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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – Doctor Doom on Ice and Iron Man on the Bottle!

All throughout July, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs” a day. An easter egg is a joke/visual gag/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!

Doom’s Ice Capades

X-Men #98 is famous for the amount of easter eggs in it. So famous that I have mostly steered away from it. However, Chris G caught an easter egg from Dave Cockrum in the issue that I never noticed before, so I figure I have to share it.

Check out the first page of the issue. Look beyond all the other cameos on the page and look to see who happens to be skating on the ice in the background…

Hilarious. Thanks for the e-mail suggestion, Chris!

Dedicated King of the Hill Fan

Reader Jonathan S. picked this one up from last week’s Heroes for Hire #9. My guess is that it was inker Bob Almond and not penciler Kyle Hotz, but I could be wrong. In any event, check out the name of the propane cylinder…

“Strickland Propane,” the name of the company that Hank Hill worked for on King of the Hill.

Thanks to Jonathan for the e-mail suggestion!

Iron Man Literally Going on the Bottle


Don’t read any further if you don’t want a major plot point spoiled for you!



So, Tony Stark decides to try to barter with Odin. He offers up his sobriety as a sacrifice (neat idea by Matt Fraction).

Reader Stephen M. notes that the name of the bottle he drinks out of is “Démon dans use Bouteille” which is French for “Demon in a bottle,” the name of the classic storyline where Tony first grappled with alcoholism. There’s even a little Iron Man figure on the bottle with horns. Very clever stuff by Stuart Immonen (at least I presume that was him).

Thanks to Stephen for the e-mail suggestion!

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.

NOTE: A word about suggestions. I’ve gotten so many (which is great – keep ‘em coming!) that I am going through them in the order that I receive them. So if you wonder why I did not credit you for a suggestion you sent in, it is because someone else sent it in first. No offense intended!


“une bouteille”, not “use bouteille”.

He offers up his sobriety as a sacrifice (neat idea by Matt Fraction)

Really? I thought it was kinda hamfisted myself, and it continued the awful trend of Characters-Who-From-Now-On-Will-Only-Be-Known-For-One-Thing. Why not just have Hank Pym dig up his wife’s corpse while we’re at it and bring it Asgard so that he can smack it up in front of Odin too?

Fraction says the bottle was an error in his Newsarama Q&A about Fear Itself #4: “That is a [Fear Itself colorist] Laura Martin touch that we caught too late in the production process. It’ll be patched for the trade. It’s actually a bottle of booze he got a couple of issues back in Invincible Iron Man. Laura was being magnificent Laura, but hadn’t read Iron Man, and didn’t know that the bottle of hooch was actually canon.”


Has there ever been a depiction in fiction of an alcoholic character who opted for the moderation approach rather than the total abstinence approach?

Some people swear abstinence is the only way, that alcoholics are incapable of moderation so shouldn’t even try. Others say that if you have to totally abstain and obsess over not drinking again ever, then alcohol is still controlling your life and “beating” you, and that the end goal should be learning to moderate. Only when you do that can you really say you’re “beaten” the problem.

I don’t really come down on one side or the other, as I’m not qualified to say which is better, but I do think it’s an interesting debate and I can see the merits of both sides. That’s why I think a much more daring, and risky, and dramatic story if you wanted to write about Stark and alcoholism again is to show him deciding to go the moderation route rather than the cliched “instant fall from grace from one drink” route. I think it would have been a fiction first.

You know what’s odd to me? To hear Tony Stark refer to himself as a “scientist.” I never really looked at him that way. An inventor? Yes. Innovator, corporate maven, etc., yes. But scientist? I don’t think I’ve ever read him being referred to that way, mainly because unlike, say, Reed Richards or Hank Pym, Stark doesn’t have a Ph.D. (he’s just inherently intuitive)

always found the shot of doom ice skating hilerious since doom would never interact with others unless he was going to use the ice as a weapon. the bottle in fear itsself even if it is a mistake its still speaks how far iron man is willing to go now to pull off a win. that iron fist pannel first thought was some one must be a king of the hill fan to use strickland propane on the tank

T.: In “Leverage,” the show on TNT, Timothy Hutton’s character is an alcoholic who still drinks. They do a pretty good job of showing the other characters disapproving but not having any influence over Hutton’s character’s drinking. Every so often they hint that it might cause trouble for him, but so far, they’ve resisted the urge. It’s kind of refreshing, actually.

Can someone point out the other cameos in the X-Men panel. The only one that i can recognize is Nick Fury. Thanks!

