League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Nemo: Roses of Berlin annotations

By Jess Nevins

 Updates in blue.

Page 3: Padraig o Mealoid writes, “This image is very similar to the embracing skeletons image from Watchmen.”

Page 4: “Captain Nemo: Science Pirate and Butcher.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects me: "Schlachter does indeed mean butcher, but the context is wrong, as "Schlachter" simply means the vocation of someone who kills animals and processes their meat. "Butcher" in the sense of a senseless violent killer would be "Schlächter", written with an umlaut and pronounced differently. As it is, the caption is unintentionally funny to German readers. It's a bit like reading "Adolf Hitler: War criminal and painter"."

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “This is presumably meant to be a German propaganda poster, depicting Janni Nemo attacking a Red Cross ship. Interesting that she’s referred to as a butcher here, when she also uses the expression to refer to the people holding Hira & Armand. All a matter of perspective, what?" David Malet adds, "The Nemo poster may be a nod to the 1943 Nazi propaganda version of Titanic by UFA Studios, which also produced Metropolis. There's some resemblance to the movie poster,   http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036443/ and in the film the tragedy was the direct fault of the White Star cruise line, which has an advertisement in this position in Heart of Ice."

Page 7. Panel 1. The “X X” symbol is the symbol of the Tomainian forces of Adenoid Hynkel. It will be repeatedly seen throughout this issue.

Panel 2.Heil, Hynkel.”

                        As shown in the previous issues of League, there is no Adolph Hitler in the world of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, just as there is no Mussolini and various other major world figures. What we have instead are literary or filmic analogues for these characters. In this case, Hitler is replaced by Adenoid Hynkel, the Hitler analogue from Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator (1940). Set in the fictional country of Tomainia, The Great Dictator is about the rise to power, anti-Semitic behavior, and aggressive political activities of Hynkel.

            “Yes, yes. When these wild blacks yonder are done burning their mummies, I think we can dispense with the formalities. What did her royal majesty have to say about our plan?”

            As a reaction to the cold desert nights, a native Egyptian tradition was to burn mummies to keep warm. David Malet corrects me: "Rather than Egypt, this scene appears to be taking place at the entrance to Kor. In addition to the entrance to the lost city, the Amahagger outside the gates burn corpses in She."

            Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects me: "Again, the English translation is *sort of* correct. However, the German dialogue refers to the blacks as "burning mummies", not as being engaged in the act of setting fire to mummies, but as *being* mummies who are on fire - which is clearly not what the picture is showing, and anyway would be absurd."

            Panel 3. “She was very pleased with it, my Führer. If we meet their conditions, they will not stand in the way of Field Marshal Rommel's campaign.”

            “Do you hear that, Erwin? We have removed the last obstacle to your victory.”

            “That is wonderful news, my Führer. What are "their demands?”

            The second individual from the right is Adenoid Hynkel himself. The individual on the far right is Erwin Rommel (1891-1944), the German Field Marshal during World War Two who became known as “the Desert Fox” because of his exploits while in command in North Africa. Niclas Siljedahl writes, "Since virtually all League characters are taken from literature or film, this could be the James Mason version of Rommel, from the movie "The Desert Fox" (1951). The face in Panel 5 looks slightly more like Mason than like the historical Rommel." Jokes0105 also noted this.

            Marc Dolan writes, "you never identify the third man in the staff car. I can't offer any conclusive evidence, but I wonder if he might be Major Strasser from Casablanca."

            Panel 3. “She still has a bill to pay, for this she needs our help. Your opponent is also an enemy of Germany and Tomainia, so this drama will play out in our city. Her royal highness in Berlin not only solves their problems, but also ours….”

            So in the world of League there is both Germany and Tomainia, and Hynkel is the dictator of both. Berlin is the capital of Germany. Another location, as we’ll see, is the capital of Tomainia.

            Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, ""Sie hat noch eine Rechnung zu begleichen." "She still has a score to settle" - not "a bill to pay", although that is the literal translation."

            Panel 4. “…and then we'll see whether the people still think I look ridiculous.”

