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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – Terry Austin Popeye 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 the easter eggs are Popeye cameos by the great Terry Austin!


I’ve featured these before a couple of years ago in an All-Popeye edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed, but they really belong as part of the Comic Book Easter Eggs Archive, as well, so here ya go!

Terry Austin is one of the most popular comic book inkers around. He is also a major Popeye fan.

So, as a fan of Popeye, he has worked the character into a number of comic books over the years as “easter eggs.”

Here are a few…

Uncanny X-Men #125…

(Note: Popeye is hidden in the background on the right)

Marvel Premiere #50…

New Mutants Special Edition #1 (this time penciler Art Adams obviously went along with it)….

Detective Comics #475 (suggested by commenter Joe Mama)…

Can you think of any other instances of Austin sneaking Popeye into a comic book? E-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com and I’ll add them to the piece!

Plus, if you have a suggestion for a future edition of Comic Book Easter Eggs, ALSO shoot me an e-mail at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


It’s not exactly “sneaking in,” but the Cerebus/Popeye crossover in “Cerebus Jam” deserves a mention.

Is Austin another victim of the “Jerry Ordway syndrome”? Last thing I remember him doing was the kids’ Superman Adventures.

What’s Jerry Ordway syndrome?

I think Austin’s been inking lots of Archie…

I love that in that Uncanny X-Men #125 panel posted, Terry also put Phantom Stranger in the background.

@Tonebone, right about Austin and Archie.

I never understood why John Byrne said he didn’t care for Austin sneaking Popeye and the Phantom Stranger into the background of X-Men, but at the same time it was ok for Byrne to put in one of Larry Niven’s Puppeteers or a HUGE honkin’ closeup of the Joker when the X-Men went to a disco.

Because Byrne is a (REDACTED).

Travis Pelkie

March 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Man, if they haven’t already, IDW needs to get Austin on that sweet Popeye book they’ve got.

I have an old Superman comic (Action 439, 1974) story called “Too Big To Live” from the early 70s where Superman fights a huge super-strong caveman who’s essentially trying to steal Popeye’s spinach. More of a tribute than an easter egg, but the Captain Strong character is obviously a nod to Popeye, as he has a girl named Olivia and keeps a green leafy stash of seaweed or something called “sauncha” that can make him stronger. I think he also calls Clark “young feller” once in a while. I was very young when I first read it, and it took me a few years to realize it was a Popeye reference. Captain Strong had appeared a few times before this.

But you probably already knew that!

I seem to recall that Austin actually worked on the Popeye newspaper strip for a while, which if true seems like the perfect situation.

And let’s not forget John Byrne slipping Charlie Brown into the alien heads on the cover of the Trial of Reed Richards in Fantastic Four.

Cool Arrow: Jerry Ordway recently stated publicly that he’s struggling to find work even though his drawing skills are still as strong as ever.


March 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Isn’t Byrne also known for hiding Barney Rubble in his comics? Or was that an isolated incident? I can’t remember…

It’s not a Terry Ustin, but in What If? Vol 1 issue 29 page 12 there is a Popeye easter egg in the display of heroes and villians captured by the Scarlet Centurion. So Terry wasn’t the only Popeye fan!

IDK if Austin inked it, but there’s an issue of Spider-Man drawn by McFarlane (one where Parker is travelling around the US to do autograph sessions for the “Webs” book) where he faces the Chameleon or the Prowler – I don’t remember very well – there’s a crowd scene where Popeye appears.

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