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Comic Book Easter Eggs – Leinil Francis Yu and the Hidden Howard the Duck!

by  in Comic News Comment
Comic Book Easter Eggs – Leinil Francis Yu and the Hidden Howard the Duck!

Every week, I will be sharing 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 (do not post your suggestion in the comments section!).

This week we spotlight artist Leinil Francis Yu’s appreciation for Howard the Duck through a few instances of Yu sneaking the character into the background of comic books.

I don’t know how long Leinil Francis Yu’s appreciation for Howard the Duck has been around, but he drew Howard on the cover of a Civil War tie-in back in 2006 (NOTE: I mention this to show the earliest example I know of Yu drawing Howard the Duck. Clearly, since the book featured Howard the Duck, I am not suggesting that this is an “easter egg” itself)…

In New Avengers #36, when the Avengers used an illusion spell to make it look like they had brought an army of heroes with them to combat the Hood and his gang of villains, look who Yu sneaked into the crowd scene…

When Secret Invasion was announced, here was the promotional art used (later used for the cover of “Secret Invasion Saga,” which detailed the lead-up to Secret Invasion)…

However, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada noted in one of his Cup O’ Joe reader response columns that Howard the Duck would NOT be appearing in Secret Invasion. Quesada even quipped, “No, Howard the Duck in Secret Invasion! Stop hounding me, Leinil Yu!”

In addition, I believe that writer Brian Michael Bendis even requested that Yu not sneak Howard into any backgrounds (a reader told me this, but I haven’t actually seen Bendis say that, so it could be wrong).

But, of course, in Secret Invasion #6, there’s Howard (I won’t point him out – you find him!)…

(Click on the image to enlarge)

And in Secret Invasion #7, there he is again…

Since Secret Invasion, Yu has given Howard a proper spotlight (NOTE: Also not an easter egg) on a variant cover…

In a chat awhile back at, Yu was asked why he likes to draw Howard so much. He explained, “I’m making Marvel pay for creating him. If he’s not dead, they need to use him.” Ha! Good stuff from Yu.

I am sure I am missing some hidden Howards from Yu, so why don’t YOU readers e-mail me at if you know of any other hidden Howard appearances and I’ll add ’em in! And feel free, of course, to e-mail me any other Easter Eggs you’ve seen!

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