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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Captain America Graffiti and Clark and Lois Meet Captain Britain

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 take a look at a cool piece of graffit on a Captain America cover by Terry Austin plus a Clark and Lois cameo in Excalibur as well as Martian Manhunter giving an homage to John Carter of Mars…

First up, reader Jamie suggested this cool piece of work by Terry Austin, who was inking George Perez’s pencils on the cover of Captain America #246…


Austin covered the subway train with references to Marvel staffers.

Here are a few details (you can enlarge the cover above, as well, by the way)…

Al Milgrom (with the R missing for some reason), George Perez and Danny Crespi, among others…

Mark Gruenwald, Jim Shooter, Mike Higgins and Roger Stern, among others…

Walter Simonson, Mike Zeck, Rick Parker, among others…

Joe Sinnott, Jack Abel, Bill Mantlo, Steve Oliff, among others…

Very cool bit by Austin.

Next, as suggested by reader smokescreen, we have this Clark and Lois cameo in Excalibur #8 by Chris Claremont, Ron Lim and Joe Rubinstein…

Finally, in one of the cooler easter eggs you’ll find, since it works withOUT it being an easter egg, as well, is this bit from Martian Manhunter #9 by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake…

While it works for the story as being told (J’onn needs to grow two arms, so he grows two arms), it is ALSO a sly reference to the green Martians of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars novels, where the green Martians all had four arms.

Okay, that’s it for this week! Thanks for the suggestions, folks! If anyone else has any suggestions for future editions of Comic Book Easter Eggs, please drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com


I’ve seen Lois and Clark cameos in Marvel comics before, but never mentioned by name.

Clark was referred to by name in his cameo in Walt Simonson’s Thor.

Lois and Clark appeared in an early issue of Simonson’s Thor – I believe Lois called him Clark on panel there as well.

The Unofficial Marvel Universe Appendix website has a great rundown of *many* of the Clark (and Lois) cameos in the Marvel Universe. Some are gags; some are clearly “It’s Clark, but we can’t actually say that it is.” http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/kentclrk.htm

Man, that Cap cover really brings me back to the day when NYC subway trains really were *completely* covered in graphitti – inside as well as outside! (the wonky perspective is also funny – Cap could never fit through that train door, and from the looks of the truck, that subway track is at least five storeys high!)

Clark was also in Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Both him amd Lois was there when the original android Human Torch was introduced to the press.

West coast guy here, so I don’t know this answer; not trolling, but are subway trains and elevated trains the same thing? ‘Cause you call this a subway train but it looks like an elevated train…Just clarifying.

West coast guy here, so I don’t know this answer; not trolling, but are subway trains and elevated trains the same thing? ‘Cause you call this a subway train but it looks like an elevated train…Just clarifying.

Yeah, a lot of subway trains move aboveground toward the outer parts of their lines, once they leave the more densely populated areas. That’s certainly true with the New York subway and San Francisco’s BART system–and the London Underground, for that matter.

Yes, that was a fun appearance by Clark Kent in a non-DC book, all right. Here are 24 more:

That Martian Manhunter easter egg could be a two for one reference. The collapse followed by the arms growing reminds me of when Spider-Man grew an extra two pairs of arms.

As I recall, some writer established Dr. Saul Erdel grew up reading the pulp novels of wordsmiths like Edgar Rice Burroughs.He wanted to explore the cosmos just like his childhood heroes, Buck Rogers and John Carter.

The mind-link established between Erdel and J’onn allowed the would-be scientist the ability to reshape J’onn’s memories into something less horrific. He fabricated an entire history for him, based upon concepts that he had read about in his pulp novels.

Incidentally, if Erdel had stuck with the original novel about Anthony “Buck” Rogers, he would spent his time contemplating battling Mongolian/extraterrestrial hybrids.


Tars Tarkas appeared with Jones in a LOSH issue, as I recall.

If Marvel and DC ever do another crossover, and it’s treated as separate worlds and not Earth-Crossover, I hope the DC heroes encounter the Marvel Clark & Lois.

I’m willing to bet they have the most gag appearances of any unofficial version of another company’s characters.

Cool stuff, but when you included the words “Captain America Graffiti” in the headline, I thought there was going to be some issue of Cap where Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss cruise by in one panel…

Did some of the creators sign the graffiti themselves? Each handwriting seems to have a distinctive look… Also, since we’re talking about Excalibur and four-armed creatures, I remember some recurring four-armed red guys in some Excalibur stories (The arc with the multiverse-travelling train) that reminded me the Martians when I watched the recent John Carter movie. Would that be some kind of reference?

August 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Indeed. Claremont, writer of Excalibur, often refers to the Barsoom series, and wrote a tale for an unauthorized anthology.

New Adventures on Barsoom – The John Carter of Mars, Carson of …
by Chris Claremont Illustrated by John Picacio ERB and Barsoom fan, Chris Claremont, the legendary writer that put the X-Men on the map, …

Edgar Rice Burroughs – The John Carter of Mars, Carson of Venus …
Main article: Barsoom. … The Marvel Comics book Excalibur created by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis paid a tribute to the John Carter stories in issue #16 and 17.

John Carter, Warlord of Mars Omnibus: Marv Wolfman, Chris …
Marvel’s top talents of the 1970s take on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ savage swordsman of Barsoom! John Carter … Chris Claremont is best known for his work …

X-Men Vol 1 98 – Marvel Comics Database
Chris Claremont. Pencilers. Dave Cockrum. Inkers. Sam Grainger. Colourists. … Dr. Corbeau’s boat is named for Dejah Thoris, from the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Martian …


Monsters Unleashed#4. cover: Frank Brunner (Feb. 1974)

5) Our Martian Heritage: An Excursion Into Fantasy [Chris Claremont] 4p [text article w/photos]

This tale features a reference to Barsoom.

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