Scott Snyder Uncovers Bizarre Background Character Mystery

Perhaps it is appropriate that the writer of Detective Comics has uncovered a mystery, and over the weekend, Scott Snyder did just that.


On Sunday he started Tweeting that he had noticed that the same two men had been appearing as background character or extras in all the DC and Marvel comics aimed at younger readers. One guy has red hair, glasses, and chin hair. The other has dark hair and long sideburns, and sometimes a soul patch.

He offered some photographs into evidence. Exhibit A:


Exhibit B:



Exhibit C:


Exhibit D:

Exhibit E:


Exhibit F:


Exhibit G:


Exhibit H:


Exhibit I:


Exhibit J:


Who are these mystery men who have been appearing in the background of all these comics?

And this is apparently not a new phenomenon.


And then…


Who indeed. This is so bizarre.

Grab your magnifying glass and your trusty sidekick and let’s get sleuthing!



  1. They’re the Observers from Fringe.

  2. I love stuff like this. How weird.

  3. This. This is blowing my mind.

  4. Just wait, this will be the basis for the next big event. And it’ll be awesome.

  5. Kinda looks like Josh and Ron in some of those panels…

  6. Thats straight up X files. Very creepy. Maybe some kind of in joke among illustrators? 

  7. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?


  8. @Anson17  Secret Invasion of the Hipster Dudes.

  9. What kinds of comics are these? Loving the fact that some aren’t using word balloons or panels!

  10. lol this is amazing!

  11. Ron and Josh work for Marvel AND DC?!

  12. *sigh* It looks like Josh and Ron have been punching the barriers of reality again. If they start wearing blue 80s power armor and whining about how everything used to be better, I’m unsubbing.

  13. The FBI is secretly tailing the superheroes.

  14. I’m going to say it has to do with this subconscious technique that humans have displayed over our entire time on this planet whereby one group of people learns/starts performing a particular thing and another group miles even continents away start doing the exact same thing with no contact from the original group.

    In this particular case, one artist drew a set of characters (a pair of mates who are just normal blokes working whatever job they can at the time but it usually has to do with protecting others, as civi’s go they are strong willed and determinded to help no matter what and even go as far as unknowingly putting themselves in the area where danger may occur, the consummate background side-kicks) and then that design has through some form of psysic osmosis become a stample in all comic book artists mind set as the go-to backgroud character drawing.

    Or maybe they’re a couple of geeks who somehow were transported into the hyper-dimensional mind set of all artists and travel between all stories in all universes… someone needs to give these poor souls some powers so they can be even more helpful.

  15. does the big 2 give out style guides or anything? Maybe they are going off of stuff in there? I’m still lol-ing especially since neither guy looks like cops. 

  16. this will keep me up at night….

  17. @origamikid  As noted in the article, they’re from the Marvel and DC kids books.

  18. Something tells me this is a setup (a good one) for something Snyder is working on. Can anyone verify that ALL of those examples are real? Either way, very cool.

  19. I own the spider-man comics, bought a bunch of them for the guys at work to start getting into comics with, worked.

  20. ahahah this is so cool!!! 

  21. scott snyder has uncovered something big, and we may never hear from him again

  22. Did anybody find Waldo yet?

  23. I just like the fact Scott reads so many childrens books.

  24. @ed209AF  He gets them for his kids.

  25. We’re through the looking glass here, people.

  26. Huh. I will never see background characters the same way again.

  27. That is FUCKING CREEPY!!!

  28. @ron  White is black and black is white.

  29. I’m all over looking for these guys in the future!  I bet we’ll start seeing them everywhere…just before they take over.

  30. Haha. Very weird.

  31. It’s called Inception….


  32. I know I’m supposed to love all of the comics reporting done here – but it’s this amazingly random stuff that I stick around for.

    Comics, how I love you.

  33. They are obviously involved in Paul’s death somehow.

  34. Tag and Bink.

  35. @Baldrick: Yes!  I was just about to write that we need to name these two characters.  I was going to suggest Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but Tag and Bink is a more recent (and comic related) reference.  Good job!

  36. The glasses guy has been in tons of comics-
    Not sure about the other one.

  37. Wow, that’s crazy!

  38. They’re clearly Time Lords. Or at the very least, the Doctor and a companion we haven’t seen yet.

  39. The industry is small enough, guys. We gotta ask the artists. This must be solved. What books are they from and who drew them?

  40. Wow.   Scot Snyder even has cool tweets.

  41. Wha?! *head explodes*

  42. I bet these guys were security guards at Joe Kuebert’s art school or something like that… I swear the look familiar though… are there any buddy comedies with arts who look like these guys?     Either that or they are related to Access… anyone else remember him?

