Below are annotations for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #6 – 32 pages plus covers, cover date June 2019, released 17 July 2019
Writer: Alan Moore, Artist: Kevin O’Neill, Letterer: Todd Klein, and Colorist: Ben Dimagmaliw
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: coming soon
- The cover is a riff on British comic 2000 AD, a comic that both Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore both worked on. O’Neill drew ‘Ro-Busters’, ‘Nemesis the Warlock’ and ‘The ABC Warriors’. Moore wrote numerous short stories for ‘Tharg’s Future Shocks’ and ‘Time Twisters’, as well as ongoing strips like ‘The Ballad of Halo Jones’, ‘Skizz’ and ‘D.R. & Quinch’.
- “Great News For Readers Inside!” is British comics shorthand for ‘this is the last issue’, the great news in question being an attempt to soften the blow of the cancellation of a comic by merging its most popular strips with another comic from the same publisher. Two of 2000 AD‘s sister titles, Starlord and Tornado, suffered this fate, being subsumed into 2000 AD itself.
- “Free Space Dinner” is a pun on the free Space Spinner (a cheap plastic frisbee-like ring) given away with prog #1 of 2000 AD.
- “Frill Power Overload” is a pun on 2000 AD‘s concept of a Thrill-Power Overload, or overdosing on the thrilling stories contained in each prog. See also former editor David Bishop’s history of 2000 AD by the same name.
- The covers of early issues of 2000 AD featured the publication date under the term “Dateline”. They also had the tag “In orbit every Saturday” (though the actual weekday of publication changed over time).
- Is the spaceship named Tempest a specific reference? – Suggest??
- The disembodied head floating by Mina’s left hip appears to be Tharg, the figurehead and alien ‘editor’ of 2000 AD.
For what it’s worth, the small Tharg head on the cover of 2000 AD #1 was drawn by Kevin O’Neill (thanks raggedman, Richard).
- Orlando’s spacesuit is modeled on those seen in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (thanks Justin Blochwitz). The green color, however, may be patterned after the design of Dan Dare’s, as seen in the early issues of 2000 AD, drawn by Massimo Bellardinelli (see pic below). Note also the question mark semi-hidden in the chest-piece.
- Orlando’s discarded space glove appears to be sticking its fingers up, arguably at the reader.
- The black rectangle behind Tharg’s head appears to be a monolith such as that seen in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie of Arthur C Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Is the blue sun with a face (or Great Britain?) a specific reference? – Suggest??
Inside Cover – Cheated Champions
Ron Turner (1922-1998) was a British comics creator, whose career is described here.
- Steve Moore (1929-2014) was a British comics writer, not related to Alan Moore, but a close friend of his, whom Alan credits for shepherding him into comics writing.
- The illustration depicts Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill in Dalek costumes. O’Neill’s is a salt shaker. Alan is holding a toilet plunger, which the Daleks’ grasping appendage has often been compared to (and which he may have gotten from the WC just behind him). Rather than a laser beam, he is attacking Kevin with a giant blunt. The appendages of Kevin’s Dalek are a pencil and pen. The base of Kevin’s Dalek is inscribed “2K”, which probably references Zeros robot agent 2K, the hero of the Daleks strip ‘Rogue Planet’ from TV Century 21. A personal favourite of one of the annotators [HN].
- Mina Murray is taking tea with Sherlock Holmes. Holmes’ deerstalker hat is serving as a tea cosy.
- “Near Fulworth Cove, Sussex” is the fictional place where Holmes lived in his retirement. Per the preface to His Last Bow Holmes retired to “a small farm upon the Downs, five miles from Eastbourne” a town in East Sussex. “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” mentions its proximity to “the little cove and village of Fulworth” and Holmes keeping bees.
- “So, are we finished with all this?” is literally referring to the tea things. On a higher level, referring to the League itself, and to Moore’s comic book career.
- The black cat appears to be just a black cat.
- The elephant-creature is Jumbo Elephant of the Bruin Boys, created by artist Julius Stafford Baker. He appeared in LoEG V2, as part of Doctor Moreau’s experiments.
- Is the well a specific reference? – Suggest??
- Commenter Justin Blochwitz notes that this meeting was mentioned earlier, in The New Traveler’s Almanac:
December 28th, 1906
[…] Bond is a weasel while [Mycroft] Holmes is more like one of those monstrous armoured fish that haunt the ocean’s lowest reaches, utterly without emotion but with bulging lamps of intellect grown from their foreheads. When I finally met his famous brother…only some two years ago now, though it seems another life entirely…I found him perhaps more likeable and warm than our remote, impassive Mr. M, but sensed that this was more a case of the detective having greater mastery of social niceties than his more pompous sibling, rather than an indication of true human feeling. Two intimidating mental monsters, it is clear that they are both from the same pod, although one pea, it must be said, is somewhat fatter and ripened than the other
- “Mrs. Hudson” is Holmes landlady and housekeeper. Mrs. Hudson’s son presumably refers to Mr. Hudson, the butler in the ITV drama Upstairs, Downstairs, portrayed by actor Gordon Jackson from 1971 until 1975. In those days, it would certainly have been likely that offspring might follow their parents into service. (Commenter Greenaum argues at some length against this.)
- Holmes view that “exceptional individuals… are to humanity’s detriment” sounds similar to Moore’s take on superheroes.
Commenter Justin Blochwitz points out that Moore, in Watchmen and Miracleman, posits that when even a single superhuman comes into existence, the entirety of human history will warp around their presence.
- “Professor Moriarty” is Holmes arch-nemesis and the villain behind LoEG V1.
- In the background is (an oversize?) Winnie-the-Pooh, known to love honey. A. A. Milne’s Pooh stories are set in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex.
- “Irene Adler” is a relatively minor character from the Holmes story “A Scandal in Bohemia.” Holmes holds her in high regard, and in some later (post Arthur Conan Doyle) Holmes fiction she is ret-conned to be Holmes’ love interest.
Moore stated that early on he had considered Adler for Murray’s role in LoEG: (see also page 219 of Jess Nevins’ Heroes and Monsters)
…we need a woman, there’s supposed to be some genius woman in Sherlock Holmes. The only woman that Sherlock Holmes had time for. But she was a bit obscure. …so I thought, Mina Harker. We’ll have her be changed by the events of Dracula and she’s divorced Jonathan and she’s become a Suffragette. And she also has that scarf…
- Lincoln Island is the home of Captain Nemo – see Tempest #1 P15, p4.
- Atop the platform at upper left are: Mina Murray, Orlando, Emma Knight, Mr Ishmael, and Jack Nemo
- Satin Astro
- suggest??? (seated above large ball) (possibly an operator of the surveillance machinery from The Prisoner?)
- public domain hero Six-Gun Gorilla (a favorite character of LoEG master annotator Jess Nevins, and subject of a recent revival by Moore friend Si Spurrier)
- Hugo Hercules (carrying a stuffed Tiger Tim, whose body was last seen in Century:2009, and with the Pink Child standing on his shoulder)
- Desperate Dan, of The Dandy. Commenter Justin Blochwitz reminds us that, within League continuity, Hugo Hercules is his father. Iain Milne notes that Desperate Dan is smoking his pipe: “Dan always had comically large items to emphasize his strength and his pipe was a drainpipe with a trash/garbage can on the end. Dan smoked garbage instead of tobacco and it always produced a thick black cloud of foul smelling smoke.” The black object with four red dots is the end of Dan’s pipe. Find an image of Dan with his pipe (middle, near bottom) at the International Hero UK. website.
- The floating pinkish ball is Van Dusen
- Bottom row:
- Starman, aka David Bowie, previously seen in Century: 1969.