            In the world of League Hynkel exists, therefore The Great Dictator, with its wickedly effective mockery of Hynkel, was about a real person, not an analogue for one. The Great Dictator was successful in drawing attention to how ridiculous Hitler looked. Lukas Prebio writes, "Not only is this an obvious jibe at Chaplin's performance, but it also fits surprisingly well into Hitler's rhetoric, who said similar things about Germany. Here's an appropriate quote: "Of those, that used to laugh, many don't laugh any more. Those that still laugh, may stop laughing soon." (speech from November 8th, 1942, concerning the cordoning of Stalingrad)"

Page 8. Padraig o Mealoid notes, “Janni seems to be wearing a version of the Niqāb, or Muslim face veil.

Page 9. Panel 2. “Our son-in-law is French, Jack. We could hardly remain neutral.”

            As was explained in previous issues of League, the son-in-law of Janni Nemo is Armand Robur, the son of Captain Jean Robur, of Jules Verne’s Robur the Conqueror (1886) and The Master of the World (1904). In the first novel the French Robur is the inventor of a heavier-than-air aircraft who proves its superiority to lighter-than-air aircraft; in the second novel Robur is a maniac who attempts to terrorize the world from his aircraft.

In the world of League Robur was a kind of colleague and rival of the original Captain Nemo, but Robur’s son Armand married Nemo’s granddaughter Hira Dakkar, thus joining together the Nemo and Robur families.

Eric Berlatsky writes, regarding Hira: "The name ³Hira² was stuck in my head as linked to Michael Moorcock¹s The Cornelius Chronicles. In those books, Prof. Hira is male, but I still think there may be a link to the Hira in Nemo. In particular, Prof. Hira also turns up in the Oswald Bastable novels, including Warlords of the Air. That book revolves around airship battles, which, of course, links it indirectly to Hira¹s husband and Wells' Robur novels from which they originate. They also are similar to the LoEG world in that they use others¹ characters and have a kind of steampunk alternate history to them. Jerry and Catherine Cornelius turn up in Black Dossier, I recall, and obviously Moore and Moorcock have a friendly relationship (Moorcock wrote a couple of the latter issues of Tom Strong, as I recall).

My colleague and friend Mark Scroggins, who is working on a Moorcock biography, wrote (after I floated the above connection to him), "One further just thought-of note: Janni Dakkar ---> of course Brecht's Jenny Diver, but why not also Moorcock's John Daker, original avatar of the Eternal Champion????²

I kind of like this idea and it helps explain, perhaps, the gender switch. (Jerry Cornelius underwent a gender switch at one pointŠand, if I¹m not mistaken, a racial one as well, so there is some precedent in that mythos for this kind of reversal)."

Panel 3. “Mr. Ishmael? Do we have a problem?”

As was established in previous issues of League, Ishmael, the harpooner from and narrator of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851), is a member of the crew of the Nautilus. Padraig o Mealoid corrects me: “The person here, though, is Tobias Ishmael, who is presumably the son of the original Ishmael, who died in Heart of Ice, but definitely had a wife and son at the time.”

“They’re saying something’s happened to Mr. Robur’s aircraft.”

“The Terror? Tobias, what is it?”

In The Master of the World, Robur’s super-airship is named “The Terror.

Page 10. Panel 2. “We take the Nautiloid along the Elbe.”

            The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe.

            Panel 4. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “This is presumably the Nautiloid, a replacement for the squid section of the original Nautilus, but now stored inside the mother vehicle.” Ian Wildman writes, "I don’t think the Nautiloid is a replacement for the squid section of the original Nautilus; it’s just a mini-sub shaped like a hermit crab, keeping with Nemo’s original animal-themed designs."

Page 11. Panel 1. “We’re lucky that Rotwang feller introduced so many changes.”

            See Page 14 below for information on Rotwang.

            “We took her to see the ghosts on Spectralia…”

            Spectralia is an island on the archipelago of Riallaro, from John Macmillan Brown’s Riallaro: The Archipelago of Exiles (1901). Riallaro is an island utopia near the Antarctic. Spectralia, part of Riallaro, is "the place of ghosts, where the supernatural can have things to itself without the intrusion of sceptical worldliness and common-sense."

            Panel 3. “The markers are all in Rotwang’sbessersprecht’ symbol-language.”

