Earth’s Most Magnetic Heroes

Wow, we haven’t seen the Evil Fox Executive in a LONG time. I know Fox doesn’t have anything to do with The Avengers, but who else could be behind such a nefarious plot besides Joss Whedon’s oldest nemesis? Who else would want to take something good and geeky and pure like The Avengers and turn it into a commercial for fucking bullshit “magic” magnetic bracelets?

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt, Funny Doctor Who Parody Shirt, Charlie Brown, Sci-Fi

I’ve shared my thoughts on the carnival scam that is Magnetic/Hologram/Power Bracelets in the past. Let’s just say I am not in favor of them as those who sell them prey on the uninformed with parlor tricks and chicanery. In exchange for a bit of misplaced blind faith and $25 – $50 each mark gets the promise of a no effort, no side effect miracle cure for basically everything and the only convincing they require is a bit of slight of hand and some extremely vague technobabble. I seriously want to rage-flip the kiosks selling these things every time I see them in the mall.

So why am I upset about them again? Apparently there is a subplot in The Avengers that involves Tony getting a set of magnet bracelets as a gift which inspires him to make a new suit of armor (possibly his current nano-tech/neural interface armor). This would be innocuous enough (you can see him putting them on when he confronts Loki), except that Marvel and Paramount are actually shilling for a real $200 bullshit magnet bracelet that you can actually buy if you are A) the stupidest dummy in the world B) suffer from the fictional condition known as improperly polarized blood and C) do not understand that $200 is a lot of money which can be spent on things that are not fucking bullshit.

I uncovered this dastardly plot when watching a 7 minute prequel motion comic concerning all of the movie incarnations of Iron Man’s armor. I felt like such a fucking asshole when, during the last 30 seconds, I realized the entire thing was a set up for an ad for the bracelets. Motion comic’d Tony, upon receiving the gift, actually says “Don’t I see a lot of professional golfers and athletes wearing these?” to which Pepper replies, “They are considered a medical assistive device in China.” You know what Ms. Pots? So is ground up tiger dick! How dare they interject this fucking anti-science horsefuck into the biggest geek movie of the year?! They might as well have The Hulk raving about those Japanese foot pads that suck all the negative energy out of your body “just like the roots of a tree” because people are essentially trees and Hulks are essentially idiots. Fuck this noise. I wanted to love everything about this movie. I bet Cap keeps his 80 year old abs in such great shape wearing one of those belts that electrocutes your fat until it magically turns into an 8-pack. Just 4 easy payments of GO FUCK YOURSELF and you to can possess the abdominal excellence of a super soldier!

COMMENTERS: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?! Am I overreacting or not reacting overly enough? Is it possible this whole thing is just a silly plot point that I have somehow self-trolled? If so, then whey is there a REAL tie in magic magnet bracelet for sale that claims to have wondrous health benefits? This isn’t just some over priced limited edition movie prop. These jackoffs actually claim “voodoo blood magicks” will occur when you wear their jewelry. Tell me I’m not crazy.

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137 Comments

  1. There are other characters other than RDJ's Tony Stark? Shit. Now I need to go back and rewatch Iron Man 1 and 2. And try not to imagine what I'd do to him long enough to figure out what's going on…

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    • That is a very common reaction

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  2. That….that is EXTREMELY disappointing.

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  3. Oh god no.

    Urge to kill rising…

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  4. It seems that the battle for the hearts and minds of our children will be fought in… product placement ads. Oh god….

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    • Of course…we need to leverage our cross-promotional synergies via a via our target demographics…

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  5. Wow, this put a huge dampener on my excitement for the Avengers movie. WTF is this? It’s like if Hawkeye suddenly turned around and tried to get you to convert to Scientology or some shit.

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  6. It's actually illegal in the states to state that those bracelets are medically effective or to use language implying that they are in advertising. That's probably why she says that they are *considered* such in Japan, which even if not true, is not an illegal statement.

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  7. Check out the Iceland Health™ Omega Shield vitamin banner ads on your and every other f#@king website. To quote Sheldon Cooper: “If you want some expensive urine”. This stuff is pseudoscientific snake (fish) oil!

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    • Those are generated by your browsing history. Like for me those banners are advertising Tiger Direct which I spent several hours on the last few days piecing together my new computer.

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      • I'm getting a banner ad for some HGTV show, probably because I spent some time yesterday looking up recipes at Food Network and they're owned by the same company.

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        • What's a banner ad? Is that what those brown boxes bordering the comic are? Snark aside, sometimes I forget that not everyone immediately installs AdBlockPlus whenever they install Firefox. Sometimes I also forget that people use Internet Explorer.

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          • Do you ever forget that webcomic creators largely make their living off advertising?

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        • And I'm getting some MMO called Tera, probably because I'm constantly doing WoW searches.

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          • I'm getting an ad for the new fruit-filled Mini-Wheats. And I have NO IDEA WHY because I've never bought them or looked them up online or ANYTHING.

            But my Dad bought a box for the kids in Walmart a few weeks ago. Scary…

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      • And I'm seeing an ad for boobs…

        I mean Victoria's secret… boob-enhancement products.
        Which is odd, since I don't have boobs. I am a fan of them though…

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  8. I've actually seen Avengers, just last night at a special advance screening. The bracelets barely feature, and are nothing to do with the magnetic kind, at least in execution. I don't even remember Stark being given them. Obviously I could elucidate more, but I'll try to keep it spoiler free.

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    • Thank you for the info :)

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    • I can confirm what PhatChance said, as I caugth an advance screening last Saturday. There are bracelets that look like these super-magic-part-you-with-your-money magnetic bracelets, but the only thing they're ever shown doing is looking kind of snazzy and being part of a cool effects sequence.

