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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Tron: Ghost in the Machine (Part 3) "Ghost in the Machine" Part 3
Slave Labor Graphics
Data Entry: Landry Walker and Eric Jones
Pixels: Michael Shoyket and Guru-eFX
Cover by Michael Shoyket

Jet begins to hallucinate a white rabbit who keeps trying to tell him that his current mission in the Electronic World is a hoax.


Story Summary


The issue opens in a surprising manner, with Jet seemingly still in the real world, working with his father in what seems to be a virtual reality simulation chamber to send him virtually to the Electronic World instead of digitizing him. But as Alan launches the VR simulation, the white rabbit suddenly pops in, warning Jet that Mercury has been lying to him and giving him memory patches which are intended to keep him disoriented with false memories. Jet doesn't believe the rabbit and during their argument, he suddenly wakes up in a medical lab in the Electronic World. A medical program is examining him and Mercury looks on.


The assembled programs, including Jet himself, are now wearing "classic" Tron armor (as seen in the original movie) rather than the Tron 2.0 style. He comments to Mercury that she looks different and she replies that it's just a patch routine which upgraded his optics.


Later, Mercury goes over some of the military's plans for taking on the MCP. She and Jet appear to have the beginnings of a romantic moment when Jet suddenly finds himself standing in a Wonderland-type surreal/cartoon world with the white rabbit (whom Jet has taken to calling Clarence). Clarence continues to try to get Jet to believe he is being conned and that he must not challenge the MCP. But Jet is not having it and he willfully opens a door marked "DANGER, DO NOT ENTER" and steps back into the Electronic World, saying he has a war to fight.


On his command ship, Jet gives the command to the blue army to begin the attack on the MCP citadel.




Didja Notice?


On page 4 Jet says, "I am so not in Kansas..." This is, of course, a reference to the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz in which the character of Dorothy, arriving in Oz with her little dog, says, "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

The white rabbit who appears in this and later issues was most likely inspired by the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll's 1865 book (and its various adaptations) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (with maybe a bit of Warner Brothers' Bugs Bunny mixed in).

The white rabbit is depicted with red eyes, a common trait of individuals effected by albinism, a congenital disorder resulting in a complete or partial lack of pigment in skin, eyes, and hair. Albino rabbits are white with red eyes.

Though perhaps not intentional, the white rabbit wears gloves and a shirt and tie but no pants, and smokes a cigar as the Marvel Comics character Howard the Duck is often depicted.

On pages 6-7, the white rabbit presents Jet with a virtual reality that is half day and half night, with the day/night demarcation being in the double-page splash split between pages 6 and 7.

In awe at his surroundings, notice that Jet drops his helmet down the cliffside on page 6.

After the latest memory patch "upgrades" Jet's optics, he comments to Mercury that she looks different. Starting with this issue of the comic, the new artist, Michael Shoyket, draws the denizens of the Electronic World in armor similar to that seen in the original Tron film rather than in the previous issues' Tron 2.0 style. Jet's comment may be a wink to the readers about the change in artists in the middle of the series.

The medical program who examines Jet wears yellow-highlighted armor and carries a device that looks similar to a tricorder from Star Trek.

The medical program indicates that Ma3a has been absorbed by the MCP.

On page 12, Jet's helmet has been removed in the medical lab and we see that the top of his head has circuitry and electronic components embedded in it.

Jet starts calling the white rabbit "Clarence" for unknown reasons. The name may have been inspired by the angelic character of that name in the 1946 classic film It's a Wonderful Life.

On page 20, panel 5, we see the helmet Jet dropped on page 6.

On page 22, panel 2, a small, spherical object is floating in the air in Jet's command cabin. It may be a bit.

On pages 22-23, we see several giant soldiers among the blue army, similar to the giant Sark seen at the end of Tron.


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