Below are annotations for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #5 – 32 pages plus covers, cover date February 2019, released 27 March 2019.
Writer: Alan Moore, Artist: Kevin O’Neill
Note: some of this stuff is obvious. If there’s stuff we missed or got wrong, let us know in comments, or email linton.joe [at] gmail.com
General summary: This issue is due out on Wednesday March 27, 2019. Please go easy on the “you missed this detail” comments until the annotations team gets a first draft annotations posted.
Redditor Hermes98 has done some great annotations – which we’re using much of below.
- The cover to Tempest #5 is a riff on Creepy Worlds, one of many titles published in Britain by Alan Class from 1962 to 1989. Like other Class comics, Creepy Worlds was an anthology book which reprinted American strips from a variety of sources, including many Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko Marvel monster stories and stories with a twist in the tail, as well as early Fantastic Four and Spider-Man stories, and Charlton reprints of Captain Atom and the Blue Beetle stories.
- The ‘Approved Comics AK’ logo is a riff on the ‘Class Series AC’ logo. It also stands for Alan and Kevin.
- 85′- is British pre-decimal currency notation for 85 shillings, or 425 new pence. $4.25, at the time of this annotation, equals the UK retail price of £3.30 for Tempest #5.
- At far left is a winged figure, possibly a Vril.
- The axeman and bull are the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox of American folklore.
- The robot directly below Prospero is Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951).
- The giant ape is King Kong from the 1933 film. Moore and O’Neill explored Kong history in Cinema Purgatorio #4. Kong is monochrome because the film was black and white.
- The way the ape is positioned, with the hand (holding a human) separate from the ape’s body, is a reference to the special effects techniques that Willis O’Brien pioneered making Kong. O’Brien filmed a life-sized giant ape hand (more typically holding actress Fay Wray) alongside a stop-motion miniature ape puppet – combining these images using a rear-projection screen.
- At right is a giant ant from the 1954 film Them!
- Below the ant appears to be a version of the Frankenstein monster. (Possibly Christopher Lee, from the 1957 Hammer film The Curse of Frankenstein. The likeness is not exact, but the head scar and armbands are suggestive.)
- Below and to the left of Frankenstein, a stereotypical Bug-Eyed Monster is attacking a woman.
- The top half of a face seen at the bottom of the page may be a nod towards comic artist Gil Kane’s penchant for drawing extreme closeups of flared nostrils. A gallery of classic Kane nasal shots can be found here.
- ‘The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke‘ is in an intricate oil painting by Richard Dadd depicting numerous fairy creatures going about their business. Dadd worked on the painting between 1855 and 1864 while in the Bethlem Royal Hospital (better known as Bedlam), an asylum for the criminally insane, where he was imprisoned for murdering his father. Characters and settings from the painting appear in Tempest #4, pages 16-17.
Inside Cover – Cheated Champions of Your Childhood
- This profiles the life and career of British comics artist Denis McLoughlin.
- Dagenham is a town in East London.
- “Ack-Ack” is slang for anti-aircraft guns.
- The illustration features Alan as Swift Morgan (with an A instead of an S) and Kevin as Buffalo Bill (in a child’s costume). (Moore writes rather disparagingly of Buffalo Bill in Jerusalem.)
Page 1 – My Painting, My Purgatory
- This section (pages 1-3) tell the story of the life of British painter Richard Dadd, who painted The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke – which appears in Tempest #4, pages 16-17 – and provides the title for this issue. From Dadd’s Wikipedia page:
Toward the end of December, while travelling up the Nile by boat, Dadd underwent a dramatic personality change, becoming delusional, increasingly violent, and believing himself to be under the influence of the Egyptian god Osiris. His condition was initially thought to be sunstroke.[…] On his return in the spring of 1843, he was diagnosed to be of unsound mind and was taken by his family to recuperate in the countryside village of Cobham, Kent. In August of that year, having become convinced that his father was the Devil in disguise, Dadd killed him with a knife and fled to France. En route to Paris, Dadd attempted to kill a fellow passenger with a razor but was overpowered and arrested by police. Dadd confessed to killing his father and was returned to England, where he was committed to the criminal department of Bethlem psychiatric hospital (also known as Bedlam).
- Commenter Justin Blochwitz adds: “Richard Dadd wrote a poem that names the different figures in the painting”.
- Osiris holds the crook and flail which are his symbols.
- The detail of the knife being attached to a paintbrush appears to be invented. According to one source: “while his father was answering a call of nature, Dadd stabbed him with a five-inch knife”
- Note the subtle devil horns and wings behind Dadd’s father.
- This imagery is from The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke.
- From Redditor Herms98 – this panel implies that Dadd had a sexual relationship with Sir Thomas Phillips while traveling through Egypt, but near as I can find this is invention/speculation on Moore’s part.
- There were at least two Sir Thomas Phillips who lived at this time, but the one whose life intersected with Dadd’s was probably the antiquary and book collector.
- The monk at left is a figure from TFFMS, just under the Feller’s elbow. Dadd’s poem expounds upon this hypocritical monk as being explicitly not in Heaven, but in a “nether region”.
- Immediately above the Dadd-gnome we see a pair of legs in tights, possibly the figure in TFFMS who is crouching near the Feller (identified in Dadd’s poem as “The ostler from the fairy inn / Knowing his air, the curate of the trim / Hands to his knees and body bent”).
- To the right of the figure in tights, with buttoned pants is the Feller himself, and his mallet.
- To the Feller’s right, we can see some Little Nemo-esque Blazing World architecture from Tempest #4, P6-7,p4.
