Brain K. Vaughn and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man is notable for a number of reasons, not least of which is that this comic series is stuffed to the brim with pop culture references. That’s not exactly a primary reason why Y: The Last Man is a shoe-in on any “best graphic novels” list, but is a hugely central component of the reading experience.
Whether you’re reading Y: The Last Man for the first time, or rereading Yorick’s adventures with an eye on catching something new, the below guide will help explain every pop culture reference throughout the book. Think of it as an annotated guide to Yorick’s media saturated mind.
A few notes: I generally avoid any pop culture references that are woefully self-explanatory. For example, early on Yorick makes a joke about the world not having a lot of Three Stooges’ fans left. You’re on your own for that one. There are also a fair amount of historical deep cuts that Vaughn goes on to explain within the context of the dialogue. Generally speaking, I leave those out.
Finally, I read Y: The Last Man in the Deluxe Hardcover Editions. I include those below for reference, and any page numbers will correspond withthe Deluxe volumes.
Deluxe Hardcover Y: The Last Man Collected Editions
1) “Unmanned” (issues #1–5)
“Did you know Elvis had a twin brother?” – Yorick, Issue #1, P. 8
True story. Jesse Garon Presley was born stillborn, while his twin, the King, went on to become the most famous rock n’roller of all-time.
It’s a fascinating what if, and as Yorick’s first line sets up the question of why one man may be chosen over another. Slightly less related, it’s also the basis for a really strange Scott Walker song (really strange + Scott Walker=redundant).
Yorick – Every Issue, P. Every
Let’s just get this one out of the way now.
Yorick, the name of our protagonist, is a fictional character in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. He is the dead court jester whose skull is exhumed by the gravedigger in Act 5, Scene 1. The opening line from Hamlet upon discovering the skull begins:
“Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy”
Serpico – Beth, Issue #1, P. 11
1973 Al Pacino movie about a whistle-blower cop. Tagline: The most dangerous man alive – an honest cop.
Ohio’s 22nd District – Issue #1, P. 12
Not pop culture per say, but fun fact: Ohio’s 22nd district was eliminated after the 1980 election. Hard to say at this point if there’s any meaning to that other than A) A distinct lack of Ohio congressional district knowledge from the Vertigo fact-checkers (the bums!) or B) An intentionally fictional district in a work of fiction.
Marlowe Class – Congresswoman Brown, Issue #1, P. 12
Christopher Marlowe was an English playwright during the time of William Shakespeare, so it makes sense that Mr. Brown, a Shakespeare scholar, might have a class on the man. He reportedly died in 1593, but there are Marlowe scholars (see also: conspiracy societies) who believe Marlowe actually wrote many of what are considered Shakespeare’s greatest works.
Turner & Hooch / Tango & Cash – Yorick, Issue #1, P. 15
The reason for Ampersand’s name, and probably only needed if you’re under 21 and new here.
Turner & Hooch is a 1989 movie starring Tom Hanks and a dog, and Tango & Cash is a 1989 movie starring Kurt Russel and a dog (actually, Sly Stallone). If I had to pick one, I’m going Tango & Cash, if nothing else for this trailer:
“That’s crazy, Country Mouse” – Beth, Issue #1, P. 20
From Aesop’s Fables, “The Town Mouse & The Country Mouse.” You can read the entire fable here.
Miller’s Crossing – Yorick, Issue #1, P. 26
A 1990 Coen Brothers gangster movie, and one of Time’s 100 greatest films.
Beth’s favorite movie.
Hero – Issue #1, P. 30
Yorick’s sister, Hero, takes her name from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Full essays could be written on the significance of the name, but in Shakespeare’s play Hero is essentially humiliated by men, before faking her own death in order to get the last laugh (spoilers!). Then again, Much Ado About Nothing is basically a series of pranks gone horribly wrong, so this may be over analyzing.
Lucy Lawless, Issue #2, P. 43
The actress who played Xena, warrior princess.
