- Grant Morrison's run on Action Comics featured an issue about a Multiverse version of Superman who started off as a creation of a group of young comic creators, only to end up being co-opted by a big corporation who screwed over the writers. The story has some pretty obvious similarities to that of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, who created Superman and whose relatives are involved in a bitter legal dispute with DC Comics over the profits gained from the character. It is also briefly mentioned that the corporation had tried to make their Superman more appealing to a modern audience by making him Darker and Edgier, which has been a common complaint about the New 52 Superman and the Man of Steel movie. Morrison briefly mentions a Lighter and Softer version of Superman from another Earth called "Optiman" who failed to stop the rampaging antihero version mentioned above. As Morrison was making fun of the Darker and Edgier stance towards Superman, he was also mocking the idea that a "cutesy-pie" Superman is the only alternative to a darker Superman.
- An early example of DC and Marvel taking shots at one another occurred in a Legion Of Superheroes story from Adventure Comics #350 back in 1966. After transforming into a giant spider in order to web up a monster, Chameleon Boy had this to say:
- Animal Man thinks to himself while experimenting with the abilities of a spider: "Of course I wouldn't want only spider powers... that'd make me a third-rate super-hero."
- The Authority
Hawksmoor: (to Bill Clinton) We're not some comic book super-team who participate in pointless fights with pointless super-criminals every month to preserve the status quo.
- Mark Millar's first arc took this to a ridiculous extreme by fighting (and utterly destroying) satirical versions of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the X-Men and the main villain being Jack Kirby; he's specifically described as "the guy who would've created all your favorite comic books" if he hadn't been hired by the US government. The series has a lot of Author Appeal, and they're not subtle about it either. The authors explained this was a deliberate poke at traditional superheroes who they felt embodied and maintained the status quo. He even takes shots at Charles Atlas bodybuilding ads. Also;
- Speaking of Clinton, Millar hated him, and so his run on the series and the Jenny Sparks mini-series had several jabs against him. One of the issues of the mini-series even goes so far as to implicitly compare Clinton to Adolf Hitler.
- The comic itself later received a Take That in the form of the "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?" story arc of Superman, which was adapted into the Direct-to-Video animated feature Superman vs. the Elite.
- Ironically, despite the creator of "What's So Funny" intending for "The Elite" to basically be a one/two-shot deal, a second version of the Elite appeared... and turned out to be pulling a Batman Gambit to pretend to be the second coming of the original Elite in order to make humanity pull together for one major effort needed to waive off Gaia's Vengeance... a smackdown that Gaea herself was planning to dish out. They subsequently became the short-lived Justice League Elite, in essence the black ops branch of the Justice League family.
- Justice League even had an episode that showed what would happen if the titular' heroes, which The Authority is patterned loosely after, were to suddenly decide that they knew better than everyone else. It's not clear if it was a deliberate Take That! or just exploring the concept of the League becoming evil, but it's often regarded as one of the show's best-written episodes.
- Also in the series, during Warren Ellis' last story, is the Authority attempting to kill God. Ellis is a staunch atheist.
- Phil Noto's unused cover for Batgirl #3 shows Stephanie Brown looking over concepts for potential Batgirl costumes. As an in-joke, the Batgirl design sported by Alicia Silverstone in Batman & Robin can be seen crossed out with the words "definitely not" scrawled over it.
- In Gail Simone's Batgirl run, the Ventriloquist enters a talent show that's a clear parody of American Idol. The villainess proceeds to violently kill the obvious Simon Cowell clone, and leaves the Paula Abdul wannabe Bound and Gagged between two rotting corpses. Only the Randy Jackson analogue escapes unscathed.
- Batman Incorporated features tons of take thats against DC Comics for the DC Universe reboot as far as Morrison openly ignoring the reboot and outright referring to things (the existence of the Outsiders, the opening arc of Morrison's JLA run and references to the original Justice League International era JLA, which Metamorpho was a member of, Batwing's original origin, Talia being part of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and the reveal that Talia was part of Alexander Luthor's scheme to bring back the Multiverse, Jason Todd and his partnership with Scarlet, and the entire Final Crisis/Black Glove storyline) that DC explicitly erased from canon.
- An issue of Blood Syndicate had the titular team of antiheroes transformed into parodies of the X-Men franchise. In addition to CONSTANTLY talking about how they had to defend a world that hated and feared them, they had redesigned outfits with a LOT of pouches and names with "cool" misspellings like "Kwiklash", "Brique" and "Retenshyn".
- The Brave and the Bold #74 had a scene of Batman swinging from a flagpole and claiming he did it first.
Batman: Here's one I did before anybody, including a certain web-spinning Peter-come-lately!
- The title for the first issue in the Convergence: Titans is "Try For Justice", and its plot seems to aim to fix problems that occurred in the series.
- DC Universe: Rebirth #1, the kickoff for the DC Rebirth event, takes a dig a comic writers who do unironic Darker and Edgier superheroes by revealing that Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen is the cause of the New 52, essentially saying "If you're using Watchmen as a guide to writing mainstream superhero comics, you've missed the point entirely". The basic premise could be seen as a Take That at the New 52 as a whole, with Wally West talking about how the new continuity robbed its heroes of their history and legacy. This view was enforced by Geoff Johns, the writer of the Rebirth one-shot, giving an interview where he claimed that the New 52 rendered certain characters (such as Superboy, whom Johns is a huge fan of) unrecognizable. And of course the revelation of the issue is that the New 52 is a perversion of the previous continuity created by a madman with the power of a god.
- Hanna-Barbera wanted to use Black Lightning in Superfriends but when they realized it would cost extra as they would have to pay his creator Tony Isabella as well, they created his Expy Black Vulcan instead. In response, the last issue of Isabella's Black Lightning series has the titular character fight an Evil Knockoff of himself created by a villainess named Barbara Hannah.
- Grant Morrison's mini-series DC One Million begins with Plastic Man doing a Take That! at DC's other stretchable superhero Elongated Man: "I could never figure out why the League kept choosing Elongated Man over me. Don't get me wrong, nice guy, nice wife, but hey! Someone left the stable door open and his charisma just bolted I guess!"
- In Alex Ross's Justice, Plastic Man is portrayed as a complete jerk, especially to Ralph (Elongated Man)'s face. Ralph comes off as the bigger man when he doesn't retaliate.
- An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold features a similar jab, with Plastic Man dismissing Elongated Man as a "D-list doppleganger".
- There was the episode of Justice League Unlimited that had Elongated Man whining about how Plastic Man is more popular than him despite the fact that he is a far more competent hero than Plas.
- There's a scene in The Lazarus Contract where a H.I.V.E. scientist says that physicists being able to film an electron leaving an atom almost makes up for J. J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot.
- Christopher Priest has stated that he dislikes the whimsical tone many modern superheroine books have, specifically singling out practices like having characters take selfies during battle. One of the things Deathstroke tells the members of Defiance, his new team of teen superheroes, is "We don't pose for selfies."
- Detective Comics
- In a backup story for issue #545, a bystander calls Green Arrow "Hawkeye" dismissively. In the following panels Ollie thinks to himself how, while he can't place the name, something about it really irks him.
- In issue #938 from the Detective Comics (Rebirth) renumbering, Spoiler gets in a dig at Red Robin's costume from Scott Lobdell's New 52 Teen Titans run.
Spoiler: You want me to make fun of your last costume again, with the showgirl wings?
Red Robin: No.
Spoiler: Then keep moving.
- Dial H took on none other than Alan Moore for the racial implications of his (professedly anti-racist) use of a Golliwog character in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge has this thinly-veiled meta-commentary on Marc Guggenheim's run on The Flash and its misuse of the Rogues, as well as the quality issues of certain big events such as Amazons Attack and Countdown to Final Crisis.
Heat Wave: This isn't for Kid Flash.
Weather Wizard: This isn't for my son.
Captain Cold: No. This is for one $%@#$@-up year.
- A precursor to Superboy-Prime appears in The Flash storyline "Return of Barry Allen," Mark Waid's response to fans asking him to bring back Barry. He brings back Barry all right—except it's really the young Eobard Thawne, future Professor Zoom, retconned into a fanboy so obsessive he gets plastic surgery to look exactly like Barry Allen. When various psychological shocks such as discovering he goes on to be a villain and be killed by his former idol leave him convincing himself he is Barry, he is furious to discover that people grew to think of Wally West as the Flash in the years after Barry died, and he eventually leaves Wally in a deathtrap for "stealing his name."
- Buck Wild from Icon was both a Take That! and an Affectionate Parody of the early superheroes of the Blaxploitation years. Black Lightning, The Falcon, Black Goliath, and Luke Cage are all explicitly parodied, and Icon states that Buck's antics were often highly embarrassing. However, he also says that despite being a caricature, Buck is deserving of respect, since he paved the way for the less-offensive black superheroes of today.
- As a parody comic, The Inferior Five had a few moments of this:
- Issue #7 had a scene where the real Thor from Norse mythology was mortified after the Five shaved his trademark beard and dyed his red hair blond, causing him to resemble his Marvel counterpart. The same issue also had an appearance from a parody of Namor the Sub-Mariner called "Nabob the Sub-Moron", complete with a mangling of Namor's patented "Imperius Rex!" Battle Cry.
- Issue #10 brough back Nabob and introduced "Cobweb Kid" and "The Kookie Quartet," all of whom ended up thoroughly humiliated by the end of the story.
- One issue of Injustice: Gods Among Us has been seen as a major Take That towards the changes done to Superman. The issue, showing a young man who wishes for the Superman of old, where he'd help kids and shame criminals into giving up, could be taken as a Take That towards Man of Steel, New 52 or how the prequel comic has gone on.
- The trade paperback collection for the DC event Invasion! had the tagline "Secret No More!", a jab at Marvel's Secret Invasion. *
- In the Joker / Mask crossover, the Joker briefly transforms into a new futuristic form he dubs "Joker Beyond", which he quickly dismisses as being "a little too Saturday morning".
- Some fans have speculated that the Justice miniseries was either a Take That! or at least a "measured response" to the Identity Crisis miniseries.
- James Robinson's final issue of the 2006-2011 Justice League series has a number of potshots directed at the New 52 reboot that resulted in the title's cancellation, including the favoritism shown towards Batwing over a number of already-established African-based heroes, Dick Grayson's return to the Nightwing identity and Donna Troy's apparent lack of appearance in the reboot. It also took shots at the Justice League fans who criticized Robinson's run, with Grayson stating that he didn't care whether or not his iteration of the League would be remembered fondly by the public, and that he and his team did their best despite what the detractors said. How subtle.
- The New 52 Justice League International gave the new Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes (who some JLI fans don't like) a major diss, when the people recruiting the new JLI react extremely negatively when Jaime is suggested as a potential member of the team because he's a rookie superhero. In the final issue of the series, Jaime does join the team, which causes Guy Gardner to quit the team on the spot when Jaime ask if Superman and Wonder Woman are on the team. And the series ends with Jaime being teleported to the homeworld of the Reach, which is a fate worse than death in the eyes of OMAC, the man who teleported him there given that the Reach are not too happy with Jaime rebelling against their programming. Although that last part was more of a Sequel Hook for the new series Blue Beetle began starring in immediately after JLI ended.
- Justice League Quarterly #16 was a series of in-universe comic books featuring General Glory, DC's then-current Captain Ersatz Captain America. For the most part these were Affectionate Parodies of fifties monster comics (as "General Glory's Really Scary Stories", a parody of Captain America's Weird Tales), Silver Age superheroes (and more Self-Deprecation on DC's Silver Age than Cap's return at Marvel) and even The Dark Knight Returns (as "Return on a Dark Night"). The final story, however, is "The Power ... And The Platitude!" by Indulgence Comics in which the "Wildbloods" free an insane General Glory and Ernie from suspended animation in a vicious parody of Image Comics in general and Youngblood freeing John Prophet in particular. In the Framing Story, the real Glory calls it "downright pointless", and the guy he's showing the comics to says "General Glory should stand for something. He shouldn't be involved in meaningless violence for its own sake."
- Subversion: this page from JSA created some Internet Backdraft, because it was seen as a Take That, Critics! against everybody who criticized oversexualised costumes for superheroines, but this response from Jen Van Meter explains it was never intended to be take that.
- Mark Waid's Kingdom Come series is essentially a middle finger to the 90's era of comics. The irresponsible hero Magog (who causes the death of thousands of civilians) is an obvious parody of the X-Men character Cable, a popular character during that time period. Additionally, many of the DC heroes introduced in the 90's such as Kyle Rayner (who the artist Alex Ross has gone on record as saying he hates), Bart Allen (who was co-created by Waid) and Tim Drake were completely ignored, while others like Kon-El appeared in the background as part of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the comic. Amusingly, Ross also designed Magog as a jab at the notorious Rob Liefeld, by modeling Magog after two characters that he designed: Cable and Shatterstar. Magog resembles Cable with a version of Shatterstar's helmet. Ironically, since Waid wrote Magog as a three dimensional character who was an apologetic Well-Intentioned Extremist who learned from his mistake, he ended up being a favorite character of the creators.
- Back during the 90s, fans had clamored for Batman to be Darker and Edgier akin to The Punisher. To that end, they used Knightfall to phase Bruce Wayne out in favor of Jean-Paul Valley, who proceeds to tear through villainy in a Punisher-like style, yet never coming close to taking a life before, finally, culminating with him finally taking a life and Bruce Wayne coming back to kick his ass and take back his name. Interesting, he's told by four different people, including Superman and The Joker that he's not the real Batman. At one point, Commissioner Gordon asks Robin when the real Batman will be returning, referring to AzBats as "that punk" in Batman's costume.
- A bunch of defectors from Marvel (Byrne included), snuck in an epic Take That! into the DC series Legends, where Guy Gardner beat the crap out of Sunspot, a transparent Expy of Marvel's Star Brand (the over-hyped headlining book of Marvel's New Universe which spectacularly failed to take off and bore a suspiciously resemblance to Marvel Editor Jim Shooter). Guy doesn't even break a sweat, and Sunspot ends the fight by shooting himself in the foot while ranting about why the New Universes he tries to create keep exploding. Viewable here.
- The Multiversity:
Captain Marvel Junior: S.O.S.... They cancelled that book.Captain Marvel: No wonder. What happened to happy endings? "I'll get out and destroy everything..." HA! I don't know about you. But, that sounds to me, like tomorrow's big adventure!Crumples up the Gentry's cursed comic-book, chucks it into the trash, and flies off with Mary and Junior to their next big adventure with smiles on their faces.
- The most distinguishing feature of Earth-8, based on Marvel Comics, on the interactive map is that its heroes "fight with each other as much as they fight the bad guys". Notably, the Behemoth (its version of the Incredible Hulk) transforms into a raging, giant, blue baby◊ instead of a jade titan when aggravated.
- The Gentry appear to be manifestations of the stagnation found in mainstream comics. Intellectron, a one-eyed bat-winged creature, in particular is seen as a parody of DC Comics, representing the company's obsession with Batman, a singular vision, and lack of depth perception.
- In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Abin Sur's fight with Count Sinestro and Parallax, as well as Abin Sur beating both of them on his own, may be criticism at DC dragging out the emotional entity concept in Green Lantern and how Parallax has become a diminished threat in recent stories. As well, the use of Parallax to power the Transmatter Engine for Doc Fate can be a reference to how Parallax himself has been used as a tool rather than an actual villain in his own right in his stories since the advent of the New 52.
- Earth-41's Nimrod Squad is a blatant shot at Youngblood.
- Thunderworld #1 feels like a huge shot at how DC has handled the Marvel Family in the last few years, due to the fact that the Billy, Mary, Freddy, and Wizard of Earth-5 are much more wholesome and well-adjusted compared to their main Earth counterparts. There's also the fact that Sivana, who is still a Card-Carrying Villain, is disturbed by an Ax-Crazy counterpart who makes very unsavory comments about what he did to his world's Marvel Family. Said villain feels sadly similar to the villains who've become common in Earth-0's universe.
Thunderworld #1 also comes off as a Take That! to the New 52 as a whole, seeing how its lack of Darker and Edgier elements seems to be what allowed it to repel the Gentry's invasion in the first place. It goes to show that you don't need hyper-realism and grim elements to create a good story, and that the optimism and fun of Pre-New 52 DC still has a place in comics. And, given how well-received Thunderworld has been, it's something that hasn't been lost on the general comic-book readership either. Captain Marvel even lampshades how silly the darker and edgier stories are when it comes down to it, and asks just what's wrong with a happy ending.
Captain Atom: ''I had to take a closer look... I thought the pieces would explain the whole. But... It's hard to love the pieces like... like.. I thought I could locate the source of these feelings doctor. Then I realized... What have I done? I just killed Butch. My faithful little dog.
- Not to mention that when Sivana takes over the Rock of Eternity, and starts plundering the magic from it, he redecorates it to look like a corporate office, complete with cubicles and potted plants. Possibly a comment on how the comics industry has now become one big corporation.
- Pax Americana #1 is a not too subtle one to Alan Moore, and how he deconstructed superheroes in a cold mechanical way through the visuals and narrative of Watchmen.
Captain Atom: Except... what if Butch is alive as well as dead? Why not? [Another dog similar visually to Butch appears next to the body of the dead dog] Hm. Not the same.
- As well as Moore's later attempts at reconstructing the genre through his later work Supreme, and giving a reason as to why Alan Moore or any writer who did Deconstruction stories can never return to anything upbeat and meaningful.
Damian: When did Hipsters get into superhero books?
- And when discussing the book (which was drawn by Frank Quitely) in an interview, Morrison said it beats the hell out of that series Frank is doing with Mark Millar at Image.
