas Pixel #2 (August 2008).
Page 18, panel 1. The poster on the wall is the cover to Kurt Busiek’s Astro City Vol. 1: Life in the Big City.
Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #1/2 (January 1998) as seen in Astro City: inquisição.
Pages 182-184. This is a reference to DC Comics events such as the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour, including the melding of eras, the disappearance of heroes and cities, the “ultimate battle” with all heroes stitching time together and the residual effect of small misadjustments where some still remember.
Kurt Busiek’s Astro City #13 (February 1998) as seen in Fábulas Pixel No. 1 (April 2008).
Page 4, panel 5. The Monster from the Black Continent is probably a reference to Creature from the Black Lagoon, a classic from the 1950s. As the Black Continent is Africa, the Monster can only be a gorilla, as shown by the King Kong-like poster.
Page 6, panel 4. The Happy Jack poster shows Alfred E. Neuman, the cover boy from all issues of DC’s Mad magazine.
Planetary Preview (September 1998) as seen in Planetary: mundo estranho (April 2005).
Pages 7-9. Of course this is the same origin as that of Marvel’s Hulk, only substituting the general’s wife for Rick Jones.
Preacher #16 (August 1996) as seen in Preacher: até o fim do mundo.
On the story’s eleventh page, panel 3, we see that Tulip’s gun is locked in the open position, with the bolt stuck fully back and the barrel visible. This indicates that she has spent all of her ammunition: when a pistol has fired its last shot, it locks the bolt fully back. In panel 4, we see Tulip loading a new magazine, confirming that the one before was fully spent.
On the story’s fifteenth page, panel 6, again Tulip’s pistol is open and the barrel is visible, showing that, again, her ammunition is fully spent.
Preacher #34 (February 1998) as seen in Preacher: guerra ao sol.
On the first page where we see the barracks, there is a helicopter in the background. From its profile, it can be seen that the penciller was right on the mark by drawing a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, which is the US Army’s standard utility and troop carrying helicopter and which we would typically see in the average barracks. However, the rear landing gear is from the naval versions, the SH-60 Seahawk and HH-60 Jayhawk. So this was a mistake.
Preacher #35 (March 1998) as seen in Preacher: guerra ao sol.
Pages 2-3, page 7 (panels 1-3) . The tanks are M1 Abrams.
Page 8, panel 1. The helicopters are UH-60 Black Haws (more visibly so than in issue #34).
Page 17, panels 1-2. The helicopter is a UH-60, but, again (as in issue #34), the penciller mistook the correct way to represent the rear landing gear and drew the one from the SH-60 Seahawk.
Page 19, panel 1. The jet has a tail cone that approaches but does not quite fit that in the IAI 1125 (Gulfstream G100). It is a generic business jet, dissimilar to any in existence.
Preacher #36 (April 1998) as seen in Preacher: guerra ao sol.
Page 3, panel 3, page 9, panel 1, page 14, panel 4, and page 15, panel 1. The vehicle is an HMMWV (colloquially, a “Humvee”).
Page 9, panel 2, page 11, panel 3, page 12, panels 3 and 5, page 13, panels 1 and 3, page 14, panel 3, page 16, panel 1, page 22, panel 4, and page 24, panel 1. The tanks are M1 Abrams.
Page 15, panel 5, page 20, panel 3, and page 21, panel 3. The machine-gun is a Vietnam-era M60, the same one that John Rambo wielded in the warehouse-rage scene at the end of Rambo: First Blood Part II.
Preacher #37 (May 1998) as seen in Preacher: guerra ao sol.
Page 1 and page 11, panels 1 and 6. The bomber is a B-2 Spirit.
Page 2, panels 1 and 2, page 4, panel 1, page 6, panels 1, 2, 4 and 5, and page 12, panels 1-3. The tanks are M1 Abrams.
Page 4, panel 2, page 5, panel 4, page 6, panels 2-3, and page 12, panel 1. The vehicle is an HMMWV.
Page 4, panel 4, page 5, panel 5, and page 12, panel 1. The machine-gun is an M60.
Page 11, panel 6, page 14, panel 5, and page 16, panel 1. The cruise missile is supposed to be an AGM-109 Tomahawk. During the 1980s, there was the project of fitting the ground-launched BGM-109 as the air-launched AGM-109, but this was not adopted and therefore never went into service.
Page 12, panel 2, page 13, panel 1, page 14, panels 1 and 5, page 15, panels 4 and 6, page 19, panel 4, page 21, panel 4, and page 24, panel 1. The business jet is generic and does not resemble any ever made.
Page 12, panel 5. The pistol is an M1911, which pervaded the US armed forces throughout the 20th Century.
Page 13, panel 4. The helicopters are UH-60 Black Hawks.
Page 16, panel 3, and page 19, panel 2. The helicopters are ostensibly UH-60, but the landing gear is from the SH-60 Seahawk, in a penciller’s mistake.
Preacher #39 (July 1998) as seen in Preacher: guerra ao sol.
Page 11, panel 1, page 17, panel 2, and page 18, panels 2 and 4. The pistol is supposed to be an M1911, but the ejection port is too long and the trigger guard does not quite fit the model (it has a tooth-like projection, non-extant in the M1911).
Page 20, panel 1. Notice that, as the projectile leaves the barrel, the bolt has recoiled to its maximum stroke, making the barrel visible, and the cartridge case leaves the ejection port.
Preacher #43 (November 1998) as seen in Preacher: salvação.
The story is called “Christina’s World” as a reference to the painting by Andrew Wyeth of the same name, which is analised quite forcefully in pages 70-71. But, much before the Reader gets there, Glenn Fabry’s cover is his own take on that famous picture.
Resurrection Man #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 163. Presumably, these are the Teen Titans of the 853rd century, or Justice Legion B aka “JLTT” as referred to in the preceding page. The white woman is identical to the 853rd-century Wonder Woman, so we may assume her to be Wonder Girl or Troy. There is also a floating robot, whom I assumed to be the 853rd-century Cyborg but appears to be Arsenal. The bat-human is certainly the 853rd-century literal-looking Nightwing.
Page 165, panel 1. If Hannibal gave him the sword, then a more precise figure would be 85,485 years, give or take 33 years at most.
Robin #12 (December 1994) as seen in Batman: vigilantes de Gotham No. 3 (January 1997).
Under the bed, a Hyperman comic. Coincidence or not, this is the same character mentioned by Wanda in Sandman: a Game of You. Supposedly a fictional version of Superman.
Robin #58 (October 1998) as seen in Batman: vigilantes de Gotham No. 41 (March 2000).
Page 6, panel 4. This is the same pickup Batmobile that we have seen in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #79 (October 1998).
Page 7, panels 2 and 4. Barbara’s mug! :-)
Page 7, panels 2-6. It is unbelievable that Robin would share a secret with ORACLE, of all people. It is unimaginable that he would reveal Spoiler’s pregnancy without meaning to, as it seems he has. Oh well, he is a kid. But one would expect more from Batman’s esquire.
Robin #1,000,000 (November 1998).
The story picks up precisely where Catwoman #1,000,00 (November 1998) left off.
Page 1. L. Sprague de Camp and E.E. “Doc” Smith were two of the most prominent writers of the Golden Age of Science Fiction (from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s). Their stories influenced most writers who created space adventures of any sort thereafter. Considering that this story is a space adventure in the strictest of that tradition, it is only fitting that Editors Jordan B. Gorfinkel and Dennis O’Neil would appear as “L. Sprague de Gorf” and “E.E. ‘Doc’ O’Neil”.
Page 2, panel 1. On the left, one may assume this purple-clad green female figure to be the 853rd-century Poison Ivy. With her long, curvy outfanning hair and wide, eyeless mouth, she bears an unnerving resemblance to Camelot 3000‘s Nyneve.
Page 3, panel 1. The golden character on the right may be an 853rd-century Vuldarian.
Page 14, panel 3. The Laugher’s quick drying is probably influenced by the demise of Tim Robbins’s character in Mission to Mars.
Page 17, panel 1. This ship’s design appears influenced by that of alternate space shuttles of the mid-90s, such as the ESA’s Hermès.
Page 20, panel 4. Despite its initial appearance, the escape ship now appears derived from those in Stewart Cowley’s Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD, with a rear planar face that reminds one of the Skymaster 28.
The Sandman #5 (May 1989).
Page 12, panel 5. Scott Free wonders “who else was in the old JLA” immediately after having thought of the Batman. However, in the post-Crisis continuity, none of DC’s Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) has ever been a part of the old JLA. In the current continuity, Batman only joined the League in its 1987 reassembly, and Superman and Wonder Woman would only do so respectively in 1992 and 1993.
Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC #1 (June 1996) as seen in Sergio Aragonés destrói a DC (April 1998).
Page 6; page 15, panels 3-4; page 22, panels 4-5; page 27, panel 4; page 32, panel 1; page 34, panels 2-4; page 35: all references to DC’s crises, hence some characters making explicit usage of the word. Both in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and in Zero Hour (Crisis in Time), one character runs around the DC universe recruiting heroes to fight some terrible, as yet unidentified threat.
Page 6, panel 5. On the right, Starman (Jack Knight). In the background, Pantha and Koriand’r, of the New Teen Titans.
Page 7, panel 1. On a desk, figures of Alfred E. Neuman (Mad’s cover mascot) and Bart Simpson.
Pages 10-12. Krypton and the outfits of Kal-El’s parents Jor-El and Lara are shown as they looked during the Silver Age — not as they have looked since John Byrne rebooted the Superman mythology in 1986.
Page 10, panel 1. A reference to the fact that DC always retells the origins of Superman every now and then.
Page 12, panel 4. The representation of the rocket leaving Krypton is the classical scene, many times redrawn since 1938 all along the Silver Age — but, again, it does not fit John Byrne’s representation.
Page 12, panel 5. The Hairies are super-advanced humans who live outside Metropolis, in the Habitat.
Page 13, panel 3. From 1938 to the end of the Silver Age, Clark Kent was very often referred to as a mild-mannered reporter.
Pages 16 and 18. This is Batman’s origin, repeatedly told since 1939, including the reboot of 1987.
Page 19, panel 1. A reference to the hare krishnae, who have the bad habit of asking for donations in US airports.
Page 21. The amusement park is a reference to Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke.
Page 22, panel 2. “You can’t handle the truth!” is a statement by Jack Nicholson’s character in a famous scene from 1992’s A Few Good Men. Jack Nicholson played the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman movie of 1989.
Page 22, panel 4. Over the years, DC has repeatedly published “crisis” stories of increasing proportions, culminating in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Page 23. Wonder Woman would normally refer to the Greek god Zeus, but instead she utters “Seuss”, i.e. Doctor Seuss, famed writer of children’s books.
Page 29. As a matter of fact, L.E.G.I.O.N. is not set in the 30th Century, but in the 20th. It first appeared in the Invasion! miniseries as a precursor to the Legion of Super-Heroes of the 30th Century, which is the target of this spoof. The scene depicted here is a retake on the first story and on the first cover featuring the LSH, in Adventure Comics #247, of April 1958.
Page 31, panel 7. “Will Smith” is a reference to the Men In Black movie.
Page 34, panel 5. In some of DC’s crises, the writers did not know how to finish the story.