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld, or possibly a descendant (with white cat). (Jonah Blochwitz thinks it’s more likely Blofeld parody Dr. Evil.)
- Brain Boy
- Stokes (Electro Girl’s manservant)
- Electro Girl
- Captain Universe
- Two Pennies (Miss Moneypennys)
- Cursitor Doom (? – in a bow tie)
- Jonah (whose boat seems to be managing to sink despite being nowhere near a body of water). Justin Blochwitz points out that he appears to be being sent away, “Considering his naval record, it might be for the best.”
- Engelbrecht with a paper hat
- two of the Beagle Boys (one of whom is stealing the other’s wallet).
- The credit box references the Credit Card found in 2000 AD. The names are anagrams of the issue’s creators.
Moore parodies these by changing Credit Card to Talent Token; Script Robot to Replaceable Script Unit; Art Robot to Replaceable Art Unit; Lettering Robot to Replaceable Letters Unit; and adds Replaceable Colour Unit, as 2000 AD, being a black and white comic originally, wouldn’t have had a Colouring Robot credit.
- Kevin O’Neill introduced these ‘Credit Cards’ to 2000 AD. In this article in The Guardian, he says,
When I became art editor, I had to clandestinely introduce credits for the writers, artists and letterers. In my early career, I’d worked as a “bodger”, removing signatures hidden in hedgerows and the like. We were told British comics had traditionally never had attributions, but IPC were actually scared: if they identified creators, they might lose them to other companies like DC Thomson. I said “This is bullshit”, stuck credit panels on and told management we were experimenting. They’ve been there ever since.
- The title “Then, the immortal blue” finishes a rhyming couplet – see chapter titles at index page.
- “Fire” in this sense means “destroy explosively”.
- Overall this panel references a battle between Planet of the Apes forces against those of The Terminator movies. Justin Blochwitz points out that the animal hybrids likely also refer to Jack Kirby’s Kamandi. David Malet adds: “The battle between the Terminators and the Planet of the Apes is particularly appropriate because both franchises involved time paradoxes created by ultimately unsuccessful efforts to avert dystopian futures, just like Satin Astro in this story.”
- “Blazing World’s animal hybrids” – Seen frequently before, notably in Tempest #3 P11p1.
- “Martian warlord” – Referenced throughout Tempest, beginning in #1 P2,p1.
- “Rogue A.I.’s killer machines” refers to Skynet and its various Terminator cyborg assassins (and presumably other dystopian AI futures).
- Depicted left to right are:
– apes on horseback were common in PotA films
– generic Terminator cyborg punching horse?
– flying cartoon robot?
– large upright robot – from Terminator?
– ape – from Planet of the Apes?
– ape – possibly Cornelius from the initial Planet of the Apes film?
– skull of generic Terminator cyborg?
- Van Dusen (see Tempest #2 P20) appears in the red circle.
- “M.I. 5 explosion” that “killed Jimmy” is depicted on Tempest #5 P18-19. Unbeknownst to these heroes, Jimmy (the original James Bond) is still alive.
- Man at circular screen on right? (looks almost like a sort of Wizard of Oz controlling Van Dusen??) (Or possibly The Supervisor from The Prisoner?)
- This is Jimmy’s spy-tech car.
- The “Malcolm Lowry tunnel” was referenced in Tempest #5, P23 p4 (see there for notes).
- Ear-ringed corpse is presumably one of Nemo’s many pirates, who had been guarding the tunnel.
- This indicates Jimmy has donned this person’s (who?? – possibly just a random janitor, but the mismatched socks may be a clue) uniform – referencing the cliche spy trope dressing as the enemy.
- These are fictional spies. Left to right:
– Black spy of Mad‘s Spy vs Spy.
– The Shadow
– James “Jimmy” Bond disguised in Nemo’s crew uniform
– Steve Ditko’s Mister A – Ditko and his Mister A are Rand-ian moral fundamentalists. Moore based Watchmen‘s Rorschach on Mister A and Ditko’s later similar hero the Question. Moore’s The Emperors of Ice cream performed a song titled “Mister A” which includes the lyric “he saw the world in terms of black and white.” That black/white contrast is underscored by the black/white spies presence. Commenter Chase Garland points out that Mister A’s whiteness also contrasts with The Shadow’s darkness.
– Spy vs. Spy’s white spy
- “In Ireland, humanoid pig-monsters… teeming from a precarious clifftop edifice in County Galway” refers to The House on the Borderland, from a 1908 novel by William Hope Hodgson. The house seems to be somehow connected to other worlds (note the ringed planet barely visible in the background, and also in one window), one of which is inhabited by these pig-monsters. Moore wrote an introduction to a graphic novel adaptation of THotB.
- “The Riallaro Achipelago” is from the book Riallaro: The Archipelago of Exiles by Godfrey Sweven, frequently mentioned before, and seen extensively in Tempest #1 P18-19. Nemo’s Lincoln Island is located within the Archipelago.
- “Zara’s Kingdom” is from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Utopia, Limited. It was earlier mentioned in “The New Traveler’s Almanac” part 3 and Black Dossier (“On the Descent of the Gods”).
- “Fish-creatures from Marsh’s island” refers to H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” which Moore explored extensively in Providence #3. Marsh’s Island was earlier mentioned in “The New Traveler’s Almanac” part 3.
- The three policeman and bicycle reference The Third Policeman, a novel by Irish writer Brian O’Nolan, using the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. The one-legged man is the protagonist of TTP. This novel was earlier referenced in “The New Traveler’s Almanac” part 1, alongside a reference to The House on the Borderland.
- On left platform:
- Figure with oval helmet window and gun(?) – Suggest??
- Figure with tall clear helmet and trident – Suggest??
- This is presumably either the carved mountainside “Nemo Point” or the “Prince Dakkar Memorial Tower”, both seen in Tempest #2 P12-13.
- The logo seems to be a combination of Robur and Nemo. The hangar was referred to in Tempest #2 as “Mors-Robur Aircraft Research and Development”, however.
- The large shark shape outside the window is the housing for the “Mors-Nemo “Carnage” Cannon”, as seen in Tempest #2.
- Commenter Thomas Magle Brodersen notes: “The map is of Lincoln Island. It is likely based on Jules Férat’s illustration from The Mysterious Island, as seen on the Wikipedia page.”
- The Nautilus model is similar to what was shown in Janni’s study in the opening pages of Nemo: River of Ghosts. (Thanks Justin Blochwitz.) This may be her office, left untouched, or it may have been taken over as Jack Nemo’s office.
- This is the Janni Nemo Memorial, erected at the end of Nemo: River of Ghosts, and also seen in Tempest #2. Symbolically, the Nemo dynasty still has significant military might (as she still holds her sword), but they no longer hold the Earth in their hands.
- The “Oxfordshire” incident has been alluded to several times earlier – see “The New Travelers Almanac” part 1, Tempest #3 P10,p2, #4 P1,p12 and #5 P22,p4. It references Lewis Carroll, who was an Oxford don. The monster depicted is based on John Tenniel’s drawing of Carroll’s Jabberwocky.
- Commenter Victor suggests that
the two men being attacked by the Jabberwock in the foreground are likely Inspector Morse and Detective Sergeant Lewis from the Colin Dexter novels and tv show. The reference to Oxfordshire’s constabulary makes this clear as Morse is famously Oxford-based, and the figure to the right with black hair resembles Kevin Whateley as Lewis.
- Is Mr. Van Dusen’s atypically 3-dimensional projection here a specific reference? – Suggest??