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    • Good to know and a bit of a relief. When I saw them in that released clip I just figured it was typical "magic defense using science" plotpoint that Marvel loves so much.

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    • Adding another confirmation to this. Saw it on Friday night, and honestly I had no idea what those bracelets are supposed to be. I've never seen them before, and just assumed they were some bit of tech he'd worked up at some point and put into a shiny bracelet.

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    • Agreed. They'll probably be available in toy stores as the cheapest piece of merch, but they're a *tiny* part of an awesome action sequence and then never seen again. Also: HULK SMASH!

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  9. Also, it's awesome. So very awesome. Forgot to mention that.

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    • OK, I hope you're right, since I'm getting very tired of all the car commercials they now call "TV shows" (and watching them on Netflix means I get to see this commercial every hour!) I'm planning on going with geek friends, and you know how geeks get when you interrupt us!

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      • Are you still watching Bones? For shame! I quit after the first Prius commercial that happened within the show and I really should have quit before then, right after they jumped the shark with one of the squints being a serial killer's assistant. That show was so awesome up until that point, but it quickly transformed into something horrible after that.

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        • So I'm still watching Bones, and other commercials. I watch mindless TV so that I can concentrate on needlework. Be nice or you won't get a K-9…

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  10. But tell us how you really feel Joel? 😉

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  11. Yes, you are overracting like a million nerds always do. Just eat a pizza and watch the fucking movie.

    Oh, hey, SHIELD drives Acuras, but who cares, because there is two hours of pure awesomeness on the screen in front of you, and even if Scarlett Johansson walked out of the screen and start giving you a blow job, you would still find something to bitch about.

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    • now now, you do have about point about us nerd/geek types being overly critical as a demographic, but IMO you'll see Joel praize good writting and stories more often then be critical of it. He seems to have a sense of artistic integrety. He only endourses products he uses and he is obviously not in it for the money. Look at every coment and comic from the begining. He is not "Bitching for the sake of bitching" he is making really good comentary. he makes really good points. You want an example? look back the recent Micheal Bay Ninja turtle comic. this comment of your could be directed to you, Stop bitching, Josh could come out of the comic and give you a blow job and you would still find something to bitch about

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    • "Scarlett Johansson walked out of the screen and start giving you a blow job" I would totally pay extra to go see that version. Totally. That's the 3D-1BJ tickets, right?

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      • "Tonight's movie is in Feel-a-round…" (watch your Kentucky Fried Movie, nerds!)

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    • Watched the motion comic. Was interesting, then at the end it was as if SHIELD needed to get somewhere and started saying "man, good thing we have these Acuras here, solid speed, good fuel economy, and great handling (as they weave through rubble)."

      As things are portrayed in the motion comic, it goes WELL beyond normal product placement. The rest of the comic is composed of scenes from the movies, which sparked worries that the gift scene would also be in the movie, in all its over the top shilling goodness. Good to know it's not.

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  12. @Evil Jorge: No, it's different, because Acuras are actual cars that actually can get you from place to place. Hawking pseudoscientific magnet bracelets is a new low. Of course we can forget about it long enough to enjoy the movie, but it seriously dampens my enthusiasm for it. Shame, Marvel, shame.

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    • Exactly.

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  13. Douche Bangles is the name of my Go-Go's tribute band.

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  14. You can't say they're useless! The Placebo Effect is real!

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    • This is true. I actually knew a guy with severe carpal tunnel. It required surgery it was so bad. He got a magnetic bracelet and BAM, 100% "cured." At the time I thought I was magic magnets and not the PE. The human brain is a fascinating machine.

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      • Yes, the placebo effect is very real. Of course it doesn't require a $200 piece of trash on your wrist. People get real benefits from sugar pills and saline injections, even when their conscious mind knows it's bullshit! Apparently only your credulous subconscious needs to believe.

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      • I know it was a typo, but I love the idea of you thinking you were magic magnets.

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        • I AM!

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  15. What the fuckity fuck?

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  16. The thing that I really don't understand about this particular advertising is who exactly is it benefiting? The typical audience for Avengers and tie in merchandise is too smart/young to buy these bracelets, and the typical person to buy these are unlikely to be interested in the avengers movie.

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    • So that's how the evil Fox Executive is part of this! He likes to waste his money on making us rage!

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    • People in Asia are HUGE Iron Man fans so they'll be tripping over each other to own Tony Stark's bracelets.

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      • And we all know how much str8 hetero men just LOVE their bangles and braclets…FABuLOUS!!!!

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    • It's like spam. Enough viewers and even a small percentage will pay off. And this isn't a fan movie, it's a blockbuster. The average audience is going to be the same as the average audience for any big budget action film. i.e. not that smart really on average.

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      • The problem with that idea is that it's movie tie in merch, which ignores the wider audience and goes straight for the kids or the geeks. But these things are $200. There's zero cross over between the group of people who will actually buy avengers merch that isn't a t-shirt and the people who will buy these magic bracelets.

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    • That would imply some sort of intelligence on the part of the movie execs

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  17. #uck you Marvel you bunch of greedy (unts.
    How dare you sully my memory of favourite characters with this scamware.

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  18. My guess is that there were two different marketing guys in this situation. One who said "you know what nerds would buy? Tony Stark's magnet bracelets for his new armor. Nerds love that stuff. These are the same people who dropped $300 bucks on that knife Elijah Wood carried in the Harry Potter movies or whatever." Then the second guy who went "you know how we can increase sales of this? Add in something about the polarized blood stuff. It'll get the crazies who believe that, and then they'll buy them for nerds who don't have the money."