            Bessersprecht” means “better-speak.” Rotwang has invented a superior alphabet to English for communicating, apparently. Padraig o Mealoid adds, “The idea of the Besserspecht is very like Newspeak from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.” Padraig later adds, “It’s possible the Bessersprecht is a version of  Charles K. Bliss’s Blissymbols / Semantography, which dates from around the same time.” Lukas Prebio writes, "As noted, 'Bessersprecht' (a faulty translation, by the way) is similar to Newspeak. This similarity becomes even more interesting when considering that the German version of Nineteen Eighty-Four translates Newspeak as 'Neusprech'. Furthermore, this might be a reference to real world Nazi reforms which put an end to a type of old German script called Kurrentschrift replacing it with common Latin writing - allegedly so that subjugated nations could read German propaganda. Bessersprecht's effect on legibility would be the opposite, of course."

Page 12. Panel 2. Why are the German troops asleep? See Page 15 below.

Pascal Lavoie notes, "One thing that I wanted to add to your annotations was how much the art of page 12, panel 2, mirrors the visual styling of the most expressionist of all films "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". The crooked stairs, the long and overwhelming shadows... It is fitting since this is where we first see the sleep-troopers. It is the only time in the book where we are in Caligari's world, because soon after the story jumps right into Metropolis'."

Jokes0105 writes, "The insignia of the Sleeping Soldiers is a cross between “Zzzz”, in comics often reference to sleeping and the SS symbol of the Waffen SS." Remy Christin writes, "I can't help thinking that the "ZZ" logo of caligari's Sleeping Commando are also a reference to Zorglub's hyptotized troups from Franquin's series "Les Aventures de Spirou et Fantasio"."

Page 13. Panel 1. For the identity of the three characters, see Pages 14 and 15 below.

            Teufel” means “Devil.”

Page 14. This shot, of a futuristic Berlin, is an extrapolation of the Berlin of the Fritz Lang movie Metropolis (1927). The film is set in an unnamed future dystopia which is ruled by Joh Frederson but was designed by the inventor Rotwang. (In the world of League he is “Carl Rotwang”).

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “The steep incline on the right-hand side with all the people on it is a direct image from Metropolis.” Padraig later adds, “Utamoh: In Metropolis, we see the words UTAMOH X THUMO written on the side of a building, lettered downwards, like this:

U

T

A

M

O

H

 

X

 

T

H

U

M

O

What’s interesting about this is that you could flip the letters vertically, as they’re all mirror images of themselves. As you can see in this image, lettering on other buildings is actually in reverse, suggesting it has actually already been flipped.”

Page 15. Panel 1. “I must say, this is a damn mess. Why did no one in my criminal empire know about these new explosive harpoons?”

            “Careful, dummy! You will let me fall! Do not complain, Mabuse. At least it was my my sleeping commandos who were slaughtered.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""Careful, you imbeciles! You're going to drop me! Don't complain, Mabuse. After all, it was my Sleep Commandos who were slaughtered.""

            The speakers here are Mabuse and Dr. Caligari.

            Doctor Mabuse was created by Norbert Jacques and appeared in twelve movies and five novels, beginning with Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, 1922). Dr. Mabuse is the hypnosis-wielding master criminal of Berlin (hence the reference here to his “criminal empire”). Pascal Lavoie (Cumax3 also got this) adds, "the Mabuse in Roses of Berlin looks a lot like its portrayal by actor Rudolf Klein-Rogge in "Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse" (1933)."

            Dr. Caligari was created by Robert Wiene and appeared in Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920). In the film Dr. Caligari uses hypnosis to control a sleepwalker and commands him to commit crimes for Caligari.

            Obviously Moore’s extrapolation here is that Caligari used his hypnosis to create legions of “sleeping commandos.” Gabriel Neeb writes, "if you're familiar with the book From Caligari to Hitler, the author ventures the idea that German culture prepared the Germans for Hitler by encouraging an attitude of 'trance like' submission, as seen in the film Cabinet of Dr Caligari. So it makes sense, for Hynkel's most special soldiers, to be in a trance." Neil Emmett writes, "In his influential 1947 book From Caligari to Hitler, Siegfried Kracauer interpreted Caligari as a proto-Nazi figure who "stands for an unlimited authority that idolizes power as such, and, to satisfy its lust for domination, ruthlessly violates all human rights and values." He read the sleepwalking murderer Cesare as an innocent victim being manipulated by a corrupt authority to commit terrible deeds, and concluded that "Like the Nazi world, that of Caligari overflows with that of sinister portents, acts of terror and outbursts of panic". Could Moore be drawing on this interpretation?" Lukas Prebio writes, "The extrapolation that especially Caligari would work for the Nazis is convincing. Not only does he represent the institutionalization and the inhuman scientific experiments conducted in Nazi Germany, but Caligari's actor, Werner Krauss, later also worked for the Nazi propaganda film industry."

