Phase III: Prologue "Message in a Bottle"

We open on Alternative 666. For those of you who hadn't realised, this appears to be the D.C. Thomson universe (Beano and Dandy, etc) Since 2000 A.D. was an IPC comic at the time (rival publisher) and some of the characters we see were still in use, all the names have been changed to protect the innocent (or avoid a lawsuit if you prefer). Of course, another way of looking at it is the Lloigor proceed to trash IPC's competition, only to have the heroic types from IPC arrive to save them...

The first two characters we see are possessed by the Lloigor. They are:

Miss Wonderstarr - but who is she based on? Anyone know?Miss Wonderstarr - Starr of Wonderland. It took me a while to find out who she was - first Ray Girvan told me that according to the Yahoo Comic books and Movie Tie-ins group, Starr of Wonderland "appears as a comic strip in the Diana For Girls Annual 1970." Then Dennis Ray sent me images and information, allowing me to confirm this and do an entry for her.

We see in Part 9: "Adventure Playground" that she used to run "Miss Wonderstarr's Magic Kingdom" before she was possessed. We see in flashback that she probably killed Prince Mamba. She dies in the next episode, #10 "All The Fun of The Fair" when Lux rips her head off her shoulders.

Bryan Johnson mentions that "I'm positive that Steve Yeowell's drawings of this character were based on Sousie Soiux of The Banshees fame." Steve Whitaker, who knows both Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell, confirms this.

This guy is another victim of Lloigor possession. One of the distinctive features about him is his winged ankles - I think he is Jack Flash. He kills several of the other heroes, including Steel Claw and Spring-Heeled Jock. He is finally killed when Tiger Tom and Tammy blow up his dimension.

Jimmy Quick - this is the Beano's Billy Whizz, who still appears in that comic to this day. Jimmy dies escaping through the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, where he was seen to arrive at the end of Phase 2. Severely burned, he delivers the distress call from his world, but passes away in Mantra's arms.

Steve Whitaker notes the less cartoony appearance of Jimmy Quick was based on singer Jimmy Somerville.

Tiger Tom and Tammy - better known as Billy the Cat and Katie. Another pair of characters from the Beano (and Buster). Tammy spends the entire story ill, and then offers to be the one who stays behind and activates the bomb that destroys Alternative 666. Tiger Tom stays behind too, because she "has always been his favourite cousin." They are about to kiss when the Lloigor burst in on them.

As Ray Girvan points out "although Tiger Tom and Tammy are largely based on Billy the Cat and Katie, Tiger Tom's striped costume also alludes to Tiger Tim (1920s onward) and Tammy's name to "Tammy", the IPC girls' comic." Tiger Tim, I should point out, is not a superhero character, and so not listed on this site, but you can see where he has turned up in a superhero title by clicking here, and going about a quarter of the way down the page.

He's not named, but this is General Jumbo. While we don't see him properly until part 5 "Letter from the Underworld", he is in this prologue - we see him dead, face down in the sea with his trousers round his ankles. Quite what Grant felt he did to deserve so ignominious a death I don't know.

His toys are see to be scattered around, mostly destroyed, although the possessed Mr Why is playing with some of them.

His corpse is seen on the beach next to where General Jumbo is seen floating in the sea.  We see him more clearly in part 5, when Prince Mamba's account is played. I'm not sure who he is meant to be; Dennis Ray suggests Argo, and the costume certainly matches reasonably well, but that doesn't quite fit with everyone else on this world being a DC Thomson character. Anyone out there got a clue?

Took me a moment to recognise this one, but it's Captain Hornet from the Hornet comic. This is the only time we see him, his Hornet-Hoverer a smashed wreck.

Identified as Mr. Why, this Lloigor possessed hero is one of the main villains on Earth 666. He is finally killed when the dimension is destroyed. When we first see him, he is playing with the deceased General Jumbo's toys, and later he identifies himself to Zenith as Iok Sotot in a new body.

He seems to be based on the Amazing Mr. X, although the physical resemblance is limited.

Chapter 1: "Nadir"

Apart from Zenith, the only superhero to show up in this segment is:

Acid Robot Archie - this is simply the original Robot Archie, now an acid freak. He survives this Phase, but appears to die in Phase IV, when Voltage overloads him and his head explodes. However this is later shown to be merely the version of him inside Chimera. We last saw him in the one-off episode in the 2001 issue, escaping on a bus after sexually assaulting Britney Spears!

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