Page 36, panel 1 and inserts. This is a retake on the panels of Crisis on Infinite Earths where Barry Allen dies. The Flash refers to the Crisis itself, where Supergirl and Barry Allen indeed died (respectively in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 and #8).
Page 36, panel 2 and inserts. Green Lantern Kyle Rayner refers to Hal Jordan’s fall into madness, his transformation into Parallax and his dispute with Kyle himself for the Ring, as seen in Green Lantern #48-50 and #63-64. 2814 is the sector where the Earth is located, over which Hal had his Green Lantern jurisdiction before going mad.
Page 36, panel 3 and insert. A reference to Aquaman #2, where Aquaman loses his left hand, immediately before Zero Hour.
Page 37, panel 1. At the time, Oliver Queen was dead. He died in Green Arrow #101 (October 1995). Batman had his back broken by Bane in Batman #497 (July 1993). Superman’s death in the comics was indeed a story for real-life newspapers, back in 1993.
Page 37, panel 5. On the shelves, classic DC titles: House of Mystery, Justice League, The Atom, The Flash, Action Comics, Mad (not a DC title, but one which Aragonés has worked for over a period of 25 years), Kamandi: the Last Boy on Earth, Plastic Man, G.I. Combat, Blackhawk, Metal Men, Lobo’s Back, The Demon. On the table, Detective Comics #1 (with a mandarin on the cover), Batman #1 and Flash Comics #2. In Aragonés’s hands, Action Comics #1.
Page 43, panel 4. Superboy, Catwoman, Lobo, Guy Gardner, the Spectre, arriving as all the summoned recruits arrive in the crises that involve all the characters. Note that, as a rule, they would not appear together. Hence the reference to a megasaga, which is the only motivator of their appearances, which otherwise would not be connected to the story.
Page 48, panels 3-5. Just like Rorschach’s diary in Watchmen.
Page 49. All the issues are Marvel’s: The Punisher, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Captain America, Wolverine, Thor, Silver Surfer.
The Spectre #54 (June 1997).
Page 4: Newsboy Legion at the corner.
Pages 5-17 retell Justice League of America #171-172 (October-November 1979), with the death of the first Mr. Terrific.
Pages 5-6. The original, pre-Crisis issues of JLofA had Earth-1’s Superman and Batman, but The Spectre #54 is a post-Crisis issue from 1997. Therefore, this issue could only show the Justice League of that time as it has been retconned post-Crisis, i.e. retroactively excluding Superman and Batman, as they have been retconned never to have been a part of the original League. Even the presence of two Hawkmen would be controversial, especially post-Zero Hour. The two Hawkmen appear partly as they did on the cover of JLofA #171: both wear winged masks, one brownish, the other yellowish, but the colours are switched.
There are some serious continuity trouble in this issue, or perhaps there has been the option to keep the original JLofA story as it was in 1979. Maybe the cause was a choice to simply copy the 1979 story with no changes, but the fact remains that that original story is anachronistic and no longer valid in current continuity. In fact, I am not even sure if a flashback should be able to show the JLA-JSA get-together. Though the meeting did take place in the old chronology, in present continuity the two teams were not separated in different worlds, but in different times. There never were two Earths, but the JLA only came into being after the JSA was not active anymore.
Speed Force #1 (November 1997).
Page 25, panel 1. “Carlini herbal laxative” (“guaranteed regularity or else”) is certainly a reference to editor Mike Carlin and probably a reference to some anal-retentive demand of his on deadline observance.
Page 27, panel 1. Archimedes Schott is certainly a forebear of Winslow Schott, Toyman. “Mignola’s” is a reference to artist Mike Mignola.
Page 38. “Fox & Lampert”: Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert created this Flash, Jay Garrick, in 1940.
Page 46, panel 3. Behind the older Jay Garrick one can see Hippolyta, who was time-displaced as Wonder Woman in 1942 at the time of John Byrne’s tenure as Wonder Woman writer in 1997-1998.
Page 47, panel 7. “Wonder Woman #129”: as it turned out, the story was delayed into Wonder Woman #130 (February 1998), where Jay and Hippolyta travel back to 1942.
Starman #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 64, panel 6. Farris Knight questions his heritage, his family, his and his family’s life stories, and his own ethics as well as his family’s. This is precisely Hamlet’s own inner anguishes and doubts as in Shakespeare’s play. Therefore Farris holds his helmet as Hamlet classically holds Yorick’s skull in that famous scene. In the play, this is not the same scene with the “to be or not to be” speech, but the speech and the skull have become connected in our imaginations.
Superboy and the Ravers #7 (March 1997) as seen in Superboy No. 23 (September 1998).
Page 13, panel 2. The vehicle at the top is Project Cadmus’s Whiz Wagon.
Page 14, panel 1. A fanboy is dressed as Batman, sans ears.
Page 14, panel 2. A fanboy is wearing a Green Lantern mask.
Superman #123 (May 1997) as seen in Super-Homem No. 24 (October 1998).
Page 2, panel 3. “Swan Boulevard” is a reference to Silver Age penciller Curt Swan, one of the most important in Superman’s long history.
Superman #136 (July 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 6 (Aug 1999).
The cover is a redraw of the classic Action Comics #1 cover of 1938, replacing the green car with a flying car and the thug with a three-eyed alien.
Pages 1 and 2: “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s Superman!” was the oft-repeated key phrase associated with Superman sightings in Metropolis during the 1940s and 1950s. (By the way, what horrible sight those people had; and also: if it were a bird or a plane, what would be so extraordinary that let them to point this one time?)
Page 1 and page 4, panel 2. The white-haired girl is the same one seen in Superman: the Man of Steel #80, page 6, panels 3-4.
Pages 4 to 6: this first appearance of Superman among humans repeats the original Superman’s first appearance among humans in the classic John Byrne-penned Man of Steel of 1986. Also, the starships (especially GlobaLEX’s) are reminiscent of designs from Stewart Cowley’s Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD.
Page 7, panel 1. “Lena” is the name of Lex Luthor’s daughter in DC’s current comics of mid-1998.
Page 8, panel 2. On the screen, the second row, third panel shows the Starship Enterprise-D, of Star Trek: the Next Generation, facing a spatial anomaly. The third row, second panel shows a spaceport much in the fashion of Star Trek‘s spacedocks. Klar Ken is, of course, a throwback to Clark Kent, Superman.
Page 9, panel 2. The Bat-man in Gotham is Batman; the Green Lantern Corps is a given in the DC universe, even in the future; Aquaman is presumably some descendant of the original.
Page 9, panel 5. Jay L is the successor to Jimmy Olsen, as the robot Perry is to Editor Perry White.
Page 11, panel 3. The little train is reminiscent of Star Trek‘s Workbee cargo-tows.
Page 12, panels 1-4. In the Silver Age comics, Superman had a cousin, Kara Zor-El, who arrived on Earth after him. He welcomed her and trained her before he could allow her to appear before the public as Supergirl.
Page 16, panel 4. It is interesting to see how many of the robots resemble Star Wars‘s C-3P0.
Page 17, panel 2. When a robot’s programming prevents it from harming people, you know it is inspired by Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.
Page 18, panel 3. HZL-6 is called “Hazel”, also as a reference to Asimov’s robots, which were called “Andrew” when named NDR or “Speedy” when named SPD, and so on.
Page 20, panel 2. Muto looks a lot like the Talosians from Star Trek‘s “The Cage”.
Superman #137 (August 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 7 (Sep 1999).
Some annotations (on Muto the Talosian and Lena Luthor) would be a repetition from the previous issue. I will not. The annotations below are all new.
The cover is taken straight from that of Justice League of America #1 of 1960.
Page 5, panel 3: in contemporary DC continuity, Big Belly Burger is a burger joint franchise in Metropolis.
Page 6, panel 5, and page 7, panel 1, are slightly reminiscent of Kingdom Come‘s finale with the atom bomb.
Page 10, panel 3: Hawkman from Thanagar is one of the Justice League’s traditional members.
Page 12, panel 4. Within the Fortress of Solitude, hanging from the ceiling, the starship looks remarkably similar to Star Trek‘s Enterprise-D.
Page 17, panel 1, repeats the cover from JLofA #1.
In page 18, panel 3, Green Lantern is the first to disappear, just like in the cover from JLofA #1.
Page 20, panel 5: in the background, the statues of Jor-El and Lara as depicted during the Silver Age (in contrast to the very dissimilar post-Crisis design by John Byrne).
Superman #138 (September 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 8 (October 1999).
Page 1, panel 1. On the right, two aliens look exactly like Star Trek’s Talosians and, in the far right, no one will convince me that the blue bystander is not a Vulcan.
Page 2. From the top, one can see this reality’s Hawkman, Robin, Aquaman and Batman.
Page 4, panel 2. The gentleman on the right is pencilled too realistically, not generically. I wonder if he is supposed to look like someone at DC.
Page 5. These are this reality’s counterparts to JLA members. At the very back, I do not know who is Generic Dr. Manhattan. The others at the back seem to be Big Barda (with a necessary and Kirbyesque outfit of vibrant shades of red, green and yellow), Booster Gold, a rope-riding Green Arrow, Wonder Woman (whose chest symbol looks more like an eagle than her 20th Century counterpart’s), Captain Marvel (who seems to be a Martian), and the Flash. Standing in the foreground, Robin, Batman, Supergirl, Superman, Hawkman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and a stocky green alien that I cannot assign to anyone we have known of: it could be either Oberon, Guy Gardner, Steel, or any other.
Page 13, panel 1. Kismet is apparently naked and it seems that Metropolis is a bit cold for her… if you look where I looked.
Page 14, panel 1. Superman is depicted in his usual flying stance.
Page 14, panel 6. The GBS building, with its concave slope, resembles the W.R. Grace Building, on New York’s 42nd Street.
Page 14, panel 7. Star Trek XXX (or more) is showing. Certainty of this being a Star Trek movie is the font used, which is made to resemble that of most previous theatrical releases in the franchise. At the time of this issue, there had been eight ST theatrical movies and four live-action series.
Superman for All Seasons #1 (September 1998) as seen in Grandes clássicos DC No. 8 (July 2006).
Page 26, panel 4. This story is meant to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia for an innocent, countryside America as found in the 1950s Kansas. In order to compose the scenery, nothing would be more fitting than an issue of the Saturday Evening Post, as can be seen on the righthand corner.
Page 28, panels 2-4. The “Clark Kent outrunning a train” trope was prominent in Richard Donner’s classic Superman movie of 1978.
Pages 52-53. The suspended lanes evoke Fritz Lang’s Metropolis movie of 1927.
Superman for All Seasons #2 (October 1998) as seen in Grandes clássicos DC No. 8 (July 2006).
Page 63. Of course, “B.S.” also means “bullsh*t”.
Page 65, panel 3. A very common mistake is assuming that a rocket-engined missile burns its fuel all along its trajectory. In fact, such a type of missile will only burn at the very start of its path and coast the rest of the way. In the case of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), this means firing only in part of the ascending phase, and the warheads will dive into the atmosphere without any propulsion. In fact, in an SLBM’s case, there is not even a whole missile after reentry, but only isolated warheads, or MIRVs (multiple independently-targeting reentry vehicles).
Pages 66-67. Superman has tackled nuclear threats and sent them into space before, in the Superman II movie of 1980 and in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight #4, of 1985 (not into space in the latter).