Panel 2. “I can not imagine that their deaths are so different. In addition, there are thousands more of the shit-commandos in the concentration-camps.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""I can't imagine death feels much different to them. Anyway there are thousands more of your shitty commandos in the concentration camps.""

“I told them to be careful. Mabuse, they are incompatible. Does our mission make you a little nervous?” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""Mabuse, you are insufferable." - The "sie" is the formal "you" here, not the plural "they"."

Panel 3. “What, because we were tasked to capture a member of the Nemo family? Because of our Fuhrer’s new freak ally? In contrast to them, Caligari, I'm not some crazy cripple. Of course I am ... questionable.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""Because of a whim of our Führer's new allies?" - There is nothing about a "freak ally" in the original German, but perhaps your translator arrived there via knowing the phrase "eine Laune der Natur", which can mean both a "whim of nature" and "a freak of nature". Just guessing..." and ""Of course I am anxious." - not "I am questionable". However this mistranslation stems from the incorrect original dialogue, as "bedenklich" indeed means "questionable". The proper German would have to be something like "Natürlich habe ich Bedenken" - "Of course I have misgivings"."

            Heh heh. Don’t worry. Our girlfriend will find them.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""Our friend will find them." - "Freundin" can mean both "girlfriend" and "a female friend" in German. Here I'm pretty sure it means the latter. Decadent as they are, somehow I doubt Caligari and Mabuse are having a menage a trois with Maria. :-)"

Panel 4. “Maybe. Meanwhile, we should split up to pursue our own projects. You know, sometimes he reminds me of the chief of the American comedians, Addie Hitler.”

There’s a reference here but I don’t know what to. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “If Adolf Hitler is replaced by Adenoid Hynkel, then why shouldn’t that well known London-born American comedian, Charles Chaplin, be replaced by Addie Hitler?”

James Bacon writes that ‘Addie Hitler’ “may be a reference to a Dandy comic story.”

Heh heh. Yes, you're right. Goodbye, Mabuse. I wish them all the happiness, that you will find our prey first.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""I wish you the best of luck, may you find our quarry first." - again, German pronouns are tricky. Depending on the case, "ihnen" can mean the formal "you", or "them"."

Panel 5. “I thank you. Likewise, naturally. Herr Doctor.”

Page 16. “…and Tomainia receives Meccania in the Pan-German Union. This will be celebrated tomorrow at exactly nine clock.”

            Meccania is a reference to Gregory Owen's Meccania, the Super-State (1918). Meccania is the ultimate in totalitarian dystopias, a state completely regimented and controlled by the government. It would be a natural ally of Tomainia. Jokes0105 writes, "In the world of the LoEG, perhaps Tomania represents Austria. Therefor the Anschluss was a unification of Tomania and Germany." Marc Dolan writes, "I seriously wonder what the realworld analogue of Meccania might be. Given the clues, I would suspect the Soviet Union, which was allied for a time with the Third Reich, even though there is also a Red Army here. But that still makes the analogy interesting--the Axis here is not Germany, Italy, and Japan, but rather Tomania, Bacteria, and Meccania. Is there a war in the Pacific? Is this truly a World War?"

            Padraig o Mealoid writes, “Is that meant to be Heinrich Himmler, the Reichsführer of the SS, speaking on the television?” Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, "That's definitely Himmler on the TV screen, unless somewhere there has been a pastiche of him that Moore could have used. There is none in "The Great Dictator" though. (See also my point for page 30)"

Page 17. Panel 3. The “Twilight Heroes,” mentioned in the Black Dossier, were the German response to the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

            “In another heroic German-Tomainian victory…”

            Panel 4. “…the hated war machine of the French criminal Armand Robur was destroyed by…”

            Padraig o Mealoid writes, “It seems that, in the world of the League, television was invented by Dr Rotwang, and not by John Logie Baird.”

Jokes 0105 writes, "Is the giant robot on this page (and on page 62) may be Tomanian version of the giant robot that featured in the 1934 German film, Master of the World?"