- Engelbrecht probably considers “I’m defying gravity!” as a personal challenge to Gravity, whom he apparently intends to box with. On the other hand, it may be a reference to the song “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.
- The “Englast” logo on Engelbrecht’s boxing helmet is a nod to the popular Everlast brand of boxing equipment.
- This panel begins some kind of quote “The orchestrations of my ancestors fall mute…” running through the following page. Suggest?? Commenter Greenaum suggests that this is just Alan Moore [in the person of Jack Nemo] being suitably poetic.
- Emma is serene. The Moneypennies, being quite unused to this sort of thing, are worried. Jimmy, deep in enemy territory and out of his depth, is sweating profusely.
- This is Jack Nemo’s piano, seen previously in Tempest #3 P9-10. The flames spell out “FOLLOW THAT YOU CUNTS.” Commenter Chase Garland points out that this is a homage to Neal Adams’ hidden “Steranko Effect” message in Strange Adventures #215. It is also a reference to Jerry Lee Lewis, who allegedly once set a piano on fire during a performance:
After the incident, as Lewis walked backstage, he reportedly said one of two things. According to the biography, Lewis said, “I want to see you follow that, Chuck.” Other accounts have Lewis telling Berry, “Follow that, n***er,” in order to intimidate him.
It can also be read as a statement from Moore himself, having set everything on fire and daring future comic book writers to “follow that”. Commenter Greenaum suggests that it is “a reference to the proliferating “sequels” and horrible spinoffs of Watchmen now being produced.”
- The black object on the right is the Golliwogg/The Galley-Wag’s vessel, The Rose of Nowhere.
- The text box at the bottom is intended to give the impression that the chapters of this issue are independent stories in a 2000 AD-like anthology. They do not appear to be modeled after specific chapter closings used in 2000 AD.
- The inset panel (depicting Murray) references an iconic image from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Page 7 – Bad Moon Rising
- The “trophy-chamber” is a common super-hero trope, used several times previously in LoEG.
- At left:
– A stuffed Rupert Bear (Doctor Moreau version) from LoEG V2. His stuffed body was last seen in Century:2009.
– skeleton of Mister Hyde
– space suit skeleton is Jet Black – see Tempest #3 P28,p1
– black creature in the tank is a Pathetic Shark from Viz
- Top right:
– shark image? Possibly the electrocuted antagonist of Jaws 2?
– The harpooned-shark Hook Jaw from Action Comics (and a recent Si Spurrier revival)
- Bottom right:
– Photo of Prince Dakkar
– Meeting table from The Star Chamber
– Popeye‘s pipe, cap, and spinach can (Moore previously included Popeye in “Supreme and the Funnybook Felonies” in Supreme #52b.)
- “Bad Moon Rising” is a Credence Clearwater Revival song. Justin Blochwitz notes that the song’s author John Fogerty claims the song is about “the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.” Blochwitz points out that it is also the title of a 70s sci-fi anthology.
- “The black monoliths” are from the 1968 film and novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- “Luna’s insect population, the Selenites” refers to H.G. Wells’ 1900-01 novel The First Men in the Moon. The Selenite battle against the Amazons is the subject of the “Minions of the Moon” backup story in Century: 1910.
- “Germany’s ROTWANG base” refers to Rotwang, a brilliant scientist in the 1927 film Metropolis. In the world of the League, he invented much of the German war apparatus of World War II, as seen in Nemo: The Roses of Berlin. The moon base is presumably named in his honor.
- “Selwyn Cavor” is the scientist protagonist of The First Men in the Moon. He was a character in volume 1 of LoEG, and his frozen corpse was last seen in the “Minions of the Moon” backup story in Century: 1910.
- “European, Chinese, and Russian” moon colonies refers to “Minions of the Moon” where there were lunar colonies from France, England, Germany, and America. China appears to be new.
- American moon colony “Pride of Baltimore” is no doubt named in honor of the Baltimore Gun Club of the Jules Verne novel From the Earth to the Moon.
- “Link Violeen’s All-He-Can-Draw Robot Works” appears to be another anagram for Kevin O’Neill.
- The central dome and the spherical ship above it are from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- The spaceship on the right side of the panel is an Interceptor, from the live action Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s UFO TV series (1970-1973). The “DM” letters don’t seem to appear in the original show, but may be intended to stand for “Dinky Model”, as Dinky Toys made several toy versions of the Interceptor. The geodesic spheres below it are the moonbase from the same series. (Thanks to commenter Marcelo Severo.)
- Spaceman with three-barreled energy cannon – Suggest??
- Here, Mina summarizes the primary events of “Minions of the Moon”, the text backup story to Century.
- The Amazons are primarily derived from the 1987 film Amazon Women on the Moon.
- From left to right: (thanks Justin Blochwitz)
– “The Amazon Women on the Moon” (now with added males) are riding the Nakar creatures (last seen in MotM) from “Maza of the Moon.” Note the pronounced dome-like foreheads of the Amazons, inherited from their genetic ‘father’ Professor Moriarty.
– One of Mike Higgs‘ “Moonbirds” flies in the lunar air.
– The long-nosed creatures with little packs are “Clangers.”
– The black spotted creatures are a herd of moonies – from the comic strip “Moony from the Moon”.
Commenter Greenaum points out that most of these cute moon creatures are presumably what Mr. Van Dusen is referring to as “food-animals”.
- Structures and vehicles (L to R):
– Sail-like buildings – Suggest??
– Dome with windows – Possibly the 2001 dome from previous page?
– Partially-broken pyramid – Suggest??
– Broken spaceship with spherical front – Commenter David Malet says this “looks like the Discovery from 2001, and jibes with Issue 5’s mention that there was an attempt being made to re-activate that mission. In the novel 2010, Discovery II was being built but was not ready in time, and that appears to have happened in this reality’s 2010 as well.”
– Cluster of domes – Possibly UFO moon base from previous page?
– Large dome with diamond patterning – Suggest??
– “Moon Fargo” truck – Chase Garland IDed this as from the Hammer SF film Moon Zero Two.
– Tan spaceship with large fin – Suggest??
– Blue “2” spaceship – Suggest??
– Pale spaceship in flight – Suggest??
– Corpse in green spacesuit – Suggest??
- Are any of these ships recognizable references? – Suggest??
- Left to Right:
– Red “RT” ship – Suggest??
– Triangle symbol ship – Suggest??
– Violet ship – Suggest??
– Red “IP” ship – Suggest??
– Tan “UP” in star ship – Suggest??
– Purple-ish “PIB” ship – Suggest??
– Satellite – Suggest??
– Green ship with star – Suggest??
– The small dot in the sun is presumably Mercury
- “Pereland” refers to C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra. (Thanks Justin Blochwitz)
- “Mekonta” was the Venusian capital city of the Treen empire which spawned Dan Dare’s foe the Mekon. (Thanks Justin Blochwitz)
- “Carson City” must be named after Carson Napier, the protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Amtor series, set on Venus.
- “Empress, the Mekonia” is derived from Dare’s the Mekon (is Mekonia in Dare??)
- Commenter Greenaum points out, “The perspective is a Van-Dusen’s-eye view. Either from his curved screen, or perhaps a fish-eye wide-angle lens on one of the cameras he uses to see. Our heroes are consulting him,
all looking right at him.” Further, Robson Waterkemper points out that similar imagery was used for HAL’s point of view in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- The exploding structure on the upper right is from the cover of Eagle #15, as are some of the other buildings.
- Most of the Venusians appear Mekon-like.
- The pointy-headed couple on right are Venusians as they appeared on the show “Space Patrol” hover bikes and all. (thanks Blochwitz)
- statue lower center?? (possibly Carson?)
