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Bland Name Product / Comic Books

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  • Ultimate Marvel
  • Meanwhile, back in the regular Marvel Universe, the name "McBurger's" is used whenever someone needs to refer to a burger chain, and there is a frequently villainous oil company by the name of "Roxxon Oil". Stark Industries is their general replacement for Apple (so StarkPhone -> iPhone etc. and yes there is an app for everything). My Little Pony translates to Magical Pony Adventures (or rarely Pony Pals), YouTube to MeTube, Instagram to Pictagram, Tumblr to Yamblr etc. (although in some cases they do use real brand names, such as Red Bull and Google). So does anyone want to guess what MovieTropes dot com is a stand-in for?
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  • Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four Issue #44 had Johnny leaving a Rick Donald's, while Marvel Adventures: Super Heroes Issue #8 had Captain America see a Wack Donald's among other things the first time he saw New York. This close to being a WcDonald's...
  • Matt Murdock's well-stocked tea cupboardnote  contains boxes of Pwinings Ceylon Orange Peyol. Basically, the entire cupboard seems to be the result of combining a tea aficionado's sensibilities, a meticulous artist, and the enforced avoidance of direct brand references.
  • In the comic book adaptation of the 2007 Transformers live action movie, Sam Witwicky tries to sell his grandfather's glasses via "ePay". This continued in the later Alliance miniseries, which briefly featured two of the All Spark-animated robots from the movie; Dispensor, the Mountain Dew vending machine, was shown shooting cans of "Mountain IDW" (a Shout-Out to the comic's publisher), while the Xbox 360 robot was re-labeled a "Y-Box".
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  • In Monsters Unleashed Vol 2 Issue #8, the trope of giant monsters fighting Evil Knockoffs of themselves is discussed, as seen in the classic monster movies "Mechani-Goom Conquers the World", "Terror of Mecha-Gorgilla" and "Zzutak versus Robo Zzutak".
  • Depending on the writer/artist/era, a lot of DC Comics, especially those aimed at teenagers (i.e., the "sidekick" books like Robin and Teen Titans) will have a number of these. Examples include "Sundollars" coffee, "Crocky the Dinosaur," Zesti Cola and its competitor, Soder Cola, the Heavy Stone Cafe, and, of course, "WcDonald's".
    • Notably, The Martian Manhunter has a crippling addiction to "Chocos" cookies, which used to be a crippling Oreo addiction. He didn't change preferences, the writers just retconned this trope in.
    • Zesti, Sundollars, Heavy Stone, and Crocky were all created by Chuck Dixon on the Bat-books. He also came up with Curtains '98 software, Winkyworld amusement park, and O'Shaunasseghy's burger bar (a Shout-Out to a Denny O'Neil pseudonym).
    • Additionally, there are several brand names that change existing syllables to "Lex", such as Lex-Mart and Fed-Lex, implying that the names were changed when Lex Luthor bought the companies.
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    • In one Justice League International era storyline, Ice and Guy go on a date to see the "Ice-Capists" featuring the "Poppyseed Street Moppets".
    • The Teen Titans story arc about Superboy's return includes references to the social media website "Chirper", the video sharing site "Viewtube"... and, oddly enough, the real auction website eBay. "Chirper" has prominently featured since, including being used for Previously On… pages in Brian Michael Bendis' Superman.
    • Young Justice members watch the Show Within a Show Wendy the Werewolf Stalker.
    • The Batman Adventures had a mention of the producers of Centurion, Alerter Sisters.
    • In The New Teen Titans, Beast Boy had a brief career as a shapeshifting alien in Space Trek: 2022. A later reference would suggest Star Trek and Space: 1999 also exist in the DCU, and that Space Trek ended when the creators of those shows sued the production company.
    • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Wonder World" 15 year old Princess Diana swims to the mainland and plays "Dance Dance Retribution" at an arcade with some other teens she befriended.
    • Wonder Woman (1987) shows characters using FexLex for shipping, evidently the local Fed Ex equivalent is owned by Lex Luthor.
    • In the second issue of Infinity, Inc., the titular not-yet-team heads to a "MacTavish's" for a late-night snack. The menu board in one of the backgrounds advertises a "MacBiggie" burger.
    • In-universe advertising in Knight and Squire includes Red Gull energy drink (Red Bull), Hexo seasoning (Saxa) and the comic book Dreadnaught (Valiant, based on the logo and the cover showing a Steel Claw parody called the Steel Mitten). In #4, Beryl's mum's kitchen table has a bottle of PH brown sauce (HP). The newsreader in #6 works for The CBB.
    • In the early New 52 era, Oliver Queen was reinvented as the head of a tech company called Q-Core. They made Q-Pods, Q-Pads, Q-Phones and Q-Boxes, which were frequently referenced in other titles.
  • Archie:
    • In a story where Jughead eats at every restaurant in a 50-mile radius, Riverdale has a "Windy's" (Wendy's—The mascot character's just Frecklebitch with buck teeth.) And a "McDougals" (McDonalds).
