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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – Avengers Easter Eggs (No, Not THOSE, the OTHER Ones)

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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 we look at easter eggs from the Avengers TV series from the 1960s, with John Steed and Emma Peel. Reader PB210 suggested a group from this great Avengers website.

Enjoy!

First up, we have Avengers #83, where Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer first give us a cameo by Roy and his then wife Jean as well a cute nod to the OTHER Avengers…

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Next, we have Superman #13, where John Byrne and Karl Kesel give us the Avengers (unnamed, of course)…

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Next, we have Kingdom Come #2 by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, where they are both in a bar scene. You should enlarge is to see them better (Steed is wearing his trademark derby and Emma is in her black jumpsuit)…

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Finally, in 1991’s Doctor Who Monthly #173, Gary Russell and artists Mike Collins and Steve Pini show Captain Britain about to hit Steed when Peel shows up behind him…

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Thanks to PB210 for the suggestion!

If YOU have a suggestion for a future Easter Egg, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

24 Comments

I think the first time I ever saw a reference to it was in Avengers #305, when Captain America gathered all the Avengers, past and present, together to form a new team after the short lived team with Reed and Sue Richards. Hawkeye mentions that they’re missing Steed and Mrs. Peel. As a fourteen year old, I had no idea what they were talking about.

Damn – I can’t believe I never spotted that one in Superman. The terrible likeness of John Steed probably had something to do with it.

Yeah, it doesn’t look much like Patrick MacNee. Still, I feel a little dumb that the outfits/poses/paraphernalia didn’t tip me off.

Though not exactly an “Easter Egg,” especially not anymore, there’s also Emma Frost and the whole Hellfire Club, which was initially based on the episode “A Touch of Brimstone.” That’s been covered here before, but it seemed worth a reminder.

Similarly, the Black Widow’s now-iconic 1970 redesign — which is still being used, after a short-lived Frank Miller revamp in the 1980s and 1990s — is almost entirely based on Diana Rigg as Emma Peel.

I’m a bit surprised Paul Cornell’s never done anything with the British Avengers.

I think that there was an issue of Secret Origins featuring the JLA in the 80s and at the end they’re trying to name the team and someone suggests “The Avengers” but the Flash says that that’s already taken by those other guys …y’know, Steed and Peel.

@ Matt Bird –

You’re totally right – I remember that one. That would be, I think either Secret Origins #31 or 32 (one was JSA, the other was JLA).

I recall a cute nod in a mid-90s issue of a Superman book, around the time when Conduit learned Superman’s identity and blew up the Kent Farm. The Kents set out for a year of driving around in an RV, and Ma and Pa decided to refer to themselves as “Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel.”

Was Alan Moore’s use of Peel in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen too obvious to be an Easter Egg?

Ethan Shuster

May 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

I think Byrne’s Steed likeness is actually not bad, he’s just got 20 extra pounds on him.

I think the first time I ever saw a reference to it was in Avengers #305, when Captain America gathered all the Avengers, past and present, together to form a new team after the short lived team with Reed and Sue Richards. Hawkeye mentions that they’re missing Steed and Mrs. Peel. As a fourteen year old, I had no idea what they were talking about.

I just went through my copy and I couldn’t find it. Do you recall what page it was on?

@ Brian Cronin

You know, I don’t. I ditched nearly all my comics a few years ago. But it was on a splash page where everyone gathered together – just about every Avenger. I thought for certain it was in that issue, because Cap comes out, and yells “Avengers Assemble” and they’re all there, and I seemed to remember Hawkeye saying it, either on that page or on one soon thereafter. But I’m doing this off sheer memory and could have my issue wrong.

@Brian Cronin, @Erik Beck

It’s Avengers Annual #18 (the Avengers part of the Atlantis Attacks).

Omar, do you have proof for sure that black widow’s 1970 redesign was totally based on Emma peel or are you speculating? I’m pretty sure you are possibly right, but I’m curious as to whether anyone ever made that their official.

I have no proof, but the influence seems obvious. An attractive female superspy who can hold her own in a fight, clad in a skintight, dark catsuit is pretty much Emma Peel. Compare these images to the 1970 redesign of the Black Widow

Somewhat humorously, in fact, there were rumors that the British Film Board was concerned that promotional images of Scarlett Johansson for the Marvel Avengers movie would confuse consumers into thinking the film was about the British Avengers TV show. The following image also shows the relatively obvious influence in the modern era: http://adamantiumbullet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BLACK1.jpg

Omar,

I don’t have the original to really compare, but are you sure that was a major redesign in 1970? It looks about the same as the outfit she started wearing (as “The NEW Black Widow!) in 1965 in TALES OF SUSPENSE #64. With a different hairdo and slightly grayer color than the 1965 version.

http://marvel.wikia.com/Tales_of_Suspense_Vol_1_64

Never mind…I didn’t scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the body suit.

Oh yeah, the Romita re-design was so big they even spotlighted it in an issue of Amazing.

I think you’re very likely right Omar. I just wanted to know if Romita ever explictly admitted it.

The pair show up (along with some other usual suspects) in The Prisoner: Shattered Visage miniseries from 1988.

It appears I’m wrong! Romita says he based it on a Golden Age Timely character called Miss Fury!

“I did the costume on the Black Widow. One of my favorite strips from when I was a kid was Miss Fury. They had done a Miss Fury book at Marvel, and when I found out they had the rights to her, I said I’d love to do a Miss Fury book sometime. I had done an updated drawing of Miss Fury, and Stan said, “Why don’t we redesign the Black Widow costume based on Miss Fury?” So I took the mask off her face, and made the Black Widow the one in the patent leather jumpsuit. That was why the Black Widow changed.”

I’d never have guessed it, but the resemblance is there, and it’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

How about the Man From Uncle?

http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/iron_fist_1113.shtml

Iron Fist#11 features a cameo by Del Flori(a)(o)’s Tail Shop. The SHIELD barber shops obviously derive from this shop.

In Power Man and Iron Fist#125, Cage mentions The Man From Uncle.

Nick Fury mentioned Uncle in Sitwell’s intro.

More info:

the appearance of Scott Summers and Jean Grey in an Iron Fist comic which features Del Floria’s Tailor Shop (from the T.V. show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.); the Iron Fist-U.N.C.L.E. connection remains intact

Dude, Zoidberg in Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes… I looked through the archive and didn’t see it. That’s a reeeeeeaaaallllly obvious one so I surprised it hasn’t been done yet.

I think the period back in the ‘;70s when Earth 1’s Wonder Woman was stripped of her powers and she resorted to just doing martial arts in a tight fitting catsuit with her hair tied back in a ponytail had to have been an attempt to play on Ms. Peel’s look.

There are a couple of categories of watches that you could choose from. It’s apparent the narrator thinks he suspects we suspect madness as they claims this next piece of evidence will convince us he really isn’t mad: he places the dismembered corpse under the floor planks inside the old man’s room (I’m not convinced). But they may be not the least expensive available inside the market so expect that it is a little costly. Remember the existing spy movies where our hero would call for help using his watch or take pictures of top secret documents while using camera hidden in the watch. All you really need is a nice dress watch, a business casual watch, a fashion watch or two, an activity watch, and a “bang around” watch.

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