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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Sellers, Nexus and More Meet the New Mutants!

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 take a look at some notable cameos in the pages of the first volume of New Mutants…

Enjoy!

First up, we have two suggestions from reader Jeff M.

In New Mutants #19, Bill Sienkiewicz decided to provide his own “Hitchcock cameo” (Alfred Hitchcock was famous for making cameos in his films)…

Four issues later, Sienkiewicz had Peter Sellers’ famous character from the Pink Panther films, Inspector Clouseau, make an appearance…

(By the way, did Dani use that trick any other time or was that a one-time thing?)

Finally, Jackson Guice filled New Mutants #50 with a TON of cameos. A number of readers suggested I feature this issue, including Stuart, Frank L. and Philip A.

Here are the cameos…

First, we see a bar called M’NDENS, which is clearly a reference to John Ostrander’s interdimensional hangout Mundens from his Grimjack series. On the bottom panel, we also see a Grimjack lookalike…

He introduces himself the next page…

On that same page you might have noticed two Micronauts characters from Guice’s run on that title, Commander Rann and Marionette (plus the little fairy creature).

On the next page, besides Nexus appearing in a crowd scene, there are a few other minor cameos. I don’t feel like pointing them all out. So have at it in the comments section, people!

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! If YOU have an easter egg idea, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

45 Comments

I see Gloop, Gleep, and Tundro from the Herculoids, and Acroyear and Bug from the Micronauts.

You missed Ben Casey behind Hitchcock in NM #19. I’m dating myself again.

BigJones- THANK YOU! I have wondered who that was behind Hitchcock since I was 14. It was clearly photo-referenced, but I just didn’t have a clue as to who it could be.

That Nostromo patch is a reference to something, right?

Are the primate and blonde human on the last page supposed to be DC’s Angel & the Ape?

When I reread Claremont’s old stuff, all the recurrences of mind control along with the really rapey implications that go along with it are really disturbing. I mean is there any doubt the auctioneer is basically describing is selling the girl as an underage sex toy? Or that Claremont means for the description and scenario to be a fantasy to titillate us, the viewer? And that we are meant to be given plausible deniability for indulging in the fantasy because Xavier shows up to save her and decry the act as wrong?

T. – if you think his old stuff is bad, you should see his more recent work. It’s pretty obvious that Claremont has some specific fetishes and that they keep slipping into his comics.

@Michael P: The Nostromo patch is referencing the name of the mining ship in the movie Alien.

@Cool Arrow… Also shown there were Zando, Tara & Durno (along with Igoo the Rock Ape) of the Herculiods.

@VanGohX: Which, in turn, is a reference to Joseph Conrad’s novel Nostromo.

@Rock Golf….Nope…That’s scene was with Illyanna/Magik being sold when Prof X. stepped in.

In that second page at the space bar you can see Commander Rann and Marionette from The Micronauts crossing the gutter between the first two panels. Considering Acroyear and Bug are attending the auction it must have been a slow day in the Microverse.

Michael M Jones

January 2, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Even as an impressionable teen at the time this came out, I was struck by how sexualized the bit with Illyana was. The pose, the artfully-ripped costume, the expression… even though Illyana was never the most innocent of Claremont’s characters – she was pretty much the wildest of the New Mutants in terms of attitude and dress – this was surprising.

These days, I just go “Yeah, Claremont.”

According to the recent book Marvel: The Untold Story, Claremont and his signifigant other were players in the New York swingers scene in the ’70s, and it’s pretty obvious looking back that a lot of his sexual politics crept into his work in subtle ways.

Where did Xavier get that Nostromo jumper, anyway?

I’m surprised New Mutants Special 1 was left out (BTW, best comic ever!!!). Off the top of my head they had Remington Steel and Laura Holt as well as Martin Short as Ed Grimsley.

Ben Casey looks a lot like Chandler from Freinds.
Isn’t the ape from nexus as well?

That’s Ben Casey? I had assumed it was Rod Serling behind Hitchcock, thinking that a demon bear attack was pretty Twilight zone-esque

Next to Hitchcock is ANOTHER cameo, Dr. Ben Casey (Vince Edwards) from the 1960′s TV Seires BEN CASEY!

