Annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III Chapter Three,
a.k.a. Century: 2009
by Jess Nevins
Unless otherwise specified, all figures identified are in a clockwise fashion.
Cover. This is Orlando and Mina.
Inside Front Cover. “EyeFad” is a reference to the iPad, presumably a jibe about the faddishness of some iPad purchasers (and perhaps more broadly to Apple devotees).
“Insidecover.tom.” The “.tom” extension, non-existent in our world, would seem to be the “.com” of the world of League.
firstname.lastname@example.org writes, “I believe .tom is a reference to Sir Tim Berners Lee the English computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web. I believe there was a British comedy skit on Channel 4 which stated the Brits should make the Internet more “English” by merging .com and Tim’s name to make .tom.” John O’Neil suggests that “I thought .tom was a reference to technological wunderkind Tom Swift. Presumably he invented the internet in the world of the League.”
Adrian Ward writes, “Could this extension refer to the Cockney rhyming slang “Tom Tit” slang for “shit”, I think this would match the general tone of degrading modern popular culture throughout.”
Maurice Franceschi writes, "I think it too much of coincidence that Tom is the name of the agent/browser in the Douglas Adams documentary 'Hyperland' from the earlier 1990s that deals with hypertext and anticipates the WWW. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperland"
“Superthrush.” Perhaps a reference to Axe and other supposedly masculinity-enhancing body washes?
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes: “THRUSH was the name of the adversary group in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. TV show (NBC, September 22, 1964 – January 15, 1968); Wikipedia: ‘The original series never divulged what the acronym THRUSH stood for, but in several of the U.N.C.L.E. novels written by David McDaniel, it appears as the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity, and is described as having been founded by Col. Sebastian Moran after the death of Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls in the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Final Problem".’
Thrush is also another name for Candidiasis, a fungal infection of the mucous membranes, particularly referring to the vaginal infection suffered by women. Hence why an attempt to refer to the former meaning might be confused with the latter.
“World of Snitchcraft.” A combined reference to the game World of Warcraft, the Golden Snitch from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, and the tendency among modern Western governments to support informing on friends, family and neighbors.
Rodger Kibble adds, “Re World of Snitchcraft/www.gotcha.tom: the phrase "Gotcha" is associated with Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper in the UK, because of their notorious headline during the Falklands war; the phone hacking scandal mostly involving the Sun's stable-mate the News of the World was just starting to break in 2009.”
“Fredshred.tom.” A reference to banker Fred Goodwin, disgraced head of the Royal Bank of
“Obsolete engravings for the startup novice. Lend gravitas to your ill-conceived schemes with our amusing cut-ups. www.lowesteempunk/robursay.tom Presumably a joke on the part of Kevin O’Neill aimed at himself as well as at the more shallow uses of steampunk. The “robursay” is a reference to Jules Verne’s Robur the Conqueror, from Robur The Conqueror (1886) and Master of the World (1904).
I’m not sure if “Flaccid Blue Ray” is a reference to anything in particular. Myles Lobdell writes that “Flaccid blue ray may simply be a reference to the medium type.” John Hall writes, “I assume that it's a combination references to the sense of "blue" meaning pornographic and to blu-ray.” Michael Holt writes, “Isn't Flaccid Blue Ray a reference to Viagra, the little blue pill?” James Moore writes, "I think what they're referring to here is 'Electric blue' the classic UK video porn, and Blue ray, the media format http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Blue_%28TV_series%29 "
“Emission: Impossible” is a reference to the
“Mr. Head is...War Arse” Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “References to the Mr Ed TV series (CBS, January 5, 1961 – February 6, 1966) and Warhorse, a 2011 film by Steven Spielberg.”
“Catch 22 22 22" is a reference to Joseph Heller’s satirical war novel Catch-22 (1961).
“Roy McClure classic Honey I Shrunk My Dick!” is a reference to actor Troy McClure, of The Simpsons. McClure’s resume is full of knock-off films like Dial M for Murderousness and Make-Out King of Montana. “Honey I Shrunk My Dick!” is a anti-porn knock-off of Honey I Shrunk the Kids (1989). Julian West writes, “
“Freedonia@war.tom” is presumably a reference to the fictional country Freedonia, from the Marx Brothers comedy Duck Soup (1933). In Duck Soup Freedonia is suffering from economic problems, and in the world of League it apparently still is. Tim Chong writes, “The Fredonia reference actually involves a line from Groucho after the ambassador of
Page 2. “KreditKrunch.” Presumably a reference to online fundraiser Kickstarter. Alvin Pang adds, "May be too obvious to list, but given the year 2009, it's also clearly a reference to the Financial Crisis / Credit Crunch that swept the major developed economies around that time. Consequently leaner budgets are perhaps one reason developers (comic artists?) have since turned to crowdfunding."
“Writer seeks funds for Osman spare parts for enlightenment and astral travel.” This is a reference to English artist and occultist Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956), one of Alan Moore’s favorites.
“Prepared to divulge information from December 21st 2012...”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “According to the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization, the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, completes a ‘great cycle’ of thirteen b'ak'tuns (periods of 144,000 days each) on the 20th of December 2012, leading some people to believe that this forecasts the end of the world. So, any information from the 21st of December would be interesting..." Kurt Avery Belcher writes, "Is it possible that the "Prepared to divulge information from December 21st 2012..." on Page 2 might be a reference to the coming "strange and terrible new aeon"? Haddo's head said it was unavoidable, but it doesn't quite seem to have come to pass by the end of Volume 3."
Keith Kole writes, “Alan Moore is wearing the Mad Hatter's hat from Lewis Carroll's
Page 3. Panel 1. “Southern Q’Mar.” On the tv show West Wing Q’Mar/Qumar is a Middle Eastern nation similar to
Panel 6. “I’m Colonel Cuckoo.” This is a reference to the Gerald Kersh story “Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo?” in which the titular character is rendered immortal during the Napoleonic wars. Greg Arnott writes, “Hey Jess, I'm not absolutely positive about this, and the fact I'm disagreeing with both Moore and yourself casts a darker shade of doubt upon my unworthy assertion but, I think in the original Kersh story that Cuckoo is made immortal by his magical poultice during the Thirty Years War. If I remember correctly, it's a formula of Paracelsus that actually does the trick. I was somewhat surprised when I read "Napoleonic Wars" in the book.” Greg Daly writes, “Cuckoo was rendered immortal when fighting at the siege of
Page 4. Panel 3. “Ayesha” is a reference to H. Rider Haggard’s “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” from She (1887) and three sequels. I’m not recalling a specific massacre Ayesha is supposed to have been involved in, although she’s certainly got her bloodthirsty side.
Alexx Kay writes, "Renaissance Italy saw 2 huge epic poems written about this material, _Orlando Innamorato_ ("Orlando in Love") in the 15th century and _Orlando Furioso_ ("Orlando Insane") in the 16th, a continuation and completion of the earlier work. While the plot is far-ranging, it can be broadly summarized as the events surrounding an invasion of Europe by an alliance of African/Asian forces, and how Charlemagne's warriors repel that invasion. This is at least partially a holy war, of Christendom versus the infidel. (I do not say "Islam", because these writers had only partial and extremely distorted notions about what Islam *was*.)
In _Orlando Furioso_, the title refers to a incident which occurs centrally in the book, both in terms of page count and plot importance. After spending one-and-a-half epics mooning after a foreign princess, Orlando discovers that she doesn't love him, and has married someone else. After a brief period of ludicrous attempts at denial, Orlando lapses into a depressive near-coma for several days. He then 'awakens', but has lost his mind. Abandoning arms, armor, and clothes, Orlando begins lashing out furiously at whatever happens to be near him. Since he has superhuman strength and endurance, this makes him not only a threat to friend and foe, but to the very ecosystem, as he tears up a lot of trees, and kills some (presumably innocent) bears. Neither his comrades nor his enemies can stop his mindless rampage, nor affect it in any way.
At the beginning of Century: 2009, Orlando finds himself separated from any sort of love, and again fighting in a war between Western forces and an ill-defined, heavily fictionalized, perceived enemy of Christendom. His massacre, seen in this light, is comparatively mild and restrained!
In _Orlando Furioso_, the fit of madness does not pass when Orlando runs out of nearby targets; it continues for months. It is only resolved by a combination of heroic and literally divine intervention. Orlando's colleague Astolfo, after a complicated series of adventures, meets Saint John the Apostle. John loans Astolfo Elijah's flaming chariot, and sends him to the moon. Specifically, he is directed to the Valley of Lost Things on the moon, there to recover Orlando's Wits (located in a conveniently labeled bottle). Moore's mention of this very place within a prose story which is framed by a Mina who has lost *her* wits, is certainly no accident."
Panel 4. In real life Operation Sinbad took place in
Page 5. Panel 5. “Ardistan” is a reference to a Central Asian country in Karl May's Ardistan (1909) and Der Mir von Djinnistan (1909). Ardistan was mention in League v2n4.
Panel 7. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “T-10 plane - possibly the T stands for Thunderbirds, from the TV series of the same name (ATV, 30 September 1965 – 25 December 1966)? They had vehicles of various kinds, named Thunderbird 1, Thunderbird 2, and so on. There’s no reason that, by 2009, they shouldn’t have reached Thunderbird 10. Anyway, it looks like some of the earlier craft!”
Page 6. Panel 1. Dickon Edwards writes, regarding the issue title, "It's the title of a 2001 album by the UK band Spiritualized. In fact, I'm fairly certain Alan Moore said as much in an interview. Oh, just found it:
"AM: Well actually, we’ve named – each of the chapters has got a title that is taken from a song of around the period, so the first one is called What Keeps Mankind Alive?, which is taken from the Threepenny Opera. The second one is called Paint It Black, this is the one that’s set in 1969, and the third one, which I’ve just started writing, is called Let It Come Down, which is my dear mate Jason Spaceman with Spiritualized, and I think it was certainly twenty first century, and I just thought it was a lovely title for a lovely album, so we’re using that as the suitably apocalyptic title for the part of volume three."
Kate Halprin writes, “In 2009, the Centrepoint building seems to be a giant stone memorial even though we saw the real tower in 1969, so could the implication be that the Loegiverse's equivalent of 9/11 was a terrorist attack on Centrepoint?”
Mark Oosterveen writes, “The large obelisk-shaped building in the background with a damaged exterior is called "Centre Point" - this is a reference to a genuine tall building in the Tottenham Court Road area of London which is mainly offices and has a homeless shelter in its basement. It is famous for being partially empty, as many of the office spaces in it are usually vacant. It is featured during the early scenes of the Danny Boyle film 28 Days Later, as well as Neil Gaiman's novel Neverwhere.”
The dog on the billboard is Nipper, the trademark image of HMV, or “His Master’s Voice.”
If “-zuba Gum” is a reference to something I’m unaware of it.
Similarly, I don’t know what “-tinters” and “Schit Bags” are references to, apart from the obvious.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Pinters: We see Pinters in Century 1969 - it’s a reference to the department store of that name that turns up in ‘Death at Bargain Prices’ episode of The Avengers (1965). Schit Bags: There is an apparel company called LeSchitté Design who make, amongst other things, the Schitbag a range of bags.”
Metalleg123 writes, “I might have an idea what the reference to 'schitt-bags' might mean. It could possible be a reference to Alfred Jarry's 'Ubu Roi' - the famous opening line was 'Merdre!' (a deliberate mispelling of merde) and has been variously translated as 'pschitt', 'pcrap', 'shitr' and 'schitt'”
“Cnut” is a reference to the British clothing chain “Fcuk,” or “French Connection U.K.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid expands on this: “This refers to an advertising campaign by British clothing manufacturer French Connection, aka French Connection (UK), or FCUK, with the initials fcuk used to suggest the word ‘fuck,’ that ran between 1997 and 2001, or thereabouts.