- Big-headed female alien on right? (She has a Treen head – Perhaps she is Mekonia, the empress?)
- In the bottom right is 2000 AD‘s Tharg.
- In “Minions of the Moon” (Century: 1969) it says of the Amazons: “Countless centuries ago, the women’s native race had been a great civilisation that existed near the universe’s rim”.
- Respectfully, Nemo has assigned Emma a cabin marked “M”.
- Orlando’s “troglodyte” affair was recounted in Black Dossier, The Life of Orlando, Chapter Two. It was implied that these troglodytes were among the first intelligent hominids, uplifted by the monolith as seen in 2001.
- Orlando “enlisted at Troy” – see Black Dossier, The Life of Orlando, Chapter Two.
- On the right is the disguised James “Jimmy” Bond, taking note of Emma Peel’s cabin.
- The brown stone with runes is from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth; it first appeared back in LoEG V1 P51,p4.
- Battered bust of Britannia- Suggest??
- Bust of Moriarty as M, seen in Black Dossier, where it was being contemplated by the Harry Lime M.
- The green jacket is Griffin’s jacket from LoEG V1, issue 3.
- “Lewd Worlds” was previously mentioned in Century as the publication “Minions of the Moon” first appeared in. It is the League version of our own world’s New Worlds science fiction magazine, which (under editor Michael Moorcock) ushered in the “New Wave” of science fiction in the 1960s, and was very influential on a young Alan Moore. Chase Garland points out that “Lewd Worlds” was also a joke name for New Worlds used by Brian Aldiss.
- John Thomas is slang for “penis”, and has been used for pseudonymous purposes many times. “Dish of the Day” – Commenter Greenaum thinks it’s “just a pun on “dishy” meaning “attractive”,” in the style of page 3. The cover illustration is an extreme example of the multiboobage trope.
- From Justin Blochwitz: The book in Emma’s left hand is ZIAD by J. Karacehennem, whose name is Turkish for “Black Hell”; this is from Jarett Kobek’s books btw, a fictionalized autobiography about moving to California and i hate the internet a book so bleak and absurd it is probably true. In ihti he describes the American comic book industry as “the perfect distillation of all the corrupt and venal behavior inherent in unregulated capitalism” on page 21. Karacehennem is Kobek’s author surrogate, with J. Karacehennem’s wtf serving as an analogue to btw and ZIAD serving as a fictional counterpart to Kobek’s psychedelic biography of a 9/11 terrorist […] ATTA. The twin towers are on the cover of Ziad.
Read more on Literary Hub and watch Alan Moore in conversation with Kobek.
- “James Colvin” was a “house pseudonym” used by New Worlds critics, including Michael Moorcock. Colvin is also the author credited with writing “Minions of the Moon”.
- Mina’s being in Paris in 1968 has not previously been documented.
- The Captain Universe section of “Minions of the Moon” is allegedly set in the “Magellanic Cloud”. (Mina claiming that she changed this detail may be cover for Moore having changed his mind and decided to relocate it to the Oort Cloud.)
- The illustration visible in the magazine here can be seen more clearly in Century: 1910.
- Van Dusen’s head has the Rosetta Stone in it. (thanks Justin Blochwitz)
- This section – with Leroy Lettering and halftones – is based on EC Comics science fiction line, especially their adaptations of Ray Bradbury’s short stories. (Thanks Justin Blochwitz)
- The phrase “beaded perspiration” is a reference to a famous incident of conflict between EC Comics and the Comics Code over the story “Judgment Day”. This sort of censorship has been an ongoing concern of Moore’s throughout his career.
- This is the disguised James “Jimmy” Bond again.
- “Gehenna” is a Jewish location of the wicked, essentially hell.
Page 14 – Marsmageddon
- In the upper left is Gullivar Jones on the flying carpet that appeared on the first page of LoEG v2.
- Ship with star on fin – Suggest??
- Ship with “IP” on fin – Suggest?? (A similar “IP” appears on P8-9, p14, but has a very different shape)
- “Wotan” – The Martian capital city on Space Patrol.
- “Schiaparelli Canal” – Presumably named for astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who first described Martian canals.
- “Sornisia” – Presumably the homeland of the Sorns (from C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet), previously seen in LoEG V2 #1.
- “New Varnal” is named after the city of Varnal from Michael Moorcock’s Kane of Old Mars books. Previously mentioned as Marsman’s birthplace in Tempest #1 P31, p1.
- “Gullivar’s Land” is presumably territory ruled by Gullivar Jones (see panel 1).
- “Hitherium” is related to the Hither People, who befriended Gullivar Jones.
- Figure with antennae is probably from the same culture as Uncle Martin from the TV show My Favorite Martian.
- The marionette figure is a Martian from 60s TV show Space Patrol. (Thanks Chase Garland)
- “Stendahl house” – See page 16.
- “Banths” are lion equivalents from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom books.
- “Hélène Smith” is a late 19th century French medium who claimed to communicate with Martians.
- The stone block at lower left reads, right to left, “Helene Smith.” The actual Smith did a lot of automatic writing in what she claimed to be “Martian” characters.
- Justin Blochwitz:
“Usher II” is a short story by Ray Bradbury, first published under the name “Carnival of Madness” in Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1950. It was collected in his Martian Chronicles. It was an automated haunted house where William Stendahl killed “Moral Climate Monitors” to avenge suppressed literature. (Bradbury would return to the theme of suppressed literature in Fahrenheit 451.)
- “Usher II” references many other works of literature, with especial attention to the work of Edgar Allan Poe in general, and “The Fall of the House of Usher” in particular.
- “Built in […] 2005, destroyed that same year” again refers to “Usher II” which takes place in April 2005. At the end of it, the House is (deliberately) destroyed in the same manner as the House of Usher in Poe’s story.
- In a section that has already referenced EC Comics’ struggles against censorship, it is notable that “Usher II” specifically references comic book censorship: “They began by controlling books of cartoons”.
- Commenter Chase Garland makes an interesting point:
Throughout the entire series, we’ve seen fictionalized versions of authors used when possible, under the assumption that all fiction took place in the same universe. Here we see that thrown completely out the window, with Poe, Shakespeare and Blackwood mentioned by name, despite the fact that we saw Dupin talk about the oran-gutan being caught back in Volume 1!
- The narration in this panel has several references to both Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and Bradbury’s “Usher II”.
- “grey sedge” Poe: “gray sedge”. Bradbury: “And the sedge–we’ve dyed it, you know–is it the proper gray and ebon?” / “Hideous!” (sedge is “a grasslike plant with triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers, growing typically in wet ground.”)
- “black and lurid waters of its tarn” – Poe: “I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling”. Bradbury: “The tarn, is it ‘black and lurid’ enough?” / “Most incredibly black and lurid.”
- “bleak edifice” – Poe: “bleak walls”. Bradbury: “The walls are–bleak?” / “Amazingly so!”
- As mentioned above, the future of “Usher II” is one in which all fantastic fiction has been suppressed, for the good of humanity (a sentiment Moore seems perhaps in favor of now). These works were burned, a theme Bradbury would return to at length in Fahrenheit 451.
- Poe’s razor-wielding ape is from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue“. a Robotic version of it performs some of the murders in “Usher II”.
- Shakespeare’s three weird sisters are from Macbeth. They do not appear in “Usher II”, though a more generic “witch” does. The three witches here are probably meant by Moore to evoke EC Comics‘ three “horror hosts”. Chase Garland elaborates: “The nude witch on the left bears a striking resemble to the Crypt Keeper, while the one in the middle has the distinctive bulging eye and blind eye of the Old Witch. The one on the right has a hood like the Vault Keeper, which is admittedly more tenuous than the other two.”