- The book "The Just" is a look at the comic book industry's place in the larger pop culture consciousness, in particular to Hollywood and blockbuster movies. In this world, peace has been achieved for years and the children of heroes are superficial mock-ups of their parents, much the same way that some fans argue that movie and TV adaptations lack the depth and heart of the source material. Heroes don't have any real fights anymore, but engage in highly-publicized re-enactments for the populace. They even knock the fans who only vaguely go into comics because it's a popular thing due to films with no deeper appreciation.
- "The Just" also contains a slam on Grant Morrison's own tendency toward metatextual stories. Upon hearing the plot of the comic, a deeply-annoyed Damian Wayne remarks, "So basically they found some post-postmodern way to make superheroes seem interesting. That's never going to happen."
- In New Gods, Jack Kirby left some careful hints that the series was a Stealth Sequel to The Mighty Thor, taking place long after Asgard was destroyed during Ragnarok. In one issue, a character finds Thor's helmet in the ruins of Asgard, and remarks that the Asgardians (who are not explicitly named as such) must've destroyed themselves because they were stupid savages obsessed with combat. Note that Kirby left Marvel on very bad terms with Stan Lee and the company in general...
- Around the early New Tens, there was a prolific message board poster known as Herald, who would often complain about DC's current editorial practices. Dan Didio eventually wrote Herald into The Outsiders as an annoying and effeminate fanboy with the real name "Harold Winer," and then proceeded to have him get humiliated by Looker and roughed up by her security detail.
- Watchmen: The Question sez Rorschach sucks. There's a good chance Alan Moore would agree.
- The Sandman, being a Neil Gaiman series, inevitably takes a jab at Freud. In Volume 2, when Rose and Morpheus are flying together through the Dreaming:
Rose: "Do you know what Freud said about dreams of flying? It means you're really dreaming about having sex."Morpheus: "Indeed? Tell me, then, what does it mean when you dream about having sex?"
- Secret Origins #19 recounts how the Guardian got his trademark shield from a costume shop. While in the shop, he sees a replica of Captain America's triangular shield, and decides to see which one is tougher by banging both shields together. Cap's shield is easily wrecked, while the Guardian's remains pristine and undamaged.
- Robinson's Starman run had the members of the Justice League Europe violently killed by the Mist. A later issue had other villains mocking the Mist and claiming that killing the JLE didn't give her any credibility since they were all obscure D-listers anyway.
- While writing the Star Trek comic for DC, Peter David had to put up with a lot of Executive Meddling from a Paramount employee named Richard Arnold. Among other things, Arnold reneged on certain promises (such as allowing David to use characters from Star Trek: The Animated Series and then changing his mind), and made David get rid of a character named R.J. Blaise. As soon as Arnold was fired, David brought back R.J. and did a story about a warlord named Darrich from the planet Landor ("Darrich" and "Landor" being anagrams of "Richard" and "Arnold"). R.J. revealed that Darrich was difficult to deal with and had a habit of reneging on promises he'd already made, and that she had humiliatingly forced him to sign a peace treaty at gunpoint.
- An issue of Supergirl mocked the much-maligned Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal mini-series. The original mini featured a widely-mocked scene where a doped up Arsenal hallucinates that a dead cat is his daughter Lian. The subsequent Supergirl issue featured a Bizzaro version of Arsenal....whose gimmick was a quiver full of dead cats which he used as projectile weapons.
- In an issue of the New 52 Superman series, Cat Grant mocks the Daily Planet by claiming that unlike the Planet, the blog she and Clark run isn't held hostage by the whims of lawyers and corporate overlords. This is of course in reference to Marvel being controlled by Disney, which is itself somewhat hypocritical, since DC has technically been owned by a large corporation since the late 1960's.
- Teen Titans:
Damian Wayne: Despite his best efforts, over the past few years the Teen Titans have been losers, criminals...a joke.
- At the height of the popularity of the Marvel Zombies franchise, there was a Teen Titans issue where Supergirl bluntly stated that zombies were lame.
- The first issue of the New 52 Teen Titans series opens with Kid Flash accidentally burning down a mansion in Westchester. This was of course written by Scott Lobdell, a writer who had a lengthy tenure on Marvel's X-books before jumping ship and moving to DC.
- The New 52 Teen Titans later ended up on the other end of a Take That! in the DC Rebirth relaunch of the title. Turns out Damian has the same opinion of Red Robin's Teen Titans that a lot of the fans did, saying that they epitomized everything wrong with modern teen heroes, and didn't deserve to call themselves a team.
- The Teen Titans Go! comic edition "Stupid Cupid" took a massive, though lighthearted, shot at the shipping community, with Raven mentioning that shipping is rather pointless.
- Tiny Titans #4 has a montage of Robin trying on new costumes given to him by his friends. At one point he puts on the rubber Robin costume from Batman & Robin and immediately rejects it for being "too snug". He then quips about how it looks like something out of a movie.
- A running joke throughout Young Justice was that Impulse really, really, REALLY hated Hanson, a Boy Band that was popular during the period the comic was published.
- When Dwayne McDuffie recycled the old, tossed out idea of superhero Black Power, who has access to his powers in Captain Marvel style - transformation after saying certain word - and from white man turns into black one, he made his white form look like Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis, and his black form very similar to Luke Cage, Bendis' favorite character. This may have been more of a Shout-Out though.
- Prior to McDuffie's death, he had been in some very publicized disputes with Dan DiDio and DC editorial over the Executive Meddling his Justice League of America run and his Milestone Forever mini-series received. After he died, a one-shot tribute comic was published, and it contained a metafictional story where Static and Rocket discuss their creator's passing, and both state that now that he is dead, the same people who bullied Dwayne and made his job difficult would try to cash in and pretend that he was important to them.
- A common running joke over at DC has been to mock the EEEEEXTREMEEE heroes who spun out of Bloodlines crossover from the 90's. For instance, the JLA/Hitman crossover had The Flash claim that the Bloodlines heroes were a bunch of buffoons who nobody else in the superhero community wanted to team-up with. He then chalked up their infamously high mortality rate to a general lack of competence on their part. This happened as early as the months after the storyline ended. During the Knightfall storyline, Jean-Paul Valley encounters two of them in the main titles. He tells one of them to get out of Gotham or he's going to get killed and the other quickly leaves town after his adventure with them is over. Many of them end up getting killed by Superboy-Prime later on down the line.
- The number of times that DC Comics and Marvel Comics superheroes have beaten on an Alternate Company Equivalent of their rival's characters are too numerous to count. It's been a tradition for the two companies to do light-hearted jabs at each other for over fifty years. Unfortunately, writers today tend to forget that.
- This ad, funded by DC, is already a petty jab at Manga, but takes it a few steps further by saying "Robama (who is just Cyborg) wants you to buy American!" The overly patriotic tone doesn't help.
- In All-New Wolverine issue 12, Wolverine delivers one to Marvel's recent string of Good Versus Good conflicts (Civil War, Avengers vs. X-Men, Axis, and now Civil War II), with many readers finding her Kirk Summation mirroring their own thoughts on such events.
Laura: But the world will watch hero fight hero, and people will get just a little more disillusioned, a little less trusting, a little more cynical.
- Ever since Brian Michael Bendis got his hands on X-23, his All-New X-Men started taking jabs at the last comic she was in, Avengers Arena. First Jean Grey reads from Laura's mind what happened to her and says "it's awful". Then a member of Purrifers decides to show that Even Evil Has Standards by calling Arcade's game "popcorn for morons".
- Ares, God of war comments on how much he hated Troy, after explaining that he fought in the actual battle alongside Achilles. note
- He also has once took a jab at Spartans, saying they never failed to annoy him and that he favored Athens. Spartans having a statue of him in chains, and their kids claiming to be Hercules' descendants may have something to do with it.
- During Roger Stern's run on The Avengers, a construction worker asked why heroes don't use phone booths to change or shout "Up, Up and Away!" anymore. She-Hulk coyly responded by saying such things went out of style in The '60s.
- The same run had an issue where Monica Rambeau, while reading mail from various politicians requesting that the Avengers relocate to their city, stated "Detroit? They've gotta be kidding!" This was a dig at the reviled Detroit-era Justice League of America that was still being published at the time.
- The first page of Avengers Academy #34 features Hazmat and Mettle complaining about how the battle between the X-Men and the Avengers has been dragging on way too long.
- The final issue of AvX Versus had two strips that mocked the entire premise. One had Squirrel Girl and Pixie find figurines of the two teams and play with them, only for the Thing to walk in and take them away, mentioning that they were Puppet Master's dolls.
- The Awesome Slapstick is built on Shout Outs and Take Thats, having things like "The Overkiller, mutant murderizer" and "Skulker-Arounder, dark, gritty, realistic avenger of evil".
- Comics from A+X series (about team-ups between members of Avengers and X-Men) had Wonder Man and Beast pointing how horribly out of character other's recent actions, that all happened under writing of Brian Michael Bendis, are.
- Black Panther:
Everett Ross: "Snap" Wilson was a racketeer (pronounced "pimp") turned social worker. We'll pretend not to know a felony record would disqualify him from that job.
- In issue #17, Christopher Priest took a dig at Steve Englehart's controversial retcon of The Falcon's origin, which established that the character had been a pimp prior to becoming a superhero. Specifically, he pointed out the implausibility of this revelation:
- In issue #29, Ross says that if he had Klaw's sonic abilities, he'd use use them to make Eminem shut up.
- One of the first issues of Peter David's Captain Mar-Vell (not that other guy) started with this dialogue:
Guy: I have here an entire box of Youngblood #1 special collector's editions. How much'll you give me?Marlo: A dollar.Guy: A dollar a copy?! But they retail for $2.50 apiece! I bought this five years ago as a college investment!Marlo: Not a dollar a copy. A dollar for the whole box. And frankly, it's guys like you who ruined the fun of comic reading for everybody else.
- Captain America: Sam Wilson had a gang of parody student leftists who wanted to murder anyone who they considered sexist or racist, who called themselves the "Bombshells." This appeared to be a slap at DC Comics Bombshells, a DC Elseworld series featuring a World of Action Girls and Cast Full of Gay that was popular with the kind of politically active female superhero fan who the Captain America comic was caricaturing.
- In the Carnage 5-part series that ran from 2010 to 2011, one of the main characters, who brings Cletus Kasady and the Carnage symbiote back to Earth, and subsequently uses both for experimentation, is named Michael Hall. Now maybe it's a coincidence, but actor Michael C. Hall does play a red-haired serial killer on Dexter and Cletus Kasady is a serial killer with short red hair. The series ended with Cletus taking Hall hostage to torture him for personal amusement.
- Deadpool/GLI Summer Special has a Squirrel Girl sublot, which is a massive jab at the trend of making all comics Darker and Edgier. It starts with her outright saying she misses times comics worlds were "places to escape to, not from", then she goes to convince Speedball to stop being Penance, which ends with him smashing his head against the wall and yelling he's deep now.
- In Deadpool vs. The Punisher #5, Deadpool decides to stop the fight after mistakenly coming to believe the Punisher's mom is named Martha.
Deadpool: People whose mothers have the same name shouldn't fight.
- In Fearless Defenders, the team meets Warrior Woman, the queen of the Amazons. Valkyrie immediately launches into a tirade about how badly Amazons suck and how they're nothing but pathetic Norse wannabes.
- An old issue of Fantastic Four had Ant-Man watching an episode of the maligned 90's Fantastic Four cartoon and then proclaiming it to be awful. Editorial was not pleased.
- The Great Lakes Avengers mini-series has a Take That! at Identity Crisis when Monkey Joe's remains are examined, revealing a footprint that says -eebok.
- Tom Brevoort mentioned that Hawkeye and Mockingbird was "Guaranteed to have 100% less heroin use and impotence than the average comic starring an archer".
- Brian Bendis wrote a few take thats towards One More Day, not only having Spider-Man reveal his secret identity to the New Avengers as soon as he could and having Spider-Woman, who never has any fourth wall breaking moments, asking if Peter wasn't married.
- During the nineties period, somebody gave the Incredible Hulk a fin to wear on his head that resembled The Savage Dragon's. Hulk pointed out that despite this "ingenious disguise" everyone who saw him would think, "Hey there goes Hulk with a fin on his head."
Hulk: Last time we met, Doctor, I feel I was robbed. Petty larceny, as it were.
- There was also the ongoing feud between Peter David and Erik Larsen. In the 90's, Larsen wrote a Sinister Six story where Doctor Octopus beat the fuck out of the Hulk without even trying, which pissed off David. David responded by writing a story where the Hulk subjected Doc Ock to a Curb-Stomp Battle and effortlessly humiliated him without even trying. Hulk then explained that last time they fought, he only lost because he was holding back. The issue also mocked Larsen and the other Marvel creators who left to form Image Comics.
- The Incredible Hercules arc "Love & War" was more or less a massive Take That at DC's Amazons Attack. And by that, we mean it was completely awesome.
- An Iron Man comic book featured Jarvis resigning. His letter of resignation is actually the same letter Dave Cockrum wrote when resigning from Marvel. In case people didn't get it, the writer explicitly mentioned this three issues later.
- The Marvel Adventures line of comics, featuring traditional Marvel heroes with stories aimed at a younger audience, has been known to take what can only be seen as deliberate snubs at the main line of Marvel Comics. Sadly, it is because of this that Executive Meddling got involved and canceled the comic.
- During the height of World War Hulk, where almost all of Marvel's superheroes were defeated by the Hulk, Marvel Adventures released an issue where the Avengers, including Bruce Banner and Iron Man, need to go into space. After considering the dangers of turning into the Hulk and killing the crew by accident Banner tells them that they have permission to eject him into space if he becomes a danger. Iron Man and the Avengers share a good-hearted laugh and Tony smiles at Banner and says, "Don't be silly. We'd never shoot the Hulk into space." Wolverine then shot Hulk into space...
- Lately in the main line continuity, Tigra has been repeatedly crapped on by writer Brian Michael Bendis, who writes the two Avengers titles. Marvel Adventures Avengers had Tigra join the team.
- Henry Pym and Janet van Dyne, one of the main continuity writers' favorite pairings to screw over, are a happy, if sometimes awkward couple, much closer to what they were before True Art Is Angsty set in the original comics. This even gets a lampshading, with Spider-Man kidding that "it would never work" when they first hook up.
- Doc Samson's notes on Spider-Man during psychoanalysis: "...Needs a wife."
- During a brief team-up, Wolverine asks Alex Power of Power Pack if he's ever considered "movin' up to the big leagues". Alex replies that he has once or twice, but "it turns out I'm pretty happy with the team I'm on." This is likely a reference to the change the character underwent in the '90s when he stole his siblings' powers not once but twice so he could fight without his siblings as one of the New Warriors.
- The Avengers poked fun at the infamous Captain America direct to video movie (where Cap wore rubber ears on his mask) by having Wolverine sarcastically ask him "Are those ears real?!"
- One of the supporting characters in Mark Millar's Marvel 1985 is an obnoxious Hipster who keeps talking about how stupid people who like superhero comics are, and how the only good comics are indie fare like Cerebus and Love and Rockets. Accordingly, you can imagine how humiliated he is when Iron Man saves his ass near the end of the book.
- Marville was a diss towards Smallville and the Superman mythos, as well as comic book culture in general.
- During the fight with Cosmic Cube-enhanced Absorbing Man in Dan Slott's Mighty Avengers, Ms. Marvel was hit by him, which had an effect of turning her back into Moonstone. Her comment:
Moonstone: I'm Moonstone again? I've been "reality-punched?" That's the stupidest @#%* thing I've ever heard of.
- Similarly, there's a Mini Marvels strip where Hawkeye adopts his costume from The Avengers: United They Stand, only for his friends to repeatedly tell him how stupid he now looks.
- The very first issue of the first Ms. Marvel series featured a bystander claiming the titular heroine made "Lynda Carter look like Olive Oyl!" For those who don't get the joke, Lynda Carter was the actress who played DC's Wonder Woman in her popular live-action show.
- In Nova, Ego the Living Planet was lobotomized and turned into the base of Nova Corps. Ben Grimm said that it's good he's not a member, because nobody would be stupid enough to recruit a planet to the Corps.
Richard Rider: I hate everything about that sentence.
- Nova's third volume includes a jab at superhero movies from the 80s and 90s in which Nova, who is trying to become a more publicly known hero, discusses a movie deal with executives from Marvel Comics who bring up such "classics" as the 1980s Captain America movies, the 1990s Fantastic 4 movie, the first Punisher movie, and Howard the Duck.
- In the second issue of Vol. 7, the Champions try to get Richard up to speed on what happened in the Marvel Universe while he was dead. He expresses surprise at a lot of the changes (such as there now being a new Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man), but doesn't really take the news negatively. Then he finds out that the original five X-Men have been brought to the present and that Cyclops has died after becoming a villain and declaring war on the Inhumans. His only response to that little tidbit?
- The Pulse, the sequel / Spiritual Successor to Alias, opens with the murder of a reporter named Terri Kidder. Kidder's name is a combination of Teri Hatcher and Margot Kidder, two actresses best known for portraying DC Comics' Lois Lane.
- Mark Waid's work on a The Punisher / Daredevil crossover included a speech by Daredevil that was widely interpreted as an attack on writers who think that "superheros should never have happy lives" note :
Rachel: You know what gives me strength? My loss. We're alike that way, I imagine. Admit it: nobody who's a stranger to that particular pain could ever be as driven as us.
Matt: Never... *throws one of his sticks at a wall so hard behind her it plants in it* ... Don't you ever say that to me again. That is a repellent statement. It is a vomitous insult to every cop — every fireman — every soldier alive who steps up to fight for those who can't! I am sorry for your loss! But if you genuinely believe that only the death of a loved one can motivate a human being to take up a cause... then get your pathetic, cynical ass out of my way so I can do my job!
