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  • In 52 the writers intended to have Renee Montoya be an actual alcoholic, not a light-hearted Hard-Drinking Party Girl. To help illustrate this, in one scene she takes a pair of aspirin while on a stakeout. The panel where she puts the pills in her mouth was specifically drawn to give the impression that she was chewing the pills and not just swallowing them; this is, apparently, "an old drunks' trick."
  • All-Star Comics: There's a very clear attempt by Gardner Fox to add some educational value to these stories. In a story where the JSA members go to different countries in Central and South America to root out Nazis, the chapters will open with facts about each country as part of the opening narration. When the JSA fight metal invaders from Jupiter (go with it), each chapter opens with some facts about a different metal. When the various team members visit different years in a man's life, there's a list of facts about that particular year that open each chapter.
    • This is a hallmark of Gardner Fox’s comics in general, in particular The Flash, Adam Strange and the Justice League of America. Whether it’s the use of lime to defeat an alien starfish (lime is harmful to real non-alien starfish) or Adam Strange having to catch Zeta beams in the Southern Hemisphere (Alpha Centauri, where Rann is located, is only visible in the Southern Hemisphere), Fox was very fond of including real scientific facts alongside standard Silver Age gobbledygook.
  • American Flagg! included a recipe for each story that showed Reuben Flagg's cooking Italian food.
  • The creators of Asterix will frequently fudge dates for the sake of a story, or engage in blatant Anachronism Stew for the sake of a gag, but they also frequently demonstrate that they do know a lot about Gaulish and Roman culture and history. For example, the horoscopes in Asterix and the Missing Scroll use authentic Celtic tree astrology.
  • Many Batman stories written by Doug Moench, especially from the Batman flagship title, take unexpected sidesteps from the actual plot to allow for lengthy monologues or discussions of scientific, religious or philosophical nature. Unsurprisingly, even the discussions between two characters come across like the writer talking down to the audience.
    • Examples include: a museum security guard explaining the infamous Brontosaurus/Apatosaurus revision in Showcase '93 # 7, police lieutenant "Hardback" Bock giving a lengthy discussion about the origins and details of real-life alchemy in Batman # 546, and a detailed description of photosynthesis as utilized by algae in Batman # 367.
  • Brian K. Vaughan has a tendency to throw random factoids into his comics writing. While this is reasonable for a comic about the importance of women in everyday life, it's a bit ridiculous when you're reading Ultimate X-Men and a cop mentions how many people are born with a thirteenth rib. Vaughan's not above a little Self-Deprecation about it.
  • Disney comics are not usually known for their accuracy, with one notable exception: Stories by the renowned comic book writer and illustrator Don Rosa often present surprisingly accurate and well-researched history, geography and even science (for example, if you see some mathematical formula in some comic of his, you can be pretty certain the formula is, in fact, real and accurate). Rosa is known for the amount of research he makes for some of his stories.
    • DuckTales especially demonstrated scientific principles quite often — possibly to make up for the fact that the main character was a talking duck.
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    • In the collected edition of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Rosa notes out that he found specific points in time where certain historical figures would be in the same place. He also mentions when he has to "bend" the facts at certain points to make a better story, but it's fairly rare.
  • In Ex Machina, everyone slips statistics or historical factoids into their dialogue without missing a beat. Then again the main cast is the Mayor of New York City and his staff. Politicians are usually pretty good at spewing out statistics. This is lampshaded when Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris meet by a statue (yes, inside the comic) and Brian starts to say something about the statue, until Tony interrupts him and pleads him not to say random factoids.
  • Just about every Silver Age The Flash story is solved using a random law of physics, expressed by Barry Allen (a forensic scientist) as a "Flash Fact". Wally West, thankfully, remembers the lessons from his days as Kid Flash, though now he has the Speed Force to help him with all the stuff that can't be done by physics.
