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Hilarious In Hindsight: Comic Books
Either Tintin's thirsty, or Captain Haddock has a naughty little side business.note 

European Comics
  • Tintin has many of these moments:
    • In Tintin in the Land of the Soviets Tintin is in the USSR brought to a torture chamber with two Chinese executioners. Back in 1929 this seemed very odd to have two Chinese men work for the Soviets. Cue to 20 years later, in 1949, when China became Communist and suddenly it doesn't seem that strange anymore.
    • In "Explorers On The Moon" (1954) Tintin becomes the first man to walk on the moon. Almost 15 years later man would really walk on the moon surface.
    • British author Harry Thompson noted in his biography "Tintin and Hergé: a double biography" that in "The Mysterious Star" (1940) mushrooms grow to enormous size before they explode. Five years later, he wrote, the first atomic bomb would explode and produce large mushroom clouds...
  • Astérix : In "Asterix in Britain" (1966) Asterix, Obelix and their British friend Anticlimax cross the English Channel and arrive while it rains. Obelix remarks that building a tunnel between the French and British coast might be a good idea. Anticlimax answers: "We thought of a tunnel ourselves. We've even started digging one but it seems to be taking a jolly long time, what." When the story was first published in 1966 people had thought of building a tunnel between Great Britain and France for centuries, but it didn't seem likely that this plan would ever come to fruition.
  • Nero
    • In De Ark van Nero (Nero's Arc) (1953) Nero predicts a great flood and builds an arc in prevention. Only a few months later Flanders and the Netherlands were indeed struck by a large flood, causing many casualties.
    • In De Paarse Futen (1968) Adhemar sends two American astronauts to the moon with a magic wand, thus beating the Soviets in the space race. Only a year later the Americans landed on the moon for real.
    • In De Grote Geheimzinnigaard (1993) Nero wishes Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar literally to the moon, thus killing him. Ironically enough Escobar would be shot dead by the police that same year.

Marvel Comics
  • If only one of them wasn't spoileriffic as hell, these two "Homage Covers" would be the perfect image for this page because they both are canon now.
  • The Incredible Hulk #418 featured Marlo selling her soul to Mephisto (she thought it was just a dream) in order to have a perfect wedding day. Over a decade later Spider-Man: One More Day comes out, a story which involves Mephisto convincing Peter Parker to sell his marriage to him.
  • The Marvel humor Comic What The? did a Batman parody where all the actors playing Batman's villains were being killed. Near the end it is revealed that everyone in Hollywood is afraid to work with him, including Michael Caine, who would go on to play Alfred in Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
  • In Amazing Fantasy #15, the introduction of Spider-Man back in 1962, the wrestler Peter defeats is called Hogan...
    • When John Byrne redid the origin in the late '80s, he deliberately redesigned Crusher Hogan to look like Hulk Hogan as a result of this.
    • The Movie referenced this by having Macho Man Randy Savage play the wrestler, who was called Bonesaw. Macho Man and Hogan have a long past.
  • A 1996 issue of Excalibur has Pete Wisdom, in a wheelchair and a bald cap, humorously pretending to be Professor Xavier, including a reference or two to Jean-Luc Picard while he's at it. Four years later, Patrick Stewart was in fact cast to play Xavier in the X-Men films.
    • This similarly makes the X-Men/Next Generation crossover comics/novels that much funnier, since many people pause at the resemblance between Xavier and Picard. It's even lampshaded by Storm in the novel.
    • Even more hilarious, Patrick Stewart related a tale from that comic while on the The Daily Show promoting X2: X-Men United. Apparently, he was told about the comic during its production, as well as the fact that Picard and Xavier would be "facing off" on the cover. Sir Stewart jokingly objected, claiming "If I took that role someday, I'd be on the cover twice. That just doesn't seem fair." It's good to know that Sir Patrick Stewart himself appreciates this trope.
  • In issue #41 of Generation X, Skin went to rent a bunch of horror movies, the titles of which were parodies of classic horror movies (like Yell! instead of Scream. But among these horror flicks was a film called Sicko, which nowadays makes readers think more of Michael Moore and less of Psycho.
  • Once, Deadpool claimed, "If you looked like Ryan Reynolds crossed with a shar-pei, you'd understand!" Ryan Reynolds had already outted himself as a Deadpool fan and expressed interest in playing him in a movie at this point, though.
    • And then he did play a ...version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, as well as signing on to do an official Deadpool movie.
    • An old solicit cast doubt on the prospect of the character dying, humorously suggesting that Marvel would never kill off a character who might have a movie deal (this was when it was rumored Deadpool would be getting a spin-off from X-Men Origins: Wolverine). When you consider that Marvel has recently been accused of deliberately sabotaging characters whose film rights they do not own (such as the Fantastic Four and X-Men), it becomes easier to come to the conclusion "Yes. Yes they would."
