Aug 8, 2012

Easter Eggs: Amazing Spider-Man #600

Welcome to another installment of Easter Eggs in Comics! Click here for the archive!

We've got a pretty special edition of Easter Eggs today. First, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Amazing, Sensational, Spectacular Spider-Man! Also, this is the 600th post on the Cube, so let's take a look at the Easter Egg-heavy AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600!

One of the running gags in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 was "Amazing Spider-Man Covers You'll Never See!"

First up, thought up by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Mike McKone, is "The Shame of the Spider-Son," featuring Spidey's kid competing with Luke Cage's kid in a diving contest.

This is a direct spoof of the cover of ACTION COMICS #392, dated September 1970, by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson.

Next up is the Double Wedding Issue, featuring Peter Parker and Mary Jane's wedding at the same time as Norman Osborn and Gwen Stacy's! It's also drawn by McKone. This one's thought up by Ed Brubaker.

This is a direct spoof of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #21, "The Wedding."

There are several inside jokes in this one for Spidey aficionados, as well. Peter saying "But I wanted Gwen!" is a reference to the overreliance of using Gwen as a figure that Peter can't move on from. MJ saying "This'll never last" is a reference to the fact that their wedding actually didn't last (although it had a good 20 years), and the Gwen/Norman pairing is a reference to a 2004 Spider-Man story that was so terrible that I refuse to name it. There's also Harry Osborn, who's had a history of drug abuse, saying he wishes he weren't sober, and the caption makes fun of the Clone Saga in the 90s as well as the resurrection of Bucky, who Brubaker was (and still is) writing at the time in the pages of CAPTAIN AMERICA. (That explains Gwen's thought balloon as well!)

Next up is by Matt Fraction and Mike McKone, which spoofs some trends going on in the 1970s, including the trend for "social relevance."

Jon Gorga of The Long and Shortbox of It! points out that this is a reference to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #96-98, which were commissioned by the US government and dealt with Spider-Man dealing with the drug problem among the nation's youth.

He also points out that the villain may be a riff on the Hypno-Hustler!

Finally, we've got one that needs no explanation.

Funny thing is, Spidey's already actually teamed up with Batman in the 90s, first drawn by Mark Bagley and the second drawn by Graham Nolan. Both were written by JM DeMatteis.

Next, we've got a tiny story by Spidey's co-creator Stan Lee and the guy I think of as the modern equivalent of his other co-creator (Steve Ditko), Marcos Martin. Called "Identity Crisis," it's the story of Spidey going to a psychiatrist named Dr. Gray Madder (love the pun). In addition to the Simpons Easter egg (modified to avoid lawsuits), does Dr. Madder look familiar to you?

Here's more pictures of Dr. Madder.

Still not ringing any bells? Here are some pictures of the particular individual he's based on.

That's right! Dr. Gray Madder is Stan Lee!

Finally, we have the short story "Fight at the Museum" by Zeb Wells and Derec Donovan. Peter Parker and Norah Winters are at the Smithsonian National Design Museum, when Peter is confronted by the most embarrassing thing in his Spider-Man career.

They meet a very familiar-looking tour guide.

Yep, it's a second Simpsons reference! That's Comic Book Guy!

Whew! That takes care of that! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 was reprinted in SPIDER-MAN: DIED IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT! Happy anniversary, Spider-Man!

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