I read that X-Men story once in an Essential, but I never noticed Doom in the background. I never noticed Nick Fury in the foreground, either.
(I do remember seeing Stan and Jack, but those are the only cameos I remember.)

T – I know of no addicts who can indulge safely. I suspect if you can you’re not really an alcoholic.

Greg – That is cool. I think that’s the first time in fiction I’ve seen an alcoholic opt for moderation. Be interesting to see where they take it.

Dominic – Some ex-alcoholics claim to be able to do it in moderation. Drew Barrymore for example:


I do know there are alcoholics who believe in moderation who exist. Like I said, I’m not saying they’re RIGHT, just that I’d love to see their view mentioned more in fiction rather than the one-sided conventional wisdom we see presented currently.

Would that be Kirby standing behind Storm, or Jim Shooter? I think Stan was taller than Jack, wasn’t he?
Is that Byrne at lower right with the beard? Who is the man at middle right pointing?

Also, though I haven’t heard Stark refer to himself as a scientist as many times as an inventor, he is on the record multiple times saying stuff like, “I hate magic”, as in fighting Morgan Le Fay’s dragon in the first Doom/King Arthur story (was it IM #150?).

No wait, take that back. It’s not Stan and anybody, that’s Kurt in his image-projected Errol Flynn disguise and Peter in a cap. Oops.


When I referred to recognising Stan and Jack in that story, I was talking about their appearance on a later page, not in the panel shown here. Sorry if I misled you.

I always considered Stark an engineer, not a scientist, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Marvel writers don’t know the difference.

@Mary – Agreed. “Man of science,” yes. “Scientist?” Stark creates things (mostly) for profit, not for the sake of scientific discovery.

But we’re splitting hairs here. I guess it’s just another example of how some fans have their “version” of a character, and some writers deviate when writing “their” version.

Carlos Pacheco is a HUGE on hiding easter eggs. Here’s a few of them I remember.

Carl Winslow, from TV series Family Matters appeared as a police officer in Pacheco and Ostrander Bishop limited series.

Avengers Forever, the limited series written by Kurt Busiek, was LOADED with easter eggs, the ones I remember the most are ones regarding two superhero teams Pacheco created for a publisher in Spain, Triada Vertice and Iberia Inc. , in the second issue, where Songbird explains where she’s from, the characters from Triada Vertice appear, and in one of the last issues, in a splash page fiolled with past, present and future Avengers, the captain of Iberia Inc., Trueno, appears. It was a cool easter for Pacheco spanish fans. Here’s a link to it; http://www.imakinarium.net/autores/p/pacheco_carlos/06_avengers/cpavengerslaberinto.htm

Was that X-Men before “History of the World: Part One” and its blurb at the end for Part Two’s “Hitler on Ice”?

Of course, it would have to be Hate-monger skating for it to be that….

@danjack: The guy with the glasses is supposed to be Matt Murdock, I believe, then Dave and Patty Cockrum, followed by Nick Fury and Val, if I’m remembering my Official Marvel Index correctly (I don’t have it handy).


I’d love to see their view mentioned more in fiction rather than the one-sided conventional wisdom we see presented currently

I suspect a lot of it has to do with the old “one drink=fallen off the wagon” approach being a lot easier to depict (and being more overtly dramatic) than the moderation approach, especially in comic books.

Which isn’t to say that that being easier makes the lack of any other approach okay, just that it probably has more to do with that any philosophical differences regarding addiction on the part of the writers.

Score! The Strickland Propane find was mine!

Nice, mine got on here! I wonder if Tony will continue to drink?

T~ as for your question well the thing is if you are an alcoholic there is no half measures, see the thing is you can lie to yourself over and over again that Yes I can handle this, and you know what sometimes it works, and it can work for a long while…and then it doesn’t see someone who is addicted to alcohol will finally hit a point were the bottle doesn’t stop. the drinking just goes on and the bad self demoralizing behavior takes command of who you are, when a normal person indulges too much it can be written off but when an alcoholic goes on a bender it affects those who have been traumatized by that persons actions in the past…to be honest Tony giving up his hard fought sobriety ( hell the man spent a good portion of his time on the streets wearing a tux and hating himself) to Odin to gain an audience to me struck a real cord but hey what do i know i’m only 8 years sober myself. i mean how could i draw on a life of experience of “self-moderation” to explain the trouble with the law, the loss of trust, the loss of friends and family…fiction works when it is based on real life and tony’s desire to help save the world at the cost of losing who he is…yeah your just an ignorant asshole who has no life experience and feeds off of what other create…oh and by the by the real world holds people to those “one-note” types of behavior no matter how much a person may have grown or changed, cause they see who they saw before be it a drinker, abuser or dumb dipshit internet troll