- The Punisher and Wolverine occasionally traded jabs. Garth Ennis repeatedly wrote Punisher issues where Frank dealt Wolverine horrible injuries. Wolverine's writers responded by writing an issue where Logan defeats Frank and then implies that Frank is gay. Ennis responded by writing a Punisher comic where Frank shoots Logan in half with a rocket. It goes on like this.
Nick Fury: He was still out there... every night... doing for free what you guys get paid to do. Waging a fucking war, all on his goddamn lonesome, taking on the absolute worst this city had to offer... While you shitbirds were busy ass-raping immigrants and pepper spraying college girls and calling it fucking police work, whining all the while about overtime and your goddamn pension like a bunch of fucking candy-ass pogues.
- In another story, Mr. Fantastic mentions how he's almost never wrong. When Nick Fury asks him why he's almost never wrong, Mr. Fantastic replies by saying he thought Smallville would be a better show.
- A Punisher issue from Nathan Edmonson's run had a scene where three of the actors from the Fantastic Four reboot (Miles Teller, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell) were apparently killed in an explosion. Ironically, the most controversial member of the cast, Michael B. Jordan, was spared (due to being late to the meeting the others were attending). They also mention that "Trang" is making the sequel, a play on the movie's director Josh Trank.
- In The Punisher MAX, these were very common.
- Ennis really, really hates the IRA. And he wants you to hate them too. Kitchen Irish is basically one long tract of Ennis venting out his hatred of the IRA by having characters talk about how stupid and cowardly the group really is, as well as bashing Irish-Americans (who he derisively refers to as "narrow backs") who unquestionably support the IRA without knowing all the facts behind the Troubles.
- Around the time that real world police officers pepper spayed a pair of college students. Writer Jason Aaron, had Nick Fury verbally lash out at a pair of NYPD officers, cathartically venting out his outrage over the incident.
- The first issue of Quasar featured a pretty blatant Captain Ersatz of Hal Jordan as a test pilot who S.H.I.E.L.D. assigned to wear the Cosmic Bracelets. The poor guy ended up being vaporized as soon as he put the damn things on, allowing the title character to use them instead.
The Runner: Well, Buried, how does it feel to be the fastest man alive?"Buried": It feels... right.
- Another issue featured a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo from The Flash, who had died in Crisis on Infinite Earths just a few years earlier. Marvel got around trademark issues by claiming he couldn't remember his name, but thought it was something like "Buried Alien" (a play on "Barry Allen"). Buried Alien showed up in a later issue, where he stated he had no desire to return to his old universe since his comrades had all become dark perversions of their former selves.
- At the time Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California, a few comic took jabs at him. An issue of Runaways called him "musclebound mullox", who was only elected thanks to dark magic and implied he was in The Pride's pocket. And when Exiles visited Marvel Universe, they read about his election in newspaper and immediately decided this Earth is another Crapsack World.
- Joss Whedon hates The Punisher, and has said he considers him to be nothing more than a mass-murdering fascist. It should come as no surprise that while writing Runaways, Whedon intentionally depicted the Punisher in a very unflattering manner.
- During Second Coming, while confronted by one of the Nimrod Sentinels, Fantomex quips "I'm not trapped in here with you... You're trapped in here with me." He then starts shooting while saying "Ha ha. That film was stupid."
- A caption in Secret Avengers vol. 3 #5 refers to Hawkeye as "Sort of like that green guy on TV, but more fun."
- Dan Slott's last issue of She-Hulk dealt with alternate universe doppelgangers of Marvel characters from "Earth A" being responsible for various Out of Character moments. Ostensibly, the dialogue is Jen getting angry at the duplicates for committing identity theft, but it was also Slott's response to continuity errors that could easily be avoided if writers stopped ignoring character history and editors paid more attention.
- Spider-Girl's creator Tom DeFalco does it from time to time in his MC2-continuity comics. For example:
Silikong: This is where I make the donuts. Or, more appropriately, my unstoppable crystal warriors.
Ion Man: You make those guys?
Silikong: Did you think we were some kind of Secret Invasion from other planet? Don't be ridiculous.
- In a Spider-Man comic, featuring a cameo by Stephen Colbert, Joe Quesada is on his "On Notice" list. That issue went far easier on Quesada than Daredevil, where the title character beats up and damns a rapist named "José Quesada" to hell before letting a subway crush him.
- Almost every Spider-Man writer since 1996 thinks making at least one joke about The Clone Saga (sometimes really funny, more often not) to be his holy duty.
- Spider-Man had one at the expense of DC for the time they took to release Superman vs. Muhammad Ali. Seen at the end of the page
- Spider-Man found himself up against the Hobgoblin not so long ago, and was at a disadvantage due to the villain's mind-scrambling laughter attack. Spidey's salvation came when a co-worker played "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga from her phone over the lab's speakers, cancelling out the laughter's vibration. Spider-Man responded with:
Spider-Man: Did I just get saved by Lady Gaga? Actually, can we go back to the ear-piercing laughing?
- Spider-Man/Deadpool #6 shows a poster◊ for a movie called Nighthawk v. Hyperion: Yawn of Boredom, which has the tagline "You won't believe their mothers share a first name."
Deadpool: Ugh, none of that made sense. Why were they fighting one minute, then best friends the next?Spider-Man: And don't worry about scenes that set up the next eight movies — just make this one satisfying!
- During Spider-Verse, there was one story where Spider-Girl is trying to be consoled by an alternate universe Uncle Ben after the Inheritors kidnapped her brother, the culmination of a Trauma Conga Line for her. Despite this, Mayday calls out Ben's hypocrisy and declares that there's probably a universe where she woke up that morning everything went to hell and just had her wheatcakes breakfast with her parents and brother, a jab at Dan Slott, who ended up taking a crap over May's happy ending just so she can participate in the storyline.
- Squirrel Girl is one huge Take That! against the people who dismiss any whimsical event in comics as non-canon.
- When John Byrne took over Star Brand back in the '80s, he proceeded to launch one Take That! after another at the departing figure of ousted Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Jim Shooter. Star Brand was one of the Shooter-initiated "New Universe" titles, and was the one that Shooter himself wrote personally. Byrne not only took ad hominem shots at Shooter personally, but had exposition characters hang lampshades on how implausible the events of Shooter's run was, and how stupid the hero had been. Early on in Byrne's run, the hero's girlfriend got Stuffed in the Fridge; the hero later broke down and passed the titular Brand onto some other poor schmuck, ''destroying Pittsburgh in the process". Not coincidentally, the book's original hero bore a physical resemblance to Shooter.
- The Author Avatar of Byrne died horrifically in the Pittburgh explosion. So did about ten thousand comic book con-goers. Such is life. Pretend life.
- Superior Foes of Spider-Man: Following being double-crossed by Boomerang and escaping the Owl, the three remaining members of the Sinister Six go over their options. Speed Demon suggests getting another member and calling themselves the Frightful Four. Beetle rejects the idea, saying "That's just a name for guys who had their widdle feewings hurt by Reed Richards."
- In Superior Spider-Man #3, J. Jonah Jameson creates a huge "spider-signal."
Spider-Man (then Doctor Octopus) : A giant beacon in the sky, announcing to all my enemies where they can find me. Only an idiot would put that into effect.
- During the 90's, Thor started wearing a new costume after becoming part of a team known as the Godpack. Warren Ellis (like many people) thought the new look was stupid, so one of the first things he did when he started writing the book was have Thor stop wearing a costume altogether (instead opting for a shirtless look).
Enchantress: I thought it a mild improvement over rags and steel leggings.
- This one line by Ultimate Captain America: "Surrender? SURRENDER?! You think this letter on my forehead stands for France?" This led to a more subtle take that by Ed Brubaker in the pages of 616-verse Captain America, where Cap reflects on his time fighting with the French Resistance and chides the folks who dismiss the French as "cowards." To which another shout out was made in the pages of Nextwave - When Elsa Bloodstone is assaulted by a Captain America-imitation, and he claims she is just a victim, she blows him ten ways to Sunday, then points at the Euro-symbol on her T-shirt, and exclaims: "Victim? You think this letter on my chest stands for America?!"
- The Ultimate Marvel version of the Iron Man story arc Armor Wars has Iron Man mixing it up with other power armored soldiers who bear a striking resemblance to a certain Master Chief. Iron Man then proceeds to casually blow them out of the sky. The writer, Warren Ellis stated online that he used the story as an excuse to have a little fun and throw in as many jokes as possible (including one about Tony Stark using his computers to browse 4Chan).
- After Mark Millar left Ultimate Comics, a continuation of his title The Ultimates was given to Jeph Loeb, who created the terrible Ultimates 3 and the even worse Ultimatum. After that Millar returned to writing comics in Ultimate Universe. The very first page of his Ultimate Comics Avengers starts with Nick Fury looking at the mess caused by Ultimatum and saying "What the #$%^&? I leave for ten minutes and everything goes to hell." He gives another one towards Loeb (and possibly towards mainstream Marvel) in issue four of Ultimate Avengers vs New Ultimates. Tony Stark gives ten million dollars to charity in exchange for Thor promising to talk like a normal person again. He started using the whole "Faux Shakespearean" thing during Loeb's run.