- Blackwood’s Wendigo is from the novella of the same name by Algernon Blackwood.
- “The Red Death announced his awful kingdom” refers to Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” which concludes “And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”
- Satin and Marsman, top left
- The Ourang-Outang (razor-wielding ape) from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue“.
- Skeletal figure below the ape – Possibly the Red Death?
- Scared figure in front of skeleton – Suggest?? (Chase Garland thinks it’s Prospero, at the climax of Masque of the Red Death.)
- The House of Usher, with the widening fissure that will destroy it. Note ghosts emerging through the doorway.
- The three witches from Macbeth.
- Horned figure – possibly the Wendigo?
- Commenter George Crawford points out “looks very much like Simon Bisley’s depiction of the Horned God from Slaine in 2000ad, which would fit with the issue’s other tributes to that title
- Ghostly figure pointing – Possibly “The Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come” from A Christmas Carol?
- The Headless Horseman
- Man whose flesh has been removed – Suggest??
- gaunt figure and coffin with window – Possibly Roderick and Madeline Usher from “The Fall of the House of Usher“; possibly the unnamed narrator of Poe’s “The Premature Burial“.
- creepy babies – Commenter Chase Garland suggests:
The figures in the bottom right are, I believe, from Dracula by Bram Stoker. The female is the undead Lucy Westenra as the Bloofer Lady with the children she’s killed. In the coffin is the almost never seen archfiend of the series, still obscured.
- David Malet points out
In 3001: The Final Odyssey Clarke reveals that the advanced aliens called the Firstborn used the monoliths to create humans, but don’t like the results and so they attempt to use the monoliths to destroy humanity. Clarke’s unfinished Time Odyssey series expands on this concept, with the Firstborn creating armies of historical figures. Moore appears to be following this to an extent, substituting the Faerie and an army of fictional characters.
- As mentioned on page 1, “Professor James Moriarty” is Sherlock Holmes arch-nemesis and the villain behind LoEG V1.
- “Lamarr” is the name of the warlord of mars in Satin Astro and Burt Steele’s 3000 A.D. feature in Whizzer. (Thanks Chase Garland)
- Lamarr is indeed a descendant (nearly a clone of) Moriarty.
- Pictured left to right are:
– The very tall creatures are C.S. Lewis’ Sorns (seen in LoEG V2)
– exposed-brain Martian from the 1996 movie Mars Attacks! (and the trading cards that film was based on)
– crucified Martian from the 1953 movie War of the Worlds
– two Tharks
– Several turban-wearing humanoids (seen in LoEG V2, tentatively identified as Hither People)
– another Mars Attacks! exposed-brain Martian
– another of the My Favorite Martian people, with limp antennae
– humanoid with slitted eyes from the 1953 movie Invaders From Mars (see also P32,p4).
– crucified Thark
– another Moriarty/Amazon.
- The notion that ship captains at sea can legally perform marriages has rarely actually been true. Not that the Nemo dynasty have ever had any patience for the term “legally”…
- “The sphere of warfare” refers to the planet Mars named after the Roman god of war.
Page 19 – The Wedding of Captain Universe and Electrogirl
- “Here it is! …” imitates the bombastic style of Stan Lee in early Marvel comics.
- The many monoliths near Jupiter are from Arthur C. Clarke’s 1982 book 2010: Odyssey Two, where they eventually set Jupiter into nuclear fusion, making it a second star. (thanks Greenaum)
(Are there visual puns O’Neill is doing here? with the monoliths? Jupiter’s spot? Greenberger suggests some possibilities.)
- “Mr. [Jim] Logan” is Captain Universe.
- Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is prominently visible.
- David Malet points out “The black spot on Jupiter occurs in 2010 and is composed of the swelling number of monoliths that finally destroy the planet.”
- Commenter Greenaum points out that “Mr. Bond, I’ve been expecting you,” is a famous Bond villain line. Curiously, despite being famous, it was rarely actually said, as such.
- Commenter David points out that “Dame fucking bitch” is likely a reference to Diana Rigg being made a Dame in 1994. It also seems likely to refer to Judi Dench (who played the version of “M” seen in TLoEG Century: 2009) who became a Dame in 1988.
- Emma Peel’s fighting style often included powerful high kicks like these.
- Justin Blochwitz: Bulldog Drummond watches as his goddaughter makes a similar observation as he had.
In Black Dossier, Drummond said to Jimmy: “It’s always tricks with you young fuckers, isn’t it? Trick cars, trick pens, trick cigarette lighters. Why can’t you just fight?”
Jimmy rather proves Emma’s point, by immediately using a gadget to launch a knife into his hand.
- Commenter Greenaum points out that a palm strike lobotomizing someone is implausible. Indeed, it appears to be a myth. On the other hand, in a story so laden with, and about, myths, this is a minor quibble.
- “I ought to leave you […] like this” references how, in Century: 2009, Peel says of Bond: “He’s ninety-something and in agony, but we’re keeping him alive. It’s the least I can do.” Clearly, she’s decided not to make that mistake again.
- “Had a good innings” is British idiom for “had a long and successful life”.
- Some of the annotators think Emma Peel is humming The Avengers theme music. Others think it she is humming Mendelssohn’s famous Wedding March (from his music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
- The black and white image on the right is Emma’s former partner John Steed of The Avengers. The portrait on the left is Emma’s godfather, Bulldog Drummond (see P20,p9.)
- “I Spy” is probably a tie-in novel to the 1965 TV series, which was created in large part to take advantage of the rising popularity of James Bond.
- You Only Live Twice is a Bond novel. Here it could be interpreted as Jimmy has lived twice – in the Bond novels, then after reviving himself at Ayesha’s pool.
- “Moon…” is one of the paperback editions of the Bond novel Moonraker, published by Great Pan (better known today as Pan Publishing). Moonraker was the most SF-oriented of the Bond novels, and the film adaptation was even more so, hence appropriate for this climax aboard a rocket ship.
The first two letters of author Ian Fleming’s name are visible. This, along with the name of the publisher, forms another subtle joke. One of the ways of calling out to Lovecraft’s Cthulhu is the chant “Iä!” Lovecraft, of course, was heavily influenced by Arthur Machen, known for his novel The Great God Pan.
- Note the small video image of Mr. Ishmael in Nemo’s “phone”.
- Panels 1-5 form a fixed-camera sequence.
- “When our worlds and our hearts are consumed by a tempest, we can always only seek the highest ground, be that moral, intellectual, or literal.” The presence of the word “tempest” makes one suspect that this is Moore speaking directly to readers the message he hopes we take from Tempest.
- That appears to be Peg and Sarah Jane (the Galleywag’s dutch doll friends) dancing in the background.
- At rear center, Hugo Hercules / Coghlan is keeping out unwanted guests.
- Images across the back are:
– Mr. Van Dusen
– The original Captain Nemo
– Janni Nemo
– Broad Arrow Jack
– Mr. Ishmael (original or second?)
- Seated on the left side are:
Rows from top to bottom:
– Gorilla dressed as professor (suggest??), Gorilla dressed as sheriff (suggest??), caveman in leopard-skin with club is Strang the Terrible (thanks to Martin C for the clue)
– Kelley’s Eye (red gem), The Flame of Remorse, The Spider, and Dr. Anton Phibes (of the 1971 movie The Abominable Doctor Phibes and its sequel.)
– Dennis the Menace (British version), Engelbrecht, Plug, Wilfrid and Danny (? – the figure with the skull and crossbones might be an aging Black Terror) from the Bash Street Kids
– Tacarigua / Mr. Ismael (is the white hat significant?)