- At top right, Ariel is carrying the box which Prospero placed the compressed nuclear explosion into (Tempest #4, Pages 22-23).
- At bottom right are two dwarfs with floppy hats who are from TFFMS. (According to Dadd’s poem, the male is a “fairy conjuror”.)
- “Osiris entered me, disguised as a filthy fly!” – While presumably based in Dadd’s actual delusions, this also calls back to a plot element in Moore’s Swamp Thing, where one of the cast was possessed by a demon in the shape of a fly which entered his mouth.
- See notes to P1,p1.
- Osiris reads Le Figaro, France’s oldest national paper. In 1843, it was a satirical weekly.
- This panel may be meant to evoke a Tenniel illustration from Alice Through the Looking Glass, with Osiris in the place of the Goat.
- Bedlam was the common name for Bethlem Royal Hospital, an infamous insane asylum. It did not close in 1863, and indeed remains in operation today. Rather, 1863 marked the opening of the high-security Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, to which Dadd was moved.
- From Reddit – The other patients of Bethlem Hospital include:
- “Turner’s Mother”: Mary Marshall, the mother of English romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, was admitted to Bethlem Hospital in 1800.
- “John Martin’s arsonist brother”: English Romantic painter John Martin’s third eldest brother Jonathan Martin set fire to York Minster in 1829 and was admitted to Bethlem that same year.
- “Cat-Fixated Louis Wain”: (quoting Wikipedia again) “an English artist best known for his drawings, which consistently featured anthropomorphized large-eyed cats and kittens”. He was admitted to Bethlem Hospital in 1925. Note that this means he would have been there long after Richard Dadd, Mary Marshall, or Jonathan Martin, but Dadd mentioning him is presumably due to the timelessness of the fairy realm, or whatever. Chase Garland posted some of Wain’s artwork in a comment.
- The cat is obviously meant to represent Wain.
- Is the man tormented by fairies anyone in particular? – Suggest?? (Commenter Chase Garland thinks it’s Jonathan Martin, but there isn’t much resemblance.)
- The thin blonde man standing in front of Dadd is from Dadd’s ‘Portrait of a Young Man’. (Thanks to commenter Victor for the ID!)
- Commenters Chase Garland and Victor both point out that the image of Dadd here seems based on the one extant photo of him, taken by Henry Hering.
- At left, The Galleywag runs, carrying Peg and Sarah Jane, breaking out of the panel border.
- From Reddit: This is presumably Charles Dickens himself there in Panel One. The Mystery of Edwin Drood is Dickens’ final novel, unfinished at the time of his death in 1870. The titular Drood mysteriously disappears, and the book is generally seen as a murder mystery with Drood’s uncle the chief suspect, but since it was never finished it’s possible that someone else was the killer, or that Drood wasn’t killed after all. Given the fairy theme here, Moore might be implying that the vanished Drood was kidnapped by faeries, although apart from that idea and the vaguely similar names, I don’t really see much connection between Edwin Drood and Richard Dadd.
- Cobham is a village in Kent, where Dickens and Dadd both lived.
- From Reddit: The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke does indeed feature a fairy regarded to be Dadd’s self-portrait, who looks just as fairy-Dadd does here. Moore has previously, in some interview or other (sorry), said he likes to think that Dadd’s self-portrait in the painting is indeed Dadd himself, imprisoned by the faeries, and that darkly whimsical idea clearly served as the basis for this section.
- The relevant section of the interview has been found:
Do I believe in fairies? Well, I believe in absolutely every creature that the human imagination has ever thrown up, in an ontological sense, in that the idea of fairies exists, and I believe that fairies are the idea of fairies, just as I believe that gods are the idea of gods, that these things exist in a world of ideas in which they are completely real, and you only have to look at the Victorian fairy painters, and how many of them ended up mad, you only have to look at Richard Dadd’s Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke to see that little figure of the old man with Richard Dadd’s face sitting there, looking really anxious, staring out of the picture at you, sitting there on his log, and I look at that, and I don’t think, “Oh, that’s Richard Dadd painting himself into his own, you know, miniature masterpiece,” I think, “That is Richard Dadd trapped in a painting. The fairies got him.” He was away with the fairies.
Also of note, that interview was by our own annotation team’s Pádraig Ó Méalóid, and may be found in full in his collection of Moore interviews, Mud and Starlight.
- Dadd’s description of this figure from his poem:
Below a pedagogue appears.
A Critic up to sneers & jeers.
And by his faun-like ears he’s wild
Untamed himself, each fairy child
He tames with many a look severe
But if his glance is there or here
’Tis hard to say. He squints to note
You may. But he’ll not meddle
With a work so sharp.
Waits in suspense and doth not carp.
His business is to teach to do.
Do it himself? Oh no! t’is you.
- The relevant section of the interview has been found:
- The Dadd-gnome is visible at top left of the image detail at the notes for P2,p1.
- At right, Mr. Ishmael, Hugo Coghlan, and Engelbrecht are running, with Engelbrecht again breaking out of the panel borders.
- Pictured is the Russian folkloric being Baba Yaga, in her chicken-leg house. The skulls topping the posts of her fence are a traditional detail.
- Baba Yaga is chasing Russian president Vladimir Putin.
- In the background we see the onion domes of the Kremlin.
- “Crucial institutions seized by trolls!” – Probably a reference to the Internet sense of troll, since, at the time this was being written, Russia was much in the news for using professional trolls to sow discord in other countries. This ties into what seems to be a central theme of Tempest, and of this page in particular, the damaging effects that fiction can have on material reality.