Page 66. One can see Superman’s reflection on the missile’s tip.
Page 68, panel 1. The exhaust fumes leave backward-looking trail as the missile is pushed backwards.
Page 68, panel 3. Superman’s body position shows he has thrown the missile with his left arm, and with quite an effort.
Page 69, panel 1. Another common mistake. A nuclear warhead would detonate after it is triggered by proximity to its assigned target, at a specified altitude. The mechanism would not allow it to be wasted by exploding in space.
Pages 78-79. Superman bringing the submarine onto land is reminiscent of The Man of Steel #1‘s Superman bringing the spaceplane Constitution to safety. Not quite the same, because the spaceplane was innocent and had had an emergency, but the IMAGE is brought to mind.
Page 87, panels 2-3. One can compare the locks in the different apartments. Clark’s is simpler, assumedly because he does not need to fear burglary, both because his is a simple apartment, with irrelevant possessions, and because he is Superman.
Page 88, panels 1-2. Clark is eating a peanut butter sandwich.
Page 96, panel 1. On the wall, a Daily Planet headline about Superman stopping Magpie. That is the story told by The Man of Steel #3 (November 1986).
Page 96, panel 1. It seems that Tim Sale has forgotten to draw Clark’s glasses.
Page 100, panel 1. Team Luthor’s battle armour is essentially the same worn by Lex Luthor from Action Comics #544 (June 1983) to the Crisis on Infinite Earths. It has been worn by Team Luthor, in one fashion or another, since The Man of Steel #5 (December 1986).
Superman for All Seasons #3 (November 1998) as seen in Grandes clássicos DC No. 8 (July 2006).
On the cover, Superman’s appearance (with only the red and yellow parts visible, and the blue, skin and all lines replaced by jet black) throws the reader back to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, when the Man of Steel was first portrayed thus.
Page 112. Again Metropolis has walkways suspended in the air, much as in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
Page 115, panel 1. Luthor’s helicopter is, quite evidently, an Mi-26 — the world’s biggest series-produced helicopter.
Page 117. Near the center of the page, the Lexcorp tower, standing out from amongst Metropolis’s buildings.
Pages 126-127, panel 1 (1). The phrases unfurled from left to right are the introduction to the Superman TV series of the 1950s and have been inextricable from the character since.
Pages 126-127, panel 1 (2). The picture on the left accurately duplicates the cover of Action Comics #1 (June 1938), Superman’s debut issue.
Pages 126-127, panel 1 (3). The image of Superman saving someone in his cape from a fire refers to the events near the end of the previous issue.
Page 137, panel 1. Were the elevator’s doors open? How come Superman came flying from above and was not interrupted by the need to open them?
Page 137, panel 2. The entrance to the Daily Planet building is strongly rooted in art déco. — as befits a building that debuted in comics as a symbol of modernity in 1938.
Superman Forever #1 (June 1998).
This whole issue is an opportunity for new readers to jump in after the dismal failure of the whole “energy Superman” storyline of the preceding months. All the relevant characters in Superman’s life are caught up with and both introduced to newcoming readers and recapped to readers who had been disappointed and gone away. So we will get to see Ma and Pa Kent, Supergirl, Superboy and Steel, the whole Daily Planet team, Lex Luthor, the SCU at Metropolis’s police, Cat Grant, Project Cadmus, Bibbo Bibbowski, Intergang, Lucy Lane, Professor Hamilton and Kandor, Dabney Donovan, and all the recent Superman villains.
Pages 1-3 are, of course, a recap of Superman’s origin as told by John Byrne in the Man of Steel miniseries back in 1986.
Page 4, panel 1, refers to the recently finished (and awful) Millennium Giants story arc.
Page 4, panel 2, recaps the events preceding the Millennium Giants arc.
Page 4 is a repeat of Kal-El’s arrival on Earth, being immediately found by the Kent couple. It is somewhat odd that this was not more blatantly referred to.
Pages 7-8 are a very succinct recap of everything that has happened to Kal-El/Clark Kent since the Man of Steel miniseries, including the wedding to Lois Lane, death at the hands of Doomsday and the recent transformation into an energy being.
Page 10, panel 3; page 11, panel 4. With these lines, DC sweeps the whole back-transformation issue under the rug. No explanation given as to how Superman has recovered his old shape and powers. It is as if DC were saying, “the Blue Superman arc was so godawful, we could not even be bothered to contrive an explanation to finish it; let us just be happy that it is over and move on”. I, for one, am not complaining.
Page 10, panel 4. John Deere is the most widely known tractor manufacturer in the United States. Product placement in comics? (Hardly!)
Page 11, panel 1, is a throwback to Kingdom Come #1, p. 22, panel 1, which in its turn is a reference to the cover of Action Comics #1 (June 1938).
Page 12 is a short-term recap of the recently-finished Millennium Giants story arc.
Page 13, panels 3-4. As in the Man of Steel miniseries, it is from Ma Kent that Clark receives his uniform, stressing the point that his “armour” originates at the heart of America’s family structure. Superman goes back to symbolizing the “wholesome values of American tradition”.
Page 13, panels 5-7 show the heavy influence of movie techniques on comics as we have seen since the mid-80s. Think of all the times the camera closes on the main hero getting dressed and equipped.
Page 15. Kismet was last seen in The Adventures of Superman #500 (June 1993): another pivotal moment in Kal-El’s life as his soul struggled to come back from the dead after he was killed by Doomsday. After he came back, he had been slightly transformed from his previous incarnation.
Pages 17-22. Though imperfectly drawn, I understand that this airplane is meant to be a C-5 Galaxy. It is, however, much out of proportion, as one can see (for example) from the windows. Also, the main undercarriage’s fairing is too simplistic. The most telling fixture is the wingroot’s leading edge rounding.
Page 17, panel 1. This is new! The name “Piper Cub” just became a verb. Also, this explanation catches up with Lois Lane since we last saw her in Australia in Superman #135 (May 1998).
Pages 20 and 78. These are the classic catchphrases that have consistently been associated to Superman ever since the 1940s’ radioseries.
Page 21, panel 4. One establishment across the street is named after either Walt or Louise Simonson, both of whom have worked in Superman titles before.
Page 23, panels 1-2. At least DC acknowledges that this is an almost exact repeat of Superman’s first appearance before the world in Man of Steel.
Page 23, panel 3. With a Little Help from My Friends is a Beatles song.
Page 25, panels 1-2. Corto Maltese, of course, is the island where the conflict between the superpowers escalated into nuclear war in The Dark Knight Returns.
Page 25, panel 6. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
Page 28, panel 2. In the Silver Age, there was this recurring epithet of referring to Jimmy Olsen as “Superman’s Pal”. This was even the name of a current DC title then.
Page 28, panel 3. Apparently, Alice has been promoted from janitor, in keeping with the Daily Planet‘s staff becoming aware of her personal predicaments at a time when the Superman comics were showing concern over social issues.
Page 29, panel 3, is a case in point demonstrating my statements in the first paragraph, above: in case anyone still does not know who Lex Luthor is, an explanation is given.
Page 32, panel 3. This is the first clue of who kidnapped Lena Luthor. Old readers will understand, as this is a throwback to 1986’s The Man of Steel #5 but also to later Superman stories. In hindsight I realise how obvious it was.
Page 39. The Cyborg’s depiction is wrong. The human portion is limited to the right upper side of his face and does not include the nose.
Pages 79-80 and 83-84 realistically depict the naïveté of Silver Age comics. The inking is more static and the story has no real complexity or overlay. Even more pronounced is the moral sense, with the hero finishing his interaction with a lesson that would teach the young reader how to behave as a good citizen.
Page 79, panel 3. Again, Superman is Jimmy Olsen’s “super-pal” in fitting Silver Age fashion.
Page 79, panel 5; page 80, panel 1; page 84, panel 1. Moral lessons for the children, all round!
Page 80, panel 4. During the Bronze Age of comics (70s and early 80s), Clark Kent had moved from Daily Planet‘s reporter to WGBS TV’s newsanchor. “Mild-mannered reporter” was the epithet given to Clark Kent as an effective disguise to Superman since the Golden Age.
Pages 81-82. I must admit that, despite my dislike for Jon Bogdanove’s usual drawing style, here he shows versatility, as the pencils are not recognizable as his. In fact, they very closely resemble those of Superman pencillers from the early Golden Age, including (of course) his neck, his hairstyle and his distinctive eyesquint. As expected, this Superman does not fly, being able only to “leap tall buildings with a single bound”. As was typical of the Golden Age, a boxed narration explains the action. The minimalistic dialogue and the threats are also typical of that very early Superman.
Page 82, panel 6. During the Golden Age, Clark Kent worked not for the Daily Planet, but for the Daily Star, whose editor was George Taylor. Take note of the car in the foreground, likely to be a Ford V8, very typical state-of-the-art in 1938 (the same year as Superman’s debut and explicit in the licence plate).
Page 84, panel 4. There are plentiful references to the enlarged Superman mythology of the Silver Age: Krypto, the Superdog; the Superman Robots; and the Phantom Zone villains. In true Silver Age fashion, the story teaches morals to the children, hence the silly, altruistic attitude of exercising superpowered beings and robots.
Page 85, panel 4. As this story is set in the 30th century, of course names have numbers in them. They have since George Lucas’s THX 1138, have they not?
Page 85, panel 6. For the same reason, of course there must be a reference to Andromeda in everyday parlance.
Superman Red/Superman Blue #1 (February 1998).
Page 11, panels 3 and 4: the ice cream brand “Joe & Jerry’s” is both a joke on the real-life Ben & Jerry’s and an homage to Superman’s creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Page 36, panel 1: Swan street is a reference to legendary Silver Age Superman penciller Curt Swan.
Superman: Save the Planet! #1 (October 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 10 (December 1999).
Page 8, panel 2. Rolling Rock magazine is a reference to real-life Rolling Stone, which indeed specialises in rock.
Page 24, panel 3. As I have noted before, Dooley’s is a reference to editor Kevin Dooley.
Superman: the Man of Steel #80 (June 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 6 (August 1999).
Pages 1-7 are a retelling of Action Comics #1 (June 1938), pages 2-6, almost frame by frame. The dialogues are the same and the drawings are, most of them, from a different perspective, but showing the same scenes.
Pages 7-22 add a plot in comparison with AC #1-2. The 1938 AC issues deal with a war that is brewed by munitions manufacturers, just for the sake of profit, between two countries that would otherwise remain in peace with each other. This was a clear reference to the Chaco War, waged between Paraguay and Bolivia in 1932-1935, which, by the way, was also extensively referred to by the Tintin book The Broken Ear. The 1998 S:tMoS issue replaces this with Superman foiling attempts by Nazis to establish a stronghold in the USA. This would have been a premature concern for comics in 1938, since the US would only enter the war officially in late 1941, though from that point onwards the DC comics would indeed depict their heroes fighting the Nazis. Therefore the MoS issue is slightly anachronistic from a purely objective point of view. However, it captures the spirit of the Golden Age comics fairly well, with a typical threat of those times and a correspondingly simplistic approach to dealing with it: by the use of force against villains that are mostly treacherous thugs.
Pages 12, 13, 16 and 18 (with villains Senator Barrows and Emil Norvell) refer to the plot of AC #1, pages 11-12, and AC #2, pages 1-2.
