DC Just Stole Pop Culture’s Most Creative Superpower (From Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)


  • The Vigil #6 introduces technology from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, allowing the team to escape their enemies.
  • The use of the Infinite Improbability Drive is a clever reference that showcases the blend of humor and sci-fi in Douglas Adams’ work.
  • The Vigil’s journey continues in the Bleed, a space between worlds, thanks to the borrowed Infinite Improbability Drive. The possibilities are endless.



Warning: Spoilers for The Vigil #6!As their enemies close in on them, DC Comics’ metahuman team the Vigil pulls off an impossible escape thanks to technology straight out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The Vigil miniseries centers around the titular team that has been tasked with stopping experimental weapons from falling into the wrong hands. The final issue sees Dr. Sankaran unveil what could be the most dangerous piece of experimental technology yet.

The Vigil #6 by Ram V, Devmalya Pramanik, Rain Beredo, and David Sharpe sees the team up against the wall, being hunted down by Mr. Hep and the government. When all seems lost, Dr. Sankaran reveals the machine he’s been working on to boost Dodge’s powers, allowing them to enter the Bleed and travel the multiverse.

Vigil Infinite Improbability Theorem

As even the brilliant Castle seems surprised that Dodge’s powers could transport the entire warehouse where they’ve built their base, Dr. Sankaran asks him if he’s ever heard of the “Infinite Improbability Theorem.” This is a direct allusion to the Infinite Improbability Drive from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The title of the issue, All the Fish, and the fish that start dropping from the sky once the Vigil disappears drive home the reference to the classic Douglas Adams series.

Related: Ram V Discusses the DC Universe’s New Metahuman Team, The Vigil

The Vigil Brilliantly Weaves In a Classic Reference

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy inspired a generation of writers

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy 2005 crew as knit dolls

The Infinite Improbability Drive was introduced in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. The engine that propels the main characters’ starship, the Heart of Gold, the Drive perfectly represents the union of humor and sci-fi that made Douglas Adams’ work such a cult hit. It’s used to get out of sticky situations, made more effective by how impossible an escape would seem. Its first shown use is rescuing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect out of open space, with odds of success at 2 to the power of 276,709 to one. By traveling through every conceivable point in every conceivable universe simultaneously, it can slingshot a spaceship across the galaxy, without any “tedious mucking about in hyperspace.” However, its side effects can be dastardly (and ridiculous): transforming a pair of nuclear warheads into a vase of petunias and a sperm whale, turning the crew into knit dolls, or creating then dumping a million-gallon tub of custard.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series had such a meandering journey across various media that it seems it took the Finite Improbability route instead. It started as a BBC radio play, then creator Douglas Adams condensed it into the first Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book. A BBC miniseries was made in the early 1980s, followed by a video game, comic books, and a movie in 2005. It seems it’s now crossed into the DC Comics universe with the appearance of The Vigil’s machine, sending them into the Bleed, a space between worlds and multiverses that will allow them to go anywhere.

Don’t Panic: This Isn’t the End of The Vigil

They’re riding the space between worlds in the Bleed

Vigil Fish

As Dr. Sankaran explains, Dodge’s twitch power is so fast, she can literally be in two places at once. Considering the Drive from Hitchhiker’s is also meant to be everywhere simultaneously, it is a perfect pop culture merge for the series. Beyond a fun reference, the Drive allows the characters to hop into the Bleed. Originally appearing in The Authority #1 as part of the Wildstorm Universe, the Bleed is an interdimensional plane between multiverses. The Vigil miniseries has ended, but in the Bleed with an Infinite Improbability Drive borrowed from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the team could show up literally anywhere.

The Vigil #6 is available now from DC Comics.


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