- At left, Jack Nemo and Mina Murray flee. Again, Jack is breaking the panel border, and even the page border!
- The background figures are all from TFFMS, and in almost identical poses; we are a mere fraction of a second before the moment depicted in the painting.
- The title is from Dadd’s painting The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke. The central figure whose axe-hammer is splitting the chestnut is from that painting.
- Dadd’s poem suggests that the Feller may be attempting to fashion a new chariot for Queen Mab. As Mercutio says in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: “Her chariot is an empty hazelnut”.
- The centipede and beetle being hurled away at the bottom of the picture may be a callback to the first panel of Moore’s Swamp Thing #23, panel 1.
- Commenter Justin Blochwitz suggests that the Feller’s rather blank face here is because his face does not appear in Dadd’s painting.
Page 5 – The City of Dreadful Night
- “The City of Dreadful Night” is an 1874 poem by James Thomson, about a terrible city that symbolizes London. The City of Dreadful Night was mentioned as an actual separate city in continental Europe as part of the New Traveler’s Almanac section in LoEG Vol.2, but here the phrase is used to refer to London itself.
The dagger-wielding ghost here is from the satirical illustration “The Nemesis of Neglect” which appeared in Punch in 1888, drawn by John Tenniel (of Alice in Wonderland fame). Inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders, the cartoon illustrated the idea that the Ripper murders and other such crimes were a result of poor conditions in the city’s slums.
- This cartoon and its text were used in Moore’s From Hell, where they formed part of the frontispiece to “Chapter Five: The Nemesis of Neglect”.
- The ghostly Nemesis of Neglect here gives colorful narration in much the same was as narrator characters like the Crypt-Keeper or Cain and Abel do in horror anthology comics, especially the use of alliterative nicknames for the reader. It’s habit of starting most utterances with “Heh heh!” is typical of the EC horror hosts.
- Commenter Chase Garland notes:
I think there’s also a lot of Mr. Crime from Lev Gleason’s Crime Does Not Pay in the Nemesis. He’s got a superficial resemblance with the cap labeled CRIME, but his habit of directly appearing on panel amidst the action is much more like Mr. Crime than the Ghoulunatics his speech mimics. Considering Mr. Crime is the antecedent of the EC hosts, it could be Moore’s way of tipping his hat to the pioneer of the type of character as well as a direct link back to the sort of crime fascination that created both the Nemesis and Crime Does Not Pay.
- Commenter Chase Garland notes:
- “GOOD LORD! *CHOKE!*” – A phrase very frequently uttered in the EC Comics that this section is referencing, as well as in countless parodies of those comics since.
- The electricals were blown by Electro Girl in Tempest 4 pages 20-21.
- The bats silhouetted against the moon may not be just bats…
- In the fog can be seen a stereotypical comic book bank robber.
- Facing the bank robber is Jack the Ripper. (Notably, not the Jack the Ripper that appeared in Moore’s From Hell.) In light of the escape of the Ripper myth within League, it seems worth quoting the following from an 1997 Moore interview in Feature magazine:
Jack the Ripper, by evading capture, by escaping from history has no human dimension. Jack the Ripper is a big black shape with a Gladstone bag and a top hat. He is a shadow on the wall. As such he has become a myth figure, a god, if you like. Something that really only has its existence in the mind and yet is a powerful and terrible god nonetheless.
- The man and woman speaking in the foreground are wearing 1950s fashions, again suggestive of EC comics, though they appear to be modern-day people (the woman has a smartphone).
- Are the people in the foreground anyone in particular – Suggest??
- At front left, the corpses of Jason King and J-1, both killed last issue.
- In the background, left to right, J-4 (Timothy Dalton), J-2 (Roger Lazenby), J-5 (Pierce Brosnan), J-6 (Daniel Craig), M/”Jimmy”, J-3 (Roger Moore).
- “Quelch” is Quentin Quelch, the LoEG version of Bond weapon-maker Q, mentioned in Black Dossier.
- Cricklewood is where Electro Woman lives, as mentioned on the Back Cover to Tempest #2.
- From Reddit Hermes 98: Greta Mors is the latest descendant of air-pirate Captain Mors, a Nemo-like figure from early German pulp sci-fi. The original Mors was mentioned in the first LoEG volume, and his offspring pop up in the Nemo books. Captain Mors travelled extensively through space, which may be relevant considering the nature of the latest Nautilus as revealed at the end of this issue.
- Left to right: Orlando, Emma Night, Carol (Electro Woman) Flane, Stokes (Carol’s manservant), Satin Astro, Marsman.
- Note that Electro Woman is powering both a fluorescent light tube and the laptop computer that Orlando is using.
- Stokes and Marsman appear to be having a low-key hostile interaction. Is Stokes racist against Martians?
- The “Driverless lorry” would be the Electrowagon, see P6,p2.
- The woman is really Marsman playing psychic tricks on the J Agents.
- Marsman makes each of the J-agents perceive the other as an enemy (zombie Jason King and Emma Night, respectively), causing them to shoot each other. This sort of irony was much beloved of EC comics.
- “It’s women who are from Mars” referring to Marsman appearing as a woman, reference to the 1992 relationship advice tome Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
- “Animal-headed humanoids from the polar regions” are presumably animal people from the Blazing World, and its Antarctic equivalent, Megapatagonia.
- “Vampires in the Balkans” – Presumably including Dracula, Mina Murray’s old nemesis.
- Djinns (aka genies) destabilizing Syria probably alludes to the Syrian Civil War, still ongoing in the real world at the time of writing.
