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ONE TO SHOCK YOU
Solar's Subliminal Sexplosion

You may be familiar with subliminal advertising, but do you know exactly how it's supposed to work? Do you know how to locate hidden, embedded subliminals? And do you know what Doctor Solar has to do with all this? Reader, you're about to get the SHOCKING answers -- in a special issue co-hosted by our old pal, Little Hands! Let's start with a little background on subliminal advertising, what it is, and how it's supposed to work.
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HUNGRY? EAT POPCORN

When most people think of subliminal advertising, they think of the classic "eat popcorn" story. Supposedly a few frames showing the message seen above were inserted into a movie. Then, at intermission, people flooded the concession stand to buy popcorn. But the story is completely fallacious.

In 1957, market researcher James Vicary claimed that in a NJ theater, during the movie "Picnic," he projected subliminal cuts of the words "Hungry? Eat popcorn." on the screen. He claimed that as a result, sales of popcorn increased 57 percent. BUT -- in 1962, Vicary admitted he had lied about the experiment, and made up the results as a marketing ploy. At any rate, think about it. Audiences ALWAYS flock to buy popcorn at the movies!

Still, because this false story has become the very definition of subliminal advertising, the general public has come to regard "subliminal advertising" as either ridiculous or nonexistent.

To prove such a thing DOES exist, we're going to look at several examples of really blatant subliminal advertising. Then I'll let YOU be the judge. Seeing is believing!
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ABOVE: This one is "subtle." The negative space between the shoe and its heel forms the silhouette of an appendage of great importance to the horny Manhattan career girls who are continually looking for "Sex in the City."

BELOW: Just in case the positioning of the "sandwich" opposite the girl's open mouth doesn't call to mind the desired association, Burger King spells it out for you in giant letters ... "BLOW," plus, at the bottom, "SUPER SEVEN INCHER." Do the Sex in the City girls know you can get all this at BK?
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BELOW: Bread may be "life," but in the ad below it also looks suspiciously like you know what, complete with it's very own set of "bread" balls! Oh, by the way, the "Sex in the City" girls absolutely LOVE bread!
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Now I'll let our old pal Little Hands take over!
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Of course, superheroes wouldn't take part in such things... would they?
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And GL is FAR from the worst offender. That would be Dr. Solar...
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What does subliminal advertising have to do with Doctor Solar? Dark Horse recently revived Solar in a new title. To my knowledge, the covers of this book are the FIRST time subliminal embeds have been seen in comic books! You may not see them at all, but in my opinion, there are multiple SEX embeds in the covers for the relaunched DOCTOR SOLAR. I'll present the evidence, and let you be the judge.

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Below, a promotional poster that was also the cover of DOCTOR SOLAR #1. Put your cursor over it to see what we mean by "Solar's Subliminal SEXplosion!"
Solar 1
Here's Kormarck's cover painting for SOLAR #2.
Put your cursor over it to see the SEXY electricity!
Solar 2
And here's SOLAR #3. Put your cursor over it to see more hidden SEX embeds!
Solar 3
And here's SOLAR #4. Put your cursor over it to see the hidden SEX embed twirling around in the smoke rising from Solar's left hand.!
Solar 4
SOLAR #5 features one of the most blatant SEX embeds ever seen! The word is so totally blatant, it's almost "liminal." Plus, I'd say the explosion resembles an ejaculation, but that's taking this way too far. Isn't it? Maybe not. Put your cursor over it to see the planet-sized SEX embeds!
And take a look at the TITLE of the story. SOLAR RISE? Really?
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HOW SUBLIMINALS WORK

OK, I think I've made my case. Whatever you may think of "subliminal advertising," you have to admit that there IS sexual imagery, and the word SEX, hidden in a lot of ads. But so what. WHY is this word hidden in ads, and why is it on DCTOR SOLAR covers? What do the people who put it there hope to accomplish? Basically, the idea is to get you to buy a product without judging it. They just want you to BUY IT, regardless.

Value judgments are made on a conscious level. To avoid them, subliminal ads attempt to reach and stimulate you subconsciously, by presenting sexual imagery that is "just below" the threshold of consciousness.

Imagine you're sitting in a pitch-black room. Someone opens a door, and light begins to flood the room. Second by second, things gradually become more visible. At first, it's all hazy, and you can't really tell what's what. But at some point, you can see-- and evaluate -- everything clearly.

Subliminals try to stuff their message into you JUST BEFORE the room is fully lit, while you're still "hazy." It's a bit like screaming "GET UP QUICK!" to someone who's sleeping. They can't judge the validity of your command, they just wake up as an automatic response.

Advertisers don't want you to judge or evaluate their products, they want you to BUY THEM. Subliminal sexual imagery attempts to make you associate the feeling of "sex" with a product. Then you buy it, to get the "sex." Or at least to get a "sexy feeling."

Do subliminal ads WORK? In my opinion, they do! You may not agree. But we've shown you several examples that I believe show huge corporations stuffing their ads with subliminals. My bet? They aren't doing that for the FUN of it!
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Our 12-part series on DC House Ads concludes with a BOOM!
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