Page 18. Panel 1. “…German and Tomainian artillery above Mecklenburg Bay in the Baltic sea. The notorious air pirate Robur was caught trying to board a German airship, captured by surprise and alive. He is currently being held in the police fortress of Metropolis, expected to be tried and executed. In other good news…”

            Doug Rednour (Cumax3 also got this) writes, "The image of the Terror crashing (around page 18) looks to be based on the famous image of the Hindenberg crash."

            Panel 2. “…the Red Army was entirely driven back to Moscow. The Russian….”

Page 19. Panel 1. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “‘I’m nearing fifty…’ Janni was born in 1895 (because we know she was fifteen in 1910, during the events of Century: 1910), so in 1941 is forty-six, still a bit off fifty…”

Panel 4. “Shoot them both.” Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, ""Kill them both", not "shoot them both", although the result is the same. :-)"

Page 20. Panel 2. “Poor old Van Dusen” is a reference to Jacques Futrelle’s Professor Augustus S.F.X. van Dusen, the “Thinking Machine,” from 48 stories and 2 novels (1905-1912). He is a brilliant crime-solver, scientist and logician. He is “poor old” because he died in Antarctica, as seen in Nemo’s Heart of Ice.

Page 21. Panel 4. “Here speaks the man-machine. I have located the target.”

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “There is a 1978 Kraftwerk album called The Man-Machine, originally called ‘Die Mensch•Maschine’ in the original German. It contains a track called Metropolis, as well as a track called ‘Die Mensch-Maschine.’ Well worth listening to.”

Panel 5. “All units to the Hynkelstrasse ramp on the fifth level.” Lukas Prebio writes, "The name Hynkelstraße - which of course means Hynkel Street - fits nicely, since Hitler had the self-glorifying tendency to re-name a great number of major avenues and main squares in German cities Hitlerstraße or Hitlerplatz. Most of them were (re-)re-named after the War."

Page 22. Panel 1. “I am approaching them now.”

            Panels 1-2. This is the android Maria, from the film Metropolis. In the film she is obedient to Rotwang’s orders and was built by her.

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “At one point in Metropolis Rotwang disguises his robot as Maria, a member of the working classes, to try to incite them to riot, which is who we originally see on Page 19, above. The robot is eventually revealed beneath the skin due to a fire, as seen here, and the real Maria saved from a lynching.”

Page 23. Panel 1. “It’s like her highness from Toyland, Queen Olympia, or that American steam-man.”

            As mentioned in League v2 and the Black Dossier, Toyland—created by Enid Blyton and appearing in Noddy Goes to Toyland (1929)—is a country in the North Pole populated by toys and nursery rhyme characters. In the world of League Toyland is inhabited by far more than that, and is ruled over by Olympia, the doll from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s “The Sand-Man” (1817). Lukas Prebio adds, "Comparing Maria to Hoffmann's Olympia seems highly appropriate; not only are both from German works but Fritz Lang was also (allegedly) inspired by Hoffmann's novella when he created Maria. On a further note, while Moore portrayed Olympia rather positively so far, in the original text she is actually an extremely disturbing and inhuman figure. Sigmund Freud even used her as a basis for describing his concept of the 'Uncanny' ('Das Unheimliche')."

            The American steam-man is a reference to the titular android in Edward S. Ellis’ “The Huge Hunter, or the Steam Man of the Prairies” (Beadle’s American Novels, 1868), the first Edisonade.

Page 24. The men in the balconies on the left are controlling the electricity output; similar actions were seen in Metropolis.

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “In the upper left-hand corner we see a ten-hour clock, which is from Metropolis.”

            Cumax3 writes, " A massive splash page of the Moloch Machine taken directly from Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Which featured the workers of Metropolis being marched into it's maw to be devoured and consumed by the Moloch Machine in an image that O'Neil gives us taken straight from the film. "

Page 25. Panel 4. “The Eternal Garden: State Bordello.”

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “The Eternal Gardens are from Metropolis. They’re pleasure gardens for the rich young men from the elite classes. So, in other words, a brothel…” Doug Rednour adds, "The nightclub where Mabuse meets Nemo is undoubted based on Salon Killy, a Berlin brothel that the Nazi party had bugged to spy on foreign dignitaries and their own Nazi party members. It makes sense that Dr. Mabuse, a criminal mastermind, would be behind such a bugging setup in LOEG since he would be able to gather information for his own use. A movie was made about the club by noted Italian erotic director Tinto Brass."

