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
Art by Neal Adams.