ISSUE GUIDE > ISSUE FOUR
"Man...stuff like this never happens in DBZ..."
"Brilliant Number Four"
Published January 2002
Re<Verse date: Early September 1022
Kouen leads the girls through Blue Springs, a popular summer tourist spot. Shiro gets a spontaneous crush
on a local high schooler, and involves Emri and Kouen in a fight between
badly dressed religious stereotypes. Miraculously, the author does not get sued.
Due to the questionable content in this issue, mostly concerning the names of the combatants, another version of this story was produced for some readers. In Reflection X, all the bad, nasty, or offensive stuff is taken out. The Little Blue Super Hercule, his Big counterpart, and The Crimson Cross still dish it out, but their mouths aren't so nasty. The kid wearing the "Pika-Shit" shirt now wears a blank shirt.
Some stuff was changed for no real reason, in the tradition upheld by FUNimation in their horrible, horrible Dragonball Z dub. "He's so HOT!" is changed to "He's so CUTE!" The font on the specific words edited is the generic Comic Sans, to make it all the more blatant. An entire panel is masked (The cutaway scene involving a distasteful pants-wetting gag) and the text "REALLY OBVIOUS WHITE GAP" ran in its place. Kouen reminds the readers that gambling is bad. In DBZ-nature, all references to death became references to "the next dimension," including the infamous Vicious line from session 5 of Cowboy Bebop.
For details about what was changed for the on-line edition, go to the Revisions section.
- The origins of this issue begin in the summer of 2001, when high school was ending and everyone's mind was on graduating. Everyone except me. I had to pump out UR2 before the last day of school so my friends and teachers could read it. During that time, my old friend Luke asked me to put his superhero character (Lukeman) in a future issue of my book. Upon hearing this, another friend, Matt, spoke up. "If Lukeman is in the issue, then the Crimson Christian needs to come in and kick his ass!" (Luke and Matt had a sort of friendly rivalry going at the time.) At that point, I figured that I would simply stick the characters in school and have all the action take place in the gymnasium during the homecoming pep rally. This gave me the opportunity to place as many people as I could fit into the backgrounds of panels as a sort of tribute to my friends at high school. Unfortunately, I didn't include everyone and I apologize if some of you felt left out. It was not intentional.
- This issue will probably be extremely confusing unless you are a member of the 2001 graduating class from Saratoga Springs Senior High School, and even then you'd need to know people like Dave Pratt and Matt Williams to fully understand the characters in the issue. This was really an opportunity to toss around in-jokes and the like, and much merriment is meant to be had by all.
- This marks the very first appearance of the Crimson Christian and Little Blue Super Jew in any Platinum Comics/Catomix production. They will be later seen (outside the Re<Verse) in the webcomic Evil Jim, and finally will have their most fateful encounters in a series of specials titled "The Crimson Christian vs The Little Blue Super Jew." This is also the first and only appearance of Lukeman and Big Blue Super Jew. Big Blue would be seen in the Catomix/Sadistic Monkey joint production "Shattered Genesis/Unfamiliar Reflection: Destiny's Cross," however that mini-series is not Re<Verse canon.
- Despite the many true references in this issue, The Crimson Christian never went up against Lukeman in the real-life Talent Show.
- The title of the unedited issue is taken from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which contained episodes titled "Brilliant Number One" and "Brilliant Number Two." In another episode, the episode-within-the-episode was jokingly titled "Brilliant Number Three." That left the number four open for me to use, and in searching for a good title, I figured this was the best idea.
- My brother likes the Dave Matthews Band. We both, however, don't care for Destiny's Child.
- Like Shiro, I too hate liver.
- At a Bill Cosby appearance I went to over summer 2001, someone yelled "Who let the dogs out?" Tasteless.
Cosby recounted brilliantly, though. I just wish I could remember what he said. It was funny, trust me.
- Lukeman talks like William Shattner. Direct refference.
- Page 15 panels 1 and 2: "There is no past, there is no future. / There is only the Word. And the Word is Daemon." This quote is from the first ReBoot TV-movie, "Daemon Rising." (This quote, sadly, did not photocopy very well, and appears as some tiny chicken scratch underneath the railing in the top right-hand corners of both pannels.)
- CC's last line is a refference to the insane action in Dragonball Z. This issue's fighting was part wrestling, part DBZ fighting.
