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Marvel Expands Variant Obsession to Fruit Universe in New Partnership

Biff! Bam! Pow! Variant covers aren't just for comics anymore! Marvel has announced a new initiative teaming with Dole to bring the comics tradition of variant covers to the world of fruit. Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble! is a nine-month super-mega-crossover event that will include, amongst various cross-promotional tools, the release of "26 collectible, Marvel-themed banana sticker and pineapple tag designs in four waves through September."

According to a press release, Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble! is "a nine-month, empowered-living initiative sponsored by fresh produce leader Dole and inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe to recruit and recognize everyday heroes in all walks of life and encourage them to continue their impactful leadership and passion projects in their homes, families, communities and in the world." Somehow, this will translate to higher fruit sales.

Marvel Expands Variant Obsession to Bananas, Pineapples

The press release does not contain any information on how collectors are meant to keep the bananas and pineapples in mint condition after collecting fruit with all of the stickers. For more on that and other burning questions, we spoke to world-renowned Fruititionist Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms.

"The whole point of collecting things is to keep them sealed and never actually touch or enjoy them," Professor Puffinbottoms explained, "so eating them is out of the question, obviously. Only a complete philistine would purchase a collectible Black Panther pineapple and then ruin it by eating it."

According to Puffinbottoms, freezing the fruit is also out of the question. "Think about what freezing would do to the glue on the stickers? They'll be worth nothing!" The Professor instead suggested that buyers should get the fruits graded by the USDA and then store them in mylar bags. "Yes, they might get a little rotten, but it will be far from the stinkiest thing in your collection if you own something like, for example, all the issues of Secret Empire."

The press release reveals that "Dole worked closely with Marvel to develop the program, which gets its inspiration from Marvel heroes' exemplary traits that everyone can attain: Spider-Man is responsible; Iron Man is inventive; Ant-Man is small, but mighty; Black Panther is loyal; Black Widow is athletic; and Groot is always eager to lend a helping hand." But what about all the other heroes?

"My connections in the fruit industry tell me that Dole and Marvel did look into the possibility of making a Wolverine sticker, but it would only really be viable on bananas that come two-to-a-bunch," Professor Puffinbottoms explained.

In addition to the collectible variant bananas and pineapples, Dole Healthy Heroes, Assemble will also include "Dole's Celebrate Super Heroes Contest which asks everyday champions to submit their own hero's story on social media—while challenging and encouraging others—for a chance to win $1,000 scholarships and other prizes that can super-charge their efforts to make a difference," launching at the end of March. Dole will also make available "an assemblage of 20 astonishing and original Dole recipes developed by Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, Dole's nutrition and health communications manager, in honor of Marvel characters. The hero-worthy entrée, side dish, salad, dessert and smoothie creations rich in fresh fruits and vegetables will be released through September."

"It's safe to say that the fruit universe will be shaken to its foundations, leaving nothing the same again," said Professor Puffinbottoms. We couldn't agree more.

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Jude TerrorAbout Jude Terror

A prophecy claims that in the comic book industry's darkest days, a hero would come to lead the people through a plague of overpriced floppies, incentive variant covers, #1 issue reboots, and super-mega-crossover events. Unfortunately, nobody can tell when the comics industry has reached its "darkest days" because it somehow keeps finding new lows to sink to. No matter! Jude Terror stands vigilant, bringing the snarkiest of comic book and pro wrestling clickbait to the undeserving readers of Bleeding Cool.
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