    • A famous example of this in the Barry Allen period is when the Flash is fighting an alien who has a destructive sheath of fire around him. What follows is a science lesson of the natural ways to put out a fire with each failing against the creature's extreme heat, until the speedster realizes that fire cannot exist without air and runs around the creature fast enough to drastically lower the air pressure enough within the circle to put out the flames and suffocate the alien.
  • In James Stokoe's comic Godzilla: The Half-Century War, during a fight between Godzilla and Anguirus, the latter doesn't curl up into a ball like he did in Final Wars or any of the other comics, he instead turns around with his spikes pointing at his enemies and launches himself backwards. Also there's a lot of references and Mythology Gags to show Stokoe is not only a huge fan of the franchise, he also did a vast amount of research. Not only that but the way he designs the environments is very accurate to the time periods they happen to be set in.
  • In Godzilla Ongoing, it's mentioned by Boxer that Edinburgh Castle is set over an extinct volcano, which he and his team of monster hunters use to defeat Anguirus.
  • Y: The Last Man often feature characters randomly spouting statistics about exactly how many women are involved in which professions in which parts of the world. This is probably the kind of thing lots of people would know, given the setting.
  • Spider-Man often has tidbits about this or that, mostly about spider biology.
  • In one X-Men story involving the space shuttle nearly everything was correct - and this comic was written before the first time a shuttle actually went into space. Props to Chris Claremont!
  • Like the Flash, a lot of the Silver Age Atom stories were heavily grounded in science and spent quite some time teaching it to the kids. One particularly extreme example is a story that essentially told the story of the telescope with a teensy bit of super heroism thrown into the middle.
  • Alan Moore loves to do this. Probably the best example is From Hell, which features a lengthy annotations section describing the research he put into making the comic & the truth (or lack thereof) behind the more fantastic elements.
  • Atomic Robo has an excellent basis in real world history and science. Brian and Scott often gush about the research they've done, and are the first to point out when they apply Artistic License.
  • Neil Gaiman does this a lot with mythology. He also has a tendency, though, to come up with things that sound like they came from actual myth or history, but he really just pulled out of his ass to fit the plot. Finding out which is which is part of the fun.
    • Gaiman pretended at the end of Dream Hunters that the story was adapted from the tale "The Fox, the Monk, and the Mikado of All Night's Dreaming", a traditional Japanese tale he had found in the book Fairy Tales of All Japan by Rev. B. W. Ashton while doing research for Princess Mononoke. This information was mentioned in almost every critique of the book. A few years later, Gaiman admitted in the preface of Endless Nights that he had completely made it up.
    • A similar example exists, though not based in mythology when he did research for American Gods. Having researched various cons for his con-artist character, he made up entirely the most overtly criminal of the cons - namely, stealing several thousand dollars from a bank. He was very surprised to find when someone actually copied the plan from the book and stole several thousand dollars from a bank. (Frank Abagnale Jr. did that in Real Life decades before Gaiman put it on paper, though it's unclear if he knew about it while writing the book.)
    • His Marvel 1602 really shows how much research he did into Marvel history, or just knew off the top of his head. For example:
      • Nicholas Fury describes his organization as England's "shield", a reference to his "S.H.I.E.L.D." organization in the regular comics. However, he also mentions that Peter Parquagh's parents used to work for him.
      • Not to mention this universe's version of Iceman: he changes his name from "Bobby Drake" to "Roberto Trefusis", then includes a brief scene where Trefusis mentions that he's a nephew of the famed seaman Sir Francis Drake. Sir Francis Drake actually was related by marriage to a family named "Trefusis", which Gaiman found out through some well-placed research into Drake's family history.
  • Garth Nix does something similar to the above, but it largely amounts to him throwing in every bit of cool-sounding mythology he can find. No one minds. In one of his books, he says how surprised he was when his editor informed him he couldn't use Aboriginal elements in his story because he was a white Australian.
