Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
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 email@example.com (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).
This week, all the easter eggs involve Rocket Raccoon!
Rocket Raccoon is interesting because his very EXISTENCE is a bit of an in-joke, ya know?
The character is a reference to the Beatles song, “Rocky Raccoon.”
Rocket Raccoon’s first appearance was in Marvel Preview #7 by Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen (he was “Rocky” in that issue).
He next appeared in Incredible Hulk #271 by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.
The title of the issue was…
This is a reference to the opening line of “Rocky Raccoon,”
Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
Next, we met Rocket Raccoon and his pal, Wal-Rus, almost certainly a Beatle reference (“I Am the Walrus”)…
That Beatles song was a reference to the Lewis Carroll poem, “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” from Through the Looking Glass. Another Lewis Carroll poem from that same book is “Jabberwocky.” In that poem is “snicker snack.” So in the comic…
Next we meet the bad guys, who are searching for Gideon’s Bible (a reference to “Rocky Raccoon”)…
I dunno what the other characters are reference to, if they are references to anything.
Rocket Raccoon’s girlfriend is Lylla, a reference to Lil, Rocky Raccoon’s girlfriend from the song. She is being held captive by Blackjack O’Hare, which I believe is a reference to the Larry Hama character Bucky O’Hare (but as commenter Stephane S notes, while Hama had created O’Hare in the late 1970s, he did not appear in a comic until two years after this Hulk comic, so there is a chance this is NOT a reference to Bucky O’Hare. I still think it is, since Mantlo and Hama worked together for years, but there is a chance that it is not)…
As far as I can tell, that’s it for the references in the Incredible Hulk #271.
Now, in Rocket Raccoon’s mini-series by Bill Mantlo and Mike Mignola, there are plenty. I am just mentioning a couple that were suggested to me by reader Jay S.
First, in #1, the special effects are references to Rice Krispies and DC’s Mad knock-off, Plop (thanks to reader Joe L. for the Plop bit)…
And in #3, Steve Purcell’s Sam and Max make a cameo appearance…
Thanks for the suggestions, Jay!
If you all have other easter eggs from the Rocket Raccoon mini-series (I am sure that there are more), e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Same thing if you have any other easter egg suggestions! Just e-mail me at email@example.com
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