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Comic Book Easter Eggs – New “Se”X-Men #118 Edition!

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!

Today is an edition entirely devoted to Ethan Van Sciver’s New X-Men #118, where he tried to put the word “sex” into each page of the issue.

The “problem” with the issue is that a few of the attempts appear to be edited out (you know, like what could have been SEX instead is, say, SZX, etc.).

Even with that, though, there is still nearly one “SEX” per page.

Here are six pages from the issue. Try to find the “SEX” on each of the six pages (you can click on each page to enlarge the image)!

Plus, feel free to share in the comments section other times the word SEX appears (some of them I think are just too much of a reach, like the branches or the lightning at the end of the issue).

Thanks to the people who suggested this one. I was going to do it anyways, but I figure it’s always nice to thank the people. ;)

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!

68 Comments

“Unappointed by any recognized agency.”

Yeah, dickhead, that’s kind of what “volunteer” means.

I’ll have to pull out that issue sometime and have a look.

Does anyone remember how all the old 90s Catwoman series’ covers had a cat (normally) hidden somewhere? At least all the issues drawn by Jim Balent. One of the first things my sister and I would do is look for the cat when a new issue arrived. It’s been years, but we’ve never found the one of #26–the one with the sewer rats attacking Catwoman and Batman. Anyone?

Tom Fitzpatrick

July 20, 2011 at 5:18 am

I found one “SEX” on the 4th page, which I think was the most obvious, but not the other 5 pages.

Guess, I’m as blind as an old bat.

The third page Sex is written in Jean Grey’s Hair right next to Emma frost.

Page 2 – Look into trees behind right gate.

Yeah, dickhead, that’s kind of what “volunteer” means.

Actually it’s not. Take Peace Corps as one example.

The Crazed Spruce

July 20, 2011 at 5:55 am

@Tom Fitzpatrick:

First page: The side of one of the monitors. (To the left of the yellow display, just above Beast’s shoulder.)
Second page: Bottom panel, left-hand side, hidden in the shrubbery seen through the gate. (Halfway up the side of the panel.)
Third page: In the first panel, the “S” and “E” are in Jean’s hair, and combine with the “X” in her jacket.
Fourth page: In two overlapping protest signs (conveniently colour-coded).
Fifth page: Bottom left corner of the third panel, in amongst the bric-au-brac on the lawn.
Can’t really pick out the one on the last page.

Page 5 – 3rd panel, In sticks on ground left side of house.

Am I the only one who thinks this is totally silly?

No…no you are not.

was wondeirng when this issue would show up for found it interesting that ethan manage to not only get the word sex put into the issue but on almost every page without editors winding up having to redo the issue . plus love Emma and jean arguing over how to handle the protestors emma wanting to shut them off mentaly jean wanting to try peaceful talking.

I’m not sure about all of this sex stuff but, man, Van Sciver’s art is beautiful.

And to think some people consider comics juvenile. Hah.

Really? I mean, really? Isn’t this a bit immature for the artist to do this? Are we, like, fifth graders or something?

Don’t pretend that Jean isn’t ALWAYS in your personal fantasies, Logan.

@ The Crazed Spruce

Page 2 — Are you sure you don’t mean on the RIGHT side of the panel behind the gate…?

Still stymied on page 6, though.

This is precisely why I hate Ethan Van Sciver. Why was this even done? I believe he claimed that the topic of sex was important to the context of the issue or some nonsense, but give me a break. He did the same exact thing in his Green Lantern: Rebirth art as well. Not on every page, but it’s there.

How juvenile. But then, it’s comics. Not high art. Right?

No wonder the industry gets a bad rap.

did he have to work the word SEX into the panel of Beast lying there near death in ICU? Did that really seem like the best moment to sneak it in?

Australian Comic Fan

July 20, 2011 at 11:05 am

I think it’s more interesting people getting so offended by this.

If he had worked the word “cat” into every page would people still be calling in childish? Wether intentional or not, by using the word “sex” he has pointed a spotlight on the tendency of society to be offended by anything even alluding to sex while accepting things like violence as a norm.

I’m not against a good action movie, but also I don’t think sex should be spoken of in such hushed and frightened tones. Why is one hting more socially acceptable then another?

Heh heh, heh heh, heh heh, he said “sex.” Heh heh, cool.

OK, that’ll be quite enough of that.