It’s not as creepy as issue 2 of “Kitty Pryde and Wolverine” and Ogun’s extremely rape-subtext-laden control of her, especially the cutting of clothes and hair.

*smacks forehead* Of course, Alien. *hands over nerd badge*

And I would think the woman/ape thing would be reminiscent of, y’know, Planet of the Apes.

The guy next to Hitchock seems to be too prominently featured and specific in features to just be a random person. Is he supposed to be a significant cameo as well?

Oh forget it, I just saw my question was already answered in the comments.

Looks to me like all the members of the Herculoids are present in the first panel of the final page.

I’m surprised New Mutants Special 1 was left out (BTW, best comic ever!!!). Off the top of my head they had Remington Steel and Laura Holt as well as Martin Short as Ed Grimsley.

Remington Steele and Laure were featured already!

The fairy-like Micronaut was named Fireflyte.

No, there’s no doubt Illyana is being sold as a sex toy. There’s not supposed to be. These are bad guys.
I’m so sick of this new buzz-word “rapey”…

“Looks to me like all the members of the Herculoids are present in the first panel of the final page.”

Not all. Zok the flying dragon is missing, but he was probably too big to fit into the scene.

C.W. Atkins said…”According to the recent book Marvel: The Untold Story, Claremont and his signifigant other were players in the New York swingers scene in the ’70s, and it’s pretty obvious looking back that a lot of his sexual politics crept into his work in subtle ways.”

I must have missed that in reading the book. Can you cite the chapter or page for me?
Keith

No, there’s no doubt Illyana is being sold as a sex toy. There’s not supposed to be. These are bad guys.

Maybe I’m being mistaken but to me it’s written ambiguously enough so that a kid can read it and not get the full sexual implications. I say this because as a kid reading many of these for the first time I missed a lot of these innuendos and implications. But then again maybe I was just a naive kid.

I’m so sick of this new buzz-word “rapey”…

Trust me, I’m not one of those uptight guys that sees misogyny and “rape” in everything. I don’t even think this is quite misogynistic, as Claremont also does weird “rapey” things to men too.

Anyway, my problem isn’t with the idea of bad guys depicted doing bad things, but rather the way it seems to be written in a way to titillate the reader, and using an adolescent to boot, and just in case the reader missed it, the bad guy makes sure to call attention to the fact that she’s a minor and that’s what makes the rape possibilities even hotter. Also, was the “pleasure” ray that made her writhe and wriggle all seductively and make her look extra amenable to sex reallty necessary? He could have just had her crying bloody murder the whole time and Professor X come and rescue her. It wasn’t really necessary to shoot her with a beam that made her act like a sex kitten for a few panels except to turn on the readers.

I don’t know which bothers me more: that I missed the other Herculoids, or that I’m old enough to recognize them at all.

If that’s Ben Casey, and I have no reason to doubt the other commenters, I think it’s a sly wink to something else.

I believe that Neal Adams was an artist on the Ben Casey comic strip, and Sienkiewicz was of course one of the most prominent of the “Neal Adams wannabes”.

Until around the time of this run on New Mutants.

A nice little wink there by Sink — “yeah, I can still do Neal, but wait’ll you see what else I’ve got”.

T isn’t your issue more with the Artist then? Or at least partially with him.

I think it’s showing the bad guy being bad personally.

I see it the way Jax does. These are bad guys, and this is a completely reasonable portrayal for bad guys who are slavers. I see what the slaver is doing as similar to Larry Niven’s “Tasp”, which remotely triggered pleasure centers of the brain.

As for the torn costume, titillating a bit maybe, but would it rate compared to the *un-torn* costumes that a lot of folks are wearing nowadays? It’s all degrees, and while I can imagine how it could have been different, I’m not an artist, so I don’t know whether the scene would have been as clear or effective had it been drawn differently. The scene does lead to Xavier basically getting the whole crew in vast quantities of trouble in the process of rescuing her, so her immediate danger needed to be well-established, or he’s just being foolish.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

January 3, 2013 at 2:46 am

Now, I probably shouldn’t be surprised that the comments here very quickly degenerated into standard nerd-misogyny tripe (but I am, because I for some reason hope people who share my interest in comics would be at least somewhat decent human beings)…

…but I think I’ll have to jump in with the “having the bad guy do something bad does not equal endorsing said bad thing” crowd. The ape-thing is a slaver. Claremont may be into bondage (and of course, that’s bad enoguh for the most “conservative” whiners) but he’s _probably_ not endorsing actual slave trade.