Mac-F#*&ing-Gyver – Yorick, Issue #3, P. 75
Night of the Living Dead – Issue #3, P. 82
A 1968 black-and-white zombie film directed by George A. Romero. You can actually watch the film in its entirity on YouTube.
“And if you’ll be my bodyguard, you can call me Al?” – Yorick, Issue #4, P. 89
“F*&$ing Rock Starts Dying” – Yorick & Rose, Issue #4, P. 96
Yorick and Rose (the girl he meets outside the D.C. vigil) list off the following rock stars: Mick Jagger, Kurt (Cobain), George (Harrison) – Strawberry Fields, Joey Ramone – CBGBs (CBGB was a music club at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street in the borough of Manhattan in New York City), Dylan, Bowie, Rest of the Beatles (Ringo & Paul), The Eels, The Who, U2, Radiohead, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Neil Young, The Mother-F&*$ing D, Bye-Bye Miss American Pie, Janis (Joplin).
Mad Maxine – Yorick, Issue #4, P. 100
While I assumed this was just a play on Mad Max, the 1979 post-apocalyptic film starring Mel Gibson, it turns out Mad Maxine was also a female WWF wrestler known for her height and green mohawk. So the dig at the Amazon woman works a couple of ways (clever, clever Yorick).
Stepford Wife – An Amazon, Issue #4, P. 103
While you may remember The Stepford Wives as the 2004 Nicole Kidman led film, it’s actually first a 1975 film based on a 1972 satirical thriller. The use here is essentially meant as a dig towards the stereotypical nuclear housewife.
Bobby Fischer – Amazon Leader, Issue #4, P. 106
Pretty much the most famous chess player of all time, and an enormous source of pride for the leader of the amazons to have beaten in a match.
Harry Houdini’s Brother Dash – Issue #5, P. 119
Much like Elvis, turns out Harry Houdini had a younger brother, an impressive escape artist in his own right. Official name: Theodore Hardeen.
“What’s it gonna be, Scarecrow?” – Yorick, Issue #5, P. 130
Wizard of Oz reference.
2) “Cycles” (issues #6–10)
“Butch Cassidy nonsense…” – Dr. Mann, Issue #6, P. 137
Nothing like referencing one of the all-time Wild West outlaws while breaking onto a train. Born Robert Leroy Parker in 1866, Butch Cassidy was the leader of the Wild Bunch Gang and star of one of the all-time great movies with Paul Newman & Robert Redford.
“And the meek shall inherit the Earth” – Yorick, Issue #6, P. 144
From the Bible, Matthew 5:5. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth.”
“You get Natty Gann, I’ll go for Boxcar Bertha” – Yorick, Issue #6, P. 147
David Blaine – Issue #7, P. 159
Illusionist and endurance artist.
Throw Mamma From the Train – Yorick, Issue #7, P. 161
1987 movie starring Danny Devito and Billy Crystal. Danny Devito actually directed.
The Man Who Fell to Earth – Sonia, Issue #7, P. 161
“Bully for you.” “Chilly for me.” “Fame?” – Yorick and Sonia, Issue #7, P. 161
Lyrics from Fame, Bowie song.
“Perverted Back to the Future kind of way” – Yorick, Issue #7, P. 168
Mayberry – Yorick, Issue #7, P. 172
The ideal town with Sonia and women’s prison is compared to Mayberry, the fictional town from The Andy Griffith Show.
“Little House on the Prarie Chick” – Sonia, Issue #8, P. 187
“Forgive me Paula Bunyan…” – Yorick, Issue #8, P. 190
Kreskin – Sonia, Issue #8, P. 193
The Amazing Kreskin, born George Joseph Kresge, is a mentalist who became popular on North American television in the 1970s.
“We’re in John Ashcroft’s hell” – Dr. Mann, Issue #9, P. 208
John David Ashcroft is an American lobbyist, attorney, and politician who served as the 79th U.S. Attorney General, in the George W. Bush Administration during the war on terror.
I’m not an expert on politics, but it’s not much of a stretch to say most feminists (see also: people who respect women) wouldn’t support Ashcroft’s ideology. Any time a top search result for your name leads to an essay titled “Blacks, Babies, and Battered Women: John Ashcroft’s Missouri Years,” you might be in trouble.
