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Comic Book Easter Eggs – A Look at Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek’s Marvels #1

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!).

This week, we begin a four-part series looking at easter eggs in Marvels, taking it one issue at a time (since there are SO many easter eggs in Marvels).

To start off, I’m not going to be featuring stuff like “Ross based this character on Actor X” or “Character Y is based on real-life person Z” or “That headline is a reference to a real issue.” The first two because we’d be here all day, as Ross uses models for everyone and the latter because that’s the whole POINT of Marvels, ya know?

So we’re going to concentrate on cameos and other cute little nods/homages.

Again, there are so many that we’re going to take this one issue at a time.

First off, when the Human Torch is unveiled, among the reporters who came out to see the unveiling are Lois Lane and Clark Kent…

I’m sure some of the other faces are also easter eggs. So feel free to tell me in the comments who they are (as if I had to tell you to do that).

On that same page, we see young Billy Batson selling newspapers…

Later, we see an homage to Edward Hopper’s classic painting, Nighthawks…

Here is the painting, in case you are one of the 4 people who have not yet seen it.

In this nice nod to Joe Simon, Ross includes a drawing by Joe Simon (co-creator of Captain America) as an artist’s reproduction of Captain America in this Life article.

You might recognize the drawing as what Marvel used in their tributes to Simon in their comics when he passed away recently.

Finally, here’s Popeye the Sailor!

Okay, that’s it for #1. Start e-mailing me easter eggs for the next three issues at bcronin@comicbookresources.com, I am sure that you know lots of them! Plus, in particular, if anyone has a big scan of the newspaper copy in #4 from either the Daily Bugle article on Doc Ock or the one on Norman Osborn (both is even better) then I’d appreciate it. I just can’t quite read my copy.

Remember, e-mail me suggestions! Don’t make them in the comments section! Also feel free to e-mail me easter eggs from #1 that you thought I should have featured. Perhaps I’ll do a Miscellaneous edition later.

29 Comments

I think young J. Jonah Jameson is one of the reporters (front-left from Kent’s POV).

Eric T. Barcelon

August 8, 2012 at 11:55 am

Aside from Clark Kent and Lois Lane, another couple featured in the panel are Alex Ross’ parents who are depicted as their younger selves during the late thirties. I got that based off the Wizard’s Alex Ross Millennium Edition Special which actually lists a lot more Easter Eggs that weren’t featured in your column.

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I shudder to think of all the easter eggs one might find in Kingdom Come.

Probably take it “one issue at a time”. ;-)

Well, there’s clearly a guy who’s intended to be a young Jonah Jameson running around MARVELS #1, although Marvel has retroactively determined him to be a different guy. (See this article: http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/jamesonoldman.htm) I don’t think the guy in front of Kent is supposed to be him.

Is the the guy with glasses on the left side of the panel comic book publisher Martin Goodman?

You missed Willie Lumpkin. :)

On the first pic, isn’t the red-headed guy more on the right side, Jimmy Olsen…?

Honestly, did you just copy this out of Wizard Magazine??

Matthew Johnson

August 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

Ah, I wondered why my comment a while ago was ghosted…

I don’t think JJJ counts as an easter egg, since I’m pretty sure he’s identified in the story.

“I shudder to think of all the easter eggs one might find in Kingdom Come.”

Comic Book Resources grew out of a whole site Jonah dedicated to Kingdom Come!

I don’t think JJJ counts as an easter egg, since I’m pretty sure he’s identified in the story.

Yeah, that’d be my take on it, as well.

To be fair, young Jonah is a character in the book, so that wouldn’t really be an Easter egg.

Alex Ross included a young J. Jonah Jameson in “Marvels,” but along the way, some editor decided that Jameson wasn’t old enough to be a young reporter back then, so he is NOT identified in the story.

even though that one guy may be a young jj think marvel would proably have him somewhere in their any way as his older self. plus one could not really do a marvel story and include reporters with out jj. not to mention interesting that marvel let alex include clark and lois lane in marvels.

