It is time to return to those great Hostess ads of yesteryear. In Part 1 we saw the first round. Now let’s see the rest. We will find out the best snack food to catch criminals and the fate of Hostess Spidey (it’s not what you think). So grab a fruit pie or a Ho Ho and read on!
There’s no need to recap – if you missed part 1, it’s right here. So now that you are all caught up, let’s get on with the ads:
Spider-Man Puts Himself in the Picture (March 1979) – O.K., some guy with a fishing hat and an old Doc Ock jumpsuit has a scheme to steal people’s valuables by freezing them momentarily when he takes their picture. Spidey pretends to be immobilized so that Photoman (yes, that’s his name) will steal his valuable – a Golden Twinkie cake. One problem – look closely to where Spidey keeps his Twinkies. The good news is that we learn where Spidey keeps his Twinkies. The bad news is that we learn where Spidey keeps his Twinkies. Ewww. Why would Photoman be sticking his hand there? On top of that, did Spidey web that guy’s butt? This is just odd. First appeared in The Incredible Hulk #233.
Spider-Man Meets June Jitsui (March 1979) O.K., Photoman, I understand. At least he had a motive. June Jitsu just seems to hang around in Central Park waiting for Spider-Man to come through and starts beating the tar out of him. Spidey is about as effective against June Jitsu’s kicks as he is against the Lizard’s tail. Luckily he has some Twinkies left over that Photoman didn’t find. June does appear again in the Fin Fang Four storyline, but that is not 616 canon. Look for her in season one of Iron Fist coming soon on Netflix (she won’t be in there, but I thought it would be good to start the rumor anyway) . First appeared in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #462
Spider-Man Hotshot on the Block (May 1979) Spider-Man refers to him as his “old enemy”, but this is the first time he has appeared. He shoots fireballs from his hands, so Spidey cleverly tosses him some Twinkies so that he is busy holding them and not shooting fireballs. Interestingly enough, we get his secret identity in the Official Marvel Handbook Update 2010 #2 – Abraham James. It is in Electro’s profile. He is also one of the prisoners found in that Fing Fang Four story and in that one he has grown quite overweight (probably has something to do with a Twinkies addiction from his encounters with Spidey – Oh Spider-Man, where is your responsibility now??? There are two other Hot Shots in the Marvel universe – one is int he Riot Squad and one is the Black Knight’s son. First appeared in Iron Man #122.
Spider-Man and the Demolition Derby (January 1980) It appears that the writer of this little gem was watching reruns of Goldfinger before thinking up this story. It is not a gang of guys destroying things (presumably in cars), it is one man who throws a derby (yes, a hat) that crushes things it hits. It is strong enough to break Spider-Man’s webbing and it seems that nothing can stop Demolition Derby from taking the Faith Diamond. Yes folks, this is one of Spider-Man’s most desperate hours. Help me Hostess Twinkies – your my only hope (obligatory pop culture reference – now required by Marvel offices on all things Spider-Man related). Of course you can’t throw a smash-tastic hat if your hands are full of Twinkies. Thanks to the OMHU, we get his real name – Basil Mendelsohn. This one is drawn by Frank Miller. First appeared in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #472.
Spider-Man in The Trap (June 1980) – This is the second one by that title and this one features Lilith Moll, otherwise known as Larcenous Lil (we get her name because she is one of the Hostess villains in Fin Fang Four). Spidey is swinging around and gets caught by a net. A NET! Not some special net created by Kraven especially for the web head. A plain old ordinary Nets-R-Us net. This is more reminiscent of the Spidey that we’ve seen in more current versions of the title – he even needs someone else to let him out of the net. THE NET – that one with nothing holding it down. If it were the current ASM Spidey, Mocking Bird would have had to come in and throw a few Hostess cakes around. In this case, just some thug. Luckily Pokemon Go wasn’t around yet, or else he’d be too busy to help out Spidey. The big question in this ad is, how does he throw that Twinkie through the net? This wins my award for absolute stupidest Hostess Ad story. First appeared in Star Trek #3
Spider-Man Meets the Bikers (October 1980) – Well we know these guys are bad dudes right off the bat. They are riding motorcycles, one isn’t wearing a helmet, and (the worst offense of all) one of the uses the word “hisself”. Bad grammar will not be tolerated by the old web head, so he tosses a few Twinkies in the air and gets them to crash into each other. That’s what they deserve. We don’t even get these losers’ names or what they were trying to do other than run down Spider-Man. Even CEO Spidey could whip these guys. First appeared in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #481.
