Since the dawn of time (or at least since they instituted the Comics Code), Man has been trying to get curse words under the wire in all-ages books. It's one of the great human endeavors. It's that pioneering spirit that eventually made the despotic Comics Code fall, gave rise to the great and bountiful Vertigo, and paved the way for the JLA becoming a T&A rag.
Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
My favorite hidden curse word of all time is from Doom Patrol #32, which features the Pale Police, a Grant Morrison nightmare threat that only speak in anagrams. Now, tell me: What do these letters unscramble into?Granted, Doom Patrol isn't a Code-approved book, but this is still well before it got labelled as "Mature Readers Only".
In your usual Code-approved comic, a simple $%@! will do. The Code may be history, but comics are still marketed to different age groups. Marvel rates them like movies and video games, and a Rated T for Teen will give you plenty of $%@! for which to substitute your own favorite cuss word.
For aliens or people from the future, there's the substitution of some weird word (often frag or frak) in lieu of the so much more human F-word. The Green Lantern Kilowog has been calling people "poozer" for decades now, and I really didn't think of it as a dirty word, but then he started using it with this phrasing:
To my knowledge, there's only ONE word that can be substituted for "pooz" in that one. Which makes "poozer" a lot more crass than I imagined. Seeing as this is from Justice League Unlimited #46, an ALL-AGES book, I have to say it's overstepped its bounds. Tsk, tsk. Where's the soap?
What are your favorite and least favorite hidden cursing moments?