For many a geek, food ads featuring superheroes were integral to the childhood comic-reading experience. In between scenes of Wonder Woman whupping Nazis, you’d see spots for Hostess fruit pies — usually illustrated as nicely as the main story itself — starring Justice League members. Those ads are considered retro comedy gold now, but my 8-year-old self rather enjoyed them.
Nevertheless, I was totally unprepared for a seven-page Subway ad making the rounds in DC comics. If you’ve ever thought, “Gee, I’d love nothing more than to see NFL stars Ndamukong Suh, Justin Tuck, and Michael Strahan team up with the Justice League,” boy, are you in luck.
“Sacked” is an LOL ludicrous story that combines pro football, heroic battle, and Subway’s “oh-so energizing turkey and bacon avocado on wheat.” While walking on a Hawaii beach, sandwiches in hand, our pro trio discovers an ailing Aquaman, who is literally in the hands of dastardly Black Manta and Oceanmaster. The guffaw-inducing lines fly fast and furious.
Oceanmaster: “You’re out of your depth athletes!”
Superman: “This is a job for Superman!”
And poor, poor Aquman. Aside from the disgrace of needing rescue on his own turf, he actually tells Batman, “I guess that’ll teach me to go swimming alone.” Dude! You’re the king of Atlantis! (For more on this injustice, check out the Aquaman Shrine’s funny lament.)
But the best part by far is when Black Manta, admitting defeat, steals Strahan’s somehow uncompromised sub before attempting escape. By that time, I was having an uncontrollable giggle fit. Good thing that my cat was the only witness.
It’s obvious that B. Clay Moore wrote this thing tongue in cheek, and I have to admit that Sergio Sandoval’s pencils are quite attractive. Wonder Woman gets some decent panel time and a funny quip, to boot. Besides, comics have become so dark and brooding that this kind of goofiness — heavy-handed product placement notwithstanding — can be refreshing as a mouthwatering Subway Club on hearty Italian bread! (See how I snuck that in all subtle-like?) Plus, it says something that “Sacked” was more memorable and entertaining than the issue surrounding it.
Just show Arthur a little love next time, OK?