Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hostess superhero ads of yesteryear

There used to be certain ironclad things you could expect from a comic book.

These things included but were not limited to:
-A whole page of tiny, separate ads for things like sea monkeys, x-ray glasses and spy cameras.
-Bad dialogue.
-More often than not...escapist fun.

You could also count on your favorite superheroes saving the world with the help of Hostess snack cakes.  As evidenced:

In glorious whole page ads, comic book characters such as Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man would confront menaces to our communities and even our world.  These evil-doers would always be bested through the use of Hostess Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and Fruit Pies.  Still don't see what I mean?  Head over to

This man should be given the Nobel, the Pulitzer, the Congressional Medal of Honor, and any other laurel bestowed upon one who has truly benefited humanity.  He has painstakingly gone through what were undoubtedly thousands of old comic books and located each and every known Hostess ad of the kind described.  At the site you can see them all for yourself...scanned in full color, categorized by character, and archived for the betterment of all mankind.  Suck it, Mandela.  Somebody get the Vatican to issue canonization for Seanbaby.

Going through the ads, delighting in their sheer, delirious silliness, a few thoughts struck me.

First of all, these ads went across comic book companies.  Both Marvel and DC had their characters take part in what came to feel like an almost "Hostess shared universe."  It didn't matter whose company owned the character, everybody seemed to be working for the greater glory of snack cakes with cream filling.  And is it just me or did the storylines of the Marvel ads seem just a touch more plausible by comparison?  Sorry.  Being snowbound has gotten to me I think.

Secondly, these ads didn't just feature the "flagship characters." You saw many different superheroes with varying levels of sales and popularity.  Sure, there were the ones I mentioned, plus other hot properties at the time like Wonder Woman and Captain America.  At the same time, however, guys like Thor and Aquaman got in on the snake cake action, too.  Check out one of my favorite character's own Hostess adventure:

Yep.  That's Captain Marvel.  In this saga, he wins a victory for peace by averting an interplanetary war with the Kree...all by luring them to a spaceship full of Twinkies.  The Kree become far too involved in gorging on the golden spongecake with cream filling to wage war.  I contacted the Pentagon to see if they've tried this tactic on al Qaeda.  The military rep dismissed me fairly quickly, mentioning something about me being on a "watch list" now but screw 'im.  I'll file a FOIA request.

But I digress...

Not only were obscure characters involved in the ads, DC Comics actually had their villains featured as solo characters.  Both the Joker and the Penguin were involved with Hostess capers.  Their schemes always resulted in them getting hauled off to jail but they ended up with their share of Hostess cakes nevertheless.  The message kids?  Sure you'll get time and interesting showers in the pokey, but crime just might pay in terms of sugary goodness.

Lastly, if I were an unscrupulous sort, I could probably sue Hostess.  All these ads taught me was that if the snack cakes were good enough for the superheroes, then they were good enough for me.  Now my waistline suffers the aftermath of a lifelong love of Twinkies, fruit pies, and who can forget the delectable Suzy Q?

Oh who am I kidding?  I still love you, Hostess.  Let's never fight again.

I am now off to plot my inter-company crossover, Crisis on Infinite Snack Cakes.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

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