I don’t know about you, but I love old ads from classic comics. Me and several of my friends consider ourselves connoisseurs of fine advertisement cheesiness! For my money the best ads can be found among the pages of comic books heralding from the 1970’s and early 1980’s. A plethora of goodies can be found in those decades, from dynamic video game adverts to epic promotional toy campaigns! All of them more outlandish than the last. If you think about it comic book ads have to be crazy and eye-catching or how else do you expect to distract a reader away from super powered heroes doing battle with brightly colored villains long enough to even glimpse at your product. Perhaps the most effective are the advertisements that incorporate the heroes of the comic company into the ads, momentarily tricking the readers into thinking the ad is just the continuation of the issue they are reading.
Like the legendary Hostess Fruit Pie ads in Marvel comics. You’re flipping along reading your X-Men comic when suddenly Captain America bursts onto the scene, or Dr. Strange appears out of thin air. Suddenly things just got interesting! What are they doing in this X-Men comic? And wait, is that Dr. Doom? What’s behind him in that crate? What’s going on?? Wait, what?? Fruit pies? Captain America is rescuing a stolen shipment of Fruit Pies in my X-Men story? Oh wait, Ha ha! This is an ad! Got me again Marvel!
Well here’s something else along those lines, except here you turn the page to find Meatloaf rocking out hard, while at the same time voicing his concerns about the funding and support of the 1987 Special Olympics. A typical Wednesday for him. But seriously, look at that first panel, ol’ Meatloaf is really giving it his all, and how the hell is he holding that guitar?
And here’s another question: What era was Meatloaf popular in? He’s one of those guys who always seemed eternally old to me. It was like he was popular at some distant time, but had moved on. I don’t really know anyone who is a hardcore Meatloaf fan, and trust me I know a lot of people with many varying musical interests and stemming from various musical eras. I guess it’s because he’s been an actor for so long too, and to me it seems like any musician who turns to acting has passed their musical prime and gone on to other things. I don’t know, Meatloaf is weird.
The next panel in our Friday Funny Pages crossover series is this one from Batman VS The Hulk! Written by Len Wein and drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, this team-up might at first seem like an odd pairing, and perhaps it is, but this was actually one of the more interesting (and occasionally more strange) crossovers in the Crossover Classics collection.
This panel shows us how this Batman/Hulk feud got started, and like any good hero battle it was initiated by the malcontented actions of a sneaky villain type. Here we see the Joker playing his cards right, as always, and calmly explaining to the dimwitted Hulk why he and his thugs are attempting to “borrow” a powerful gamma powered laser, why it isn’t theft, and how the mean ol’ Batman is trying to get in his way. As we see in this panel the Joker calmly explains the situation to the Hulk, and to big jade jaws it seems to make sense. In the Hulk’s defense however the Joker kind of has a point. The Hulk finds himself in a new town, we all know he’s not the brightest hero on the Avengers, and he sees some type of kerfuffle going down. Then the smiling happy guy tells him that the brooding guy in the dark clothes is the bad guy, who would you believe? Clown man or scowl face? Hulk smash scowl face! And of course a fight ensues and as we’d expect there is a lot of property damage and Batman reveals his usual bevy of handy resources that he has to deal with such a powerful threat.
Those damn villains are always starting some shit! Last week you will remember that Doctor Octopus and Lex Luthor had joined forces against Spider-Man and Superman, this time it’s the Joker and obscure Hulk villain the Shaper of Worlds! There’s a crazy plot revolving around gamma guns used to strengthen the Shaper of Worlds and a double-cross from the Joker who simply wants to steal the Shaper’s cosmic powers and reality warping properties in order to humiliate and defeat Batman once and for all setting himself up as king of the world. In the end the heroes win the day of course but not before the Joker wields the incredible powers of the Shaper of Worlds making for some crazy, trippy fight scenes as the Joker bends reality to reflect his twisted psyche.
All in all I just like this panel because it is mildly amusing, and makes perfect sense with these characters, the Hulk tries his darndest to do the right thing but someone is always playing mind games with the big guy and getting him into trouble. Overall this was a decent crossover that wasn’t a completely stereotypical multi-publisher encounter. Next week get ready for more crossover action as two of Marvel and DC’s “teenage” hero teams mix it up!