    • A well known fast food chain in the Archie universe is "Colonel Dandy's". Colonel Dandy is clearly a Colonel Saunders Expy.
    • One comic was of Archie and his band taking part in a commercial shoot for "Burpsi-Cola". Weirdly, Burpsi seems to have a heated rivalry with the soft drink "7-Down", while in Real Life 7-Up is another PepsiCo product.
  • Incandescence features "Happie Pigs" and "McRonald's" references in the first issue.
  • Empowered has lots of this: "YouToob", "Grant-a-Wish Foundation", you get the idea.
  • German comic strip Ottifanten uses Würger King (with a W that looks like the arches turned upside-down), which is both this and a Punny Name (würgen = to retch).
  • Sinister Dexter mentions My Face, among others. Also Basrtsucks Coffee, which could double up as an Unusual Euphemism.
  • A Horndog strip features a "Sharkie" marker.
  • In Scott Pilgrim, Ramona Flowers' phone is made by a brand called Samsnug.
  • The Drunken Bakers in Viz do most of their shopping at a supermarket called Adld. Not only does this combine the names of cheap supermarkets Aldi and Lidl, it also neatly sums up what the Bakers buy there.
  • Similarly, The Beano has Widl, which is a parody of Lidl right down to the logo.
  • In The Multiversity, the stories of Earth-7 and Earth-8 are published in other universes by Major Comics.
  • The Equestria Girls Holiday Special has MyStable, a parody of MySpace. Why they chose that instead of Facebook is anyone's guess, especially because you can still make a horse pun out of it (Facehoof is the most popular one).
  • Avengers Arena had Captain Britain refer to Facebook and Twitter as "Wastebook" and "Fritter". Doubly clever since it both gets around trademarks and gets across Captain Britain's disdain for them.
  • In Max Ride: First Flight #1, amongst the pile of stuffed animals in AngelÂ’s room is an unnamed Captain Ersatz of a Care Bear can be seen but with a symbol on its forehead instead of its stomach.
  • Several Doctor Who (Titan) issues include references to a "Prohibited Sphere" comic and SF bookshop in London (and, it turns out, extra terrestrially), a play on the main London location of the UK's Forbidden Planet comic and SF bookshop chain (which, incidentally, is owned by the same company that currently publishes the Doctor Who comic book.)
  • Used for satirical purposes in Prez, which is set twenty years in the future and depicts the extensions of current trends. People struggling to pay their sky-high medical bills are shown turning to a specialized crowdfunding site called "Sickstarter".
  • Robbie Reyes, Marvel's latest iteration of the Ghost Rider, is referenced in an in-universe newspaper article as driving a "Dotch Charter." [1]
  • Adventure Time: Ice King has a shop selling stereotyped punk fashion called "Lukewarm Subject", a parody of the real Hot Topic.
  • Superlópez: Companies tend to be renamed, for example Penchesa (Endesa) or Teleafónica (this one doubles as a Punny Name, a mix of telecommunications company Telefónica and the Spanish word for "aphonic"), and the city is paralyzed every time the big soccer derby between Parchelona (FC Barcelona) and Fespañol (RCD Espanyol) takes place.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón: Commonly for the lulz, a portmanteau of a well-name brand with some other unrelated word - "Pescadillac" combines luxury-brand Cadillac with "pescadilla", Spanish for whiting, which is not expensive. Sometimes only some letters are changed to ease a Spaniard's pronunciation.
  • A Superman and Batman story in the 1998 DC Universe Holiday Bash has a flashback in which Clark was excited to get a "Captain Adventure" action figure for Christmas, with Pa Kent apologising that he couldn't get all the Justice Society costumes for it. This is a riff on Captain Action, an action figure that could be outfitted as various superheroes (including Superman and Batman!)
  • In X-Force vol. 1, there is the news channel SNN instead of CNN.
  • In a Lew Stringer Doctor Who Magazine spoof comic strip describing the secret origin of DWM itself, Dez Skinn notices the Doctor's adventures are no longer published in Televisual Comic (TV Comic) and when Marvel try to make the Doctor into a superhero, he instead offers the idea to Wayfleet Magazines (Fleetway), publishers of Leopard (Lion) featuring Robot Alfie (Robot Archie), Coo! (Cor!), Foggy for Girls (Misty), and a just-visible comic with a giant snake on the cover (Whizzer and Chips with Sid's Snake). Sadly, Wayfleet miss the point even more, wanting to make it either a war comic like Angry Battle Picture Weekly (Battle and Action) or a very young children's comic like Nicey Nice Stories (Tiny Tots) (and when it fails, they'll merge it with an existing one), so Dez goes back to Marvel UK.
  • Youngblood (2017) introduces an app called "Help", which is Uber mixed with Yelp, allowing people in trouble to contact a nearby superhero, and afterwards provide them a out of five-star rating based on how much they rated the rescue and the hero.
  • In Silverblade, Belinda drops the reel of film showing Jonathan shifting forms in his sleep off at a "Photomax" kiosk to be developed: an expy of the then ubiquitous Fotomat booths.


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