– The Golliwog, Sarah Jane, and Peg
- Seated on the right side are:
– David Britton‘s Lord Horror, Snorky (from Wally Wood’s Sally Forth, thanks Pete Von Sholly), and David Bowie’s Major Tom
– Herbie Popnecker, Manfred Mors, Greta Mors, woman in pink (possibly one of the Scaramanga sisters (see #5 P22,p1) wielding a golden ax, much like her father’s golden gun)
– Mistress Kidd (one of Janni’s pirates – first named in Heart of Ice), two Miss Moneypennies, and Vampirella
– Satin Astro, Marsman, Stokes (Electro Girl’s butler)
– Orlando, Mina, Emma
- Standing in front are:
Brain Boy, Captain Universe, the pink child (as a sort of flower girl holding the dress’ tail), Electro Girl, Nemo
- The backup generators may be called for since readers have seen (in Tempest #4) what happens when Electro Girl gets overly emotional.
- The caption is a direct quote from a caption in Fantastic Four Annual #3 (see image below).
- Panels 3-6 refer to Kirby and Lee’s cameo on the final page of Fantastic Four Annual #3 where the Invisible Girl marries Mister Fantastic, including the cameos wearing top hats.
- These are Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore. (Note Alan’s large joint.)
- “We invented you” plays with the whole concept of the League where all of the characters are pre-existing. (Though one could certainly argue that they have mostly been re-invented to a significant degree.)
- This sequence of being thrown out of an airlock is reminiscent of an early incident in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where the two protagonists are thrown off the Vogon ship.
- Justin Blochwitz comments: “If I remember correctly air pockets were a hand-wave made by the editors of 2000 A.D. as to why sometimes a character could breathe in space or was drawn without any kind of breathing apparatus.”
- “You die, I claim I created everything, and then I get walk-ons” is parodying Stan Lee’s claiming excessive credit (especially after Jack Kirby’s death) and spoofing Lee’s cameos in Marvel movies. Lee’s desire for money is also spoofed by the smoke from Alan’s joint forming a dollar sign.
- The green blue, red and yellow asteroids are probably kryptonite, which does come in all of those colors.
Moore is passing close to the gold-colored kryptonite; gold is a color normally associated with wealth, but gold kryptonite removes a Kryptonians powers permanently. So, in a sense, his passing by gold kryptonite is like Prospero giving up his magic at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
- O’Neil is saying “Al, you’re a complete cunt.”
- The vapour trail appears to terminate in one of LoEG‘s characteristic question marks.
- The caption echoes the final caption of FF Annual #3 (see above) in a few ways.
Page 25 – Seven Stars
- The Seven Stars logo has all the stars blacked out but one, symbolizing how Vull/Mina is abandoned by all the others. Similarly, the normally black logo fades into whiteness.
- Graves upper left:
– “Captain UKIP” does not appear to refer to a pre-existing ‘hero’ of this name. It does, however, fit the general pattern of alternate-universe British patriotic heroes introduced by Moore in his early work on Captain Britain. UKIP is the U.K. Independence Party, a far right nationalist and racist political party. (There appears to have been an obnoxious blogger calling themselves “Captain UKIP” circa 2012, but their blog no longer exists.)
– “David Terry / Litening” was previously seen in #4, P32,p5. The lightning bolt design was part of his costume.
– “Alan Brent / Superboyo” was not previously shown.
– “Tommy Walls – Good and big” was seen throughout the Seven Stars story. “Good and big!” was a Walls ice cream advertising slogan.
– “Commando Gibbs” was an advertising mascot (like his neighbor in the graveyard – Tommy Walls) drawn by Frank Bellamy. He advertised for a tooth cleaning product, hence the “by gum” pun on the tombstone. It may be deliberate that his gravestone somewhat resembles the top of a toothpaste tube. Not previously shown.
– “Krakos” was not previously shown.
– “Steve Storm / [T]ornado” appeared in #3 P28,p1.
- Graves lower left:
– “Ju-Jitsu Jimmy” Blochwitz: the portly half-naked man in earlier Seven Stars segments was Ju-Jitsu Jimmy a youth who gallivanted in his pants.
His tombstone displays the stereotypical martial arts feat of breaking a board with a bare hand.
– “Bobby Fletcher / Masterman” appeared in #3 P31,p3. He had a wishing ring which transformed him into a hero, and back to normal when invoked with the phrase “O ring of fate, return me to Bobby Fletcher.” (Are the flowers significant – perhaps his ring – suggest??)
- Graves upper right:
– Large grave with bust – Suggest??
– “Captain Miracle” appeared in #3 P31,p4. His mother doesn’t seem to have been mentioned in his original appearances.
- Graves lower right:
– “Gary / Garry” – Sidekick to Speed Gale, seen most notably in #5 P25,p2. The two different spellings of the name may reference some inconsistency in the original comics (?) (The annotators identified Garry as misspelled in the last issue – though perhaps there is a deeper reference?) The tombstone has goofy circular ears like the ones Speed and Garry had on their cowls.
– “Mask Man” was seen in #4 P32,p2. “Dun fighting” is a quaint misspelling similar to “Dunroamin“.
– “John Just[ice] / Wonderm[an]” was not previously seen.
– “The Bat” (From Thrill Comics; not the hero of the same name from Dynamic Thrills) appeared (identified tentatively) in #5 P31,p5. His motto was apparently “Ten lives for a life.”
- Tooting is a district of London. (And also a slang term for farting.)
- “Nit nurse” refers to nits as a term for young lice. This may be a reference to obscure Marvel Comics character Night Nurse.
- The central character is Toby the Giant Schoolboy – see Tempest #2 P30,p1.
- Are Toby’s new girl friends anyone specific? – Suggest??
- Commenter David Lee notes that the small man (pointing in panel 1 and grabbed in panel 2) looks like a British comedy star of the time in which the story was set, Charlie Drake. Drake was a small fellow with a slightly squeaky voice who frequently played disaster-prone characters, for sample in a very successful sitcom called The Worker.
- David Lee also notes: The big man grabbing Drake looks like Arthur Mullard, a character actor of the time noted for playing cockney lugs in comedies like Yus, My Dear and heavies in more serious dramas.
- Other recognizable characters here – suggest??
- “Slag” is British for “slut”. Commenter Greenaum expands that it is also “London villain slang for anyone they don’t like and consider beneath them.”
- “Great dribbling Aquarius!” refers to the Zodiac sign Aquarius, usually depicting pouring out water from a vessel.
- As previously noted, “tuck” is British slang for snack food.
- “Merciful Marconi!” refers to Marconi, an early 20th century electrical engineer, and thus at least vaguely appropriate for Electro Girl to swear by.
- The downward-pointing arrow at the bottom of the panel is a device to ensure the reader reads the panels in the correct order. Nowadays, the use of this device is frowned upon (intuitive panel flow is seen as more desirable), but it was used fairly frequently up until the 1970s or so.
- Toby’s over-taxed belly-button seems to have become a small geyser.
- “The Fat Schoolboy of the North” was visible in the background of Tempest #5 P22,p3. As noted there, it is a parody of the real statue Angel of the North. Fulchester is a fictional town in which most of the Viz strips were set.
- Newcastle is an actual city in northern England. The real Angel of the North statue is located not far from it.
- “elasticated technicolour mess!” – Is this a specific reference?
- Smiley is holding the masks of either Speed Gale or his sidekick Garry (see above), and The Purple Hood (last seen in #5 P31,p2).