Australian Comic Fan

July 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

I think it’s more interesting people getting so offended by this.

If he had worked the word “cat” into every page would people still be calling in childish? Wether intentional or not, by using the word “sex” he has pointed a spotlight on the tendency of society to be offended by anything even alluding to sex while accepting things like violence as a norm.

I’m not against a good action movie, but also I don’t think sex should be spoken of in such hushed and frightened tones. Why is one thing more socially acceptable then another?

ACF: Nope, because “cat” isn’t usually something that little kids thinking it’s funny to say just to see if they get a reaction. But if he’d worked the word “doody” into every page, then yeah, people would say that was childish too. It’s not that anyone finds it shocking, just juvenile.

Daniel O'Dreams

July 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

Too bad he didn’t do this to an issue AFTER Disney bought Marvel. It would have been much funnier and the conspiracy nuts would have had a field day.

(Google hidden or subliminal message and Disney.)

Geez… lighten up! Gosh, who let the Puritans in? Sex is cool, man…

(tee-hee!!) ;p

@ACF, I would have found putting “cat” into every page silly as well. I’ve always thought the compulsive tendency to constantly put easter eggs in books, or in art in general, to be silly, and puts the work as a whole at risk.

@Daniel O’Dreams

Disney LOVES them some Easter Eggs!! Anyone remember Pastor “Wood” from The Little Mermaid?

Check it! –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpeB1aINj54

Matty Macomber

July 20, 2011 at 11:38 am

Eh. Sure, it’s probably a little juvenile to have “sex” on every page. So what? It really doesn’t hurt anyone, isn’t really pornographic or making any definitive moral stance on sex. From the artist’s side, it’s a fun little drawling exercise to incorporate those specific “s”-”e”-”x” shapes in natural-looking fashions so that it escapes casual viewing. Like other Easter Eggs, it just adds “re-play” value to the comic.

Why is this still being talked about? It was ten years ago.

It could have been the word “CAT.” But “CAT” was never famously rumored to be a hidden word used in advertising in the 1950′s to manipulate people into buying products. “SEX” was.

Does this mean I’m sex-obsessed, because I hid that particular word in tribute to that urban legend? I mean, I am sex-obsessed, but…

These comments were great, but the funniest one was about Beast in ICU. I laughed. Thanks everyone. And it’s there on page 6. I’m looking at it now. :)

Ethan Van Sciver

@Australian Comic Fan, Where EXACTLY is this done in GL: rebirth?

It was never done in GL Rebirth. Or in fact, anywhere else that I can recall. I use different symbols and images and messages if I want to hide something.

But that’s kind of the point of this sort of hoax. Do it once for real, and a certain type of person sees it everywhere where it isn’t.

EVS

And in closing, if hiding the letters “S-E-X” in New X-Men #118 helped just ONE comic book fan to have sex, then I did my job.

So I guess I didn’t do my job.

Har, har… such wit.

Oh! Found it on page 6! I feel so smart.

Why is this still being talked about? It was ten years ago.

Because it’s Comic Book Easter Egg Month! :)

Why are we still talking about Easter Eggs? Easter was three months ago!

I think that’s the most obvious one. On the placards on ends in ‘s’ and the other starts with ‘ex’

I don’t think it’s immature. If just seeing the word sex makes you giggle, then you’re immature, but sex is a word, just like any other.

Of course, the artist could have chosen any other word, but there’s excuses for that (sex is a short word, has the letter x in it) but just using the word’s not really immature.

As a shareholder in Disney, I have to point out that the urban legend about the pastor’s “erection” in the Little Mermaid is untrue:

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/minister.asp

On the other hand, the naked woman in The Rescuers is real:

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/rescuers.asp (NSFW if your boss is easily offended)

This is clearly the doing of the Stepford Cuckoos, who “learned how to implant deceptive erotic images”.

@EVS: You’re a liar. It is in GL: Rebirth. And it’s just as juvenile and stupid there as it was in New X-Men. Cograts. Your maturity level peaked in junior high. You’re true specimen of the human race.

I only found three, and then the others that people pointed out in the comments. I can’t find the last one, either.

Ethan, I loaned all of my New X-Men to the girl I was dating then started some military training. She wrote me letters about it and it took my mind off the obvious. We’re married and she’s an Emma Frost cosplayer now. You did a little TOO good a job here.