“Here comes your man” – Yorick, Issue #9, P. 214
Awesome song from the Pixies. May or may not be a reference, but given Yorick’s character, it probably is.
“Alas, Poor Yorick” – Amazon Leader, Issue #9, P. 216
As mentioned, the actual Shakespeare line in Hamlet referencing Yorick, the deceased court jester.
“They said that lions…” – Sonia, Issue #9, P. 221
Sonia’s dying line. Harder to interpret. She saw a documentary once, possibly about lions’ mating habits and the implication that Yorick could take more than one mate? Forum discussion on the vague line here.
“She’s crossed the f*(&ing Rubicon” – Yorick, Issue #10, P. 226
Yorick about Hero. They’ll explain this one in the context of the comic, but “Crossing the Rubicon” refers to the start of Caeser’s Roman Civil War – he literally had to cross the Rubicon River (in Italy) to begin the war.
“Forget it, Jake” – Yorick, Issue #10, P. 238
Yorick to 355. From Chinatown.
“Waco in ’93… Koresh” – 355, Issue #10, P. 240
For the uninitiated, David Koresh was a religious cult leader who eventually led a violent standoff against federal agents in Waco, Texas.
“That’s pretty unlikely, Don Juan” – Dr. Mann, Issue #10, P. 244
Yorick’s being all smoochy about looking at the same stars as Beth, so Dr. Mann appropriately compares him to the famous Spanish (fictional) romantic.
3) “One Small Step” (issues #11–15)
“F&*k Communism” – Issue #11, P. 9
Yorick’s lighter, from Garth Ennis’ graphic novel, Preacher. The lighter is the same one Jesse Custer has in the comic and cements Yorick’s place as a comic reader (just like us!). You can actually buy one of these lighters in solidarity.
Ensign Chekov – Issue #12, P. 33
Pavel Chekov is the lovable Russian on board Star Trek’s Captain Kirk led voyages. Ensign is his role on the wessel.
He-Man Woman Hater’s Club – Yorick, Issue #13, P. 55
It’s a Little Rascals thing.
“Smallville upstairs, Fortress of Solitude downstairs” – Yorick, Issue #13, P. 62
You probably got this one, but Yorick compares the barn/farm exterior to Clark Kent’s boyhood home of Smallville, and the pristine labrotary downstairs to Clark’s Superman retreat – the Fortress of Solitude.
“It’s Raining Men” – Dr. Mann & 355, Issue #14, P. 87
Pyrrhic Victory – Yorick, Issue #15, P. 111
A Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat.
“Storm into town, Inflict maximum damage, and then disappear… Like a Kiss concert” – Yorick, Issue #15, P. 118
4) “Comedy & Tragedy” (issues #16–17)
As the World Turns – Den Mother, Issue #16, P. 130
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010.
Pirates of Penzance – Issue #16, P. 130
An opera first performed in 1879. The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.
Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross – Issue #16, P. 130
1984 Pulitzer Prize winning play from David Mamet, later (1992) turned into a movie starring Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris.
Arcadia – Issue #16, P. 131
An actual pastoral region in ancient Greece, as well as a play written by Sir Philip Sydney towards the end of the 16th century.
Jane Goodall – Issue #16, P. 138
Famously studied and lived among monkeys. The human ambassador to everything Chimp.
Lionel & Mary Shelley – Cayce, Issue #17, P. 149
Appropriately, a reference to the main character of Mary Shelley’s book called “The Last Man.” An apocalyptic science fiction novel written in 1826 from the famous Frankenstein author.
5) “Safeword” (issues #18–20)
“Charge into battle against King Charles’ cavalry…” – Professor Brown, Issue #18, P. 169
This one’s a little less clear. Various accounts of King Charles leading cavalry strikes.
St. Crispin’s Day speech – Professor Brown, Issue #18, P. 170
Famous speech from Shakespeare’s Henry V.
