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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Easter Eggs – National Lampoon’s…IRON MAN Vacation?!

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 the Griswolds visiting the pages of Iron Man, Tony Millionaire’s Drinky Crow and Uncle Gabby ending up in some hot water in My Greatest Adventure and Marvel promoting U.S. 1 in the pasges of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero!

First up, we have the Griswolds, from National Lampoon’s Vacation…

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appearing in 1987’s Iron Man #217 by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, as Tony Stark rents out Disenyland for the day…

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Next, courtesy of reader Vince, in Matt Kindt and Scott Kolins’ My Greatest
Adventure #5, we see the skeletons in the test tubes of Drinky Crow and Uncle Gabby…

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from Tony Millionaires Maakies comic and the Drinky Crow Show!!

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Finally, courtesy of reader Adam F., we see Larry Hama and Mike Vosburg promote Marvel’s then-new trucking series U.S. 1 in the pages of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #17…

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Thanks to Vince and Adam for the suggestions! If YOU have a suggestion for a future edition of Comic Book Easter Eggs, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!

26 Comments

I guess since it was the “Greed is Good” 1980’s, Tony buying out all the tickets to an amusement park and leaving families with children heartbroken just to impress a potential head of PR is somehow charming, National Lampoon reference or not. Reading it now it makes Tony look like an asshole.

U.S.1 is the greatest comic of all time. That is all.

I guess since it was the “Greed is Good” 1980?s, Tony buying out all the tickets to an amusement park and leaving families with children heartbroken just to impress a potential head of PR is somehow charming, National Lampoon reference or not. Reading it now it makes Tony look like an asshole.

Clark later shot Tony in the ass with a BB pistol and then made him take everyone on the rides anyway. Unfortunately, Tony remembered this and later had the Griswolds remanded to the Negative Zone, where it turned out Cousin Eddie was already settled in with his new giant worm farm. Last anyone heard, they’d joined the Annihilation Wave and were seen heading straight for Stark Tower.

Neil, it’s a comic, the writer made him look like an asshole.

See, Omar gets it.

Neil, it’s a comic, the writer made him look like an asshole.

Wow, really? Thanks for clarifying, because I’m sure Neil didn’t realize that when he was making his point.

@Neil Kapit —

I’ve never seen anyone over-intellectualize a comic more severely than you just did.

That is one of the reasons I never warmed up to David Micheline’s and Bob Layton’s Iron Man.

The guy was just too immature and full of himself. Like someone who inherited all of his money and earned none of it.

Denny O’Neill and Luke McDonnell’s version was superior in every single respect.

I’ll stick up for Neil. Even as a kid, that kind of collateral damage (i.e. Tony disrupting vacations) always bugged me when superheroes caused it. I even got sad whenever cops were forced to “walk the beat” after letting Spider-Man get away.

The fact that it’s the Griswold family is kind of funny, though.

” I’ve never seen anyone over-intellectualize a comic more severely than you just did. ”

So because it’s ” just a comic book “, we can turn off critical thinking? I sincerely hope that you reserve this attitude only for comic books and nowhere else in your life.

And to respond to Omar, I really wish the Griswold reference had been done in a DC Comic so we could’ve seen Black Lantern Aunt Edna get her revenge…

I’m with Neil. Fiction is a reflection of the society that created it. We’d be doing the arts a disservice if we didn’t point out that Tony was acting like an asshole.

You can also spot U.S. 1 in the background of a Transformers comic around that time.

Actually, I thought Neil was spot on, but the opportunity for a short crossover fic was irresistible. (Well, that and the chance to point out Tony acting like an even bigger asshole in another problematic story.)

Also, it’s worth noting that this particular character, Marcy Pearson, spent the rest of her appearances being steamrolled by Tony or sleeping with Jim Rhodes and was eventually reinvented as a disgruntled ex-employee who worked for an AI super villain. This is not exactly a shining heroic moment from any perspective.

In a sense, the “Vacation” poster is also a comics Easter Egg, since Boris Vallejo is parodying Frank Frazetta’s style even more than his own.

Guys. Tony Stark is a massive tool. That’s his character. Even when he’s the good guy, he’s a dick about it.

Given the year (1987), I suspect that Tony’s action was based less on a “greed is good” premise and more on the then-ubiquitous stories about Michael Jackson buying out Disneyland for private events (at one point referenced in the Warren Zevon song “Splendid Isolation”).

T: Sometimes I honestly don’t think people can tell the difference, but thanks, y’know, for making sure Neil has someone to stick up for him. That’s always nice.

And to respond to Omar, I really wish the Griswold reference had been done in a DC Comic so we could’ve seen Black Lantern Aunt Edna get her revenge…

That reminds me, I’m deeply disappointed that Grant Morrison wasn’t one of the dead Suicide Squad members brought back as a Black Lantern.

The Black Lanterns were zombies, right?

So Grant Morrison Black Lantern would be all “I can eat you!”

And I realize as I typed that that Animal Man actually said that, but screw it, it’s still (semi) funny.

“I guess since it was the “Greed is Good” 1980?s, Tony buying out all the tickets to an amusement park and leaving families with children heartbroken just to impress a potential head of PR is somehow charming, National Lampoon reference or not. Reading it now it makes Tony look like an asshole.”

“So because it’s ” just a comic book “, we can turn off critical thinking? I sincerely hope that you reserve this attitude only for comic books and nowhere else in your life.”

You’re taking waaaay too seriously something that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously at ALL at a time when comics, in general, were 300% less serious than what we get nowadays. Critical thinking? BWAHAHAHAH!! Oh, you poor thing…

Yay! Maakies! Dook dook dook!

–B

Wasn’t Tony drinking heavily at this point?
Not an excuse for his behavior, but a reason.
Any one remember the name of Tony’s luxury yacht?

Wasn’t Tony drinking heavily at this point?

No, he was sober. That’s why he is drinking coffee while she’s having champagne.

I fail to see how Tony did anything wrong. Disney is a business places other places are rented out for private functions all the time. This is no Different has for families with crying kids you know what they can go to tomorrow,. It’s not the end of the world

The “It’s a comic” response pretty much invalidates this whole website and any other comics related website. Yes it’s a comic, and he was talking about the comic book character. It’s not like he said we should boycott Stark Industries as though it were real. He made a comment on the comic book character. Otherwise we can’t say that Joker is crazy, because it’s just a comic. Batman isn’t a dark hero, because it’s a comic. Peter Parker wasn’t a nerd, because it’s a comic. Spiderman isn’t in love with MJ because it’s a comic. Deadpool isn’t a smartass because it’s a comic. And yes Stark is a jerk and that is pretty typical of his character.

Many of the comments on here could be discounted with “It’s just a comic” (all the others talk about art style). We discuss that superman was an ass in the early comics, Lois was a twit…..

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