- An issue of Ultimate Avengers features a dream sequence where Blade kills Edward Cullen in front of Bella Swan while quipping about how nauseating he finds the two of them:
Blade: God, I hate you people. I've hated you since your first damn trailer.
- Ultimate Spider-Man
Prostitute: What does Rebirth even mean? How can you be rebirthed?!
- Brian Bendis REALLY likes to dress up female lunatics in the costumes of whatever super-heroine is making Crisis Crossover trouble for the Marvel Universe today and drag them by police officers screaming their new catch-phrase. It's mostly Self-Deprecation as the series had a girl dressed as Scarlet Witch screaming "I'M NOT CRAZY! I'M NOT!" and one dressed as Spider-Woman yelling "EMBRACE CHANGE! EMBRACE CHANGE!" and Brian Michael Bendis writes both USM and the cross-overs involved. However, one exception was the guy in the Speedball costume yelling NOT LIKE THIS! NOT LIKE THIS!!! The actual Ultimate versions of Wanda and Jessica look completely different, so we know it wasn't meant to be them. Another issue had an obese prostitute dressed like Power Girl being dragged into the station. Make of that what you will. When the book was relaunched as Spider-Man, the joke continued:
- Uncanny Avengers Annual had Mojo being told by his producers that modern audiences prefer stories that, instead of having "structured character arcs" and "something to say" are "artsy and indecipherable", "spinning an endless web of strange mysteries" that keeps the "feeble-minded viewers lost and guessing" and will get critical praise because "reviewers won't want to admit not understand it, even when there is nothing to understand". For many it appears to be jab at both Avengers books written at the time by Jonathan Hickman and fans who are preferring them to Uncanny Avengers.
- Uncanny Avengers itself received an epic diss in an issue of All-New X-Men, where the team discussed Havok's now infamous speech where he claimed that using words like "mutant" was divisive, and that society would be much better off without labels. Kitty Pryde stated that her Jewish ethnicity is something she's proud of, and that it's the fault of racists, not minorities, if ignorant people can't handle marginalized groups taking pride in their heritage.
- And to make it a full circle, All-New X-Men received a diss in one of Hickman's series, New Avengers. During his What the Hell, Hero? rant, Beast from the past tells his older counterpart exactly how stupid and petty it was to bring past versions of Original Five X-Men to the present (in other words, the entire premise of All-New X-Men) just to spite Cyclops.
- In issue #11 of Uncanny X-Men, it transpires that S.H.I.E.L.D. don't have a base in Michigan.
"Because it's Michigan, ma'am."
- In Uncanny X-Men Annual #1, a bad guy relates a story about how he was about to kill someone, only to freeze up upon learning that both their moms were named "Martha." Domino then kills the bad guy in question.
- Marvel's Wha... Huh? features take thats against DC and people complaining about comics at the Internet.
- DC was hit with an Identity Crisis parody with Impossible Man turning evil and murdering Aunt Petunia for being a character without a movie deal and then being killed by Identity Girl - "a new character you've never heard of that's just watered down version of a bunch of characters you have heard of." It was also featuring What if DC would let us do Batman/Daredevil by Brian Bendis and David Mack, which was a picture of frozen Hell.
- There was also "What if Internet existed in" segment, showing posts which would be written if Internet was around in The '60s, The '70s and The '80s. Here's few of them:
-Who the hell does Jack Kirby think he is? Why can't he let someone else drawn a damn comics book? Who died and made him king?-The new X-Men team sucks! Why are they coming up with "great" new characters like Storm (white-haired black woman— give me a break) and Colossus (like Thing but Russian) when we all know they're all going to fail. The only cool one was Thunderbird, so of course they killed him off! It's an insult to the fans of real X-Men Stan Lee's X-Men, that we're forced to endure those pretenders!-All of sudden Matt Murdock is a ninja?? You gotta be kidding me?! Bring back Gene Colan and stop giving your books to these crazy people who clearly have never read a comics book before.
- After J. Michael Straczynski got in an argument with Marvel editor Steve Wacker, Mark Waid posted on the web a long rant in which he called JMS on his behavior, which he concluded by saying he needs to take a walk. Long, boring, pointless walk across America. That he won't finish.
- An issue of Wolverine: First Class has a scene where Logan accosts a movie bootlegger and goes off on an Author Filibuster about how pirates are impatient jerks who ruin films that many people have worked hard on. Not coincidentally, X-Men Origins: Wolverine came out that same year and had been the subject of a very high profile piracy case.
- In another Peter David example, an issue of the first volume of X-Factor had someone telling Strong Guy his name sounded stupid. Strong Guy then retorted by asking how it sounded any stupider than something like oh, let's say, "Super Man".
- Also, after Liefeld complained about how Peter David revealed that Shatterstar is bisexual in X-Factor because it was against his vision and that he was supposed to be like a Spartan warrior and Russell Crowe in Gladiator, David promised he would add dialogue to that effect in the new issue. Which, he did:
Guido: Tell me, Shatterstar, do you like... gladiator movies?Shatterstar: Apparently.Guido: Figures.
- In the middle of X-Factor #200, Jamie Madrox is narrating:
Everybody else was filled with questions: Where had I been? How did I come back? Did I know about Rictor and Shatterstar?That last one, I don't get. Did anyone not know about Rictor and Shatterstar?
- Evidently Liefeld was the only one who didn't see it coming.
- Sometimes other characters mention how Shatterstar's original costume, which was designed by Liefeld, was... kinda gay.
- In the middle of X-Factor #200, Jamie Madrox is narrating:
- An issue of X-Men features a guy reading a newspaper that says, "Cruz Swipes Again". This was made by Joe Madureira who had accused fellow artist Roger Cruz of swiping (making pages nearly identical to that of) his material.
- Marvel marketed its Young Allies revival by mentioning the complaints about the decline in quality over in DC's Teen Titans series.
- An early Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog comic featured a robot called the "Spawnmower". It acted much like the dark and edgy real-life comic hero it was named after, in that it stopped to make a dramatic pose every few seconds. Sonic was able to defeat it without too much trouble.
- This wasn't the first time a comic written by Michael Gallagher took a stab at dark and edgy '90s-era comics. Alf #38's cover featured a huge, fierce-looking silhouette of Alf, along with the labels "Darker!", "Grittier!", and "Alien with an attitude!". At the bottom of the cover was normal Alf standing in front of a spotlight, asking if the "revamp" would actually boost the comic's income.
- In a similar vein to this, Sonic the Hedgehog #4's cover boasted Sonic as a "grittier! Darker!" chimney sweeper.
- Bizarrely, the series became darker itself, what with genocide, murder, love triangles, huge family trees, Eggman cracking, implied incest, villains like Fintevius and Kage in contrast to the Affably Evil current Robotnik or Harmless Villain old Robotnik from the early issues, nuclear bombing, and other horrific stuff.
- The whole Special Zone arc of the British Sonic the Comic was an Affectionate Parody of Marvel comics, most notably when Sonic walked in on a team of local superheroes in a fight with the Legion of Evil. After a comment about the property damage both sides are causing and a brief attempt to work out which side is which the cops arrive, at which point both groups make a quick retreat.
- A later story introduces an obvious X-Men parody, including a Wolverine knock off with corks attached to his claws and the stated superpower of snarling, getting angry and talking about what a badass he was.
- The Marxio Brothers. The Marx Brothers references were for comic effect, but the Mario ones enabled all sorts of anti-Nintendo gags. For example, they come from a far-off land, Super Marxio World, which even they hate, and their games are utter tripe.
- This wasn't the first time a comic written by Michael Gallagher took a stab at dark and edgy '90s-era comics. Alf #38's cover featured a huge, fierce-looking silhouette of Alf, along with the labels "Darker!", "Grittier!", and "Alien with an attitude!". At the bottom of the cover was normal Alf standing in front of a spotlight, asking if the "revamp" would actually boost the comic's income.
- The Dark Horse comic Barb Wire took a shot at John Byrne's Babe, a Statuesque Stunner blonde whose character was considered pure Fanservice, by having Biker Babe Barb snarl, "Don't call me BABE.◊" However, this became Hilarious in Hindsight when the film adaptation had Pamela Anderson growl the same line, despite, as Gene Siskel said, the most drama came from whether Anderson's enormous chest was going to topple out of her Absolute Cleavage. The hypocrisy was obvious and delicious.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, Buffy mocks the Big Bad, Twilight, saying that he's an idiot for naming himself after a lame book series.
Spike: No backstabbing, no dying, no picking up and leaving, and no aerial sex.
- After the revelation that Twilight was Angel, which met with fandom outrage, IDW, publishers of Angel: After The Fall comics, created promos of their new Spike series, featuring Spike burning Twilight's mask and saying that Spike was definitely not Twilight.