    In reality, my guess is that they wanted to make the Tony Stark magnet bracelets, and looked for a company that made "magnet bracelets." The company then added their voodoo about the polarized blood thing.

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    • I'd drop $300 on Elijah Wood…oh, you said that would just get me his knife. Dang.

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  19. You're not overreacting, but it may be a losing battle. I made the mistake of making a dismissive crack about the Magical Copper Bracelets to some relatives a few years back, when THOSE were the quackery de jour. Might as well have walked into an industrial blender. So I learned to keep silent on the Magical Rubber Bracelets that are now out there curing all ills — and likewise the Magical Magnetic Bracelets too, I guess. But you: you FIGHT ON!

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  20. I'm glad to know the EFE is still alive and crushing souls (ok, he might not be "alive" in the "I have a beating heart and feel human emotions" sense, but you know what I mean). He's my favorite and I missed him!

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  21. No overreaction at all! Seriously, I fucking HATE this sort of bullshit, why not just get the Hulk to ask for homeopathy for his anger issues? Or Captain America to go to a psychic to talk to Peggy Carter?

    As long as it's not blatant as PhatChance suggests, I can ignore it, but why would they think that geeks would be the slightest bit interested in this crap in the first place?

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  22. You're not overreacting.

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    • Ye… Ummm yes he is…

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  23. you are fucking super king kamehameha over reacting…. This just in: people in Hollywood may or may not be into weird dumb shit, be it pseudo science or mystism or made up religions by sci-fi writers. Count to 10, take a breath, and calm the shit down.

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  24. Yes, you're overreacting. Joss needed an object or a piece of jewelry for a plot point:
    "what about one of those cheesy new agey bracelets morons buy?" "perfect"
    Marvel: "hey, we could sell special Avengers bracelets!"
    Joel: "Conspiracy! Sellouts! New age propaganda! Nerd Rage! They're raping my childhood! Rawrrgh!
    Joss: "Sooo, you're saying what?… I should have gone with the snap bracelet?"

    I get the white hot hatred of scam artists and general hokum, but you jumped several hurdles to reach your conclusion.

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    • I would personally buy one of the encrypted hard drive versions of the film that they distribute to theaters if there was a snap bracelet-based version of Iron Man's armor in it.

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  25. Why are you so surprised that Joss Whedon is doing to science what he's always done to storytelling? He's taking a few highlights from things done by people with vastly more intelligence and talent and invoking them, then filling the gaps with clichéd bullshit that's insulting to the intelligence of anyone who actually knows anything about the subject (i.e., basic storytelling or science, as the case may be).

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  26. I'm cool with it as long as it's not seen in this super positive light (or any positive light) and basically hawking them as they're in infomercials. Cause honestly it's a bullshit waste of money. Otherwise, I'll be rageflipping more than that dude w/ the magic table.

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  27. By this logic, Magneto should be the most balanced person on the planet.

    I actually think it's a brilliant little piece of subversion to include the bracelet. All of the characters here are pumped full of pure pseudoscience: gamma radiation gives you rage powers, injecting fluids turns you into a super-soldier, a perpetual energy reactor grafted to your chest lets you fly a suit of armor, and wearing a magnet on your wrist makes you feeeeeeel sooooo gooooooood.

    Plus, it's totally in line with Tony Stark's character. Sure, he's a brilliant engineer. But he got rich because he knows a marketing opportunity when he sees one. Just because it doesn't do anything doesn't mean that someone won't buy it. Sort of the basis of our economy =p

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  28. I'd rather see Loki trying to steal a bunch of Hostess products than hawking this bullshit.

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  29. good point but nevertheless Hollywood will still continue shoveling crap into any movie or tv show they can. If I'm curious about it, I'll research more but yeah F*** the silly bracelets. if you really want to do something, send this comic and all the negative remarks to Marvel so they know some idiot looks stupid for forcing it into the movie probably over God Whedon's head

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    • Agree with the point. Wish I could give you double thumbs up for 'God Whedon'

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  30. This is the price you pay for capitalism. Bullshit advertising. I mean, sure, you have your freedom and your rights and your semi-stable economy, more than what most countries can say, and you bitch about someone trying to squeeze more cash out of something they've invested their money in. Freakin' Commies. Squeezing cash out of an idea is what this country is about. I do agree that the idea is stupid, but there isn't a law saying you can't sell stupid crap. And people will buy this.

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    • I think a free market can still survive with laws against blatant scams, for the same reason major league baseball can survive with rules against stealing first base or tagging people out by hitting them in the face with the ball.

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      • Try telling that to… well, just about every company that sells something. And the people that buy that kind of crap.

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  31. "Okay, if you're gonna question the importance of an actor's signature on a plastic helmet from a movie based on a comic book, then all of our lives have no meaning! "

    While I find product placement in general disappointing, and doubly so when the product is dubious or useless, I can't get too worked up about a pseudo-science reference in The Avengers in and of itself. The team is composed of:

    1. A man whose multiple personality disorder is given physical form by exposure to gamma radiation.
    2. An alcoholic super genius with an 'arc reactor' both powering his armor and protecting his heart from shrapnel.
    3. A man who gets a perfect body from exposure to drugs and radiation.
    4. A woman who may or may not be the last descendant of the Romanoff dynasty, depending on who writes her comics.
    5. A man who is supposed to be the greatest archer on Earth, despite the fact that he apparently never draws the bowstring back with proper form once during the entire movie (that one's on the actor, but it's still going to bug people who know how bows work).
    6. A Norse God of Thunder.