Wikipedia: ‘French Connection exploited the controversy of the name, producing an extremely popular range of t-shirts with messages such as "fcuk fashion", "fcuk this", "hot as fcuk", "mile high fcuk", "too busy to fcuk", "fcuk football", "lucky fcuk", "Fun Comes Usually Kneeling", "fcuk on the beach", "Cool as fcuk", etc. There were also a number of regionally specific messages, such as "fondle constantly until knackered" (in the
The poster we see in the background, saying ‘CNUT,’ presumably refers to FCUK, also. However, not only is CNUT an anagram of cunt, it is also the more correct spelling of the name of the eleventh century English king usually referred to as Canute.
“–nce Chase 3-D -quaman 2 Revenge of Quisp” is a reference to: Vincent Chase, the actor played on the tv series Entourage by Adrian Grenier. On Entourage Chase becomes famous for the title role in the movie Aquaman. Stephen Foxworthy writes, "In the series Entourage , Vincent Chase actually got out of his Aquaman contract to make a biopic of drug dealer Pablo Escobar. He was replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal (likely a reference to the rumors of him replacing Tobey Macguire in Spider-Man 2 ). Presumably, this is not the case in the world of the League."
“Quisp” is a reference to Qwsp, a Mr. Mxyzptlk-like water sprite who occasionally allied with Aquaman in the Silver Age.
If any of the people on the street are references I’m unaware of them.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes: “Just in front of
Daniel D.W. Smith writes, "The balding man with the comb-over in the grey jacket shouting at the charity worker is "Roger Mellie, the man on the Telly", also from the Viz. The smaller man next to him (pony-tail & glasses) is his long-suffering agent/producer. Mellie is a perpetually in-trouble local TV star in the Viz-universe's Fulchester. He's the type of guy who'll demand an appearance fee to open a charitable fund-raiser, then swindle the raffle so he gets the top prize. "
“Tesco: -e cont- every aspect of your lives” is a reference to the spread of the English supermarket chain Tesco, whose American analogue might be Wal-Mart.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes: “Tesco is a British multinational grocery retailer, started in 1919 as a series of market stalls, and now operating in a lot of other areas, including banking, petrol sales, and a mobile phone network.” email@example.com (also noted by Joe McNally) writes, “The Tesco reference of “controlling every aspect of your lives” is a reference to the Time Trumpet “Tesco vs. Denmark” episode.”
“Obese Children in Need”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes:
Several things here - first of all, the man wearing the Obese Children in Need tabard is what’s known as a Chugger, or Charity Mugger, more properly known as a charity street fundraiser.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Frequent complaints about paid street fundraisers include the use of aggressive or deceitful tactics, lack of knowledge of the charity, refusal to listen to a person who doesn't want to stop, the use of sarcasm or other negative language intended to make a person feel guilty if they decline to stop. Paid street fundraisers are sometimes known as chuggers because usually fundraising is viewed as aggressive or invasive (a portmanteau of "charity" and "mugger"). It became popular as a way of referring to street fundraisers after several articles appeared in British newspapers which pointed out the negative image of the people doing the job.’ All completely true!
There is a charity in the
The Daily Brute is a reference to a Daily Mail-like sensationalist newspaper appearing in Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop (1938) and in Black Dossier and through the League: Century issues. Iain Milne writes, “the cover of The Daily Beast on page 6, is much closer in copy and layout to the real-life British tabloid newspaper, 'The Sun' than it is to 'The Daily Mail'. The Mail is an awful newspaper in it's own right but the masthead and the style of journalism (which is almost always in a shrill tone of strongly Conservative, middle class moral panic), is different to that shown here. The innuendo, bad puns and borderline xenophobia evident in the comic are all hallmarks of Rupert Murdochs 'Sun' newspaper. Recent real life articles included a report about the rising international tension and threat of military action due to North Korea developing Nuclear Weapons which was headlined 'How Do We Solve A Problem Like Korea?' and was accompanied by a photo of Kim Jong Il's puppet from Team America, the announcement of the appointment of the new (German) Pope Ratzinger was headlined with 'From Hitler Youth to Papa Ratzi' and a front page story about George Michael crashing his car into the back of the vehicle in front whilst driving drunk/drugged became 'George Michael Shunts Trucker From Rear!'. Just to re-iterate, these aren't small captions or slogans that usually accompany a funny photoshopped picture behind Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, these are FRONT PAGE HEADLINES on the biggest selling daily newspaper in this country.
Waugh's 'Scoop' might have had The Daily Mail in it's sights when he created 'The Daily Beast' but the paper being carried in 'League...' is a clear analogue of The Sun.”
The headlines are typical for a Daily Mail type of newspaper. “Strontium Wog” is a reference to the 2000 A.D. comic strip “Strontium Dog.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Tits! Exclusive / Bird Fall - Flocking Mystery!’ Where to start? First of all, as well as being a popular expression for the female breast, the Tit is also a species of bird common to
Also, British tabloids love any sort of punning double entendre, so the fact that ‘Flocking Mystery!’ could be mistaken for ‘Fucking Mystery!’ would also undoubtedly turn up in a headline of this type. And, despite them saying it is, it is unlikely that their story really is ‘exclusive.’ The entire thing, succinctly enough, shows how, in the British tabloids, and news story can become a matter of titilatory interest, if you try hard enough. (No puns intended by the use of either ‘titilatory’ or ‘hard’...)
Page 7. Panel 1. “The new album from Driveshaft.” In the J.J. Abrams-verse, which includes the tv shows Alias and Lost, the band Drive Shaft was a one-hit wonder. Their lead singer, Charlie Pace, was one of the protagonists of Lost.
Tom Jordan writes, “The ennui present in the album's title may be a reference to the death of Charlie.”
Mike Anderson writes, "
Mike Anderson writes, "DriveShaft was an analogue of Oasis in Lost, Charlie Pace was the Noel Gallagher-esque songwriter. His brother Liam was the lead singer. Their album title may be Moore's dig on the declining quality of Oasis' work since the 1990's. Also note that after Noel left the band IRL, the other members reformed as Beady Eye, to a less-than-stellar reception."
Panel 3. “The Drum ‘N’ Bassment” is a reference to Michael Moorcock’s “The Venue Underground,” in Iain Sinclair’s London: City of Disappearances (2006), about a
I don’t know what “Ass id Attack” is a reference to beyond the obvious wordplay. Alan Stephen writes, “The formatting used on ASS iD ATTACK - iD is the name of a British fashion magazine which started in the punk era in
“Fur-Q in the House” is a reference to Fur-Q, a parodically violent rapper seen on the British tv show The Day Today (1994).
“N.W.H. Reunion Scratch My Bitch” is a reference to Niggaz Wit Hats, a parody of rap groups which appeared in the film Fear of a Black Hat (1994).
The double cross on the wall are the symbol of Adenoid Hynkel, the Adolph Hitler analogue in the world of League–the double cross is Hynkel’s equivalent of the Swastika.
Panel 4. “Massive Genius” is a rapper appearing in tv show The Sopranos.
Panel 5. The two gentlemen in front are Stringer Bell and Slim Charles, from the tv show The Wire.
Page 8. Panel 1. The robot on the left: wasn’t able to figure it out for Century: 1969, still don’t know what it is.
The army robot to the right of
The “woof” is the sound made when Mickey Moran says “Kimorta!” and changes into Marvelman.
I don’t know what that symbol is.
The spiral statue, in the words of Kevin O’Neill:
The spiral tipped object...is the Burrowing machine from an eponymous story in The Jester (1908). This was probably written by Houghton Townley, who also wrote “The Case of the Human Mole,” a Sexton Blake Library story (1927). The Burrowing Machine clearly also inspired the more famous Black Sapper, published by
I don’t know what the helmet is a reference to. Damian Gordon notes that it is “Tri-Man's helmet.”
I’m not sure what “Rad–“ might be a reference to. Gareth Price (also noted by Alan Stephen) writes, ““Rad …” is the Radio Times”
Panel 2. “Detto” is a reference to one of the products sold in the film I’m All Right Jack (1959).
Gavin writes, “
Panel 3. The picture is of Orlando, Mina and Allan in happier times.
Page 9. Panel 6. “And that’s Andy Millman ‘having a laugh’ in the gorilla suit on Celebrith Rape-an-Ape at nine tonight.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes,
Andy Millman is the lead character in Extras, as portrayed by Ricky Gervais - he keeps trying to get proper work on TV and films, but always ends up as an extra. Rape-an-Ape is a reference to Armando Iannucci’s TV show Time Trumpet, where Rape an Ape is shown as being the most popular TV show of all time. In Celebrity Rape-an-Ape, a ‘celebrity’ was dressed up in an ape costume, and violated, I believe. I’ve never actually seen it, so can’t really comment further.
Joe McNally writes, “Andy Millman - he actually does make it very big between series 1 and 2 of Extras, thanks to the massive success of a self-penned sitcom. His character's catchphrase, which he rapidly comes to despise, is "Are you having a laugh?"”
Panel 7. “The nuclear Sikh terrorist Jack Nemo” is the great-grandson of Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo and the grandson of Janni, last seen in Century: 1910.
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Jack Nemo is the young boy we see in the opening pages of C1969, now grown up. His father is Armand Robur, son of Jean Robur from Robur the Conqueror, and his mother is Hira, daughter of Janni Dakkar (herself Nemo’s daughter) and Broad Arrow Jack. So, a quite formidable family tree.”
Panel 8. “...incoming U.S. President Palmer...” is a reference to President Palmer, from seasons two and three of the t.v. show 24.
“...former Bartlet administration...” is a reference to President Bartlet from the t.v. show West Wing.
Mark Oosterveen writes, “The line "incoming US President Palmer blamed the former Bartlet administration for the ongoing economic and environmental crises" is almost certainly, given
Page 10. Panel 1. This is Shakespeare’s Prospero, flanked by the brutish Caliban and the sprite Ariel. As usual in League, Prospero speaks in iamic pentameter.
Prospero is wearing the rings of the Mandarin, from Marvel’s Iron Man series.
“At home, embattled Prime Minister Tom Davis has recalled seasoned fixer Malcolm Tucker...” are references to the tv show The Thick of It.
Joe McNally writes, “The Thick Of It, The Day Today, Alan Partridge, Time Trumpet - these are *all* produced by Armando Iannucci, who was also behind the stand-up series Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle; Alan played quite a significant part, as himself, in an episode of the second season, claiming to have unearthed evidence that there was actually no such person as Winston Churchill.”
Panel 2. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “the man on the TV is Jon Snow, an actual UK TV journalist.” Philip Graves writes, “Journalist Jon Snow is a deliberate choice here. In 2003, Snow carried out an infamous impromptu interview for Channel 4 news with Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's spin doctor and the inspiration for the character of Malcolm Tucker.”
Panel 3. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “In the drawer, besides the 3D glasses, there’s a hermetic symbol for the planet Mercury, and what looks like the Eye of Everlasting Life as seen in the Kelly’s Eye strip in
John Trumbull writes, “The 3D glasses that
Panel 4. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The person in the TV screen is Malcolm Tucker, as played by Peter Capaldi.”
Page 11. Panel 5. David Simpson writes, "The robot is the alien robot Klanky, who appeared in the weekly British comic Sparky. Drawn by Bob Webster, Klanky had five separate serials during the late sixties and early seventies."
Page 12. Panel 1. Alan Stephen writes, “Pretty sure the bin lorry is Mek-Quake from Ro-Busters in 2000AD.” John Bell writes, "The trash scooper looks more (in my opinion) like one of the crowd control front-end loaders from Soylent Green. Mek-Quake has treads and his head is perched upon a telescopic neck. When he's in his most iconic body, that is."
I’m not sure what “Do it Daley” is a reference to. (See Panel 3 below).
“Read that Jeff Parker bloke” is a reference to comic book writer Jeff Parker.
Panel 2. “Alan N. Partridg–“ is a reference to Steve Coogan’s parodic television personality.