  • In the 1990s, Marvel published a few comic books starring Disney characters. They have since been bought by Disney.
  • In the early days of The Mighty Thor, Thor, in his human guise of Dr. Donald Blake, had a romance with his nurse, Jane Foster. However, he kept the secret of his dual life from her, and Jane, knowing that there was some deep secret that the man she loved refused to tell her, slipped into a crippling depression that took a toll on her physical health. Donald finally snapped her out of it by transforming into Thor at her bedside to prove his love, saving her from "dying of a broken heart". Guess who got to play Jane in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Natalie Portman.
  • In Marvel Year In Review 1993, there was a fake ad for Alpha Flight: "We're the Canadian Football League of superhero teams! (Except our best heroes don't go to the U.S. and join the Avengers)". Several years later, Wolverine joined the Avengers.
    The Master Race is alive and well and comprises the core of the Avengers!
  • Another one with Spider-Man. Peter David wrote that Ned Leeds was the original Hobgoblin. Not only was this questionable, but the original writer of the Hobgoblin mystery, Roger Stern, came back to do a miniseries where it was revealed Leeds wasn't the original Hobgoblin at all. Even if David himself doesn't appreciate the irony, one does have to find it a little funny that the same thing happened to him about the (Green) Goblin mystery in Spider-Man 2099. That said, you can't really place the blame on Peter David, though, since it was all a massive editorial imbroglio. Not quite as bad as the Clone Saga, but every time the writer or editor on Amazing Spider-Man was changed, the Hobgoblin story got further and further from where Stern had meant it to go.
  • In Marvel Civil War, shapeshifting alien Hulkling of the Young Avengers replaced Hank Pym to free the anti-registration heroes. This becomes funny when Secret Invasion reveals that the Hank Pym Hulkling replaced was himself a shapeshifting alien that had replaced Hank Pym.
    • And before that in an issue of Fantastic Four, as a prank, it showed Hank Pym using an image inducer to pose as a car stealing skrull.
  • This cover of Avengers 221 published in 1982 is amusing when you look at the original lineup for Brian Michael Bendis's New Avengers published 23 years later.
    • Back in Avengers #151, a news report cited Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Namor as three solo heroes who had turned down offers to join the team, closing with "Some people just aren't meant for teams, it seems." All three of those characters have since had high profile stints with the team, with Spider-Man and Daredevil joining in the above-mentioned New Avengers era.
  • The The Incredible Hulk cartoon from the 90's had a subplot where Rick Jones became exposed to Gamma Radiation and transformed into a teen Hulk. Marvel eventually introduced a teen Hulk (the above-mentioned Hulking) in Young Avengers, while Rick Jones gained a Gamma-powered alter ego in Jeph Loeb's Hulk run.
  • Spider-Man's Clone Saga was originally going to be revealed as the work of Mephisto, but it was decided that it was stupid for Mephisto to get involved with Spider-Man.
  • In The Ultimates, Captain America was apologizing to Nick Fury about breaking his nose. Nick just waved it off and said, "My nose has been smashed more times than Robert Downey, Jr.." And later on, guessed who played Iron Man?
    • This panel becomes funnier after knowing what Captain America does during the Civil War storyline.
  • This Superman cover is more funny after Spider-Man's breakup with Mary Jane...
  • Look at the first panel of this Spider-Man comic. Yeah.
  • An old Marvel Comics Star Wars comic dated about 1980 (before Empire or Jedi came to theaters) had a letter to the editor complaining about how the writers of the comic were writing Luke and Leia out of character saying and I quote "they're obviously in love with each other but you're writing them like they're brother and sister or something."
    • One issue of the Marvel Star Wars comic, also pre-Empire, had a story about Darth Vader and Luke's father as two different people. Naturally, going off the first movie there was no reason to suspect they weren't two different people, but it's still hard to ignore.
    • Much of Marvel Star Wars came out between the films. After The Empire Strikes Back, they ran a storyline involving a new Imperial superweapon called the Tarkin. During a briefing, someone says to our heroes, "It answers a lot of questions we've been asking ourselves lately. Like for instance, why hasn't the Empire constructed a second battle station like the Death Star that almost destroyed our base on Yavin?"
  • Joe Quesada once said the Classic and Ultimate Marvel universes meeting would be a sign that Marvel had "officially run out of ideas." The makers of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions didn't get this memo. Well, granted, they don't actually interact with each other, but still.
  • An issue of The Avengers from the 80's had Ant-Man claiming he and The Wasp had as much chance of beating Absorbing Man and Titania as Steven Spielberg had of winning an Academy Award for his directing. Fast forward to the 90's and the release of Schindlers List and Saving Private Ryan...
  • An issue of Mark Waid's Daredevil run had someone mistakenly referring to the hero as "Red Batman". Cut to a few years later when it was announced that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman in the Man of Steel sequel...
