There’s a metric ton of stuff going on in this Batman and Robin Hostess ad — including subliminal racism?
The classic comic book Hostess ads are usually one-note oddities, brief, quirky little “stories” (you have to use quotes) that hawk cupcakes and Twinkies and the like using the great superheroes of the day. Whether it’s Wonder Woman and “pussies,” Superman as fruity prankster, or the Green Arrow digging deep in his quiver for fruit pie arrows, you don’t usually have to hover over them all that much. Get in and get out.
Not so here. There’s a good deal going on with this particular prostitution of Batman and Robin.
- The names of the fake music personages are spectacularly dumb. The Four Bottles. Rich Jaggard. Jim Colorado. Elfin Presley. I don’t know whether to chuckle warmly or slam my head onto the coffee table.
- Do people think in parentheticals? Because the Muse thinks in parentheticals. This is odd.
- Now, perhaps I’m reading into this next one too much. But while listening to the Four Bottles concert, Batman and Robin (Do they really go to concerts in costume? Isn’t that a waste of their valuable costume time?) call the music they’re listening to “almost human.” This is obviously a reference to the Muse converting pop stars to musical notes and sucking them into his electric piano, which I guess no one at these concerts seems to notice — maybe they’re pounded into somnolence by the crappy entertainment. At first blush, though, the “almost human” sounds like Batman and Robin are calling the music provided by the African-American act as something other than that of homo-sapiens. Sub-human. Which would be bad. You think this is a stretch? The last panel has everyone singing the praises of the chocolate cupcakes, the ones, and I quote, “with the white wiggles and squiggles on top!” Whitey is keeping the brothers down yet again, even in ad copy! Subliminal!
Okay, that last one really is a stretch. I admit it. This isn’t Li’l Eight Ball, after all. OR IS IT?!?!?!?!?