  • Larry Niven did the prestige format "Ganthet's Tale" for Green Lantern, and inserted his own hard science twist to Hal Jordan's known abilities. Hal has to defeat a rogue green lantern, but they are too evenly matched. So Hal uses his ring to fly at near-lightspeed - backwards, away from the target. He then lets loose with a green energy beam of power. But because Hal is moving away at near-light, the beam is red-shifted, and transforms into a YELLOW beam, which bypasses the other lantern's defenses. This was used little if it all afterwards. Bizarrely enough, one of the few other places this turns up in was Superfriends, where Hal Jordan is able to free himself from a bubble created by Sinestro this way.
  • Clan Apis. Is a educational work that happens to also tell an interesting story. Jay Hosler is an entomologist/biologist and writes his works with education as the main point... though that's not to say that his works don't have a good narrative push. Another example of this is Optical Allusions and... well... you can tell by the title that he's done the research.
  • Kingdom Come couldn't possibly have been made without the most intimate understanding of every facet of The DCU.
    • Mark Waid, the man who wrote it, is known as "the living, breathing DC encyclopedia" due to the insane amount of knowledge he has on The DCU; to the point where DC sometimes holds "stump Mark Waid" contests at conventions just to find out what he doesn't know.
  • George Woodbridge was a MAD artist for over forty years. He was also one of the world's foremost experts on historical military uniforms. Every time he drew military personnel, their uniforms were accurate down to the right kind of buttons for the time period.
  • When it comes to adding random (albeit often relevant) factoids into the dialogue, Peter David can outdo Brian K. Vaughan any day.
  • Greg Rucka did a shocking amount of research on the geography, history, weather and politics of Antarctica for his first comic, Whiteout. The portrayal of the continent itself and the behavior of research stations and governments on its territory has been heralded as one of the most accurate depictions of Antarctica in American media.
    • It also showed up in his Wonder Woman stories. The Hiketeia ritual in his titular Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, is an actual, if obscure, custom from Ancient Greek mythology. Bruce and Diana are referring to an actual event The Iliad when Bruce brings up Lykaon prostrating themselves before Achilles.
  • Anything Pat Mills has written. So much so that the reason he quit writing Charley's War was due to a dispute over his research budget.
  • Larry Hama is a Vietnam veteran, military expert, and Japanophile. This is apparent in the level of detail that appears whenever he writes a comic book dealing with those topics, such as G.I. Joe and Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja .
  • Early on in The Losers, some random criminals are ambushed while doing a deal at a dock, near their car. One advises his colleague to hide near the wheel well of the car, since bodywork won't stop their attackers' bullets, while the engine probably would. There are not many people who know this. There are even less who would mention it in the middle of an ambush.
  • Many of Mike Mignola's Hellboy stories are essentially retellings of documented folktales, often using details that would usually be lost in modern versions. For example, "The Corpse" is mostly derived from "Teig O'Kane and the Corpse," which originally appeared in a compilation of Irish folklore edited by William Butler Yeats.
  • Before writing the Mega Man (Archie Comics) comic, Ian Flynn heavily researched the series, and it shows. Chest, Plum, and Ripot from the obscure Mascot Racer Battle & Chase appear in the first issue reporting on Light's new robots, that issue's Short Circuits has a Mythology Gag to both the cartoon and the hilariously bad American box art of the first game, and Fire Man retains his Southern accent from Mega Man Powered Up.
  • The St. Patrick's Day themed Hot-Topic variant cover of Issue 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) has Lyra in a pony version of an appropriate Irish stepdance dress.
  • The Punisher: Born: In order to ensure maximum authenticity for the miniseries, Garth Ennis and artist Darick Robertson, looked through countless photographs of GI's that were provided to them by friends and family members of theirs who had served in The Vietnam War. Watched dozens of documentaries about the war, all in order to represent the conflict in the most accurate way possible.
  • Following the Cosmic Retcon of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), the writers needed to quickly refill the cast with new characters to replace the ones that had been written out - basically, any that hadn't been created by either Sega or DiC. To do this, instead of creating an entirely supporting cast on short notice, they decided to look to the more obscure bits of Sonic's history for inspiration, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog in particular. This resulted in re-imaginings of such characters as Breezie the Hedgehog, Wes Weaselly, and even Professor Von Schlammer from "Boogie Mania" (the "pingas" episode).