Panel 3. I don’t know who these three are supposed to be. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The older gentleman is Arthur Daly, a wheeler-dealer character from the TV series Minder (ITV, 29 October 1979 –10 March 1994), and the younger blond man is Terry McCann, the ‘minder’ (or personal bodyguard) of the title. Terry’s job is to sort out any little problems Arthur might have, as seems to be the case here.” Ryan Bibb writes, “The series "Minder" ran from 1979-1994, then was remade in 2009 without any of the original cast. The main role was played by Shane Ritchie and the series was a flop. The man being beaten up looks like Shane Ritchie's character. Maybe he's taking a beating for being a poor copy of the original. This would fit the the cynical tone of LOEG2009, berating modern culture for its laziness and lack of quality, making pale imitations of old classics.”
Panel 4. “Tom Davis: A Nutter Too Far” is a reference to The Thick of It, in which
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Big Blanket is a version of The Big Issue, a street newspaper sold by homeless people.”
Panel 6. That is the Batman icon, so presumably this is a comic book store. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The Batman sign we see hung outside the door of Gosh!, a comic shop in
The man being pushed out the door is Graham Linehan, an Irish TV writer particularly noted for being involved in Father Ted and Black Books. The three magazines/comics he has are related to Father Ted, as one of the priests, Father Jack, is fond of exclaiming Drink! Feck! Girls!, and other things. His t-shirt shows Torquemada, a character from 2000 AD’s Nemesis the Warlock, which Kevin O’Neill used to draw, and who makes an appearance in a necklace pendant in C1969. The person with the cigarette and glass OF RED WINE, pushing Linehan out of the door of Gosh!, is quite possibly Hayley Campbell, daughter of Eddie Campbell, who works there.
Damian Gordon disagrees: “"Father Ted" was created by Graham Linehan, who also created British sitcom "Black Books", and it's definitely Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) kicking Linehan out of his bookshop (he hates customers) in this panel.”
“Sikandergul” is the holy city in the 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King.
“Drink Feck Girls” is one of the catchphrases of Father Jack on the British sitcom Father Ted (1995-1998).
I don’t know what the icon on the t-shirt is. Federico Ginnari writes, "I think it's a reference to Nemesis the Warlock characters, from 200 A.D.
Well it looks like him, isn't it? As the guy seems to be a comic die hard fan, it might be the correct reference." Mark Seddon also noted this.
Page 13. Panel 1. “QueeQueg’s” is a reference to the harpooner Queequeg, from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851). Pádraig Ó Méalóid and Greg Daly note that “Starbuck” is also from Moby-Dick, so that in the world of League there is no Starbuck’s, there is Queequeg’s.
firstname.lastname@example.org (also noted by Sean Levin) writes, “Queequeg is the name of the coffee chain in the 2009 video game, Deus Ex: Invisible War, which was the best selling game of that year. Deus Ex also covers secret societies and freemasons much like a majority of
The homeless man is drinking Duff beer, from The Simpsons.
Cuitlamiztli Carter writes, “In front of Queequeg's, in the lower left, is a woman in conservative
Panel 3. “That was a Channel Thirty-Seven Newsjiz.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Channel 37 is an unused television channel in countries using the M and N broadcast television system standards ... Channel 37 is sometimes seen in fiction, the same way telephone numbers with the "555" telephone exchange prefix are used. ... The "Channel 37" newsroom also occasionally has made a fictional appearance on sites such as YouTube and MySpace."
“We now return to Video Jukebox” is a reference to the 1985 HBO tv series of the same name, which focused on music videos.
“Cannon Rap”. Tom Jordan writes, “Spooky Tawdry's song is based around Weil and Brecht's Cannon Song.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid provided the words:
Johnny joined up and Jimmy was there and George got a Seargants rating
Dont give your right name the Army dont care
And the life is so fascinating
Lets all go barmy, live off the Army
See the world we never saw
If we get feeling down we wander into town
And if the population should greet us with indignation
We chop off your bits because we like our hamburgers raw
Johnny drank up till his gut caved in and Jimmy did not drink tea and George replied with a right to the chin
For the army is just a pink tea
Lets all go barmy, live off the Army
See the world we never saw
If we get feeling down we wander into town
And if the population should greet us with indignation
We chop off your bits because we like our hamburgers raw
Johnny is missing Jimmy is dead and George went crazy shooting
But blood is blood and red is red
And the army is still recruiting.
Lets all go barmy, live off the Army
See the world we never saw
If we get feeling down we wander into town
And if the population should greet us with indignation
We chop off your bits because we like our hamburgers raw
Will Brooker writes, " This version - http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/stan-ridgway-lyrics/cannon-song-(aka-army-song)-lyrics.html -- is far closer to Moore's update, and also a lot closer to the original German:
John was all present and Jim was all there
And Georgie was up for promotion
Not that the Army gave a bugger who they were
When confronting some heathen commotion
The troops live under the cannon's thunder
FromSind to Cooch Behar
Moving from place to place
When they come face to face
With a different breed of fellow
Whose skin is black or yellow
they quick as winking chop them into beefsteak tartar
Johnny found his whiskey too warm
And Jimmy found the weather too balmy
But Georgie took them both by the arm and said,
"Don't ever disappoint the Army!"
John is a write-off and Jimmy is dead
And Georgie was shot for looting
And young men's blood goes on being red
While the Army just goes on ahead recruiting
Will Brooker writes, " This version - http://www.elyrics.net/read/s/stan-ridgway-lyrics/cannon-song-(aka-army-song)-lyrics.html -- is far closer to Moore's update, and also a lot closer to the original German:
“Spooky Tawdry,” seen on-stage in the “Eight Years Later” sequence of Century: 1969, is a play on Suki Tawdry, from the Threepenny Opera.
Alwin Müller-Arnke corrects me: “But in fact it's "Zuki and the Tawdries" that we see in "1969". So we have Suki Tawdry in "1910", "Zuki and the Tawdries" in "1969" and "Spooky Tawdry" in "2009".”
Panel 5. “Now Becks is a Centaur-Forward” is a football pun: center-forward to “centaur forward,” involving football player David Beckham, the husband of Victoria Beckham.
Someone whose name I unfortunately deleted (sorry!) wrote, “Becks is a centaur forward" - this is another reference to Time Trumpet; a 'future' David Beckham is a regular character, and at one point in the series it's revealed that he's had surgery to transform himself into a centaur.”
Panels 6-7. John Andrews writes, “I am going to guess that the taxi driver is Dave Rudman from the Will Self novel The Book of Dave which was published in 2006.”
Page 14. Panel 1. Graham Tugwell writes, “Could the statue be Heros the Spartan? Mr O'Neill had a penchant for referencing him frequently in previous volumes.”
Tom Jordan and Pádraig Ó Méalóid point out that this is a memorial to George Dixon, the policeman killed by the Invisible Man in League v1.
Panels 3-4. I don’t know who these men are supposed to be a reference to, if anyone.
Joe McNally writes, “the whole 'Vauxhall Freemasons' thing is possibly a very involved joke. In real life, MI5 is based in a highly distinctive building in Vauxhall; however, in the TV series Spooks (known, I believe, as MI5 in the
Lukas writes, “
Page 15. Panel 3. That is Roger Moore as James Bond.
Panel 4. That is Daniel Craig as James Bond. Note how much more direct and brutal is as opposed to the more gentlemanly
Graham Tugwell (also noted by Eric C. Johnson) writes, “The little photo of a blonde man in trunks pinned to a cubicle wall is a reference to Bond doing just this in Casino Royale (2006) Could the lady in red thus be Vesper Lynd? (note significant glance between her and Bond)”
Panel 5. I assume the two women are older and younger Miss Moneypennys. Philip Graves writes, “It certainly looks like Roger Moore's Ms. Moneypenny, Lois Maxwell, holding the "(For Your) Eyes Only" file and Eva Green as Vesper Lynd - Daniel Craig's Bond doesn't have a Moneypenny.”
Panel 7. “Mother” is a reference to the spy tv series The Avengers: in the final season Steed and Tara King receive their orders from “Mother,” a man in a wheelchair. In Black Dossier M was referred to as “Mother.”
Panel 8. If “J3" is Roger Moore and “J6" is Daniel Craig, then:
J1: Sean Connery
J2: George Lazenby
J3: Roger Moore
J4: Timothy Dalton
J5: Pierce Brosnan
J6: Daniel Craig.
Page 16. Panel 1. The picture on the wall is of James Bond circa-Century: 1969. Keith Kole writes, “The picture on the wall is of James Bond circa-Century: 1969. Then this must be J2: George Lazenby as the film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was from 1969. And why is there a portrait of Lazenby in M's office? Because Diana Rigg who played Emma Peel also played Tracy Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". (As we'll see later, Alan Moore assigns dual roles to many of the Avenger girls.) Contessa Teresa Di Vincenzo marries Bond in the film, but their short marriage ends in a drive-by shooting leaving
I thought this one too obvious to note, but apparently not. email@example.com among many others notes that the bust is of Professor Moriarty, the original M.
As we’ll see in later panels, this is an aged Emma Peel, visually influenced by Judi Dench as M in the current round of James Bond films.
Presumably the book at Peel’s right elbow is the Black Dossier and the book in front of her is the New Traveller’s Almanac, the travelogue of League v2.
I’m not sure what the spiked collar is a reference to. Alex Tulloch writes, “The spiked collar on the desk is Emma Peel’s, from the ‘A Touch of Brimstone’ episode of The Avengers.”
Panel 2. The picture is of John Steed, Peel’s former colleague on The Avengers. Philip Graves writes, “It's worth noting that Patrick Macnee (John Steed) also appeared in the role of Mrs Peel's husband in the Avengers episode "Forgot-Me Knot." So this might in fact be a photograph of Peter Peel. (Although the dual role was presumably just for reasons of expediency - and to play up the attraction between Peel and Steed if Steed is Mr Peel's doppelganger - there is some convoluted fan speculation about covers and ruses and clones and other oddities allowing for Steed to *be* Mr Peel on some level of reality...)”
Panels 4-5, Page 17 Panel 1. This is a summary of the some of the events of the Black Dossier and its backstory.
Panel 7. “...a disenchanted CIA operative named Westen...” This is a reference to Michael Westen, protagonist of the spy show Burn Notice.
Page 17. Panel 2. Philip Graves writes, “"He's Ninety-something..." Clearly Bond doesn't have a specific age or date of birth. According to John Pearson and John Griswold Bond was born between 1920 and 1921; Charlie Higson - author of the Young Bond books - kept to this timeline, meaning that in 2009 Bond would actually be under 90 years old. However, Ian Fleming aged him at approximately 37 in the novel Moonraker which was published in 1955, and if
Panel 3. “We’ve employed increasingly younger stand-ins, keeping the propaganda myth going.” Which would explain the ever-youthful James Bond. Greg Daly writes, “the idea of Bond being replaced by stand-ins is pointed to in the Bond films. The 1967 'Casino Royale' involved Bond as a legendary spy, coming out of retirement after fifty years and having every MI6 agent renamed James Bond 007. More seriously, 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' opens with a sequence in which George Lazenby, the first canonical replacement, addresses the camera after a fight, saying 'This never happened to the other fellow'.”
Panel 7. “…little Jack Nemo.” Ng Kiat Han writes, “Jack Nemo- Janni's grandson. Despite her relationship with Broad Arrow Jack, she managed to preserve her father's name & legacy in her descendants. - resisting patrilineal naming conventions again. Matrilineage is interesting here. It's also interesting that he has his grandfather's first name. It's an English name too. Jack Nemo (Jack No-one) is a sorta John Doe.”
Panel 8. “Both UNIT and our
Panel 9. Keith Kole writes, “This panel makes it clear that M is dressed in a unitard. Which is, of course, reminiscent of the one-piece leather catsuits Emma Peel was famous for wearing in the Avengers.”
Page 18. Panel 1. Alan Stephen (also noted by Eric C. Johnson) writes, “On the far right in the blue jacket is J2, George Lazenby. Is the man facing us in the green waistcoat and grey suit supposed then to be J1, Sean Connery? There's a bit of a likeness but I'm not convinced.”