    There are dozens of things people could pick on in the movie. Me, I'm still annoyed based the roster on the founding members, then left out Ant-Man and the Wasp and essentially replaced them with Hawkeye and Black Widow (who don't, technically, have powers). I'm still going to go see it, though. And more than likely enjoy the f**k out of it, too. Even if I can't find anyplace showing the version where Scarlett Johansson steps out of the screen and gives you a blowjob. :-)

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    • But here's the thing about the pseudoscience of the characters ad the pseudoscience of the bracelets:

      —Nobody is selling a Gamma Bomb so you can hulkify yourself at home.—

      Someone -is- trying to sell magnetic bracelets on pseudo-science.

      It's one thing to be presented with a man who can transform himself in to an invincible bio-robot because of a piece of alien jewelry. It's another thing entirely to turn around and claim that you actually have a crate of alien transformation baubles in a variety of fashionable styles, and you too can become an invincible monster-bashing machine for four payments of $1,000.

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      • YES! My point exactly. This discrepancy is VERY important. I don't expect to be able to leave the theater and go the dealership and drive off in an Acura Quinjet either.

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        • Aaaaaaaaand now I want a Quinjet.

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          • I'd settle for a Gamma Bomb…

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      • I don't remember this kind of umbrage when Harry Potter wands were sold, and that's the same principle.
        "Here, use this to live the movie in real life."

        Which, quite frankly, is something I try to do with every movie I see. Million Dollar Baby did make life a bit difficult…

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      • Bingo.
        Luckily product placement doesn't work on me.
        You wanna go get some shawarma?

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  32. Evil Fox Executive is a double agent at the Disney company? Of course! It all makes sense! That's why ABC and Fox were always putting out the exact same reality shows for a while!

    In all seriousness this does bother me. It really should not be legal to sell this sort of crap at all, much less product-place it. For all the science we've learned in the last century and a half, we apparently still have to put up with medicine shows hawking made-up and even potentially dangerous folk remedies. (Ironically, it turns out that actual literal snake oil might be healthy — like fish oil, it's a good source of omega-3s, whatever those are, but without the risk of mercury poisoning.)

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  33. Ok, went and looked at the magic bracelet tie-in ads. That is pretty sickening. And having bracelets that somehow relate to Stark's armor tie in with the magnetic bracelets pushes it past the Hostess Twinkie ad insert level of nonsense. Still don't have a lot of pity for people who buy a $200 movie prop because they actually expect it to do something, other than remind them of the movie, though.

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  34. Some of your guys are making some really great points and some of your are just kind of being dicks, but I am leaving your comments intact to show both sides of the argument. For me this goes beyond "Man this Acura sure drives smooth, dont you think so Thor?" That is how modern movies are paid for. I get it. I hate it, but I get it. The difference in this instance is that I have a DEEEEEEEP DEEEEEEEEEEEP hatred for blatant scams. Even if the bracelets don't feature heavily in the film, they did get the Avengers stamp of approval which somehow made them worth $200. I fucking hate people being outright lied to and taken advantage of. Magic bracelets are a sore spot for me, and I was not looking for that sore spot to be poked by ANYTHING having to do with Joss Whedon. Chances are, he doesnt even know about them. But I start to see red every time I think about one of these carnies doing there "See? With the Magic Bracelet, not even gravity can pull you down! You're invincible! Let me get my gun and show you!" demonstrations. I like to think people are basically good and that illusion come crumbling down when I know the guy selling the snake oil at the mall kiosk had to hear "Ok, here's how we run our scam," as part of the orientation and still took the job anyway.

    Of course my post was overreacting. And of course the movie is still going to be fantastic. It's just that this type of product endorsement not only offends me, it disappoints me. I can't stand anti-science, pro-ignorance bullshit being associated with things I want to love. It's my problem. Not theirs. Not Joss's. Now where did I put those magic beans?

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    • I agree. My first reaction was, "No one's going to think this works any more than they expect their replica Mjolnir to return to them when they throw it." Looking at the tie-in ads, though, it seems like they are making blatantly illegal and fraudulent claims about the bracelets and being allowed to associate Marvel characters with those claim. It's not at the sparkly-vampire level in terms of sh*tting on things I like and enjoy, but it's working its way in that direction.

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    • Capitalism, my friend. Capitalism.

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    • I just wanted to say that it's really awesome to find that one of my favorite comic creators is also a skeptic. Keep getting angry about this stuff for us. :)

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    • As someone who actually does believe in as-yet undetected and unidentified energies involved in life, these bands (and all snake oil products of similar uselessness) offend me similarly. Primarily, it's the swindling. At the same time, it hurts the credibility of the true healing arts and imposes bullshit preconceptions on things, people, ideologies, philosophies and professions that just don't need the hype.

      They don't work, and in some cases, would have to break fundamental, well-proven laws of physics to simply work. Others are prettied up, mundane concepts. Permanent magnets are everywhere, and awesome (as proven by using the magnet in my phone to run a crude magnetic field detector on my phone).

      Permanent magnets will probably not make bracelets awesome, unless I can use it to hold nails while I use a hammer or something.

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    • I actually read the page description for the product and my brain hurts as a result.

      Here's the quote that killed Bill Nye: "uses two 100mT (1,000 Gauss) ferrite permanent magnets arranged in Colantotte's unique Alternating North-South Polarity Orientation (ANSPO™)"

      So, two magnets stuck together. They trademarked the way magnets work! I can just see the team trying to stick them north to north and being confused about why it won't work.

      I don't believe it's possible to over react when their marketing copy posts the scam right out in the open.