  • Issue #58 of the second run of What If?, released in 1994, asked the question of what would have happened if the Punisher had killed Spider-Man. One splash page of the issue shows a montage of big name Marvel superheroes with ties to Spider-Man beating the crap out of the Punisher. This was released only one year before Garth Ennis's The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe.
    • The very first issue of What If...? asked "What If Spider-Man had joined the Fantastic Four?"; since then, this has actually happened not once, but twice in 616 continuity - Spidey was a member of the short-lived New Fantastic Four, and later a member of the proper team in place of his dead friend Johnny Storm.
      • Moreover, What If...? #30's premise was "What If Spider-Man's Clone had not died?", based on a then-recent story arc. Then in the 90s, the idea was revisited in earnest in the infamous The Clone Saga.
    • Similarly, issue #51 of volume 2 was "What If the Punisher became Captain America?", which later became an actual Punisher: War Journal storyline in 2007. Granted, he was never officially Cap, but this was before Bucky Barnes stepped into the role, meaning he was effectively the closest thing to the real deal out there.
      • Speaking of Bucky, there's an issue of the first volume ("What If Captain America & Bucky had not disappeared at the end of World War II") where at one point, he takes up the Captain America mantle to replace an aging Steve Rogers. That's right, Bucky was Cap a good 31 years before he takes up the identity in the main Marvel Universe.
      • An issue of The Invaders from the 70's had a scene where Bucky makes a joke about going through an identity crisis. This was years before readers found out he'd been Brainwashed and transformed into a murderous Soviet assassin.
    • Not only that, but issue #9 of the second volume asked "What If the New X-Men had died on their very first mission?" X-Men: Deadly Genesis would reveal that this is exactly what actually happened, because Professor X had gathered a new team to save the originals from Krakoa before the more familiar "All-New, All-Different" guys.
  • Washed-up actor Henry Hellrung, alias Anthem, was made leader of The Order, California's Initiative team, by his friend Tony Stark. Henry was famous for playing Iron Man on television, until alcoholism ruined his career. To recap, he's an actor who got fired because of issues with addiction, then came back into the fore of media attention after accepting an offer to do with Iron Man... not unlike Robert Downey, Jr. The Order ran for 10 issues in 2007; Iron Man came out in May 2008
  • In a 70's issue of Captain America, Quasar jokingly says he didn't know Nick Fury was black after The Falcon starts barking orders. Decades later, Fury received a Race Lift in the Ultimate Marvel universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he is played by Samuel L. Jackson.
  • In a 2005 issue of She-Hulk, Spider-Man had some fun with J. Jonah Jameson by claiming that the real reason Jameson hated him was because he was black. The current Ultimate Spider-Man, introduced in 2011, is Miles Morales, a black Hispanic who was heavily criticized by real life political pundits like Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck.
  • An old issue of Thunderbolts had a scene where Hawkeye mentioned that Wolverine was the exact kind of loose cannon who would never be admitted into The Avengers. Guess who joined the Avengers back in 2005 and is still a member of the team to this day?
    • There was also much older story where Captain America himself told Wolverine he'd never be an Avenger. This is such a prominent example of this trope that when a recent Deadpool issue featured Cap recounting this incident, Deadpool immediately burst out laughing at the irony.
  • Another Hawkeye related one; Hawkeye decided to become a hero after watching Iron Man in action and wanted to be a superhero like him. In the mid-late 2000s Iron Man came out, and reportedly, when Jeremy Renner watched it, he wanted to play a superhero, just like Iron Man. He got his wish, how? By playing Hawkeye in The Avengers. Too bad they didn't explore Hawkeye's backstory or explain who he is.
  • In an issue of Kurt Busiek's Avengers run, Namor mocked D-Man and suggested that he go join the X-Men since they have much lower standards when it comes to recruitment. Namor later ended up joining the X-Men and played a major role in the Avengers vs. X-Men Crisis Crossover.
  • In one of the first issues of Thor to feature Loki, Jane Foster remarks that Loki must be good since he's so handsome. Especially funny considering all of the modern fangirls insisting that Loki is redeemable due in no small part to him being played by the handsome and charming Tom Hiddleston.
    • Lampshaded by the official Marvel Tumblr, which called the issue "the first appearance of Loki, and the first appearance of a Loki fangirl."
  • As the "One Nation Under Doom" event in the Marvel 2099 line drew to a close John Herod used a clone of Captain America as a puppet to overthrow Doom with the cover story that Steve Rogers had once again been put in suspended animation in a block of ice. In Manifest Destiny, we find out the real Steve Rogers's fate and as it turns out, history really did repeat itself.
  • A major reason Marvel cancelled The Avengers and relaunched it as New Avengers was because they wanted to get rid of the "dead weight" (characters who weren't in movies) and focus on their A-listers like Spider-Man and Wolverine, with Hawkeye specifically chosen to die because editorial thought he was a worthless character. Now, of those "dead weight" heroes, Hawkeye was one of the stars of The Avengers (one of the highest-grossing films of all time), The Falcon was a main character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch and The Vision are confirmed to appear in major roles in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scott Lang is getting his own film, Hank Pym is appearing in said film with The Wasp (or at least a version of her) heavily rumored to appear a well, and both Black Panther and Carol Danvers are confirmed to be getting solo movies in Phase 3. What a difference a few years make....
