Vintage Comic Book Ads: All 90s Edition

Good morning all, it’s time to go back in time once more, for a special trip this weekend, we’re going back strictly to the 90s this time out.  So 90’s kids, and 80’s kids like myself who were teenagers in the 90s let’s take a look back to the past, to when 16 bit graphics were king, to when the afternoon meant Disney and Saturday Morning meant cartoons.  Let’s have some fun, shall we?

1.  Maximum Carnage (1994)


Maximum Carnage was the big Spider-Man crossover in 1993.  Spider-Man was forced to team up with his rival, Venom to take down the Venom symbiote’s offspring, which was bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady to form the psychotic Carnage, as well as his own collection of freaks and followers from turning New York City into a bloodbath.

Along the way they teamed up with Marvel heroes from the more famous Captain America all the way down to Deathlok in order to save the city.   It was one of the more awesome comic book storylines in 1993 in my opinion, and when I’d heard there was to be a video game adaptation, I was sold.

The video game, which came a year later in 1994, turned the storyline into a side scrolling Beat Em Up game in the style of Double Dragon.

It was a blast to play, especially as a fan of the original comic, as the game’s cutscenes giving the plot exposition were panels from the comic come to life in motion comic style scenes.

It was most notable for its awesome cover art, which you see in the ad, as Carnage looms over Manhattan, and for its red cartridge, which I thought then, and still do that it’s pretty rad.

One last note on this game, the game’s music was done by parody metal band Green Jelly, and the actual song they made for the game “Carnage Rules” is pretty awesome as well, I used to have it on a cassette single I picked up at the Marvel Mega Con ’94 along with the poster for this game.

2. Shaq-Fu (1994)

In the early to mid 90s, Shaq was everywhere. He was a basketball star, actor, rapper, and more, so it was only a matter of time before he got a video game.

But what type of game would it be, a basketball game? Oh no, that’s too obvious, let’s make a game where Shaq uses his own style of Kung Fu to fight monsters!

Of course, at the time I thought it was one of the coolest concepts out there, it’s only now that I see its silliness.

Also it seems that a sequel may be in the works because reasons. So, there’s that.

3. X-Men Fruit Snacks

By the mid 90s, X-Men had taken over as most kids, including myself favorite mutants, (sorry Ninja Turtles, we will come back to loving you as adults). There were like 6 X-books from Marvel , the cartoon show, action figures, all types of merch, and of course, no kids property can be complete without having their own fruit snacks.

Of all the X-Men on the roster, they chose to go with Wolverine, Gambit, and Storm, who I feel were chosen in part due to popularity and in part due to easiness of making fruit snack shapes for them. Lightning bolt for Storm, playing card for Gambit and Wolverine’s head, easy day at the Betty Crocker fruit snacks office that day.

I remember getting these because I had to have all things X-Men, and they were pretty good, not memorable without the license unlike Gushers or other snacks of the day, but decent.

And of course, they have to use at least two adjectives that start with X to describe the characters, as the copy writer for this ad likely had no clue what these characters were, but he did know two words that start with X.

4. Radical Rex

I’ve never played this game to my knowledge, but this game seems to be as by the numbers marketing for young boys as possible. I imagine this game’s development went something like..

Okay, I need to come up with a video game for boys…what do kids like? Ummmm…dinosaurs…skateboarding…fire…karate… that’s it! It’s a fire breathing, karate kicking, skateboarding T-Rex! Bam, I’m going home to sleep with my wife!


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