Comic Book Easter Eggs – Bill Willingham Pays Homage to Marvel in a Role-Playing Game
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).
Reader Justin T. wrote in awhile back about this role-playing comic book easter egg by Bill Willingham. Here’s Justin setting the scene…
Bill Willingham worked as an artist for TSR in the early ’70s and ’80s, providing illustrations for a variety of their games including D&D. On the title page of the well-known module D1-2 Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Willingham included an homage to several Marvel superheroes:
(Check the treasure chest in the lower left-hand corner of the image.)
The picture was reprinted later in the GDQ1-7 super-module QUEEN OF THE SPIDERS.
Next, in Jughead’s Double Digest #179, there is an excellent Christmas story by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Al Milgrom that opens the issue (and introduces a new character, Toni Topaz, who is a competitive eater and rival to Jughead…and perhaps more?). In it, Jughead is so wrapped up in an eating contest that he loses his baby sister at a fair.
When looking for her (with Toni Topaz), who walks by but Peter Parker and little Benjy Parker from the pages of DeFalco and Frenz’s Spider-Girl!
Neat stuff. Thanks to Tom DeFalco for letting me know about that easter egg.
Finally, in Wonder Woman #72, Bill Loebs, Lee Moder and Ande Parks had a strong arc involving a drug addict/villain who Wonder Woman helps to turn his life around….
Note the hospital name. Wonder Woman was set in Boston at the time, and so was St. Elsewhere and its fictional hospital, St. Eligius.
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 email@example.com