Pages 14-16 are AC #1, pages 8-10, with the addition of dialogue.
Page 15, frame 5, is, of course, the necessary repeat of AC #1, page 9, frame 3, which has also been repeated in the most famous cover of all, that of AC #1, and frequently the subject of homages by DC and others.
Page 21, of course, shows Superman promoting Truth, Justice and the American Way. This 1998 depiction is a bit less overtly chauvinistic, but still captures the original idea.
It should also be acknowledged that artist Jon Bogdanove delivers drawings which significantly depart from his usual style and which closely resemble Joe Shuster’s in the early Action Comics issues. The only major difference is Lois Lane, who is drawn much in Bogdanove’s own style.
Superman: the Man of Steel #81 (Jul’98) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 7 (Set 1999).
As in the previous issue, this story depicts Superman at the time of his debut in 1938.
Page 1, panel 1: the train’s curved lines evoke art nouveau, which was stylish in the mid- to late-1930s.
Pages 2-3, panel 5: in 1938, Superman did not fly; rather, he “jumped tall buildings with a single bound”.
Pages 2-3, panel 7: of course he remembers the girl. She was the white-haired mystery girl in pink dress in the previous issues of Superman: the Man of Steel and of Superman.
Page 4, panel 1. George Taylor was editor of the Daily Star, instead of Perry White in the Daily Planet, during the early Golden Age. The story is a direct continuation to last issue’s and the Norvell plot gets its own winding life as opposed to a simple dénouement as in the original Action Comics #1-2 issues of 1938.
Page 4, panel 4. Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland started in September 1939, not 1938!
Page 5, panel 3. When the Empire State Building was erected, there was indeed the intent of mooring airships at its very tip. This idea never came to fruition. Moreover, the “LZ 129” characters show that this is the Hindenburg itself.
Page 8, panel 8. The Warsaw Ghetto was established in 1940.
Page 12, panel 7. Generalkommissar Zimmler is apparently named after SS head Himmler.
Page 13. The ghetto was only extinguished in 1943.
Page 16, panel 3. There indeed were some experiments, but, as an established solution for mass utilisation, the Nazis did not use Diesel fumes, instead preferring Zyklon-B to kill in the fake showers.
Page 16, panel 7. Despite the plausibility, the title of “Reichsführer” did not exist as used in this story. Hitler was called simply “the Führer”, and the title of “Reichsführer-SS” was carried by officers in the SS (which Hitler was never a part of). The Endlösung (“Final Solution”), with an Ö, was only brought about in January 1942.
Page 17, panel 1. A Nazi official would hardly have any idea of what a Golem was and therefore would not use the word. He would more especially never utter a Hebrew word, that is for sure.
Page 17, panel 5. Extermination was indeed the matching of the Final Solution with the end of the Warsaw Ghetto. Still, it was never an improvisation and certainly the camps would need to be ready before they could operate. In here, the preceding page already showed that the camps were most definitely not ready.
Page 18, panel 4. The Final Solution entailed extermination camps, where minorities were led simply to be killed. It did not refer to the already existing concentration camps (where they were forced into slave labour), to experiments or to tortures. All these were odious acts that took place before and during the Final Solution, but were not a part of it.
Page 20, panel 1. His time is short… He means to put an end to hundred of thousands of Jews in the Ghetto overnight?! How long would he need to deport every one of them by train? And yet page 22, panel 1, confirms this impossibility.
Page 20, panel 2. Direct violence (and, in this case, dowright torture) against a woman is not exactly common in DC comics.
Page 20, panel 3. The Russian front would only exist from the Summer of 1941. This tank is a Tiger, which was deployed from August 1942.
Page 20, panel 5. This certainly brings to mind the cover of Action Comics #1. As this vehicle is not green and Superman only lifts it partially, I will ascribe this to a coincidence.
Page 21 is particularly gruesome for DC Comics’s tastes of the era. Or of any era, for that matter.
Page 22, panel 7. How intelligent does Superman need be in order to understand the Final Solution from a glimpse at its plans?
Superman: the Man of Steel #82 (August 1998) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 8 (out. 1999).
Page 5, panel 4. This panel refers to one of the most famous pictures of World War II. It depicts Jews being rounded up by the SS and is featured in the Jürgen Stroop Report to Heinrich Himmler from May 1943, about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
Page 5, panel 5. The vehicle is an Sd.Kfz. 251, a mass-produced, widely-used German half-track troop carrier of World War II.
Page 9, panel 2. The handless gloves indicate that this is the villain from Action Comics #747.
Page 9, panel 3, and page 10, panel 3. Usually, Bogdanove’s pencils do not draw such exaggerated expressions on the characters’ faces. One wonders if this means to highlight the unreality of the whole setting.
Page 12, panel 6. As in S:tMoS #81, page 20, panel 3, this tank is a Tiger.
Page 17, panel 4. In my annotations to S:tMoS #81, I identified the acceleration of History as a plot hole. Now I see that it was meant as a plot point.
Superman: the Man of Steel #83 (September 1998).
Pages 1-3. The many facets of reality are samples of the many false realities faced by Superman in the Superman titles of June to September.
Page 15, panel 4. One wonders if the Spencer Award is a reference to Lady Diana Spencer, the late Princess of Wales, deceased the previous year. My Google search did not find any actual Spencer award worth mentioning here.
Superman: the Man of Tomorrow #9 (September 1997) as seen in Super-Homem: o Homem de Aço No. 1 (March 1999).
This story, titled “History Lesson”, is a recap of all major events in Superman’s life after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Most panels are reproductions from other stories’. To wit (with page numbers from the original issue and, as much as possible, of the issues referred to):
Page 1, panel 3 – Man of Steel #1, page 22, panels 4-5.
Page 1, panel 4 – MoS #1, page 25, panel 4.
Page 2, panel 1 – MoS #1, page 28, panel 1.
Page 2, panel 3 – MoS #1, page 29, panel 1.
Page 2, panel 4 – MoS #1, page 29, panel 2, and page 30, panel 1.
Page 6, panel 3 – MoS #1, page 14, panel 3, and page 12, panel 4.
Page 7, panel 4 – MoS #6, page 16, panel 6.
Page 8, panel 2 – Superman #20.
Page 8, panel 3 – Superman #22, pages 4-5, panels 1 and 3-4.
Page 8, panel 4 – Superman #22, pages 16-17, panel 8.
Page 8, panel 3 – Superman #22, pages 20-21, panels 7 and 9.
Page 9, panel 2 – The Adventures of Superman #446, page 21, panels 5-6.
Page 9, panel 3 – The Adventures of Superman #450, page 1.
Page 9, panel 4 – AoS #450, page 21.
Page 10, panel 1 – The Adventures of Superman #453, page 14, panels 1-2.
Page 10, panel 2 – Action Comics Annual #2, page 35, panels 3-4.
Page 10, panel 3 – Superman #32, page 11, panel 1.
Page 10, panel 4 – Superman #32, page 22, panel 6.
Page 11, panel 2 – Action Comics #644, page 10.
Page 11, panel 3 – AC #644, page 16, panel 1.
Page 11, panel 4 – AC #644, page 22, panel 8.
Page 12, panel 2 – Action Comics #652, page 4.
Page 12, panel 3 – AC #652, page 10, panel 2, and page 15, panel 4.
Page 12, panel 4 – AC #652, page 20, panel 3.
Page 13, panel 2 – Superman #49, page 17, panel 1.
Page 13, panel 3 – The Adventures of Superman #472, page 2, panel 3, and page 17, panel 2.
Page 13, panel 4 – Action Comics #659, page 3, panel 1.
Page 14, panel 2 – Action Comics #662, page 21.
Page 14, panel 4 – Superman #54, page 16, panel 4; Action Comics #663, page 1 and page 8, panel 2; Action Comics #664, page 3, panel 3 — and one should note that, in AC #663, page 8, panel 2, the chest logo (of when Clark was in the circus in the 1940s) throws one back precisely to the 1940s, the time when Superman was first pencilled: a triangle, rather than diamond shape.
Page 14, panel 5 – Action Comics #671.
Page 15, panel 2 – Superman #75, page 19.
Page 15, panel 3 – Superman #75, pages 25-26.
Page 15, panel 4 – Superman: the Man of Steel #21, page 22, panel 5.
Page 16, panel 2 – The Adventures of Superman #500, page 3, panel 2.
Page 16, panel 3, is the whole Reign of the Supermen! storyline.
Page 16, panel 4 – Superman #81, page 2.
Page 17, panel 1 – Superman #82, page 22, panel 1.
Page 17, panel 2 – The Adventures of Superman #505, page 2.
Page 17, panel 4 – Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey #3, page 30, panel 1, and page 26, panel 2.
Page 18, panel 1 – The Adventures of Superman #512, page 5, panel 4.
Page 18, panel 2 – AoS #512, page 19, panel 3.
Page 18, panel 3 – The Adventures of Superman #523, page 18. The background is a throwback to the Death of Clark Kent story arc.
Page 19, panel 1 – Superman #115, page 3, panel 2.
Page 19, panel 3 – Superman: the Wedding Album, pages 88-89.
Page 20, panel 2 – The Adventures of Superman #546, page 17, panel 1.
Superman: the Man of Tomorrow #11 (Fall 1998) as seen in Super-Homem No. 38 (December 1999).
Page 3. The spaceship in the foreground resembles somewhat a Cylon raider from Battlestar Galactica.
Page 5, panels 1, 3 and 5. This second spaceship resembles an X-Wing, a Maquis raider and a Klingon Bird of Prey, depending on how one looks at it.
Page 15, panel 4. The ships on the left are reminiscent of the Centauri warships from Babylon 5. On the right, the ship in the background has essential elements from Battlestar Galactica.
Page 15, panel 5. The ship in the foreground resembles Deep Space Nine‘s runabouts.
Page 16, panel 1. The villain’s looks are clearly influenced by prior DC megavillains, such as Darkseid and the Antimonitor. The crew sit in a lower-level well as in Star Wars‘s Death Star and Babylon 5‘s C&C. Luthor’s minions (and Luthor himself) wear a battle armour that resembles Luthor’s original battle armour.
Page 17, panel 2. “Simonson Construction” because the story is penned by Louise Simonson.
Superman: the Man of Tomorrow #1,000,000 (November 1998) as seen in JLA: One Million.
Page 170, panel 2. The winged man is evidently the 853rd-century Hawkman, or, judging by the previous panel — confirmed by page 171, panel 1 –, certainly one of the 853rd-century Hawkmen.
Page 170, panel 5. In the 853rd century, the Metropolis tesseract is a Wall-E junkyard. At the very back, we see the USS Enterprise…
Page 171, panel 1. The other Metal Men are kept at the top of the cave, on the Reader’s right.
Page 172, panel 2. Superman is represented as a black silhouette with red cape and symbol, much as Frank Miller’s seminal, oft-homaged depiction in Batman: the Dark Knight Returns.
Page 172, panel 4. Superman Secundus’s chest symbol is clearly based on that worn by Superman in Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come. It is noteworthy that this story’s writer never stated that Secundus is Prime’s son, just his heir. There is room for later writers to fill in.
Page 173, panel 2. These are analogs to the Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern.
Page 174, panel 2. Queen Gzntplzk’s dress looks Kryptonian. The wedding was mentioned in DC One Million #1, page 25, panel 2.
