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The giant penny and robotic T-Rex. Two iconic items collected in the Batcave. Don't believe me? Google images of the Batcave, seriously, they'll be in 90% of them. Arguably, the most iconic of the two would be the giant penny. A strange trophy for Batman to keep, but then again he's a man who vowed to put an end to crime with his fists so maybe we shouldn't question is decision making process. But where did this titanic tender come from? Some epic battle with one of the greats of the Rouges Gallery? Not really. It comes from a single issue involving the first appearance of a penny-themed villain, the Penny Plunderer. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="350"] He's thinking that, but opening his mouth to shout?[/caption] He was basically a guy who sold newspapers who was then later arrested for stealing pennies. So then he decide to create elaborate heists -- in true Gotham fashion -- with the theme of "pennies". The origin of The Penny has been retconned before, often times involving Two-Face, but regardless it got its start in a silly obscure one off Silver Age book. We'll know it's true origin, you and me, and that's what's important.
Hey, you know what's not funny? Child sexual abuse. So there'll be no jokes about that here. So in the issue, Spider-Man saves a kid from from his sexually abusive babysitter, and to get him to talk about what happened, tells him the story of being abused by his babysitter Skip Westcott. I guess Spider-Man could have straight lied to the kid's face but the comic doesn't so much as elude to that. No, the weirdest thing is how left field it is. Well, that's not really true, it was in Spider-Man/Power Pack #1, a comic co-published by Marvel Comics and the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse. It was basically made to teach kids about the gritty reality of sexual abuse. What I mean is, it seems like such a weird thing to add into the character's history. It seems like it would be such a big part of Peter's life, but it's virtually ignored. In the Power Pack story, it's one of the character's friends that has the abuse issue, which honestly makes more sense. And this isn't non-cannon. It's brought up again in a Spider-Man comic with the most unnatural dialog.
They never show the Masked Man's face, but it's pretty obvious that it's the President we're talking about. If you still don't believe me, the arc's writer Steve Englehart writes, "I was writing a man who believed in America's highest ideals at a time when America's President was a crook. I could not ignore that. And so, in the Marvel Universe, which so closely resembled our own, Cap followed a criminal conspiracy into the White House and saw the President commit suicide." So in the Marvel Universe, instead of Nixon resigning from the Presidency, he splatters his brains all over the white house. I mean. That's got to be a big deal in that universe, right? There are cameras there, it had to be news -- THE BIGGEST NEWS, but no one has talked about it since. You'd think Captain America would be bringing up the memory of seeing an America President self terminate just feet away all the time. That can't be something you easily get past. Also, Marvel is supposed to be very close to our world. Other Presidents have appeared in Marvel comics. Obama has appeared in Spider-Man comics. That means that's in the history of the Presidency. It's probably a part of White House tours, "and that's the stain from when Richard Nixon shot himself in front of Captain America after his failed coup." There must be movies about it, dramatic oscar-winning movies about the downfall of Nixon, doomed to die disgraced before a disapproving anthropomorphic American flag.
There's a chance you've heard of this already. Artist Ethan Van Sciver, annoyed at Marvel, thought it would be fun to scatter hidden instances of the word 'sex' in the issue. Reports are unclear, but he probably giggled childishly through the whole book.
The exact number of instances is unknown, but it is at least 18, about one per page. They're often small, expertly hidden, appearing in everything from hedges, to hair, to whiskey.
It's a strange, awesome Easter egg that people have spent more time than they should have to seek out the three letter word. And who said comics where immature?