In the first panel, I’d like to think that the woman top left is the reporter Torchy Blane, who appeared in a series of movies in the late 30s. She was one of the influences on Lois Lane, it would seem, even the name reportedly coming from Lola Lane, one of the actors to play Torchy.

By “it would seem” and “reportedly” I mean “according to Wikipedia”. The Torchy Blane films are great fun, by the way, if you like wise cracking b-movies about reporters.

You’ve probably heard that Josh Whedon is developing a Marvel Comics live action TV series.

They could do a lot worse than call it “Marvels” and use the idea that it’s centered on a peripheral character whose life intersects with various other better-known characters.

I think the woman top left is supposed to be Lois Lane.

I just looked through the first issue of Marvels, and I can’t believe it…that guy, who’s so obviously intended to be Jonah that I never even questioned it…he ISN’T named in the issue. Not once. He’s got JJ’s attitude, to be certain, and even says “Someday, when I’m running the Bugle…” at one point. How could any fan think he was supposed to be anybody else?

On another note, I’m going to be slightly pleased with myself that although I missed Clark & Lois, I did catch all the other Easter eggs mentioned on my own. Can’t wait for the coverage of the other issues.

“Comic Book Resources grew out of a whole site Jonah dedicated to Kingdom Come!”

Yep, I remember the “good old days” of gettting my issue of KC, reading it, then anxiously waiting for Jonah’s diligent documentation.

Are those archived somewhere on the site?

Marvels is very loose continuity anyway and it has events taking place when they happened in the “real” world

I just read the “Old Man Jameson” link and that killed half the joy from Marvels#1. Ok, not really half, but maybe 3 percent, at least. The guy has the funniest line in the issue, when he’s entering the hospital room with Doris (Phil Sheldon’s girlfriend), and Phil, having just lost an eye, says something like “Oh, hello, honey. Was it you who sent the flowers?” And Jameson point to Doris and says, “No, it was her”.
But of couse the guy is supposed to be JONAH Jameson… The entire series clearly ends in the middle of the 70’s, following chronologically the time that the original stories were published. It doesn’t belong to the “stretched time” continuity from the regular Marvel Universe. The brazilian edition, at least, has one character call him “Jameson” right in the first page, and mentions that he has always been a pain in the ass. Fits perfectly.

You know, I was sure that two guys making a toast in the Bugle’s Christmas party in Marvels # 4 were Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but now I just googled them and the photos don’t match. That scene must be filled with cameos, by the way, I just don’t know who all those people are supposed to be. Except for a certain ginger, of couse, but this guy pops up in every issue of the series.

Spider Jerusalem

August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Did they really have to give Old Man Jameson the same name as a Twilight Zone character?

I forget what issue it is, but there’s a very clear shot of Badfinger walking down the street in one panel. I used to be friends with a friend of Busiek’s, who got confirmation from Kurt himself that it was indeed them.

Spider Jerusalem

August 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Did they really have to give Old Man Jameson the same name as a Twilight Zone character?

In the Craig Kennedy series, Kennedy had a companion, a reporter named Walter Jameson.

http//mikegrost.com/moffett.htm

JJJ may not have been identified by name in Marvels #1 (don’t have my copy handy to confirm for myself) but he is in the later issues, where his relationship with Phil Sheldon (and Ross’ art) makes it crystal clear it’s the same character.

And another neat thing is that Jameson had already made a cameo in the 1940s Marvel Universe, as a reporter who snaps a picture of Captain America in Roger Stern & John Byrne’s Captain America #255. He’s unnamed in that issue as well, so Marvel has plausible deniability.

@Revroth: Wow, 2 days ago I sent an E-mail to Brian saying that Joey Molland could be Paul Mccartney… I just google-imaged the band’s name and this guy appears right in the first result, wearing exactly the same jacket from the comic book cameo!
I blame this on the fact that 50% of all easter eggs in practically every media is about the Beatles.

In the Craig Kennedy series, Kennedy had a companion, a reporter named Walter Jameson.

http://mikegrost.com/moffett.htm

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