Whenever I'm looking for inspiration to improve my eating habits and make healthy living choices, I like to turn to a megalomaniacal alcoholic who requires a nuclear reactor embedded in his chest to keep his heart beating and who frequently puts himself in life-threatening situations fighting superpowered terrorists, monsters, and cosmic entities. That's what makes Marvel Custom Solutions' latest team-up with Florida Blue and Wellpoint's Afilliated Health Plans to produce a new Iron Man comics that will teach kids how to make healthy choices a match made in heaven.
"A city is under attack from evil forces that drain the will and desire to do anything that’s active or healthy," deadpans the unintentionally hilarious press release. "You can’t see them, you can’t hear them, but you can feel Habit Hazards stealing your energy, dehydrating you, and keeping you from making healthy eating decisions."
Sounds like a job for... New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg?
"Agents Dynamo, Fuel and Quench join forces with the Armored Avenger Iron Man to defeat this threat," the release continues. "The story is based on healthy habits, inviting readers to become 'Habit Heroes.'"
Damn. We were close.
Marvel Custom Solutions is basically a division of Marvel that will
whore out their talent and characters produce custom comics starring Marvel characters for a fee. Some past subjects of Marvel Custom Solutions comics are the Cirque du Soleil and disgraced quarterback Tim Tebow. As an added bonus, Marvel editor Bill Rosemann will hype the comic with an outrageously ham-fisted quote delivered as if he has no idea it is total bullshit (and we mean that in the nicest sense of the word - it is bullshit perfected as an art form. Every press release about one of these things, without fail, includes a fantastic Rosemann quote. They always follow the same formula, and they never fail to crack us up. We collected a bunch of them a while ago, which you can read here.
This time around, Rosemann delivers as usual:
Thanks to his armor, Iron Man can fly through the air and fire repulsor rays, but inside that hi-tech suit is Tony Stark, who, like us, is always learning new ways to make healthy decisions.
Oh, Bill Rosemann. Tony Stark doesn't give a crap about eating vegetables. But he continues:
All of us at Marvel are proud to help readers of all ages realize that everyone—even Super Heroes—need to practice positive habits each day. And thanks to the unique mix of the power and relatability of the Marvel characters, we do it via an exciting and entertaining comic book!
Yes, folks. The company whose most recent Captain Marvel story arc featured Carol Danvers, afflicted with a brain tumor that could kill her if she continued to use her power of flight, repeatedly use that power anyway, culminating in her flying all the way to space and destroying her own memory, the company where Wolverine's solution to a tough problem is to travel back in time to stab a founding Avenger to death, change his mind later, and then travel back in time again and stab himself to death, resulting in the complete breakage of the spacetime continuum, and the company whose next big crossover event, Inhumanity, will feature a race of godlike beings from outer space releasing a chemical mist into the Earth's entire atmosphere that will cause rampant genetic mutations in the entire human race... wants to help you teach your kids to make healthy choices.
"Hey kids, did you eat your recommended daily allowance of plutonium today? Remember, you're not going to be imbued with the proportional strength and agility of an insect if you don't have your DNA properly bombarded gamma radiation."
Folks, this isn't parody. It's Marvel Custom Solutions. It's very real, and if you have a bunch of money to burn and you want to see the X-Men fight tooth decay or Michael Vick become an honorary Avenger, then they're the guys you call.
The only thing we want to know is: where the hell can we get some of these comics? Put them up for sale, Marvel, and there is a camp market that would be all over this.
Here's the press release:
Marvel Custom SolutionsTeams with Florida Blue and WellPoint’s Affiliated Health Plans to Create New Iron Man Comic Book
September 20, 2013—A city is under attack from evil forces that drain the will and desire to do anything that’s active or healthy! You can’t see them, you can’t hear them, but you can feel Habit Hazards stealing your energy, dehydrating you, and keeping you from making healthy eating decisions. In a new comic book developed in partnership with Marvel Custom Solutions, Florida Blue and WellPoint’s health plans, Agents Dynamo, Fuel and Quench join forces with the Armored Avenger Iron Man to defeat this threat. The story is based on healthy habits, inviting readers to become “Habit Heroes.”
“Thanks to his armor, Iron Man can fly through the air and fire repulsor rays, but inside that hi-tech suit is Tony Stark, who, like us, is always learning new ways to make healthy decisions,” said Marvel editor Bill Rosemann. “All of us at Marvel are proud to help readers of all ages realize that everyone—even Super Heroes—need to practice positive habits each day. And thanks to the unique mix of the power and relatability of the Marvel characters, we do it via an exciting and entertaining comic book!”
The Habit Heroes comic shows readers how healthy habits can make a difference. The 20-page comic also includes a special “Habit Heroes Training Guide” insert to help kids learn to incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives.
“At WellPoint, we are focused on helping people get healthy and stay healthy,” said Patrick Blair, chief marketing officer. “The goal of the Habit Heroes Iron Man comic book experience aligns with our commitment to help inspire families to lead healthier lives, and is part of our broader efforts to provide the tools and resources needed to help families achieve this goal. With National Child Health Day just around the corner, this is a perfect time to introduce the comic book and remind families that working together makes it fun and easy to make healthy choices.”
Marvel, Florida Blue and WellPoint’s health plans worked closely with third-party health and wellness experts to create a comic book that conveys a positive message about healthy lifestyles in an empowering way. The comic will be available in English and Spanish, in both print and digital forms, and will be distributed to children and families at a variety of community events throughout Florida and WellPoint’s health plan service areas in California, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, and portions of New York, Virginia and Missouri.
When asked about the collaboration with Marvel and WellPoint on this new comic book, Pat Geraghty, chairman and CEO, Florida Blue, said, “I am extremely excited about this effort. With the health care industry dramatically changing, one thing we all need to be focused on is being proactive about our health.” He went on to say, “If we can create a fun experience for children and families to help further their health, we get one step closer to accomplishing our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health.”
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com.
About Florida Blue:
Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, is a leader in Florida’s health care industry. Our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Florida Blue is a not-for- profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.floridablue.com.
At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas).We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.