Annotations for ALBION #5

by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Damian Gordon and the Bash Street Contributors


All corrections and comments to


Version Information

Version 1: 11/5/2006, Created after my first read-through I made a few notes which became version 1.

Version 2: 17/5/2006, Created after serveral re-reads and excellent contributions, including some from the Great Maker himself, John Reppion.



The Spider behind bars, Is it my imagination, or does The Spider bear a strong resemblence to Namor the Sub-Mariner ?


Cover Tag Line

"ERA OF SPIN" The tag line refers to a reference to a biased portrayal of an event or situation by politicians. “SPIN” also brings to mind spider’s spinning webs. Also “Oh, the tangled webs we weave, When we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott, “Marmion”



Page 1:

7 Panels, Gogra

Panel 3:

"I AM LAZLO GOGRA" Loki says "This is Gogra, the mad scientist who controlled a variety of giant robots.

The machine he refers to in panel 3 might be Mytek the Mighty (, especially given the last page of the issue, but equally, it might refer to one of his other robots, such as Gorgus and Tyron."


“YOU WOULDN’T DO THIS IF I HAD MY MACHINE” His aeroplane or one of his robots ?


Panel 4: “THE MUNCHKINS ARE RESTLESS” Loki says "while it seems to be all the inmates who are restless, Nolan is having a poke at Gogra's diminutive stature, as the Munchkins were, of course, the dwarf-like inhabitants of the land of Oz"

Panel 5: “THE BRAIN IS TREACHEROUS, ASK BRIAN” The Brain must have betrayed Brian, and in doing so earned his place as a trustee.

Panel 6: “SPEAK ‘N’ SPELL” A toy with a keyboard and speech synthesizer to help children spell. Loki adds "Again Nolan is being derogatory, comparing the computer Brain to the 1980s children's toy designed to help them learn to spell (a very primitive, single purpose, computer)"

Panel 7: “YOU’RE LIKE JONNY VEGAS, MATE. YOU’VE LOST YOU TOY MONKEY.” Johnny Vegas is a British comedian who is advertising ITV Digital with a knitted monkey

Loki adds "The guard's comments suggest it was Mytek that Gogra was referring to. Johnny Vegas is a large, gravelly voiced British comedian who became a household name in the U.K. when he starred in a series of adverts promoting ITV Digital with a knitted woolen monkey. ITV Digital failed, and the monkey's career has taken a nose dive, while Vegas has gone on to solo success, hence the comment about "lost you toy monkey".




Page 2:

1 Panel, The Spider

Panel 1:




Page 3:

9 Panels, Interrogating the Spider


Panel 3: “IT’S O’POD. AND IT’S NOT ALFRED, IT’S ARTHUR.” An arthropod is any of numerous invertebrate animals of the phylum Arthropoda, including the insects, crustaceans, arachnids, and myriapods, that are characterized by a chitinous exoskeleton and a segmented body to which jointed appendages are articulated in pairs.

Loki adds "a scientific grouping of various invertebrates which includes spiders. Hence its another alias, and the Spider is again toying with his captors. "

The Spider is a bit like Hannibal Lecter trying to mess with people’s heads.

Eroom Nala says ""CURSES. YOU'RE MUCH TO CLEVER FOR ME, MR. NOLAN" reminds me of a Monty Python sketch Cardinal Fang in this court scene about Inspector Dim Cardinal: Curse you Inspector Dim. You are too clever for us naughty people. "

Panel 5: “O’POD, EH? SO YOU’RE IRISH, HUH?” :-)



Page 4:

6 Panels, On the Queen

Panel 1:



Page 5:

7 Panels, Archie Poker

Panel 2: Archie and the gangster robot are playing poker, the stakes are nuts and bolts.

Panel 6: Not sure how Danny figured out the gangster robot was cheating

John Reppion says "Another little *ahem* hiccup, the hand was supposed to be 5 aces but the cards were left blank. Another little correction for the trade. "

Panel 7: “D’YOU KNOW HOW TO PLAY “STRIP JACK NAKED?” ” Strip Jack is also called Beggar-My-Neighbour, Beat Jack Out of Doors, Beat Your Neighbour Out of Doors, and Draw the Well Dry,



Page 6:

9 Panels, The Origins of the Spider

Panel 4: Loki says "Nolan discusses the Spider being based in the Big Apple (New York) during the sixties. The Spider's original tales were mostly set in the U.S. (though he did cross the Pond at least once, to fight Robot Archie). "

Panel 6: “A JINN” A jinn, (or djinn, or djinni, or jinni) is a genie

Panel 8: “IT’S MY ALIEN DNA” he certainly looks Vulcan



Page 7:

9 Panels, The Spider's Parlor

Panels 3 & 4: Loki says "panels 3 and 4 The Spider did become a crimefighter, though as Nolan notes, it was more to prove he could outwit other master criminals. That said, he might have been more genuinely reformed than he's now admitting, since his good deeds got thrown back in his face in the end."

