Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Origin of Lex Luthor's Cake-Stealing Ways & More Meta-Messages

via Comic Book Resources

Meta Messages Archive

Here is an archive of all the past installments of Meta Messages, which is a term for where a comic book writer uses the characters in a comic book to comment on/reference the work of another comic book creator! In each installment, we give you the context behind the message! If you want to make a suggestion for a future Meta-Message, e-mail me at (don’t post your suggestions in the comment section).

1. John Byrne’ comments on Chris Claremont’s usage of Doctor Doom

2. J. Michael Straczynski comments on DC Comics

3. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang reference the writers of 52.

4. Garth Ennis’ Cassidy parodies Neil Gaiman’s Sandman

5. Dan Slott pokes a little fun at Infinite Crisis.

6. Peter David responds to an Erik Larsen penned Hulk/Doctor Octopus fight

7. Joe Kelly comments on the relative popularity of Superman and the Authority.

8. Frank Miller takes issue with Jim Lee’s (then) new art style

9. Roger Stern comments on the state of Spider-Man villains during the 1970s

10. Bob Haney lets Spider-Man know his place.

11. Gerard Jones asks Hal Jordan a question about skin color

12. Christopher Priest Makes Fun of…Christopher Priest?!?

13. American Flagg Goes Through Chaykin Withdrawal

14. Peter David commiserates with his characters

15. Gerard Jones explains how Hal Jordan became a “Hard Traveling Hero.”

16. Peter David Gives his Young Justice Characters Rather Familiar Nightmares

17. The Question Thinks Rorschach Sucks

18. Christopher Priest gets the last laugh on…himself?!?

19. Garth Ennis takes a fond look at superhero crossovers

20. Grant Morrison spoofs the Punisher

21. Alan Grant and Lobo go Meta Crazy!

22. Brian K. Vaughan Would Like to Tell You a Useless Factoid

23. Dan Slott and Fabian Nicieza Have Squirrel Girl Try to Show Penance the Error of His Ways

24. Bill Mantlo’s Bizarre Goodbye to Alpha Flight!

25. Steve Gerber Lets Us Into His Head

26. Joe Casey and Ashley Wood Say Goodbye to a Friend

27. The Dark Albatross Saga

28. Grant Morrison Meets Animal Man

29. Jack Kirby Takes Some Shots at Stan Lee

30. Chris Claremont Sticks Up for Ms. Marvel

31. Jim Starlin Makes Clowns Out of Stan Lee and John Romita

32. Great Lakes Avengers Poking Some Fun at Identity Crisis

33. Kyle Baker Buries the DC Universe

34. John Byrne “Burns” Jim Shooter

35. Jim Shooter’s “Secret War” on Steve Gerber

36. Joe Madureira Takes a Swipe Over a Swipe

37. Spider-Man Makes Fun of Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali

38. The Claremont/Byrne Crossover “Battle”

39. “Hey, it’s the Hulk with a fin on his head!”

40. Hulk With a Fin on His Head Revisited

41. The Great Marvel/DC “You’re Imitating Us” Debate of 1965-67

42. “This E Doesn’t Stand For America!”

43. Captain America Sticks Up for France

44. Spawn Tries to Save Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and More

45. That Time John Byrne Nuked Jim Shooter’s Hometown

46. Dwayne McDuffie Explains His Problems With the Justice League IN the Pages of the Justice League

47. Mister Fantastic Disses Heroes Reborn

48. The Hidden Spidey Insult That Got the Book’s Inker Fired

49. The Classic Creator Who Wanted Readers to Know His Comic Was 5H17

50. Everyone Can’t Wait Until Weapon X Ends, Including the People Working on it

51. A Heartfelt Bat-Tribute to a Legendary Comic Book Editor

52. A Touching Legion Tribute to a Superman Art Legend

53. Deathstroke Stabs…Deadpool?!?

54. “Will Anyone Remember Our Justice League?”

55. The Origin of Lex Luthor’s Terrible Cake-Stealing


how about JMS’s Thor run mentioning that not even a god can make people forget love, poking fun at his own ejection from ASM?

I see a pattern here.
There seems to be messages from DC having fun of DC, Marvel of Mrvel or Marvel of DC.
I wonder if there are any from DC about something in Marvel… difficult DC has so much more class these days.
Last but not least, the Deadpool cover with the rings was a big mettamesage (another Marvel for DC by the way)

if you got time, try and take a look at Starlin’s last and short-lived run on “Thanos”. When facing Galactus, Thanos seems to talk about something else entirely… namely, US foreign policy. I always wondered whether his evidently less-than-patriotic speech was the actual reason he was soon after replaced by Marvel.
Please let me know if you find out.

One of the most META reference comics was the issues of E-MAN (First comics) where the whole “X-Men – death of Phoenix” stories were lampooned.

There was a riff on Marvel offices as well, with characters who were also direct “homages” (read : SLAMS) of Stan Lee, Jim Shooter, John Byrne and Chris Claremont.
Classic stuff!

Similar character assassinations (in a META sense) were also to be found in the KIrby-penned “Funky Flashman and RoyBoy” – in various DC comics (Mr Miracle? iirc).

I wonder if there are any from DC about something in Marvel.

How about the Superman/Batman Annual where the Earth-3 version of Deathstroke showed up… and was basically a color-shifted Deadpool? Too on-the-nose?