Doug Rednour notes, "the woman on the trapeze in the brothel is wearing a headdress like the False Maria/Robot wears in Metropolis when she is wowing the crowd in Yoshiwara. Maybe in this universe, the good Maria is not dead but in the brothel."

Page 26. Panel 1. Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, "The sailor kneeling before the man with the canes has a hat on which we can read the final letters of a name: "-IME." I have no idea what ship this refers to. Likewise, the man with the canes looks to distinct to be a random character. And while we're at it, what's with the little fellow on the other side of the splash panel who is carrying the penis sign? Is someone getting a phone call?"

Jokes 0105 writes, "I feel that I should know some of the characters in The Eternal Gardens but I am struggling. I was wondering if one of the women is Lola-Lola from Blue Angel, played by Marlene Dietrich. Or perhaps Alraune?"

Cumax3 writes, "Does the fat man in back getting his top hat kicked off by the dancer look at all like George McManus's character Jiggs from his classic strip 'Bringing Up Father' to anyone besides me?"

Page 29. Panel 1. The Moloch Machine is from Metropolis. Video here.

            Panel 2.‘his original somnambulist…’ Dr Caligari’s original somnambulist, and the actual contents of the Cabinet in the title of the film, was Cesare, played by Conrad Veidt – whose name was partially influential on the name of another character from Watchmen, Adrian Veidt, AKA Ozymandias.”

            Panel 3. “Thus he strikes deals with Meccania, or with Benzino Napaloni of Bacteria.”

            Benzino Napaloni of Bacteria is the League analogue for Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. Ulrich Schreitmuller (Ian Wildman also noted this) adds that Napaloni is from The Great Dictator.

            Padraig o Mealoid adds, “‘exterminating Jews and brunettes.’ In The Great Dictator, Hynkel is also keen to exterminate brunettes.

             ‘Adenoid Hynkel: Strange, these strike leaders, they're all brunettes. Not a blonde amongst them.

            Garbitsch: Brunettes are trouble makers. They're worse than the Jews.

            Adenoid Hynkel: Then wipe them out.

            Garbitsch: Start small. Not so fast. We get rid of the Jews first, then concentrate on the brunettes.’”

Page 30. This is the Ayesha seen in Nemo: Heart of Ice, the immortal African monarch She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed from H. Rider Haggard’s novels.

            Panel 1. Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, "If Hitler is Hynkel in the world of LoEG, then standing behind him are probably Minister of Propaganda Garbitsch (Goebbels) and Field Marshal Herring (Goering)." Ian Wildman also noted this.

Page 31. Panel 1. “Go to Hell!”

            “Your royal highness, I have excellent news. My wonderful Maria has observed that the pirates are approaching headquarters. It is believed that they will arrive soon.”

            Panel 2. “Her royal highness, the sublime Ayesha, prefers not to speak your language. She finds it awkward.”

            Panel 3. “My Fuhrer, there are unconfirmed reports from Mecklenburg…”

            Panel 4. “Before the transfer was stopped, our outpost has reported that…”

            “Not now, dummy! I speak with a Queen.”

             Ulrich Schreitmuller writes, "The man saluting reporting is very likely the Thin Man mentioned later on page 39, because Hynkel calls him...

Page 31, panel 5: ..."sie ausgemergelter Schwachkopf!" ..."you emaciated imbecile!""

Page 35. Panel 1.Draw, my sleep commandos! Hands! Quickly!”

            “My Fuhrer, this has become a dangerous situation. Let the Dawn Heroes handle it.” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: ""Let the Twilight Heroes handle it." - "Dämmerung" can mean dawn, dusk and twilight in German, and "Zwielichthelden" seems to have been the established name for the German League pretty much until this panel."

            “Yes. Yes, that’s a good idea.”

Page 36. Panel 1. “Wounds of Christ…”

            “Oh, God! Shoot him, my dream-soldiers! Shoot him before he…”

Page 39. Panel 3.Der Mager Mann” is “The Thin Man,” one of Rotwang’s agents in Metropolis.

            Panel 5. “Attention, all (Sled troops?). Meet me on the roof of the Moloch Machine.” Lukas Prebio writes, "While there were actual German sled and skiing troops during both World Wars, this most likely is a mistake in the original English script which should have said 'sleep troops' (Schlaftruppen) instead of 'sled troops'. Personally, I see autocorrect as a likely suspect."

Page 40. Panel 2. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “‘Great Durg.’The Hindi goddess Durga.”

