All of us should have jobs where we can slip passive-aggressive "screw yous" to our enemies or our bosses right there in the work we produce. It must be very satisfying.
Or at least you'd think so, considering how many of these "screw you" Easter eggs have been hidden in comics over the years.
#6. Marvel Writer Encodes an Insult to His Boss
Al Milgrom was an artist, writer and editor who worked at Marvel for almost 25 years before he quit and started working freelance. At the time there wasn't a lot known about why he left, but later it became abundantly clear that one of the reasons was that Milgrom really, really hated his old boss, Bob Harras.
In 2000, Milgrom was hired as a freelance artist to work on Universe X Spidey #1, a comic with a title as bad as Milgrom's prank was awesome. Harras no longer worked for Marvel at the time and had been replaced, but that didn't stop Milgrom from seeking sweet, subtle revenge on his previous editor in one of Marvel's own comics. One of the panels he drew ended up looking like this:
Doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on other than the tripped-out girl in the background who is high as a kite, right? But flip it sideways, look a little closer and ...
Unlike most of the other Easter eggs on this list, the insult was caught by censors before the issue went on sale, but not before it was printed, which meant that they had to do a full recall on the issue and destroy every copy, which is a pretty rare occurrence in the comic book world (known to have happened fewer than a dozen times, ever).
Milgrom was fired over it, and his contract was terminated. But a few weeks later, the people at Marvel seemed to realize, "Yeah, Harras was an asshole. Nice! Come on back here." And they hired Milgrom back.
#5. Writer Creates Jedi Master Baytes
We don't have to tell you about the rather ridiculous amount of merchandise and extended universe material that exists as part of the Star Wars universe, so it won't be a surprise to find out that there was a prequel comic book to Phantom Menace titled Star Wars: Jedi Council.
It was actually pretty awesome, as it was filled with tons of bloody Jedi fights and exactly zero annoying kid-Vaders and Jar Jar Binkses.
Why is this motherfucking lightsaber not motherfucking purple?
The author of the miniseries, Randy Stradley, needed to create a few fill-in characters for the comics and added in Master Soon Baytes as an official Jedi in the Star Wars canon.
Stradley later admitted that he had added the character as a kind of dig at his editor, Sue Rostini, who would always go through his scripts and add the word "Master" in front of every Jedi's name, whether he wanted them to be called that or not. Assuming Rostini would do the same thing this time around, he threw in Jedi Soon Baytes as a joke that he figured they would laugh at later and then make up a new name for.
The only problem was that Rostini didn't edit that particular issue, so the name went through unchanged and got published as a "not-so-witty time bomb waiting to be triggered." A few years later, Stradley was editing a different Star Wars comic, Star Wars: Obsession, and decided to finish what he had started.
He brought the character back in what was basically a cameo, set off the bomb and then just as abruptly killed off Master Baytes to never be spoken of again, but to always be remembered as a great man who could really handle his sword.
#4. New Mutants Hides Filthy Conversations in Demon Text
Let's face it, drawing comic books is a dream job that a lot of nerds out there fantasize about, but we can only imagine that once you actually get the job, it can get a little boring, laboriously drawing each freaking strand of Jean Grey's freaking hair over and over again. So when a chance comes to have a little fun with a story, a guy's going to take it. This is what we imagine happened in New Mutants #17 with hilarious results.
In the story, the New Mutants (who are young X-Men in training) go to hell and meet some demons. The demons speak a different language, which is portrayed with a completely foreign set of symbols that they don't bother translating, figuring the reader can get the gist most of the time.
The words in demon language weren't vital to the plot, but never underestimate a comic book fan's determination to know everything about comic books. After one demon conversation is translated later in the story, it is obvious that there is a basic substitution cipher with English letters for fake demon letters. Comic book readers jumped all over that shit.
When you do a straight translation of the letters in the above conversation, you get a cipher like this to translate the rest of the dialogue, meaning all those delicious secrets are now ripe for the nerd picking.
But actually translating the demon language revealed less plot-relevant info and was instead pure, nonsensical awesomeness. Take the panel below, where the Queen of Hell is talking to her guards. Probably some important stuff going on there, right? Not so much.
Translation: "Did you see that guy's balls?" "Yeah ... they were weird."
No one has claimed credit for the dialogue -- it could have been the writer or the penciller -- but it remains a wonderful "fuck you" to a boring job nonetheless, as not a single untranslated conversation has anything to do with the plot. That first panel we showed, of a girl charging into battle? Yeah, she's saying "pork chop." And then there's this gem, which translates to, "Hey, dick-breath":
Also, being told that you're in charge of walking and picking up after demon toads kind of sucks, so we imagine the final word balloon might actually have been part of the script.