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Check Out These Classic Strange Marvel and DC Subscription Ads

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Check Out These Classic Strange Marvel and DC Subscription Ads

This is “I Saw It Advertised One Day,” a feature where I take a look at old comic book advertisements that interested me for whatever reason.

Today, we look at a collection of ten Marvel and DC subscription ads from the past that amused me for whatever reason (technically twelve, you’ll see what I mean).

First off, Carol Fein was originally a secretary at DC Comics and she eventually worked her way up to becoming a full-time editor. It’s still funny, though, to see her starring in her own ad for DC Comics!

Can you imagine living in that house? A bunch of super-villains are caroling outside your window and that threat (and/or menace) known as Spider-Man has just crawled through your chimney!!

I love this subscription ad for the “DC Explosion,” when DC expanded their line dramatically. It’s funny because they then canceled almost all of their titles roughly a year later.

“Boy, which character should we get to promote our products? Wolverine? Spider-Man? I know, Hawkeye and Mockingbird, everyone’s favorite couple!”

I like this ad because it supposed a universe where a local comic book shop thinks it is a good idea to have a big sign in their window to let everyone know that they have completely sold out of DC Comics brand comic books. That is one poorly run comic book store.

“No, no, Hawkeye and Mockingbird are TOO established! What’s the name of that guy who always gets arrested in Daredevil comics? The lowlife guy! Turk? Yes, Turk is his name! Let’s have HIM advertise our comics! Can you also have Bullseye holding a pie for some reason? You can? Beautiful! Our sales are going to go through the roof on this one!”

In the mid 1960s, the “pop art” explosion was in full swing, and even before the campy Batman series exploded, comic book companies left and right were trying to cash in, including Bob Hope’s comic book, where we met his nephew, a mild-mannered fellow who transformed into Super-Hip (whose only weakness was the music of Lawrence Welk!). Oddly enough, DC Comics felt that Super-Hip was the guy to help sell more DC Comics….

In this clever ad, the Hulk is an erudite, elitist fellow, explaining why subscribing to Marvel was just the best thing to do…

For a while, there was a series of Superman ads where he argues that you should subscribe because you would get 12 comics for the price of 10. It’s not a terrible deal, but nor is it a particularly catchy one, so it’s weird to see how dedicated DC was to the whole, “12 for the price of 10!” angle.

Finally, in keeping with that recent article I did about whether Lockjaw was a pet or not, this ad would be PRETTY messed up if he was not considered a pet…

Be sure to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com if you have ideas for future installments of “I Saw It Advertised One Day”!! I bet I could get a whole other column out of JUST weird DC and Marvel subscription ads, so send in suggestions!

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