Constantine S. writes, “I think we see all the rest Bond stand-ins in the first panel. From left to right: J4: Timothy Dalton, J5: Pierce Brosnan (doing the famous adjustment of his tie), J1: Sean Connery (without his famous hairpiece, which he wore in his tenure as Bond, it looks exactly like him), J2: George Lazenby. I am not so sure about
John Trumbull writes, “It could be Connery, but I think a more likely candidate is Robert Brown, who played M in four James Bond films: Octopussy, A View To A Kill, The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill. He also played Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy Who Loved Me, which some Bond fans speculate could be the same character as the M he played. The man standing between M and Brown is definitely the Pierce Brosnan Bond (J5). The gentleman on the far left might be the Timothy
Panel 2. That’s the stuffed body of Rupert the Bear, last seen in League v2. D.J.P. Marks writes, "The stuffed forms of the League universe Rupert the Bear and Tiger Tim appear on Page 18. It seems interesting to note that they are just the same as when last seen in volume two, suggesting that Doctor Moreau's facility in the woods was shut down soon after his bio-weapon was used to stop the Martians, and all his creations destroyed."
Ross Byrne writes, “Also seen beside Rupert Bear's stuffed form is the erotic 'skin-invigorating' machine Gulliver brought back from the flying island Laputa, as featured in the Black Dossier.”
Panel 3. That’s the stuffed body of Tiger Tim, last seen in League v2.
“Cap J. Warralson Blackmail Documents” is a reference to W.E. Johns’ pilot Worrals, who it was implied in Black Dossier was a lesbian.
Ian Wildman writes, “Under the pictures of Worrals, there's a memo about a Department S. "Department S" was the British TV show from 1969-1970 that launched the character of Jason King (played by Peter Wyngarde).”
Panel 4. I don’t know whose skeleton that is. Tom Jordan thinks it is that of Mr. Hyde.
Page 19. I don’t know what the shark might be–the shark from Jaws? Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “The shark in the background is Hook Jaw, from the shortlived
Page 20. That is the wrecked Martian lander shown in
“Treens out” is a reference to the Treens, the enemy race from the Dan Dare comics.
Page 22. Panel 1. “Nomi Malone” is the protagonist of the movie Showgirls. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Goddess is a show in the Stardust Casino she ends up headlining.”
“–rd –stoke” is Lord Greystoke, a.k.a. Tarzan.
Panel 2. There was, in fact, a 1956-1957 tv show from ITV called Sir Lancelot.
Page 23. Panel 2. The “place in
Panel 3. “Think of an immortal Hynkel” is a reference to Adenoid Hynkel, from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940). Hynkel is the Hitler analogue in the world of League.
“Or an immortal Big Brother” is a reference to George Orwell’s 1984 (1948). In the world of League Big Brother ruled
Panel 5. “Stab Master Arson” is a reference to rap rockumentary CB4 (1993).
Page 24. Panel 1. “Coote’s Centre for Psychiatric Well Being” is the 2009 version of the
John Trumbull writes, “The fellow looking through the glass of the door looks like a deliberate likeness to me. It looks a bit like Patrick McGoohan to me, but again I'm not entirely certain. Could Number 6 have been committed to Coote's after the final episode of The Prisoner?”
Panel 2. John Hall writes, “
(who wrote "
Panel 3. “Analrapy”
Cenate Pruitt writes, “the specialty of Tobias Fünke of "Arrested Development" fame (and the man leaving the department is clutching his rear...)”
Eric C. Johnson writes, “To elaborate on what Cenate Pruitt said, "analrapy," pronounced "uh-nahl-rah-pee" is meant to be a conflation of "analyst" and "therapist" and that Tobias Fünke (a closet homosexual) didn't understand the other meaning until he started passing out business cards saying he was an "ANALRAPIST." Given both the nature of the League's "fiction-within-fiction" status and indeed the Coote Centre's oversexualized nature and the man clasping his bottom, it is ambiguous whether the "analrapy" practiced here is what Tobias thought he was saying or what the police thought he was saying.”
Page 25. Panel 4. “Th-there was an unfounded sexual scandal that was terribly disruptive.” I’m not sure what this is a reference to.
Page 26. Panel 1. On the collage board, which looks as if it may have been assembled from back issues of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
• unknown symbol
• Professor James Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis.
• unknown symbol
• unknown symbol
• unknown woman - Maza
• unknown woman - Mysta
• pyramid (relevance?)
• Brobdignagian skull
• Professor Selwyn Cavor, from H.G. Wells’ First Men to the Moon
• Golliwog’s balloon
• unknown symbol
• Captain Universe, mentioned in Century: 1969.
• unknown symbol
• Golliwog’s companions.
Page 27. Panel 2. “Vita, Vito, Bion, Bio, Roland and
Philp Graves writes, “The roll call of
Page 28. Panel 4. “Metal bayonets: they don’t bend. It’s the worker on each end.” Saul Taylor writes, “"Metal bayonets, they don't bend: it's the worker on each end..." a reference to the First World War era anti-war slogan "'a bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end".”
Page 29. Panel 1. This picture of Mina’s League was seen in Century: 1969.
Panel 6. firstname.lastname@example.org writes, “Duff Beer is again seen in the stand as well as ZapApple Energy Drink.” Zap Apple Energy drink is a reference to the zap apples of the “Family Appreciation Day” episode of My Little Pony.
Page 30. Panel 1. The poster is of British superhero Crash Britanus.
Panel 3. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “That’s the chest symbol of Ace Hart the Atom Man, from Superthriller (aka Super Thriller Comic), published by Foldes/World. The numbering on Superthriller started at #5, so Ace Hart first appeared in the second issue, #6 in 1947 or 1948.”
Page 32. Panel 1. “Who dat Ninja 3? Trace- Jorda-“ is a reference to Tracey Jordan, from the American tv show 30 Rock. Richard Pachter notes that the Tracey Jordan poster is actually in 3D.
Page 33. Panel 7. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “That’s the ‘No They Can’t’ Song from the Threepenny Opera.”
Panel 9. James Taylor writes, "
Panel 9. James Taylor writes, "I’m pretty sure the white bloke on the left of the panel foreground is Super Hans from the TV show Peep Show."
Page 34. Panel 7. “Will Mockney for Food” Damian Gordon writes, “Mockney is an affected accent in imitation of Cockney (or working class London) speech suggesting that this is David Jason who played Derek "Del Boy" Trotter in the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses.”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Of the three people on the left, the blond lady *may* be actress Billie Piper, but I don’t know in what role. The man holding the sign seems to be David Jason, but again I don’t know in what role. Mockney refers to people who put on a fake Cockney accent.
On the right we have Martin Clunes and Fay Ripley from Reggie Perrin, the 2009 remake of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, which ran on the BBC from 1976-1979. Perhaps
Peter Gilham writes, “I'm not convinced that the blonde on the right is Fay Ripley. Zoe Wannamaker or Jane Horrocks possibly. But can I throw another name into the ever widening ring? To me, she looks more likeClaire Skinner as Sue Brockman from the BBC sitcom Outnumbered.”
Dennis Ferguson writes, “The man on the left looks very much like Grant Mitchell from Eastenders except that he has hair. I'm pretty sure the girl on the left is his cousin Ronnie Mitchell played by Samantha Janus. David Jason I think is Del Boy fallen on hard times. Not sure I agree that's Faye Ripley, maybe Zoe Wannamaker's character from My Family”
Steven Whyte writes, “This might be a shot in the dark but the The blonde girl on page 34 looks an awful lot like Jessica Hines formerly Stevenson co creator and writer and actress in british cult comedy tv series Spaced, her character (Daisy Steiner) was on the dole for most of the tv series perhaps the kredit crunch has reduced her to her homeless state we see now. picture evidence http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0OOV9eHz54E/Tg5nViQNL1I/AAAAAAAAAGs/Kze54R7zXg4/s1600/Daisy+Steiner.jpg”
John Andrews writes, “I think the young man on the left hand side is either "mockney" actor Danny Dyer, or British rapper Mike Skinner aka The Streets. Dyer would fit in better with the mockney theme of the picture but I think it looks more like Skinner. See what you think. Also I don't think that the lady in front of Martin Clunes is Fay Ripley. She looks far older. I think it may be Jean Slater from EastEnders who was in the show from 2006.”
Ross Byrne writes, “I wonder are all the actors in this panel ones who have played homeless characters or done work for homeless charities? That looks a bit like Simon Munnery in the backwards cap wearing the gold crucifix.”
Dan writes, “Also thought you might be interested to know that the destitute actors on page 34 are all from BBC shows - Amanda Redman from New Tricks, Martin Clunes from Reggie Perrin, David Jason from Only Fools and Horses and (possibly) Jane Horrocks (either way, I'm pretty sure that's not Fay Ripley). As they're slumming it here, I suspect they're all victims of the current
Philip Graves writes, “I wonder if this is not a group of actors rather famous for their posh (or, at least, not cockney) accents in a variety of BBC roles, perhaps primarily sitcoms? Clearly it's Martin Clunes, and equally clearly he's holding a Sunshine Desserts product, locking him in as Reginald Perrin from the remade sitcom. It's also probably, as already speculated, David Jason (and therefore probably Del Boy) holding the sign, but he also looks not unlike Rodney Bewes from The Likely Lads, who is far less working class, and thus would find Mockney-begging more of a comedown.
Lee Horner writes, "I do not think the lady on page 34 panel 7 is any of the suggested. She is is Cindy Beale from EastEnders https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Collins
Page 35. Panel 1. I don’t know who the pursuer and pursued is in this panel. Tom Jordan writes:
A bizarre reference this: that's Gene Hunt and Alex Drake chasing the villainous clown from series 1 of Ashes to Ashes, which dates this appearance to 1981. What makes it odd is that the end of series 3 reveals that the world of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes is a kind of cop purgatory - maybe Norton can travel to ALL the
Pádraig Ó Méalóid adds, “The clown/Pierrot they are chasing appears in the series, and is from the original video for David Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes single.” Eric C. Johnson writes, “About Tom Jordan's Ashes to Ashes comments, it's been previously speculated that in some cases, the fiction inside fiction is also reality in the world of League. A good example would be in The Black Dossier, where we learn Dr. Caligari does exist as an insane, mad scientist in the League universe, despite being only a fantasy in the actual film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. If the delusions in that film are reality in League, perhaps the fantasy cop realm of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes is reality as well. Also, I believe the character on the large cellular phone is either Chris Skelton, a supporting character in both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, or Sam Tyler, the protagonist of Life on Mars. The hair looks more like Sam, but the facial structure looks more like Chris.”
Ron Dingman writes, “My thought was that the clown here looks like the Fireclown, the titular character of Michael Moorcock's 1965 science fiction novel (also published as _The Winds of Limbo_); see the cover to the Paperback Library mass market paperback edition (http://www.flickr.com/photos/36329240@N06/3657125882/).
“While _The Fireclown_ is set in a dystopian future in which most of the human race lives in underground cities, there are certain striking parallels to the world portrayed in _Century: 2009_; to quote the Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fireclown): "[Fireclown] is thought....to be a dangerous rebel, [whereas others believe] conversely that the Fireclown is there to reignite people's passion for democracy."
“Given the end-times vibe redolent throughout _Vol. 3_, and the general public apathy to what's really going on -- and the frightfully reactionary nature of the British government (_viz._ the Masonic policeman's beating of an apparently non-Caucasian person on Page 22, Panel 7, seen through the window of Orlando's cab) -- I personally like the possibility that the Fireclown flits through these pages; certainly his presence would be decidedly unwelcome to the powers-that-be here. And besides, Moore and O'Neill seem to be borrowing more than one product of Moorcock's long career in _Vol. 3_.
