Friday, February 10, 2017

DC Comics HIV Education Ads

Not many people know this, but in 1992 DC Comics decided to kill off a little known character named Superman. This apparently became a big deal. If you don't realize by now, I am being sarcastic. This event was huge! In fact it was so big that DC Comics created the "Funeral For A Friend" storyline to follow those events in 1993.
Like a lot of people, these stories are what really got me into seriously collecting comics. So, when I saw Superman: The Man of Steel #20 & Action Comics #686 at the Dollar Tree, it reminded me of those good old days.
I already have these issues in my collection, but needless to say, I picked them up anyway. I have read these stories so many times, but I forgot about the HIV ad campaign that DC included in their comics around this time!
This one features Tim Drake aka Robin and Alfred discussing a boy at school who has HIV. They discuss how you can't contract HIV through casual contact and Robin flies off to get more info, probably from the Gotham City Library.
The second ad features the Flash schooling some young Central City citizens on the HIV virus. Once again it focuses on the fact that you cannot receive HIV from casual contact like drinking out of the same soda can. After dropping this knowledge Flash shows off his mad B-ball skills with a mind blowing dunk!
There were other ads sprinkled throughout DC Comics' offerings in 1993 that included Nightwing, Blue Beetle & Booster Gold and 2 different Green Lanterns. This was a smart move by DC. It informed people of the rising HIV/Aids epidemic in America and it was a great PR move for them. I know these caught my eye back then. It was such an adult situation, brought down to a simple message for kids to understand. Just look at the Green Lantern ads though. The artwork is the same except Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart swapped places. I wonder why they did that?

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