You could always mention Dave Cockrum’s Imperial Guard.

Try Legends and Byrne’s creation Sunspot.

This is rad column.

Howsabout the Ennis Punisher vs Wolverine, and its response, written by someone I can’t remember

or how about the issue of quasar (can’t remember issue number) where all the Marvel speedsters are racing and the winner ends up being a amnesiac barry allen who remembers his name as buried alien.

Someone above mentions Starlin’s run on Thanos, and I vaguely remember that, but I’ve always liked the back and forth between Starlin and Dan Slott. Starlin uses Infinity Abyss to say that most of the Thanos appearances he didn’t write and/or like were really Thanos clones (similar to Doom and his Doombots), and when Dan Slott has Squirrel Girl defeat Thanos, he actively has the Watcher there saying that it was the real Thanos so it couldn’t be written off in a similar way.

How about Peter David’s shot at John Byrne’s assertion that Lockjaw is a Terragen Mist-mutated Inhuman, not their pet. PAD wrote it so that Gorgon & Triton were playing a ventriloquist trick on Ben Grimm when Lockjaw “spoke” in The Thing #4.

I’m only leaving this comment to say one thing: Peter David is probably one of the cleverest writers in comic book history. Whenever he goes meta, you’re in for a great ride. I’ve been a fan of his for ages, and checking out his meta messages in this archive just reminded me why.

Peter David used Captain Marvel (Genis) to explain Bruce Jones’ Hulk and Absorbing Man “mistakes.”

A lot of these “meta” suggestions seem more like parodies or even, in the case of Starlin, and Thanos, metaphor.

Marshal law. Almost all of theMarvel big guns in a lunatic asylum. My favorite the Human Torch. Anytime his skin touched the air he ignites into agonizing flames.

I recall an issue of X-Men where they parodied DC’s Invasion crossover, citing a “Jean-Bomb” in place of the “Genebomb”

I’ve recently wondered is Noh-Va/Marvel Boy/The Protectors recent forcible, final and fairly ignominious ejection from The Avengers (in the recent run during AvX) with a proper “Don’t ever come back” from the team, was a poke at Grant Morrison. He created the character and winged about Marvel in Supergods (good book by the way) and that just looked like Bendis giving him the finger.

And how about Adventure #351 where Chameleon Boy turns into a spider being and inexplicably uses the opportunity to knock Spider-Man (even winking at the reader). I think that one was even written by Jim Shooter.

Here are two “meta-messages” I would like to see discussed here:

1) Way back when, in Legends (1986/7 crossover, by John Ostrander and John Byrne), a disposable character was introduced who wanted to create a “New Universe”. This was obviously a dig at Jim Shooter.

2) In an issue of Savage Dragon, Erik Larsen drew his versions of characters who, at that time, had been revamped by John Byrne (here named Johnny Redbeard), like Superman and She-Hulk, each complaining of the treatment they had been subjected to.

Deadpool s#!+s all over Blackest Night in multiple issues

What about the jackals rant in the clone saga about other companies? ” an image of a valiant dark horse….”?

Another good one is Starlin’s commentary on how Thanos was treated in all his appearances after he wrote him. In Infinity Abyss, he pretty much says that these Thanos appearances were in fact clones. Some of these appearances include the Urban Jungle story in Kazar, Jurgens Thor, and that X Man Annual where X Man and Hulk take out Thanos single handed. I know Starlin was particularly irritated with how they used Thanos in Kazar (seriously, Kazar took him out all by his lonesme).

It’s going to be finish of mine day, however before end I am reading this enormous post to increase my knowledge.

If you could, could you do the Young Justice that had Superboy and Impulse lamenting the cancellation of their favorite comic books, and then Robin walks in? That was the first meta-moment I can remember reading in comics, but for the life of me i can’t remember what the issue was.

If you could, could you do the Young Justice that had Superboy and Impulse lamenting the cancellation of their favorite comic books, and then Robin walks in? That was the first meta-moment I can remember reading in comics, but for the life of me i can’t remember what the issue was.

It’s #14 on the list.

Let me join those that feel so bad for what happened to Bill Mantlo, I didn’t even know until last year when I googled him to see if he ever returned to writing. I remember him announcing in either a letter page or a Bullpen page that he was leaving comics to work as a public defender. I was shocked by what had happened.

There is some good news for Bill though, his children now visit him regularly, for years, it was just his brother. The rest of the time, he was in that dreary institution room by himself 24/7. When he was first injured, he had been such an active person, that his body becoming a prison was just too much for him, he used to beg his children to kill him. They were both still very young, and just couldn’t handle being around him. There’s a very touching article about his son, Adam, visiting him again for the first time in decades. After that, both Adam and his daughter started visiting him regularly. Check out the Bill Mantlo Group on facebook, there’s a great video of them visiting him for his birthday, it is tough to see Bill in such a condition, but you can see the happiness and joy in his eyes at having his children at his side, I almost cried.

Amazing Spider-Man 328 has Spidey making fun of the then recent Tim Burton Batman movie when he’s stopping some terrorist thugs in the Statue of Liberty.

Check out this scan of the pages:

no 48. Links to : Page Not Found

Thanks, Jim! It was the silliest mistake. It’s fixed now!

Gonza. You sound like a Dc fanboy trying their best to make Marvel look bad. your comment shows that well. Stop it , please. You can show as much class as you calm Dc does.

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