On page 1, from what we can see of it and from the
description in the narrative balloons, the sign behind
Perfect Tommy's head says "PAINTED TOILET CACTUS
SOUTHWESTERN ART COMPETITION".
The narrative on page 1 reveals that Buckaroo's horse is
named Old Dan. Possibly the name was borrowed from that of
the dog called Old Dan in the 1961 children's novel
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.
On page 2, Tumblin' Tumbleweed is broadcasting the weekly
episode of Buckaroo Banzai's Radio Ranch, live on TV and the
worldwide web. The mention of a live broadcast on the
worldwide web suggests this story takes place in the 1990s
or later, not the '80s as might be imagined by Buckaroo's
continued mourning of Penny.
The song Lady Gillette sings on page 2 is "To Know You (Is
to Love You)", originally known as "To Know Him Is to Love Him",
written by Phil Spector about his father. In terms of Lady
Gillette, the song is obviously about her unrequited love
On page 2, panel 2, we see that the radio show is
broadcasting from the International Esperanto Conference &
Classy Chassis Car Show. Esperanto is a constructed
international auxiliary language invented by L.L. Zamenhof
in 1887 as a non-political, easy to learn language for use
internationally; there are approximately 2 million speakers
worldwide as of 2011 and an international conference is held
in a different country every few years. The Classy Chassis
Car Show is an annual event held in Kennewick, WA, so it
would seem the Esperanto conference has doubled-up with it
in the year this story takes place; as far as I can tell
International Esperanto Conference has never been in
Kennewick in the real world.
On page 4, Perfect Tommy remarks that Lady Gillette sure
does "make my motor run". Possibly he is referencing a line
from the 1979 song "My Sharona" by The Knack.
On page 5, Perfect Tommy explains to Dr. Hikita that his
breeches are made of leatherette. Leatherette is an
On page 6, Tommy promises to keep Reno's secret by the "oath
of the Flying Fish". The Flying Fish is a god worshipped by
the Lectroids of Planet 10, as revealed in the novelization
Across the 8th Dimension.
Also on page 6, Reno and Tommy mention the cities of Odessa
in both Russia and Texas, and Moscow in both Russia and
Idaho. These all actually do exist in those locations.
Again on page 6, Reno tells Tommy that a crazy Moldavian
smacked him with her fake leg. Moldavia is a region of
Eastern Europe in what are now the nations of Romania, Moldova, and
After losing the Jet Car, Reno asks Tommy to activate the
Lo-Jack on it so he can locate where it is.
is a tracking device and system which can be installed on
vehicles, and some other types of high-theft property, so that
it can potentially be relocated by police and returned to
the proper owner.
Reno tells Tommy he will give him his Webelo badge and a
fishing lure of his choice if he'll keep it secret that he lost
the Jet Car. A Webelos badge is the first badge earned at the
Webelos level of the Cub Scouts division of the
Scouts of America.
On page 9, Buckaroo enters the hospital, where the widow Oh
is being held in quarantine in a level 4 biosafety room.
There are four levels of biosafety, 4
being the level of precautions used for the most dangerous
biohazard agents, such as the Ebola virus. And yet, Buckaroo
enters without an ounce of protective covering!
On page 12, the Institute receives a call on the NORAD
NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a
joint operation of the U.S. and Canada to provide early
warning and defense against air and space offenses against
the two nations.
On page 13, New Jersey is taking the dead Lectroid to MRI.
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a technique used
in radiology to photograph details of internal structures of
On page 15, Buckaroo mentions Botox and the fact that it's a
commercial brand of botulism toxin. This is absolutely true
and though the botulinum toxin can cause botulism poisoning,
a life-threatening illness in humans and other animals, it
is also used for cosmetic purposes in reducing wrinkles on
the skin in humans. In the case of this story, Buckaroo is
using the neurotoxin effects of Botox to reduce the involuntary
muscle spasms being suffered by the widow Oh.
On page 17, the widow Oh reveals to Buckaroo that the Mir
still exists. Mir was the Russian space station which
orbited Earth from 1986-2001, burning up in Earth's
atmosphere when it was intentionally deorbited at the end of
its useful life. (In the TV pilot script, however, Buckaroo
makes mention of Mir having been shut down and left uninhabited,
which it was [except for a brief visit by two cosmonauts in April
2000] for about two years, from August 1999 to March 2001.)
It's a little hard to tell, but on panel 4 of page 17, Mrs. Johnson
accidentally jabs Buckaroo with a syringe filled with Botox,
temporarily paralyzing his right arm for the rest of this issue.