  • When The Inhumans first appeared in Fantastic Four, the Human Torch initially mistook them for mutants. This becomes funny when you consider that Marvel and Disney have been trying to make the Inhumans into Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for mutants, who can't be used in the MCU thanks to rights issues.
  • During the infamous "Armor Wars" storyline in Iron Man, there was an issue where Rhodey dressed up in Whiteface in order to pose as the villain Electro. While removing the makeup, a thoroughly embarrassed Rhodey said he hoped there weren't any black people around to see him like this. This becomes funny when you realize that in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Electro was Race Lifted into a black man.
  • Another hilarious moment caused by Electro's Race Lift comes from Mark Waid's Irredeemable, where the character Volt complains about black men with electrical powers being a stereotype. At the time, this was referencing characters like Black Lightning and Static.
  • During Mark Gruenwald's historic Captain America run, there was a scene where the government was looking up potential candidates to become the new Cap after Steve Rogers retired from the role. The Falcon was briefly brought up as a candidate, but one of the politicians present shot down the idea while saying something to the effect of "The public isn't ready for a black Captain America". When you realize the controversy around the later Truth: Red, White, & Black series (which established there WAS indeed a black Captain America), you can't help but feel that maybe the politician was (sadly) onto something...
  • In issue #101 of The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter takes a potion that was intended to remove his powers, but instead gave him two extra pairs of arms. While lamenting his situation, Peter calls himself a "Human Centipede". Forty-seven years later, Peter turned out to actually have it a lot better than the other Human Centipede.
  • In the Marvel NOW! parody Marvel: Now What?!, the High Evolutionary predicted that the next Crisis Crossover would involve the heroes and villains swapping allegiances so that Stilt-Man would be forced to defend the Earth from the Avengers. Then came Axis...

DC Comics
  • The 1992 miniseries Lobo: Infanticide has a extended parody of Archie Comics (drawn by Archie Comics house artist Dan DeCarlo) with a teen-age Lobo dating a crazed, shaved-headed... Britney Spears.
  • Anyone in the old "Who's Who in DC" series. Really, pick a character who's still around, and Hilarity Ensues as you see how terribly different the DC Universe is some 20 years later.
  • From Amazing World of DC Comics, July 1976, describing the Great Disaster at DC Comics:
    The pivotal time will be October, 1986 ... and in that month, the future of the world will be decided. Either the path of the Great Disaster will be taken, and civilization will fall, or the path of sanity will prevail and the Legion of Super-Heroes will emerge triumphant a thousand years later.
    • That's just I Want My Jetpack, right? Well, not quite. 1986 was the turning point for the Dark Age of Comics. And DC comics from October 1986 include Man of Steel #1, which began the modern revamping of Superman, and Batman #400, which was the last pre-revamp Batman. Depending on whether you think the Dark Age was a great disaster, this may be amusingly prophetic....
  • A 1997 Justice League story had the JLA take on a mad scientist who had created a "luck machine" that altered probability in his favor, letting him win the lottery, the Nobel Prize, and become President of the USA in short order. The JLA confront him in the Oval Office and destroy his device, but when reality reorders itself, the President who thanks the team isn't the right President either, and the team realizes that reality is still broken. What's so funny about this? The "wrong" President looks just like Sarah Palin.
  • Then-current Adventures of Superman writer Jerry Ordway would often say "Let's just kill 'im!" whenever the Superman writing team are stuck on ideas. When their proposed "Superman marries Lois Lane" story arc was temporarily shelved to avoid conflict with the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman TV series (which also planned to marry Superman and Lois in a future episode), Ordway, at the next meeting, said, "Let's just kill 'im!" The end result was The Death of Superman.
  • On the back cover of the Batman: A Death in the Family trade paperback, in which Jason Todd, the then-current Robin, was killed off, then-Batman editor Denny O'Neil jokingly said, "It would take a sleazy stunt to bring (Jason) back", though he did admit that he voted for Jason to live. In 2005, Jason was brought Back from the Dead.
    • Similar Word of God tripping-up occurs in the afterword to The Return of Barry Allen, a storyline in which Barry Allen does not actually return (yet). Mark Waid hyperbolically describes being driven up a bell tower with a rifle out of sheer exasperation at people asking him to bring back Barry.
    "What is it with you people?" I screamed. "Barry is Dead! Gone! Hearsed! Why can't you let him rest honorably, in peace?"
  • The Green Lantern story arc, Sinestro Corps War, features a rooftop fight with the sound effect "eepaa". The sound effect's origin? A one off gag in The Simpsons Movie.