T said:

When I reread Claremont’s old stuff, all the recurrences of mind control along with the really rapey implications that go along with it are really disturbing. I mean is there any doubt the auctioneer is basically describing is selling the girl as an underage sex toy? Or that Claremont means for the description and scenario to be a fantasy to titillate us, the viewer? And that we are meant to be given plausible deniability for indulging in the fantasy because Xavier shows up to save her and decry the act as wrong?

He’s not saying that bad guys shouldn’t do bad things. He’s saying that Claremont as a writer uses a particular TYPE of bad-guy-thing a LOT, and when the implications of said bad-guy-thing are thought through, it’s odd and slightly disturbing. Especially coupled with the artistic depictions of the characters. Think too of Mastermind mind-controlling Jean Grey into the Black Queen outfit. It’s bad-guy-stuff, but it’s also a scenario to titillate the viewer by asking the viewer to imagine the young girl dressed provocatively at your total submissive command.

Actually, in this scene, it’s disturbing that Nexus is letting this slave trade just happen! ;)

But since Claremont’s pet characters were teenage girls and Marv Wolfman’s was…Danny Chase, I see why X-stuff sold so well over the years and New Teen Titans fell by the wayside in the post-Perez era ;)

Claremont is not misogynistic, he is an equal opportunity abuser. :) Like T. said, there are many instances of guys being mind-controlled and forced to go naked or wear demeaning costumes. Wolverine was naked a lot, particularly. Hell, Claremont has women on main roles in his comics a lot more than most superhero writers.

The instance depicted above may stand out because Illyana is a minor, but – and I’m not endorsing the attitude in any way – it must be pointed that earlier decades were a lot more lenient to this kind of thing even in real life, not to say anything of depictions.

I watched ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST last year. Jack Nicholson’s character is clearly a good guy rebel, a lovable rogue of sorts. The reason he was in prison was that he had sex with a 15-year old girl. We, the audience, are supposed to see this as a minor, very forgivable crime. Today, he would be labeled a pedophile and deemed a social pariah.

I can remember pointing out the Micronauts cameos in 50 I just can’t remember where or when!

I can remember pointing out the Micronauts cameos in 50 I just can’t remember where or when!

An e-mail. Last year.

Heh, I remember that issue. Then again, I was 15 and a half, and had a crush on Illyana (little did I know about my depression then, and that ‘dark side’ resonated with me when reading her). I wasn’t complaning about the pleasure gun :-)

A few people have responded to me by saying that Claremont is not advocating what he’s depicting, or that he’s a misogynist or even a misanthrope. Just to make it clearer, I never said and do not think Claremont was advocating rape or pedophilia, any more than I think Batman creators are advocating terrorism and murder when they go increasingly overboard on the gratuitous violence in every new Joker story they write.

I’m not saying bad guys shouldn’t be bad or that topics like murder and pedophilia should be totally off-limits at all time, but that sometimes there is a thin line between depicting something disturbing and reveling in it, and that Claremont straddles that line a lot. He gives himself and the audience a sort of plausible deniability by having the good guys decry the stuff as wrong, and by having someone either prevent the worst or at least avenge the injured party, and that end result where justice wins functions to make everyone feel okay at being titillated by something disturbing.

For example take the movie Dark Knight. There is no denying that the creators and Heath Ledger are going overboard to make terror and murder and mayhem look sexy and charismatic, no matter how much lip service the movie pays to the opposite values. He has all the best quotable lines, most of the camera time, makes the most forceful arguments, and Ledger is uber-committed to selling the character and making you love him. The movie spends two hours plus indulging your id while paying lip service to your superego and letting the superego have the last word so that you can walk away pretending you didn’t enjoy the bad stuff as much as you did. However never in a million years would I think Nolan and company enjoy murder and terrorism, advocate it, or want others to participate in it. They just want to exploit it and indulge it in a “safe” space, kind of like S&M people have a safe word or a boxing match has a ref and rules to make the barbaric and primal seem civilized.

