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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Steranko, Bad Robot and GL/EPA!

All throughout July, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs” a day. An easter egg is an in-joke that a comic book creator (typically the artist) has hidden in the pages of the comic for readers to find (just like an easter egg). They range from the not-so-obscure to the really obscure. So come check ‘em all out and enjoy! Also, click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured so far!

A Classic Steranko Homage

In the pages of Strange Adventures #216, Neal Adams works in a subtle yet awesome homage to the artistic stylings of Jim Steranko with this easter egg, which is one of the most famous comic book easter eggs…

(In case you can’t read it, it is saying “Hey, a Jim Steranko effect!”

A good Bad Robot homage

As you may or may not know, Bad Robot is the name of JJ Abrams’ production company…

In the pages of the second issue of Star Trek: Countdown, the official comic book prequel to the recent Abrams Star Trek film, artist David Messina has an interesting little robot appear in Picard’s quarters…

A Comic Book Guy reference in a comic book!

In the 2007 film, The Simpsons Movie, Marge Simpson is attempting to figure out the meaning of a few phrases Grandpa Simpson said earlier in the film when he appeared to be possessed and sending them warnings from God. One of the phrases was “Eepaa.” We learn eventually that it is a reference to the EPA. When Marge consults with Comic Book Guy (the Simpsons character who owns the local comic book shop), he states that “I believe that’s the sound Green Lantern made, when Sinestro threw him into a vat of acid”

Amusingly enough, in Green Lantern #25, which came out later in 2007, either penciled Ivan Reis or letterer Rob Leigh threw in the following reference into a Sinestro battle with the Green Lanterns…

Cute stuff!

If you can think of an easter egg/in-joke that you would like to see me feature, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com! DON’T make suggestions in the comments section, so as to not spoil the surprise for when I end up actually featuring your suggestion.

30 Comments

In an Excalibur issue, Alan Davis had a bathroom explode with the sound effect Ba-THROOM.

When Bongo Comics’s Radioactive Man did an issue homaging the O’Neill/Adams era of GL/GA, they included an homage to the Easter Egg here, with “Hey, a Neal Adams rip-off!”

Travis Pelkie

July 2, 2011 at 9:32 am

Oh, SWEET idea for a month of…! Too bad I can’t think of anything right now.

Actually, I think it says “hey, a Jim Steranko effect”. In case you thought it was a Bob Steranko effect, I guess…

Technically those rays are spelling out, “Hey, a Jim Steranko Effect.”

Man, this feature is a good idea, just because there are so dang many. I know a number of them have been brought up elsewhere on the blog over the years, as Legends Revealed or whatnot. And of course there are some comics, like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, that are so populated by Easter Eggs that they hardly even count because you’re always on the lookout for them.

Also: Where, I ask you, is the vat of acid?

Worst. Easter Egg. Ever.

nice for given all the easter eggs that have popped up in comics over the years. this topic should be a fun article for the month

The only ones I know of are McFarlane’s Felix the Cat in “Spider-Man” and Aragones/Evanier’s secret messages in “Groo the Wanderer”

Gotta echo how great an idea this is for a series. I’ll definitely be checking it out every day.

In one issue of I believe either Marvel’s GI Joe or their spinoff series, GI Joe Special Missions, one of their pilots, Slipstream, gives one of his mechanics a Transformers toy to give to the guy’s son as a present. Even though it’s dead-on G1 Megatron, Slipstream accidentally calls it Jetfire.

Does anyone remember the original run of New Warriors? Future Thunderbolt Speedball was originally a resident of Springfield. So in an issue tie in with the Infinity War crossover where he fought an evil doppelganger across his hometown (it was the 90s, everyone had an evil doppelganger!) guess which family’s house he crashed into?

D’oh!

“it was the 90′s, everyone had an evil doppelganger!”

This is literally true at Marvel, as the Infinity War (or was it Infinity Crusade?) began with evil doppelgangers attacking every hero in the MU. Boy, those series both sucked.

Oh God … Top 10 was full of ‘em!

There were a ton in GI Joe 80′s series similar to what Acer said. I think they were more of parody than easter Egg….exploding rear-ended Pinto, Laurel and Hardy as police officers, others I’m forgetting.

