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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Marvel’s Subliminal Advertising!

Every week, I will be sharing with you three comic book “easter eggs.” 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! If you want to suggest an easter egg for a future column, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).

Scott Keith wrote in about a couple of interesting bits in Web of Spider-Man #10. Typically, when there is a newspaper article or something like that in the background of a panel, you’ll just see the headline and then a bunch of gibberish.

In Web of Spider-Man #10, however, artist Jim Mooney or letterer Rick Parker put into two bits of writing that must have been laying around the Marvel Offices.

First up, in a contract the Shocker signs where he agrees to kill Dominic Fortune…

the text of the contract is an advertisement for having actors dressed up as Marvel superheroes attend your party or function. I blew up the image, but it is not especially legible (it is legible ENOUGH, just not especially legible – you can click on it to make it bigger)…

Later, a newspaper article…

It is not visible in the color version, so I had Scott scan me his page from the Essential volume he was reading when he noticed the easter egg, and here it is…

It is piece of a recent Bullpen Bulletins. Belated congrats to Terry Kavanagh!

Funny stuff.

Next, my pal Loren sent me this really clever bit from Martian Manhunter #0, where we learn the Martian names for Mars and Earth…

As Loren notes, these names are a clever allusion to C.S. Lewis. Here’s Loren:

Those names are adapted from C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy, where Malacandra was the ancient name for Mars in the book “Out of the Silent Planet,” and Perelandra was the old name for Venus in the sequel “Perelandra.”

Clever, John Ostrander, clever!!!

Finally, reader David B. sent in this amusing (if bizarre) joke from Fantastic Four #227, where either artists Bill Sienkiewicz and Bruce Patterson or letterer Jim Novak decided to have some fun with an old gas station. The really old gas stations used to sell Ethyl gasoline. So they decided to take that to another level with a pun based on the neighbors on I Love Lucy, Fred and Ethel Mertz…

Cute (if odd).

Okay, that is it for this week! Thanks for all the neat suggestions, folks!

If anyone wants to suggest a future easter egg, feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


What the heck was Meet Misty?

I’m picturing an awesome Misty Knight romance book.

I’m guessing that’s not it, right?

Scott Steubing

May 23, 2012 at 5:12 am

MEET MISTY was a limited series from the 80s by Trina Robbins featuring the niece of Millie the Model.

Matthew Johnson

May 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

If you haven’t already, you need to feature the newspaper copy Kurt Busiek wrote for MARVELS — it’s really funny, especially the bit about it being impossible to identify Doctor Octopus’s henchmen because they all look alike (not to mention J. Jonah Jameson’s skepticism that an alien god would have a big letter “G” on his chest.)

Obregon Kaine

May 23, 2012 at 8:11 am

Should the Human Torch be lighting up next to gas tanks?

And Reed Richards is supposed to be a genius!

love how marvel manage to try and sell their other titles snuck them in as part of the words on the newspaper in spider man. not to mention comedic genius naming the gas station after i love Lucy

Okay, the “Fred & Ethyl” one made me laugh much harder than it should have…

Marvel still does this. I remember in Amazing Spider-Man #666, there was a poster in the background advertising the Captain America movie, which had yet to be released at the time.

I laughed, then sighed at how shameless it was. Good idea, thought!

[…] Comic Book Easter Eggs – Marvel&#39s Subliminal Advertising! easter bulletins It is piece of a recent Bullpen Bulletins. Belated congrats to Terry Kavanagh! As Loren notes, these names are a clever allusion to CS Lewis. Right here&#39s Loren: These names are adapted from CS Lewis&#39 Space trilogy, where Malacandra was the ancient name for … Read far more on Comic Book Resources […]

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