Sunday, November 1, 2015

Flash Fried

Freebie promotional comics have been common for years.  We all breathed a little easier when Captain America fought the Asthma Monster and it was an exciting roller coaster ride when the X-Men visited the State Fair of Texas.  Sure these books are a little cheesy and they are clearly part of the marketing monster we all live with but, intentionally or not, they can be fun.

Fast food restaurants have been taking part in the fun for years with Captain D's setting sail on the four colored seas a few decades ago, among others.  Not to be outdone by a Captain, Colonel Sanders recently decided it was time to jump from the chicken bucket to the comic pages, and thus, we get "The Colonel of Two Worlds" from DC:


I love that instead of the often overused Big Guns of the DCU (Superman & Batman) they used the Flash as the main hero.  It probably helps that he has a hit show on the air currently but, hey, it's his time to shine.

The story begins with the Mirror Master bringing Captain Cold up to date on his latest plan.  Tying in with the New 52 story Forever Evil, MM plans to bring over another ne'er-do-well from the evil Earth-3 to help them with their nefarious plans to rob banks and whatnot.  But instead of a member of the Crime Syndicate, or anyone that might make sense, he chooses the Colonel Sanders of Earth-3: Colonel Sunder!


It soon becomes clear to the two Rogues that this might not have been the best All Star Team-Up since Sunder's plan seems to involve doing practically nothing while the two of them are forced to take thankless jobs in his crappy restaurant:


Sunder steps up his game after awhile when he starts glory hounding for attention by bragging about how bad his chicken is and how little effort he puts into it.  It can be assumed that this is a common advertising method on Earth-3.  Possibly the Bizarro World as well.


Well that's about all a certain Southern Earth-1 gentleman can stand and so Colonel Sanders decides to enter the fray:


Hey, remember how the Flash was supposed to be in this?  Well, he finally makes his appearance at this point, complete with an all-new, unnecessarily redesigned costume that includes unnecessary extra elements.  The Flash costume has historically been revered for being sleek and streamlined but those days are over:


Green Lantern is also involved but he really doesn't do anything of any consequence.  He just seems to be hanging out, which I guess super heroes do from time to time.  In fact, the Flash really doesn't do much either.  The real hero of the story is Colonel Sanders and he proves he is a man of action as the two Justice Leaguers try to catch up.  It doesn't take long for Sanders to run afoul of Sunder and we get the Colonel vs. Colonel showdown we've been craving:


Not only does Colonel Sanders' military training immediately kick in but he seems to have an overflowing bucket of special skills and possible super powers: from hurling a table into Sunders' "Nugget Gun" defense system, to being able to withstand the dreaded "Pink Slime Ray."  He's able to shrug it off with what appears to be another white suit that he has on underneath his signature threads:


 As you can guess, good eventually triumphs over evil while the Flash is protecting bystanders from the deep fried fracas.  Captain Cold and the Mirror Master don't do a whole lot either.  At this point these seem to realize the error inherent in teaming up with an Earth-3 tyrant who only seems to be interested in bragging about how bad his food is.  So once things cool down they all head to their local KFC franchise to break biscuits:


And if that isn't a happy enough ending for you the Colonel shows why is he known far and wide as a compassionate warrior and offers the two Rogues the best fate ex-cons can have: full time employment at Kentucky Fried Chicken!


 I know we are all hoping that this story remains in continuity.  The potential is nearly endless.  I see a story line where Colonel Sanders is offered Justice League membership but he turns it down because he thinks they're all a bunch of jive turkeys.  Or maybe a spin-off title featuring Captain Cold and Mirror Master working their way up the chain to finally owning their own KFC franchise?  Once that happens...imagine the shenanigans!  Imagine them!!!



Monday, September 21, 2015

Mini Bars


When you're involved in the fast paced "Super Hero Food" game you see a lot of stuff.  Tons of it is chocolate and most of it is Avengers related promotional products.  But occasionally you turn a corner in an unsuspecting soda themed gift shop and find yet another Avengers themed chocolate candy...that you haven't seen before...and so here we are.  Let's crack open the bag and see what's what:


No surprises here.  We've got the fab four in wrapper form but not in candy form.  The mini bars are a little bigger than the chocolate mints that are left pillows at various upscale hotels and at crappy Italian food chains.  Not too much to see here but they make up for a lack of shapes with "Fun Facts" inside each wrapper:


Although they should be renamed "Fun" Facts.  Info about the Abomination and Mj√∂lnir are joined by Shellhead's other nickname and the fact that Cap likes motorcycles.  I haven't opened up any more yet.  I'm hoping they'll last until Halloween.  So maybe buried somewhere in there are spoilers about Captain America: Civil War.  Trick or treat!