- IDW took a few more shots at the Buffy Season 8 comics, all of them coming from Spike. At one point he tries hiring writers to write prophecies about him being a hero who saves the world, and orders them not to make Angel a hero. He suggests making Angel a villain instead, complete with "some poncey, drama queen, prissy name like Dusk, or Sunset, or the Fall of Darkness."
- And in the Spike series:
Betta George: I don't understand that last one.
Spike: No one does.
- The Italian stories of the Disney Mouse and Duck Comics often mock garden gnomes out of nowhere.
- The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip:
- The Seventh Doctor story "Evening's Empire" features a misogynistic, serial rapist geek as the villain, who has been accidentally granted alien Reality Warping powers. The fantasy universe he creates and abducts women to so that he can force them into sexual slavery is a direct parody of John Norman's notoriously misogynistic and BDSM-obsessed Gor series.
- "The Deep Hereafter" is an Affectionate Parody of noir-ish, pulpy detective stories in general, and The Spirit in particular. One newspaper clipping pinned on the detective's wall reads "Miller Kills Colt". Apparently Dan McDaid wasn't a fan of The Movie.
- There was a Tenth Doctor story in which evil, bloodthirsty, warrior-race aliens abduct the long-running recurring character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his former underling Mike Yates. Only the aliens accidentally abduct the wrong Mike Yates, who is a nasty, ludicrous little man and a politician in a tiny extreme-right-wing party, and ends up siding with the aliens. In real life, Richard Franklin, the actor who played the "real" Yates on TV, had spent the 1990s and 2000s unsuccessfully standing in elections for a succession of increasingly small and extreme right-wing parties.
- Doctor Who (Titan):
- In the Ninth Doctor story "The Transformed", the operator of the environmentally-destructive and badly-designed hyperspace "punchway" that is causing weird stuff in San Francisco is the Celestial Hyperloop Corporation. In the real world, "Hyperloop" is a proposed form of maglev vacuum-tube transportation conceived by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk and intended to operate from San Francisco to LA, which is mocked by its detractors as an Awesome, but Impractical distraction from a more practical conventional high-speed rail project.
- In the Twelfth Doctor story "The Hyperion Empire", a repellent self-serving politician who tries to become The Quisling to alien invaders (and suffers a Karmic Death because they want to destroy the Earth rather than rule it) tells Clara to "Calm down, dear"... a put-down notoriously given by David Cameron to a female shadow minister during a Commons debate.
- ElfQuest - The Rebels has one against television in general. This is a planet-that-is-not-earth inhabited by humans. They have interplanetary space travel and Internet for information, news, and porn. At one point we see preparations for a live feed of a car race.
Techie person: "Seems like a shame to do this only once a year. I mean, we could do a feed of this type your round — fill it with sports and entertainment."Chairwoman Nuriham: "And induce people to watch it in their free time? When would they create art, or make music, or converse... I think such a project would be bad for the collective soul of the people."
- The IDW Godzilla comics have these left and right. In Kingdom of Monsters we have Take Thats to Lady Gaga, PETA and Jersey Shore. The mini-series Godzilla: The Half-Century War has a human villain named Dr. Deverich, a huge kick in the balls for Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich.
- At one point in Grendel, Christine Spar as Grendel fights a dumb and obnoxious mook who has a set of blades attached to his hand similar to those of a certain famous Marvel character. Christine muses to herself that it's a stupid weapon with no reach, and chops his hand off.
- Jabs at Al-Qaeda as well as Muslims and Arabs are littered throughout Holy Terror.
- From Jeremy "Norm" Scott, the creator of Slave Labor Graphic's Hsu and Chan series.
"Norm": After this one went to press, some internet wisenheimer singled it out for its intense wordiness — I forget the exact quote, but it was something along the lines of, "It only takes Penny Arcade a fourth of the dialogue to be this lame."
- While we're on the topic of Hsu and Chan, many of the issues contain at least one Take That! targeted at the Tomb Raider games and movies.
- And this comic he released on the new Hsu and Chan blog
- Jhonen Vasquez's I Feel Sick is aimed at Nickelodeon, according to this entry here.
- An issue of Invincible has Mark and his friend at a comic book store talking about how pointless it is to relaunch ongoing series from issue #1. Unless Robert Kirkman added it last minute to the script, it was probably directed at Marvel but, due to an amazing coincidence, the issue was published a few days after DC announced they're relaunching all their titles from issue #1.
- From issue #4 of the 2016 Josie And The Pussy Cats reboot:
Valerie: Dammit, Melody! Crime-fighting isn't in our contract! None of our moms are named Martha!
- In the mid-1990s, an environmental activist known as Swampy became well-known in the UK when he took part in a protest to stop the construction of an extension to the A30 motorway. Judge Dredd went on to feature a plot about an "eco-warrior" named Spawny, who protests the construction of a spaceport in the same way as the real-life Swampy (by digging underground tunnels.) What happens? The construction workers bury him alive under the concrete and carry on anyway ...
- A British post-punk rock group took the name "Love and Rockets" in homage to the Hernandez Brothers' comic series Love and Rockets. Los Bros, however, were not happy as they hadn't been asked permission and weren't fans of the band. Gilbert Hernandez proceeded to write a story featuring a particularly talentless and unpleasant fictional LA punk band called "Love and Rockets", with several derogatory barbs aimed directly at the British group.
- The Power Rangers parody comic Mightily Murdered Power Ringers is a bitter, mean-spirited jab at the show, which qualifies it for this.
- My Little Pony Micro Series: "[You read] Probably just comic books, or maybe that silly series with the vampire pony."
- The Savage Dragon:
- In an early issue (created and written by ex-Marvel artist Erik Larsen), Officer Dragon is randomly attacked by superhero Bedrock, who at the end of the issue explains that it was a test to see if he was tough enough to join the team Youngblood.
Dragon: THAT'S THE STUPIDEST THING I'VE EVER HEARD!
Bedrock: It happens in Marvel Comics all the time!
- Larsen loves making Take Thats to Marvel. In one issue, not only did the new Overlord say that Magneto "really should think twice before giving his team the name 'Brotherhood of Evil Mutants'", when he asks Dragon to join his cause, the following exchange happens:
Dragon: What's that? That scene from the Spider-Man movie, where Green Goblin asked him to become his best buddy? Do you really think something like that could ever work?
Overlord: No, you misunderstood me. And by the way, that scene really sucked.
- Another issue had Lex Luthor and Norman Osborn discussing Dragon's constantly coming back to life, while they are served coffee by none other than Gwen Stacy. Larsen doesn't like Comic Book Deaths.
- Larsen has also taken a dig at fellow comics creator John Byrne with his villains "Johnny Redbeard's Nixed Men", a team composed of parodies of various characters Byrne has written. The long-winded introductory speech summarizing some of their backstories is a vicious critique of Byrne's "senseless revamping" of various comics, including She-Hulk and Sub-Mariner. Redbeard is portrayed as a bad leader with a huge head who indiscriminately endows people with poorly conceived powers before eventually abandoning the mess he made of them. After the team's one appearance, where they beat up some homeless people and get their asses handed to them by the protagonist, the She-Hulk parody would later reform and return to the series as the recurring She-Dragon.
- In the pages of Marvel Comic's Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner, who was walking around big and green and smart, was in a quandary. His friend was dying of AIDS and wanted a Hulk-blood transfusion in order to get Hulk-healing powers. Bruce, afraid of Hulk 2.0 smashing up crap (with good reason, since a gamma-contaminated transfusion from him had already been the origin of She-Hulk), declined. The same plot happened in Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon, but the Dragon said yes, saying, paraphrased, only an idiot would say no to the possibility. The friend who received Dragon's blood then exploded. So...um. Yeah.
- In an early issue (created and written by ex-Marvel artist Erik Larsen), Officer Dragon is randomly attacked by superhero Bedrock, who at the end of the issue explains that it was a test to see if he was tough enough to join the team Youngblood.
- Alan Moore's Supreme had a gratuitous scene with the Televillain killing Courtney Cox's character on Friends using his powers, thus showing that, in spite of his tacky feel, he was awesome.
- Billy Eliot is one big Take That! against Grant Morrison and the resident Butt-Monkey. His M.O. is to create as much complicate and complex stories as he can, to the point that they fall under their own weight and become an unreadable mess, other people think he's a total Jerk Ass, Supreme's villains consider his presence an act of cruel and unusual punishment, the equivalent of the Legion of Super-Heroes hates him (especially after he accidentally joined their Legion of Doom) and the only person who likes him is a Captain Ersatz of The Joker.
- Moore also delivered a few take thats against Hillary Clinton when Korgo The Space Tyrant took over the United States and made her his bride. First, we see her during a press conference claiming this is not a bad thing and that the press should stop panicking about nothing. And then we find out she's so horrible that Korgo willingly allowed Supreme to beat him to get away from her.
