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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – G.I. Joe Easter Eggs!

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, all easter eggs from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic books!


Reader Adam F. suggested a pair.

First off, in a rare issue not written by Larry Hama, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #119 was written and drawn by Herb Trimpe. It is about the bad guys creating realistic robots of famous people. In one scene where we see a bunch of famous figures, we also see the feet of Spider-Man!!

Cute bit.

Adam suggested a bit from the very next issue (written by Hama, drawn by Andrew Wildman), where Destro and the Baroness take on four Red Ninjas, who each wield a very specific weapon…

Yes, while I suppose it is not BLATANT that this is an homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (who each wield a katana, a bo staff, nunchucks and sais, respectively) it is pretty close to it.

When Cobra Commander escapes into a mall in G.I. Joe #55 (by Hama and Rod Whigham), we see a few familiar action figures to fans of independent comics and manga…

The aforementioned G.I. Joe #120 also had a REALLY clever one, where Destro comments on who designs his chess pieces…

This is a reference to Bill Merklein, who sculpted the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero figures during the 1980s (and yes, also did the sculptures used for the credit card holograms).

Finally, in the recent G.I. Joe #180, the Joes head to San Diego Comic Con and artist S.L. Gallant has a blast with it, in an almost Where’s Waldo-esque scene of little easter eggs (I especially like him drawing himself at a table with nearly no one trying to get anything signed by him)….

Great stuff (click on the page to enlarge)

Thanks for the suggestions, folks! If you have more G.I. Joe easter eggs or more easter eggs in general, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


I especially like how the TMNT-styled ninja are all wearing red, like the turtles did in the original Mirage comics. Not sure if that’s just coincidence or not, though.

I have most of those GI joe issues and never noticed the easter eggs,but #180 i got signed by S.L, Gallent at a comic book convention and i was the only one who got something signed by him at said con

I wouldn’t know where to begin asking about the easter eggs in #180, so I’ll just say, I see a TARDIS!

I especially like how the TMNT-styled ninja are all wearing red, like the turtles did in the original Mirage comics. Not sure if that’s just coincidence or not, though.

The Red Ninjas were already established in the book, so I think it is BASICALLY a coincidence (although I think one that they were obviously happy to use, ya know?).

Nurse When?

Very clever stuff….

It would have to be an homage. Most of the Turtles’ weapons weren’t traditionally used by ninja.


The best one was J Jonah Jameson popping up in #95 (second part of the Snake Eyes Trilogy). He goes to a newstand (which the Joes are using as cover to stake out a Cobra building) and comments no Daily Bugle amongst the selections.

As for “specific” weapons, I thought Destro was wielding Han Solo’s blaster for a second…

Hehe, nice. Thanks for sharing! I remember catching Astro Boy in #55 and Spidey’s legs in #119 (which, as a side note, I remember thinking even as a boy “wow, this story feels way different than the other Joe stories”, only discovering muuuuuch later it wasn’t written by Larry Hama!), but the others were new to me. I vividly remember reading #120 several times because hey, I loved ninjas — but I don’t know HOW on Earth I missed that TMNT homage.

There are probably two dozen other little GI JOE easter eggs we could come up with, I seem to remember catching cute little things like that all the time while reading those books.

I *wish* it was that easy to get around SDCC… I don’t think I’ve ever seen the crowd that thin, except *maybe* on Sunday a few years back.

Herb Trimpe’s art rarely looked that good

Just to add insult to injury, the guy at my table isn’t asking for an autograph, he’s asking for directions; it’s something that happens to me a lot. I guess my Charlie Brown head makes people feel safe enough to ask me things like that. I drop a lot of eggs in my stuff, but management doesn’t always approve. My Dixon-verse Joe stuff had a lot of things in it, if you enjoy eggs, time to hunt. I will admit- it’s usually Doctor based; cause I’m a geek. Enjoy.

Don’t see the feet of Spider-man. Maybe I’m blind as a bat?

Tom Fitzpatrick

February 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Anonymous was me.

It’s funny, Shannon, there was a Doctor one in a recent Real American Hero issue that I was going to include but it was so obscure that I thought it might have been there accidentally, but I guess now I know it was on purpose! :)

I’m working my way through Classic GI Joe and Larry Hama is always good for jokes like these. I look forward to getting into the ARAH trades soon.

Of course, the TMNT wore red due to Elektra and the Hand wearing red.

Spider-Man’s feet are below Scarlet’s word balloon in the last panel.

@Tom Spider-man’s feet can be seen in the last panel to the right of the blond guy’s head.


Does this mean we can link Flaming Carrot and GI Joe in 6 Degrees? ;)

No one uses four ninjas, each armed with those very blatantly specific weapons, and doesn’t think they’re making a nod to TMNT.

Very nostalgic when I think of the Hama/Trimpe issues of ARAH. Pure magic to me as a child. Gotta go read them again…

the scene where Destro launches a wrist-rocket at the last remaining ninja who is showing me off, reminds me of the Raiders of the Lost Ark scene where Indy shoots the swordsman in the marketplace…

Holy cow–is that a version of Wulf the Barbarian in the comic-con pic?

That’s near-rabbinical in terms of obscure references . . .

Not sure where Wulf the Barbarian is up there, but Larry Hama wrote and drew some (if not all) of those issues, so it’s not as weird to reference him as it seems.

Hasief Ardiasyah

February 12, 2013 at 3:32 am

The J. Jonah Jameson cameo in issue #95 is the obvious Easter Egg in the Snake Eyes Trilogy, but in the very next issue look for the Three Stooges’ Moe, Larry and Curly as three helmet-less Cobra Viper soldiers trapped on one of the upper floors of the burning Cobra Consulate that try to string together enough appliances so they can climb down through a window before running afoul of Storm Shadow who is climbing up from the outside.

Hasief Ardiasyah

February 12, 2013 at 5:24 am

Now that is freaky.

One of my favourite running jokes in the series (including in the above-mentioned #119) is the stealth fighter pilot whose codename nobody remembers. The name’s Ghostrider, and since Marvel originally published G.I. Joe, it’s obvious why they avoided it.


Though IDW’s now publishing G.I. Joe, it’s cute that Larry Hama’s brought the joke back in the continuation of Real American Hero.

I just stumbled on to this Easter Egg thread while looking for an image of GI Joe 119. Here is another Easter Egg from this story for you. I happened to be working in the Marvel Production bullpen at the time this issue was being worked on and the splash page came across my desk (it was my job to paste the lettering down). On page one I noticed a small figure at the end of the dock, about half an inch tall, who sure looked like he was giving the finger. We in the Bullpen had a good laugh over it but didn’t mention it to anyone in editorial just to see if anyone would notice. It’s real small. Sure enough it’s there in the printed book. Not only that but Trimpe, who also colored the book, put a yellow spotlight on the guy giving the finger. We referred to it as the “Secret Cobra Salute” after that.

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