- “…all our adventures revolve around sexual assaults!” refers to a frequent complaint that Moore features rape as a plot element in most of his stories. In an interview with one of our annotators, Moore disputed the validity of that complaint.
- Newspaper headlines include:
- “Benefit Scroun[ger] From Barsoom” refers to a frequent (false) charge against illegal immigrants that they benefit from public services while paying nothing back. (In fact, the vast majority of them pay taxes, but are ineligible for public benefits.)
- “Shifty Septet Betray Big Boned Benefactor” – “Big boned” is often a polite euphemism for “fat”.
- “The Beast / Seven Stars Doom Hefty Hero”
- “Daily Brute / Deport This Pink Parasite” – See above note on “scroungers”. Note that Zom is actually checking out the horoscope page!
- Quoting Jess Nevins’ notes from Black Dossier:
The Daily Brute is a reference to Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop (1938). Scoop, routinely voted one of the best novels of the 20th century, is a scathing savaging of the English sensationalist press. In Scoop the newspaper for which the protagonist works is the Daily Beast. Its main rival, even more base and yellow, is the Daily Brute. (For modern British readers,think Daily Mail, only even worse).
- She will treasure the photo; readers can see she has it still in 2010 in Tempest #3 P8-9, p5.
- Marsman dressing in a trenchcoat and hat as a civilian is reminiscent of early stories of Martian Manhunter.
- This scene overlaps with a scene from “Minions of the Moon” in Century: 1910, though the dialogue doesn’t match.
- Jet Black’s corpse was first seen in the Star Chamber in Century: 1969.
- For more details on Captain Universe’s conflict with Stardust, see “Minions of the Moon”.
- Visible is one of the “funny rounded screens on stalks” that Mina talked about in the “Minions of the Moon” version of this scene.
- Large headless creature with one eye in its chest – Presumably a trophy of either Stardust or Captain Universe? – Suggest??
- That Vull, in “whatever task my masters have planned for me in Dunbane,” refers to “masters” is puzzling, as Mina seems to be working primarily for Prospero at this point. Similarly, “Dunbane” is a complete mystery. It might be a typo for Dunblane, a town in Scotland, but there’s no obvious literary connection there. Suggest?? Commenter Greenaum points out that in Black Dossier, the meeting with the Galleywag takes place in “Dunbayne” (Possibly a reference to an Anne Radcliffe novel).
- Commenter Blochwitz: “This page is done in the two-color style of The Beano or The Dandy. Both of those comics are produced in Dundee, Scotland.”
- Boy with slingshot – Suggest??
- The seated figure is “Oor Wullie” huffing glue. Oor Wullie was a comic by Dudley D. Watkins, who the “Watkins Estate” is named after.
- Smoking woman in red polka dot dress – Commenter Marcelo Severo identified her as Katey, Desperate Dan’s niece.
- The host here is Jack Flash, last seen in the news report of his suicide in Century: 1969. He is standing next to a picture of his younger self before his costume change. He is from Mercury, hence his reference to his old house there.
- To the left is General Jumbo (see picture below), drinking Springfield’s Duff Beer, with his toy army. His Dalek-like wrist device is how he controls his toys. Two toy soldiers lift his current bottle of Duff, while two more bring a backup can.
- On the recliner is Thunderbolt Jaxon. He appears to be wearing lacy panties under his tunic.
- Behind the recliner is one of the Umbrella Men from Dandy (Thanks Marcelo Severo).
- Two children peering in at the door – Suggest??
- Figure in red helmet holding toilet paper – Probably The Scarlet Hawk, from Hotspur.
- Bigburg is where Marsman landed in his original comic book appearance. The back cover of Tempest #4 established our Marsman as having moved to Bigburg, near Cactusville.
- “Radge” is Scottish for “violent; crazy”.
- On the left is Jimmy and his Magic Patch of the eponymous comic.
- “Bampot” is Scottish for “idiot”.
- Person with pointed nose behind chair – Suggest?? Commenter Greenaum suggests “Pongo Snodgrass from Cheeky or Krazy”.
- Commenter Justin Blochwitz suggests that this page “may be imitating Ron Turner’s “The Daleks” strip mentioned at the front in the Cheated Champions of your Childhood. It’s the last page of the comic, has the curvy panel borders and of course has Daleks.”
- “Things from Skaro with the egg-whisks” are Doctor Who’s Daleks. The spaceships are shaped like Daleks. At least the one at upper right is based on a design from the TV21 Daleks strip. Note they are aimed toward Great Britain.
Blochwitz: “It being 2164 that mean Mina is watching the events of the Doctor Who serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth.” (The movie adaptation was set in 2150.)
- “Romulans” are a hostile alien race from Star Trek. (Is there a chronology for a Romulan war against earth that fits this – suggest?? Blochwitz: “In Star Trek’s history the Earth-Romulan War started 2156, if my research is right, and ended in 2160.”)
- Mister Hyde, walking behind Murray, has been recreated from DNA found in his skeleton.
- “Sally Quasar” was an off-screen space pirate mentioned in The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson. Moore touched on Quasar in this Pádraig Ó Méalóid 2011 interview:
PÓM: I have to say, I was rereading the three volumes of [The Ballad of] Halo Jones recently, and of all the things that you haven’t finished, I really lament not being able to see what happens in the other six books of Halo Jones. Did you have an idea where it was all going?
AM: Well, I’d got the idea that she’d go through fabulous adventures, the next adventure would have probably been when she was a female space pirate with Sally Quasar, who was somebody that I’d mentioned, and I would have been basically going through all the decades of her life, with her getting older in each one, because I liked the idea, at the time, of having a strip in 2000AD with a seventy or eighty year old woman as the title character. And also because – it’s probably true in my work that – I mean, I wrote Marvelman when I was in my, what, twenties?
- Commenter Greenaum notes that the Halo Jones character was technically named “Sally Quasa” (no r). The change may be due to trademark worries, or just because Halo Jones exhibits a lot of language drift over time.
- Emma Night is apparently signing an autograph for Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. Commenter AFoxOfFiction points out that this is the first unambiguous videogame reference in LoEG.
- In the center appears to be the reconstituted “Ayesha’s pool”.
- “All I’ve ever known” refers to how many fictional clones somehow have the memories of their donors, though there is no real-world mechanism which makes that plausible.
- “You’ve got both ears” refers to how Allan Quatermain shot off most of Hyde’s right ear on their first encounter, then bit off more of it in the ensuing fight (LoEG v1 #2 P1-2).
- The black cowl on left belonged to the Devil Girl from Mars (thanks Marcelo Severo).
- The Pink Child is walking with Astro Boy. Commenter AFoxOfFiction points out that this is the first Manga reference in LoEG.
- The crocodile is Fritz Lieber‘s Wise Old Croc – see Tempest #4 P30,p6.
- Man in green and gold behind Wise Old Croc – Suggest??
- The “haunted jukebox” is presumably infused with the soul
- “Linda Rosa” is the fictional town where the 1953 film War of the Worlds takes place. The encased martian is as depicted in that film.
- The two robotic clam-headed creatures are Smash Martians from a popular series of TV ads in the 70s and 80s for powdered mashed potato product Smash.
- The tentacled alien in the globe is the Martian Mastermind from the 1953 movie Invaders From Mars.
- Green creature with slit eyes – A more ordinary martian from Invaders From Mars.
- “Immortal Love” is the song that Moore had intended to include on a record in Black Dossier. Jack Nemo played a bit of it for Mina in Tempest #3 P7.
- The lyrics refer to the Poe story The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. The story concerns a man who is put into a hypnotic trance at the very moment of death, placing him in a kind of suspended animation.