            “If Hira is fifteen in 1941, this means she was born in 1926, so probably conceived very soon after the events of Heart of Ice, which took place in 1925.”

            Jokes0105 writes, "The blonde woman in panel 2 is the secretary in The Great Dictator, played by Florence Wright."

Page 41. Panel 2. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “In The Master of the World, the Terror is used as an air, land, and water vessel, at various stages in the book, originally leading people to believe there were three different vehicles involved.”

Page 42. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “The Terror is equipped with those box-shaped Martian ray-weapons that the Victorian League would have dealt with in Volume II. Presumably these were back-engineered by the original Robur, and added to his arsenal. We see one in the League’s British Museum HQ, at some point.” Lukas Prebio writes, "Note that the sign on the back of The Terror (upper left corner) looks like a combination of N and R - Nemo and Robur. The giant green skulls on the front could be a reference to Nemo's skull nailed to the front of the Nautilus in Century: 1910."

David Malet writes, "The jet-pack German soldiers with stabilizer fin helmets are from The Rocketeer." Jokes0105 and Gabriel Neeb also noted this.

Page 43. Panel 4. “Sleep-commandos, open fire on the…”

Page 44. Panel 3. “I countermand the previous order! You should not open…” Ulrich Schreitmuller corrects my translation: "I guess this means "Do not open..." or "You are not to open..." - but the "sich" turns it into "You are not to open yourself..." which of course makes no sense."

Page 46. Panel 5. “Here is Robur, calling the Terror. I repeat, here is Robur. My love, I am with your mother on top of the Moloch Machine. I am so sorry to tell you, but your father is dead…”

Page 47. Panel 2. “I killed the Heavenly Mother of the West with a sword…”

            As seen in Black Dossier, Ayesha killed Hsi Wang Mu, the Chinese eavenHeaHea

Heavenly Mother of the West, Queen of the Immortals, on Mount K’un Lun.

Page 50. Padraig o Mealoid writes, “‘I suppose I shall have to give you what all your kind crave. You will of course want to know the location of my African pool, so that you too may be immortal.’

I think this may be the most important thing in the whole book. At the end of League: Century, there is some conversation about how dangerous it would be if there were an immortal Big Brother, or an immortal Hynkel. We can surmise from what Ayesha says here that she has given away the location of the pool that grants immortality to people before now. What if one of those people was her recent ally, Herr Adenoid Hynkel? After all, there have been stories of Adolf Hitler escaping from his bunker in Berlin, and living on in Brazil, or elsewhere in South America, so why not Hynkel? And, rather than through cloning, how about if Hynkel achieved immortality through simply not dying?”

Doug Rednour writes, "A weird connection between Hynkel and She that may play out in the series: Helen Gahagan Douglas played the part of She Who Must Be Obeyed in the 1935 Hollywood production of She. After her one film role, she entered politics... and she is the one who gave Nixon the nickname "Tricky Dick". So I wonder, if Hynkel is immortal due to access to the pool of immortality, if he will have assumed the name Richard Nixon in the 70's in another bid for power?"

Page 54. Panel 1. “It’s the Captain! He’s wounded!”

            Panel 2. “Lift it carefully. Not too fast.”

Page 57. Hildy Johnson, as mentioned in Nemo: Heart of Ice, is from the Broadway comedy The Front Page.

            Lincoln Island” is a reference to Lincoln Island, home to Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island (1874), the second of the Captain Nemo novels.

            “Guillaume.” If this is a reference to someone I don’t recognize it.

            Neil Carey writes, ""[A] single-story building artfully prefabricated around what appeared to be a solitary turtle-shell of unbelievable proportions."

My guess is 'Gamera was really neat/Gamera was full of meat/We been rentin' out Gamera?' (yuk-yuk-yuk) The first film's debut was roughly about when this interview was done, wasn't it?"

Page 58. “…the already-tottering Ubu dynasty’s regime.”

            This is a reference to Alfred Jarry’s play Ubu Roi (1896), about the murderous King of Poland. He is famous for his obscenity “merdre,” hence the “merdrers” here.

Finland’s relatively harmless and benign troll population.”

            This is a reference to the Moomintrolls, the lovable trolls from the Finnish Tove Jansson’s wonderful http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moomin Moomin books.

            “…or even their more vicious and belligerent near-relatives in Norway.”

