NATIONAL SLURPEE DAY: It’s July 11! Which makes it 7-11! Dig this ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE to 1973’s first series of comics cups…


For comic fans of a certain… vintage, comic books and convenience stores are forever intertwined. No matter how small the store, odds are that it carried at least a few comics. For many a city dwelling or suburban kid, convenience stores were the first place that you could get to on your own, spending whatever paltry collection of coins you had in your pocket on whatever you wanted — candy, soda, whatever the hell Slim Jims were made of — without parental oversight. For me, that was a huge deal.

While we had local convenience store chains in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, the undisputed king of them all was 7-Eleven. No matter where I was, my eyes grew accustomed to spotting the iconic red, orange, green, and white logo (basically unchanged in the last half century). That meant a chance for comics and, of course, Slurpees.

Besides comic books, another thing convenience stores had in common was, they almost all had their own version of the Slurpee — a half frozen, sickeningly sweet beverage that customers could dispense for themselves, no need to ask the clerk at the counter! For a good chunk of my life, I don’t think I walked out of a 7-Eleven without a comic and a Slurpee.

DC and Marvel must have been aware of the connection, because in the 1970s, both companies partnered with 7-Eleven to brand plastic Slurpee cups with their characters. (DC’s came out in 1973 — 50 years ago; Marvel started its first two series in 1975, with another in 1977.) With dozens to choose from, you never knew who’d you get, and I can remember going through the stacks of cups looking for a preferred superhero (or supporting character, as we’ll see in a moment). Collecting them all was nearly impossible, setting kids up for learning to deal with life’s disappointments.

To celebrate the 5oth anniversary of that first sticky, sugary wave of Slurpee cups, we now present THE TOP 13 DC AND MARVEL SLURPEE CUPS — RANKED, from both companies’ initial runs.

Before we continue, a few notes on the process: Even though I tended to be more of a DC kid than a Marvel one, there is no arguing that the House of Ideas ate DC’s pre-packaged lunch when it came to these cups. Almost since Fantastic Four #1, Marvel understood brand marketing in a way DC just didn’t, and that discipline extended to nearly everything they put their characters on. For the Slurpee cups, Marvel made sure to use exciting action shots accompanied by the character’s logo, right off the comics. DC, in most cases, used dull standing poses with typeset names, and gave some of their most… uninspiring characters in their stable prime merchandising real estate.

So, if we’re being honest, any list of the TOP 13 DC AND MARVEL SLURPEE CUPS should pretty much be almost 100 percent the latter. But, in the interest of fairness, I went half and half, with the one extra slot going to Marvel to represent the fact that they understood the assignment. So… pick a flavor and let’s get started!

13. Martha Kent. While the rest of this list is reserved for what I feel are genuinely the best of the best, I had to give ol’ Martha Kent a chance to shine. What kid wanted Superboy’s elderly mom, pointing at… what, exactly, on a Slurpee cup? A baffling choice, and to me it represents where DC was at the time.

Martha Kent

12. Triton. I unabashedly love the Inhumans. The fact that they got cups at all is great, so it was hard to deciding which is my favorite. But this wonderfully dramatic Neal Adams shot of Triton coming out the water was just too good.


11. Metamorpho. DC got soooo close with this one! Ol’ Rex Mason has such a wonderfully weird look; he’s perfect for merchandise glory. But instead of using, say, a shot of him by Ramona Fradon from his 1960s solo series, they used this pose by Mike Sekowsky from the cover to Justice League of America #42 with our hero looking away from the camera. Bonus points for using his official logo!


10. Night Rider. Instead of going deep into their character bench, DC decided to go with a lot of ancillary and supporting characters from the Superman and Batman families. Marvel said, forget that; let’s give everyone their moment! Using a classic shot by Gil Kane, this cup rocks.

Night Rider

9. Sgt. Rock. There were quite literally hundreds of classic Sgt. Rock-in-action panels to pick from; instead DC goes with Rock… just standing there. Still, it’s by Joe Kubert, whose work didn’t appear on merchandise much (despite doing dozens of comic book ads for said merch). Plus, props to DC for not just using superheroes for the cups. Too bad we never got anything from their horror and romance titles — we needed a Young Love Slurpee cup!

