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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Art Adams Fits A Whole Other Universe Onto a Spectre Cover!

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!).


Based on the suggestions of a couple of folks, including Brian F. and Mikey F., we take a look at Art Adams’ cover for the Spectre Annual #1.

Check it out…

Click on the cover to enlarge.

Here are three details from the cover, featuring Reed Richards, Abel (does Abel really count as an easter egg, though? He’s met the Spectre a few times) and Hercules…

then the Thing…

then Wolverine, Longshot, likely Storm (or possibly Starfire) plus what looks to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon next to likely Doctor Strange (and below what looks to be Mr. Spock and above what looks to be Professor Xavier)…

and also Sam and Max…

Feel free to point out the other cameos in the piece!!

Josh A. pointed out this cute bit from The Boys #23, by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson.

There is a chart of all the G-Men (a parody of the X-Men) in the issue. Like the X-Men, there are a TON of G-Men. So the chart is gigantic.

Well, on one of the panels, we see that there are so many G-Men that Boba Fett is even one of them…


In the recent excellent graphic novel, Shooters (I wrote a review of it here – you should really go pick it up!), writers Eric Trautmann and Brendan Jerwa and artist Steve Lieber reference Jen Van Meter, the wife of Greg Rucka, longtime collaborator with both Trautmann and Lieber.

If you have an easter egg suggestion for a future column, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


Looks like Plastic Man is standing next to the Thing.

Hercules is just to the lower right of Reed Richard. Picachu and Ash Ketchum are just behind Sam & Maxx. And that could be Dr. Strange, minus the Cloak of Levitation, behind Ben Grimm.

Right above Dr. Strange (below Spectre’s foot to the left) looks like Mr. Spock from Star Trek. And Below Dr. Strange looks like Professor X and Wolverine.

The x-men (Longshot included) are in their civies on the left.

Is that J. Jonah Jameson and Aunt May below Deadman’s feet? At the bottom of the page?

Looks like Plastic Man is standing next to the Thing.

Oh yeah, definitely Plastic Man. He’s another one that I felt kind of weird calling an “Easter Egg,” since he’s a DC character.

Is that Storm, from X-Men, further down to the right of Longshot?

The person standing between the Thing and Plastic Man looks like a human version of Usagi Yojimbo.

That could actually be the entire Fantastic Four. Johnny between Ben and Reed and Sue in front of Johnny. I don’t know how Franklin was drawn in 88 though.

It looks like grey Hulk persona Mr. Fixit is to the right of Deadman’s foot.

The entire FF, yes — but they’re scattered. Or, at least, there is a female with a “4” jersey on under her jacket partially hidden by Deadman’s toes, and what appears to be a young male, ALSO with a “4” jersey under his jacket to the right of the Spectre’s feet, two rows behind the woman in the blue apron and the striped hat. And if it weren’t for what looks like a moustache, I’d say that Peter Parker was standing between Aunt May and Mary Jane just to the left of Abel.

As stated previously, Plastic Man is on one side of the Hulk, but the other side looks like Wyatt Wingfoot.

The New Mutants are right below the X-Men: Magik, Karma, Dani, then Rahne, Sam, Magma, and then just a bit of Warlock.

Is that Dakota North below Plastic Man?

I believe that’s supposed to be the Creature From The Black Lagoon standing between Dr. Strange and Longshot.

Ha! I had just edited the piece to include the Creature, Andrew, when you made your comment. Hilarious.

Left of Reed Richards – Robbie and Betty (Daily Bugle)?

If you look at one of the Spectre enlargements, you’ll see Waldo.

If Adams ever did something like this cover again, I bet he totally would put Waldo on the cover.

I spy Gaiman’s Sandman (Morpheus) over near the center at the bottom.

I highly doubt Morpheus is there, as this book predates that, right? Same with the person who suggested Pikachu being in there.

Unless Art Adams has strange mystical powers that allow him to see the future?!

I think I see Lando Calrissian to the immediate right of Aunt May down the bottom of the image.

Nice! Sam & Max! You know Max is a semi-official Star Wars character, too.

It looks like Einstein is to our right of Deadman’s foot. And that kind of looks like Mario from Super Mario Brothers to our left of Deadman’s foot.

I love this cover and it has given many hours of enjoyment looking at all the cameos. I pretty sure that The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Spock are on the cover also.

Great minds think alike, Brian. :)

Yojoe.com has a section pointing out the easter eggs that appeared in GI Joe comics. Check it out!

Yeah, I’m pretty sure the Pikachu that Benn is seeing behind Sam is actually Max himself (notice he’s holding up his gun).

Y’know you’re a huge Sam and Max fan when you look at a picture packed with iconic characters and your eyes go right to them. As soon as I even glanced at that image, I was like “Hey, it’s Sam!”