            Just guessing, but maybe this is a reference to the Norwegian film Trolljegeren (Trollhunter, 2010).

            “…against the post-war U.S. communist administration of Mike Thingmaker.”

            Mike Thingmaker is a reference to Soviet science fiction writer Marietta Shaginian’s “Mess Mend” trilogy (1923-1925). In the books Mike Thingmaster (alternatively Thingmaker) is a Connecticut woodworker and a revolutionary Communist who defeats a corrupt capitalist conspiracy and achieves a Communist utopia in the United States.

            “…its ally in the ‘Big Brother’ Ingsoc regime which flourished in Great Britain…”

            As seen in Black Dossier during the post-WW2 period Great Britain was ruled by Big Brother, from George Orwell’s 1984.

Page 59. “Manfred Mors, a grandson of the famous 19th-century German Luft-Pirat who’d had family condemned to labor camps by Hynkel.”

            Captain Mors is a reference to the hero of the Der Luftpirat und sein Lenkbares Luftschiff ("the Pirate of the Air and his Navigable Airship") #1-165 (1908-1911). The creator of Captain Mors is unknown, but it is likely that well-known German science fiction writers of the era, such as Oskar Hoffman, may have been involved. Mors, the "Man with the Mask," is a Captain Nemo-like character, fleeing from mankind with a crew of Indians and involved in a prolonged fight against evil, both on Earth and on Venus, Mars,and the rest of the solar system.

            The original Captain Mors had his family imprisoned in labor camps by the Tsarist regime, so it is family tradition that Manfred’s family be imprisoned by another dictator.

            “…immediately after T.H.R.U.S.H. and SPECTRE…”

            T.H.R.U.S.H. was the international criminal conspiracy in the t.v. series The Man From Uncle (1964-1968). SPECTRE was the international criminal conspiracy opposed by James Bond.

            “The stench of the decaying giant ape that we transported to Skull Island for a decent burial.”

This is a reference to King Kong (1933).

            “…the radioactive exhalations of the huge bipedal saurian with which the Nautilus engaged some several years ago in waters off Japan.”

            This is a reference to Godzilla.

            “…and I remember yet annihilating nests of various extra-planetary species or prodigiously-sized nuclear mutants that were manifesting in America throughout the brief Thingmaker government’s regime and afterwards.”

            This is a reference to the various kaiju and atomic monster movies of the 1950s. David Malet adds, "This may be a specific reference to the 1960s film and television adventure series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which featured a high-tech submarine battling aliens and monsters."

Page 60. “…there are phantoms of the sort one reads about in the accounts of Silence or Carnacki.”

            “Silence” is a reference to Dr. John Silence, the ghost-buster created by Algernon Blackwood. “Carnacki” is a reference to Thomas Carnacki, the ghost-buster created by William Hope Hodgson.

Page 61. The statue of Hynkel balancing the world on his finger is a reference to The Great Dictator.

Lukas Prebio writes, " All the statues raise their left hand, while a real Hitler salute would have been done with the right hand. This was probably done to avoid being accused of portraying or even sympathizing with Nazism - a common legal danger."

Inside Backcover: Padraig o Mealoid writes, “grafittied on a wall we see the number 11811 - not a reference to the Eircom directory enquiries phone number, as you might think if you live in Ireland, but the number of one of the workers in Metropolis.” Padraig later adds, “Yoshiwara: This is a nightclub in Metropolis, which is itself named after a famous yūkaku or red-light district in Edo in the 17th century. That long lamp-shade is from the Yoshiwara club in the film Metropolis.

Chris Rodriguez writes, "The inside back cover has a man saluting and farting into the face of one of Hyknel's fallen statues. This is a reference to an old propaganda film/ song called "Der Furher's face" in which the singers 'Heil' (accompanied by a farting noise) right in the Furher's face."

 

 

Thanks to: Gerlinde Althoff, James Bacon, Eric Berlatsky, Neil Carey, Remy Christin, Cumax3, Miguel de Sousa, Marc Dolan, Neil Emmett, John Hall, Jokes0105, Pascal Lavoie, David Malet, Colin Mckeown, Gabriel Neeb, Padraig O Mealoid, Richard Pachter, Lukas Prebio, Doug Rednour, Chris Rodriguez, Ulrich Schreitmuller, Niclas Siljedahl, Ramón Wieszczeczynski, Ian Wildman.