Dawn Of Breakfast: The Definitive Battle Between Superman And Batman, In Cereal Form
I might not be sold on the actual movie, but there's one undeniably great thing about the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Merchandising! With the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel returning to the screen later this month, you can't walk into a department store --- or even a grocery store --- without a veritable assault on the senses from action figures, clothes, and breakfast cereals bearing the likenesses of some of your favorite superheroes.
That's right, everyone: Breakfast cereals. It seems that General Mills has decided to capitalize on the upcoming movie by releasing two limited edition cereals. The only problem is, most of us only eat breakfast once each day, which means that the real battle between the two heroes is going down with milk in a bowl. Join me as I delve into both cereals and determine who will rule as the greatest superhero who is also part of a balanced breakfast.
ROUND ONE: THE BOXES
Before we get too far into this, I want to say that I actually love how great these boxes look on the shelves. Just going with the emblems without having any actual names for the cereals is a great idea - we've known since the poster for Batman '89 that just throwing the logo out there makes for a pretty great image - and it makes the boxes pop on store shelves. I'll admit to not being crazy about the abs looming threateningly over the cereal bowls, but, well, I'm the type of person who doesn't usually think about abs until after breakfast, so your mileage there may vary.
Anyway, it might not be apparent from the pictures above, but one of the coolest things about the boxes is that they're printed with foil, just like all great comics-related collectibles. For the Batman box, it doesn't really add much beyond a pretty cool texture --- the bat logo is just a little bit shinier than the rest of the box --- but for the Superman cereal, it looks great.
I've never really been a fan of the needlessly complicated filigree on the movie Superman logo, but with the foil, it actually looks pretty neat, and has a bright pop of color that makes for a much cheerier morning.
ROUND TWO: THE BACK MATTER
The back of the cereal box has long been the first source of daily entertainment for bleary-eyed breakfasters, but the Batman cereal drops the ball pretty hard on that front. Both boxes, of course, feature grumpy superheroes Hall & Oates-ing at each other, but Batman fills the negative space by just listing off attributes for each hero, and then asking whose side you're on, and that is nonsense.
First of all, if you bought the Batman cereal --- and unless you're some weirdo trying to get paid for eating breakfast like I am, you probably only bought the one --- then it's pretty clear what your preference is. Second of all, what does this mean?
That is incomprehensible.
The Superman box, on the other hand, at least makes the effort of giving you a quiz. This is, of course, a staple of breakfast cereal entertainment, but along with some basic questions about the history of the characters (and one that's impossible to answer until the movie comes out), it's got some surprisingly deep trivia. I particularly appreciated this one...
... because they threw in World's Finest #2 in there as a trick. Superman and Batman appear together on the cover, but only appear in solo stories within the comic itself. Plus, it reminds me of how good the end of Superman #76 is.
Yeesh. I like Superman a lot, don't get me wrong, but I think my record of being a pretty big Batman fan is clear. With these cereals, though, Superman has crushed the competition in this battle. Still, aesthetics and boxes don't matter as much as the cereal itself and whether it's something that you actually want to add into your morning routine, so let's see who truly comes out ahead.
ROUND THREE: THE CEREAL
Superman: It fits the bill pretty well in terms of appearance, although to be fair, a diamond shape has to be easier to make cereal into than a bat. As for taste, well, it's not very good.
The flavor in play here is Caramel Crunch, and right from the start, it seems like it doesn't quite work. I mean, if you're making something based on Superman, why would you go with caramel? Wouldn't his costume colors lend themselves well to a crunchberry situation? Or, since Clark Kent's a farmer at heart, wouldn't just dropping a bag of Wheaties or Corn Flakes in there make more sense? Oh well, could've been worse, I suppose --- considering this is Man of Steel Superman that we're talking about, I'm a little bit surprised that I didn't open it up to find a bag of Rice Krispies for snap, crackle and popping General Zod's neck.
As for taste, it's not terrible, but it's not great either. I'll admit that even when I was a kid, I liked Old Person Cereals --- hook me up with that Crispix and some Basic 4, son! --- but the caramel of the Superman cereal quickly gives way to a pretty unpleasant aftertaste.
Batman: This is one of the worst things I have ever eaten in my life.
For reasons known only to General Mills himself, they decided to give the Batman cereal a Chocolate Strawberry flavor, and while I'm not a huge fan of that flavor combination when it involves actual strawberries and actual chocolate, and this is a pretty far cry from that. If I had to guess, I'd say that the chocolate represents the darkness of Gotham City and the shadows that Batman uses as his weapon to strike fear into the hearts of criminals, and the strawberry represents the blood of his parents, draining into the gutters of Crime Alley as the world teaches him a harsh lesson about how quickly the world can descend into chaos.
Really, though, that makes it sound a lot better than it actually is.
FINAL TOTAL: Batman 0 - Superman 3