- Youngblood: Judgment Day contains a massive Take That! directed at Rob Liefeld's original Youngblood run. The climax of the story reveals that the entire original series was basically a childish Self-Insert Fic written by Sentinel.
- The various Transformers comics over the years have tended to have a character named Cy-Kill show up, only to be killed immediately—often by Megatron. Why is this a take that? Because Cy-Kill is the Big Bad from Challenge Of The Go Bots. Fans eventually got really sick of this "gag" being done to death, and even the Transformers Wiki complains about it.
- A more specific Transformers example, The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye has a character watch all of Earth's television and one thing he learned was "Community season 4 was a mistake. A few episodes later, that same character has a sitcom dream world full of annoying characters, one of them is a nerd named Sheldon.
- Saga has a scene in issue 16 that seems to be a deliberate jab at the writing in most mainstream superhero titles, where main character Alana basically serves as a mouthpiece for the author, saying that most superhero stories are bad melodrama between people in ridiculous costumes, with no subtext.
- Twisted Toyfare Theatre is mostly an Affectionate Parody, albeit a gruesome one, that gets most of its laughs by exaggerating characters' flaws to absurdity. But every strip featuring an appearance by Brian Michael Bendis will inevitably end with a Take That! toward his writing style.
- A Polish comic book series Tytus, Romek i A'tomek in book XXV when one of the main heroes Tytus de Zoo visits hell. Satan recognize Tytus and explains that he heard about Him from Editors of “Horyzonty” who are boiling in hell from sins they committed during PRL (communistic era in Polad). “Horyzonty” is the publishing company which publish few of the Tytus books. Apperantly they and the creator didn't get along...
- Viz, based in Newcastle, used to do many vulgar parodies of characters from the Beano and Dandy, owned by Scottish DC Thomson & Co. When DC Thomson tried to sue Viz for breach of copyright, Viz published a strip about "DC Thomson the Humourless Scottish Twat." DC retaliated by resurrecting an old strip from the Dandy called "The Jocks and the Geordies," about two gangs of warring schoolboys on either side of the England-Scotland border. The story had both sets of boys attempting to win a competition to design a comic, and the Jocks (Scottish boys) win, to the humiliation of the Geordies who tried to cheat by copying them and whose own ideas were all terrible. Viz responded in its next issue with "Korky the Twat," a parody of the popular DC Thomson character Korky the Cat.
- Creator Chris Donald said in his book Rude Kids: The Story of Viz that he wanted to include a Take That! at the mawkish public outpouring of grief over the death of Princess Diana; but couldn't do this directly because he feared backlash. Instead, the next issue included a none-too-subtle spoof story about Monkees fans driven to grief by the death of Micky Dolenz ... even though they knew he wasn't dead.
- Wanted ends with the Villain Protagonist spouting a monologue about how your humdrum life of working for a living and not being awesome like him is pathetic and you should feel bad, ending with a closeup of his angry mug saying "This is my face while fucking you in the ass". Said protagonist was modeled after Eminem; take that little factoid as you will.
- In the German comic Werner: For a long time, Werner's publisher "Holgi" featured prominently in the comic. After he changed the publisher, the character appeared for a last time (only named as "Porsche driver"), to have his Porsche crushed first by the Metülisator and then by Nobelschröder's Bentley.
- Holgi's reply: He had a comic book drawn with himself as the main character named Holgi - Räum das Feld, Mann!
- The first issue of Mark Millar's Youngblood: Bloodsport has two members of the titular superhero team receiving oral sex from gay cosplayers dressed as Wolverine and Cyclops.
- Whilst Alan Moore's 1963 is more of an Affectionate Parody of the characters and stories of the Silver Age, particularly those debuting in Marvel Comics, it's more of a pointed Take That to the creators behind them; in the letters pages provided in the issue, it's made pretty clear that "Affable" Al Moore is an egotistical tyrant who shamelessly takes credit for the work and achievements of others.
- In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW), the Battle Nexus is run by a sadist, Councillor Nieli, who likes to watch people mercilessly do battle with each other. His name appears to be derived from the showrunner of the 2012 cartoon, Ciro Nieli.
- 2000 AD prog 1661 took a jab at DC's Wednesday Comics
Tharg: Other publishers may dabble with the format - 'Wednesday Comics'? Pah! There's only one true Wednesday comic in this reality...
- One of the few examples of a Take That! against something critically acclaimed.
- The Curtis', owners of the comic book company, Shanda Fantasy Arts, upset at the horrific screwing of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! in their last mini-series where the team is exiled on the main DCU story world and trapped as ordinary animals unable to express their unchanged intelligence. In response, the Curtis', with aid of the series' original creator Roy Thomas, are preparing a special comic book using their Atomic Mouse license, Atomic Mouse Meets Power Jack And The Lost Menagerie where apparently the title character will rescue a disguised version of the Zoo Crew who are suffering an equivalent fate. DC fixed that editorial misdeed at the end of Final Crisis, so the hard feelings shouldn't be quite so much.
- On one Dark Horse message board, a poster was pestering writer Randy Stradley to include Mandalorians in an upcoming comic. They got their comeuppance when a scene in the comic in question showed the Mandalorians in full retreat. When the poster complained, Stradley had one of the following issues feature a whole cave full of dead Mandalorians.
- Don Rosa's comics have a few.
- Super Snooper Strikes Again is a huge Take That! to dark and violent superhero comics, eventually leading to this panel◊ and the follow-up, where the nephews decide that Donald Duck is greater than Super Snooper, because he can face everyday problems and support three nephews without any kind of superpowers.
- In another Don Rosa story, The Money Pit, Scrooge ridicules coin collectors for hoarding their collections solely for their resale value. That, and the comment about "plastic sleeves", makes it obvious Rosa is actually talking about comic book collectors. Rosa is a collector himself, so it doubles as Self-Deprecation. In the commentaries he gave to his stories in Finnish collection books, Rosa wrote that when Donald says that paying a dime for a single comic book is too much in The Crocodile Collector, he was dissing himself for paying hundreds of dollars for old comics.
- Rosa's final installment in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, "The Richest Duck in the World," is partially devoted to dispelling the "supreme bit of absolute balderdash" that Scrooge's #1 Dime is lucky.
- Garth Ennis has also been known to viciously parody the concept of The Cape. Ironically, he's clearly fond of Superman; when Superman appeared in an issue of Hitman, the character was treated with complete respect, and a later issue had the Anti-Hero main character remark that Superman was the only superhero he had any time for.
- Marvel Comics promoted their Heroic Age event and new Avengers titles by teasers with members of each team, their quote and words “I'm an Avenger/New Avenger/Secret Avenger/In Avengers Academy”. Image released their own teasers with members of new Guardians of the Globe roster, looking pretty similar to Marvel's – when the first one, with Invincible saying “I never really been much of a team player” was released, people thought Image's just stealing the idea. When the second, with Spawn saying “Todd lost a bet so he's loaning me out for this” came out, some realized something is wrong. Next ones? Rick from The Walking Dead (“It makes no logical story sense for me to be here, but I suppose it will help sales.”), Barack Obama (“I'm not as popular as I used to be. How much is Amazing Spider-Man 583 going for on eBay?”) and kid looking suspiciously similar to Harry Potter (“Okay, now this is getting a little ridiculous... and slightly illegal.”). Obviously, Image was just making fun at Marvel's policy on who is and who isn't in which team. Sadly, they later had to really rip the idea and release teasers with real members, because people thought they're really going to put those guys into one team.
- The Image graphic novel Three takes on the idealized concept of Sparta found in other works by showing it from the point of view of three terrified heliotes as they try to escape to freedom while being pursued by…you guessed it…a band of three hundred warriors. The series is also set in the dying days of Sparta as a city-state, with the Spartan characters even pointing out how this pursuit is more an attempt to save face after said heliotes were the only survivors of a mini-slave revolt, and an attempt to uphold the glorious image of the good old days.
- Halo: Escalation: Issue 16 is a pretty much Halsey retaliating against all the bias and false accusations heaped on her in the Kilo-Five Trilogy. She shuts Palmer up by pointing out if it weren't for her, Palmer wouldn't even have her armor. Plus she points out that ONI and the UNSC had pretty much approved of all her worst deeds, and are using her as a convenient scapegoat, thanks to Parangosky's and Osman's machinations.
- Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen features his interpretation of the Antichrist by way of school shooters: a boy who learns what he's destined to be and proceeds to snap and murder/rape his way through his school, including his two best friends and worst enemy, other schoolmates and staff, then hide for the next few years doing nothing but down anti-psychotics with only the head of his former headmaster (and backer, the whole Antichrist thing was his idea) for company. When discovered, he grows into a multiple-eyed, lightning-pissing giant and kills Allan before being curbstomped by Mary Poppins, who might be God. Now, given that this school was only accessible by train, by going through a fake wall in King's Cross station...
- One of the covers for the #2017 reboot of Fighting American takes a shot at Nick Spencer's controversial Captain America run, proclaiming "No secrets. No empires. Just an All-American hero."