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  35. My mom bought me one of those bracelets when I was a teenager- I didn't want one, but my family falls for infomercials. All I found out is that I have a weird reaction to magnets. They made my arms swell. So… I guess they do SOMETHING.

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    • I'd bet it was more a reaction to whatever metal the magnets were incased in.

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      • Meh, you never know. On a semi-side note: Joel, I think you're raging a little bit too much about all of this. This isn't the first time something like this happened. But I do suppose it hit a little too close to home.

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    • Wait, maybe those were Sekrit Gamma Radiation HULK bracelets! If you'd worn two of them you could have gone full Hulk!

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  36. I love how that website selling the bracelets advertises the use of "Alternating North-South Polarity Orientation" to "create a larger magnetic field flow" and "eliminate dead zones that are created when magnets are placed side by side with poles aligned." They're talking about a quadrupole orientation instead of a dipole orientation. Here's a hint: quadrupole arrangements actually create much weaker fields than dipole arrangements. This is exactly what I do with the neodymium magnets on my refrigerator (which I use for various physics demos) to weaken the field so it doesn't accidentally screw up my cell phone or laptop or something. Not only are they trying to use science to support something that has nothing to do with the science involved, they've actually gotten the science *exactly wrong.* Not just partially wrong, but literally maximally incorrect. This is what I find so hilarious about this.

    I don't know if the movie really is trying to sell bullshit pseudo-science or if they just thought it would make a cool prop that marketers then exploited, but the company selling them is apparently trying to get people to buy into bullshit pseudo-science.

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    • Holy crapbastards. That is beautiful.

      I just love how "eliminate dead zones that are created when magnets are placed side by side with poles aligned." is supposed to equate to "I dont know what that means, so I guess I need more of that."

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    • So magic magnetic bracelets + Homeopathy?
      Hey, the less magnetism and magic in your bracelet the better it works.

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  37. I do not think you are overreacting. It is scam items like this that hurt people. Unfortunately someone will buy this product so there is a market for it.

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  38. Yay! The Evil Fox Executive is back! And looking as devilish as ever. I almost thought the bracelets in that scene were inconsequential (until I see the movie & the plot explains it) but I'm now insulted by such crass advertising for such nonsensical crap! Product placement is one thing ($ is $, after all), as long as it doesn't get in the way of the story, but for something so fundamentally dumb is just moronic!

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  39. See, here's what would've been fine with me.

    Pepper: Here.
    Tony: What are these?
    Pepper: Magnetic bracelets, they're considered medically beneficial in Japan.
    Tony: *weak smile* Gee, thanks…
    Tony: *actually, this gives me an idea*

    Then it would be gullible non-scientific Pepper getting a gift for Tony, who tries to graciously accept it and it sparks a suit idea. No worse than ET's MnM's, though the product is less tasty.

    This is not how it was in the motion comic (and apparently the scene's not in the movie at all). The motion comic got to the end, then turned into an all out ad for the bracelets delivered by the Jarvis AI.

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    • They totally weren't M&Ms specifically because Mars passed up the opportunity. I love that it didn't stop them from getting publicity though! Hershey's Reeses Pieces were used, and sales skyrocketed after the movie. The system works! … But besides that, I agree with you 100%. That would have been an acceptable way to do it, but the bracelet company never would have gone along with it.

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  40. I will admit that the motion comic is pretty damn disgusting. But it isn't the actual movie, and Joss Whedon et al probably had nothing to do with it. It smacks of "producer requested preview content" designed to amp up hype and advertise tie-in products. Like they did with the ET video game, that steaming pile.

    I'm not too worked up about it, as I have no pity for the easily fleeced. And I doubt I'll even notice it in the movie because I'll be too into or irritated about other things ala Hawkeye's terrible form and total lack of resolution of the romancey situation from Thor. (I'm a woman, what can I say.)

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    • Pfft. I'm a guy, and I'm gonna be more bothered by Thor's lack of romantic resolution (or, indeed, general involvement) than by the shilling. Yes, okay, big heroes with big muscles and big toys and blah blah blah, but I'm a sucker for side-plot, and I have little doubt in my mind that Avengers will have the same take on it as every other Big Damn Action Movie does: a few quiet, low-key scenes involving a sincere mumble or two from the Beefcake Du Jour, alternating closeups of Beefcake and Damsel, perhaps a very close near-kiss interrupted by the plot happening, then half an hour of action scenes or buildup.

      Maybe a followup where Beefcake and Damsel get to finally have that kiss, almost immediately after her Undying Love brings him back from certain defeat to a comprehensive smackdown of everything that slowed him down before.

      Hawkeye's form (or lack thereof), however, I have less hatred for, being a fan of a particular tale found in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, wherein an archer with terrible form (and improbably impeccable aim) succeeds in laying low an otherworldly demon years after his death, when the arrow he fired at the demon (which was avoided) becomes embedded in the demon's back when a door made from the tree the arrow hit is slammed shut on him.

      There are a number of other Archery skillbooks with similar themes in the game, such as one where one fellow who earned a Ribbon of Merit, displayed prominently in his front room, is teaching a childhood friend proper form with a bow, and said friend fires only one shot, which sails over the target, before proclaiming himself happy with the result and moving on. (No points for guessing where the arrow ends up.)

      I have a weird little soft spot for "But you're doing it all WRONG! That won't work!" => "It worked! …how?" situations, I suppose.

      Reply
  41. I am really put out that they've disabled comments for that video, because I would very much like to leave one for them, telling them exactly what I think of them and their use of the character to sell their bullshit nonsense. Plus the wank would have been hilarious.