“As a special-added bonus, Fireclown's name is revealed, in _The Transformation of Miss Mavis Ming_ (1977), to be Emmanuel Bloom (Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dancers_at_the_End_of_Time#The_Transformation_of_Miss_Mavis_Ming); the Bloomsbury Group's influence has been noted by others in your annotations to _Chapter 2: 1969_ as well as here. I might really go out on a limb and say that one could derive an oblique reference to the actor Orlando Bloom, who played a character in a movie series referenced previously in _LoEG_, _The Pirates of the Caribbean_, as well as playing Paris in _Troy_ (2004) -- Orlando's first major military engagement -- and a more obnoxious version of himself in _Extras_, a show referenced in _Chapter 3_ (Page 9, Panel 6). (Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlando_Bloom) “
Panel 2. Damian Gordon writes, “Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) from British SciFi series Doctor Who and its spin-off series, Torchwood.” Greg Daly writes, “The first openly non-heterosexual character in Doctor Who, Jack is an apt shadow for
Panel 3. Alex Tulloch writes, “This would be the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings in 2005.” Graham Jordan writes, “I think that may be the 1987 King's Cross fire, not the 7/7 bombings.” Kate Halprin writes, “first, I think that is the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings not the King's Cross Fire, partly because the style of the police uniforms (which seem more 2005 than 1987) but mainly because this seems to fit Moore's theme better (personally I think Moore's use of it is at best tasteless, but this isn't really the place to go into it). If it is the 7/7 bombings then - given how many other Doctor Who references there are on this page - the man with the bandaged head may be the academic John Tulloch, co-author of Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text and 7/7-survivor. Though a real person he was arguably turned into fiction by The Sun newspaper in an edition of November 2005, as described in more detail here.”
Philip Graves writes, “I wonder if this panel isn't actually a reference to a fictional occurrence, perhaps in "28 Days Later: The Aftermath"?”
Panel 4. That would be Matt Smith on the far right, the current Dr. Who, and William Hartnell, the first Dr. Who, on the left. Graham Jordan writes, “both the First and Eleventh Doctors seem to be looking at something or someone and in the next panel we see a woman walking away which I think may be a reference to the 'The Doctor's Wife' in which the Eleventh Doctor mentions a Time Lord who regenerated into a woman, referencing fan speculation why the Doctor has never done so.”
Greg Daly writes, “In the middle of the panel we see an aged Parker from Thunderbirds, last seen in a petrol station in Century: 1969 (31.7).”
Page 36. Panel 4. “...a skeletal Nazi dentist...”
Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “In an interview in Headpress Sinclair says:
“I just got yesterday morning The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this comic he's doing, in which a fictional character, an alter-ego of mine called Norton, appears, drawn to look like me - or sort of a mad Nazi dentist or something - spouting this occult loaded madness in a comic strip! Like a parody of aspects of my writing.”
Loren Collins writes, “Norton's appearance here is heavily cross-referenced with his appearance on pp. 38-41 of LoEG 1910. In 1910 he spoke of "July Seventh"; here he witnesses the July 7th attack. In 1910 he says there is "A quarter platform over, the franchise express, gathering steam"; in 2009 he takes Mina and Orlando to that secret Platform 9 3/4, which is integral to the mystery of the Moonchild.”
Leo Antolini (also noted by Mark Monastyrski) writes, “Besides the Sinclair quote you posted, I believe this is also a reference to Laurence Olivier´s character in the movie "Marathon Man," where he played a Nazi dentist who looked quite a bit like Norton as he appears in League.”
Panel 6. I don’t know who the pair are. The head spy from Spooks? (Too much hair?) Steve Smith writes, “Peter Firth's character from the TV series Spooks.” Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Sir Henry Pearce and Ruth Evershed, as played by Peter Firth and Nicola Walker, from the UK TV series Spooks (BBC, 13 May 2002 – 23 October 2011)”
Panel 7. Aidan Dun’s Vale Royal can be read here.
Page 37. Panel 2. “Brutus establishes a numinous dynasty. Lear, Bladud, Lud....” Brutus is the first King of Britain, Lear would be Shakespeare’s King Lear, Bladud would be the tenth ruler of
Joe McNally writes, “Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed (spuriously) that Ludgate Hill was named after Lud, who also lends his name to Iain Sinclair's epic poem Lud Heat. Geoffrey's history of
Panel 3. John Hall writes, “"Archer's seraglio" refers to the real-life politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer, who in 1987 notoriously sent a messenger to give a prostitute £2,000 at King's Cross station.”
“Stand-in Victorian opium-den for Johnny Depp.”
I’d thought this one too obvious to annotate, but apparently not. Jonathan Carter and Joe McNally, among many others, points out that this is a reference to the movie version of Moore’s From Hell, in which Depp plays inspector Abbeline. Ross Byrne adds, “This is to do with the filming of the From Hell movie, where a basement near King's Cross was used as the set for Abberline's drug den.”
Panels 5-8. Norton, Mina and Orlando are walking into Platform 13, from Eva Ibbotson’s The Secret of Platform 13. In the novel Platform 13 in King’s Cross Station leads to another world.
And, yes, the similarities between Ibbotson and J.K. Rowling’s Platform 9 3/4 has been noted before, though no one seriously believes that Rowling plagiarized or stole from Ibbotson. In Ibbotson’s words, “I think we all borrow from each other as writers.” Which are words critics of
Panel 8. “Plywo- Pelica- Inferno-“ is a reference to the Plywood Pelican, the wooden plane Mr. Burns built to fight the Nazis in the Simpsons and a reference to Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose. Ross Byrne corrects me: “Mr. Burns being Mr. Burns, he built the plane FOR Hitler, rather than to fight the Nazis.”
Page 39. Panel 4. “I assume it runs on some sloppily-defined magical principles.”
A possible jibe at J.K. Rowling’s world-building.
Panel 5. “Highly suspect since my Hackney book.”
Iain Sinclair, Norton’s creator, wrote Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire (2009). Joe McNally (also noted by Tim Chapman) writes, “bit more explanation needed here, I think - following publication of Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire, Sinclair found himself banned from readings and literary events in the libraries of his home borough due to his criticisms of the 2012 Olympics; several Olympic venues are situated in Hackney and presumably local authorities were wary of associating themselves with a dangerous radical like Sinclair.”
Panel 6. “Mythago Woods” is a reference to Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood (1984). Cuitlamiztli Carter writes, “Holdstock's "Mythago Wood" features inhabitants of a magic forest that were idealized images of mythical creatures, I believe. Some change their form as culture at large re-imagines them. Fits Idea Space well. Fits the greater theme of the League as well.” Peter Borowiec writes, "The mention of a magical woodland might also serve as a reference to the Forbidden Forest in the vicinity of Hogwarts."
“Catling’s Vorrh” is a reference to B. Catling’s The Vorrh (2012).
Panel 7. I’m trying really hard to to make this into a Thomas the Tank Engine reference.
Page 40. Panel 2. If those creatures are a reference to anything in particular I’m unaware of it. Greg Daly writes, “The men with faces on their chests are Blemmyes, first mentioned by such classical writers as Herodotus and Pliny; thought to live in Africa or sometimes India, they were staples of medieval bestiaries, and have appeared in modern books such as Umberto Eco's Baudolino.” email@example.com writes, “Those creatures are indeed Blemmyes, in other legend the Spanards believed this is what the people of the Amazon and South America looked like. They also guard the teasures of King Solomon in the 2000 novel The Amazing Voyage of Azzam, the very same treasure that Allan Quatermain discovered in his adventures. Personally I first attribute this creature to a Chinese myth of a warrior who refused to retire or die. For hundreds of years he would continue his job so the king ordered his head chopped off. Refusing to quit his nipples became his eyes and his naval his mouth to continue with his profession. Perhaps a long stretch but this myth could also connect of
Page 41. Panel 1. “This whole environment seems artificial, as if it’s been constructed out of reassuring imagery from the 1940s....”
Another possible jibe at Rowling.
Yet another reference I thought too obvious to note but which I’m getting a lot of notes about: the town Mina and Orlando are in is Hogsmeade, from the Harry Potter novels.
Philip Graves writes, “A magic-associated train station with "reassuring imagery from the 1940s" suggests the station from which the Pevensie children are transported to Narnia in Prince Caspian, which is set c.1941.”
Panel 4. The tree is a Whomping Willow, from the Harry Potter books.
Greg Daly interestingly notes, “In traditional lore, Arthur's Camelot had kept the Saxons at bay, so
Neil Emmett adds, "
Neil Emmett adds, "Orlando's comment could be a reference to Brian Patten’s poem Where Are You Now, Batman?, which Moore has cited as an influence on past work; the poem contains the line "Sir Galahad’s been strangled by the Incredible Living Trees"."
Page 42. Panel 1. “M8L”
I don’t know what that is a reference to. Greg Daly writes, “Bearing in mind that the Hodwarts Express has been described as a child's idea of a train, it seems odd that lying rusting in the bottom right of the picture are the wreckage of Oliver Postgate's Ivor the Engine...the initials on Ivor stands for Merioneth and Llantisilly Railway Traction Company Limited.”
The skeletal train is one of the trains from the Rev. Awdry’s “Thomas the Tank Engine” series of books and tv series. Rafael Jasso writes, “judging by the faded blue tinge on the engine, I think it might be Thomas the Tank Engine.” Kate Halprin corrects me: “can I point out that the books by the Reverend W Awdry are properly known as the "Railway Series" (sometimes the "Railway Stories") and not 'Thomas the Tank Engine', which is the title of the second book and only came to become a catch-all for the series with the advent of the TV version in the mid-1980s. (Awdry and his enthusiasts couldn't have loathed the adaptation any more if they'd made Thomas a visionary opium fiend played by Johnny Depp.)”
John Russell Pelt writes, “a possible alternative to the identity of the desiccated husk of a locomotive is the Little Engine that Could from the children’s story attributed most popularly to “Watty Piper”. While most often portrayed as having its face situated upon its smokestack, now and again the Little Engine has been rendered like Thomas with its face upon the pilot section where the smoke stack door* would be. Appropriate to this scene in “2009”, the most popular rendering of the Little Engine in this manner was an episode of Gary Larson’s “The Far Side”, portraying a down-on-his-luck L.E. begging on a sidewalk, a cardboard sign next to him declaring "I thought I could, I thought I could”.”
Cenate Pruitt writes, "
Cenate Pruitt writes, "As the father of a toddler who's hard into a Thomas And Friends phase, I'm going to tentatively confirm that the train on page 42 is Thomas, based mostly on the shape of the boxy area behind the "head", which matches Thomas exactly. The dead train isn't exactly right; the curved upright at the "neck" isn't the shape it is on Thomas (Thomas' is a half circle) but you could chalk that up to artistic license. Alternately, as Everyone Knows that Thomas lives on the magical Isle of Sodor, off the coast somewhere, this could just be another train of the same general style (and honestly, it looks more green than blue to me, but it's the wrong shape to be Percy) It MIGHT be Oliver, who is green, has a flared smokestack, and is boxy like Thomas, but that's kind of an obscure character to use. I'd be okay with IDing the train as Thomas until otherwise notified."
firstname.lastname@example.org writes, “The scarecrow is Worzel Gummidge, from the British childrens stories of the same name.” Kelly Tindall writes, “I think the scarecrow outside Hogwarts is Prince Justin/Turnip Head from Howl's
Panel 3. “I think this happened some years ago.”
The final battle in the Harry Potter novels is supposed to have taken place in 1999. Graham Jordan corrects me: the final battle at Hogwarts took place in 1998, not 1999.
Page 43. Panel 1. The interior architecture here seems a rough match for the interior architecture of Gryffindor House, in the Harry Potter novels. Peter Borowiec writes, "This is the Hogwarts main staircase, rather than Gryffindor House, and as Mina notes the stairs do move around."
Panel 2. Ross Byrne writes, “Examples of fictional high school massacres, to fit into the world of the League, might include the one in Lionel Shriver's novel We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003), filmed in 2011.” Alex Foix writes, " I just realized that the film Duck! The Carbine High Massacre must be a stand in for the Columbine High massacre there."
Panel 3. The blond boy would be Draco Malfoy, the red-haired boy Ron Weasley, and the sobbing girl either Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley, all from the Harry Potter novels.
Graham Jordan writes, “Hermione Grainger (if it is her) repeating 'I want my mum' has a double meaning I feel, the first that in 'The Deathly Hallows' she erased her mother's memory of her so it's a futile plea, and also to her other 'mother' JK Rowling as Rowling has stated Hermione's just a rather superannuated version of herself when she was younger and as the story hasn't ended as is more popularly known, this plea will also fall on deaf ears.”
email@example.com writes, “The uniforms worn by the students look more like the uniforms of WizTech which is the Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place parody of Hogwarts.”