Spider-Man in the Rescue (April 1981) – I’m guessing that the writers were starting to want to switch things up a bit so they do NOT have Spidey catch the kidnappers with Hostess Twinkies. Instead, he tosses some at the kid to keep him busy while he webs up the car as they get away. Luckily, their car does not move with the same amount of force as the Demolition Derby. And no, these are not the same idiots that kidnapped Aunt May. We can only assume that they were smart enough to pick a rich kids, although we are not told anything about the kid nor the kidnappers. First appeared in Ghost Rider #55.
Spider-Man vs the Human Computer (July 1981) – Good old Conrad Turing, he has the stupidest costume – even a seven year making a homemade Halloween costume could do better. What’s worse than the costume is Spidey’s motive for going against him. This guy is causing Y2K 19 years early and Spidey’s pissed off because it is making it hard for kids to enjoy playing video games. Spider-Man is a bit concerned about this one because he throws at least 20 Hostess Cup Cakes at the guy before using his webbing to take the guy out. Slott missed a huge opportunity here – a Living Brain / Human Computer team up. It could have been a whole mini series with the two of them sharing a small apartment in Soho. He’s another one of those Fing Fang Four prisoners, but ages worse than Ben Kenobi did between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope (opps – I exceeded my pop culture quota). First appeared in Ghost Rider #58.
Spider-Man’s Dream Girl (December 1981) – for all of you who feel the marriage was forced, it may be because we never got to see Peter Parker on a date with his dream girl, Lisa Skye, except for in this brief appearance. Peter gets tossed into the river when four thugs grab Lisa to show her “what’s romantic”. Luckily, his alter ego was quick to throw some Hostess Cupcakes their way and web them up. If Renew Your Vows doesn’t do well, I’m betting it’s because fans will know that Lisa is the one who should have had that chance. I can only hope that maybe Slott will revive this character in the main book. Spider-Man’s Dream Girl ranked #6 on “The 10 Dumbest Comic Book Hostess Ads” from The Robot’s Voice and in Again with the Comics’ 5 Profoundly Disturbing Hostess Ads (their caption – Hostess Cupcakes: Even better than rape!) First appeared in Ghost Rider #63.
Hostess count – this post:
Twinkies – 7
Hostess Cupcakes – 2
Hostess Fruit Pies – 0
For all of Spider-Man Hostess ads (including last post) –
Twinkies – 12
Hostess Cupcakes – 7
Hostess Fruit Pies – 3
So with this data, I think we can safely say that Twinkies are the best way to stop a criminal.
Oh, and that Fing Fang Four #4 comic that references these losers? Well, you can find it on Marvel Unlimited.
Alas, poor Hostess Spidey! I knew him, fellow Crawlspacers: a fellow of infinite pastries, of most excellent fancy. The fate of Hostess Spidey…
I enjoyed that part from Spider-Verse, but would have thought it much better if Morlun had been distracted enough by the tasty pastries to let Hostess Spidey swing away.
BUT WAIT!!!!!! – this is not actually the fate of Spidey from Earth 51914. What’s the difference? Well, to avoid trademark violation, he doesn’t hand out Hostess Twinkies, instead he hands out Golden Spongecake. So in my mind, Hostess Spidey lives (and maybe has found true love with Lisa Skye)! It appears that Morlun only took out some alternate universe where Spidey doles out Wal-Mart brand snack cakes!
Need even more? This link will take you to a parody page where you can see the likes of Rorschach and Squirrel Girl use Hostess products to stop crime.
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Cronin, B. (2008, November 19). Comics should be good. Retrieved from http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/11/19/comics-should-be-good-mailbag-for-1119/
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Lamar, C. (2011, May 11). I09. Retrieved from http://io9.gizmodo.com/5800953/which-character-from-hostess-fruit-pie-ads-made-it-into-comic-book-canon
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Roach, D. A. (2005). Comic book artist collection, volume 3. J. B. Cooke (Ed.). Raleigh, NC: TwoMorrows.
Robare, S. (n.d.). Branded in the 80s. Retrieved from http://brandedinthe80s.com/category/hostess-comic-ads
Saffel, S. (2007). Spider-Man the icon: The life and times of a pop culture phenomenon. London: Titan.
Seanbaby. (2011, August 20). Cracked. Retrieved from http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-6-craziest-villains-ever-defeated-by-snack-cakes/
Seanbaby. (n.d.). Seanbaby’s Hostess page. Retrieved from http://www.seanbaby.com/hostess.htm
Tv tropes. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeliciousFruitPies
Voiles, Mike. (2016). Mike’s Amazing World. Retrieved from http://www.dcindexes.com/features/gallery.php?page=hostess
Zjaba, T. (2015). Tomorrow’s heroes. Retrieved from http://www.tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/hostess%20ads/hostess_ads.htm
And, while not a source, I think I would be remiss in not including the current Hostess web site: http://hostesscakes.com/.
* Just for fun, we’re doing the sources in APA format this week!