    Comic Book Guy: I believe that's the sound the Green Lantern made when Sinestro threw him into a vat of acid. Eepaa!
    • Sadly, no vats of acid were involved.
  • The original Batwoman, Kathy Kane, was introduced in the '50s in response to Dr. Frederic Wertham's allegations that Batman and Robin were lovers. The current version of Batwoman, Kate Kane, is a lesbian.
  • An issue of JLA featured Superman attending the funeral of Metamorpho (again...), and was the only one there. When he questioned the priest about it, he was told that since Superman came back, everyone expected superheroes not to stay dead, so they'd lost interest in memorial services. The service took place in a park dedicated to fallen superheroes, and in an obvious bid to make the point that this wasn't always the case, that sometimes dead heroes stayed dead, the artist had four memorial statues in the scene: Ice, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Barry Allen (the Flash). All of them have since come back from the dead.
  • This panel from Justice League America #33. At the time, it was meant as a dig at Barbara Gordon's fate in The Killing Joke, but with the events of Countdown to Infinite Crisis (Max actually does shoot Blue Beetle in the head) it becomes hilariously prophetic. (Perhaps justified in that Booster was from the future. Was he trying to subtly warn his friend without disrupting the space-time continuum?)
  • This Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos panel states a Chuck Norris fact 20 years early.
  • In the 1970s Batman story "The Man Who Falls", which chronicles young Bruce Wayne's training to become Batman, Bruce meets with an FBI agent who says "we don't pull our piece much. We leave that to Efrem Zimbalist, Junior", in reference to the TV show F.B.I. which starred Zimbalist Jr. Efrem Zimbalist Jr would later be the voice actor for Alfred Pennyworth on Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Issue 3 of JLA: Year One (written in March 1998) has a moment that seems to be intended as a Funny Aneurysm Moment, due to being set in the past; The Flash (Barry Allen) and Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) have a heart-to-heart conversation about the life expectancies of superheroes, which ends with Hal assuring Barry that "I predict we'll both live to a ripe old age". At that point in continuity, both Hal and Barry were dead. However, these days that moment has reversed into Hilarious in Hindsight due to both having been brought back from the dead throughout the 2000's.
  • In the "World's Finest" where Robin (Tim Drake) and Superboy (Kon-El) first meet, Superboy wisecracks that even with the costume, he knew it wasn't one of the legendary Flying Graysons. Guess which Robin was made into a contemporary of Superboy in Young Justice cartoon?
    • Speaking of Tim and costumes, DC once released a book about Bruce Wayne's costume designs for him and his team (Knight Gallery). Tim's section 2 entries stating "yeah, cape-wings are stupid". Cue the New 52 reboot, and just guess what Tim is now wearing (and everyone is making fun of)...
  • Y: The Last Man features a Gender Bender FTM in later issues who bears a striking resemblance to Chris Crocker.
  • This rejected Robin design from the camptastic Batman & Robin looks very similar to the New 52 Reboot's Nightwing suit, minus the belt and the nipples.
  • In Messner-Loebs's run on The Flash, there were several references to T. O. Morrow being stricken with depression after seeing something unspecified and horrible in the future. 15-20 years of canon developments and potential things for a reader to dislike later...
  • Back when Two-Face was still known as Harvey Kent, the editors decided to give him a happy ending, and his face was restored by a doctor. And the doctor's name? Ekhart. In The Dark Knight, Aaron Eckhart would play Harvey Dent.
  • Some older comics contain fan letters from one Geoffrey Johns, who had suggestions like "What if Superboy's DNA was half Lex Luthor?" and "Could you do another story with [dead at the time] Professor Zoom?" He got responses like "Sorry, in the time since you sent your letter the other half's been revealed as Paul Westfield" and "Sorry, Professor Zoom's dead and we're cutting back on time travel stories." Then he grew up and made his dreams come true.
  • The second issue of Grant Morrison's Animal Man run has a scene where Buddy runs into a teenager in LA named "Jaime", who collects autographs from famous superheroes. When he opens up his autograph book to try to get Buddy to sign it, the first visible page reads, "To my good friend Jaime - The Blue Beetle". That issue came out about 18 years before a teenager named Jaime Reyes officially became the third Blue Beetle in Infinite Crisis.
  • The Marvel Comics character Black Cat is often (mistakenly) called a rip-off of Catwoman. At one point, Anne Hathaway was set to play a heavily modified version of Black Cat in the fourth [[Spider-Man Trilogy}} Spider-Man movie]], but the film was never made. The big superhero movie role Hathaway did end up playing years later? Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle, in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • In the Deathstroke the Terminator tie-in with the Titans $ellout $pecial, a toy company is producing a Deathstroke action figure set, including "Wintergreen: Friend from Down Under!" When one of the execs points out Wintergreen's British, they're told that Australia is cooler. In Arrow, not only is Wintergreen an Australian, so is Slade himself!
