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In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hostess ran a number of advertisements for Twinkies and other snack cakes in DC and Marvel comics. These one-page comic book stories told of an encounter between an established hero and (usually) a one-off villain, and the hero would somehow save the day using the snack cakes. (Generally, the villains found themselves compelled to stop what they were doing and eat the junk food.)

The Flash appeared in (to the best of my knowledge) four of these ads, featuring the following villains. (A fifth ad featured Green Lantern going up against Flash villain Mirror Master.)

The Bureauc-Rat

Occupation: former city traffic official

“Flash Meets the Burueac-Rat”

When budget cuts eliminated his job, the unnamed Central City traffic official declared revenge. He invented a “red-tape ray,” which he used to slow down everyone and everything he encountered. The Flash used Hostess Fruit Pies to distract him, then tied him up with his own red tape.

Comics containing this ad (probably incomplete):

  • Batman #332 (February 1981)
  • Detective Comics #498 (January 1981)
  • House of Mystery #288 (January 1981)
  • Mystery in Space #115 (January 1981)
  • New Teen Titans #4 (February 1981)
  • Super Friends #40 (January 1981)
  • Super Friends #41(February 1981)


The Destroyer

“A Flash in the Dam”

Lashing out in his depression, the Destroyer sought to make everyone around him as miserable as he was. Though his powers were not clear, he set about destroying the Doover Dam (no, that’s not a typo). The Flash repaired the damage, then introduced the Destroyer to Twinkies so that he could “learn...to enjoy the little things in life.” On tasting a Twinkie, the Destroyer agreed to give himself up.

Comics containing this ad (probably incomplete):

  • Batman #324 (June 1980)
  • Batman #325 (July 1980)
  • Detective Comics #491 (June 1980)
  • Detective Comics #492 (July 1980)
  • House of Mystery #281 (June 1980)


Dr. Sorcery

“Marathon Madman”

Armed with the Philospher’s Stone, Dr. Sorcery attacked the Central City Police Marathon by weakening the steel beams of a bridge along the route. He said he wanted to “make the race more challenging.” The Flash distracted Dr. Sorcery with Hotess Cup Cakes, promising more at the finish line if the villain would help him repair the bridge.

Comics containing this ad (probably incomplete):

  • Batman #344 (February 1982)
  • Detective Comics #511 (February 1982)
  • House of Mystery #301 (February 1982)
  • New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982)


Dr. Sorcery is similar in concept and name to the classic Flash villain Dr. Alchemy, who was also able to transmute matter using the Philosopher’s stone.

The Medusa

“The Stony-Eyed Medusa”

The Medusa and her henchmen threatened a Central City parade, transforming the marchers into stone with her stare. The Flash caught up to her, but when she turned her gaze upon him, he felt himself slowing down...until he distracted her (and her gang) with Hostess Fruit Pies. It was long enough to tie them up, leaving their arms free to eat the snacks.

Comics containing this ad (probably incomplete):

  • Batman #319 (January 1980)
  • Detective Comics #494 (September 1980)
  • Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #258 , December 1979)
  • Weird War Tales #83 (January 1980)


Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Images

  • Bureauc-Rat: New Teen Titans #4 (February 1981), artist unknown.
  • Dr. Sorcery: New Teen Titans #16 (February 1982), artist unknown.
  • Destroyer: House of Mystery #281 (June 1980), artist unknown.
  • Medusa: Weird War Tales #83 (January 1980), artist unknown.


Seanbaby’s Hostess Page (note: contains NSFW language) was an invaluable help for identifying the ads. The Grand Comic Book Database proved critical for determining which comics they appeared in.

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