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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Easter Eggs from Grant Morrison’s Action Comics!

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In this feature, I share 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!).

Today, based on suggestions from Travis Pelkie, we take a look at a collection of Easter Eggs from Grant Morrison’s run on Action Comics!

Enjoy!

First off, Morrison’s Action Comics run is FILLED with references to minor characters, from Lois Lane’s niece, Susie to Fire Man Farrell, the first character introduced in the pages of Showcase. I don’t know if these count as Easter Eggs, exactly. I think if they appeared without being named, that’d be one thing, but since Morrison specifically named them, it seems like a stretch to call them Easter Eggs. I could be wrong, but that’s where I’m at with that.

Anyhow, on to the eggs!

You don’t even need to get past the COVER of the first issue of Action Comics to see Rags Morales pay tribute to the original Action Comics #1 by sneaking the numbers 19 and 38 on to the police cars on the cover…

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In #8, in an issue inked in part by Bob McLeod, we get McLeod’s…

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In the following issue (drawn by Gene Ha), we see Giordano’s (referencing former comic great Dick Giordano)…

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Also, Jimmy Olsen wears a Turtles jersey (referencing Jimmy’s past as being transformed into a giant turtle)…

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In #10, we see that Clark keeps his uniform in locker #38…

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In the following issue, Superman takes on a new secret identity of firefighter Johnny Clark. His uniform number is #19…

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And the fire company is Engine #1938…

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The next issue, the firefighters mention a problem on Swan street (referencing famed artist Curt Swan)…

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In #15, the villainous Vyndktvx accidentally destroys a bunch of worlds, including the world of old Superman foe/friend Vartox and, of course, the classic character Super-Turtle!

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Finally, in Action Comics #18 (which you can read about here), among the people saying their names backwards are Grant Morrison, Morrison’s wife, back-up writer Sholly Fisch and, of course, artist Ralph “Rags” Morales (who draws himself trying to figure out how to say his name backwards)…

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That’s it for this week! Thanks, Travis! If YOU readers have suggestions for easter eggs to spotlight in future editions of this column, let me know by e-mailing me a bcronin@comicbookresources.com. I am sure that there are more Action Comics easter eggs I have not yet mentioned! Suggest them to me!

26 Comments

Charles J Baserap

May 15, 2013 at 6:04 am

I also consider the first big splash in Action Comics #1 to be an Easter Egg with the guy yelling, “Somebody, save me,” after a brief intro, right in the beginning, which is how every episode of Smallville went, with a quick scene, then Remy Zero’s Save Me blasting through the theme titles.

On the top of the Gene Ha “Turtles” wearing Olsen panel, one of the billboard screens has a picture of a “GC Mayor” who looks a lot like our old buddy Bruce Wayne.

In re: “GC Mayor”:: could it be Lincoln March from Batman vol. 1, Wayne’s lookalike and a Gotham mayoral candidate?

The “GC Mayor” line is followed by a “W” (as in “OF GC MAYOR W”). Not an “M”
Besides, why would anyone mention Lincoln March in an alternate dimension Action Comics ?

@Mike
It’s possible, but I still think it’s Wayne. Firstly, that panel is not from the New 52 universe, so it’s unlikely to be a reference to that Batman storyline. Also, the news scroll says “GC Mayor W…”, implying it’s Wayne, and he’s wearing a black and yellow tie, which are Batman’s colours more or less.

Other Action Comics creators saying their names backward in that panel:
Dezi Sienty lettered the back-ups in #0 & 16
Corey Breen is DC’s Senior Pre-Press Artist
Steve Wands lettered #0 & 12-17
Taylor Esposito lettered the back-ups in #15, 17 & 20
Pete Hamboussi is a DC Collected Editions Editor
Pat Brosseau lettered #1-10 and the back-up in #13
Chris Burns was an editor for Boom! Studios’ Disney titles (that one may just be a coincidence)
No idea who Ernie Casey, Julia Meador or Arlene Lo are supposed to be, if anyone.

On Jimmy’s “Turtles” shirt, notice the label at the bottom: It’s the Comics Code Authority logo. And in the same panel, Lois has an issue of the short-lived ’70s Starfire comic on her tablet.

Also on Jimmy’s Turtle jersey is the video game ESRB label “T.”

David Uzumeri

May 15, 2013 at 8:50 am

I still maintain Grant Morrison would never be caught dead in a goddamn golf cap

Great article, I missed most of these!

Also: in the panel where Jimmy is wearing the Turtles jersey, he talks about a tulpa, “a solid thought, an idea with its own independent life.” In 1997, former silver age Superman artist Alvin Schwartz published his autobiography, “An Unlikely Prophet,” in which he put forth the idea of Superman himself as a tulpa:
http://www.amazon.com/Unlikely-Prophet-Metaphysical-Legendary-Superman/dp/1594771081

Morrison talked about Schwartz in his own book, Supergods:
http://www.amazon.com/Supergods-Vigilantes-Miraculous-Mutants-Smallville/dp/0812981383

And it’s cool to see him spreading the idea here.

Is that Clark in the same panel with the Turtle’s shirt? For that matter, is that Lois with them? They look just barely older than Jimmy, who seems to be about 12 at that same panel.

Giordano’s is also a Pizza chain in Chicagoland, which is where Gene Ha lives. So it’s probably more as a shout-out to Chi-town as anything.

The old 1970′s “Starfire” comic on the computer she was holding, I guess was a small clue that the character would be featured in “Sword of Sorcery” (I think)……

Jimmy’s jersey number is 53 which is the issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen in which Giant Turtle Man first appeared.

Fun! I missed about a third of these.

Jimmy’s jersey number is 53 which is the issue of Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen in which Giant Turtle Man first appeared.

Nice catch, Chris!

Anyone know who Kristan Morrison is? Grant’s wife? Daughter? Mother? Sister? She’s got to have some connection to him.

From the piece: “Morrison, Morrison’s wife”

Travis Pelkie

May 15, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Woo hoo! You even got a few I missed, and I like that M pointed out the GC Mayor W thing.

Luis, that panel is from an issue where the Clark, Lois, and Jimmy feature created something that “thought” the idea of Superman into existence, so they’re supposed to be ur-versions of the characters, if you want to get all intellelmechual about it :)

Actually, looking at that panel again, I can see a billboard in the back at the left with Black Canary and Green (Arrow) — the (Arrow) being an arrow symbol. Neato!

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

May 15, 2013 at 11:07 pm

“Richmond”,

Morrison was already talking about tulpas back in the letter pages of The Invisibles, before the Schwartz book was published. It’s the sort of concept that would naturally appeal to him.

Giordano’s is also a Philly-style sandwich shop in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, where they put cole slaw and fries right in the sandwich. Eat a few of those and see if you don’t turn into a giant turtle.

On the issue 15 page the aliens in the bottom left corner resembles the ones from George Perez New 52 Superman run…forgot their names.

In issue #15, the aliens in the bottom left panel look like E.T. to me.

Arlene Lo is DC Comics’ proofreader, married to former DC staffer Allan Asherman (who, in the pre-Crisis Superman books, was the inspiration for WGBS weatherman Oscar Asherman).

The variant cover of Action Comics #1, which has Morales’s pencils without the motion blur of the coloured version has a couple of easter eggs which got blurred out in the final one.

Right next to ‘Superman’ in the logo, we see ‘Morrison’ and ‘Morales’ using the same ‘MOR’. And right below ‘Comics’, we see ‘Bryant’s’ (referring to Rick Bryant, the inker).

There’s also ‘Bowma–’ and ‘Giles’, but no idea what these might refer to.

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