- J-4 being concerned with the theatre district may allude to Timothy Dalton’s having spent a lot of time doing theatrical work. David Malet adds that Dalton “has played two other characters overly concerned with the theatre: Neville Sinclair, the villain in the film The Rocketeer, and Mister Pricklepants in the Toy Story franchise.”
- “Spring-Heeled Jack” was a leaping, fire-breathing demon/ghost figure from Victorian times, who has appeared in popular culture frequently since 1840. Moore wrote highly of David Hitchcock‘s Springheeled Jack graphic novel.
- “visionary spectres in Lambeth” presumably refers to the Zoas and emanations seen by visionary poet William Blake, who lived in Lambeth and is a significant influence upon Moore.
- “Werewolves of London” is a 1978 rock song by Warren Zevon with a very catchy chorus. AWOOOOOOOOO!
- Neglect’s puns are typical of EC horror hosts, especially at the climax of a story.
- The dog in the background is the RCA Victor records logo, placing the location as in front of the HMV music store in London, just about two miles north of Vauxhall.
- The hairy female werewolf might be Julie Delpy from An American Werewolf in Paris (a sequel to An American Werewolf in London). Commenter Zack C. suggests that it might be from the 1990 TV series She-Wolf of London.
- At left, in green scarf and brown jacket, is Henry Hull as the titular Werewolf of London from the 1935 film.
- At upper right, Ariel proceeds on their mission, still carrying the small box.
- Center, with torn ruffled white shirt and red cummerbund, is Oliver Reed from Hammer Films’ The Curse of the Werewolf (1961). Reed’s werewolf is holding a bottle of beer; Oliver Reed was a notoriously heavy drinker, sometimes appearing drunk on live television.
- Bug-eyed werewolf behind Reed’s shoulder – Suggest?? Commenter Zack C thinks it “might be from “The Howling,” as the werewolves from that film had rather prominent ears. But perhaps the 2002 British film “Dog Soldiers” would be a better fit, considering the location. The werewolves in that film also have large ears.”
- The person whose face is being torn off may be a reference to a viral tweet paraphrasing some people’s feelings that Donald Trump had betrayed them: ” ‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.”
- The naked werewolf with the red and white striped scarf is Uncle Raoul from Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse’s The Bojeffries Saga.
- Squat werewolf under Neglect’s arm – Suggest??
- The mostly hairless, stretch-faced werewolf at bottom is probably David Naughton as the mid-transformation werewolf from the film An American Werewolf in London.
Page 9 – From the Deep
- The second person narration was a moderately frequent device used by EC Comics.
- In the background, Stumbo the Giant (seen in Tempest #4, P6-7,p7) is fishing for stars.
- Regarding the use of the phrase “opium-dream”, commenter Justin Blochwitz points out that, in Black Dossier, Allan Quatermain remarks: “I think I caught a glimpse of the Blazing World in a vision once, during my opium years.”
- The title “From the Deep” has echoes of the Latin “De Profundis”, a letter written by Oscar Wilde while in Reading Gaol.
- Mina’s “Candy-coloured nightmare” evokes a line from the Roy Orbison song In Dreams: “A candy-colored clown they call the sandman”.
- “Demogorgon” – see Tempest #4 P16-17,p2.
- Engelbrecht forgot his scythe. See Tempest #3, P22.
- Mina’s dialogue hints at the political themes Moore is examining.
- At the end of Nemo: River of Ghosts, it was established that Mr. Coghlan was in a relationship with Mrs. Ishmael. Does this imply that he had a similar affair with her daughter?
- The Galleywag is preparing to let loose a sonic attack.
- “Seconds out!” is a phrase from boxing alerting attendants to leave the ring.
- “En garde!” is French for “on guard.” The phrase is spoken at the outset of a fencing match to warn the participants to take a defensive position.
- “Chocks away!” is a phrase used by aviators announcing they are ready to take off.
- “Fore!” is an interjection used by golfers telling people to get out of the path of their ball.
- On the scythe, see Tempest #3, P22.
- Since Nemo has not yet contacted Greta, this section of the story seems to actually have taken place before the “City of Dreadful Night” section.
- Small creature with fez(?) and antennae in foreground – Suggest??
- Note the two-dimensional clouds.
- The Sea of Frozen Words, last seen in Tempest #3 with a bunch of positive words, has taken on a decidedly more dubious tone.
- Note on the side of the popguns a radiation warning symbol containing a smiley face. Both these symbols were, of course, ubiquitous in Moore’s Watchmen.
- Per “The New Traveller’s Almanac”, Mina first sailed through the region of the Blazing World in 1907, in company with Orlando and Allan Quatermain aboard a hired vessel. But perhaps she is here referring to a first “proper” visit, landing and meeting Prospero, at a later date, with Janni Nemo. (Janni may be the “Nemo” mentioned in the Blazing World section at the end of Black Dossier.)
- The looming “ROMANCE” partially obscured in the background would seem to be related to Jack’s feelings towards Mina.
Page 15 – What’s Happening At… 3:08 A.M.
The title and much of the panel layout references the 1954 Howard Nostrand story “What’s Happening At… 8:30 P.M.” which first appeared in Witches Tales #25.
8:30’s trenchcoat-wearing germ protagonist appears to the right of the 3:08 sign.
- Flying in the upper left is Matt Price, Brain Boy, now calling himself Mind Man.
There are four caped figures who may be representing different versions of the aforementioned Spring-Heeled Jack. Left to right are:
– Fr left with skullcap(?) – suggest??