    I settled for thumbs downing it. Hopefully it ends up with a shitload of thumbs downs.

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  42. What's worse is that a quick google search seems to show that Hijinks Ensue is the only website complaining about it. Do nerds not care that marketing execs think they're gulliable and unscientific?

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    • The reason no other “geeks” or “nerds” are in a tizz about this “issue” is it’s completely bogus. The film contains absolutely no referenceat all to any kind of pseudo medicinal bracelets. Tony Stark does use a type of bracelets at one stage but in no way are they referred to as medicinal. Joel has made a storm in a tea cup here and now the film is out I’m surprised the self righteous indignation spouting from some of you isn’t being retracted. Especially considering it is aimed at a Joss Wheedon film. Relax. Chill out. Enjoy the movie. And stop acting like a bunch of spoiled children who didn’t get the red fire truck you wanted.

      Reply
      • … when in actual fact, you DID get the red fire truck you wanted.. You just opened the present from grandma first which was a crappy sweater and threw a tantrum. If the metaphorical parents were actual they’d send you to the corner and you’d miss out on cake.

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        • Yeah, you're just being a giant ass now and going on the offensive when no one is attacking you. I don't appreciate this kind of attitude, agree, disagree or otherwise. Banned.

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  43. I eagerly await a “What the bleep do we know” re-make starring the Defenders

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    • How would that work?

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  44. You're overreacting about the use of them in the movie. I'll try to be spoiler-free and still make the point… in the movie, they are related to the armor. You would never guess that they're a real life product meant to be sold. It's 100% related to the armor. He doesn't talk about them, doesn't get them as a gift in the movie… in fact, I don't recall there being two. Might've been just one.

    It's a crucial bit of business in a certain scene, but it's 100% armor related. Rest easy. The average moviegoer isn't going to go looking for a magic magnetic Iron Man bracelet.

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    • This eases my mind.

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  45. I despise product placement in general, but this (the motion comic) is just disgusting…

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  46. See I missed the psuedo-science product placement aspect when I saw the trailer. I just figured they were going to use the old Marvel standby [which was actually mentioned in Thor "your ancestors called it Magic,..you call it Science,..where I come from it is one and the same"] of Magic and Science being able to counter one another because they are the same. I figured Stark had some magnetic blast beam thing that would fire from the bracelets powered by the field of the Arc Generator to knock Loki for a loop if he tried anything. I kinda agree that Joss probably had zip to do with it becoming product placement,… more than likely he needed some item to tie in "new armor" came up with a bracelet idea,.. some nincompoop on the prop crew probably owned a magnetic bracelet and just jazzed it up as a prop,..later some Marketing Exec sees the bracelet realizes what it is and faster than you can say "Open your Wallets True Believers" he sets up this silly tie in to make the All Mighty Dollar.

    And yes Joel you are absolutely and incontrovertibly crazy,… but as they said in Alice in Wonderland " You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

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  47. Fucking magnets, how do they work?

    Not like this, otherwise MRI technicians would have super powers.

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  48. What do you expect from Marvel? An irredeemable arms dealer, a repurposed Norse God, a green troll, a propaganda poster child, and a bunch of randoms. With source material like this, I would expect no less than shitty product placement.

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  49. Alright I've read through all the comments. I'm just going to throw this out there to clarify: Joel is NOT complaining about product placement. He understands that that's just part of the biz, like it or not. Most movies today wouldn't happen without ad placement. (Hell, I saw an ad in Real Steel for Xbox 360! What kind of space future is it where they have giant robots kill each other for sport, but they STILL have 360s?) He's complaining about FALSE advertising. Honestly I have to agree with him. If a Hulu Plus ad showed up advertising something like a magnet bracelet that could cure cancer, the flu, and tapeworm, I would be livid. I go to a school where all they do is science and engineering! People do bullshit things; it's part of who we are. People doing bullshit things to exploit others? That's something else entirely.

    Long story short: Joel isn't mad about the ads, he's mad about the product and the fact that IT'S getting ad time.s

    Reply
    • Product placement can be annoying especially if they have the character shilling it act out of character. But, Ursa is right,… its not the idea that they blatantly promoted a product, its that they blatantly promoted a product and gave all the psuedo-science babble to explain why the product is great in real life. Having Shield drive Acuras is ok product placement,..an Acura will get you from point to point,…. having Stark shill a Magneto-Healing bracelet is BS because wearing a Magnent will do nothing for you except screw with your watch, set off metal detectors, and probably turn the area green,…..

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      • ….Green?

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        • That'll be the cheap, unlacquered metals the magnet's set in reacting with your skin. When you wear a copper bracelet, your wrist goes green/blue – same with brass and a number of other cheap metals that substitute for non-reactive, expensive metals.

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  50. I LOVE it. When the thing spoke about the bracelets being classified as a medical device, I looked into that. Yep, they have the class 1 medical device classification .. that same class as Elastic Bandages and Latex gloves (LOL). Oh it sounds great to the idiots out there. "Hey, it's classified as a medical device so it must be great, right?". But just about anything can get a class 1 rating as long as they meet quality standards, do not pose a risk of illness, are not intended to support or sustain life, and will not be of substantial importance in preventing impairment to human health Your toothbrush could be a Class 1 medical device, if the manufacturers choose to do so. Thanks .. I needed the laughs.

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  51. Its very simple – The modern movie marketing machine is the devil, and would violate its own mothers rotting corpse in the middle of Times Square if it paid a dollar.