Constantine S. (also noted by Fletcher Wortman) writes, “Since the main theme of the book is how entertainment, pop culture and literature have gone to the dogs and this mirrors the deteriorating affairs of mankind, e.x. the now not unusual American school shootings, it's very clever how the Antichrist's Hogwarts massacre is directed and viewed exactly like a first-person shooter video game. It's often claimed that violent video games contribute and occasionally are critical in real-life massacres: Anders Breivik even admitted he was playing them as practice.”
Panel 5. Philip Graves writes, “This looks a lot like Michael Gambon (who took over as Dumbledore for the films), but not AS the more elderly and bearded Dumbledore. If it IS a LoEG-universe Dumbledore, his appearance here (ostensibly after he has died in the novels) - coupled with Voldemort-as-teacher and the Anitchrist's rampage suggests a significant departure from the events of Rowling's books. Or, it could be simply a different teacher - Jim Broadbent's Slughorn, perhaps?”
Panel 6. “Weirds– Colle–“
This is a reference to
firstname.lastname@example.org writes, “It might also be important to note that
Panel 7. Consensus seems to be that the woman killed here is supposed to be Minerva McGonagall, from Harry Potter. I think she looks too young for McGonagall. “Incognito” writes, “It's Sheila Hancock as Mrs. Windergast in the adaptation of Groosham Grange.” Hayes Smith writes, “I believe the youth of the character can be explained as part of a double reference, both to Minerva McGonagall (played by Maggie Smith in the film adaptations) and Jean Brodie, from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie -- also a schoolteacher and also played by Maggie Smith in that book's film adaptation (during her younger, red-headed years).”
Page 44. Panel 1. In the Harry Potter novels the creatures seen in portraits in Hogwarts are all...not alive, exactly, but animate.
Greg Daly writes, “: 'Scream Inn' was a comic strip drawn by Brian Walker in Whoopee! comic. Mildew Manor was the home of 'Frankie Stein', as drawn by Ken Reid, in the 1960s Wham! comic; he eventually ended up in Whoopee! too. A Mildew Manor is also featured in Kim Newman's vampire story 'Mildew Manor, or The Italian Smile'. In the English midlands, it is the country seat of Sir Eustace Orfe.”
email@example.com writes, “The magic school in the 1998 novel, Groosham Grange which is referred to in panel 1 of page 48, also has moving paintings like at Hogwarts. (Also an interesting note both the boy wizards in Groosham Grange and Dark is Rising are seventh sons of a seventh son and discover their magical abilities at the age of eleven.) Count von Count from
Neil Emmett writes, "The horse in the painting on the left looks a little like Rocky from Four Feather Falls. On the other hand, since Grimly Feendish is on the right, I'm wondering if all three paintings depict comic characters - could the woman in the middle be Jane Gay?"
Panel 2. “Look at this poor man, he’s in two halves. I–I expect he was a caretaker or something.”
The caretaker in the Harry Potter novels, Argus Filch, always treated Potter and his friends with suspicion.
Page 45. Panel 2. “Will
Obviously the anti-Christ here is Harry Potter, but it is Harry Potter plus various other young male wizarding figures who preceded Potter--like Will Stanton.
Writes Tom Jordan, “It's probably part of
Christian Bolte finally answers the “A. Button” question for us: “A. Button, a reference to Angelica Button, a Simpsons parody of Harry Potter.”
Page 46. Panel 1. Perhaps the dead bird is Harry Potter’s owl?
I thought this too obvious to note, but: haloperidol, the drug Will Stanton is taking, is a real drug used to treat psychotic disorders. Alexx Kay (also noted by Steve Replogle) adds, “Perhaps more appropriately to the world of the League, it also shows up as a plot device/clue in
Page 47. Panel 7. Alan Stephen writes, “In the Harry Potter universe, Sirius Black's house is hidden between the spaces of a normal terrace.”
Peter Borowiec writes, "
Peter Borowiec writes, "The sign reading "-lace" refers to Grimmauld Place, the location of Sirius Black's house."
Page 48. Panel 1. “Masthead Ma-“
I’m not sure what this is a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid says, “Masthead Manor is the home of Firebrand Frobisher, a ghostly pirate, from the strip “The Ghostly Guardian” in
This is a reference to a British comic strip (full title, Eddie Potter at Strange Hill School (1986-c2004) about the only normal pupil at a school full of monsters.
I’m not sure what this is a reference to. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “Turville Halt - Turville Hall is the home of alchemist Sylvester Turville from the
This is a reference to Anthony Horowitz’s Groosham Grange (1988), about the wizarding seventh son of a seventh son. It, too, has been cited as having similarities to the Harry Potter books.
Page 49. Panel 1. Paul Dawson writes, “Underneath the charred Will Stanton folder (seen on Page 45 and already annotated) there is a partially obscured folder marked 'Greyst--" which at an outside guess could be a Tarzan reference, although I'm not sure why Haddo/Voldemort would think Tarzan could be the antichrist so I'm guessing it's another teen magician reference which I'm missing.” Christian Bolte writes, “The Dumbledore-like headmaster of Angelica Button's magical school was called Greystash.”
Panels 3-5. AG@urbanscale.org writes, "I clearly identify the figure on p. 49 panels 3-5 as Francis Ford Coppola's/Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz." His appearance is strongly reminiscent of Brando as Kurtz, and the whole "You're a banal magician/Just do what you came here to do" spiel is an almost exact paraphrase of Kurtz's "You're neither [an assassin or a soldier]. You're an errand boy, send by grocery clerks to collect the bill" speech."
Page 52. Panel 1. John Hall writes, “
Page 53. Panel 4. Saul Taylor (also noted by Mark Oosterveen) writes, “"This is, like, so unfair..." perhaps a reference to the teenager "Kevin" played by Harry Enfield in Harry Enfield's Television Programme and Harry Enfield And Chums, who was always complaining about things being "so unfair". Both series co-starred and were co-written by Paul Whitehouse who we see on 56.”
Page 54. Panel 2. Eric C. Johnson writes, “"And who are you? ... You're just women." For all of
Page 56. Panel 3. Presumably this is the original James Bond.
Panel 4. These would be the cast of the tv show Little Britain.
Damian Gordon corrects me:
Vicky Pollard (Matt Lucas) from Little
Swiss Toni (Charlie Higson) from The Fast Show
Ken ("suits you, sir") Paul Whitehouse from The Fast Show
Lou Todd (David Walliams) and Andy Pipkin (Matt Lucas) from Little Britain - Lou can see Andy running.
Alex Tulloch writes, “As Andy pretends to be disabled to get Lou to do everything for him it is no surprise that Lou looks surprised to see Andy on his feet.”
Graham Jordan writes, “after 'Ken' from 'The Fast Show' (I thought he may have been Sebastian from Little Britain ) I think the blond girl maybe Vicki Pollard's mother played by Dawn French from Little Britain Abroad, two Christmas Specials from 2006.”
Panel 6. That may be Sting on the left. On the right is Hiro from the American tv show Heroes.
Damian Gordon writes, “Journeyman Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd)?”
Greg Daly writes, “On the left and right are Adam Monroe and Hiro Nakamura from Heroes; Hiro is able to alter the flow of time, while Adam is a centuries-old Englishman with regenerative powers.”
firstname.lastname@example.org and Greg Arnott think that’s Jack Bauer on the left, constantly checking his watch. Luke writes, “On the left is Captain John Hart, James Marsters character from Torchwood. Both he and Hiro are time travelers and both seem to be getting ready to travel. Captain Hart used a wrist device and Hiro concentrated (at least early in the show).”
Page 57. Panel 2. Michael Hodson (also noted by Ian Wildman) writes, “The suit Nemo wears here looks very similar to that worn by Max Ray, the undersea expert from the 1985-1987 "The Centurions" cartoon - though of course it could just be a coincidence as the suit is obviously designed to look like it has Octopus suckers on it, but the choice of the colour green makes me wonder if I'm right.”
Panel 4. Anyone interested in translating? D.J.P. Marks writes, "Apparently the text on p57 says "Put down the nuclear weapons". Sight translation provided by a troupe of Sikh acrobatic swordsmen after performing at the Fuji Rock festival's Palace of Wonders."
Page 60. Panel 1. Chris Sims writes, “You might’ve missed this one: His ding-dang? It’s like a wand.”
Greg Daly writes, “The 'penis as wand' gag here is something implied throughout the Harry Potter books. The Hogwarts stories can be understood as a magical rather than a sexual coming of age -- it seems that sex is wholly sublimated as magic in the books. All teachers are celibate, with one teacher's lycanthropy standing in as a surrogate homosexuality, with closed-minded parents fearing that exposure to him will somehow harm their children. More broadly, male students are expected to excell in Defence Against the Dark Arts, where the wand is the primary tool, while female ones tend to do best in Potions, reliant most heavily on the cauldron; the sexual symbolism of wands and cauldrons is fairly clear. In the final Potter book, Rowling repeatedly uses phallic language when describing the use of Potter's wand, and it's significant that for a significant part of the book he's rendered impotent when his wand is broken.
In other words, this isn't just a cheap and puerile joke. It might be that too, of course...”
Kate Halprin writes, “This is not the case at all. Nowhere in the Harry Potter series is there any gender distinction between Defence Against the Dark Arts and Potions. Pupils are expected to be proficient in both - Harry isn't particularly, but that's because he loathes the Potions Master, Professor Snape (who loathes him right back: I presume he's the teacher who calls the Antichrist a "little shit" during the massacre sequence). All wizards of both genders are expected to have wands, which act like individual-specific symbiotes - there's nothing specifically phallic about them in Rowling's work beyond the basic symbolism of the wand in fiction. Snape does, early on, make the point that his subject requires a more methodical and disciplined approach than some of the showier subjects, but its hard to see this as being obviously "female" in character. Greg's statement seems to be imposing rather than finding a symbolic gender-based interpretation here.
I'd also take issue with Greg's statement that "All teachers are celibate". While I can't off the top of my head think of any of the teachers being referred to as married or in relationships while they're at the school, I don't believe there's any mention of a deliberate restriction on their sex lives either; there certainly isn't in the wider wizarding community. Hagrid gets to flirt with Madame Maxime while employed as a Hogwarts Professor without anyone suggesting he should be dragged off to Azkaban. Harry's contemporary Neville Longbottom becomes a teacher in later life and Rowling has said that he's married.”
Greg Arnott writes, “you may find it useful to look into
Panel 4. “...repulsive piece of Mekrob...”
“Meekrob” appeared on
Page 61. Panel 3. "I could like sue you and shit" -- A reference to the BBC comedy sketch show Armstrong & Miller. They have two WWII RAF pilot characters who speak in Armstrong & Miller's version of current teenage slang, and obsessions with 'rights' and 'sue them and shit'. Among the jokes the middle-age view of teenage behaviour (the running joke of the Kevin character from p53). There's also relevance perhaps in the decline between what the Brits view as the heroic age of the Battle of Britain compared to modern teens. A sample of A&M is http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=uCPGcNKBKwo&NR=1" Peter Borowiec also noted this.
Page 62. Panel 1. This is P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, from the 1934 novel and later movie. In the movie a whirlwind presages her arrival–here she is accompanied by one.
email@example.com writes, “It might also be noted that P. L. Travers is famous for her dislike of the film adaptation of Marry Poppins, much in the same way
Peter Gilham writes, “I only know this because of Wikipedia, so I'll quote the entry here verbatim: "Neil Gamain's short story "The Problem of Susan" mentions a posthumously (for P.L. Travers) published work Mary Poppins Brings in the Dawn, in which Mary Poppins was Jesus' nanny and was therefore herself not part of God's creation." Alan Moore is presumably well aware of this, and I imagine it's relevant to the portrayal of Poppins here. The Wikipedia entry is here.”
