Almost 60 years ago, Plastic Man was recruited to help sell women's clothing.
As product endorsements go, it wasn't exactly a Peyton Manning or Lebron James moment, but, hey, DC Comics had bills to pay.
The ad appeared in a November 1964 issue of Women's Wear Daily. It touted the virtues of stretch linings made by Ascot Textile Corp. of New York. The linings were made with rayon cellulosic fibers from American Viscose. The fibers were used in a wide range of products and are still in use today.
Neither Ascot Textile nor American Viscose are around anymore, although there's an Ascot Textile Agency in the United Kingdom that's a sales rep for fabrics makers. American Viscose was a unit of British textiles maker Courtaulds. At its peak, American Viscose operated eight U.S. plants. It closed its doors in 1990.
(And a tip of the hat to comics fan Mike Thomas, who found the ad and posted it to the Comic Book Historians page on Facebook.)
Plastic Man was in comic book limbo when the ad appeared. DC had bought the rights to the character and others from Quality Comics in the middle 1950s, but hadn't done anything with him. He finally reappeared in 1966 and got his own comic again later that year. Did the WWD ad lead to Plastic Man being rescued from the trash heap of history? The mind boggles.