– more animal-like Jack on the left is from some of the earlier illustrations from the serial Spring-Heeled Jack: The Terror of London (this bestial Jack was hanging out at the Merlin Society clubhouse in Century: 1909).
– Top, with spread cape – suggest??
– on the far right may be the 1904 version of the character, though he is missing the characteristic plume.
- The blood dripping down the marquee and theatre-front may also be alluding to the beginning of Chapter XII of Moore’s Watchmen.
- The clock tower in the background is the Palace of Westminster’s Elizabeth Tower, popularly named after its great bell, Big Ben.
- On the left is Jim Logan, Captain Universe.
In the snow globe is Stardust the Super-Wizard. It may be thematically relevant that all the stars in the snow globe have fallen.
- The “Brothers Jim” are Captain Universe himself and his brother (at least according to Moore) Jet-Ace Logan. See notes to Tempest #1, Back Cover.
- The idea that Captain Universe hasn’t said his magic word in decades mirrors the long hiatus of the similar Captain Marvel-esque superhero in Moore’s run on Marvelman/Miracleman.
- “Immortal presences” are, left to right, Galileo, Archimedes, Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle, and Pythagoras.
- The star-filled shadow behind Captain Universe may be meant to evoke the Marvel Comics character of the same name.
- The monster is Gorgo from the 1961 British kaiju movie Gorgo, and subsequent comic book adaptations.
- This is Prospero’s sprite Ariel approaching the Vauxhall British intelligence headquarters.
- Ariel has delivered the box/chest that Prospero captured the explosion in – see Tempest #4 – pages 22-23. Note that the design on the top is a LoEG question mark.
- “Little Monmouth Street” – The location of the Star Chamber, the Seven Stars secret headquarters, under the Drum ‘N’ Bassment.
- Winged bull creature – Redditor FuturistMoon suggests: “this may be another “Springheel Jack” – I believe one of the descriptions had Jack as horned, with metallic clothing, and he spit flame into someone’s face.”
- This is J-5 (Pierce Brosnan), with his arm still in a sling from the injuries he sustained last issue.
- It seems the remaining J-agents are scanning the box, but not seeing anything inside of it.
- The box, of course, contains the thermonuclear explosion that M sent to the Blazing World, now un-contained again.
- Captain(s) Universe are (mostly) containing the blast within a sphere of their own bodies.
- Near bottom center, two of Captain Universe’s bodies appear to have been fused together by the blast. This recalls a plot point in Moore’s Marvelman, where something similar happened to Young Marvelman.
- M, inside his newest super-car, is still close enough to Vauxhall to observe the explosion.
- Note that M is observing them but is unobserved, due to his car being in “cloak” mode.
- “Something overlooked” is M’s car below.
- Redditor Hermes98 suggests that presumably Jimmy/M will go on to cause more trouble, and this will be what Mind Man’s premonition was really about all along (i.e. the bad thing happening at 3:08 was that Jimmy didn’t die in the blast).
- Are the wolf-men anyone in particular – Suggest??
- The cargo being loaded seems to be the trophies from the Star Chamber. Visible are:
- Steel Commando, being hauled up.
- A cowl which appears like that of Flash Avenger, only red. (In his original appearance, his cowl was red. He is seen wearing a red cowl like this in a photo in Century: 1969, P43p7; the red cowl is also visible earlier in 1969, P12p1.)
- Skeleton in a space suit – Jet Black, who was skeletonized by Electro Girl in Tempest #3, P29p2. (Thanks to commenter Chase Garland for the ID!) (This skeleton was also seen in Century: 1969.)
- The jukebox which was formerly Mark Tyme.
- Commenter Justin Blochwitz points out that Orlando mentioning “assembling” may be a veiled dig at American super-team Avengers, whose battle cry is “Avengers Assemble!”.
- Are the wolf-men anyone in particular – Suggest??
- “Stokes” is Electro Girl’s manservant. Carol would like to be carried by Captain Universe because she still has romantic feelings towards him.
- M is now activating the “aero” mode, because of course his car can fly.
Page 21 – The Character Ark
- Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen is here taking on the part of a story-narrator.
“[…] sharing borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan and Persia we have the mountainous country Ardistan and its surrounding territories […] a fascinating range of sites, not least of which is the immense and glorious palace of the Mir of Ardistan as found in Ard, the capital, reputedly constructed by giant craftsmen from nearby Parthalia.”
- Redditor Frankwalsingham adds: “The bit about giants in A(fghan/rd)istan feels familiar. A google search brought up lots of tabloid style hoax stories of U.S. military forces being attacked by/killing red/flame haired giants in Afghanistan.”
In the bottom right is immortal soldier Corporal Cuckoo from the Gerald Kersh story “Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo?”. He previously chatted with Orlando in Century: 2009.
- From Hermes98: “Pataphysics” is “the science of imaginary solutions”, a term coined by French symbolist writer Alfred Jarry. So it’s fitting for the Golliwog’s ship to be described as “pataphysical”. Jarry introduced the term in his novel Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician (keep this in mind, it will come up again later).
- From Hermes98: At the risk of being really, *really* obvious, “character ark” is a joke on Noah’s ark (with a k). Note that Mina says “character arc” (with a c), since she misses the joke.
- “Lord Horror” is the titular character of surrealist horror comics created by David Britton. The character was previously mentioned in Nemo: River of Ghosts. While one of our annotators thinks this may be a female descendant of the original Lord Horror, another notes the lack of apparent breasts, and the fact that the original LH had quite an extreme fashion sense.