To be fair, I think all bad guy vs. good guy fiction works on that level to a degree, but Claremont can be so blatantly transparent and repetitive with it sometimes that it sucks me out of the story.

Here’s another example of Claremont using the same trope of “push the rape and titillation and domination elements as far as I can before letting good guys win,” except this time without the Comics Code to hold him back. Look at certain elements like Colleen Wing licking her lips before an attempted rape, :

http://clarmindcontrol.blogspot.com/2012/12/shooting-up-daughters-of-dragon.html

By the way, I’m a HUGE fan of Claremont and love his work. I just get annoyed with some of his recurring dialogue tics and S&M themes though.

Travis said:
– Actually, in this scene, it’s disturbing that Nexus is letting this slave trade just happen!

At the time this story came out, Nexus took his cues from the dreams sent by the Merk (if I recall correctly) and there was an ongoing struggle with his mission to kill mass murders, what constituted such, whether some could be justified, etc. (I don’t recall if they ever got around to asking the obvious question: “Is a guy who kills one mass murderer after another, even if ‘justified’, not a mass murderer himself and thus should commit suicide?”)

Nexus at the time would have had some internal struggle with the slave auction, but would have had to let it occur, so long as no one was being killed.

Speaking of mind control, the Micronauts and Claremont doing creepy stuff with the New Mutants… One of the more disturbing posts I had to write was about the X-men / Micronauts miniseries in which Charles Xavier’s dark side (that later would provide the basis for Onslaught) menaced the Microverse and mind controlled people left and right… Especially Moonstar, who he effectively raped:

http://clarmindcontrol.blogspot.nl/2012/08/micronauts-minors-mind-control.html

and for all the gory stuff:

http://clarmindcontrol.blogspot.nl/2012/08/micronauts-minors-mind-control-part-ii.html

T. -

Interesting post, as always.

Works of fiction where the villain is the most interesting element of the story are very old. More than 100 years ago we had Dracula, Mr. Hyde, and Dorian Gray. I don’t count Frankenstein’s Monster, since he was more of an anguished anti-hero.

But I don’t know that striking and interesting is the same as sexy and desirable. The Joker’s mayhem in the Dark Knight movie and other stories isn’t even slightly attractive to me. Heath Ledger’s Joker is still extremely repulsive. Perhaps because I’m way past adolescence, but not even in my teenage years I’ve found psychopathic clowns to be sexy.

Batman beating the Joker is more than lip service to me. The more “outstanding” the Joker is, the more pleasurable it is to see Batman clobbering him. And maybe that is the point, to present a villain that is larger-than-life, that is a challenge. I agree with you that comic book writers sometimes have made the Joker too much of challenge, as to render Batman ineffectual. But I don’t feel Nolan’s movie was guilty of that.

Now, Two-Face is a sympathetic villain.

@Clarmindcontrol: I recently covered that X-Men/Micronauts series on my blog as well, and the scenes with the Entity seducing Kitty (who was really Baron Karza) and then more or less psychically orgasming Moonstar into submission were pretty creepy, and while the point is made that Xavier’s dark side is performing these acts, there’s the unspoken fact that it’s still a side of Xavier doing that to one of his underage students.

I don’t think it quite reaches the same level of depicting a disturbing act while reveling in it that the Illyana scene in question does, but it would have been nice if Claremont had taken the time to circle back around and address what were apparently some pretty dark desires buried in Xavier’s subconscious.

Then again, he probably figured very few people actually read that series. :)

T isn’t your issue more with the Artist then? Or at least partially with him

To a degree yes, but in the context of all the other examples of similar instances in Claremont’s writing with different artists (or if you just do a casual perusing of the Claremont Mind Control blog in general), you can see that this too common a recurring trope to just blame on the artist. Claremont is the only common element in all those examples.

I think it doesn’t help that I’m currently both batch-reading Claremont and also batch-reading the Claremont mind-control blog, because it makes it far prominent to you once you’re aware of it AND you’re reading months worth of material at once.

Shouldn’t Acroyear and Bug have recognized both Xavier and Magik, and offered to help? ;)

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