Monday, August 10, 2015

It's Marketin' Time!


You wouldn't know it from the grocery aisles but there's a new Fantastic Four movie in theaters now.  So with the lack of Human Torch Flamin' Cheetos and/or Mr. Flan-tastic Instant Custard Mix, Denny's has decided to pick up the slack with some Fantastic Four (loosely) themed menu items.


Unfortunately it seems to fairly difficult to re-brand various stacks of pancakes with exciting Fantastic Four elements.  So much so that pretty much none of them are worth mentioning or even stealing pics from Denny's website.  If you squint just right the Thing Burger might kind of look like the Thing.  Here's the promo:


Don't forget to tip your server!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Fromage of Ultron

It's always nice to get out of the cereal/candy/cracker vortex and find the Super Hero Food genre in a different grocery aisle.  And, don't ask me why but, anything that's especially perishable seems especially special.  This, of course, brings us to the topic of Avengers Cheese:


In this continuity "string cheese" is known as "Hero Twists."  A little artificial coloring gives us two toned "twists" which, we can assume, is twice the fun?  As with many Avengers products we only get appearances of the Fab Four, both on the outside and the inside:


Well, what else can be said?  They taste like cheese (because they are cheese) and they would fit perfectly in your Hulk lunch box.  To put them in an historical perspective, they join a precious few other examples of cheesy hero goodness such as Justice League Cheese Snacks:


And Superman Pasteurized Cheese Food Product:


Monday, July 6, 2015

Infinity Bars

Marvel went retro with its latest snack treat offering.  When you buy a box of these chewy granola bars you get faced down by the old school Avengers (and Spidey) and for a group of guys who are hanging out on the front of a box of granola bars, they sure look pissed!


Even with the all star line up on the front the box beckons you, nay commands you, to "see the character wrappers" inside.  Since they're so proud of them let's take a look:


All right, not bad I guess.  It's always good to see a rare appearance of Black Widow on a food product.   Even rarer to see her in the retro style.  Additionally, each character wrapper contains a factoid about that character that may or may not be completely made up.

For example, "Iron Man's Armor adds five inches and 200 pounds to his frame."  While your head is spinning for that information, let's head to the back of the box:


We've got some games and the tried and true "cut out collectible trading card."  The Hulk card definitely makes up for not getting a Hulk wrapper although I am wondering what his factoid would have been.  Maybe something about the cut and length of his purple pants.

It's also worth noting that cutting along those dotted lines is entirely too stressful.  So I'm going to need a few minutes to get psyched up.




Sunday, July 5, 2015

Punished

There are some characters that struggle to find a niche in the Super Hero Food market.  At the top of that list is the super violent (and beloved) vengeance machine known as the Punisher.  But Frank Castle has finally gotten his due in the form of SK's Energy Shots:


Cap's uptight chagrin notwithstanding, Marvel's original badboy seems like a good fit with the often wild world of energy drink marketing.  And it's always good to see comic characters venturing away from the cereal aisle and on to the labels of other types of goodies.


You can find these beauties at the check out aisles of grocery stores, convenience stores and wherever else the weight of the world has crushed you to the point that you need a little energy boost.  There is also a Daredevil variety but, for the life of me, I can't find them anywhere.  Anyone seen them?