- Hortense and Eloise Scaramanga are presumably the “Scaramanga sisters” mentioned in Nemo: River of Ghosts, most likely related to Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga (aka the Man with the Golden Gun), keeping with the theme of current-day descendants of famous villains. It is also a reference to the “Scaramanga sisters” in Michael Moorcock’s book Mother London.
- Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. Commenter David Malet notes “In “The Call of Cthulhu,” the cultists who go to awaken him sail from Dunedin, so presumably that’s the first place he would go ashore.”
- Cthulhu is of course H.P. Lovecraft’s elder god, submerged in the city of R’lyeh. Previous LoEG books placed R’lyeh near New Zealand, although I believe this specific location is Moore’s invention rather than something from Lovecraft himself. Note how Cthulhu emerging from the depths in the material world mirrors Demogorgon’s rise from the waters in the Blazing World.
- Lovecraft places R’lyeh in the Pacific Ocean, but about 4,000 miles from Dunedin.
- Man in white suit – Redditor tommcnally says: “Think I’ve finally placed the stout white-suited fellow: Masterspy, a recurring villain from Supercar. Like the Hood he seems to be advanced in age.”
- Man with bushy eyebrows – Redditor tommcnally says: “the little bald man is definitely an aged version of The Hood from Thunderbirds.”
- As seen in previous LoEG issues, “Lloigor” is a name Moore uses for Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones, although this isn’t quite how the term was originally used in the Cthulhu Mythos. A representative of the Lloigor (Nylarlathotep) was seen chatting with Prospero at the end of Black Dossier (the main story of which is set in 1958, hence Mina’s comment here).
- Bearded man with S turban, accompanied by Hindu woman – Suggest??
- Pirate with eyepatch, white beard, and carpetbags – Suggest??
- The subterranean Vril-ya are from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1871 book The Coming Race, a title Moore never tires of making dirty jokes about (see the Fanny Hill segment in Black Dossier). A Vril-ya also appeared in another adult situation in Century: 1969. The Vril-ya from the book wore artificial wings, but the ones in LoEG seem to have natural ones.
- Women with Vril – Redditor tommcnally says: “that’s San and Tray from The Fat Slags, created by Graham Dury. They wouldn’t say no to a Vril if he was packing something.”
- The two men at center are Mr. Gimlet and Finbarr Saunders, from the Viz strip “Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres”. “Fnarr” is apparently one of Finbarr’s exclamations upon hearing a double entendre. (Yink and snurp are still unidentified, but probably similar.) Fulchester is a fictional town in which most of the Viz strips were set.
- Statue of man with butt-crack – Redditor tommcnally says: “Two possibilities come to mind – it’s a statue of Toby the Giant School Boy or of Billy Bunter – either one is in the style of the Angel of the North statue in Gateshead near Newcastle. Not sure why either of those characters would have a statue made of them in-universe but hey ho.” The rationale behind the statue is revealed in Tempest #6 P27,p1.
- The Drunken Bakers are from a Viz strip of the same name by Barney Farmer. Alan Moore has said, “I think the Drunken Bakers is like Samuel fucking Beckett or something. It’s horrible and really funny.”
- Man committing suicide by shotgun – Redditor tommcnally says: “Big Vern, Vern Dakin, presumably some sort of relative of Vik Dakin, who believes himself to be a London gangster but who maybe isn’t, and interprets everyday situations as being some sort of job-gone-wrong that he tries to violently shoot his way out of, almost always resulting in him blowing his own brains out. Big Vern was created by Simon Donald and is drawn also by Simon Thorp.”
- The warp-gate in Oxford is a reference to Lewis Carroll‘s Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark, and specifically to the creepy spin Moore gave them in The New Traveler’s Almanac. The boojums being antimatter ties in with ideas of matter and antimatter as mirror image counterparts, and the mirror nature of the Looking Glass world (again something riffed on a bit in the Almanac).
- The vampire city Selene is from Paul Féval’s 1875 book La Ville Vampire/City of Vampires. Mina and Alan visited the city in The New Traveler’s Almanac.
- Vampires here are:
- Commenter David Malet suggests that “One of the two Nosferatus is Petyr from the film What We Do in the Shadows”.
- The 2001 Bowman expedition and the monolith on Jupiter are from the films 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: The Year We Make Contact (note that in the novel version of 2001, the second monolith is on Saturn rather than Jupiter).
The monolith on the moon is likewise from 2001. Minions of the Moon (the text story in LoEG: Century) has Prospero send Mina and the Gallywag to the moon to prevent humans from discovering the lunar monolith too soon, which probably ties in to Prospero’s big evil plan here.
- In the foreground, Greta Mors is greeting her father, Manfred. In the center are Stokes and Orlando. At far right, Emma Night is greeting her old friends the two Moneypennys.
- Ms. Kidd is presumably a descendant of famed historical pirate Captain Kidd. An earlier descendant, Mistress Kidd, was in Nemo: Heart of Ice. In Alfred Jarry’s novel Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, a version of Captain Kidd lives on Cyril Island, a self-propelled volcano. Cyril Island was mentioned in part 2 of The New Traveler’s Almanac, and Mistress Kidd mentioned her “grandpappy’s volcano” in Nemo: Heart of Ice. Hence Ms. Kidd likewise here says “wrangling volcanoes is in my blood”.
- “Essenwald” and the “forest entities” are from Brian Catling’s Vorhh Trilogy. The Vorrh were previously mentioned in Century: 2009. Moore wrote a foreword for The Vorrh.
