10 Comic Secrets Hiding In Plain Sight

It's amazing what you can hide in the middle of a panel.

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Marvel Comics

The world of comics is built on secrets - both inside and out. After all, a series without foreshadowing, red herrings, and all sorts of fun references generally isn't worth reading. Similarly, with the comics industry having so many internal arguments and disagreements, there's also a fair share that goes on behind the scenes that you never see - until it's brought up in a comic itself.

Even if it's blatantly in the middle of a page, often we still don't recognise either type of these reveals, because we're too focused on the next bout of action, or just because we don't get references to beefs between creators without already knowing their relationships.

As such, a writer or artist can straight up say they hate their job on a page, and many of us still wouldn't quite catch it. This is arguably why so many moments of "foreshadowing" in comics are so damn obvious - because the creators know the other stuff we've missed, and are worried we might also not recognise the hints they put about the story.

But this is arguably one of the most fun details about the medium, as fans are as capable of deciphering genuinely difficult comic puzzles as they are capable of missing something right in front of their eyes.

10. Steve Gerber Is Thundersword - Secret Wars II

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Marvel Comics

One of the weirdest trends in comics is that when creators have a fall out, they will often turn the person they've beefed with into a supervillain in their upcoming work. It's... wild.

While the most famous occasion of this is Stan Lee being made into the Funky Flashman by an irate Jack Kirby, it's not the funniest. No, the funniest is Thundersword, who was made by the suitably named Jim Shooter in an attempt to mock Steve Gerber, who had recently left Marvel.

Having quit over disputes about his ownership of Howard the Duck (who he had created), Gerber made sure to make a few tastefully disparaging comments about the company, before going to work with DC and in animation.

And so it was more than a little suspicious when Thundersword rocked up, who was coincidentally also a children's animator who was outspoken about excessive violence in kids' TV.

Couple this with the fact that Stewart Gadwell has a pretty goddamn similar name, and it's clear that this villain's suddenly turn to violence himself was Shooter's way of satirising Gerber's involvement with the violent media he verbally opposed.

On the plus side though, the armour Thundersword wore was kind of cool, so Gerber maybe wouldn't have been too offended.


I like my comics like I like my coffee - in huge, unquestionably unhealthy doses.