Page 63. Panel 5. Philip Graves writes, “With the firm implication that Mary Poppins is either actually God or the earthly embodiment of the Holy Spirit (or Jesus' nanny), there's an interestingly far-right religious overtone in having her face down not merely the Anti-Christ, but Harry-Potter-as-Anti-Christ. The furor in some quarters over the supposed demonic overtones of Rowling's works stretches credulity. So it's curious - meta-textual? - not merely that Moore has cast HP in that role, but that he resorts to having a Higher Power turn up and sort it all out.”
Greg Baldino writes, "Jess, I just realized rereading the entire run of League that in both the Black Dossier and 1910 there are references to the goddess Smarra, and specifically her terrible power and forseen return during a new aeon. Could Mary Poppins at the end of Century 2009 be intended as an elaborate literary pun? Smarra=Mary"
Ronald Byrd writes, "FWIW, re the Mary Poppins/Christianity thing, in one Mary Poppins book, she IIRC claimed Methuselah was her uncle. Part of Mary Poppins's whole deal was thatshe was (as a jackdaw once referred to her as) "The Great Exception," someone unique even in the weird creepy magical Invisible-London whatever-you-want-to-call-it that her friends and relations inhabited. Only she, for instance, retained the ability to understand animal-talk (hence the jackdaw), which all other humans lose early in childhood (I mean, you know, in Travers-World). So I guess she's also Christ-like in that there's never been anyone like her before and there'll never be again. OSLT. Here's a phrase I added to Wikipedia on her some time last year or so: "In literary terms, she might be described as a character who exists in every conceivable fantasy genre (gothic, mythic, urban, etc.) at once: There are many strange people and phenomena in the world, but only Mary Poppins is familiar with them all.""
Page 64. Panel 7. Pádraig Ó Méalóid writes, “where the head of Haddo says 'You play a very subtle game...' I think this is referring to the fact that the whole of Century has been a set-up by Prospero, aka Johannes Suttle, and may actually refer back to the going on in Færie’s Fortunes Founded in Black Dossier. Certainly there's more going on than meets the eye, and Mina and Orlando seem to have been manipulated as much by Prospero as they had previously been by M and Campion Bond.”
Page 65. Panels 3-5. “I rocked the baby gods to sleep before time started...and I am companion to the women who paste up the stars. The quarters of the world are bound unto my compass. I have taken tea with earthquakes. I know what the bee knows...”
This monologue is reminiscent of the Book of Job, 38, in the Bible, the famous passage in which God asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” Harlequin adds, "" and I am companion to the women who paste up the stars" In the first book, Poppins introduces the children to Maia, one of the Pleiades."" Daniel O'Malley adds, "Mary Poppins and the Banks children visit a confectioner’s shop run by Mrs. Corry and her two daughters. They purchase gingerbread studded with stars made of gold paper and the shop vanishes (inevitably) as soon as they leave. Later, the children witness Mary Poppins and the Corry women pasting those same paper stars up into the sky. Mrs. Corry is incredibly long-lived, having been well out of her teens when she witnessed the making of the world. She knew William the Conqueror, and swapped recipes with Alfred the Great. She is in the habit of breaking off her long fingers and giving them to the children to suck (her fingers regenerate as different forms of candy). Mary Poppins, it is noted in the book, is surprisingly courteous to Mrs. Corry." Dawn also noted this.
“What the bee knows” is the title of a 1989 collection of essays by Travers. Cuitlamiztli Carter writes, “In the most famous of all Hittite myths (which is a small corpus nowadays), that of the rage and hiding of Telepinu, the great goddess Hannahanna sends a bee to track down the missing god. All the other gods, plus the mighty eagle, were unable to find him. The Thunder God even mocks the idea of sending the bee, who proves able to find Telepinu. This may seem like a thin connection, but Alan is making God expressly female here, and sending Her to deal with a raging, immature being. Likewise, it was Hannahanna and Kamrusepa who found and calmed Telepinu, respectively -- the former using information from a questing bee. Heck, in the Hittite myth, the bee stings Telepinu. In a sense, by finding and then occupying our Anti-Christ until divine help can arrive, the League remnants are operating like the bee.”
“The quarters of the world are bound unto my compass.” Myles Lobdell writes, “This is a reference to Mary Poppins' Magic Compass. There is a scene in which Michael steals Mary Poppins' Magic Compass. Four gigantic figures run at him: an Eskimo from the north; a black African from the south; a Chinese person from the east; and a Native American, complete with tomahawk, from the east. Michael drops Mary Poppins' compass, and pleads for her intercession. She willingly intercedes (only she can control the four quarters of the world).”
Page 67. Panel 1. “Splish splash.”
Greg Arnott writes, “When I read "splish splash" I was reminded of Anna Livia Plurabelle from Finnegans Wake.” Robert Getz (also noted by Gareth Price) writes, “I thought the "Splish Splash" was meant to reference MP's "Spit Spot" command to the children.”
Page 68. Panel 1. “Can she do that? I mean...coloured chalk. Can she just change reality?”
She can and does in Mary Poppins, in a scene with frankly horrific implications. Rich Johnston adds, “Mary Poppins is of the Blazing World, an extra dimension to the rest of the world, hence the need for the glasses. She reduces the Moon Child by removing a dimension, so he is two dimensional...”
Panels 5-6. “Allan’s dead. Tell Prospero that. Tell him Allan Quatermain’s dead.”
William Jennings writes, “Given the appearance of a supreme diety resembing Mary Poppins in the finale, I think that these are all allusions to the idea of regeneration and change. However, as different as these fictions appear, they are really masks of the same hero. This follows an idea proposed by Joseph Campbell soem time ago about the structural nature of myth and stories. Even a character like Allan Quartermain may be dead, but we can look forward to the new Emma Peel-like form. Both are strong, tough, heroic types. The same can also be said of the Mary Poppins like deity knew that Quartermain was dead because he/she is Prospero, but simply donning a new mask. “
Greg Arnott writes, “Prospero's relationship to Mary is reminiscent of John Dee's "real life" access to Babalon, or the Angel of the Seventh Aethyr. I'm pretty sure that Mary, in
Page 70. Panel 1. These are three of Steed’s partners on The Avengers: Mrs. Peel, Venus Smith (the blonde), and Tara King (in the rear).
Tom Jordan disagrees: “Fairly sure that's Purdey as portrayed by Joanna Lumley from The New Avengers. I see her haircut hasn't changed either.”
Robert Getz (also noted by Sean Levin, among many others) writes, “I agree with Tom Jordan here. Panel 3 on the following page has her saying "Christ. He smells more of smoke than I do." which would seem to reference Lumley's other famous role, the perpetually smoking Patsy Stone from TV's "Absolutely Fabulous."”
Keith Kole writes, “In another bit of dual casting by Alan Moore, Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale looks and dresses just like Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore.
“Interestingly, John Steed has a couple of metatextual moments in the Avengers involving Honor Blackman leaving the show to be in the Bond film "Goldfinger" (1964). In the epilogue of her final episode "Lobster Quadrille", Steed wisecracks to the departing Cathy as she's off to the Bahams for a holiday that she'll be, "...pussyfooting along those sun-soaked shores." "...I'm not going to be be pussyfooting along those sun-soaked shores," Cathy responds, "I'm going to be lying on them." Steed muses, "Not pussyfooting? I must have been misinformed". Funnily enough, upon her departure, Steed immediately phones his next-in-line "Talented Amateur", who is, presumably, Emma Peel.
In the following years' "Too Many Christmas Trees", Steed and Mrs. Peel are going through Steed's Christmas cards when he is pleased to receive one from, "Mrs. Gale. How nice of her of remember me." Noting the postmark, Steed wonders, "What can she be doing in
Cathy Gale should be familiar with
And finally, why shouldn't the female
Page 71. Panels 4-5. “That’s why we’re hurrying to meet Cathy at the airfield.”
“Another ex-agent who has some experience as a flight instructress.”
This would be Cathy Gale, who was Steed’s assistant on The Avengers for three seasons. Alex Tulloch adds, “Cathy’s experience as a flight instructor is presumably a reference to Honor Blackman’s dual roles as Cathy Gale and Pussy Galore.”
Panels 5-6. “You needn’t worry about the girls saying anything. We’re all tremendously loyal. I suppose it’s that we all used to be in love with the same man.”
This supposition is not all that fanciful, considering Steed’s relationships with each of the women. I think
Page 72. Panel 2. “Zuvendis”
Page 73. Panels 7-8. “We, uh, we were just discussing
Paul Slade writes, “There's one very specific British reference there, though, which I thought might slip by you. On the penultimate page, the flirting
"Ugandan relations became the phrase for sex, usually adulterous, back in the Sixties. 'That was to do with James Fenton, a poet, who was caught upstairs with a Ugandan princess at a party. When he came downstairs he had obviously been doing what we thought he was doing but he said he'd been discussing Ugandan affairs. It was an immortal phrase, so from then on it was Ugandan relations or Ugandan affairs'."
And Wikipedia has this:
"'Ugandan discussions'", or a variation thereof, is often used as a euphemism for sex, usually while carrying out a supposedly official duty. The term originally referred to an incident at a party hosted by journalist Neal Ascherson and his first wife, at which fellow journalist Mary Kenny had a "meaningful confrontation" with a former cabinet minister in the government of Milton Obote, later claiming that they were "upstairs discussing Uganda". The poet James Fenton apparently coined the term. The saying is often wrongly attributed to the antics of a female Cabinet minister in Idi Amin's government, who was caught having sex in a public lavatory at
“Ayesha’s city, Kor”
In She Ayesha lives in the ruins of the hidden city of
“...was pretty much ransacked during the Amin regime.”
“He was a Ugandan tyrant ,while you were in the nuthouse.”
In real life Idi Amin (c. 1925-2003) was a dictator of
Page 74. I thought this one too obvious to note, but obviously note. firstname.lastname@example.org was the first of many to note that the lion in the sky may be a reference to Mufasa from Disney’s Lion King. Matthew Meylikhov writes, “part of me thought that that could have been a slight parody towards the end of the League movie written by James Robinson. At the end of that, Quartermain died and was buried in a similar situation. Given the not-so-subtle commentary about modern culture and the related death of, it struck me as a possibility that this was both a reflection of that finale as well as
“Tarna the Jungle Boy”
Tarna the Jungle Boy was a strip in the British comic Swift for nine years. Quoting from here: “Tarna (unlike his almost namesake) had no back-story; he was simply a white boy in the jungle who could make himself understood to Toto the chimp and Tuski the elephant. “
I don’t know who this is a reference to. Steve Smith writes, “Richard Seymour:Jungle Lord was from 1940's comic Comet.”
“Sir Henry Curtis”
Henry Curtis is one of Allan Quatermain’s adventuring companions in H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (1885) and Allan Quatermain (1887).
I don’t know who this is a reference to. Steve Smith writes, “William King was King of the Jungle from the 1940's Dandy comic.Known as Bill King ,he was a big game hunter and animal tracker. Fraser of Africa was from the Eagle comic and also a white hunter/guide. Lastly Raboo,was the Lion Boy from the Dandy in 1949 to 50. Captured by a hunter he was sold to an American circus and the story concerned his escape from the circus and adventures while returning to
I don’t know who this is a reference to. Steve Smith writes, “Saber:King of the Jungle was from Tiger and Vulcan comics”
“Allan Quatermain, of
The first sentence is how Quatermain describes himself in King Solomon’s Mines. “Macumazahn” is Quaterman’s “Kafir name, and means the man who gets up in the middle of the night, or, in vulgar English, he who keeps his eyes open.”
I don’t know who this is a reference to. Sean Levin writes, “"Raboo". Raboo the Lion Boy was a character who appeared in The Dandy.”
The grave to the right of Quatermain’s is Umslopogaas’, Quatermain’s companion in King Solomon’s Mines and Allan Quatermain. The illustration on the stone is of Umslopogaas’ mighty axe.
Adam Twycross writes, “It looks as if so far no-one has pointed out what "Frase" refers to- this is on the final page, as we look at Allan's grave, and is on the grave in between Richard Seymour and Henry Curtis. This is Fraser of Africa, hero of the Eagle strip that appeared in the 1960s, illustrated by Frank Bellamy.”
