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.
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 took this to a ridiculous extreme by fighting (and utterly destroying) satirical versions of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, SHIELD, and the X-Men. The authors explained this was a deliberate poke at traditional superheroes who they felt embodied and maintained the status quo.
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.
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 Elites appeared... and turned out to be pulling a Batman Gambit to pretend to be the second coming of the original Elites 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.
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.
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 Geoff Johns explicitly erased from canon. It's been said that the only reason Morrison has not been slapped down and had his stuff rewritten is because Morrison might actually leave DC Comics if he is forced to submit to the reboot, meaning Batman Incorporated might just be the only DC Comic being published that is still in the old DC Universe.
It's not set in the old universe. Damian's death in issue #8 is covered in a number of other series that explicitly take place in the New 52 canon, making the incident a bit of a Bat Family Crossover. The events of Batman Inc. were also mentioned in a Free Comic Book Day issue of Justice League, another New 52 title. The talk of him threatening to leave if he were forced to submit to the reboot was nothing more than Internet chatter.
This was further added to with the announcement that Multiversity, his series of one shot stories set in the multiverse, is still in the works and will be out late 2013. The series is set to feature traditional versions of Question and Captain Marvel (both of which have been killed off/radically altered in the Nu-DC Universe) and the return of Ted Kord as Blue Beetle of Earth 4.
And in one interview Morrison talked about story of the series that will be illustrated by Frank Quiliety and said it beats the hell out of that series Frank is doing with Mark Millar at Image.
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.
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."
One issue of the 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. * Both storylines were alien invasion stories, but while Secret Invasion dropped the ball on any long-term effects, Invasion! didn't, the biggest one being the revelation of the meta-gene.
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".
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 52Justice 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 to happy with Jaime rebelling against their programming.
That last part wasn't a diss. It was a Sequel Hook for the new series Blue Beetle began starring in immediately after JLI ended.
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 Ross has gone on record as saying he hates) and Tim Drake were completely ignored. 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.
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.
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 Sun Spot ends the fight by shooting himself in the foot while ranting about why the New Universes he tries to create keep exploding. Viewable here.
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 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.
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.
Ares, God of war comments on how much he hated Troy, after explaining that he fought in the actual battle alongside Achilles.note He actually fought alongside the Trojans in the real thing, but considering that Achilles also remembers fighting alongside him, he probably fought for the other team in the Marvel Universe.
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.
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.
Recent 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.
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.
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 a certain Showtime channel TV drama 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.
During the nineties period, somebody gave 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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 publically 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.
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 It's highly possible it's a major jab at Dan DiDio's True Art Is Angsty mandate over at DC, something that has turned off many fans there.:
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.
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 puts the damn things on, allowing the title character to use them instead.
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.
She-Hulk: So if you ever see a hero acting completely out of character, assume it's just some jerk who couldn't be bothered to read their handbook and the A-Hole* Dimensional portal to Earth-A that let them through.
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 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?
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.
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?!"
After Mark Millar left Ultimate Comics, a continuation of his title The Ultimates was given to 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.
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 Sixties, The Seventies and The Eighties. 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-Menteam 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.
In anotherPeter 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 Mel Gibson 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?
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.◊
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.
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.
After revelation that Twilight is Angel, which meet 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 is 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:
Spike: No backstabbing, no dying, no picking up and leaving, and no aerial sex. Betta George: I don't understand that last one. Spike: No one does.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Luther 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 Namor. 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, 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.
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.
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 Polish comic book series Tytus Romek I Atomek 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 commited during PRL (comunistic 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 toHarry 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.