Inside Back Cover
- Most of the letters from the title “Send it to the Stars” have been knocked off, leaving “End Ars”. “Ars” may be read both as “arse” and as “ars” (Latin for “art”, as in the phrase “ars longa, vita brevis” – “Life is short, but art is long”).
- Commenter Martin C notes that ““Arse End” is UK slang referring to the finish of something whether its a comic project or some location in an out-of-the-way place.”
- The mail deliverer (and most of the stars) have been replaced by the cleaning lady. Zom is being sucked into her vacuum cleaner (note his face and hand sticking out of the bag). Commenter Greenaum suggests that, given the small lightning bolts around the vacuum cleaner, perhaps Electrogirl has also been sucked up.
- The cleaning lady may be intended as a specific character played by Peggy Mount (see paragraph 9, below). Suggest??
- The cleaning lady has what appear to be some money stuffed into her shirt, possibly found and stolen.
- Is the antenna-like structure breaking off of the vacuum cleaner a specific reference? – Suggest??
- Letters being sucked into the vacuum: One has just “Dear Al and Kev” visible. Another reads: “Dear Al and Kev / have you considered / some other line / of work? / I mean how m[uch?] / [c??]ng[??] can [??…]”
- The text under the header image now, instead of “looking forward” to more mail, looks “backward”. The line of text fades into invisibility.
- As mentioned in the notes to the cover, “Great News For Readers Inside!” is British comics shorthand for ‘this is the last issue’, the great news in question being an attempt to soften the blow of the cancellation of a comic by merging its most popular strips with another comic from the same publisher. In this case, no such merger is taking place, of course.
- “The Great War” was one way World War I was referred to before WWII took place. “The Great Depression” was a worldwide economic slump in the 1930s. Moving from early 20th century references to early 21st century ones, “Great Britain” is, as of this writing, under serious political and economic uncertainty due to Brexit, while America is reeling under the “leadership” of a man who promised to “Make America Great Again“.
- A reminder to American readers, in Britain “pantomime” refers to a traditional silly holiday musical.
- The imaginary nature of these letters has become absolutely blatant by now.
- The situation described here,where a piece of information has no origin, as such, but only exists within a closed time loop, is often called a bootstrap paradox.
- This letter is an ironic complaint about the relative lack of women (especially beautiful and intelligent ones) involved in the mainstream comics industry.
- Salome was a famously beautiful figure from the Bible. Einstein was a brilliant scientist.
- Middlesbrough is a town in north-east England. It may have been chosen because it sounds similar to “middlebrow“, a term for easily-accessible art. (Commenter Greenaum disputes this.)
- Moore addresses accusations of racism and misogyny in this interview by annotator Pádraig Ó Méalóid.
- Of course, there is no actual way a letter writer would know that their friend’s letter would be printed at all, let alone “(above)”. Commenter Greenaum notes “the “one letter referring to, and arguing with, another” joke is common in Viz comic, which Alan reads.”
- Captain Hurricane is a fairly muscular marine, but doesn’t particularly resemble Hyde.
- “readers […] should just follow the story and not worry about stray references” is presumably advice Moore wishes to apply to the League books themselves. This blog’s readers probably disagree, since you’re reading these annotations!
- “Twenty years of your life” is nearly exactly what Moore and O’Neil spend on LoEG; the first issue of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was dated March 1999. This issue appeared in July 2019.
- “Your portrayal of […] Ju-Jitsu Jimmy is both moving and profound” is humorously ironic. JJJ’s gravestone appeared on page 25. His earlier appearances in Tempest were so brief and obscure that annotators couldn’t actually identify him until his name showed up on a gravestone.
- Tring is an actual town in England.
- “Our old bull and bush” refers to Down at the Old Bull and Bush an old music hall tune. Per Redditor arrezzo, it’s a reference to old time British entertainment when people would gather round the old joannah (piano) for a warble and a knees up (a party.)
- This paragraph seems to be directly talking about annotations such as these. *waves* Hi, Alan!
- This letter is from an imagined stereotype of all that is worst about comics fandom in 2019. See especially the entry for Comicsgate, below.
- “Middle-aged” refers to how Superhero comics were long perceived as a medium aimed at 10-year-old boys. It was always the case that some adults enjoyed them, but they were originally a small minority. With the changing economics of comics distribution and the rise of the Direct Market, comics were increasingly aimed at older audiences. This has led to a situation where many superhero characters who were originally created for children are now being read by an audience the majority of whom are middle-aged men. (Insert obvious joke about mental versus physical age.)
- “Conservative” refers to some of the most vocal current comic fans being extreme conservatives, both in terms of narrative taste and politics. They object to the “takeover” of comics by liberal politics. This despite the well-documented fact that most superheroes (and their creators) have been political liberals all along.
- “Incel” is a portmanteau of “involuntary celibate”. By the 2010s, the term became associated with men who seemed to believe that they were somehow owed sex, and that women were unfairly withholding it from them. This misogynistic attitude has been a factor in multiple mass murders since 2009.
- “Wedged” refers to the way comics fans are stereotypically overweight.
- “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” (whose name here is deliberately misspelled as “Ocasio Cortez”) is a very liberal Latinx female politician, elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, and who has come under considerable fire from the right. She is also much poorer than the traditional House member, which calls to mind the line from Moore’s Jerusalem: “[…] despite the very real continuing abuses born of anti-Semitism, born of racism and sexism and homophobia, there are MPs and leaders who are female, Jewish, black or gay. There are none who are poor.” AOC referenced Moore on Twitter.
- Batman is a pretty iconic superhero, probably the second-most recognizable and popular after Superman. (Averaged over time; often he is number one.) As many people have pointed out, Batman is fundamentally a rich guy who beats up poor people.
- Pringles are a moderately popular brand of potato chip. (Did you know that SF author Gene Wolfe invented the machine that cooks them?)
- Comicsgate is the name of a right-wing group of comic book fans opposing “forced diversity” and progressivism in both the content and creators of comic books.
- “III” is a designation indicating that someone is the third person to have that name. This would tend to indicate that Mr. Comicsgate and his family are either wealthy or pretentious.
- “Oklahodahio” is a concatenation of the names of three US States, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Ohio. All three are considered “red states“, that is, conservative/Republican. (Greenberger contests this.)
- “Our old testament” is not normally used as a term of endearment, this seems to suggest that Hiram is a religious fundamentalist.
- Peggy Mount was a prolific English actress. Presumably she played one or more notable roles as a cleaning woman? Suggest??
- “Hopefully in the direction of the sunset” references a common trope “riding into the sunset” that concludes many stories, especially American Westerns.
- “Nonagenarians” are literally 90-year-olds. In fact, at the time this was published, Moore and O’Neill were both 66.
- Zom’s distorted hand gestures have gotten so extreme that they appear to be ripping through the very fabric of the page at the top.
- All the elements of the page (text box, Zom, Eusebius, the question-mark-head League mascot) seem to be sucked into a black hole in the center and vanishing, indicative of the finality of this, the last page of the last issue ever.
- Zom was, in fact, created by Stanley Kendrick Perkins in 1948. As noted previously, however, his origin story is original to Moore.
- “The Duke de Richleau” is Dennis Wheatley’s Duke de Richleau, who fights against Satanists & black magic users.
- The image of Vull the Invisible’s helmet which has been gradually fading away at the bottom of these back-cover text boxes has just vanished completely.
- Zom’s mortal form is wearing the same shirt he wore when he died (Tempest #4 P26). In life, he was strangled to death by his maddened editor yanking on his tie; here, he is being strangled by his tie being pulled into the black hole.