In various issues of the classic Star Wars comics of the 1970’s and 80’s, Marvel teamed up with Hostess to deliver ads advertising “delicious fruit snacks.” It wouldn’t be uncommon to find the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes saving the day by just throwing a Twinkie, cupcake or fruit pie at a problem. These ad strips can also be found in other titles but we’re going to focus on those featured in the classic Star Wars comics.
“You’re going to blow up the Earth???”
Have a delicious Twinkie snack with cream filling! Problem solved!
“You’re building a robot army to pave the way for world domination???”
Have a luscious Hostess Cupcake with fudgy icing! Problem solved!
As to not overwhelm you with these classic stories that are sure to find their way onto a Disney+ series*, we will present 3 of these classic** crossover stories. To hear dramatic readings with sound effects and music, listen to our Classic Marvel Star Wars Comics podcast.
*dare to dream
**playing fast and loose with hyperbole
Spider-Man and Madam Web!
STAR WARS ISSUE #1: Star Wars movie adaptation
AD STORY SUMMARY: Spider-Man is reading the Daily Bugle whose headline reads, “Webhead Accused of Tangling Harbor in his Web!!”
Crouched on a trash can in a darkened alley, a thought bubble appears next to Spider-Man, “Everyone thinks I’m to blame. I’m tired of running from the cops. But I must get through and save the harbor.”
We see that Spider-Man has been set up by the love-crazed fiend, Madam Web because he once rejected her. But he has an alternative to running away with her, “What if I give you a whole bunch of delicious Hostess Twinkies Cakes instead? Would you clear the harbor and my good name?”
Madam Web replies, “Ohh! For that — I’d clear up the ocean –the world –anything.” In the next panel we see a jump in time since two police officers have Madam Web placed under arrest. “First I lose Spider-Man, Then Hostess twinkies Cakes! What a tangled web!” And the surrounding citizens go crazy, “Yaaay! Spider-Man! Yaaay! Twinkies Cakes!”
Spider-Man in “Legal Eagle”
STAR WARS ISSUE 5: “Lo, The Moons of Yavin”
AD STORY SUMMARY: Spider-Man and Mary Jane are hiding behind a bush outside of the courthouse. Mary Jane points out, “Look Spidey, it’s Ralph G. Fake. the criminal lawyer with the power to change himself into Legal Eagle, the monster eagle at will!”
Spider-Man says that Legal Eagle (who looks a lot like another one of Spidey’s nemesis’, The Vulture) is stealing the Bill of Rights! Somehow Legal Eagle has heard Spidey say this even though he is flying high in the distance. “Stealing the Rights? Wrong! I’m destroying them! You soft humanitarian Spider!”
Like all bad guys, Legal Eagle tells the hero his plan. “My next “Eagle Maneuver” –Ha! Ha! –To take over the Supreme Court –A Supreme step in getting my style of “Criminal” law to rule the land!” Spidey senses also tell him he’s after the President’s seat, but he knows how to take down this treasonous threat. He spins a web hammock and fills it with Hostess Cupcakes.
Just as Legal Eagle is flying away, he sees the delicious cupcakes. “I must have one…Just one –Ooh, that creamed filling –That moist devil’s food cake!” And his weakness for Hostess snacks leads right into Legal Eagle’s arrest. As a police officer is taking him away, Legal Eagle turns back into his Ralph G. Fake persona again. “Is there anything genuine about you, Fake?” Spider -Man calls out. “Yes, only one thing –My love for luscious Hostess Cup Cakes with fudgy icing.”
Thor in “Ding-A-Ling Family”
STAR WARS ISSUE 7: “New Planets, New Perils”
DISCLAIMER: This ad strip includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. We want to acknowledge its harmful impact, and add that these stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.
STORY SUMMARY: The narration reads, “By some mysterious quirk of space and time warp, the Ding-A-Ling family is thrust into Thor’s Asgardian orbit.” Grandma Ding-A-Ling leads her family who would look right at home in the film ‘Deliverance,” into a sneak attack on Thor and the Asgardians. Hogun, of the Warriors Three, says in so many Asgardian words, hey you strange family, if you come with unpleasantness in your hearts then you will be met with the same unpleasantness.
The Ding-A-Ling family grabs Thor! Grandma says, “By cracky, that purty yella-haired fella’s the leader…Let’s hornswaggle him and the rest’ll be a piece of cake…” One Ding-A-Ling tells everyone to hold him still so he can get a clear shot with his atomic shotgun (which looks like an ordinary shotgun. You’d think they would have added dials and flashing lights to make it look “atomic”).
Thor swings the mighty Mjolnir but it has no effect. One scrapper hanging onto Thor’s back says that nothing can resist their secret weapon, except when they lose focus on the job at hand.
That’s all Sif has to hear and comes out with a tray of Hostess Fruit Pies as a distraction! The Ding-A-Lings let Thor loose and go in for the pies. “…I can’t recollect what we were talking about but it couldn’t be half as interestin’ as these mouthwaterin’ Hostess Fruit Pies…”
Grandma is freaking out on the “dumb cousins” since they almost had the “yella-haired one.” Thor replies, “Forsooth, m’lady… not so dumb.. They knoweth of yon delicious snack.”
“Now home to Odin. Be sure to save some Hostess Fruit Pies for the great one to enjoy too,” says Sif and Hogun!
And as every ad ends,
These were the first three Marvel/Hostess crossovers featured in the classic Marvel Star Wars comic issues. What did you think of these strips?
As an interesting side-note, DC Comics had these hero/Hostess crossovers too. In an interview with Bob Rozakis, a veteran comic book writer and executive director of production at DC Comics, he shares a very interesting detail, “We were instructed that the heroes could never eat the cupcakes, Twinkies or fruit pies, because that could be interpreted as an endorsement of the product. So, we were always pressed to come up with some interesting way to stop a crime or a riot or something else using a dessert.” I have yet to come across any Marvel heroes eating the Hostess snacks themselves so I’ll have to keep my eye out.