web stats

CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – A Look at Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek’s Marvels #4

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 conclude 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).

Reader John correctly notes that the four people in this panel who stand out are the band Badfinger (Alex Ross is a big Badfinger fan)…

On this page, we have Pete Townshend on the top…

and then presumably his fellow Who bandmate, Roger Daltrey, on the bottom (as well as the late, great actor John Cazale on the right)…

No one ended up giving me better copies of the newspaper articles or scans of the text from the 10th Anniversary Hardcover, so you’ll just have to take my word for it that Busiek wrote some fun articles throughout the series, like this bit on Doctor Octopus…

At this newspaper reporter party, Lois, Clark and Jimmy are all in attendance…

In this famous bit, legendary Spider-Man artist John Romita is driving the cab as Phil Sheldon follows the Green Goblin’s glider as the villain is carrying Gwen Stacy to her death…

leandro notes that Bob Marley makes a rather random cameo…

There ya go! There are obviously more easter eggs in Marvels, but we’ve shown you a whole lot of them (and that’s with me specifically not even getting into the celebrities used as the basis for heroes’ looks, like Timothy Dalton and Tony Stark and Russell Johnson and Reed Richards, etc.). Special thanks to reader leandro for actually suggesting easter eggs!

36 Comments

Jason Seas (@jasonseas)

August 29, 2012 at 6:35 am

I would almost guess that the person front and center in the Roger Daltry panel looks like Elvis Costello.

First panel – yeah, I can see Wings McCartney. The on panel right looks like Brian May meets Jimmy Page.

Also, not sure if that’s Bob Marley.

I read that the people in the first panel are members of the rock group Badfinger.

Yeah, you’re right, John, as soon as you mentioned it I remembered that they are, in fact, Badfinger. Thanks!

Regarding the first panel- that guy on the left looks a lot like Jimmy Page, and the one on the right could pass for an older Robert Plant, but I’m not certain if that’s coincidence (aging rocker syndrome) or design. I haven’t seen enough pictures of John Paul Jones or Bonham to recognize them, but if it was a Zeppelin tribute it would fit in with the Who.

interesting for recognized both the members of the who . and the bob marley but never knew who the artist holding the black panther pic was for did not recognize andy warhol. and given how many easter eggs one could do an article for almost months.

they lool like all four of led zeppelin to me…

Bob Marley: Would make sense regarding the text in the balloon in this panel: “She’ll be all right! She’ll be all right!” Sounds a lot like one of Bob’s biggest hits: “Everything’s gonne be alright!”

Ross is a big Badfinger fan and they match the look for Badfinger, so I’m going Badfinger.

Matthew Johnson

August 29, 2012 at 7:39 am

Actually, that last one is not a Warhol reference — it’s a scene from Avengers #77 where the Panther fought a gang called the Split Second Gang that included the fellow shown here, Sweet William: http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/spltsc.htm#sweet

Thanks, Matthew!

Tom Fitzpatrick

August 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

Is that Muhammed Ali in the lower right-hand corner in the newspaper party panel?

Does anyone know the comics story that is the basis of the newspaper story about a fire destroying the Pyms’ house? Was it the Ant-Man series in Marvel Feature?

Since I can’t make out the Doctor Octopus article and I assume the same goes for others, can someone explain what makes it so fun?

What I’m asking is, is it fun because the front page covers all the events going on during a single publishing month of Marvel comics back then or are there fun little bits in the actual text of the stories?

Does anyone know the comics story that is the basis of the newspaper story about a fire destroying the Pyms’ house? Was it the Ant-Man series in Marvel Feature?

Yes, that’s it exactly.

>> I would almost guess that the person front and center in the Roger Daltry panel looks like Elvis Costello.>>

You see what you want to see, I suppose, which is why so many people start looking for cameos and manufacturing them mentally as a result.

That’s Phil Sheldon, the lead character of the series. He’s older, shorter and heavier than Elvis Costello, and has an eyepatch and a mustache.

Similarly, aside from being a black man, that guy in the lower right at the party looks nothing like Muhammad Ali.

Matthew Johnson

August 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

T.: I can’t do a transcript because my son threw my magnifying glass down a hot air vent (seriously) but the main joke I recall is about how it’s hard to round up Doctor Octopus’s goons because they all look alike.

