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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Take the 'Ultimate' Challenge: Draw upon the TACO BELL & MARVEL alliance

By Michael Cavna


The good folks over at Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 have a swell feature they call "Food or Comics?," wherein they bandy about what Wednesday comics they'd buy on a budget.

Well this week, thanks to the marketing smarts of Taco Bell, the Robot 6 budgeteers no longer need make such a dreaded Hobson's choice, because the pseudo-Mexican-food chain has teamed with Marvel Comics to provide a combo pack of comida and comics.

And for all we know, thanks to a new false-advertisement lawsuit, the foodstuffs and the comic books may even contain some of the same ingredients.

Taco Bell and Marvel announced this week that for a limited time -- act now! -- the fast-food eatery's kids' meals would come with one of four comic books: The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the invincible Iron Man or X-Men.

Except for the fact that Taco Bell and Marvel both so often invoke the word "Ultimate," Comic Riffs would never have expected this alliance to thrive prior to this "Avengers Taco Bell" edition.

The creative teams for the four 11-page stories have now been announced. They are:
Avengers: Joe Caramagna (writer) and Derec Donovan (artist).
Fantastic Four Paul Tobin and Craig Rousseau.
Iron Man: Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener.
X-Men: Alex Zalben and Tom Grummett.

The four books reportedly all were edited by Nate Cosby, and each book will feature a one-page backup by Colleen Coover.

Now that an Alabama law firm is suing over Taco Bell's advertised claims of "beef" content, though, this presents a golden opportunity for more satirically minded cartoonists.

The specifics, in case you missed 'em: The USDA says "meat taco filling" is required to have at least 40-percent fresh meat. The Alabama firm says it tested Taco Bell's "meat taco filling" and found it to have only 36 percent fresh meat. In response, Taco Bell went on the big-and-bold marketing offensive with newspaper ads -- the headline screaming, "Thank you for suing us" -- and admitted it uses fillers (Mmm, silicon dioxide) for "flavor."

Now, the challenge for cartoonists of course becomes: What would your Marvel/Taco Bell comic book look like? To wit:

1. Does the Invincible Iron Man now become...the Inedible Iron Man?

2. Do the Avengers become...the Scavengers?

3. And does the Fantastic Four become...the Fantastic For-ty Percent?

We're now officially on the lookout for the best Taco Bell 'toons. If you've got a link or a sketch, feel free to send it our way.

By Michael Cavna  | February 2, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  General  | Tags:  Marvel Comics, Taco Bell  
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Next: DAN SNYDER featured in tomorrow's 'Jerk' comic (*Is it time for 'Everybody Draw Dan Snyder Day'?)


Well, now that they've killed off the Human Torch, maybe they can bring him back as the Taco Belch.

Posted by: seismic-2 | February 2, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

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