Page 75. “Minions of the Moon by John Thomas. Originally serialised in Lewd Worlds Science Fiction, Ed. James Colvin”
“Minions of the Moon” is a science fiction story written in the style of the “New Wave,” which was the term bestowed on science fiction of the late 1960s which had an unusual amount of literary experimentation (unusual for science fiction of this era, anyhow) and had aspirations to art. “Lewd Worlds Science Fiction” was the nickname which writer Brian Aldiss bestowed on the magazine New Worlds, which embraced the New Wave.
“John Thomas” was one of the pseudonyms used by science fiction writer John Sladek.
“James Colvin” was one of Michael Moorcock’s pseudonyms.
“...the Selenites...” The Selenites originally appeared in H.G. Wells’ The First Men in the Moon (1901) and appeared in Century: 1969.
Page 76. John Hall writes, “The "A Harsh Mistress" in the heading is probably a reference to Robert Heinlein's 1960s novel "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".”
“The female myrmidons, part of a colony....”
This is a reference to the film Amazon Women on the Moon (1987).
“...a translucently complexioned blonde named Maza.”
Maza appears in Otis Adelbert Kline’s Maza of the Moon (as a serial, 1929-1930; as a novel, 1930), in which an interplanetary war breaks out between the Earth and the moon, which is inhabited by two races of beings similar to human Caucasians and human “Orientals.” The white moon men are ruled over by Queen Maza.
“The Nak-Kar are a breed....”
If this is a reference to something in particular I’m unaware of it. Sean Levin (also noted by Loren Collins) writes, “The Nak-Kar and the birds are both from Maza of the Moon.”
“Though distantly related to the stubby-winged and brightly-patterned moon-fowl...”
These were mentioned in Century: 1969. I still don’t know what they are a reference to. Harlequin writes, "These must surely be Mike Higgs's moonbirds as drawn in British newspaper strips from the seventies and later in US children's books (see http://www.fygar.de/comics/moonbird.php ). The cover of 'Holiday on the Moon' ( http://www.amazon.com/Holiday-moon-Moonbird-stories-Higgs/dp/0865926646 ) shows them in their "Easter-egg plumage"."
“...the solitary perverted giant who observes all our doings from afar...”
This is a reference to the Watcher, from Marvel comics. The Watcher is a giant alien who observes but only rarely interferes with the actions of humanity.
Page 77. “...her sister-monarch Mysta....”
This is a reference to “Mysta of the Moon,” a serial in Planet Comics (1945-1952). Mysta is a beautiful woman who is “sole possessor of the scientific knowledge of the universe” and uses that, and her robot servant, to fight evil.
“...maintenance crew supervisor Cyrus Pemberton...”
I don’t know who this is a reference to. Robert Getz (also noted by Rafael Jasso) writes, “Could be that
“Pete Munch” is presumably the father of police Sgt. John Munch, of American crime tv series Homicide, Life on the Street (1993-1999) and later Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present). Both series—and The Wire, in which Munch cameoed—are set in Baltimore, the home of Jules Verne’s “Baltimore Gun Club” (from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865)), the source of the first moon trip. Myles Lobdell corrects me: “Law & Order Special Victims Unit is set in
Ken Bauer writes, "
Ken Bauer writes, "Homicide, L&O:SVU's Det. John Munch, and The Wire's version of "Munch" are not the same character are two separate characters, both based on the same real-life Det. Jay Landsman found originally the focus of David Simon's Baltimore-based fact crime book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.
“Senior charge-hand Marlon Little...”
This is presumably the father of Omar Little, of the American crime series The Wire. The description of him here matches that of Omar, one of the Wire’s protagonists.
Alex Foix writes, "The Moon grown marijuana on Page 77 of Volume 3 of LOEG might be a reference to Aqua Teen Hunger Force, specifically the episode Moonajuana."
Page 78. “Stagman centrefolds...”
As seen in Black Dossier, Stagman is the Playboy of the world of the League.
Stagman appears in John Sladek’s The Müller-Fokker Effect (1973). In the novel, Stagman is a Playboy magazine analogue which is only successful because of its owner’s frustrated libido.
“Everyone else is in the recreation unite watchin’ some Montana Wildhack picture what my cousin tells me only got about three titty-shots in the whole thing.”
In Kurt Vonnegut’s
I’m unsure what film is being discussed here–perhaps the film of Wildhack mating with Pilgrim?
email@example.com writes, “Actually at the moment in my college dorm (the very building Scotts Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby) in
:...one of the black and white spotted metamorphic bipeds...” These were mentioned in Century: 1969. I don’t know what they’re a reference to. Graham Tugwell writes, “The "black and white spotted metamorphic bipeds" are references to Moony from the Moon, who is also shown being eaten on the final page of the text story.” Hardy Kiffer adds that Moony appeared in “Harold Hare's Own Paper from '59-'64.”
Page 80. “..expressed her thanks for the ninth time.”
Greg Arnott writes, “In the last section of Minions of the Moon, "Sins of the Father", Maza embraces Mina nine times. This is a reference to Yesod, the lunar sphere, being the ninth sphere upon the Qabalistic Tree of Life. In Steve Moore's Somnium Diana Regina explains that "we do everything in nines here".”
“...the black obelisks which you suggested were responsible for this sphere’s intermittent gravity...” These were mentioned in Century: 1969; they are a reference to the Monoliths of Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Sentinel” (1951) and the various films made based on it. Ethan Fleischer clarifies: "The black monoliths mentioned are not from Mr. Clarke's The Sentinel. The object found in The Sentinel is described as a metallic or crystalline mechanism. The black monoliths are from Clarke's and Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey."
“...the dead stare of the late James Moriarty...” Professor James Moriarty was created by A. Conan Doyle and appeared as Sherlock Holmes’ arch-enemy in “The Final Problem” (1893). We saw at the end of League v1 that Moriarty was projected into space while holding on to cavorite, and we saw in Century: 1910 an ice-locked Moriarty orbiting the moon. Here we see the final fate of Moriarty in the world of League.
Back Cover. If Michael Glass’ “What 15Peter20 Told Me” is a reference to something in particular, I’m unaware of it.
Ross Byrne (also noted by firstname.lastname@example.org ) writes, “Michael Glass is one of the protagonists of Rachel Caine's Morganville Vampires series of books (published 2006- present).”
Richard Pachter (also noted by Joe Street and email@example.com among many others) writes, “15Peter20 (back cover) is a fictional artist 15Peter20 from the Nathan Barley TV series created by Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker, who described the character like so, in a February 12, 2005 article from The Guardian:
Either a genius or a dazzling genius, depending on which way you look at it, 15Peter20 (real name Ian Phillips) has made his mark in the world of contemporary photography thanks to a series of shocking, gimmick-heavy exhibitions in which the gimmick quickly becomes attached to the underside of the art, then scuttles up its back, hops on its shoulders and screams which direction it should go in, while simultaneously flashing its bum at passers-by. His new collection, Piss Bliss, consists entirely of photographs of celebrities urinating, thereby expertly capturing their animal vulnerability while exquisitely forcing jocular postmodernity to commit taboobicide. These pictures are at once the most revealing portrait photographs ever taken and an absolutely bloody flabbergasting waste of the world’s time.
This piece appears in the book Fucking With Your Head Yeah? that came with the original Nathan Barley DVD release.
Greg Arnott writes, “Oh, and as a further explication of the back cover paiting...I think 15Peter20 refers to 1 Peter 1:15-20....at the end of the section it reads "...Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,..." so I think it's pretty pertinent. Of course, it could be derived from the gnostic Apocalypse of Peter....but the closest corresponding verse didn't really make that much sense in the given context.”
John Hall adds, “I had thought that 15Peter20 might be a biblical reference to chapter 15, verse 20, but neither of Peter's two epistles in the New Testament has enough chapters. However I then discovered that in the Apocrypha there is a book called the Apocalypse of Peter. My guess is that the title of the painting refers to verses 15-20 from the "Akhmim fragment". The translation by Roberts-Donaldson here:
gives verses 15-20 as follows:
15. And the Lord showed me a very great country outside of this world,
exceeding bright with light, and the air there lighted with the rays of
the sun, and the earth itself blooming with unfading flowers and full of
spices and plants, fair-flowering and incorruptible and bearing blessed
16. And so great was the perfume that it was borne thence even
17. And the dwellers in that place were clad in the raiment of
shining angels and their raiment was like unto their country; and angels
hovered about them there.
18. And the glory of the dwellers there was
equal, and with one voice they sang praises alternately to the Lord God,
rejoicing in that place.
19. The Lord saith to us: This is the place of
your high-priests, the righteous men.
20. And over against that place I saw another, squalid, and it was the
place of punishment; and those who were punished there and the punishing
angels had their raiment dark like the air of the place.
So I think that is what the painting is trying to portray - perhaps just verses 15 and 20 rather than all of 15 to 20.”
Sean Levin (also noted by Dennis Ferguson) writes, “Michael Glass is a psychiatrist assigned by Scotland Yard to evaluate serial killer Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct 2. By the end of the movie, Glass is institutionalized and wheelchair-bound; obviously he must have wound up in Coote's, which seems apt, given the sleazy sexuality in the Basic Instinct films.”
Thanks to: Joseph Adorno, Mike Anderson, John Andrews, Leo Antolini, Greg Arnott, Greg Baldino, Ken Bauer, Kurt Avery Belcher, John Bell, Eric Berlatsky, fbeukes, Ryan Bibb, Christian Bolte, Peter Borowiec, Will Brooker, Ross Byrne, Oliver Cantinelli, Mark Cardwell, Cuitlamiztli Carter, Jonathan Carter, Tim Chapman, Tim Chong, Bob Clark, Eamonn Clarke, Davide Clerici, Loren Collins, Joyce Cunyus, Greg Daly, Dan, Ryan Davies, Dawn, Paul Dawson, Ron Dingman, Rich Drees, Dickon Edwards, Eliot Elam, Neil Emmett, Patrick Farley, Dennis Ferguson, Ethan Fleischer, Alex Foix, Stephen Foxworthy, Maurice Franceschi, Gavin, Federico Gennari, Robert Getz, Peter Gilham, Damian Gordon, Philip Graves, John Hall, Kate Halprin, Ng Kiat Han, Chris Harback, Mark Harding, Harlequin, Michael Hodson, Kevin Holsinger, Michael Holt, Lee Horner, “Incognito,” Kai Jansson, Rafael Jasso, William Jennings, Eric C. Johnson, Rich Johnston, Brian Joines, Graham Jordan, Tom Jordan, Alexx Kay, Rodger Kibble, Hardy Kiffer, Keith Kole, Ugo Le Guével, Tom Lennon, Sean Levin, Myles Lobdell, David Lowe, Lukas, Luke, Adam M., D.J.P. Marks, Kevin J. Maroney, Chris Mayall, Dan McDaid, Michael McDonnell, Joe McNally, metalleg123, Matthew Meylikhov, Iain Milne, Mark Monastyrski, James Moore, Alwin Müller-Arnke, Gabriel Neeb, Chris Noel, Jam Norman, Daniel O'Malley, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, John O’Neil, Mark Oosterveen, Sidney Osinga, Richard Pachter, Alvin Pang, John Russell Pelt, Gareth Price, Robert Prosser, Cenate Pruitt, Ed Quinby, Steve Ray, Doug Rednour, Steve Replogle, Anthony Roberts, Constantine S., Ray Sablack, Mark Seddon, David Simpson, Paul Slade, Daniel D.W. Smith, Hayes Smith, Steve Smith, Steve Smith, Lee Sparks, Alan Stephen, Jonathan Stover, firstname.lastname@example.org, Joe Street, James Taylor, Saul Taylor, Kelly Tindall, John Trumbull, Graham Tugwell, Alex Tulloch, Adam Twycross, Joe Vince, Adrian Ward, Zach Wellhouse, Julian West, Matt White, Simon Whitelaw, Steven Whyte Ian Wildman, Scott Wilkinson, Fletcher Wortman.