  • In an old issue of Justice League International, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle tried to recruit new members for the JLI, but met with failure at every turn. Eventually, the two suggested that they get Congorilla to join the League in a very derisive "We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel" way. Decades later, Congorilla did actually join the team in the polarizing Justice League: Cry for Justice series.
  • In the MAD parody of the 1966 Batman TV show, the villain who's been trying to kill Batman turns out to be Robin in disguise. Fast-forward 35 years to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Strikes Again, where the maniac posing as the new The Joker, who's been taking out heroes left and right turns out to be...Dick Grayson.
  • This comic, depicting Superman's face turning various colours from different emotions. Including "yellow from fear".
  • During Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics, there was a one-shot issue about an Alternate Universe version of Superman who literally began life as a comic character. In the story, it's stated that the corporation that owned Superman made him Darker and Edgier to appeal to a modern audience, thus missing the entire point of the character. Then Man of Steel came out the following year, with one of the major complaints being that WB had tried too hard to make Superman Darker and Edgier, to the point that he killed General Zod.
  • Batman and Captain America have met up more than a few times, which makes it somewhat amusing now that they've also happened to recently share the same voice actor in respective works.
  • In the Batman arc "Shaman", Batman ambushes a group of thugs in a drug deal and interrogates the last one, saying "So if you don't tell me every little thing I might want to know, you'll be going to jail in a baggie. Believe it." Anyone who watches anime will know why it's hilarious to have Batman say this.
  • In the second season of The Big O, Alan Opperheimer voiced Norman Burg, an Expy of Alfred; In The Super Hero Squad Show, Travis Willingham voiced the Squadron Supreme's resident Superman expy Hyperion; and in Ben 10, Steve Blum voiced Vilgax, an expy of Darkseid. Guess who got to voice the characters said expies were based on in, respectively, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, and Justice League: War.
  • From The Superman Adventures, the title "Jimmy Olsen vs. Darkseid" come Infinite Crisis, when Jimmy does briefly have a battle with the lord of Apocalips.
  • Seanbaby joked about rainbow Kryptonite that turns Superman gay. Later on, the comics would introduce pink Kryptonite, which reverses nearby Kryptonians' sexual orientations.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue #1 was meant to parody several things, when something happened to those tropes or something.
    • Animal Teams, which ironically made the meme of Animal Teams.
  • The works of Frank Miller, who would later go on to inadvertently parody himself.
    • The classic Sin City story "That Yellow Bastard" at one point has Hartigan talking about how something is "just plain damn screwy" repeatedly. Cue Frank Miller's The Spirit...
  • Straddling the line between this and "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: read the Astro City story "A Nearness of You", keeping in mind One More Day.
  • Image United is a Crisis Crossover designed to celebrate the history of Image Comics. Due to massive Schedule Slip, it's now fallen many months behind. One of the most infamous issues of early Image being its delays.
  • Judge Dredd's Democracy Now 1990s story line had the quote "When some creep's holding a knife to your throat, who do you want to see riding - or your elected representative? Think about it." Fast forward to 2009 and the elected Mayor of London Boris Johnson saved a woman from a mugging that he witness as he cycled home. Since Mayor Of London comes with no 24 hour bodyguards or police escort it seems elected representatives are a better choice than coppers.
  • Can be considered an inversion, Dr. Seuss's wartime political cartoon showing a man in the future telling his grandson about his days during WWII, which he apparently spent complaining about fuel shortages. This becomes much less ludicrous when you look at the date this is supposed to be taking place: 1973, when everybody talked about fuel shortages. If you didn't know this was written in 1943, there isn't much of a joke, since it is perfectly reasonable that the grandfather is recounting his past experiences with fuel shortages.
  • Don Rosa's 2002 Uncle Scrooge story "The Dream of a Lifetime" features the Beagle Boys using an invention stolen from Gyro Gearloose to sneak into Scrooge's dreams and learn the combination to his money bin's main vault. It also features a staggering amount of similarities to the lucid-dreaming mechanics, and some of the plot elements, of Inception.
  • In 1996 Marvel and DC made a crossover (Elseworlds) Batman & Captain America. No comment about the story itself, however epilogue has a very significant detail. Batman and Robin found frozen Cap, and save him. Then they reveal that Batman is now Dick Grayson former Robin (and Bruce retired now), and Robin is... Bruce Wayne Jr. son of the original Batman! Now where have i heard that one before?
  • 2010: Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers contains a memorable scene where Rotorstorm jokingly shouts "Wreckers, combine!" (they have no such ability). 2012: Hasbro announces a Wreckers combiner. Rotorstorm isn't part of it.
  • For the Grand Finale of his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga, Alan Moore wrote a scene involving a climactic face-off between a deranged Harry Potter and a Guardian Angel Mary Poppins...about two or three months before anyone knew that the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics would feature almost the same thing. Sure, it was Voldemort against a swarm of Mary Poppinses in the latter case, but the coincidence is still pretty astounding. Especially since the book finally hit the stands almost exactly a month before the London Olympics started.