  43. They’re obviously a couple Bill and Ted type dudes going on an adventure though young adult fiction

  44. I recall reading, I think it was a Bleeding Cool or Comics Alliance article where they showed this guy who had asked a bunch of artists to draw him into comics. And they had done so.

    Is this that guy?

  45. By any chance are these books from the same publisher or art house?  Yes, the characters are from different companies but they could all have been licensed by a third party who publishes kid books.  If so, the art department might have model sheets of approved BG characters.  But if that’s true, there’d be other characters doing the same.  Still, the two guys might work for that book publisher.


  46. I think that’s a different guy.  The orange hair is very distinctive and the guy at drawmein doesn’t have it.  And it’s not a soul patch.

    HOWEVER, these guys might be moving into other media:

    Although they’re not cops. 

  47. This is kind of freaking me out.

  48. I’m scared…

  49. My guess is that everyone with a stack of reference photos for drawing police used the same Buddy cop film or show.

  50. Thanks for the heads up, andybmcd

  51. That’s hilarious.

    The propable answer is artists don’t want to invest the time in making distinct faces for extras, so they just add some facial hair that makes them look like not the same person. Sideburns and soul patches are relatively easy to draw (as opposed to full blown beards, mustaches, etc.) As an illustrator (not comic), that’s my educated guess.

    Really funny though.

  52. The truth is, these guys are really time-traveling Wilbur and Lewis Robinson all grown up!

  53. This is cool, I will have to show the family this article when I get home. Kids books including the pop up books as well? It would be even neater if we found them in the regular comics as well. The big two are having a little fun is all thats going on here.


  54. Fun!

    Soul patches … brrrr.

  55. This is really interesting!

  56. Whoa! These guys are in TRANSFORMERS too!!
    Certainly more than meets the eye… 

  57. The Ginger looks exactly like Dr. Venture!

  58. @Gambit81  AHHHHHHH. Did you send that one to Snyder??

  59. I wonder how far back this goes!

  60. They are the comic worlds version of Doctor Who and Captain Jack Harkness hopping comic to comic in the verse. lol

  61. Scott stop biting your finger nails

  62. SOLVED: Two guys from Imagination Movers. I am serious.
    Why do I know this? Becuase of toddlers and their television watching habits.  And I BET, the persons responsible, have toddlers too.

  63. Dude, its not just comic books they’re hopping around in… They’re on TV too… 

  64. @Tad  I think you are right.  The art is too similar in each of these books.  I have a 15 month at home and we have a bunch of these comic themed books for kids.  I never noticed to two dudes before but I did notice how similar the styles were no matter the comic house.

  65. @ctrosejr  Man I’m glad I read all the posts… I was going to suggest Rosencrantz and Guildenstern too.

  66. conspiracies are fun and scary

  67. They are the leading members of H.I.P.S.T.E.R. “Hipster Inter-Publisher Support Team for Emergency Response” It was all covered by this amazing indie band, but you probably never heard of them.

  68. These guys got their own Facebook page now. Look up ‘Mistry Hipster Khopps’ Check it out!

  69. Spawn put them in other comics when he recreated earth.

    PS, I hate having to register just to say one thing.


  71. after doing a bit of googling around, I THINK, I may have found out who these 2 guys are…

    If you follow this link to google images,

    you’ll see 2 interesting characters, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, the creator/artist and writer of Super-man…the first comic book super-hero.

    If I remember correctly, the frame runs Super-man, Bat-man and then Marvel started to come in with their characters.

    So, to me, the 2 guys who appear in the background of most comics, is homage to the 2 men who began it all.  Shuster is the darker-haired, side-burn sporting character, while Siegel is his ginger companion

  72. They are in the commercials too!

  73. Snyder will probably write them into his really excellent Detective run.

  74. Here they are again in “The Batman” as Killer crocs henchmen:

  75. No lie, these two characters resemble me and my band mate Tyler. It literally looks like we are part of the comics. I wish I had time today to post a couple pics of us, but I have to clock in. I’ll try to get them up here on Thursday. Creepy and cool.

  76. Mystery Hipster Cops video…check this out:

  77. A young Doctor Quest and Ace 

  78. I’m pretty sure I just found another one. This is from Identity Crisis, about 30 pages in. 

  79. Maybe a Subconscious Tribute to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby?

  80. this is just one reason I love Scot Synder.

  81. Curious that a comic creator unearths this mystery. He DOES have a kid who I’m sure he reads a ton of these to, though

  82. Also this thread begs for a “like” button

  83. These guys are the two main characters in “The Unwritten” known as Tom Taylor and Richie Savoy. The resemblance is uncanny…if you were reading the series you would know this and it wouldn’t be a mystery. Best damn story going on in the world of books and comics.

  84. It is Joe Kelly and Steven Seagle from Man of Action Comics. Look: