Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
All throughout July, I shared 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. Click here for an archive of all the easter eggs featured this month.
To start off the last day, I’m doing perhaps the most-requested easter egg suggestion this month!
A whole pile of you wrote in requesting the “Buried Alien” bit in Quasar #17. It is probably too elaborate to truly be considered an “easter egg,” but hey, a whole lot of you think it is, so who am I to judge?
The gist of the issue (written by Mark Gruenwald and drawn by Mike Manley) is that one of the Elders of the Universe has come to Earth. Just like how his fellow Elder, the Champion, had come to Earth to engage the strongest heroes on Earth, so, too, has the Runner come to Earth to engage the FASTEST heroes on Earth.
The Runner has all the fastest people on Earth compete in an inter-stellar race. Makkari of the Eternals was a Quasar supporting cast member at the time, and speed was his deal. Similarly, the Squadron Supreme has recently shown up on Earth and the Whizzer was a speedster, too. They both competed in the race along with some other familiar faces (like Captain Marvel, Quicksilver, Speed Demon, Super Sabre and more!).
In any event, partway through the race (which happened in 1990) a certain familiar fellow appeared in a flash…
And we are later introduced to him….
Gruenwald actually brought the character back near the end of his Quasar run. It was not as cute.
I’ll finish off the month with two notable artists from the world of easter eggs.
First off, based on a suggestion from Darren R., here is a cute Looney Tunes-inspired bit by John Byrne.
Here, from a Looney Tunes cartoon, we have a cat shouting “Not Happy Birthday! Not Happy Birthday!” as Happy Birthday is a punishment involving lighting a series of sticks of dynamite in a birthday cake.
In Man of Steel #3, the villain Magpie does a variation of the same routine (with the same pleases of “Not Happy Birthday!”)…
Clever reference by Byrne.
Thanks to Darren R. for the e-mailed suggestion!
And we end with Jim Aparo, who I just featured in this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed in connection with the little hidden hints he would put in Brave and the Bold to show you who was going to be the guest-star in the following issue.
Here, in Aquaman #50, when Aquaman is getting telepathy feedback, a bunch of familiar names pop up…
Nicely turned by the masterful Aparo!
Okay, folks, that’s all for the month! I hope you had fun!
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