By Tony Wolf
While watching the new AMC show Halt & Catch Fire On Demand on Monday night (I was too traumatized by Sunday night's Game of Thrones to brave a pilot of an entirely new show that same evening), I was struck by something. Many of you have by now seen the new Google Play TV commercials (or 'adverts,' as Brits know them) wherein we see the familiar triangular Google Play button center-screen and are treated to a panoply of swiftly changing images within its borders. Everything from Katy Perry to The Great Gatsby and Ghostbusters flashes before our eyes over the course of 60 seconds, touting all the various mediums you can experience via Google Play.
This ad has been showing in at least two different versions over the past few weeks. I had never seen a comic book character shown in that Google Play triangle – until now. Suddenly, a Batman popped up within the triangle… and it was clearly (to my trained geek eyes) a Batman drawn by Matt Wagner[*see update below]. My memory immediately placed it as perhaps one of the cover images from Wagner's "Batman & The Mad Monk" miniseries from the early 2000s (wherein Wagner wrote & drew a modern version of one of the Caped Crusader's earliest tales). Or maybe from Wagner's terrific Two-Face story "Faces"? Off to search for the image I went. It was something like this, but not quite the same.
This image is actually preceded by a V mask from V for Vendetta, though it's unclear whether it represents the comic or the movie (probably the movie since it's a 3D mask), as is the Wolverine-ripped X-Men symbol that follows shortly after the Batman spot. We'll stick with Batman as being a comic reference since it's preceded directly by works of literature like Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby.
Is this further evidence of Warner Bros / DC Comics making sure their characters are shown more frequently in mainstream ads? Look out, Marvel – you may have just run an ad in The New York Times & in front of select movies for the first Miracleman compilation…. but you've got competition.
Here's the advert for your viewing pleasure:
*Editor's Note from HMS: In fact, the image of Batman turns out to be from Batman #4 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, which makes a lot more sense in terms of Google Play choosing a more recent and very popular creative team for immediacy. Here's the image the "triangle" is drawing on in origin, courtesy of Scott Snyder (who is peaking around the comic here):
So there you have it. Google Play deems at least Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo fit for consumption…
Tony Wolf is an actor, voice-over guy, sometime illustrator and rabid pop culture fan in New York City. He can be found lurking about at www.tonywolfactor.com and was the co-host of www.theactionroom.com.