?Okay, maybe we shouldn’t say “the dumbest.” Maybe we should only say “some of the dumbest,” because really, there are like 100 horribly dumb Hostess comic book ads, with very few clear indicators as to which was more ridiculous than the other. These things were not made to be smart. And there are so many of these because the campaign ran forever, in almost all comics in the 1970s and 80s; they were lousy with Hostess ads for fruit pies and cupcakes and Twinkies and all the other sugar-packed goodies the company still sells today.
Kids read them all — partially because they were so short, partially because they were conditioned to read a comic from cover to cover, partially because they starred actual comic superheroes, and not least because they were so stupid that even if you were also stupid, you were less stupid than they were. So not only could you get a big delight in every bite of Hostess, you could get an ego trip in every flip of the comic book page.
Much thanks to Seanbaby’s awesome Hostess Page for being the ultimate Hostess ad resource. If you need more delicious Hostess ad action, be sure to stop by there after you’re done here. If you want a Hostess fruit pie, try a grocery.
10) Superman in “Gold Mine Rescue”
?Wow, this has got to be Superman’s least interesting adventure ever. Seriously. What a waste of Superman — especially considering that the ungrateful little red-headed kid there at the end is still bitching that they didn’t find any gold. And why does the title look like it was meant for a Charlie-Chan mystery? Most enjoyable about this is the last panel, in which you can almost hear the sarcasm in Clark Kent’s voice. If you read that dialogue assuming that whenever Clark says “Jim,” he means “you dumbass” it makes so much more sense.
9) “Thor Meets A Glutton for Gold!”
?So let me get this straight: Gudrun the Golden is stealing the gold from Asgard. Thor’s brilliant plan is to hook him instead with golden-hued Twinkies, so he leaves the real gold alone. Which works. But then at the end, Thor and Sif are talking about how Twinkies are preferable to real gold… so didn’t you just completely fuck Asgard over, Thor? Nice work, God of Blunder.
8) Plastic Man in Gold for Dessert
?Gold was always common to the Twinkies ads, of course, and this one was no exception. But really… a story that relies on the appetizing idea of Twinkies springing from Plastic Man’s crotch? Not feeling that. And seriously, if that happens? Ixnay on the creamed-filling talk, dude.
7) Captain America in When It Rains, It Pours!
?Two generic crooks dressed like yellow idiots want to interrupt an American election. And to do that, they’re going to flood the entire country with atomic-water? (Three Mile Island, meet Katrina; Katrina, Three Mile Island…) That might do a little more than just interrupt an election. Worse, Captain America’s strategy here was to play off of his foe’s lack of allegiance to his partner. That’s great, Cap. Show him that loyalty means nothing in the face of fruit-filled mock-pastry. You’re the champion of truth and justice, unless there’s fucking apple pie involved.
6) Spider-man’s Dream Girl
?This is a motley crew of street punks — the sleeveless black stereotype would in any other strip be harassing the chubby guy wearing a green sportcoat. But no, here they actually team up throw guys off bridges to harass their girl — especially hurtful for Peter Parker, considering what happened to Gwen and all. But swingin’ Pete isn’t thinking about Gwen here, or Mary Jane, or Betty Brandt, or whoever. He’s thinking about Lisa Skye, and he calls her Lisa Skye all the time like he was Corky from Life Goes On. I’m not sure how flinging cupcakes — cupcakes that were in Peter Parker’s picnic basket, mind you — is any less coincidental than, you know, just punching the guys out. But whatever. We know one thing; Spider-Man brings massive numbers of cupcakes with him on dates. Apparently for this very reason.
5) Wonder Woman vs. “The Cheetah”
?From the incredibly un-creative title forward, you can tell this strip was completely phoned in. It also seems to be obsessed with the word “pussycat”. And that last panel is like bad porn dialogue or something. So in other words, exactly like every other Wonder Woman comic ever made.
4) Iron Man in Rust Be My Destiny!
?Did the writer on this strip not realize that Marvel already had a Hydro-Man, and didn’t need to make up yet another poorly conceived water-based villain? Apparently not. And the idea that the brilliant inventor/industrialist Tony Stark didn’t account for rust in his suit design? Yeah, not buying that. But this strip does include one of the best Tony Stark lines: “Good thing I’m always ready for weirdness!” I’m sure you are Tony, you dirty sonofabitch. I’m sure you are.
3) Green Lantern Vs. Triclops Three-Eyed Keeper of the Cave
?Right, so the ridiculous title of this strip is in desperate need of a comma. But nothing else in this storyline makes sense, so why should the punctuation? For one, I’d like to know what “crimes” a big fuzzy monster living in a cave has perpetrated. I’m thinking that his list of offenses is basically this: he’s a big fuzzy monster living in a cave. That’s fucking prejudice, Green Lantern. Second, you really need to learn better ring habits. Without your ring, you’re a bloated ego in a jumpsuit, so keep it charged. And last, if you actually think that Triclops is dangerous enough to tussle with? Don’t leave him alone with two kids, especially two kids who just saved your green ass. Was this Green Lantern’s first day on the job, or what?
2) Daredevil in “Because!”
?There’s no one in this strip who isn’t an asshole. That’s the beauty of it, from the guy at the beginning worrying that a guy falling to his death will give his city a bad name, to the mayor at the end, giving Johnny Clymbe an extra fruit pie and a key to the city (and probably, mentally, the finger) for causing a public nuisance. But the crowning kings of ass in this piece are none other than Daredevil and Johnny themselves — Daredevil for deciding that a little disrespect is apparently a reason to start a potentially deadly fistfight with someone on the edge of a skyscraper. And Johnny — well, because as he admits at the end? He could have just gone to the damn store and avoided all of this stupidity.
1) Batman and The Captive Commissioner
?There are more things in this strip that don’t make sense than there are panels in this strip. One: the absence of a commissioner doesn’t cause normal people to riot in the streets. Two: it’s completely unclear as to why Batman is in the car with these two low-level goons. Three: if you have a car that you can program to infallibly arrive at its destination, don’t use it to kidnap and ransom — sell the damn car. Four, why does Batman carry sacks of fruit pies? Five, did he really need those fruit pies in order to just punch the lackeys out? Six, what idiot criminals invite Batman over to their hideout — where they’re keeping Gordon tied to a chair in the middle of a room — to threaten him? Seven, how in the hell did Robin get there? And eight, seriously, how did three morons like this (let’s call them Thwack, Thock, and Buff) capture Commissioner Gordon in the first place? This is just stupid. Or as Robin would say: real, deep, big stupid.