Page 174, panel 3. Analogs to Aquaman, Wonder Woman and the Flash.
Page 174, panel 5. There is a Green Lantern running over the skulls.
Page 176, panel 2. 1. Dead Superman in Singularity’s arms is a throwback to the famous cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7. 2. Superman’s outfit is red on the pantsides and blue in the center and does not match that on the previous panel, or that on page 175, panel 3, which was blue on the pantsides and red in the center.
Page 176, panel 4. This looks to be a Starman.
Page 177, panel 1. These are the original Captain Marvel, one Superman and presumably the same Zauriel as in the present, among others.
Page 178, panel 2. Would the dear Reader please advise me: in that cape-holding broach, there is an ‘S’ symbol that I have seen elsewhere on Superman’s chest; probably an Elseworlds, but I do not seem to recall where.
Superman: the Wedding Album (December 1996) as seen in O casamento do Super-Homem (May 1998).
Pages 30-33. Jeanette Kahn is an editor and DC president.
Page 47, panel 2. Jerry Siegel, Superman creator.
Page 71, panels 1 and 2. Kevin Dooley, DC editor. I am sure that, if one investigates, one will find out that that really is Dooley’s face.
Page 85, panel 5. The man on the left, looking back, is Joe Shuster, Superman creator.
Page 89. On the far right, Joe Shuster and one more.
Pages 90-91. Certainly most guests (if not all) are artists and editors who have worked on Superman titles.
Superman: War of the Worlds (1998) as seen in Superman: a guerra dos mundos (2001).
This is a great story! Superman debuted in the June 1938 issue of Action Comics. Coincidentally, H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds was the subject of that famous broadcast by Orson Welles… in 1938. So this story joins them.
On the cover, Superman’s name is designed in art déco, much in the same style as it would be pencilled in the late 1930s. Also, the hero’s stance is essentially the same as seen on the cover of Superman #1, of 1939.
On page 1, Wells’s original opening text is joined to the classic depiction of an exploding Krypton. Despite this comic being published in 1998 and therefore there being more recent, canon versions of young Kal-El’s ship leaving the planet, here the ship appears as a 1930s-style rocket, much as it did in 1938. On the following pages, Clark Kent’s formative years are retold as usual and drawn as they would be in the 1930s.
On page 6, panel 6, the news are contemporary to mid- to late 1938, with Japan bombing China, the Condor Legion bombing Spain and Czechoslovakia being gradually conquered by Hitler’s Germany.
On page 7, the newspaper is the Daily Star, as it was in the original 1930s stories — and not the Daily Planet as it would later be named. Fittingly, the editor is George Taylor, as it was before Perry White.
Page 8, panel 4. Woking is the English location where the Martians first landed in Wells’s original book.
Pages 11-16. In Wells’s book, the astronomer Professor Ogilvy and his team first meet the Martians bearing a white flag and are incinerated by a death ray in the same fashion.
Page 18. Superman’s uniform has the same appearance it had in the earliest comics of this character in 1938, which fits this story perfectly. In the following pages, we see that his powers also mirror those in the earliest Superman stories, i.e. they include an ability to jump high but not the ability to fly, and his strength and invulnerability are more limited than in later years.
Page 19, panel 4, and page 23, panel 6. The howitzer’s design is contemporary to 1938.
Page 20. The Martian tripod fits Wells’s book as well as its renowned adaptations.
Page 29, panels 4-6. The fighters’ design is also contemporary. Specifically, they look like the Seversky P-35.
Page 33, panels 3-4. The deadly black smoke was described in the original book.
Page 35, panel 1. In the regular DC universe, Lex Luthor originally had a full head of red hair; in fact, that is how he started in the Golden Age comics. In successive continuity reboots, he either starts as red-haired and then loses his hair or is shown as bald at first with flashbacks showing his original hair, either with or without an explanation for the loss. In more than one origin story (including the most accepted pre-Crisis Superboy story), his hair is burned off by an accident.
Page 45, panel 1. In Wells’s original book, the Martians were ultimately defeated by the Earth’s germs, against which they had no defence.
Page 47, panel 2. Luthor’s machinery is typical of the 1930s’ scifi serials, such as Flash Gordon.
Page 54, panel 4. This is the historic cover to Action Comics #1, an homage which could not be missing from this story!
Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy #3.
Page 2. Mi-24 and UH-60 helicopters operated by Nazi Germany? One is Soviet, the other American, both fruits of the Cold War. An impossibility.
Page 7. Mi-24.
Page 8, panels 1, 2, 5 and 6. Mi-24.
Page 8, panels 6 and 7. UH-60.
Page 26, panel 1. Westland Wessex (on the ground) and UH-1 (in the air) helicopters.
Tangent Comics: Flash #1 (December 1997).
Page 1, panel 2. The van’s licence plate reads “farce”.
Page 1, panel 3. “Tell me again (…)”: this is an ostensive plot device to explain the apparatus to the reader.
Page 2, panel 3. One can see where this is going. Over this issue, this villain attempts to capture Flash with elaborate contraptions, always to the same results as the The Road Runner Show’s coyote.
Page 6 alludes to the sense of wonder in all those space stories from the 1950’s and 60’s. This is a classic Silver Age hero’s origin, complete with a space race and space phenomena. Of course, the Fantastic Four have been here before.
Page 6, panel 2. Geordi LaForge is Star Trek: the Next Generation’s chief engineer.
Page 6, panel 6. World’s Finest is the DC title which, from the 1940’s to the 70’s, would pair Superman with Batman. Here it is a regular magazine, as seen in Tangent Comics: Green Lantern #1, last story.
Page 6, panel 7. This, of course, is a smoking TV host David Letterman.
Page 10, panel 3. Pun intended on “seeding”.
Page 11. In the regular DC Universe, a Darkstar is a member of a space patrol organisation, created by the Controllers.
Page 20, panel 2. Nightwing’s symbol on the Professor’s chest resembles Superman’s.
Page 23, panel 3. “Diana Prince” being Wonder Woman’s secret identity in the Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages. Post-Crisis, though, she goes just by “Diana”.
Tangent Comics: Green Lantern #1 (Dec 1997).
Page 2, panel 4. Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
Page 4, panel 4. “Comet’s Tale” being a wordplay on “comet’s tail”.
Page 6, panels 2-3, and page 7, panels 1-3, are reminiscent of Superman’s battle against the nuclear missile in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Red Tornado is the Silver Age android hero that, in recent incarnations, indeed could transform into a mist.
Pages 17-25. King Faraday is a secret agent in the regular DC Comics continuity, working e.g. in Checkmate. Roy Raymond is a TV host that appears in Golden Age Detective Comics stories.
Page 18. House of Mystery being the long-running publication of DC Comics that was absorbed and perpetuated in the DC continuity, giving birth to the Vertigo universe by way of the Swamp Thing and Sandman titles and such lovable characters as their Cain and Abel. Likewise, Tales of the Unexpected is a DC anthology series of the Silver Age.
Page 20, panel 2. Jonny Jones being the female equivalent of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, who disguised himself as Detective John Jones during the Silver Age.
Page 20, panel 5. Captain Boomerang being the Flash’s rogue enemy and Arthur Curry being Aquaman, both in the mainstream DC continuity.
Page 21, panel 3. Ralph Digby being a wordplay on the Elongated Man, Ralph Dibny.
Page 28. This would be the setting for the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, if not for the many twists in this comic.
Page 29, panel 2. Please go research who Chuck Yeager is: WWII ace, Vietnam veteran and officially the first supersonic man ever. As a test pilot, Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier on board a Bell X-1 on 14 October 1947.
Page 29, panel 3. Teen Titans and World’s Finest being two DC comics, the first being named after the group of teen sidekicks and the latter being the Silver Age publication that paired Batman and Superman.
Page 29, panel 4. Impulse being this universe’s beer, it is, however, the young speedster in the mainstream DC continuity.
Pages 31-32 recount the life story of regular DC’s Blackhawk. His airplane was the unusual twin-engined F5F, which is mirrored by this universe’s V-shaped twin-engined fighters. The Hebrew name “Adam” already means “clay”, hence the name of the first man in the Bible.
Page 32, panel 1, alludes to a possible explanation for Blackhawk’s lack of ageing.
Page 32, panel 3, shows a neck insignia that very much resembles Blackhawk’s.
Page 33, panels 1-2. The Darkstars are a grittier version of the Green Lantern Corps in the mainstream DC continuity.
Page 34, panel 2. Rod Taylor is Australian. Possibly the real-life movie would have been either Fate Is the Hunter (1964) or To Hell With Heroes (1968).
Tangent Comics: JLA #1 (September 1998).
Page 2, panels 4-6, refers to events at the end of Tangent Comics: Nightwing: Night Force #1 (September 1998).
Page 2, panel 8. In the regular DC universe, Raven was a supernaturally powered member of the New Teen Titans.
Page 4, panel 3. The Atom’s deposition before Congress is covered by Tangent Comics: the Atom #1 (December 1997).
Page 7, panel 3. In the regular DCU, the Question is a crimefighter that was originally in Charlton’s line of comics.
Page 7, panel 4. The “grandson” is the current Atom, as seen in TC: the Atom #1.
Page 8 and page 9, panel 1. The Tangent universe’s Secret Six are battling the Ultra-Humanite. Hanging from the streetlight, the Flash. Flying, the Atom. On the ground, the Joker is on the left; Plastic Man is also lying in the background; Manhunter, on the right. In the regular DCU, Oracle is the wheelchair-bound information gatherer; “Grundy” is Solomon Grundy, an undead thug; Dubbilex is a DNAlien from Project Cadmus. In real life, World’s Finest is a DC title of the 1950s featuring Superman and Batman, but in the Tangent universe it is a gossip magazine about super-heroes.
Page 10, panel 2. Raven is referring to the Tangent universe’s Green Lantern. In the regular DCU, the Question is an investigator.
Page 10, panel 3. About this Superman, check Tangent Comics: the Superman #1 (September 1998). In the regular DCU, there is also a character named the Human Target.
Page 10, panel 4. About this Batman, check Tangent Comics: the Batman #1 (September 1998). In the regular DCU, there is also a character named the Vigilante.
Page 10, panel 5. In the regular DCU, Jonny Double (attention to the spelling) is a detective. About this Wonder Woman, check Tangent Comics: Wonder Woman #1 (September 1998).
Page 13, panel 4. In the regular DCU, Beast Boy is the shape-changing youngster who was a part of the New Teen Titans. In the Tangent universe, Beast Boys and their war against the females are defined in TC: WW #1.
Page 20, panel 3. In the regular DCU, the Superman-Batman pair is indeed called the “World’s Finest”. The Bahtarang (attention to the spelling) is Wonder Woman’s weapon, taking its name from the regular DCU’s boomerangs thrown by Batman.
Page 22, panel 3. The Shadow Thief is the Atom’s nemesis as seen in TC: the Atom #1.
Tangent Comics: Nightwing #1 (December 1997).
Page 1, panel 1. In the litter, “B’wanna Beast Cookies”. Bwana Beast is a regular DC Universe character. Impulse Cola is named after the regular DCU character Impulse, the young super speedster.
Page 2, panel 2. The guns are named “Boom Tube”. In the regular DCU, boom tubes are the devices used by Darkseid’s forces to travel instantly between points that are faraway from each other in space.