- Here we have the “deep dark woods in Washington State”, but The New Traveler’s Almanac referenced “deep, deep woods” in Washington (perhaps a reference to Raggedy Ann in the Deep Woods), which the Almanac said contained Glastonbury Grove from the TV show Twin Peaks. The mention of “paranormal beings” here sounds more Twin Peaks-y to me, but maybe it’s just Raggedy Ann and friends. Or, of course, both.
- Malcolm Lowry (to again just quote Wikipedia) “was an English poet and novelist who is best known for his 1947 novel Under the Volcano”. The Malcom Lowry tunnel is therefore an appropriate name for a tunnel that goes under a volcano.
- On the left is Squidward, from Spongebob Squarepants.
- On the right is Moby Dick, apparently from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
- Note that Jimmy’s super-car can apparently drive underwater, in “Aqua” mode. The 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me featured an amphibious car.
- To once again just be really obvious, the Nautilus spaceship looks like the head of a squid.
Page 25 – Seven Stars – The Menace of the ‘Mass
- At left, Zom, Marsman, Vull. Center background, The ‘Mass. Foreground top, Captain Universe holding Electro Girl. At right, Satin Astro carrying Flash Avenger.
- Speed Gale’s pose here holding his comatose sidekick Gary is a reference to Batman holding the dead Robin in the 1963 imaginary story “Robin Dies at Dawn!” (Batman #156). This composition has been much imitated since then including in the much later story arc where Robin Jason Todd actually died, “A Death in the Family“.
- Moore here spells “Gary” with one R, though it was originally spelled “Garry”. Perhaps he wants to emphasize the utter ordinariness of the name.
- While Speed Gale’s civilian identity was never revealed, Moore implies here that it was, to use the phrasing from Flash Avenger’s profile on the Back Cover of Tempest #3, “a standard issue wealthy playboy”. This was a very common background for masked crime-fighters in the 1930s and 40s.
- The Flash Avenger origin story parodies Batman’s oft-repeated and elaborated origin. It opens with the wealthy Wayne family returning home from the theater one night, and making the poor choice to wander down “Crime Alley”. There, they are confronted by a mugger, and the parents are shot dead. Martha Wayne’s pearl necklace was used as a vivid pictorial element in Frank Miller’s version of the origin in The Dark Knight Returns.
- “Arrhythmia” is a condition where the heart beats either too fast or too slow. Moore presumably is implying that rich people have faulty “hearts” (in the sense of compassion).
- A close-up of young Bruce Wayne’s expression at the sight of his parents’ death (often emphasizing the eyes) is a common element in most versions of the Batman origin.
- This panel is an homage to one from Batman #1, where Bruce becomes a scientist. In his original appearance, Flash Avenger was also a “scientist and inventor”.
- The chateau ’94 Rees-Mogg refers to the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, frequently mocked for his upper-class Victorian affectations.
- This closely parodies much-quoted text from Batman’s origin: “Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot, so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts.”
- The toilet paper holder attached to the chair may perhaps indicate that it is also a toilet, underlining Flash’s decadence and laziness. The butler who is serving as a footrest is looking askance at it; is one of his duties to wipe the master’s bum?
- Tugging on one’s forelock is a traditional sign of deference to the upper class.
- The lower-class person being grateful (or forced to appear so) at his abuse by a rich person is, sadly, all too common in class-based societies.
- Hermes98: Gail Garrity was a character created by Mick Anglo (of Marvelman fame). The relationship between her and Flash Avenger is, I’m pretty sure, Moore’s invention. Don’t know if their son Henry is a reference to anything (it seems there was Henry Gaunt in a Doctor Who audio, but it doesn’t seem like a good fit).
- Gail and Henry are presumably outside the restaurant looking in, as Flash parties without them, but with a bponde woman who dresses the way Gail did before having a kid (see back cover to Tempest #3).
- The heaped plate of bangers and mash, and the restaurant name ‘Maison de Posh’ are common elements in British comics, denoting a ‘slap-up feed’ at a fancy eatery.
- Flash’s caption riffs on the (much-imitated) opening to the first telling of Batman’s origin story – “The legend of the Batman – Who he is and how he came to be!”
- Carol is angry because she had a brief liaison with Flash Avenger, alluded to in Tempest #3, P26,p5-6. Is Jim whistling innocently because he knew and didn’t tell Carol, or perhaps because he has a wife and child of his own?
- At left, Silver, Swift Morgan, and Crash Brittanus. ‘Val’ is Val Venture, the partner of Ace Hart.
- Crash Brittanus’s powers were never well-defined, but he gained them by being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion.
- At center is Mark Tyme.
- Crash Brittanus was found in Africa and was a direct descendant of the first man on Earth. The “meteorite site” is probably the same as the troglodyte community in Abyssinia. The first section of “Minions of the Moon” (Century: 1910) strongly suggests that this was the site of the alien monolith which uplifted primitive proto-hominids at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Tommy Walls, the ice-cream powered boy.
- These panels form a fixed-camera sequence.
- The events of this page complete the time-loop with Mark Time that began in the first issue of Tempest.
- Note Electro Girl’s innocent whistling. “No, I totally didn’t kill him at the other end of the time loop!” In the background, Zom appears to be trying not to laugh.
- Mr. Muscle is an obscure British hero. Mr. Muscle (unrelated) is also a brand of cleaning products. Mr. Muscle, when last seen (Tempest #3, P31,p4) was, as one would expect from the name, heavily muscled.
- “It is neither crab, nor goat, nor any other creature…” sounds a bit like Moore’s earlier descriptions of H.P. Lovecraft’s description of Cthulhu – for example in this interview: “it was kind of like a combination of an octopus, a dragon and a man, but it wasn’t really like that.”
