Title text: Moments later, the White Witch rolls up and, confused, tries to tempt the probe with a firmware upgrade.
This comic references the fantasy novel series "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C. S. Lewis. In the first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lucy discovers the fictional world of Narnia which can be accessed through a wardrobe, and she walks into it without ever considering the risks. Her three older siblings do not believe her, so she travels back alone again. But this second time her brother Edmund follows her, and he is seduced by the White Witch in order for her to be able to kill him and his three siblings (see title text explanation below). Thus proving that it was a rather dangerous move to just walk into the wardrobe.
The comic mocks the imprudent behavior shown by the protagonists Lucy of the novel, who enter the world of Narnia without knowing anything about its dangers. In the comic, Megan discovers the magical wardrobe while playing hide-and-seek, like in the book. Unlike Lucy in the original book, Megan does not precipitately set foot into Narnia. Instead, she fetches her technical equipment and sends a remote-controlled probe through the wardrobe door in order to sound the situation first.
The probe is clearly modeled after Mars rovers like Spirit and Opportunity, which Randall depicted for the first time only a few comics later in 681: Gravity Wells and then in 695: Spirit. The probe looks even more like the one in 1504: Opportunity. This also explains the title of the comic, as it is the name of Megan's probe. The naming scheme is similar to the two probes mentioned above that were already on Mars at the time of this comics release. And even more so like the upcoming Curiosity rover which was first launched two years after this comic, but had been named earlier in the year this comic was released. Lucy was curious in the first Narnia book, Megan is prudent in this comic..
The probe encounters Mr. Tumnus the faun with his umbrella at a lamppost in a snowy wood on the last panel. This picture is the first impression of Narnia in the novels and was apparently Lewis' original idea for the series.
The White Witch mentioned in the title text is the main antagonist in the novel. She originally lures Edmund with a hot drink and magical Turkish delight after her sleigh passes right by him. In the scenario mentioned in the title text, she is confused when she rolls up to the rover and then tries to tempt the probe with a firmware update accordingly.
The procedure of sending a probe first through a portal has also been used in the early Stargate episodes. This draws a parallel between the wardrobe in Narnia and the Stargate, both connecting two distant worlds. The stargate probe can be seen at here.
Megan takes a scientific approach to Narnia again in a later comic. In that comic she uses the different passage of time in Narnia to her advantage (it usually runs much faster than on Earth). That effect would have been a problem with controlling the rover...
- [Megan is running towards a closed wardrobe.]
- Voice (off-panel): Everyone hide! 99... 98... 97...
- [Megan opens one of the two doors on the wardrobe.]
- Wardrobe: click
- [Megan is looking inside the wardrobe through the fully opened door.]
- Megan: !!!
- [Megan puts a hand to her chin.]
- [Megan walks away.]
- [Megan returns with an armful of electronics including lots of wires and a rover with wheels.]
- [Megan is kneeling, typing on a laptop, which has a cord extending into the wardrobe.]
- [In a forest with many tall leafless trees the Mars rover is approaching a lamppost with a lit candle. Behind it stands a faun with horns, goatee beard and hooves holding an umbrella.]
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