On page 18, the Cavaliers look at the MRI of the dead
Lectroid and Perfect Tommy sees an object he thinks might be
an IUD. IUD is short for intrauterine device, a form of
birth control for human women.
Also on page 18, Buckaroo tells Tommy he holds himself to
the Hippocratic Oath. This is the oath
taken by western doctors to obey a certain code of ethics.
The original version is believed to have been written by
Hippocrates in ancient Greece.
On page 19, Perfect Tommy puts his arms around two intern
babes, asking, "What's the story, Morning Glory?" Possibly
he is referencing the 1995 music
album of that name
recorded by the English rock band Oasis.
Page 20 seems to suggest that Dr. Hikita's first name is Roshi.
On page 20, Buckaroo asks Hikita to contact the Very Large
Array in New Mexico to get Earth's current coordinates vis
7000, 2237, 2264, 4755, and 5139 in the New General Catalog.
The Very Large Array is a complex of satellite dishes that
make up a radio astronomy observatory on the Plains of San
Agustin in New Mexico; the array is used by astronomers to
study objects in the cosmos. The New General Catalog (sic)
is a reference to the
New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, a
catalog of deep space objects. The numbers given by Buckaroo
correspond to known objects; 7000 is the North America
Nebula (so-called because its shape resembles the
North American continent); 5139 is Omega Centauri (a
globular cluster of stars); and 2237 is Melnikov, 2264 is
Sabrina, and 4755 is Nicky, asteroids in the belt between
Mars and Jupiter.
Also on page 20, Buckaroo says he needs to set up a
conference call with individuals at Max Planck and Mensa HQ.
Planck Society is a publicly-funded association of
research institutes in Germany.
Mensa is the largest and
oldest high-IQ society in the world.
Page 20 reveals that others besides Buckaroo have sensed
that things seem out of balance in the world lately. One of
them is Sonny Bono. Sonny Bono was an entertainer and
politician who died in 1998. That was before the Mir space
station went down, so it casts a discrepancy in the timeline
of this story; of course, in the Buckaruniverse, Sonny Bono
may not have been killed in the skiing accident that ended
his life in our world.
On page 21, a helicopter labeled KSPD is seen at Whorfin's
tower site near Moscow, Idaho. These also appear to be the
call letters (though they're partially obscured) of the
radio station hosting the tower he's used to support his
seismic resonator, as seen on page 26. The station is
promoted as a golden oldies station in the comic, but in the
Boise radio station,
part of the
Radio Christian radio network.
On page 21, a beautiful woman named Xan Hen is sent by Hanoi
Xan to see Lord Whorfin's seismic resonator in action in
Idaho. Possibly, Xan Hen is actually Hanoi Xan himself in a
female form. (The TV pilot script reveals that Hen is short
for Henrietta, so it's possibly that she and Henry Shannon
"Return of the Screw"
Part 1] are brother and sister, unless they are both
alternate identities of Hanoi Xan himself.)
Also on page 21, a young Blue Blaze Irregular snaps pictures
of Whorfin's meeting with Xan Hen and Whorfin orders his men
to "Get that kid, or we're all S.O.L.!"
S.O.L.=Shit Outta Luck.
On page 25, a number of Red Lectroids are seen wearing
jackets that say DEA. The DEA is the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Agency. (In the TV pilot script, the Lectroids have
misspelled the acronym as DOA, which traditionally stands
for Dead on Arrival.)
The virtual pet that Whorfin admits he keeps in order to
watch it die appears to be a Tamagotchi, made by
On page 27, a word has been left out of Buckaroo's dialog as
he's describing the anatomy of the Widow Oh, a Lectroid. He
describes it as "kind of a cross between a sugar and a
cricket..." The TV pilot script reveals he's supposed to be
saying it's a cross between a sugar ant and a
On the last page of this issue, Lady Gillette suggests that
Xan's personal assassin, the Archbishop, is the one who
killed Buckaroo's wife (according to the TV pilot script,
Penny, not Peggy). But according to the words of Reno in the
DVD commentary track of
Across the 8th Dimension,
Penny was killed by Xan himself.
Notes from the TV pilot script "Supersize Those
It's not that obvious in the comic, but the script states
that the sombrero worn by Happy Wiener is an inflatable one!
The script describes Perfect Tommy as especially aroused by
Lady Gillette's song, inspiring him to award First Prize to
a particularly phallic-looking cactus entry. In the comic,
it looks only vaguely phallic, but it's there if you look
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