Whoa, that one went off the rails pretty suddenly.

sorry when some one who has no idea what they are taking about and say conventional wisdom regarding a real diseas…you would say to someone with diabetes, hell have cookies and cake that probably won’t matter, alcoholism is about being aware you have a real problem and those who don’t well they either go down a dark road or they were never truly alcoholics, just people who have a problem with alcohol in the first place yet use it as a scape goat …sorry soap box taken down and T may have gotten a little personal for a question sorry didn’t mean to just this is something that if you don’t live it you can’t understand it

The guy in the cape who’s skating could also pass for Thor…

@T. – I suspect that Drew Barrymore is a different case and that she’s not necessarily an addict in the truest sense. In spite of her past behavior, she doesn’t strike me as being the type of person with an addictive personality. If anything, she falls into the category of somebody who got way too much, way too fast. Worse yet, she was a child being asked to live in an adult world – complete with all of its vices.

As a kid, she didn’t have the proper tools to moderate herself back. This is the sort of skill which one develops over years. Look at how many college students drink excessively. Look at how few of them actually become alcoholics as they mature. People learn through trial and error. That’s what happened with Drew. She grew up and realized that this sort of lifestyle wasn’t healthy for her.

One of the hallmarks of addiction is being unable to stop even when you want to. It could be food. It could be booze. It could be drugs. It could be pr0n/sex. Whatever. You tell yourself that tomorrow will be different and that you’ll NEVER do that sort of thing again. Then, tomorrow rolls around and you fall back into the same pattern. You don’t want to and you feel weak for having done so, but there it is. When what you’re addicted to has power over you and you have none or little…. That’s addiction.

The brains of addicts are wired differently than the brains of non-addicts. This is a fact. There have been numerous studies on this. That’s why some people can smoke, drink, or do “soft” drugs and never become addicted ever. They won’t ever take it to the next level. Addiction is more than behavioral or environmental. It’s chemical. Some people are prone to addiction and others aren’t.

I smoked for 7 years. One day, I said, “Damn! This is just getting too expensive.” That same day, I quit. That was 14 years ago. I can have a cigar once or twice a year, but never once feel compelled to do so. Mostly because I enjoy the taste of a good Cuban. My maternal uncle has been smoking for 30 years and has tried to quit MANY times, yet failed with each attempt. Genetics plays a big part in this too. He’s got Emphysema and will probably get cancer in due course. My maternal great-grandmother smoked like a chimney. 3 or 4 cigars a day for the better part of 80 years. She never got Emphysema, cancer, or any of that. She lived to the ripe old age of 105.

My point is: Everybody is different.

Drew Barrymore had a crazy youth. So did Angelina Jolie and any number of other big celebs. They grew out of those phases and learned to moderate. That doesn’t mean that they were addicts. It just means that they went a little wild and didn’t know how to tame the beast. True addicts, like Lindsay Lohan or Amy Winehouse, are a different story. They fail each time they try to quit. They claim they want to, but the source of their addiction has all of the power. They like and stay in an environment that keeps them from getting healthy. And, if they ever were to successfully quit, they could NEVER indulge in even the occasional drink or whatever. One “small drink” leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, and so on.

Addicts CAN’T stop once they start. That’s just how it is. Moderation is for regular people, non-addicts. Actual addicts have control problems. Trust me. My grandfather was a hardcore alcoholic from the time he was a young teen til the day he died in his 70s. He got so bad that quitting was never an option and he ended up in the hospital numerous times over his drinking.

My father is an alcoholic too. He can’t just have a beer once in a while. It may sound cliched, but it’s true: once he starts with that one little can of beer, it’s unavoidable that he will drink himself to the state where he will make a scene or even lose consciousness.

Same thing with my brother. I would smoke a joint with him and his friends once in a while and walk away, but he just didn’t know how to stop.

Hey All,

i like the topic of addiction vs. abuse, but remember, T. didn’t say one way of handling it was good/bad/right wrong. Just that he would be interested in seeing a different approach. i would also be interested as i have 10 years of working with teenaged addicts in a no tolerance program, but have seen our graduates occasionally go to a very limited approach to drinking [with various results].

Too bad they’re relabeling the bottle. It’s very ‘Casanova’ and I assumed it was Fraction’s doing.

I think it’s sad that they’ll edit the bottle label because that bottle is not canon.

That X-Men 98 page made me laugh. Doom just skating his stresses away..

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