Here’s a similar newspaper gag, which someone has transcribed, that Busiek did in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #8: http://the-isb.blogspot.ca/2007/03/kurt-busiek-is-bad-bad-man.html

The guy next to the one reading the newspaper with the Hulk headline is clearly John Cazale, aka Fredo from The Godfather I & II and Dog Day Afternoon.

The guy next to the one reading the newspaper with the Hulk headline is clearly John Cazale, aka Fredo from The Godfather I & II and Dog Day Afternoon.

Right, like it says in the piece. :)

I think the guy in the bottom right corner of the newspaper party is Michael Strahan. (joke)

that ain’t Bob Marley. that’s Marvin Gaye.

If you look in the bottom right hand corner of the Clark, Lois, & Jimmy picture, you’ll see former New York Giants’ player Michael Strahan

Um, I mentioned the Badfinger appearance back in the comments to part #1… just sayin’

And, in fact, regarding the Zeppelin/Badfinger confusion, I had noted that a friend of mine who was also friendly with Kurt had it confirmed by him that it was indeed Badfinger.

Kurt – to be fair, the eyepatch isn’t particularly visible in that specific panel. If I didn’t know the book, I wouldn’t think that that character had an eyepatch. His non-resemblance to Elvis Costello, though, I agree.

and Mohammed Ali, that’s just hilarious.

I think it’s worth noting, the drawing of Cazale appears (to my eye, anyway) to be specifically modeled after Cazale in ‘Dog Day Afternoon’. He tends to have very distinct looks in the few films he made, and that’s definitely ‘Dog Day’.

And I’m wondering if this is a super-buried reference here; I know that the real crime depicted in Dog Day Afternoon took place on August 22, 1972. I know Gwen Stacy’s death was published about a year after that or so. But I don’t have the comic in front of me, so I’m not sure how long before Gwen’s death that panel is, and I’m not familiar enough with Hulk’s appearances in New York City to pin it down. I’m almost certainly reaching, but it’s fun to speculate.

I love how John Romita’s cab’s plate says Jazzy, another great Easter Egg.

Definitely agree that that looks more like Marvin Gaye than Bob Marley.

Pretty sure the guy in the lower right of the Clark/Lois/Jimmy panel is Mike Tyson.

Out of curiosity (and maybe as a follow-up if it’s worth doing), does anyone remember if Ruins did the same sort of thing with the cameos (even with different creators involved)?

I freely admit to being too lazy to dig mine out and look right now. Though these articles have made me want to revisit both series soon.

That’s Phil Sheldon, the lead character of the series. He’s older, shorter and heavier than Elvis Costello, and has an eyepatch and a mustache.

But other than that, DEAD RINGER, right, Kurt? ;)

One of the most clever bits in issue #4 is that one of Phil’s journalism colleagues apparently has a drinking problem. You can other folks at the party looking on in concern as he’s downing drinks & them holding him up later when he apparently can’t stand on his own any longer.

Elvis Costello totally needs to start wearing an eyepatch at gigs. That’d be awesome.

That said, I kinda see where the strap of Phil’s eyepatch comes up at the right angle to kinda look like the classic Costello glasses, but it’s a stretch to think the rest of it looks “Costello”.

What’s so funny about people overreaching for Easter Eggs?

The guy in the Christmas tie at the newspaper party looks a lot like Rupert Murdoch

I’m just sorry that most of my guesses were wrong, Brian… It really surprized me that one about “Andy Warhol” being in fact just a random thug.
Also, can anyone identify the guys making a toast in that christmas party panel? Given that the issue 4 takes place in the seventies, I assumed for some time that they could be Woodward and Bernstein (I only knew that they were a blond guy and a dark-haired dude, based on the actors that played them on movies), but Google Image spared me from making another wrong suggestion… Anyway, ever since then I’ve been wondering… My second (presumably wrong) assumption would be that the blond guy is Art Garfunkel. Or maybe Jericho.
Oh, what the hell… You know what? I’ve heard that, if you read the entire series backwards while listening to The Dark Side of The Moon, it will make the spiders stop tap dancing under your scalp.

Funny, if we’re going for guys no one would have heard of when the book came out I’d say the guy in the corner of the party looks like Michael Jai White. So we have a Spawn AND Batman movie crossover before it was even possible! The foresight of these creators…

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives