Corgi Toy Ad (1978)

Here's a puzzler for you: you own a character who's just had a hit movie released, and you want to sell some toy cars. Problem is, your character doesn't use a car, and neither do his enemies. So what kind of tie-ins can you produce?

DC's solution was pretty slick. They focused on the vehicles of Metropolis, including a Daily Planet delivery truck that even snuck in a picture of Superman. Unfortunately, the picture showed him changing from Clark Kent, so I guess we can kiss that secret goodbye.

Newcomers to Superman might not recognize that truly odd-looking blue "space ship" thingee with the metal fists coming out. This of course was the infamous "Supermobile," built by Superman to help him fight crime during a period he'd lost his powers. But as any reader of the time -- even the wee ones -- knew right away, the real reason for that storyline was to justify the toy that was already in the works.

The Supermobile certainly rates as the second lamest vehicle in the history of comics, right behind Spider-Man's dune-buggy, unceremoniously dumped in the Hudson River (much to Ol' Web-Head's relief) in the early 70s.

Art by Neal Adams.