Sgt. Rock

8. Thundra. Girls like Slurpees too! Like with Night Rider above, Marvel wasn’t afraid to introduce new characters to kids via their merchandising. Thundra had just debuted in 1972 in Fantastic Four, so I guess they had high hopes for her.


7. The Vigilante. Another less than dynamic pose, but I’ve always loved this character, and him being on a cup at all just makes me happy.

The Vigilante

6. Luke Cage, Power Man. A classic pose, with the classic logo, drawn by George Tuska. 7-Eleven missed a trick not having a “Sweet Christmas” Slurpee flavor for the holidays.

Luke Cage, Power Man

5. Doctor Strange. I know my list leans toward the obscure, so I had to include one of Marvel’s mainstays. A fantastic, exciting pose, again with the comic logo. Classic stuff.

Doctor Strange

4. Lois Lane. Lois Lane has had many personas over the decades. I just love that when 7-Eleven came calling, DC offered this ultra sexy, ultra mod shot of The Daily Planet’s intrepid reporter. Is this what Martha is pointing at?

Lois Lane

3. Aquaman. Anyone who knows me knows I love Aquaman. He’s my favorite superhero of all time, so maybe I’m showing favoritism here. But this cup belongs on this list because it uses a classic pose (by Murphy Anderson), the comic book logo, with a background element to boot. One of DC’s best. (I have this cup autographed by the late, great Aquaman writer Steve Skeates — so maybe I am a little biased.)


2. Ghost Rider. Just a fantastically cool shot of Johnny Blaze, bursting through hellfire into your local 7-Eleven. Born to raise hell!

Ghost Rider

1. Doc Savage. I love that Marvel didn’t let the fact that they didn’t even own the character stop them from merchandising it. They were merely licensing Doc Savage, but what did that matter? I never saw this cup as a kid, so when I started collecting them as an adult, I couldn’t believe this even existed. But it does, I own one, and I love it.

Doc Savage

As lists tend to do, I’m sure there will be lot of arguments as to why my choices are insane. No Batman, no Spider-Man? All I can say is, when going through the list of cups from 1973 (and 1975), these were the ones that got my old nerd heart racing, just like they did back in the days when I only had a buck or two to spend. To use a more modern term, I voted with my dollars, and comics and Slurpees always got my vote.


— HOLY BRAIN FREEZE! Dig These Groovy BATMAN Slurpee Cups. Click here.

— Dig These Far Out 1970s SPIDER-MAN SLURPEE CUPS. Click here.

Rob Kelly is a podcaster, writer, and illustrator. He is the host of various podcasts at The Fire and Water Podcast Network, including Fade Out, The Film and Water Podcast, Pod Dylan, TreasuryCast and M*A*S*HCast. Rob and Dan once did an FW Presents episode on Slurpee Cups. Check it out here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Those are some awesome cups. Unfortunately I did not have any of them.
    I started getting the ones from 1977. That Aquaman picture I believe they used for those cool Taco Bell glasses from 1979 . Never knew they made one of Martha Kent. Great post. Thank you.

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  2. Great list Rob! Sadly, I have never known the thrill of finding said cups in a 7-Eleven, because there has never been a store anywhere near me! I think with a list like this, it’s definitely better to focus on the obscure, or often unlicensed characters. And now I’ll never be able to un-think that Martha Kent, with possibly a Bible tucked under her arm, is chastising the “scandalously”-clad Lois! That Hussy! She raised you better than to fraternize with folks like that, Clark!

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  3. No Pa Kent? The Martha Kent must go for a few bucks on the marketplace though.

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  4. Whoa, whoa, whoa! U-Tote’m turned into 7-11? Are you sure? I ask because the former was still in existence in Alabama all the way into the 1970s (unfortunately).

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  5. I still have my Howard the Duck Slurpee cup! Not sure which year that was though.

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