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  52. Before I go bashing Whedon's new movie, I'll need to see it. While this piece of crap motion comic was clearly nothing more than a marketing ploy for the bracelets, there's no guarantee it will end up muddling the movie. As someone in marketing myself, I know how these little trailers come about as one random company offers to throw a ton of cash at a studio to make a "Trailer" for them that's actually just a commercial. As long as it doesn't end up in the film I don't have a problem with stupid crap like this showing up from time to time, although I wish I hadn't wasted my 7 minutes.

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    • Now THAT is a well thought out and articulate response. Well done sir.

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  53. I'm sorry, I can't tell you you're not crazy. The court specifically prevents me from putting myself forward as a medical professional, the fascists.

    I think it's funny, and ever so slightly sad, but not terribly so. I don't think most of us are too young to remember when the very comic books that are now made into multi-million dollar movies with product placement for us to complain about…were full of advertisements, some of which featured the same heroes from the pages of the comics, hawking nonsense. Granted, the halcyon days of Tootsie Rolls and BB Guns were only witnessed by me reading my grandfather's comics, and my uncle's. But the crap still existed.

    Just think of this as a modern day sea monkey ad.

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  54. Wow, they're actually shilling those crappy magic (oh sorry, "magnetic") bracelets in the Avengers movie? And a fuckton of commentors here are ok with it or at least not ok with you being upset about it? You know what? Those commentors are idiots. They feign apathy until someone tries to do some good (like point out fake medical shit is dangerous) and then they get their internet hard ons endangered. Fuck 'em, they'll never learn.

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    • Wow . Just… Wow. I disagree with you, Joel, with salient points (the movie contains no product placement for medicinal magnetic bracelets whatsoever) without any swearing or name calling, (unfortunately I did call you Josh, sorry ’bout that Joel) and I get my head ripped off. Yet this dude, describes people as “fuckton”(?!?), “idiots” and declares, “fuck ’em”, and nary a rebuttal or criticism from the author in sight. It seems you can be abusive in your comments on this site, as long as you agree with the author. True, free democracy in action. Good stuff. WOPR; your self righteous supposed intellectual superiority is laughable. Especially considering that, at least at the time of your comment, you clearly hadn’t seen the film. You’re position was born of complete ignorance. For future reference, when arguing a subject, ensure you’ve read/heard/watched the source material. PEACE!

      Reply
      • You're being an asshole and attacking people for no reason. You're banned.

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  55. Hail, Hail, Hail. Hail the Ranting Geek. You tell it true Joel and I am with you all the way. Surely it is not the advertising at stake here, not the false advertising – it is the name drop of something that is fundamentally based upon bullshit, being heralded as something that is 'scientific' and tied directly the profiteering. Product placement would be fine and obvious, even when the merch is questionable and morally corrupt ( Yes, McD I am fucking looking at you and I am not loving it!) – but when the merch is absolutely no different than actual, bovine produced bullshit smeared on your head then I think there is the right to get angry about it.

    Maybe the finance and the process are all normal and part of the deal but the appearance of this kind of nonsense also sends me into a rage. I cannot let it alone. If we ignore it and say, 'don't worry, that's just going to effect the stupid people' then it allows the stupidity to continue and the corrupt sombches to prosper.

    If Iron Man was based upon magnetic bracelets in the way Spiderman was based upon 'radioactivity' then maybe I could let it alone as a *complete fiction* but if someone is selling 'radioactive spiders that can cure all ills, it is time to start shouting: "Down with this sort of thing, careful now!"

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  56. Those bracelets are such a scam. I do craft sales, and there is this couple that has been hawking magnetic hemitite bracelets for "health" for the past 7 years. Their booth is always crowded, they do so well that these people stopped making their original craft, silver and gold filled jewellery, within a year of getting these bracelets.
    Oh, and they claim their bracelets are handmade/hand assembled, but I know they just order them every year.
    Talk about quality workmanship! It sickens me to see people spending money on this crap.

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  57. I just watched the movie and there's no subplot.
    SPOILERS: In the trailer you can see Tony putting the bracelets on when he's talking to Loki over a drink in his place on the top of Stark Tower. The conversation ends up in Loki throwing out Stark of the window and the bracelets only purpose is to be a homing beacon for the mark 7 armor that flies after Tony. The armor scans the bracelet and attaches itself onto them and that's how Tony gets into the suit. Long story short it's a small plot item that only appears in that scene and serves the only purpose of being an access point for the armor. No talk about it before or after and most importantly no magnetic magic bullshit. The ad is probably just Marvel trying to capitalize some more on the Avengers (which ended up being incredibly awesome).

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  58. The newest issue of Entertainment Weekly has an ad for the bracelets.

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  59. I read this comic and was simultaneously worried about the film, and a little annoyed that this comic, whilst not “spoiling” per se, had givens preconceived ideas as to the movie. I have seen the film. And I was goooooooooooood. Like one other poster mentioned the bracelets are nothing like the hocus locus bracelets Josh has described, they are 100% armour related. I thought I’d come back to see if A) Josh had seen the movie and B) if he had written a retraction/apology for the comics bogus assertions. Neither seem to be the case. Have you seen the flick yet Josh?

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    • A) My name isn't Josh. Nowhere on the comic, or the website header or the copyright information does it say Josh.

      B) A "retraction/ apology for the comics bogus assertions"? Where exactly do you get off? I made this comic to express fears that the movie would contain a subplot about the "bogus" bracelets that are clearly connected to the film through advertising. The end. The fears were expressed, the pseudoscience was exposed and my opinions on the matter were clear.

      Luckily, as many readers fortunate enough to have already seen the movie have pointed out, the movie does not contain any "magnets make you well" BS information. Does this somehow negate the fears expressed in this comic? Absolutely not. My point is still valid. Yours is null.

