Superheroes suffered a secret shame through the late seventies and early eighties. In between stopping supervillains from taking over the world and rescuing cats trapped up in trees, they hawked a wide variety of Hostess food products in the back pages of their comic books. Fruit Pies, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Cup Cakes, as long as it was filled with sugar and guaranteed to bring about juvenile diabetes, you could expect Captain America to offer the snack for sale while standing next to a huge American flag.
The advertisements came in the form of one-page comics in which Batman (or some other caped crusader) stopped a crime through judicious use of the food products. The Mummy, in the above ad, vows revenge against those who violated his tomb. He’s about to trap the offending professor and his daughter in a cave, when the Dark Knight appears and tosses some Hostess Twinkies in his path. The Mummy can’t resist the moist sponge cake and creamy filling, and so foregoes the murder attempt in exchange for sustenance that his three thousand year-old body has little chance of processing.
Many of the ads bordered on the completely absurd. The Fantastic Four are attacked by an afroed woman with a giant hair dryer in one who falls in love with Johnny Storm after he gives her some Hostess Cup Cakes. Thor fights astronaut hillbillies in another, stopping their assault with carefully placed Fruit Pies. The important factor with each of these comics was the strangely hypnotic power of Hostess Snack products. No one, not even Plastic Man himself, could stand fast against their delicious flavor. It’s somewhat surprising that the government never took the treats off the shelves and horded them for national security purposes.