“Turn Black Beauty here into a prop from The Godfather” – Yorick, Issue #18, P. 178
As he’s threatening to knife a horses’s throat, Yorick references the 1877 English Novel Black Beauty as well as the famous scene in The Godfather in which a threatening message is sent in the form of a horse’s head.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Yorick, Issue #18, P. 187
Apparently this 1974 philosophical novel is Beth’s favorite book.
The Day of the Locust – Issue #18, P. 187
1939 novel from Nathaniel West, and later in 1975 a movie. The book is scene on Agent 711’s bookshelf and features a character named Homer Simpson.
“I’m not gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with…” – Yorick, Issue #19, P. 197
“You think you discovered my Rosebud…” – Yorick, Issue #19, P. 200
I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen the movie (although you might want to get on that – can’t guarantee everyone else is worried about 73 year old spoilers), but Rosebud is referenced the central, important part of the lead character’s life throughout the film.
JFK & Jackie, MLK & Coretta – Agent 711, Issue #19, P. 207
Talking bout adultery – Reference to President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. cheating on their respective wives.
“That Bob Dole sh*t” – Yorick, Issue #19, P. 208
As Agent 711 is forcing Viagra on Yorick, he references Bob Dole’s obscure Viagra commercials.
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – Yorick, Issue #19, P. 208
After Agent 711 says “we both know what’s on your mind right now.” Classic Ghostbusters’ reference.
Le Precede D’Enfer – Agent 711, Issue #20, P. 230
Ben Franklin & Marquis De Sade played a role in establishing in what today is considered (at least by Google search) Aversion Therapy.
War and Peace – Issue #20, P. 233
War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature.
6) “Widow’s Pass” (issues #21–23)
“New Yorick avoids the Violent Femmes” – Yorick, Issue #21, P. 248
Although here he’s talking about violent women, The Violent Femmes are an indie rock band best known for the track Blister in the Sun.
“David Lynch’s dreams weren’t that weird” – Yorick, Issue #21, P. 250
David Lynch is an iconic film and television director known for surreal horror.
“Did Sinead do something to…” – Yorick, Issue #21, P. 257
Referring to bald automechanic lady in Arizona, Yorick references Sinead O’Connor, the occasionally bald Irish singer-songwriter.
Kojak – Yorick, Issue #22, P. 262
In another reference to the same bald automechanic lady, Yorick this time goes for Kojak, an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, bald New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak.
“It’s got a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window” – Yorick, Issue #22, P. 263
Quoting Dr. No, a James Bond film.
Billy Goat Gruff – Issue #22, P. 265
Traditional folk tale about three Goats’ desire to cross a bridge.
“Seen Red Dawn one too many times…” – P.J., Issue #22, P. 269
In reference to the Arizona militia ladies, Yorick pulls out the 1984 War movie with Charlie Sheen and Patrick Swayze.
“Rico Suavee” – Yorick singing, Issue #22, P. 279
Yorick’s karaoke song of choice:
7) “Tongues of Flame” (issues #24–25)
Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret – Yorick, Issue #24, P. 8
Yorick walks into a church. Judy Blume humor.
Lizzie Borden / Aileen Wuornos – Issue #24, P. 19
Beth 2 in reference to a discussion of murder. Lizzie Andrew Borden was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. Aileen Carol Wuornos was a serial killer who killed seven men in Florida in 1989 and 1990.
“You will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you!” – Yorick, Issue #25, P. 44
Yorick pretending to be the angel of the Lord, quoting Pulp Fiction.
Reverse Balducci – Yorick, Issue #25, P. 46
Floating magic trick that Yorick claims you can find out how to do on the internet. As explained by a kid:
8) “Hero’s Journey” (issue #26)
“Didn’t Hemingway drive an ambulance?” – Yorick, Issue #26, P. 60
The answer to Yorick’s question would be a solid yes. Hemingway drove an ambulance during World War I as an 18 year old.