Panel 4: “MAYBE YOU WERE A CHINESE ALIEN” might be a reference to the STAR TREK episode “City on the Edge of Forever” where Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock end up in 1920s America and Capt. Kirk says that Mr. Spock is Chinese and his ears are as a result of an unfortunate accident with a mechanical-rice picker



Page 8:

3 Panels, Capturing the Heroes

Page 8 & 9: Joe McDonald says "the more I've studied this, the more it looks to me like this double page spread is inked and pencilled by George Freeman (maybe from Shane Oakley's layouts). It has loads of Freeman touches that I can't usually see in Shane's work (even when it's inked by George)."

Panel 1: Loki says "This depicts the Society of Heroes (a short lived team the Spider briefly worked alongside - battling the Sinister Seven ( Top row, left to right, are Captain Whiz, Tigro the Wild Man vs. Muto the Multi-Form, and the Spider. Middle row, left to right, are the Mad Meckanoid, the Living Totem, Rex Robot, and vanishing into a warp as the Spider shoots at him, Limbo the Unknown. Bottom row is the Shark, being punched by Rockman, and Snowman. "

Panel 2: The Spider captures the Steel Claw

Joe McDonald says "The Steel Claw's claw is incorrectly depicted as his left hand rather than his right hand (see the Titan Steel Claw archive and Dave Gibbons's cover for Albion #6). The same mistake shows up in Albion #2 or #3 (I forget which) when Zip Nolan meets Crandell and Crandell offers his prosthetic hand (which is again depicted as a left hand) for Nolan to shake.

Paul Grist's Steel Claw analog in Jack Staff (Ben "The Claw" Kulmer - cleverly named after The Steel Claw's original scripter and co-creator Ken Bulmer) does have his claw on the left hand. But Louis Crandell's claw is his right - I wonder if this will be corrected in the trade collection?"


Panel 3: Loki says "not sure which invisible character this is. It's not the Claw. Perhaps a grown up Invisible Dick?"

Joe McDonald suggests " I'm pretty certain that this is The Cloak and not Invisible Dick."


Page 9:

6 Panels, Spider Trap

Panel 1: The Spider Capturing Justine, the Winger Messenger of Justice

Panel 2: Is that Tim Kelly that the Spider is fighting ?

mythicalbeast says "In my humble opinion this is actually Gadgetman, of 'Gadgetman and Gimmick Kid' fame, a strip that ran concurrently with 'The Spider' in Lion. Kinda satisfying to see Mr Chinard beating seven shades of crap out of him. Dunno why, he was a hero after all..."

Loki agrees "and Gadget Man"

Panel 5: The Spider meeting Jimmy Tarbuck ??




Page 10:

9 Panels, Security Upgrades

Panel 3:

Dr. Spock
Mr. Spock




Loki says "Nolan makes a common mistake, comparing the Spider's pointed eared appearance to Dr. Spock. The Spider pre-dates Spock, btw, so his appearance isn't a rip-off of Star Trek's Vulcan science officer."

Panel 4: Loki says "the Spider reveals he encouraged Tri-Man and Rubberman's escape attempt (mentioned last issue) as a way of checking security, presumably prior to his own escape attempt"

Panel 5 & 6: Loki says "confirmation that Tri-Man died in the attempt to escape"

Panel 6: Security man with mullet consistent with security breakout happening in 1984



Page 11:

9 Panels, BULL!

Panel 1:




Page 12:

7 Panels, Steady as she Goes

Panel 1:



Page 13:

6 Panels, An Old Lag never forgets a job


Page 13: John Hunt says "Just to let you know that the castle in Albion is. The Spiders Ancient Castle which is in Scotland."

Joe McDonald says "I've seen some speculation on Leah & John's website that the heroes are all locked up in The Spider's castle - but I reckon that the clues on this page pretty conclusively prove that everyone is locked up in Cursitor Doom's castle."


Panel 1: “I WAS SUPPOSED TO SIGN ON TODAY” Sign on for unemployment benefit. Loki adds "Danny mentions he was due to sign on. For the non-UK types, that means he was claiming state benefits, and thus unemployed. To get the benefit money you normally have to turn up on a set date once a fortnight at a set time and sign that you are still unemployed and looking for work."