  • Alan Moore's Lost Girls has Wendy from Peter Pan married to a man named Harry Potter.
  • The Star Wars comic compilation Star Wars Tales has a throwaway drawing in one of the stories of the Empire's sigil with Mickey Mouse ears on it. The gag became a lot funnier when Disney bought the rights to Star Wars in late 2012 and announced production of a new series of films.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW):
    • This article, posted before the comic series was announced, showing fanart of the (humanized) Mane Six as pin-up superheroines, mentioning "Somewhere 'bad girl artist' J. Scott Campbell is smiling". Campbell did do a variant cover, with no Fanservice in sight!
    • In Diablo III, a unique unicorn monster found in Whimsyshire was named "Nightmarity". The name isn't used in the comic, but Rarity becomes the second Nightmare Moon.
    • The many "What If Rarity Were Evil?" fan-remixes, especially this one, are all very much Hilarious in Hindsight now.
    • The two Doctor Whooves in #7 is quite prophetic, since the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special will be bringing back Ten and Rose.
  • Kick-Ass: In the Hit-Girl interquel, Mindy mentions that she hopes to gain friends in school with knowledge on The Hunger Games. Not only was Chloe Moretz considered for the part of Katniss, but Aaron Johnson for Peeta.
  • In the very first issue of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehognote , there was a short strip which mocked The Late Show With David Letterman's Top 10 Countdown. Two of the entries were that the comic would not rely on crossovers and that it was the only comic with a female character with very little clothingnote . Four years later, Sonic would crossover with Image Comics then again two years later with Sabrina the Teenage Witch and twenty years later, a Cosmic Reboot affected Sally would put on a lot more clothes.
    • Another early issue had a comic proclaiming a "darker and grittier" Sonic, though it was him as a chimney sweeper. About two years later, the comic would start getting Darker and Edgier.

Newspaper Comics
  • In a Dilbert strip from early 1992, Dogbert announces his intention to run for president, "hoping [his] charisma will unify a divided political party" - not the Democrats, but the Communists, as he wants to have a chance. A few years after Bill Clinton won the election, Scott Adams wrote in a compilation, "This joke made sense in 1992. Trust me."
  • In a Bloom County Sunday strip, Steve Dallas has a fantasy of dancing around as Michael Jackson. Of course it was cool and badass in 1986...
    • Also in Bloom County, a Star Wars parody arc ended with this. Mind you, this strip is from 1983.
      • In the collected volume, Breathed comments "I was off one year. Funny thing looking back is that George apparently did lose his head."
    • And then there's the strip from 1988 where Frank tells Binkley's dad "The first black in the White House will be a conservative". Well, it kind of depends on how you define "conservative"... a lot of Obama's policies tend to be somewhat in the Nixon range, but he is a Democrat...
      • Obama's health care law closely copied the one Republicans proposed in 1993, so there's no disputing Obama's conservative bona fides (without resorting to a Chewbacca Defense). However, he campaigned as a progressive liberal, so it's pretty ironic all around.
  • In the lead-up to the release of The Phantom Menace, Foxtrot had a strip about Jason posting fake news about the movie in order to convince other fans not to see the movie, allowing Jason a better chance to get tickets on opening day. One of the rumors he posted concerned how all CGI effects had been removed from the film, and as such Jar-Jar Binks had been renamed "Jar-Jar Binks, master of invisibility." Considering the eventual fan reaction, Peter's comment about why Jason's plan won't work is made a bit funnier.
    • Not to mention that the whole strip seems eerily like it could be a parody of notorious Fanon website
    • Wordof God even acknowledges the unintentional humor in his Best of Foxtrot collection.
    • In another strip, Jason made a violent video game, but it could also be played in a hyper-sanitized mode to avoid parental backlash. ("Your flower is spurting butterflies from its chest wound.") Then, Serious Sam HD comes, with Super Happy Funtime mode.
    • In one strip from June 1988, Peter calls a woman on the phone, who thinks he's someone named "Steve", causing Peter to ask who Steve is. Four months later, we meet Peter's best friend, named Steve.
  • A Pearls Before Swine strip showed Rat writing about a fake interview with Saddam Hussein who was found in a spider hole, playing a Game Boy. As Stephan Pastis wrote in commentary, Saddam Hussein was found in a spider hole, but not playing a Game Boy.
    • Similarly, one Story Arc involved Osama bin Laden living with the cast of The Family Circus. Later, it turned out that bin Laden was, indeed, hiding in plain sight.
    • In a strip from an arc where Pig had Newt Gingrich as a pet, Rat said that Newt can never be president and John McCain is a lock for 2008. He was proven right about the former, considering Newt's dropout of the 2012 election, but wrong about the latter, considering the other nominee won that election.
