Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eat Fresh or Die!

Appearing as a special insert in comics this week is a delightful tale of athletics, heroics, and sandwiches. DC Comics has teamed with the Subway sandwich chain to present a mini-series of mini-comics that remind us that comics don't have to be from the Silver Age to be completely insane! This story appeared in many comics this week, but I came across it in Supergirl 65, August 2011. It's Subway Presents: Justice League, issue 1!

Here's the cover. "Famous Fans", eh? So...I guess those three ripped muscle gods at the bottom of the page aren't Subway cashiers, then? That is a shame, because if they were I would not need to read anymore of this to convince me to visit my local franchise. Since they're famous and I don't recognize them, I'm going to assume they're sports-type people. (I don't have time to follow sports - I'm reading Supergirl!)

The choice of Justice League members represented at the top of the cover seems like an odd choice - Green Lantern isn't usually given such prominence, usually you'd see Superman in the middle, straddled by Batman and Wonder Woman, as the three most recognizable members. Does anyone know if DC has some reason to push Green Lantern over Wonder Woman? Oh, right, he's got a movie coming out and she can't even get a crappy TV pilot on the air. Thanks.

Well anyway, Supergirl was right in the middle of tracking down a mysterious villain who's been kidnapping college students, and Subway has interrupted her. This better be good.

So our three heroes are football players Ndamukong Suh, Justin Tuck, and Michael Strahan, eh? Yeah...still no idea. Help me, Wikipedia! ... Ok, I'm back. Yeah, they're football players. Suh for the Lions, and Tuck and Strahan for the Giants. The only thing of interest I found on Wikipedia was this comment about Tuck as  a child: "He would run through his home yelling catch phrases from Masters of the Universe such as 'By the power of Grayskull!' or 'I have the power!'". So he's my favorite, even though he seems awfully bitter about the Justice League's halftime appearance. It's halftime, Tuck, they're going to book some kind of act regardless of how you perform. They didn't call the Black Eyed Peas right before the Superbowl 2011 halftime and say, "Hey, you know what, guys? That first half was really amazing so, you know, we're good. Thanks anyway." (Although perhaps they should have.)

Our muscle-bound trio are wilting in the Hawaiian heat, so Tuck suggests they sneak away for lunch. But where can they go?

Subway Registered Trademark, that's where! What else would you want after working out in one hundred degree temperatures but a half-pound of bread, meat and cheese? The guys sneak off on tiptoe to find their local Subway franchise, which is unfortunate. If they had bothered to tell someone where they were going, that person could have pointed out that the fact that they are all wearing Subway t-shirts suggests that this charity all-star game is, more than likely, sponsored by Subway, who are therefore probably more than happy to provide the athletes donating their time with all the Subway sandwiches they can cram down their eating holes.

But then they wouldn't have the awesome adventure that awaits them!

Here are our stars, walking along the beach, talking like no real human being has ever talked and eating Subway subs in a way that no real human being has ever eaten a Subway sub. They're sandwiches, not push-pops! In the next panel Michael pipes in with his own ingredients list - plus, did you know that Subway now has avacado?!? - but I think you get the point. Just as they're at their most salivatory, Michael spots trouble...

Oh no, Aquaman's in trouble! Or maybe he beached himself and those guys are returning him to the sea? No, definitely trouble. Football All-Stars to the rescue!

Yeah, Michael, stop being all Shaggy from Scooby-Doo on us! It's Aquaman! If it was some other schmuck I'd say fuck'em, but it's Aquaman! He's famous, like us!

They use their special football powers of tackling to take out the scuba-villains, letting an unconscious Aquaman drop to the sandy beach. But then...

Holy crap! 

Tougher than they look?!? Take another look at that picture above. I mean, I know they're just Aquaman villains, but still. They're both rippling with muscles, they're wearing super-creepy headgear that screams "I'm an insane serial killer", one's carrying a six-foot trident, the other's carrying an absurdly-oversized gun, and they arrived on a BATTLESHIP. How tough are the guys you usually go up against? I may need to start watching football.

So yeah, the guys are in trouble, even if they don't seem to realize it. Black Manta murdered Aquaman's infant son. I don't think he'd hesitate to plunge that trident into Ndamukong Suh's horse-sized heart.

Luckily, Green Lantern arrives to save the threesome from their own over-confidence. Yay, Green Lantern! You're so awesome! They should make a movie about you which everyone reading this should go and see! Then have dinner at Subway after! Yay cross-promotion!

Wait, does that time I got really drunk during spring break count? Ok then no, I've never sacked a guy in a wetsuit before.

As you can see in the background, Green Lantern inexplicably dumps the two master villains out on the beach, I guess so that the story doesn't end too soon. They may have failed whatever they were going to do to Aquaman, but all is not lost!

At least he got a partially-eaten sandwich somebody dropped on the beach!

In short order, the rest of the Justice League appears to wrap up the case.

I know it sounds like he's being extremely egotistical here - "This is a job for Superman! The rest of you fuck-ups just hang back!" - but Superman is just spouting one of his many catch-phrases. It's about branding, people. Come to think of it, "He's all yours, pal," would actually make a pretty good catch-phrase for Green Lantern.

Yah, the Flash! Fast enough to run on water and whip up a whirlpool! But is he fast enough to dodge the spray when Ocean Master blows chunks?

And then there's this...

"Hey, guys! Mind if I wrap up that...package for you? Mmmmm, you've got such a...biiig package..." Don't worry, Wonder Woman, the male heroes will take care of the super-villains. You just attend to these strapping young football studs.

This comics was written by a dude. Surprise! Here's a link to the writer, B. Clay Moore, arguing with Gail Simone that women creators have it no worse than men in the comics industry, despite being absurdly underrepresented. In case you're curious about his views on gender politics.

Not go swimming alone? You're Aquaman!!! This was an entirely water-based adventure, and still you were useless!

Yes, he's talking about the sandwich. Superman understands priorities!

"Our pleasure! We knew if we didn't step in, he'd be dead. I mean, it's Aquaman, let's be real. He didn't have a chance. Hah hah hah"

"Sorry, did you say something, Green Lantern? We were...distracted..."

Yeah, shut up, Ndamukong! I'm going to finish my delicious soaking-wet gritty sandwich! Mmm, Subway! Subway Subway Subway!


  1. Hey thanks for posting that (and your running commentary!), or I wouldn't have seen it. Looks like comics have progressed some, but not the ads in them.

    Speaking of the Green Lantern movie, seen it yet?

  2. Not yet! Despite my mockery, I hope to catch it sometime this week.

  3. Oh man...this was pure awesomness on so many levels!! :D