- Zom’s hands are reaching new heights of Ditko-esque crookedness here.
- Hermes98: Black Dossier shows Mina buying the fungus astronaut keyring at the spaceport in 1958 [P127,p5]. As ever, the backstory for the ‘Mass is from The Quatermass Experiment.
- Hermes98: Satin Astro’s origin seems to be Moore’s invention, since her International Hero page says she didn’t meet Burt Steele until after she was already a “glamorous criminal” who had escaped from the Earth police, rather than meeting up as soldiers as shown here.
- Commenter Neale points out that “Satin Astro’s real name being “Satin Astrovik” is a reference to Marvel’s character Vance Astro, whose real name is Vance Astrovik, and who also lives in the 30th century as an original member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.”Commenter Dan Hitchcock further suggests: “We may not get any further hints, but I’m guessing that Moore intends for Satin to be Vance’s mother and Marsman to be his father (and the source of Vance’s mental powers).”
- The carjacked taxi probably belongs to DC Comics character Space Cabbie.
- Are the people being killed anyone in particular? – Suggest??
- This panel takes place just before prologue II of Tempest #1, as there we see this “manshonyagger” disabled.
- Hermes98: “Bigville” seems like an obvious play on Smallville from Superman, but I don’t know what/if it’s a reference to beyond that. However, last issue’s bio on Marsman said he moved to “Bigburg, near Cactusville in Texas”, a Desperate Dan reference. Perhaps Bigburg and Catcusville eventually merge into Bigville?
- Commenter Chase Garland points out that there was also a Bigville in Superboy: “It was first featured in Superboy #91 from 1961 and later reiterated on a map featured in New Adventures of Superboy #22 from 1982. It’s the town West from Smallville.”
- Hermes98: As seen in the first issue of Tempest, the time machine was stolen from the Legion of Superheroes and was set to 1958, the same year the Legion first met Superboy (or at least the year that comic came out). 1958 is also when the main story of Black Dossier is set.
- The American “hero industry… increasingly regulated” is presumably a reference to the Comics Code Authority introduced in 1954, which signaled the end for the sort of horror comics this issue homages.
- In the foreground are Green Lantern’s lantern and “prop rings.” Commenter Justin Blochwitz points out that Satin seems to be being handed a costume for Green Lantern villain Star Sapphire.
- It would appear that the initial “contact” was of wrench and head!
- At far left, with S on chest – Commenter Chase Garland identifies him as Streamline.
- At bottom left, with star symbol – Commenter Chase Garland suggests Captain Might, which looks like a good match.
- Bottom center, with M – Commenter Chase Garland identifies him as Captain Magnet, whose magnetic powers would not be much help here.
- Behind him, large person wearing only trunks – Probably Ju-Jitsu Jimmy, last seen in Tempest #4, P32,p5
- At bottom right, with up arrow, is Captain Miracle, see notes to Tempest #3, P31,p4.
- Bat-winged figure at far right – Probably The Bat, seen briefly in Tempest #2, P32,p6 – Commenter Chase Garland suggests it may be The Falcon or The Scarlet Bat. Based on Issue #6, this may be a different hero named The Bat.
- Vull’s remarking on the uselessness of invisibility calls back to dialogue on the “cover” seen in Tempest #1, P25.
- The ‘Mass is making simpler, more realistic (if rude) hand gestures compared to Zom of the Zodiac’s Ditko-esque impossible gestures.
Inside Back Cover – Send It to the Stars
- Steaming open an envelope is a way to open it without it being detected that you have done so. Why one would want to do that in this case is unclear.
- “48-pages-including-front-cover” is another dig at how fictional this whole “Seven Stars” comic book is. All comic book printing (and most magazine printing of any sort) has the interior printed in signatures, which are always in a multiple of four, NOT including the covers, which are almost always on a different paper stock and printed separately.
- “two months or sometimes even longer” refers to the allegedly bimonthly publication of Tempest, which often saw longer delays between issues.
- This letter as a whole is making fun of the belief that children are corrupted by “non-Christian” imagery in their fiction.
- The “odd kind of wrestling” is probably some sort of gay sex.
- “Billfinger” may be an allusion to Bill Finger, the under-appreciated co-creator of Batman. While he doesn’t seem to have any direct connection with this letter’s content, he does fit the Inside Front Cover’s running theme of cheated cartoonists (albeit he is an American).
- Superhero comics, of course, are a genre in which it is common to “kill off a character for cheap dramatic effect and then have them turn up a few issues later as if nothing had happened.”
- The use of “medium” here instead of “genre” is probably a subtle bit of satire, given that Moore has long been one of the more prominent voices explaining that comics are a medium, whereas superhero stories are merely a genre. The dominance of the superhero genre over the comics medium was a brief historical accident, not a permanent state of affairs.
- Needless to say, Tommy Walls becoming media sensation is entirely made up.
- At the time this was written, Alec Baldwin was known for playing a parody of President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
- As previously mentioned, Speed Gale‘s partner should properly be named “Garry”.
- Margaret Atwood is a well known Canadian author. “Gilead” is a reference to her best-known work, The Handmaid’s Tale, in which the United States of America has become a theocratic military dictatorship known as the Republic of Gilead. In this book, women’s rights are extremely reduced. The Yukon is the smallest province in Canada; Atwood doesn’t seem strongly connected to the region, but has contributed to a book about it..
- The information presented here is correct, except for Moore’s addition of Bigburg and Seven Stars.
- Large-headed man – Suggest??
- Defeated robot – Suggest??
- Defeated man with bushy eyebrows – Suggest??