      Reply
      • First of all Joel let me unreservedly apologize for calling you Josh. I am sincerely sorry for causing offense. Secondly I think your retort a little harsh in it’s tone, but what the hey, it’s your website. You ask the question “am I over reacting”. Yes, for a number of reasons. Your comic makes an assumption that is false; that, “The Avengers” film contains product placement for an “alternative” medicinal bracelet. It does not. Whether there is such a bracelet on the market, is immaterial. It does not feature in the movie or pose as any sort of medical device (other than *SPOILER* saving Tony Stark from falling to his death). Therefore your point in the comic, that a Joss Wheedon film contains product placement of a hocus pocus bracelet is wrong. FINALLY, let me put this to you; There are many many people in the world who suffer from chronic and debilitating illnesses. I myself suffer from “Crohn’s” disease, a chronic incurable disease of the digestive tract. I have had multiple bowel resections because of said disease and have spent time in serious pain, weak and with a colostomy bag (actually it was an ileostomy bag but who knows what that is). Point, sufferers of said illnesses, whilst following proper medical advice and taking (sometimes awful) medications (immuno-suppresents, steroids and harsh anti inflamatories), also find relief in natural medicines, both real and imagined. Now the types of natural treatments can vary from the scientifically proven (fish oil containing omega 3) to the placebo. It is however scientifically proven that Placebos can have a powerful affect, even for chronic sufferers. It is very easy for some, who don’t suffer from illness, to “poo poo” any kind of alternative medicine (please note I am not suggesting you don’t suffer from an illness such as arthritis, diabetes, ibd etc). However for those who do suffer, clinging to any sort of hope, or placebo, can be very important, not only for physical health, but perhaps more importantly, emotional and mental health. It is off this reason I believe you are over the top. If you don’t like the bracelets then don’t buy one. Simple. If your health insurance company starts subsidizing them for customers, and your premiums go up as a result, THEN your rant will be justified. To some of the commenters above with their smug attitude, I’d say focus your energies on something a little more detrimental to society. (maybe if America had decent health care people wouldn’t go for phony cure-alls)

         I looked up the bracelets that are for sale online, and given the price, and style, I would say the majority of purchasers will be Avengers fans who want a piece of the film. If someone buys it expecting more strength or balance then that’s a bit silly, I agree. But once again, the film contains no claims whatsoever of any medicinal benefits from said bracelets, and no prompts that they are even commercially available.

        Thanks for Hijinks BTW Joel. It rocks.

        Reply
        • ” the movie does not contain any “magnets make you well” BS information. Does this somehow negate the fears expressed in this comic?” Absolutely it negates the asserions in the comic, and the rant below it. ” Apparently there is a subplot in The Avengers that involves Tony getting a set of magnet bracelets as a gift which inspires him to make a new suit of armor”. Wrong. ” How dare they interject this fucking anti-science horsefuck into the biggest geek movie of the year?!” They didn’t (and I’d suggest The Dark Knoght Rises could challenge the Avengers for THAT title). “Fuck this noise. I wanted to love everything about this movie” You can. “These jackoffs actually claim “voodoo blood magicks” will occur when you wear their jewelry. Tell me I’m not crazy.” Not in the movie they don’t. Not even a little. And you are a little crazy Joel, but as one of the previous commenters pointed out, all the best people are. I hope I’ve expressed my point(s) as respectfully as possible.

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  60. Top quality ranting – made me laugh a lot. Nice one!

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  61. Darn you Josh… Jason… Jesse… definitely a J-word…. as soon as I saw those bracelets in the movie my suspension of disbelief was shattered and I couldn't think of anything else other than your rant against magnetic bracelets! Is warning thousands against the scam of magnetic bracelets worth pulling even one person out of the trance induced by the awe that is The Avengers? I think not! Darn you! Darn you to heck! Now tell me where I can get one of those magic bracelets which will cure all that ails me, grant me magic powers, and cause a suit of powered armour to appear around me should I fall off a tall building!

    Reply
    • Oh yeah, this is a real community service. “warning thousands against the scam of magnetic bracelets”. Very noble. Like feeding the homeless or reading to the elderly. Except… Except absolutely no such scam exists in the film… Sounds a bit more like a Fox News beat up than a Dawkins/Hitchens logical point of view, or a well meaning awareness campaign. I guess Mads’ sarcastic thinly veiled attack on my point of view isn’t being an “asshole” or “abusive” because once again, he/she is agreeing with you. Great stuff. Granted they haven used any swear words, even using the tame “darn” and “heck”. But then neither did I.

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  62. Fair enough. Interesting though that my Iphone didn't display this above response from you but did display others… I wonder if there is a 3 reply minimum or if some sort of conspiracy has prevented me from seeing your most personable response…
    Just checked email and this response didn't come up in my inbox either. Very fishy.

    Reply
    • I’m certainly not suggesting anything nefarious on your part Joel. I seem to have similar problems with a number of apps and websites on my iPhone. Facebook for example seems to choose random updates and notifications to block. Very perculiar.

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  63. So Joel, I'm interested since I assume you have seen The Avengers. How did you feel about the use of the magnetic bracelets? When he put them on, I had the response of "Wow… that's what Joel was talking about." Truth be told, if you hadn't mentioned them, I wouldn't have thought twice about it.

    So having seen it (I assume) how do you feel about it: greedy merchandising capitalization, or actual endorsement or weird theories?

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  64. And to add – Unlike some of the other people who have asked about this, I am genuinely curious what you thought about it. No offense meant, and no opinion baiting.

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    • *sigh*…really should have read the other comments first. Sorry.

      Reply

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