Isn’t that Karma standing in front of Reed Richards?

Namor behind Reed/Ben? Keith Hernandez just to left of Deadman’s foot? Carmen Sandiego just below/left of him?

was going to point out plastic man also plus that one x-men lady by long shot looks like she could be rogue instead of storm

in front of the X-Men are New Mutants Cannonball,Mirage,Karma,and Magma

To the right of Wolverine, isn’t that Karma, Moonstar, Cannonball and Magma?

Arthur Adams is in there too. He’s above Wolverine to the left. The dude with the long hair and beard. I have this issue.

I think that the one next to Deadman’s legs isn’t Mr. Fixit but Java and Saphire from Metamorpho.
Namor and Plastic Man are next to The Thing
J.J. Jameson in below Deadman’s Legs at the bottom of the cover. Two characters to the right is aunt May.
Bottom-right, just below Hercules, that’s Superman very surprised.
Jimmy Olsen is right in the middle between the legs of Deadman and the Spectre.
I think that the Flaming Carrot is at left-side of the Spectre’s Legs (where the boots start).
I think that Wolfsbane is next to Sabretooth, two characters above Wolverine, two characters to the left of Dr. Strange.
Between Longshot and Wolverine is either Lex Luthor or Prof. Xavier.
And I think that the muscled guy above Namor may be Sigurd Jarlson.

Great cover indeed.

– I think I also spot Doc Samson behind Thing & Wyatt.
– I also spot the Warriors Three a bit above Sam & Max.
– I _think_ that might also be Mark Gruenwald up & to the right of Longshot.
– As others have said, in that corner by Wolverine, you’ve also got almost the entire New Mutants.
– The poofy haired woman behind Wolverine is, I think, Psylocke as she was drawn back in`88 – in her original body.
– Since he’s drawing in character clusters, if you look at the bottom you’ll spot Aunt May, Mary Jane, Jameson, Peter Parker, Ben Parker, & what might be Liz Allen.
– Storm & Dazzler by Longshot
– Rogue, by Pyslocke in the left corner
– Given the height the the Joe Fixit Hulk there, I’d also say that the woman next to him is probably She-Hulk. (Betty would be smaller – even in this pic)
– An educated guess about the guy behind Joe Fixit, based on the hair & jacket, would be that this is Rick Jones.

That’s all I can figure out right now. Again, if you’re going to hunt, consider the fact that it looks like he drew these characters in clusters. That’s why the FF and X-family are all in groups. So, once you find one, it’s a fairly safe bet that somebody nearby is connected. (It also helps if you knew how Adams drew his characters back then. ^_^ )

Also Peg Bundy (in between Deadman and the Spectre) and Superman (right corner next to Hercules) are in there. I forgot Rogue is next to Arthur Adams (bottom left corner).

I doubt that’d be Peg Bundy.

1. Married with Children and the entire FOX network had only been around for a few months. That’d make it fairly unlikely for Peg to be on the cover, as the show hadn’t quite taken off yet.

2. Where there’s Peg there’s Al. No Al next to or near her.

3. This was the 80s. Big hair reigned supreme. This is why I suggested to look for character clusters. These big haired women could be anybody. Placed next to Wolverine or Longshot, though, and they’re more likely to be 80s incarnations of Storm & Psylocke.

Little self-correction.

I think that the woman in the jumpsuit by Joe Fixit might indeed be Betty Ross. The reason why I say that is because, right below Fixit, is a woman wearing a “4” t-shirt. I think THAT is She-Hulk, especially since sh’ed been associated with the FF around that time.

conan obrien above thing?

Nope, steve2275. That’s clearly Johnny Storm, especially since Reed & Sue are nearby. Plus…. Remember that this cover was done in 1988. Conan was still working behind the scenes on SNL back then. Nobody really knew who he was.

I mean, I guess that Johnny could be below Thing, but I’d really have to check back to see how AA drew his hair back then. Definitely NOT Conan O’Brien though.

“I highly doubt Morpheus is there, as this book predates that, right?”

It’s close enough timewise that it would be technically possible, but I agree it’s unlikely.

I think Mr. Fixit and the woman next to him are actually Angel and the Ape. They look like their drawing in the original Who’s Who series (issue #26).

Has anyone thought of contacting Mr. Adams and ask him directly about the piece and for any other input?

That looks like Dr. Sivana next to Hercules, although half of his face is cut off on the edge of the cover. Also, it looks like the Shadow next to J. Jonah Jameson.

Also, the guy next to the Thing looks like Wyatt Wingfoot.

Cannonball, Karma, Moonstar, and Magma and standing with the X-Men

I feel like the baseball player to the left of Deadman’s foot is either Jackson or Mattingly, but that Rollie Fingers-esque mustache is throwing me.

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