In the 2016 graphic novel Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe!, there's a scene where Squirrel Girl and her friends discuss the hypothetical ramifications of her clone Allene's plan to cause a continental power grid failure across North and South America.

During their discussion, Nancy Whitehead remarks:

If everyone just lost power, there's gonna be looting. Mobs. Horseback vigilantes hanging out at the dump, snapping shotguns in half to impress the dump teens.

And then, the page caption adds:

And then maybe the horseback vigilante could team up with the dump teens after mud wrestling with the biggest dump teen, and then he could teach them how to use blue makeup to draw his logo across their faces before they all ride back into town to punch crime!!

I can't help but wonder: Could this be a sly reference to some post-apocalyptic or similar works involving the aforementioned elements?

The mentions of looting, mobs, vigilantes on horseback, snapping shotguns in half, using blue makeup to draw a logo across faces, and the comical scenario of teaming up with "dump teens" after mud wrestling—it all sounds too detailed, like it could be a nod to a certain post-apocalyptic or similar work, perhaps even within the Marvel Comics multiverse itself. 

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    @SamAzon My bad. In my goal to fit everything within the title character limit, I made a comical reference to horse vigilantes. I've since corrected it to "horseback.". Commented May 27 at 12:49
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    I gotta say: One of the better Hot Network Question titles. :-D
    – Martin
    Commented May 28 at 12:22
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    No, it isn't a sly reference. It's not sly at all. ;) Commented May 28 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


This is a reference to the graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

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Specifically, the vigilante group "Sons of Batman"

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Batman defeats "The Mutant Leader" (it's a long story) in a mud pit.

The mud slowed the Mutant Leader down, making him slower than before. Batman was also able to render one of his arms useless by punching a nerve that made it go limp. Despite this, the Leader still presented a considerable challenge to the Dark Knight. Nevertheless, Batman eventually triumphed. After getting the gang boss down for the count, he broke several of his limbs in front of the shocked and horrified Mutants. The crippled Leader was returned to jail, and the Mutants then splintered into several factions. Some stayed Mutants, others formed new gangs, but most of them became part of the vigilante group "Sons of Batman"


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