9) “Ring of Truth” (issues #27–31)
“Save me the old man from Gremlins routine” – Yorick, Issue #27, P. 78
Gremlins is a 1984 American horror comedy film directed by Joe Dante, released by Warner Bros. The line comes with Yorick buying his ring in the magic shop.
Washington Generals – Yorick, Issue #27, P. 80
The Washington Generals are an American exhibition basketball team, best known for their spectacular losing streak in exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters.
“I got to heckle the playoffs! Like Spike!” – Yorick, Issue #27, P. 81
“No wonder the federation of planets put their headquarters here” – Yorick, Issue #27, P. 85
Some kind of dumb Star Wars reference according to Agent 355. She’s close, albeit offensively wrong to any good nerd.
The United Federation of Planets, usually referred to as “the Federation”, is a fictional interplanetary federal republic composed of planetary governments depicted in the Star Trek television series and motion pictures.
Miracle Mold / Alexander Fleming – Dr. Mann. Issue #28, P. 104
A reference to how Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin in 1944: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/a-miracle-from-a-mould-aka-alexander-fleming-penic
Lovely Rita – Toyota, Issue #28, P. 108
After killing a meter maid. How apropos (Beatles Song).
Knight Rider fanfic – Yorick, Issue #29, P. 129
I don’t actually know the first thing about Knight Rider, but Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986.
Annie Lennox – Hero, Issue #29, P. 130
Ann “Annie” Lennox, OBE is a Scottish singer-songwriter, political activist and philanthropist.
“Men were deceivers ever” – Queen Victoria, Issue #30, P. 158
Another reference to Shakespeare, this time Much Ado About Nothing.
“Bad news, Frodo,” – Yorick, Issue #30, P. 163
“They bring a knife…” – Yorick, Issue #31, P. 170
Likely an Indiana Jones reference.
Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru / See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil – Toyota, Issue #31, P. 172
The three monkeys from Three Wise Monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. The source that popularized this pictorial maxim is a 17th century carving over a door of the famous Tōshō-gū shrine in Nikkō, Japan.
Kokujin – Toyota, Issue #31, P. 175
Japanese slang for a black person. Also a Street Fighter.
Go Rin No Sho – Toyota, Issue #31, P. 177
The Book of Five Rings is a text on kenjutsu and the martial arts in general, written by the swordsman Miyamoto Musashi circa 1645.
Can’t wait to get on the road again / Willie Nelson – Yorick, Issue #31, P. 187
Song. Willie can suck Yorick’s willie.
10) “Girl on Girl” (issues #32–35)
The Last Detail – Issue #32, P. 199
On DVD! The Last Detail is a 1973 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby and starring Jack Nicholson, with a screenplay adapted by Robert Towne from a novel of the same name by Darryl Ponicsan.
The Whale / Sirens of Titan – Issue #32, P. 204
Kurt Vonnegut references.
The Sirens of Titan is a Hugo Award-nominated novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., first published in 1959. His second novel, it involves issues of free will, omniscience, and the overall purpose of human history. The Whale is a giant spaceship from the novel.
Das Boot vs. The Love Boat – Yorick, Issue #33, P. 230
Das Boot is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann.
The Love Boat is an American television series set on a cruise ship, which aired on the ABC Television Network from September 24, 1977, until May 24, 1986. The show starred Gavin MacLeod as the ship’s captain.
Spock / Bones Slash Fiction – Yorick, Issue 33, P. 230
Reference to Agent 355 and Dr. Mann getting hot and heavy. Spock and Bones are of course Captain Kirk’s top two confidants on Star Trek.
McColl Method – Agent 355, Issue #34, P. 244
Bobby pin magic trick used for lock-picking.
“I am Woman…” – Agent 355, Issue #34, P. 244
Ahab – Yorick, Issue #35, P. 270
The ship captain chasing the white wale in Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby Dick.
Xena – Rose, Issue #35, P. 277
11) “Boy Loses Girl” (issue #36)
“Don’t let him become an Albatross” – Hero, Issue #36, P. 294
Hero to Beth. The Albatross comes from the poem The Rime of The Ancient Mariner.
