Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Warranty not available in Metropolis or Gotham City

Yesterday's Times ran a story on how corporations are now using product placement in comic books. DC and Marvel Comics have struck deals with major carmakers such as Pontiac and DaimlerChrysler in an attempt to reach the "ever-elusive" young lout demographic. Spider-Man may be able to scale skyscrapers, but he can't escape Madison Avenue's marketing ghouls.

Citizen: Help, Spider-Man, the Green Goblin is destroying our city!

Spider-Man: Hold on, citizen. I'm on my way in my brand-new Dodge Caliber. The bold styling, crossover design, innovative features and affordable power of 2007 Dodge Caliber offer Dodge attitude packaged with capability, versatility and fuel-efficiency. It's got an advanced four-cylinder, 24-liter engine with dual variable valve timing that delivers world-class timing, durability, and efficiency. You get 172 horsepower at 6,000 mph and 165 pounds foot of torque at 4,200 rpm. 23 city, 26 highway. Mileage may vary. Limited warranty not available in Metropolis or Gotham City... O.K. I'm here. Where's the Green Goblin?

Citizen: Too late. The city's destroyed. Thanks a lot, Spider-Man.

Also, the comic book publishers are creating titles specifically for the 20-something Maxim crowd. Here are some of their proposed titles:

Frat Guy: Solves crimes while crawling in a pool of his own vomit.

Testosterone Twins: They don't let their compulsion to grab every ass in sight deter them from fighting evildoers. Just don't look at them the wrong way, Jack...

Doofus: Yeah, he likes math. And attends sci-fi conventions. But if you think that thingamajig on his shirt is a pocket protector, think again, arch-fiends!

The story went on to say that companies also are targeting the aging Baby Boomers with the same superheroes. So we can expect to see strips like "Senior Batman."

Mayor of Gotham City: Batman, I've called you in because the Joker, the Riddler, the Punster, and the Unknown Comic have joined forces to create a consortium of super-villains who use wordplay to commit heinous crimes.

Batman: Yeah, I got my own problems. The sciatica's acting up. I haven't moved my bowels in two weeks. And do you think that good-for-nothing Robin ever calls?

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