  • Re-runs of the For Better or for Worse comic strip featuring Lawrence are funnier when you realize that Lawrence is gay. Like when he teases Michael for liking girls, when the boys take turns pulling each others' uvulae (it's that hangy thing in the back of your throat) or when teen Michael tries to comfort a dateless loser friend by pointing out Lawrence doesn't date either.
  • A Peanuts comic strip had Snoopy try to get Schroeder to recommend him for "Neighborhood Dog Of The Year". Schroeder said that Snoopy never said anything good about Beethoven. Snoopy then thinks that he didn't know Beethoven wanted to be "Neighborhood Dog Of The Year". 20 years later, a film series was made about a dog named Beethoven.
    • This strip.
    • One strip had Snoopy writing something titled "A Sad Story". Lucy calls it dumb, which is a frequent complaint levied against a fanfiction by that same title.
    • One strip has Linus mention to Charlie Brown that when Sally grows up, there will be three Major Leagues. In 2001, Major League Lacrosse joined Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer as sports leagues under the label, Major League. Let's also not forget the film franchise of the same name.
      • Linus' comment in context clearly is meant to refer to a third baseball league in addition to the American and National leagues ... this hasn't happened (yet), but the existing ones did add more teams. Very few people in the US cared much about soccer or lacrosse in 2001, and when the strip was originally published, it's not much of an exaggeration to say no one did.
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes Sunday strip, Calvin is out shopping with his mother and tries on some sunglasses while Hobbes watches. It's pretty funny on its own, but after Gurren Lagann made its debut, it was noticed that the pair he settles on before his mom sends him back just happens to be green Kamina shades.
    • The script styling of the Calvinverse makes one strip, which chronicled Calvin discussing how they could become cultural icons on television, much more amusing.
      • Likewise, a series involving Calvin using a piece of cardboard to pretend he's on TV ends up even more amusing - particularly the one where Calvin plugs his beloved Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs, in light of the fic's tendency to Product Place.
      • What's more, a throwaway gag from one New Year's strip has Hobbes asking Calvin if their parents celebrate the new year. Calvin notes that their idea of a party is "mixing regular coffee in with the decaf." Then there's the Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode "New Year, New Disasters", which has Calvin invited to a New Year's party, while Calvin's parents drown their sorrows in cider.
  • This Garfield strip.
    • Any pre-2006 strip involving Liz is especially funny to read nowadays, considering Jon and Liz are a couple now.
    • There was one 1982 strip where Garfield said that Monday moves in a mysterious way.
  • Each collection of U.S. Acres, another Jim Davis comic strip, features an extra page at the beginning of each book. In the second book, "U.S. Acres Counts Its Chickens", this page was "Ole Sayings We Know Well", featuring plays on sayings about farm animals. One of them was "A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing", which showed a wolf whom looked exactly like the wolf from Season 5 of U.S. Acres, which would debut 3 years after the book was published. Another expression was "A Pig In A Poke", and showed Roy Rooster poking Orson in the stomach, making him look angered. 17 years after the book was published, this U.S. Acres fanart was published, which is exactly similar, but with the TV-exclusive character Aloysius poking Orson.
    • In one comic, Orson read a story to the chicks about a murderer. A year later, the first episode of U.S. Acres, "Wanted: Wade!" aired, and he was possibly reading the same book, as the book he was reading was about a criminal.
  • In an early Get Fuzzy strip, Bucky doctored one of Satchel's Where's Waldo? books by changing it to Where's Osama?. At the end, a bunch of American troops find him, and presumably kill him, prompting Rob to say "you can't sell this to kids". In 2011...
  • There's an issue of Twisted Toyfare Theater about Wolverine's busy day-to-day schedule, wherein he guest stars in several comics over the course of the day. At the end, Alan Moore pops in to quote Oscar Wilde, saying the only thing worse than being talking about is not being talked about. Cut to Speedball, sullenly waiting by the phone, hoping he'll get a call from the Marvel Team Up guys. Speedball's next major appearance was in the last arc of Marvel Team-Up — and not long after he became thrust into the spotlight as Penance in the wake of Civil War.
    • A related TTT gag features the strip "rebooted" and the closing line with Mego Spidey saying "Yeah, like this magazine will last another ninety issues." He turned out to be right.
  • The Far Side once showed a strip of cowboys being chased by UFOs.
    • There was also a strip of a man with cow heads growing out of his body being told by a doctor "I'm afraid you have cows." A few years later, so did some other folks...
  • Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn's doctor is called Dr. H. Blog. And to think that "blog" would eventually become an actual word in the English language...
    • Would have been even better if his name was Dr. H. S. A. Blog.
  • This Close to Home strip from 1997. Two years later, Disney debuted the next-best thing but at no cost to park guests: Fastpass.

ComedyHilarious in HindsightFan Works
Grievous Bottley HarmImageSource/Comic BooksOverly Stereotypical Disguise

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