Delicious iced beverages and primitive warriors with advanced alien technology aren't two things that most people immediately associate with one another, so I must confess to a few moments of confusion on reading this morning's press release from Valiant Entertainment, which announces a three-way promotional partnership between Valiant, comic retail behemoth Midtown Comics, and New York City coffee shop chain Oren's Daily Roast, to give away free comic books and create an X-O Manowar signature frozen green tea beverage.

For those readers who may not be familiar, X-O Manowar was created in the early '90s by Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, and Jon Hartz, with important development contributions from Joe Quesada. He's a visigoth warrior who got abducted by aliens and ended up bonding with their most sacred artifact: a sentient suit of armor.  He has long been one of the most popular Valiant characters, his first series launching at the height of the gimmick cover/speculator boom, and selling many millions of copies over a 68 issue run.  His current series launched in 2012, under the guidance of Robert Venditti and Cary Nord.




Specifics of the partnership are described thusly: the promotion begins June 13th and runs through the summer, during which time each and every one of the Oren's coffee shop locations will offer the limited edition X-O Manowar Green Tea Blast, which is described as "a deliciously cold combination of frozen matcha green tea and vanilla".

In addition, any fan whose caffeine craving is still unquenched can present a Valiant comic at the time of purchase to receive a coupon for 10% off their next Oren's purchase.  And as if that's not enough mind-blowing comic/coffee crossover, any customer purchasing an Oren's coffee or tea will receive a special Valiant-ized java jacket, which can be brought to any Midtown Comics location and exchanged for special Valiant comic book.




In short, it's like somebody took a look at my personal finances, decided that I wasn't spending enough on comics and coffee separately, and came up with a plan to capitalize on both addictions while appealing to my sense of civic pride -- as evidenced in this quote from the press release.

There is nothing I like more than working with quality, like-minded New York companies providing great products in the greatest city on Earth,” said Oren Bloostein, founder and roastmaster of Oren’s Daily Roast. “And to celebrate this promotion, we created the X-O Manowar Green Tea Blast, perfect for quenching your summer thirst!

And despite the incongruity, I can't help but appreciate the bizarre audacity of this entire production.  It's exactly the type of creative marketing that exposes comics to a new audience, brings together New York's passionate foodie and geek demographics, and opens the door to all manner of cross-promotional branding opportunities down the line – once we have an X-O Manowar blended vanilla matcha drink, can Bloodshot blood-orange cupcakes, Harbinger ginger lager, and Quantum & Woody cronuts be far behind?

I don't know about you, but I, for one, look forward to a big city summer filled with free comics and delicious barbaric libations.

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