It's also worth noting that several years ago Frank popped up on a label for a series of collectible cand bars along with some of his Marvel cronies:


It's been a long time since we've seen him but maybe this is the start of a Punisher renaissance!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dawn of a New Age


The time has come.  After years of speculation and anticipation, whispers and rumors, we finally get to see what we've been dreaming of for far too long.  Today is the day I've waited for all my life:

Ok, so granted, I've been ranting about wanting Iron Man cereal for the past several years and this is technically Avengers: Age of Ultron Cereal, but look who's right up front.  Shellhead is flanked by his two best wingmen but for some reason there's no love for Thor.  Now no one would expect to see Hawkeye of Black Widow (or as they're sometimes known: "And the Rest") but the lack of Thor is...well...ungodly.  This neglect continues once you open the box:


In addition to the nondescript, square cereal shapes there are three different marshmallow varieties, presumably representing our three cover boys.  Red and blue for Cap.  Red and yellow for Iron Man and green and a slightly different shade of green (unless I imagined it) for the Hulk.  But if you are worried about Thor withdrawls, just turn the box over:


Consider it a cameo.  We've got one coder breaker-esque puzzle type game to help you bide your time while chewing.  The bulk of the back, however is devoted to the overly complicated way of buying a certain number of products in a certain time frame in order to get a free ticket to some movie of somethingorother.  Who cares!?!?  I've finally got my Avengers cereal!!  It will now take its rightful place in my collection:







Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let's Get Crackin'

It.  Has.  BEGUN!

Avengers Age of Ulton may still be a few months away but the Hype Train has now officially left the station.  Forget the trailers, posters, tweets and online buzz.  The REAL first day of movie promotion starts in the grocery store.  And that day is today.  Avengers Cheez-Its, anyone?


They're certainly not Marvel's first superhero foray into the cracker genre:


But some extra steps were taken here and that need to be acknowledged.  Let's start with the shapes.  With many teams, particularly the Avengers, food real estate is at a premium and usually goes to the most popular profitable characters.  That being said, I would like to welcome Black Widow (who usually gets left out) to the grocery aisle, even if it's only her logo:

In addition to her logo we've got Iron Man's mask, Cap's Shield, the Avengers logo, Thor's hammer...essentially the usual shapes we've seen in cookies, pasta and fruit snacks before.  Of course, there's no Hawkeye but it's rare to see him on a package, outside of a group shot anyway so it's not like he was expected.  We'll just have to be satisfied with Widow's inclusion.      

The other good element from this snack is a throwback to the old days of games on the back of cereal boxes and this time you get two for one:


Everything is included except the coin you need to flip for "Game of Heroes."  I would image that it would work with dice as well but Big Cracker didn't want to take the chance that you didn't have a pair handy.  Odds are, you are someone near you might have a coin on hand when cracking open a box. 

You can also try spend some cracker crunching time with "Ultron's Menacing Maze."  And if it's too menacing then there is a URL at the bottom, in small print, you can use to find the answer.  Yes, that's right.

Hopefully this is only the beginning of the AoU hype train.  I, for one, am ready to get on board.  







Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Food of the Marvel Experience


You heard that disembodied voice!  We have to go to the Cotton Bowl!  So that's where I went to check out the latest stop of The Marvel Experience Tour in Dallas.  Now I'm sure there is tons of info all over the web about the tour with its cool games, ride, props and all around awesomeness.  It's definitely worth a visit.  However...

With all the good word of mouth about the tour, I was looking forward to some next-level snack treat branding.  Hulkburgers, Iron Manwhiches, Rocket Ragu, Agents of V.E.A.L., the possibilities were limitless.  But my hopes were dashed when I approached the tour's "Power Cafe" (the what?) and saw the menu:


Was "Loaded Mac Daddy Dog" in the West Coast Avengers at some point?  No?  Thunderbolts, maybe?  While I definitely appreciate and respect the courageousness of putting macaroni and cheese on a hot dog, I just wish it could have somehow be named after Thor or Agent Carter or somebody cool like that.  I mean there could have been an entire appetizer menu based on Pepper Potts alone!

In another part of the Experience, the "Bio Mix Station" offered hope:


Looks like a multitude of characters, colors and logos.  Surely there are some clever, one of a kind items that we can score here in this clever, one of a kind environment.  Sadly, upon closer inspection, this proved to not be true:


I like cherry sours and smoked almonds as much as the next guy, but I usually don't have to go through a S.H.I.E.L.D. orientation in order to get them. 

A quick perusal through the gift shop (located conveniently between the Experience and the Exit) left me equally nonplussed but I didn't let it get me down.  Overall, the Marvel Experience was great and deep down I know that someday my Sub-Marinated Invisible Grilled Peter Pork Chops will be a reality!