  • From the beginning, The Tale of One Bad Rat was meant as a modern-day analogue of the life of Beatrix Potter and the Lake District or England. Bryan Talbot decided on sexual abuse as the reason for Helen running away from home as a simple reason, without thinking much about it. Then he started to research the psychology of abused children.
  • Three: Kieron Gillen did a lot of research into Spartan society to get the details right according to the most recent academic literature on the topic. The notes even contain an extended discussion between Gillen and a professor of history who specializes in that particular period.
  • Tintin: A comic famous for its research, such as when Tintin and the gang go to the moon with all scientific plausibility that the cartoonist, Hergé, could create. In fact, Hergé was notorious for his early Theme Park Version travelogue stories, until a friend convinced him to do serious research, beginning with Tintin: The Blue Lotus. The result is a story in China that has been praised as an excellent primer for the China of the 1930s.
    • The best thing is walking through the Art/History Museum in Brussels and discovering e.g. the fetish statue from the "Tintin: The Broken Ear" album.
    • Herge's drive for realism probably culminated in Tintin: The Calculus Affair, where the amount detail put into background art and scene composition would have put a movie cinematographer to shame. In fact, in planning for a minor scene in the story where enemy spies force Tintin's car off the road into Lake Geneva, Hergé actually sent a employee to drive along Lake Geneva to find a location where assassins might plausibly force a car off the road.
      • In the same story, the fire truck shown after the house explodes was the exact reproduction of the actual fire truck of the town, down to the NUMBER PLATE.
      • Probably inspired by Hergé's example, anal-retentive amounts of research and detail has become a defining trait of the ligne claire comic artists.
  • Superlópez: The comic's cartoony style is combined with an astoundingly realistic attention to detail: if you want to know what a typical Spanish city looked like during The '80s, you need only look at a Superlopez story of the period.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Stan Sakai likes to have an occasional story where he features various craftwork of Japan depicted in detail like swordmaking, cheating at gambling, kite making and pottery. It went even further when he devoted multiple chapters in a major arc to the legendary history of the famous sword, Kusanagi, before the eponymous hero came into the story. This devotion to proper research has earned Sakai a Parent's Choice Award for the comic for its educational value. Also, he often literally uses this trope by including a few paragraphs summarising his research on whatever was depicted in the comic in the letters section.
  • Wolverine First Class had an issue about Wolverine helping a team of Canadian superheroes rescue the Governor-General of Canada, who was being held hostage in La Citadelle in Quebec City. It had accurate descriptions of Canada's government, fairly spot-on drawings of Canadian military uniforms, and a few nice bilingual bonuses.
  • In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, West Point cadets Kate Kane and Sophie Moore are shown sparring, and the boxing gear they wear does not resemble any type used by the Academy, neither past nor present. Rather than being a mistake, however, this lines up with something that was actually happening at the time. The scene is set in fall of 2010, which was around a year after West Point's women's boxing club was first established; part of that, due to budget constraints, meant that members had to provide their own gear. Thus, Kate and Sophie were almost certainly members of that club. Sophie also has dialogue implying Kate had previously beaten her in a boxing match, which also checks out; in February of 2010, the Academy's annual Brigade Boxing Open featured female cadets for the first time in five years, which had been a goal of the new club.
  • Jonathan Hickman is a master of this trope, as best demonstrated by The Manhattan Projects. The comic is a ridiculously over-the-top Black Comedy that takes Alternate History to it's most ludicrous extremes and portrays major historical figures as cartoonish supervillains out to Take Over the World... but at the same time, it features a downright insane amount of nods to real history that show off the intense research Hickman did. Many of the more absurd plot points and jokes are actually references to/parodies of real events; Harry Daghlian gets radioactive superpowers (from the same accident that killed him in real life), Enrico Fermi is an alien in disguise, Lyndon Johnson is a psychotic Cowboy (because he was born in Texas), and so on.


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