A whole Sleepless in Seattle thing – Yorick, Issue #36, P. 299
12) “Paper Dolls” (issues #37–39)
Marth Gelhorn – Issue #37, P. 8
Explained in context, war correspondent married to Hemingway.
Erica Jong – Issue #37, P. 9
“Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed.” Erica Jong is an American author and teacher best known for her fiction and poetry.
Needle Park – Dr. Mann, Issue #37, P. 14
Seems like a tossed off reference to heroin use, actually “The Panic in Needle Park” is a film with Al Pacino. As you’d expect, totally related to heroin use.
“Those Romero Extras” – Yorick, Issue #37, P. 25
Yorick thinks the heroin diseased Aussie ladies are zombies. George Andrew Romero is an American-Canadian film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his series of gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead.
“What is that a f(*k*ng transformer?” – Yorick, Issue #38, P.42
Right after 355 confesses to almost marrying “1033, my prime,” a joke about the most famous Transformer of them all: Optimus Prime.
“Easy Dirty Harriet” – Yorick, Issue #38, P.43
Dirty Harry is a 1971 American crime thriller produced and directed by Don Siegel, starring Clint Eastwood, the first in the Dirty Harry film series.
“No sudden moves, Lois Lane” – Yorick, Issue #39, P.58
“You split more infinitives than Gene Roddenberry” – Yorick, Issue #39, P. 61
To the reporter who snaps his nudie photo. The mission of the Enterprise: “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life, new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Rodenberry famously splits the infinitive “to go.”
“I’m a longtime friend of the friends of Dorothy” – Yorick, Issue #39, P.68
In defense of his perceived homophobia.
In gay slang, a “friend of Dorothy” (occasionally abbreviated FOD) is a term for a gay man. The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating that, or asking if, someone was a “friend of Dorothy” was a euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without others knowing its meaning.
13) “The Hour of our Death” (issue #40)
14) “Buttons” (issue #41)
Soylent Green – Yorick, Issue #41, P. 99
Chased by cannibals.
Soylent Green is a 1973 American science fiction film directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Charlton Heston and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson.
“Like something out of Get Smart” – Original 355, Issue #41, P. 107
Get Smart was a satirical spy comedy (TV) created by Mel Brooks, and later in 2008 turned into a movie starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway.
15) “1,000 Typewriters” (issue #42)
“That’s my Bonsai, Treebeard…. Santiago was my Guppy.” – Yorick, Issue #42, P.129
Treebeard is a Lord of the Rings reference to the leader of the Ents (walking, talking tree people).
Santiago takes a bit more doing, but it is likely a reference to Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. When the novel begins, Santiago has gone 84 days without catching a fish.
16) “Kimono Dragons” (issues #43–46)
“Displaced refugees of Twin Peaks” – Yorick, Issue #43, P. 149
Describing Dr. Mann with Amp and Patchy (Rose). Twin Peaks is an early 1990’s television murder mystery drama directed by David Lynch. I am currently watching it for the first time, and it is awesome.
The Earth Destruction Directive – Issue #43, P. 152
Deep cut reference to the movie Godzilla vs Gigan, released in Japan as The Earth Destruction Directive.
“Something smells like Denmark here” – Yorick, Issue #43, P. 172
Fake android man. Yorick inverts the actual line, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” from his namesake’s Hamlet.
“More Blade Runner than Westworld” – Yorick, Issue #43, P. 172
Describing fake android man. Blade Runner is a 1982 American dystopian science fiction thriller film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford. Westworld on the other hand, is a 1973 science fiction-thriller film written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton, featuring robotic cowboys.
“Back off, Kissy Suzuki” – Yorick, Issue #43, P. 175
A fictional Bond girl introduced in Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel, You Only Live Twice.
“That’s some ‘Who’s on First?’ sh*t” – Yorick, Issue #43, P. 179
Girl named You. Hilarity ensues.