Page 3, panel 2. “Firestorm” is the name of a regular DCU character.
Page 4, panel 2. In the regular DCU, “Gravedigger” is the name of a black soldier in the Men of War series, who also wears a characteristic scar on his face.
Page 4, panel 4. In the regular DCU, “Shazam!” is the magic calling that turns Billy Batson into Captain Marvel.
Page 5, panel 2. In the regular DCU, “Wildcat” is the alias of boxer Ted Grant when he fights crime in the Justice Society of America. In the litter: Amazo detergent is named after the android that has repeatedly fought the JLA. Dubbilex is named after the DNAlien who is Superboy’s supporting character in the regular DCU. Green Arrow Cola is named after Green Arrow, one of the main DCU characters.
Page 8, panel 5. In the regular DCU, “Hex” is the name of a cowboy. Here it is the codename of a hypnotist.
Page 9, panel 2. Nightshade is a character from the DCU espionage stories.
Page 12, panel 1. The Creeper is a regular DCU character.
Page 12, panel 3. Black Orchid is a minor, regular DCU character.
Page 19, panel 1. The Atom’s testifying before Congress is the conclusion to Tangent Comics: the Atom #1. Captain Comet’s attack and kidnapping of the Senator through the window is from Tangent Comics: Green Lantern #1. The assignment against the Flash was shown in Tangent Comics: the Flash #1.
Page 19, panel 4. The shadow suggests that the blonde is the Joker.
Page 20, panel 1. Theophilius’s appearance is strongly reminiscent of Swamp Thing’s nemesis, Anton Arcane. This is more notable in page 38, panel 4.
Page 23, panel 1. Indeed, TC:GL #1 tells the story of how the Green Lantern brought Captain Comet from the dead.
Page 25, panel 2. Nabu eyes are named after the sorcerer Nabu, who becomes the regular DCU character Dr. Fate.
Page 26, panel 5. “Batwing” is the name of one of Batman’s devices in the regular DCU.
Page 30. In the regular DCU continuity, Vandal Savage is the immortal enemy of the Flash, and the Order of St. Dumas is the secret society which Azrael used to belong to.
Page 34, panel 1. “Ring of Oa” and “Hands of Fate” refer, respectively, to the regular DCU’s continuities of Green Lantern (whose rings are manufactured in Oa) and Dr. Fate.
Page 38, panel 4. This depiction of Krios Theophilius resembles Anton Arcane, Swamp Thing’s enemy in the regular DCU.
Page 39, figure 2. The shield on the FiST’s chests is reminiscent of Superman’s.
Tangent Comics: Nightwing: Night Force #1 (September 1998).
This issue is a direct followup to 1997’s Tangent Comics: Nightwing #1. As such, many of the notes I would make here are already made under that issue’s heading, above; please refer back to them. Also, the characters make references to events from TC:Nw #1 that are too many to cover here, so I will not.
“Night Force” was the name of two DC series, published respectively from 1982 and from 1996. Both depicted the adventures of special-ops teams that fought the occult.
Page 2. In the regular DC Universe, “Firehawk” is the name of a minor superhero who is a part of the character ensemble around Firestorm; Doomsday is, of course, the superpowered murderous hulk of a Kryptonian-DNA monster who killed Superman in 1993; Star Sapphire is a major opponent to the Silver Age Green Lantern who repeatedly takes over the body of his love interest, Carol Ferris; Rampage is a minor Superman ally from the early 1990s, and the Doom Patrol is the group of superpowered freaks that have starred in their own weird stories since the Silver Age and had a new lease of life under Grant Morrison in the early 1990s. The “Czech” writing in the background is just gibberish, including the fact that these letters are supposedly Cyrillic whereas Czech uses a modified version of the Latin alphabet.
Page 3, panel 3; page 4, panel 6; page 5, panel 5; page 6, panel 3; page 7, panel 1: again, the supposedly Czech signs are just gibberish with fake Cyrillic.
Page 5, panel 4. In the regular DCU, Obsidian and Jade are the son and daughter of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, and Obsidian can manipulate as well as turn into shadow.
Page 16, panel 3. In the regular DCU, the KGBeast is a Russian foe of Batman’s.
Page 18, panel 3. Hex compares the KGBeast to Cthulhu. This is the tentacled god-monster who oversees the horrors of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos.
Page 22, panel 1. In the regular DCU, the Ultra-Humanite is a Golden Age enemy of Superman’s who would be replaced in this position by a later character, based on him but much more widely known: Lex Luthor.
Tangent Comics: Powergirl #1 (September 1998).
Page 1. On Powergirl’s left thigh, the word “Über”, meaning “super”.
Page 2. (1) Note that the symbol on Supergirl’s chest has Superman’s diamond inside the Red Star. (2) The aircraft are Conquest X-30 fighters, from the G.I. Joe collection of toys, down to the underwing missiles.
Page 5, panel 3. “Doctor Light” is the name of more than one superpowered character in the regular DC Universe.
Page 9, panel 3. In the regular DCU, Raven is one of the New Teen Titans.
Page 10, panel 1. “Hawkman” is the name of a major character in the regular DCU.
Page 10, panel 2. “Lobo” is the name of the Last Czarnian, a space hitman character in the regular DCU.
Page 12, panel 3. “Jade” is the alias of Alan Scott’s daughter, a superpowered character in the regular DCU.
Page 14, panel 3. “Krypto” is a misspelling of “crypto” that throws the reader back to Superman’s birth planet in the regular DCU.
Page 15, panel 6. Dusty Abell’s pencils make everything generic, with few lines that are more the representation of an idea than the simulation of a portrait, but, from the looks of it, this pistol can be assumed to be an M1911.
Page 18. (1) On Powergirl’s right arm, the symbols for a registered mark and a trademark. (2) On her right thigh, the word “metagene”. In the regular DCU, metagenes are genes that some humans are born with and which, upon activation by some outside stress factor, give them superpowers. This same idea exists in the Marvel universe under another name. (3) On the rim of the lower cylinder, the shape of Superman’s chest diamond.
Tangent Comics: Tales of the Green Lantern #1 (September 1998).
Page 3. “Brightest light” is reminiscent of the Green Lantern Oath where it refers to “brightest day”. Lois Lane is, of course, Clark Kent’s wife.
Page 4, panel 3. One may notice that Lane’s beret and belt buckle both carry Nightwing’s logo.
Page 4, panel 4. In the regular DCU, Booster Gold is the Justice League member of the late 1980s who came from the future to achieve fame and fortune and the Black Condor is one of the members of Quality Comics’s Freedom Fighters. The Florida nuclear event has been consistently referred to in Tangent Comics stories since their first round, in 1997. It consisted in the complete obliteration of Florida and its Atlantis-like submersion into the sea.
Page 4, panel 7. In the regular DCU, “Kilowog” is the name of a strongly built Green Lantern who trained Hal Jordan.
Page 5, panel 3. Upon looking at the many-eyed fish in the foreground (forewater), one cannot help but remember The Simpsons’ Blinky, another result of exposure to radiation.
Page 6, panel 1. In the regular DCU, the Sea Devils are a team of sea adventurers. In the Tangent stories, they are the mutated remnants of Florida’s inhabitants. The December 1997 Tangent Comics included one title dedicated to them.
Page 9, panel 2. “Darkside” is a word that throws the reader back to Darkseid, the villainous New God of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. “Darkest Light” is reminiscent of the Green Lantern Oath where it mentions the “blackest night”.
Page 11, panel 6. “Zero Hour” is the name of a DC Comics miniseries of 1994.
Page 17, panel 4. The undead sister’s speech is a throwback to Alan Scott’s Green Lantern Oath, “and I shall shed my light over dark evil for the dark things cannot stand the light”.
Page 18, panel 2. “Know evil” refers to the Green Lantern Oath where it mentions that “no evil shall escape my sight”.
Page 18, panel 6. In the regular DCU, Zatanna is a sorceress who is oftentimes a member of the Justice League.
Page 18, panel 7. In the regular DCU, Etrigan is a demon who has been fused with mortal Jason Blood and often appears as an anti-hero.
Page 19, panel 2. In the regular DCU, X’Hal is the mad goddess of planet Tamaran, Koriand’r’s homeworld.
Page 19, panel 4. In the regular DCU, Bane is the villain who broke Batman’s back in the Knightfall storyline.
Page 19, panel 6. In the regular DCU, Ra’s al Ghul is Batman’s immortal enemy who repeatedly tries to eliminate humanity from the world.
Page 19, panel 7. In the regular DCU, the Creeper is a minor superhero who fights crime. In the Tangent universe, he is a powerful agent directing Nightwing’s actions.
Page 19, panel 9. In the regular DCU, Sargon is a magician superhero.
Page 22, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Jason Blood is the mortal man who is the vessel to the demon Etrigan.
Page 23, panel 2. In the regular DCU, “Kory Anders” is Koriand’r’s assumed name on Earth.
Page 24. “Chekov’s Phaser” is a pun on the original “Chekhov’s Gun”, a concept explained by theatre Author Anton Chekhov, making a reference to Pavel Chekov, a Star Trek character who — of course — would fire not a gun, but a phaser, and appear not in a play, but in an episode. X’Hal’s look is probably based on that of Dracula in the 1992 film of the same name.
Tangent Comics: the Atom #1 (December 1997).
Adam Thompson is named after the atom, as is Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam) in DC Comics’s regular continuity.
Page 1. World’s Finest is the DC title of the 1940s to 70s where Superman and Batman would join forces. Here it is the name of a magazine about super-heroes.
Page 5. Impulse, ordinarily the Flash’s teen sidekick, is here the name of a soda.
Page 6, panel 2. Of course the teleportation company would be called “Roddenberry”. Gene Roddenberry invented both Star Trek and its transporter.
Page 9. “A. Thom.” = “Atom”.
Page 14. The text and pictures show Dick van Dyke, The Beverly Hillbillies, Get Smart!, The Beatles, Jackie Kennedy, Twiggy, Marilyn Monroe.
Page 16. “Real American Heroes” is the motto for Mattel’s G.I. Joe line of action figures. And the Brande Atomica is evidently a throwback to the 1960s’ Batmobile.
Page 16. “This is one small step…” is Armstrong’s famous phrase, uttered on the Moon in the Summer of ’69.
Page 16. “What Ever Became of the Atom?” may be a reference to Alan Moore’s last pre-Crisis Superman story, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”
Page 18. “I Dream of Dream Girl”, as can be seen from the picture, is evidently I Dream of Jeannie, with Barbara Eden in the title rôle.
Page 19, panel 1. This was published NINE YEARS before Kindle and the ebook boom; yet the Authors predicted that soon we would do away with paper and read from screens only.
Tangent Comics: the Batman #1 (September 1998).
Page 3, panel 3. Prysm’s shapes and mask make her look like Spider-Man, and I was willing to ascribe this to mere coincidence, but then this wrist-spread web dispelled any such notion.
Page 4, panel 3. An utterly unnecessary panel. Consistent with a neater, tighter storytelling, it would have been more elegant to jump from panel 2 to 4, which would also keep to the Batman’s point of view as the story had so far. The reader is able to deduce, thank you.
Page 5, panel 2. Now how could Doctor Ardeen have learned that the EMP has hit the entire planet???