Nick, that reminds me, I always found it amusing that in GI Joe, the Cobra headquarters was purposely in an ambiguously located town named Springfield, and then the Simpsons lived in an ambiguously located town named Springfield.

I think Arthur Adams is the king of this type of thing.

I’m sure I’ve seen Jay and Silent Bob show up in various Kevin Smith comics at DC (and probably Marvel).

I also recall a slightly more obscure reference in one of his Green Arrow books, a reporter with the unlikely name of Tovah Hernandez-Carlson, a character he also used in the Clerks cartoon series.

Not a comic book, but there’s the Kirby funeral scene on Superman: The Animated Series — Dan Turpin (a Kirby character who, on the cartoon, looks like Kirby) is killed by Darkseid, and there’s a funeral scene which, as it originally aired, featured a number of Kirby’s Marvel characters in the crowd. Disappointingly, the scene is altered on the DVD, and the only grab I can find offhand is this thumbnail at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Apokolipsnow_richards_nick_sue_johnny.jpg .

Damn, Nick UK, you beat me to it!

You’ll need a whole column for all the wonderful stuff in Future Imperfect. The weapon/memento room alone…woo.

In Superboy starring the LSH #217, a ship explosion results in a Steranko-esque “Holy Cow! Dig the Fireworks!” In the All-New Collector’s Edition #C-55 (referred to as that #@~%ed Tabloid), Paul Levitz and Mike Grell are in the corners of the Wedding “Photo.”

In Green Lantern #25, the same on you pulled the scan from, there’s several splash pages depicting the Sinestro Corps Vs the GL Corps and Earth’s various heroes. Members of the Sinestro Corps include a Predator, an alien from the Aliens movies, and ALF

What about all the big-two knockoff characters that appear in Savage Dragon? I’ve always found those funny.

Smax. On almost every panel so it doesn’t count.

Travis Pelkie

July 4, 2011 at 1:12 am

@Nick UK: I HAVE that issue of New Warriors, but I don’t remember that easter egg. Now I gotta dig it out!

I was just reading the Essential Super Villain Team Up in the final issue (number 17) there are a couple of characters named after members of Parliament/Funkadelic. AIM scientist George Clinton is the last surviving member of the team that created the cosmic cube and SHIELD agent William Collins, leader of Bootsy squad is sent in to sort things out with a captured Hydra Overkill horn. I know those Parliament/Funkadelic guys were big comics/sci-fi fans and wondered if there was more to this.

“I’m sure I’ve seen Jay and Silent Bob show up in various Kevin Smith comics at DC (and probably Marvel).”

I remember that at least one of the Smith ‘Daredevil’s had a clever easter egg. It’s been a while, but I believe it was a list of phone numbers written in Braille, and, aside from whatever character mattered within the story, there were references to Jay (or Jason Mewes) and a few others.

Sorry, I wish I could be more specific, but maybe it’ll pop up here.

–I’m sure I’ve seen Jay and Silent Bob show up in various Kevin Smith comics at DC (and probably Marvel).–

Oh yeah, I remember in a Smith written issue of Daredevil where Matt Murdock has Jay & Silent Bob on his speed dial with their names written in braille.

During John Byrne’s FF run he had Johnny Storm Visit Franky Rays’ roommate while she was rehearsing a play.
The scene was taken from Elfquest.

That same issue of Green Lantern rocks Sinestro Corps Alien and Predator in the big, Blackest Night prophecy page too.

Yeah I believe Lois and Clark are in Walt Simonson’s first or second issue of Thor. That was fun. J. Michael Strazynski was always tossing in Thor for superhero references while writing The Amazing Spider-Man.

Chris Claremont worked in a bunch of references to characters from George R. R. Martin’s novel The Armegeddon Rag during his mid 80′s run on the X-Men. And then there are my two favorite Easter Eggs or subliminal images if you prefer. The first was on the cover of KaZar #1 from 1970. In Zabu’s fur a four letter word that starts with F has been hidden. http://www.comics.org/issue/23656/cover/4/
In the old Atlas series The Brute, the artist drew an airplane and the number on it’s wing was 5H17 which when shrunk down to fit the comic page spelled out another 4 letter word.

In a meta-egg, Abrams’ Bad Robot is almost certainly a tip of the hat to Red Robot #C-63 of the webcomic Diesel Sweeties, a droid who puts Bender to shame in the misanthropy department. Or the other way around.

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