Annotations to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Tempest #2
by Jess Nevins and divers hands.
Cover. I don't know what TV 2010 is a reference to.
The "Dugong," seen in Tempest #1, page 10, panel 2, is from Stingray. The "Titanian Terror-craft" is a reference to Titan, the main villains of Stingray. The "Genotian pirates" are from Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera's novel Le Theatre des Passions (1731). Nacumera is an imaginary island of dog-headed warriors from John Mandeville’s fictional voyages, as seen in The Travels of John Mandeville (1571).
I'm not sure what the "Giant humanoid seen on ocean bed may be aqua-yeti" is a reference to--Time Bandits, maybe?
"SPECTRUM" is the worldwide security organization Spectrum, from the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson t.v. show Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-1968).
Page One. As with the Look-and-Lament in Tempest #1, this recapitulation of Frank Bellamy's career is accurate, sadly.
Page Two. Panel One. Vauxhall is the home to MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service. Alembic House was allegedly home to MI6 in the 1960s. Its top two floors were a converted penthouse which was the home of John Barry, who wrote many of the best soundtracks to the James Bond films. In the 1970s it became home to hack thriller writer and politician Jeffrey Archer. Much more about Alembic House and Vauxhall is available here.
I don't know what song Bond is humming.
Panel Two. Here begins a trip into the League's past.
Unless I'm misremembering, the "Victory Vanguard" Bond speaks of is new, post-dating by a year the Seven Stars seen in the backup section of Tempest. Possible members of the Victory Vanguard are in the file on his lap, both of whom look familiar to me, neither of whom I can place.
The book entitled "Prospero's Men 1610-1696" is a reference to the first League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which consisted of: Prospero and his two spirits Ariel and Tempest (from Shakespeare's The Tempest); Orlando; Don Quixote (from Miguel de Cervantes' The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha); Christian (from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress); and other, so-far unnamed members.
Notice the Harlequin cigarette case on the table near Bond's feet--same cigarette case formerly owned by Campion Bond and appearing at the beginning of League v1 #1.
The cat is a reference to something, no doubt, but I'm not sure what.
Panel Three. "Warralson's Squadron" was the 1946 League. "Joan Warralson" was W.E. Johns' "Worrals," who appeared in various stories and novels from 1940 to 1950. Worrals was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force who shot down lots of Germans during World War Two.
"Peter Bradey's invisibility" is a reference to Peter Brady, a.k.a. The Invisible Man, from the 1958-1959 BBC tv show of the same name.
Panel Five. The man on the page on the left, William Samson Jr., was seen before as a member of Warralson's Group. Samson Jr. is "Wolf of Kabul," from Wizard, Hotspur, and Rover (1922-1972), an agent for the British Intelligence Corps active on the northwest frontier of India, "right at the east end of the Khyber Pass."
The man on the page on the right is Crash Britanus, from Crasho Comics #1 (1947), one of the post-war attempts at a British superhero.
Pages Three & Four. Panel One. We see here the long-rumored fight between Hugo Hercules (seen in Tempest #1) and Hugo Danner, the hero of Philip Wylie's Gladiator (1930). Danner, a superhuman (given a special serum by his scientist father), is one of the models for both Doc Savage and for Superman.
Panel Three. "A Mr. Savage doesn't want competition for his superhuman son." This is a reference to Clark Savage, Senior, who raised his son, Doc Savage. to be a man of superhuman strength and abilities.
Panel Five. "Ah, Utopia sullied itself, starting that war with Brobdingnag." "Utopia's colonizers instigated that conflict! Giants, like you!"
Utopia is the utopian civilization detailed in Thomas More's Utopia (1516). Brobdingnag is one of the lands visited by Gulliver in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726). The idea of a war between Brobdingnag and Utopia is Moore's, as is (as best I can tell) the notion that Utopia was colonized by giants.
Panel Six. "Join Gargantua in extinction!" Ah, I see. "Gargantua" is a reference to the giant of the same name from Francois Rabelais' books about Gargantua and Pantagruel. Gargantua, then, and perhaps Pantagruel colonized Utopia.
Panel Eleven. "I'm a quarter god." Hugo Hercules was not given an origin in his original comic strip appearances--but then, he didn't have an Irish accent, either. Presumably Moore is implying that one of the Celtic gods is Hercules' grandfather. Suggestions on which one?
Page Seven. The layout and format of this page is a reference to the comic strips of the early twentieth century, like the following, from one of Hugo Hercules' original appearances:
Panel Five. "Haciocram, isle of prophets," is one of the islands in the Riallaro archipelago, from John Macmillan Brown's Riallaro, the Archipelago of Exiles (1901) and Limanora, the Island of Progress (1903).
Page Eight. Panel Five. The "pink child" is a reference to Marco Denevi's "La niña rosa" (1966), mentioned in League v1n3. In "La niña rosa" the Pink Child (who has no knees or elbows, because they are ugly) rules over the pretty Pink Palace.
Panel Seven. "I pray thee, do not rise" is one of two phrases the Pink Child utters.
Page Nine. Panel Two. Here begins Alan Moore's lighthearted commentary on superheroes.
The old man saying "zam" is, I think--I hope--Billy Batson, the alter ego of the original Captain Marvel, created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. (You can tell it's Batson--or, I guess, Captain Marvel, because of the black dots for eyes).
Panel Three. "Sam? You mean, Uncle Sam, with the top hat?" This is a reference to Will Eisner's Uncle Sam, the embodiment of American patriotism.
The doctor with the syringe is chasing someone with winged ankles, which can only be Bill Everett's Atlantean hero the Sub-Mariner.
Panel Four. The woman floating near the ceiling, "Miss Joyce," is Madeline Joyce, a.k.a. Otto Binder and Al Gabriele's patriotic heroine Miss America. Miss America could fly, which is why Miss Joyce here is floating.
Panel Five. The prone figure who has formed a noose around his own neck is Jack Cole's stretching hero Plastic Man.
I don't know who the two seated figures are.
"Lounge singer and media personality Johnny Gentle has challenged President David Palmer to produce his birth certificate." This is triple reference: to the real-life singer John Askew, a.k.a. Johnny Gentle, who fronted for the Beatles once upon a time; to President David Palmer from the t.v. show 24; and to Donald Trump's persistent, racist challenges to Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate to prove that he was an American. (I don't know what Johnny Gentle did to merit a comparison with Trump).
The man with the twin-rocket jet-pack is the Silver Age hero Adam Strange, created by sexual assailant Julius Schwartz and Murphy Anderson.
I don't know who the man with the swastika tattoo is, or even if he's meant to be a reference.
The man facing him, wielding a toy boy and arrow, is the Silver Age version of the archer vigilant the Green Arrow, created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp.
"Why, Jimmy Logan, you fabulous brute." This identifies the speaker as James Logan, a.k.a. Captain Universe.
Page 10. Panel One. "Linda! And Kim! How are my two favorite Hollywood sexpots!" "Linda," on the left, is Linda Turner, the Black Cat, created by Alfred Harvey and Al Gabriele. "Kim," on the right, is Kim Brand, the Fly-Girl, created by Robert Bernstein and John Rosenberger.