Page 7, panel 2. “The Dark Knight” is indeed how the Batman is known in the regular DC Universe.
Page 9, panel 5. In the regular DCU, King Kobra is a recurring villain, more recently concentrating on being one of the Flash’s foes.
Page 10, panel 2. “Court jester” may be an oblique reference to the Joker.
Page 12, panel 3. “House of Secrets” is the name of an old regular title of DC’s.
Page 20, panel 1. Copperhead is the name of one species of American venomous spiders.
Page 24. “Shadow of the Bat” is the subtitle of one of DC’s Batman series, Batman: Shadow of the Bat.
Tangent Comics: the Joker #1 (December 1997).
Page 1, panel 1. Just like some real-world buildings that were erected during the optimistic 1960s, New Atlantis’s buildings are rocket-shaped, showing a Space Age inspiration and the implicit intent to reach into space.
Page 1, panel 2. As in the notes for Tangent Comics: the Atom #1, this was published nine years before Kindle and magazine subscriptions for tablets, but already the Authors predicted that soon this is how we were going to read our magazines. Impulse Cola is named after Impulse, the mainstream DCU grandson of Barry Allen.
Page 4, panel 3. The Joker’s persistent, cringe-inducing laugh, as in the Batman comics.
Page 4, panel 4. Schwartz avenue is certainly a reference to longtime DC editor Julius Schwartz.
Page 5, panel 5. “Irritating imp” is the traditional description of Mr. Mxyzptlk.
Page 6, panel 3. In the regular DC Universe continuity, Dollman is an Earth X character, one of the Freedom Fighters. Grodd and Titano are two apes from the mainstream DCU, one being a mind-controlling gorilla and the Flash’s enemy; the other a giant chimpanzee who is a Superman supporting character.
Page 7, panel 4. Ambush Bug and Madame Xanadu are mainstream DCU characters. The public space is modeled after Times Square. Madame Xanadu’s, after New York’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not!.
Page 8, panel 1. “Hal” is a reference to 2001‘s HAL 9000 computer.
Page 9, panel 1. The four members of the Newsboy Legion are Superman side characters from the Silver Age. Snapper Carr is a JLA sidekick, also from the late Silver Age. The accident that killed him mirrors the one that gave Barry Allen his superpowers. World’s Finest was the regular title that would bring stories with Superman and Batman from the 1940s to the 1980s. On the wall between the two floors, the portraits are those of the first Atom and his grandson, the third Atom.
Page 9, panel 2. “Daily Planet” being, of course, the name of Clark Kent’s newspaper in the mainstream DCU.
Page 9, panel 3. Detective Chimp is a mainstream DCU character. In the mainstream DCU, Lori Lemaris is a mermaid who dated Clark Kent and knows of his secret identity. The door at the back reads “Jimmy Kirk” — possibly a joke by Kesel and Haley on both Jimmy Olsen and Star Trek‘s Captain James Kirk.
Page 9, panel 4. Perry White is the Daily Planet‘s editor in the mainstream DCU.
Page 11, panel 2. Possibly a reference to the Martian Manhunter.
Page 11, panel 3. A reference to the Batman’s origin and to the bat that flew into Wayne Manor’s study as Bruce Wayne sought a disguise to fight crime under.
Page 13, panel 1. “Wilson Terminators” is a reference to Slade Wilson, the Terminator in the regular DCU.
Page 13, panel 4. Green Arrow is the regular DCU hero. Zoo Crew is the regular DCU’s team of funny animals occupying Earth-C.
Page 14, panel 4. The flag-firing gun is an old Joker trick from the Batman stories.
Page 15, panel 2. Jurgens park is named after Tangent Comics’ creator, Dan Jurgens. Haley Heights is named after Joker penciller, Matt Haley. Duursema is named after Jan Duursema, a Sgt. Rock artist and the artist of Tangent Comics: Nightwing #1. Sergeant Rock is the character from DC’s war comics.
Page 15, panel 3. Orion is a New God from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, a regular DCU character. Captain Carrot is the leader of the aforementioned Zoo Crew.
Page 18, panel 2. Mary Marvel is a regular DCU character.
Page 18, panel 3. Harley Quinn is a DC Animated Universe character that was soon to be incorporated into the regular DCU.
Page 19, panel 2, and page 21, panel 3. Brother Power the Geek is a regular DCU character.
Page 28, panel 4. Xanadu’s talk with Alfred is reminiscent of Batman’s. The design on her breastpiece is also reminiscent of Batman’s cowl.
Page 30, panel 1. The line is a reference to Spider-Man’s origin (being bitten by a radioactive spider) and to his uncle’s advice that with great power comes great responsibility.
Page 32, panel 1. Big Barda is a New God in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, a part of the main DCU continuity.
Tangent Comics: the Superman #1 (September 1998).
Page 2, panel 4. Aside from the pun on infamous Harvey Lee Oswald, who has gone down in History as John Kennedy’s assassin, it should be noted that, in the regular DC Universe, “Harvey Dent” is the real name of Two-Face, a major foe of Batman.
Page 4, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Carter Hall is Hawkman. It is fitting that, in the Tangent universe, Hall is a man behaving as if he could fly.
Page 6. The TV show is a precise representation of typical super-hero comics of the Silver Age.
Page 7, panel 1. The Dick van Dyke Show was a lighthearted TV contemporary of the Silver Age.
Page 7, panel 3. In the regular DCU, “Pie-Face” is the nickname of Thomas Kalmaku, a mechanic at Ferris Aircraft and a friend to Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
Page 7, panel 4. In the regular DCU, Doctor Regulus is an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Page 8, panel 1. This is the first big indication that Mark Millar draws his Superman’s origin heavily from that of Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan, who was fascinated with disassembling machines and putting them back together.
Page 9, panel 1. Notice that Lola has slept on the couch, away from Harvey.
Page 10, panel 4. By now it is unapologetically obvious that Millar’s origins for his Superman is indeed a mirror of Doctor Manhattan’s origins…
Page 11, panel 1. … including Manhattan’s perspective of facing everything as just another jigsaw for his mind to solve.
Page 11, panels 3 and 4. The villains’ names are drawn from characters in the regular DCU: the Newsboy Legion, Two-Face, the Spectre and superheroes Hourman, Heatwave, Batgirl, Starboy and Johnny Thunder with his pink Lightning Bolt.
Page 12, panel 1. In real life, World’s Finest was an ongoing DC title of the Silver Age that paired Superman and Batman. In the Tangent universe, it is a celebrity magazine that covers super-heroes. In the regular DCU, physicist Martin Stein and student Ronald Raymond would fuse their bodies and minds to become Firestorm, the Nuclear Man. Dr. Polaris is a foe of Green Lantern’s who manipulates magnetic fields. In real life, “Polaris” is the name of a model of submarine-launched nuclear missile and a Polaris submarine is a submarine that is able to launch it. Note the absence of italics, as this is not a ship’s name or class.
Page 12, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Carl Ferris is the founder of Ferris Aircraft and the father of Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s love interest, Carol.
Page 12, panel 3. The flying bathing suit is the Flash, from her own Tangent titles.
Page 13, panel 1. Superman appears in a Christ-like stance as Watchmen‘s Dr Manhattan and as many painters’ representations, including Dalí’s.
Page 13, panel 2. In the regular DCU, the Swamp Thing is a tragic protagonist in his eponymous title.
Page 14, panels 1-3. In the Tangent universe, Black Orchid is a member of the rogue Night Force in Tangent’s Nightwing titles.
Page 14, panel 5. In the corner, a copy of World’s Finest magazine.
Page 15, panel 4. The US president was made aware of Nightwing in Tangent Comics: Nightwing #1 (December 1997).
Page 17, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Joe Chill was the criminal who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents.
Page 17, panel 3. In the regular DCU, “Miraclo” is the name of Hourman’s power-giving formula.
Page 18, panel 3. The formation’s angle brings to mind Captain Boomerang’s aircraft from Tangent Comics: Green Lantern #1 (December 1997).
Page 20, panel 3. “The Man of Tomorrow” is one of Superman’s epithets in the regular DCU.
Page 22, panels 2-5. The Ultra-Humanite’s EMP happens at the end of Tangent Comics: Nightwing: Nightforce #1 (September 1998).
Tangent Comics: the Trials of the Flash #1 (September 1998).
This is a sequel to Tangent Comics: Flash #1 (December 1997).
Cover: at the very bottom, one can hardly read the inscription to the right of the “recycled concepts” logo. At the extreme far right, there is a list of ingredients! “(…) chlorine-free newsprint, (…) Staples Iron 45%, tin 55% (…) CMYK plus Pantone Silver 877, Artistic Mark 89%”. They have got to be kidding us!
Page 2, panel 1. “Tell me once again (…)”: as in TC:F #1, this is an ostensive plot device to explain the apparatus to the reader.
Page 2, panel 3. As before, Nightwing’s symbol on the Professor’s chest resembles Superman’s.
Page 3, panel 4. One can see where this is going. As in TC:F #1, Terrance Kelly attempts to capture his daughter with elaborate contraptions, always to the same results as the The Road Runner Show’s coyote’s.
Page 5, panel 1. In the regular DC Universe, Black Lightning is a black superhero with electrical powers and Plastic Man is the silly superhero who morphs into most anything.
Page 7, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Starro the Conqueror is a villainous alien starfish.
Page 7, panel 3. Pay attention: this is the men’s room.
Page 7, panel 5. In later pages, it will be seen that Plastic Man could very well have disguised himself to a smaller size and a different appearance.
Page 8, panel 2. The Obsidian Void is reminiscent of the regular DCU’s character Obsidian, who can envelop objects into shadow.
Page 8, panel 5. Pay attention: the men’s room is to the reader’s right. Lia is pointing at the ladies’ room, to the reader’s left, and saying that she is going there.
Page 9, panel 1. Lia is coming out of the men’s room…? This will be explained later.
Page 9, panel 2. In the regular DCU, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man, is a superhero who can transform substances into other substances.
Page 10, panel 2. In the regular DCU, the Spectre is a superhero who is the near-omnipotent manifestation of God’s vengeance.
Page 16, panel 4. New Hampshire’s motto is “live free or die”. Vermont is known as the Green Mountain State but this is not its motto.
Page 17, panel 2. As seen in Tangent Comics: Secret Six #1 (December 1997), Manhunter is one of the group’s members.
Page 20, panel 6. Indeed, Lia made this promise to Powell in TC:F #1, page 36, panel 4.
Page 21, panel 1. In the regular DCU, the Justice League used to operate from a satellite headquarters.
Page 21, panel 2. The Joker, Manhunter and the Atom are the other three members of the Secret Six, as seen in TC:SS #1.
Tangent Comics: Wonder Woman #1 (September 1998).
Page 2. The joke is wrong. Descartes’s proposition is “I think, therefore I am.” The equivalent proposition in the negative is “I am not, therefore I do not think.” If the subject simply does not think, this is not enough of a statement to warrant stating his non-existence.
Page 3, panel 1. In the regular DC Universe, Lori Lemaris is a mermaid who dated Superman in the Silver Age. Superfriends is the 1970s TV cartoon with DC Comics characters. Paradise Island is Themyscira, the birthplace of Wonder Woman in the regular DCU. Also in the regular DCU, Impulse is a teen-age superspeedster.