- In the edited version, CC's first line to Emri, "Who the hell are you?" is partially masked so the letters HELL turn into HFIL. This is the same treatment DBZ received by FUNimation in any episodes featuring Hell's demons. They wear white jerseys with "HELL" written on them. FUNi changed the letters to stand for the Home for Infinite Losers.
SARATOGA SPRINGS REFERENCES
- Saratoga Springs, FYI, can be reached by using exits 13N, 14, or 15 on the Northway, reaching from Albany, NY to the Canadian border. For more information on this lovely city, go to www.saratoga-springs.org.
- The Adirondak Trust Company is the largest, fanciest bank on Broadway, which is where the opening scene takes place.
(Bank name changed to Blue Springs Trust in the on-line edition.)
- Saratoga Springs has horse races in August and has an annual Victorian Street Walk.
- Page 1 panel 2: In the background you can see right into the Downstreet Marketplace, where Spa City Comics was located at the time the issue was made. (It moved in 2006.) To this day the folks there very kindly distribute this comic and other Catomix titles.
- The Rip Van Dam is a hotel on Broadway. You can make out the then-recently-constructed Banana Republic across the intersection.
- The depiction of the school grounds is accurate as of June 2001. Between 2002 and 2004, the high school underwent major construction to make it more hospitable to the ever-growing number of students. While most of the original structure remains, new wings have been constructed, including a new gymnasium. It no longer resembles what this issue depicts.
- The kid Shiro chases after was the 2001 class president.
- When I changed "Saratoga" to "Blue," I had no idea the abbreviation for Blue Springs would be BS. (It was a pleasant surprise.) The actual logo of the Saratoga Springs High School (SSHS) is a varsity-style S with two lightning bolts through it. BSHS, therefore, has a "BS" with lightning bolts.
- "Gift of the Class of 1015" is the equivalent of 1993 in our time, which is the year on the real sign. (This is barely legible underneath "Senior High School.")
- The gymnasium scene is typical of a homecoming. The "Geek" is based on a real physics teacher, who measures the crowd volume in a shouting contest. The real life teacher does indeed perform this task wearing a lab coat with "GEEK" on it.
- My brother's nickname is Scuba Steve. He's the one wearing the "SCUBA" shirt. One of his friends sits in front of him.
- "Mr. Crao-Li" is a funny Japanese-style spelling of my school's principal's real name. It's funny because it's prounounced the same way his real name is pronounced. And he is that short. No offense, sir.
- The juke box in the cafeteria has been broken since before I began attending the school. One of the candidates who lost the 2001 election promised he would fix it.
- The student council president in real life has a similar name. I mixed his name with Johnny Bravo, from the cartoon of the same name.
- Dave Pratt is the man who kidnapps Joey Bravo. He does not attend wrestling class, however.
- Page 7 panel 3: The two kids talking to the left of the gang are two guys from my Participation in Government (PIG) class who were among the first to read Unfamiliar Reflection.
One of them is Alex, who would later star in Evil Jim
- The kid wearing the Bills cap and "Pika-Shit" shirt is a real jerk. He came up with Pikachu's parody name one day in lunch. Pat and I had a good laugh about that one.
- There is indeed a dumpster outside the photography room.
(At least, there was in 2001.)
- Lukeman is a "rock 'n' roll super hero." His dialogue is a parody on typical super hero phrases. The logo used in this issue is of his design.
- Page 11 panel 2: The four figures in the background are friends from various gym classes. The kid wearing "Women=Evil squared" came up with that mathematical theory.
- Page 11 panel 6: My PIG teacher, principal, and my mom, who is a business teacher at the school. (My PIG teacher was a paying customer.)
- Page 13 panel 1: My best friend goes to RIT. He's standing to the right of Emri. Next to him is another paying customer wearing a Star Trek: Enterprise uniform, then my PIG teacher again, and my former math teacher (the guy with a moustache), also a customer. Next to CC is Pat, wearing the l33t sp34k (Leet Speak) t-shirt. His first appearance in any Platinum Comics/Catomix book was in issue 2, and he later starred in Evil Jim alongside CC and Alex.
- On page three, Shiro initially points to Luis using her left hand. (panel 3) When the perspective changes to follow the direction of her finger, she is instead pointing with her right hand. (panel 5)