Monday, 24 December 2012

Daredevil's Deadliest Encounters Ever (without any shadow of doubt and, if anyone tells you otherwise, they're wrong, indubitably wrong, wrong I tells ya)

Ah, we're between volumes and it's Christmas so why not have a little fun, huh?

2012 saw the sad demise, in the States, of Hostess cakes (though I think there's still some possibility of the brand being re-established in some way).  Anyway, this Irishman has never tasted such lavish fare - you can get things like Hershey bars and Hostess' Twinkies if you look hard enough but, generally, they're not widely available in the European market.  That said, I was well aware of this company's products due to their insistent advertising within the Marvel comic books I read in my childhood.  

I can remember heroes such as Spidey and Iron Man turning up in these one page thrillers (not sure who exactly was responsible for the scripting and artwork) but wasn't aware until recently, when I picked up a job lot of Dazzler comics cheaply, that the man without fear also tackled deadly foes with the aid of Hostess' finest products.

I say 'finest' but, as noted above, I've no idea.  Twinkies are pretty famous and I quite like the look of the chocolate cupcakes that other heroes get to throw at their enemies.  Daredevil actually seems to be stuck with the runt of the litter - the apple and cherry fruit pies (not a cherry fan, sorry).  So how does he get on?

Well, in the first of two appearances I tracked down, in 1980, Daredevil tackled that great menace to society that chilled the bones of middle America, glancing across at the pond at what was decimating British culture - punk rock.  Actually, Johnny Punk's idea to turn the volume up to 11 is a pretty neat fit with DD's persona.  I also like how he's actually a bit crap - after all, everyone knows that Daredevil's more compelling when he's up against mediocre talent rather than A listers.  Naturally our Mohicaned friend and his (far straighter, possibly soft rock loving) comrades go all dewy eyed once DD tosses Hostess produce into the mix.  Thus we get the presumably PR approved lines about the "real fruit filling" and "light, tender crust" that appear in all these ads.  Johnny Punk is actually in admiration of Daredevil's tactics: "Sharp move, Daredevil - you got us! But we've got the goodies!"

The second advertisement is from 1981 and is called "Daredevil's Longest Fight".  Ah, that's gotta be the Kingpin or Bullseye or, if one was to be a little more literal, Stilt-Man (geddit?).  Apparently not, it's Baby Face Johnny, a boxer (which is the tenuous link to DD's history here - before things conclude, Daredevil asks what Johnny thinks of Battling Jack's record).  Weird though that DD fights two johnnys in these strips.  Perhaps the latter Johnny is actually Johnny Punk one year on, beefed up on Hostess fruit pies?  Anyway, needless to say we get the "real fruit filling" and "light, tender crust" lines before a rather weak conclusion that tells us the whole fight originated from a misheard line.  Silly Johnny.

For a fuller review of the salad days of Hostess' seduction of superheroes, try this out at Comics Alliance (great title to the article!) or a top ten countdown here on Topless Robot (which, bizarrely, includes a third DD v someone named Johnny fruit cake ad!).  

Have a happy and peaceful holiday.


Dermie said...

Thanks for that! Revisiting those old fruit pies ads are always good for a chuckle. And believe it or not, at least one of those characters has actually crossed over to mainstream Marvel! A villain called Icemaster, whom the Human Torch defeated with Hostess Fruit Pies, has made a number of appearances in regular Marvel comics over the last 10 years or so.

EvenSpot said...

this blogger has a number of Hostess Ads from Marvel and DC.

Some people were buying them off the store shelves.
I loved the Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, & Fruit Pies.