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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Is That Rocket Raccoon’s Dead Body On That Wall?

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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 take a look at Rocket Raccoon seemingly meeting his maker in Incredible Hulk, Cassy Heck showing up in a DC Comic book and the creative team of Blue Beetle taking a tour of Chicago!

First up, we have Peter David, Gary Frank and Cam Smith’s Incredible Hulk #415, where we meet an alien warlord who has an impressive collection of animals that he’s killed up on his wall, including the pelt of a familiar looking raccoon…

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Luckily, the site gag was only a gag and good ol’ Rocket lived to fight another day! Speaking of Rocket, I just did a piece on his history on the main site, if you care to read it.

Next up, suggested by reader João L., we have the Killer Croc Villains Month issue, written by Tim Seeley and drawn by Francis Portela. Since this was a Tim Seeley comic, it was only fair that his creation, Cassie Hack (of Hack/Slash fame) made a cameo…

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Finally, suggested by reader Rollo Tomassi, we have Blue Beetle #6, written by Len Wein and penciled by Paris Cullins (Bruce Patterson inked Cullins), where the Question is visiting Blue Beetle in Chicago and is in his secret identity as famed news reporter, Vic Sage. He is seen by none other than Len and Paris themselves!

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Is Paris driving a cab in that sequence or what? That’s kind of odd.

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

20 Comments

A taxi driver is a good role for a penciler cameo. It makes his presence both explainable and lampshaded, while also having a nice symbolism of how he drives the ideas from the plotter to their desired destination.

My guess is that (at least in NYC) it also carries some mean baggage, but that does not have to be the case.

I had no idea Paris Cullins was black! I love his work on Blue Beetle, and even moreso on New Gods.

I think thats Beta Ray Bill’s head to the right of RR too.

I wonder if Rocket’s presence was supposed to be David’s explanation for why he hadn’t appeared in a while?

Guess he didn’t expect the character to come back in such a big way.

Wouldn’t ‘the creative team of Chicago’ be Bob Fosse, Kander & Ebb and co’?

I wonder if Rocket’s presence was supposed to be David’s explanation for why he hadn’t appeared in a while?

I’m pretty sure it was in response to readers actually writing in to see the return of Rocket Raccoon, but I’m not sure enough to say that definitively.

Rocket Raccoon also used to get some old-school hate from Hulk fans because the story that introduces him was an anniversary issue. It wasn’t a “round numbers” issue, but rather an actual anniversary; twenty years since Hulk #1 or something like that.

The letters page a few issues later was filled with angry mail that the Hulk was supposedly pushed out of his comic for a pilot story about talking animals built on puns on a Beatles song. These same fans didn’t complain when Mantlo created the U-Foes as a pun on a Graham Parsons sing; Mantlo really, really liked using the lyrics or titles of popular songs as inspiration for new characters or stories.

That may explain either David’s reticence to bring the character back or his decision to imply he’d been killed and skinned off-panel sometime.

I had no idea Paris Cullins was such a hottie.

The Rocket Raccoon pelt doesn’t even need to be retconned away. There are other raccoon people on Halfworld, and one of them just happened to get on the wrong side of that bad guy.

is it me or is rockets racoons pelt also joined by beta ray bills head. and interesting having wen and paris appear talk about almost breaking the fourth wall in blue beetle.

Why do we assume that Peter David was behind the gag? Maybe it was the artist, Gary Frank, being funny. Or maybe it was PAD. Heck if I know.

Matt Bird: “I had no idea Paris Cullins was black! I love his work on Blue Beetle, and even moreso on New Gods.”

No love for BLUE DEVIL, Matt?

Paris Cullins also did some great penciling on a six issue Forever People miniseries in the late 1980s. I’m definitely a fan of his artwork, and I’m thrilled I finally had an opportunity to meet him at a NYC area convention last Spring. He drew a really incredible Beautiful Dreamer sketch for me…

http://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=1003704

“Is Paris driving a cab in that sequence or what? That’s kind of odd.”

The way it looks to me, Paris drew that hat and the inker interpreted him as a cab driver and drew the stripe.

Funny, I was reading through some Blue Beetles that I bought at a dollar last week, and happened to see that Easter egg. I too found it funny that Paris drew himself as a cabbie.

I’m thinking there might be a third cameo in that Blue Beetle panel, too. That blonde woman behind Vic Sage’s left shoulder looks like a specific likeness to my eye. Another DC staffer, perhaps? A friend of Paris Cullins?

I’d almost say it’s a blonde Karen Berger, now that you point her out. Maybe?

Likewise the guy with the beard….

” I’m pretty sure it was in response to readers actually writing in to see the return of Rocket Raccoon, but I’m not sure enough to say that definitively.”

I remember him saying something to that affect at the time…either online or like in CBG, I can’t recall.

Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but I believe another panel in that Hulk issue showed a carpet made from Xemnu’s hide. Also, there’s a dragon from the same species of Lockheed (Kitty Pryde’s pet) perched over the throne.

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