Panel 3: “I’D EVEN SWEAR I’D SEEN IT BEFORE…” it seems Danny may have been in The Castle at some stage, maybe the bus crash isn’t real at all, or maybe it was a prison transport ?? Loki adds "Loki adds "Danny thinks he's seen the castle before, again suggesting more to his background than he's admitted."

mythicalbeast says "Right! Here I go with my latest 'Who is Danny' conspiracy! At first I thought Danny had seen the castle before simply because he remembered it from reading Cursitor Doom's adventures in the seventies, but then he'd surely have said that? Then we have the red herring (or not) of the Spider saying 'The real Spider wasn't even captured'. Well, what if Danny is in fact the real spider? Seems highly unlikely but it's a fun thing to think about, and also typical of something the Spider would have contrived. Dunno about this business with a Jinn! Sounds like a tall tale to me, but I've always wondered about his mysterious origins. "

Panel 4: “SEAN CONNERY HAVIN’ HIS TEA” The world’s most famous Scottish man Loki adds "though he no longer lives in Scotland."


Page 14:

9 Panels, The Brain

Panel 4: The warden address faceache as “AKELEY” – his real name must be Fredrick Akeley, not Ricky Rubberneck (Akeley = Ache)

Panel 9: “YOU CAN’T JUST KEEP TELLING US “SOMETHING’S GOING TO HAPPEN” “ Reminds me of the documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” with the US government warning the people that an unspecified attack could happen at any time, anywhere, crazymaking.


Page 15:


Panel 1:


Page 16:

3 Panels, ENOCH and BERT

Panel 3: “NO REASON TO RUN OFF HALF-COCKED” no point doing something when you are unprepared.


Page 17:

3 Panels, You know what thought did

Panel 3: “YOU KNOW WHAT THOUGHT DID, DON’T YOU…?” wasn’t that curiosity ?

John Reppion says "There are two versions of "what thought did" that we know of. However, there might be more (can anyone here help us with this?).

It basically means "don't over think things or you'll jump to the wrong conclusion", we think. ""


Page 18:

5 Panels, Incoming Hurricane

Panel 1: “ROSIE LEA” Cockney rhyming slang for tea

Loki adds "things hot up. Captain Hurricane's not had his "Rosie Lea" (Cockney Rhyming slang [] for tea, named after Gypsy Rosie Lee []), which means he's also not had his sedative which has kept him docile all this time. Cue a "ragin' fury""

Page 19:


Panel 3: The female prisoners are still picking on Martina. Loki adds "As the alert goes off, we see the large female inmate getting revenge for the attack she sustained last issue. With those braids in her hair, I'm now convinced this is Beryl the Peril grown up "

Panel 4: Jason Hyde is at the ready

Panel 5: Fatty is awake ? Loki suggests it may be Fishboy


Page 20:

4 Panels, Archie v2.0

Panel 1: Archie has been upgraded, his left arm is now a machine gun and he has a shield like Captain America, cool !!!

mythicalbeast says "I have to say I didn't like Archies modifications. It's a bit like Dr Who using a gun if you see what I mean. I'd hoped he'd be using his prodigous extendable arms or something. Never mind."


Page 21:

5 Panels, Digging Deep

Panel 2: Note the nazi bomb just below the diggers aim.


Page 22:

1 Panel, Mytek

“THE GREEN CROSS” costume. David Prowse who played Darth Vader was in a series of ads for Road safety as The Green Cross Code Man.

Loki adds "He was a public information campaign hero in the 1970s who tried to teach children to cross roads safely, and was played Dave Prowse, more internationally known as the body of Darth Vader."

Is that the villain from “Yellow Submarine” ?

Eroom Nala says "The villains in Yellow Submarine were called the Blue Meanies "Blue Meanies" was actually a slang term for the police, although many viewers will have missed this See Wikipedia entry for YS"

Loki adds "Though miscoloured, the head wearing what looks like rabbit ears is a Blue Meanie from the Beatles cartoon movie Yellow Submarine"


Loki says ""Fungus, origin unknown" looks to be Fungus the Bogeyman"

Minnie's Mixer: Loki says "The gun in the case behind Fungus, which looks like it has an egg-whisk attached, is Minnie the Mixer's gun"

Mytek the Mighty

Loki says "The long armed robot in the last case is Elasto, one of Dolmann's missing robots"


Eroom Nala says "Lyric's to Billy Bragg's Waiting for the Great Forward from his own website"



Contributions by: John Hunt , Joe McDonald, Loki, mythicalbeast, Eroom Nala, John Reppion