Ready for the scavenger hunt of a lifetime? When it comes to pop culture Easter eggs, Scoop Vol. 1 brings the heat. In Scoop, Sophie begins her internship at WMIA 7, a failing news channel, the same day that a famed fashion designer (hint, hint) is murdered. She later finds that the hunt for the murderer reveals secret information about her father’s past, and a dark science experiment gone horribly wrong. The author of Scoop, Richard Hamilton, drew from his own experiences as an intern at a Miami news station when crafting the story, and includes many cultural allusions that you will be sure to enjoy. Caution! If you haven’t read Scoop yet, better start right now since this post includes spoilers.
1. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: The murder of the famous fashion designer behind the brand ‘Versace’ is at the center of Scoop’s mysterious plot, and acts as the catalyst for Sophie’s journey. She begins the first day of her internship at WMIA 7 news gathering intel outside Gianfranco Versace’s (renamed Vescucci for the comic) house. Scoop author, Richard Hamilton, wrote this famous event into Scoop to reflect his own life experiences as a young Miami journalist reporting on the assassination.
2. Bobby Two Tigers: The name of this character, an innocent victim of the supernatural forces that lie within Tamiami Trail, is actually an allusion to the Miccosukee rock group, Tiger Tiger, located in Miami. The band consisted of members Lee Tiger and Stephen Tiger, the two sons of Chief Buffalo Tiger of the Miccosukee Tribe. During their time the band helped promote American Indian tourism efforts as well as Seminole and Miccosukee cultural awareness.
3. Tonya Harding Scandal: When Sophie and her mentor, Hal Ritz, are hot on the trail of Vescucci’s murderer, Hal recalls the thrilling feeling he experienced when breaking the story of the Tonya Harding attack. For the folks who managed to miss the Oscar-contender I, Tonya when it was in theaters last year, the film reviews the events in which Harding was banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for her involvement in an attack on her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan.
4. Waco Branch Davidians: Those of you that have watched the totally binge-worthy documentary on Netflix, Wild Wild Country, will already have a taste of what this reference is about: cults. The Branch Davidians led by David Koresh in Waco, Texas received a massive amount of press in the early 90s, leading up to the siege of the group’s commune by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. In Scoop, Hal Ritz recalls the terror of covering this event when he and Sophie are escaping the Cold War bunker.
5. The Creature from the Black Lagoon: Scoop gives a nod to this classic 1954 monster movie when Sophie is escaping from the book’s antagonist, Andrew Lias (or A. Lias). While struggling to keep cover in the swamps of the Everglades, she encounters an aquatic crocodile-human hybrid, who points her in the right direction to escape. If the swamps in this scene remind you of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, it’s probably because the underwater shots of the Gill-man were filmed by a secondary crew in Florida.
6. Firewalker: Scoop author, Richard Hamilton, notes that his inspiration for Sheriff Firewalker, the Native American sheriff investigating the mysterious disappearances on Tamiami Trail, has its roots in an homage to the 1986 Chuck Norris film, Firewalker, as well as Sonny Landham from Predator. Richard made sure to include this character as a tribute to the educational field trips he took to the Miccosukee reservation as a child.
7. Kolchak: The Night Stalker: The cover of the comic features Sophie Cooper posing with her WMIA 7 badge and her phone, poised for investigation. This pose was in fact crafted by the author and the illustrator, Richard Hamilton and Joe Cooper, to evoke the character of Carl Kolchak from the old television series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. The series, which aired in the 70s, is widely regarded as the predecessor to The X-Files, and utilizes a lot of the same supernatural-mystery elements that are woven throughout Scoop.
8. Usnavy: The unusual Cuban name of Sophie’s love interest is actually derived from the US Navy ships that would dock at Guantanamo Bay, just like his character describes in the book. The name, also spelled “Usnavi”, was also the name of the main character in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s debut musical, In The Heights.