Page 4, panel 1. In the regular DCU, Ambush Bug is a minor character with teleporting powers.
Page 6, panel 4. In the regular DCU, a Batarang is one of Batman’s boomerangs and Woozy Winks is Plastic Man’s sidekick.
Page 7, panel 4. In the regular DCU, “Beast Boy” was the alias of Garfield Logan, a metahuman teenager who morphs into animals, and Element Girl is a minor character who can change her body into different chemical elements as well as morph at will; she died in The Sandman #20 (October 1990).
Page 8, panel 1. In the regular DCU, there are at least two characters with the Psycho Pirate identity. The second one was important during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, having the power to induce any feeling into another human.
Page 8, panel 2. Beast Boy’s face has appendages much like those of the alien in Predator.
Page 8, panel 4. In the regular DCU, “Ferro” is the name of one of the Metal Men and “Gar” is the nickname of Garfield Logan, currently Changeling but formerly Beast Boy. The repetition of one’s own name is a hallmark of Marvel’s Groot, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Page 9, panel 3. In the regular DCU, a Batwing is one of Batman’s aircraft.
Page 11, panel 5. “Deanna” is the name of Star Trek: the Next Generation’s Counselor Troi.
Page 13. In the regular DCU, “Gotham” is the name of Batman’s city.
Page 15, panel 1. In the regular DCU, Lena Thorul is Lex Luthor’s younger sister.
Page 20, panel 2. In the regular DCU, “Starfire” is the superhero designation of Koriand’r, who is (or used to be) one of the New Teen Titans and a native of planet Tamaran.
Page 21, panel 1. On a screen, one can read a reference to the Atom, who is a major character in the Tangent universe.
Page 23, panel 3. In the regular DCU, Wonder Woman used to fly an invisible jet during the Silver Age.
Transmetropolitan #5 (January 1998).
On the cover, Frank Quitely’s name is on the fourth row from the top, second column from the right.
Transmetropolitan #6 (February 1998) in Transmetropolitan: de volta às ruas.
On the cover, Frank Quitely’s name is near the lower right-hand corner, on the Jamaican’s arm.
Page 131, panel 3. This quote is Batman’s classic speech about the criminals he frightens.
Page 137, panel 3. Guns ‘n Roses’s Slash?
Page 138. To the right, at the back, “Ennis’s church” and “Custer” refer to Preacher, a work by Garth Ennis, who is a friend to Warren Ellis. Preacher‘s title character is named “Jesse Custer”. To the right, in the foreground, the speaker is a lookalike to actor Ron Jeremy and holds The Good Book of D. Robertson, a reference to Transmetropolitan‘s penciller, Darick Robertson. On the far left, a Swastika. On the far right, Love Me Tender is one of the songs in Elvis Presley’s repertoire.
Pages 144-146. Spider, dressed as Jesus Christ, revolts against the shopkeepers in the Temple, just as Jesus Christ did in the Gospels.
Page 146, panel 2. In the background, “Pharisees for Jesus”.
Transmetropolitan #8 (Apr’98) in Transmetropolitan v. 2.
Page 4: on the Berlin Wall, one can see (1) the “Pink Floyd” inscription, in a clear reference to the Pink Floyd album The Wall and possibly to its live performance in Berlin at the time the actual wall fell; and (2) the “Darick + Meredith 4ever” inscription, certainly a reference to penciller Darick Robertson and his wife (as of November 2015).
Transmetropolitan #9 (May’98) in Transmetropolitan v. 2.
Page 15, panel 2: Enkidu is one of the characters in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh.
Page 15, panel 6: one of the background characters is dressed as Superman, minus the yellow S.
Page 22, panel 3: “little death” is, of course, a reference to orgasm.
Transmetropolitan #10 (Jun’98) in Transmetropolitan v. 2.
Page 2, panel 1: on the floor we can see Hard Boiled, Frank Miller’s comic mini-series. We can also see a Batman cowl and, in Spider’s shadow, what appears to be a cassette tape (!).
Page 17, panel 1: on the wall right behind Stomponato, the graffitti says “Darick + Meredith”, a reference to penciller Darick Robertson as in issue #8, above.
Page 19, panel 5: “Lebensraum” was Hitler’s name for the territory he claimed for Germany in Eastern Europe, which led to Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, Poland and the USSR. This is obviously an irony.
Page 22, panel 3: one of the books on the shelves is How to Draw Comics the Vertigo Way, a reference to DC Comics’s Vertigo imprint. Vertigo was an adult’s imprint that published stories much in the fashion of Transmetropolitan. The latter, however, was published by another DC imprint, called “Helix”, until Helix was merged into Vertigo a mere three issues later. The differences between the two imprints were slim. Apparently, the book How to Draw… itself does not exist, but its title is a reference to other, existing works, such as How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, by Stan Lee.
Transmetropolitan #11 (Jul’98) in Transmetropolitan v. 2.
Page 111, panel 2. The Mormons have a project of compiling data on every person’s (not just the Mormons’) birth and death dates as well as data on their family relations.
Transmetropolitan #12 (August 1998) in Transmetropolitan v. 2.
Page 9, title. “Truth, Justice and the American Way” was Superman’s motto during more innocent times.
Page 10, panels 2 and 4. This story was originally published when the commercial Internet was not two years old, so it has proved prophetic. The Word’s newsfeed is behind a paywall, as most newspapers’ websites of today, and news on Spider’s disappearance lead to advertisements linking onto purchase pages for his book — as in so many websites, although not as obtrusively nowadays. A correction: in hindsight, this is not so much prophetic as it is a reasonable extrapolation from a trend that was already quite visible in the late 1990s.
Page 12, panel 3. Spider’s look nearly breaks the fourth wall, piercing into the reader. So far, Warren Ellis has presented his audience with all manners of bizarre innovations and fads in the future City; again, all of them mere extrapolations of today’s wild eccentricities. Therefore, who’s to say that his question is indeed a bluff? The reader himself cannot tell: from everything has been seen so far, Spider’s suggestion sounds far-fetched at first, but becomes plausible on second thought.
Wonder Woman #135 (July 1998).
The cover rounds up Donna Troy’s prior appearances. From the bottom left: Wonder Girl as seen in the late 1960s, Troia (late 1980s), Wonder Girl (early 1980s), and Darkstar (mid-1990s), with Diana closing up in defence of one of her incarnations.
Watch This Space #98-14, first paragraph. “Obviously customers at Mile High are not a superstitious and cowardly lot.” This is a reference to Batman’s rationale for wearing a bat disguise. Since Detective Comics #27, of 1939 (Batman’s first appearance), and throughout the decades, this sentence from a book of Criminology has been oft repeated by the Caped Crusader.
Page 22. Notice that Jay Garrick has taken off his cover. This is an old-fashioned gesture of respect for the deceased, which Jay, being a classic hero from the 40s, will remember to make, more so than the others — though, justice be done, none of them is wearing any kind of cover.
Wonder Woman #136 (August 1998).
With this issue, Donna Troy is rebooted once again (though this time is more a restatement of her previous formulation). More important, Diana is back, not only from the dead, but claiming her Wonder Woman post after her mother’s long stint.
Page 12, panel 2. Henceforth, one could always use this panel as a visual reference of the difference in height between Hippolyta and Diana.
Page 13, panel 6. In the Golden Age, Giganta was a female gorilla that was transformed by Doctor Zool into a big, muscular woman of limited intellect. This is a post-Crisis, post-Zero Hour origin for the character, and somewhat reversed as the original Doctor Zeul is stuck inside the gorilla’s body.
Page 15, panel 4, to page 18. Wally’s memories of Donna Troy refer to the many years they fought together, respectively as Kid Flash and Wonder Girl, first as part of the Teen Titans, then as New Teen Titans. Wally’s help is an act of love for a dear friend.
Page 18 summarises highlights in Donna Troy’s biography of trials and tribulations. At the top left are her then already ex-husband, Terry Long, and their infant son Robert. Next, the car accident that led them off a cliff to their deaths (Wonder Woman #121). At the top right is the titan Rhea, rescuing toddler Donna from the burning orphanage as told in her revised, post-Crisis origin story (The New Titans #51). Midpage, left, upper half, is Donna as Troia (The New Titans #55), upon learning of her origin on the titans’ moon abode (NT #51). The lower half shows Donna, now a Darkstar, parting ways from her then lover, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern #70). Midpage, far right, is Donna as she appeared when, as Wonder Girl, she was in the New Teen Titans. At the bottom left, the original Teen Titans of the late 1960s, all sidekicks of established heroes: from left to right, Aqualad, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Robin and Kid Flash.
Page 19, panel 3. Now why is Diana wearing a robe that completely hides her outfit…? You will see in three pages, of course. But the attempt at a surprise is very evident from the start. Donna Troy’s garment is reminiscent of her Troia uniform.
Page 22. The payoff. You may also notice that Queen Hippolyta’s uniform is almost entirely obscured behind Diana’s trail, making the latter the only fully visible Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman #1,000,000 (November 1998).
Page 15, panel 5. Magala is a reincarnated Neanderthal woman, and Michael Collins’s pencils show it.
Page 16, panel 3. (1) The curves, shapes and crooked lines resemble Jack Kirby’s style very closely. It feels as if you are reading some New Gods or Thor comic. (2) Diana and Magala enter the tesseract as if they were entering a cave from its top, inside is a world of technological wonder, and Magala says that she “can still cook”. This is the exact description of Dr. Carol Marcus presenting the inside of planetoid Regula to Admiral Kirk in Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan. As Marcus and Kirk come into the cave from above, and behold a landscape that she has made from technology out of nothingness, she asks, “can I cook, or can’t I?”
Wonder Woman: the Once and Future Story (1998).
This story features Diana as Wonder Woman, but, at the time of its publishing, Diana has died and become the Olympian Goddess of Truth. The Wonder Woman mantle has been taken on by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Therefore the story is anachronistic.
Page 9, panel 3. Athens does not sit so close to the sea, nor is it backed by hills this high. On the contrary, it sits on and around low hills surrounded by lower lands some kilometers from the sea.
Page 13, panel 4. Clearly, the writer has no idea what jetlag is or how it works. The faster you travel, the worse your jetlag. In fact, jetlag is you lagging behind your jet. If you travel between continents on an old sailing ship, you do not suffer any jetlag, because you are always adjusting to the rearrangement of the days. If, however, you travel on Concorde, jetlag hits you like a brick, because you change timezones without any appreciable adjustment. If Wonder Woman is supposed to travel fast and this statement is supposed to boast of her powers, then she would have the most awful jetlag of all.
Pages 14-15. Diana’s “warrior princess” nightgown fits the recent, mundane perspective on the character, who tried to blend in on normal society in the stories that ran the while before her death.
Page 16, panel 2. Around 1000 BC, Athens was not a democracy. This would only come to pass some 500 years later.
Page 18, panel 1. Etain is the old-Greek counterpart to Etta Candy: chubby, prone to eating, playful and the owner of a heart of gold.
Page 27, panel 3. The name “Etain” should be enough for the reader to suspect the slaves’ origin in Celtic Ireland. Now the references to Erin (Eire), green shores and the Morrigan confirm it. The Celts worshipped a matriarchal earth goddess.
Page 29, panel 4. “Deirdre” is a Celtic name.