Sixth page, debris on the bottom right hand corner of the middle frame, right below the trailer.

@The Commander
Troll much?
If the man says it’s not there, then it’s merely a product of your fevered imagination. Why would he deny it?

@Anonymous
Learn to count. That’s the fifth page. And it’s on the left…I hope you don’t drive.

I don’t know about GL:Rebirth, but I’lltrust the artist on this one.

There is the matter of the F-word on the cover of JLA #50, though.

Er, this was already covered on CBR in Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #145.

If I remember correctly, wasn’t Van Sciver’ fired from Marvel because of this crap ?

On page 6, its in the tree on the final panel, in the space between the leaves

“@EVS: You’re a liar. It is in GL: Rebirth. And it’s just as juvenile and stupid there as it was in New X-Men. Cograts. Your maturity level peaked in junior high. You’re true specimen of the human race.”

Jesus! LOL!

Okay, show me where.

“If I remember correctly, wasn’t Van Sciver’ fired from Marvel because of this crap ?”

I was fired for doing 5 books per year instead of my contractual six. And because I had a bad attitude.

It would be better if it went according to your memory, though.

I thought that GL Rebirth had a shot of Ann Coulter’s va-jay-jay on every page. Then I realized it was Parallax I was seeing.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm

The Commander:

How juvenile. But then, it’s comics. Not high art. Right?

No wonder the industry gets a bad rap.

I think the industry gets a worse rap because it’s fans think that GL: Rebirth would count as high art.

I think it’s a fun book, but I don’t think anyone involved would compare it to high art.

(Also, stating you hate someone, because you think they are immature? That’s the height of maturity right there!)

Completely “meh” about the easter egg thing, but this issue rules purely on the strength of my all-time favourite Emma Frost line – “I pushed their bliss buttons… They’ll wake up utterly ashamed of themselves”.

VeryMetalChewie

July 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I have a feeling some people would prefer this blog changed its name to Comics Should Be Serious.

I pulled my hardcover off the shelf, because I can’t see it in the sixth page and I wanted to blame it on the scanning.

I see an E-X at the bottom-left of the first panel, but it would be a stretch to say there’s an S in front of it. And I see an S (the smoke) and an X (the crossing wires) on panel 4, but nothing really E-ish.

Ethan, did you throw in random Ses, Es, and Xes just to *really* mess with people?

I would’ve been satisfied with: turn it sideways, far left on the second panel, directly next to the telephone pole; the E is between the wires and the X is the wires…

except that’s not legible in the scan! And that wouldn’t be fair.

I see an E-X at the bottom-left of the first panel, but it would be a stretch to say there’s an S in front of it.

Looks pretty clearly to be an S to me.

On the page before that Beast one (not scanned) — tricky bastard, the E is lower case!

I saw an S-E on the second page, but otherwise, the first one I saw was p6 [the Beast one is p7].

the SZX Brian mentioned is the page before the 5th scanned page — a little too obvious, maybe that’s why it got caught (if, indeed, it’s not just a fake-out).

I’m not seeing any others in the non-scanned pages.

fair enough, Brian, but to me it’s a much more less distinct S than any of the others.

Here’s an unofficial answer key I just found; they do cite the lightning (I agree with on that one Brian), and have a different answer for the final scanned page.

It also looks as if the “SNX” (the whiskey bottle one you didn’t scan) might’ve been *slightly* edited in the trade, because the line making the N into an E is a little more overt in the scan they have, which I assume is from the issue.

Hey, where did the link go?

http://www.uncannyxmen.net/db/article/showquestion.asp?faq=4&fldAuto=77

[Oddly, with all the evidence and logic they put into it, they don't include the panel where Emma says to the Cuckoos about "implanting deceptive erotic images into the minds of our enemies".]

fair enough, Brian, but to me it’s a much more less distinct S than any of the others.

Sure, I’ll certainly concede that.

There’s a “sex” on every page. On one occasion, a word balloon broke it up.

I thought Ethan was “conservative” ?

The artist must have worked for Disney… The sex flight pattern effect was clever.

“don’t say another word!”
Emma shows to jean who will be the headmistress of the school!!!!

[...] Marvel was doing his head in at the time, and he decided to have a bit of a laugh. See if you can spot the hidden words–you’ll find the answers in the comments box, as well as a big hint in the image for this [...]

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