Friday, March 27, 2015
Crossover Covers: Nemo
This trilogy of graphic novels features a decades long feud between Janni Dakkar (aka Janni Nemo), Captain Nemo's daughter and heir, and the immortal queen Ayesha from H. Rider Haggard's She. Janni inherited her father's mantle in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume III: Century: 1910. I have already concluded that Century does not fit into CU continuity, and the Nemo novels do not fit either, as will be shown below. In Nemo: Heart of Ice, Janni follows the trail of her father’s Antarctic expedition from decades ago after plundering Ayesha's treasures. Ayesha’s current patron, newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (from Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane) dispatches aging inventors Frank Reade Jr. and Jack Wright and their younger colleague “Tom Swyfte” to retrieve the Queen’s belongings and deal with Janni and her crew. Tom Swift is portrayed in an unflattering manner, making racist comments about Janni and shooting Reade in the leg with his Electric Rifle in order to slow down a raging shoggoth, effectively leaving the elder inventor to die. Swift is also seemingly driven irrevocably insane by the encounter with the shoggoth, which does not fit with his appearances in the Tom Swift Jr. novels in the 1950s-1970s. In Nemo: The Roses of Berlin, set in 1941, Janni and her husband Broad Arrow Jack must rescue their daughter Hira and son-in-law Armand Robur (son of Jules Verne’s Robur the Conqueror) from captivity in Nazi Germany, which is under the power of Ayesha’s current benefactor, Adenoid Hynkel (from Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dicator). In the process, they battle the remains of Germany’s equivalent of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Die Zwielichthelden (“The Twilight Heroes”.) The Berlin of 1941 in this graphic novel is based on the titular futuristic city from Fritz Lang’s film Metropolis. Finally, in Nemo: River of Ghosts, Janni, dying and experiencing hallucinations of the ghosts of those she’s lost over the years, deals with Ayesha once and for all in South America in 1975. Janni hires the superhumanly strong Hugo Coghlan, aka Hugo Hercules (the title character of a 1902-1903 comic strip by William H.D. Koerner, who is revealed here to be the Celtic demigod Cuchulainn) to act as her bodyguard. Hugo says that he was paid by “a Mr. Savage Senior” to kill Hugo Danner (the equally superstrong protagonist of Philip Wylie’s novel Gladiator) soon after the Great War, though why Savage paid him to do this is not stated. Given the strong moral code he instilled in his son, it seems very unlikely that Doc Savage’s father, Clark Savage Sr., would put out a contract on another man’s life.