Thatcher, Indira, Aquino, Golda Meir – Issue #44, P. 191
List of powerful women. In order, Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister of the UK from 1979-1990), Indira Ghandi (3rd Prime Minister of India), Corazon Aquino (11th President of the Philippines), and Golda Meir (4th Prime Minister of Israel).
Skull Island – Yorick, Issue #44, P. 194
Skull Island is a fictional island first appearing in the 1933 film King Kong and later appearing in its sequels, the three remakes, and any other King Kong-based media.
“A classic Lando!” – Yorick, Issue #44, P. 209
You’s trickery brings to mind Lando Calrissian’s betrayal in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (spoilers!).
The Worst Beatles Song – Yorick, Issue #45, P. 215
Yorick claims it’s “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for me and my Monkey!” Lennon wrote it for Yoko.
“Woman is the N*gg*r of the World” – 355, Issue #45, P. 216
17) “The Tin Man” (issue #47)
Lady Ginsu – Yorick, Issue #47, P.257
I honestly don’t even know. A Ginsu is a famous knife.
18) “Gehenna” (issue #48)
Profile 21 / Jewish Catch-22 – Issue #48, P. 264
From Catch 22, Joseph Heller’s classic novel: “You’re too crazy to fight, which is stupid, because only crazy people would want to fight.”
Profile 21 is the Israeli military equivalent, marking individuals with physical or psychological disabilities unfit for military service.
19) “Motherland” (issues #49-52)
“But we’ll never have Paris” – Beth, Issue #49, P. 9
“Wake me before you go-go” – Rose, Issue #49, P.24
Only one of the awesomest Wham! songs of all-time.
“Ming? As in ‘The Merciless?'” – Yorick, Issue #50, P. 36
Deep cut Flash Gordon reference. Ming the Merciless is the villain from the Alex Raymond classic comic strip.
“I wasn’t this lost reading Heretics of Dune” – Yorick, Issue #51, P.64
Dr. Mann’s plan. It’s insane.
Heretics of Dune is a 1984 science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, fifth in a series of six novels.
Dr. Moreau – Yorick, Issue #51, P.69
As you’ll remember from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dr. Moreau is the fictional animal-man hybrid creator. Basically the precursor to Human Centipede.
If Man Were Meant to Fly – Yorick, Issue #52, P.80
…God would have given him wings.
20) “The Obituarist” (issue #53)
21) “Tragicomic” (issue #54)
Lara Croft, Ripley, Sarah Connor – Issue #54, P. 128
Strong female action actresses. In order: Lara Croft (tomb raider, played by Angelina Jolie in film), Ellen Ripley from Alien (played by Sigourney Weaver), and Sarah Conner from the Terminator series (played by Linda Hamilton).
Day of the Locust – Issue #54, P. 130
Nathaniel West – Issue #54, P. 130
Nathaniel West, author of Day of the Locust, died in an automobile accident in 1941.
22) “Whys and Wherefores” (issues #55–59)
“We pick Madame Tussaud” – Yorick, Issue #55, P. 145
Looking at a dummy. Madame Tussauds is a wax museum in London with branches in a number of major cities.
“Not Sean Connery!” – Yorick, Issue #55, P. 159
Yorick argues he doesn’t look bad with a shaved head. I’ll let you be the judge of James Bond himself.
Recommended Reading for 355 – Yorick, Issue #56, P.180
“You liking Star Wars more than 2001 is insane” – Yorick, Issue #57, P.201
Not gonna lie: I like Star Wars more than 2001: A Space Odyssey too.
Nick & Nora, Issue #57, P.203
Nick and Nora Charles are fictional characters created by Dashiell Hammett in his novel The Thin Man. Apparently NOT a reference to the movie Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist.
MST3k – Yorick, Issue #58, P.207
Moonlighting – Yorick, Issue #58, P.229
Old P.I. Show with Bruce Willis & Cybill Sheperd.
Merchant of Venice – Beth, Issue #59, P.238
Like the idea that Yorick’s thesis on the play would piss off all of Israel. The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598.
23) “Alas” (issue #60)
Remo Williams, Issue #60, P. 294
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, also released as Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous, is a 1985 American film.