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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Official DC Superhero Cookbook

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, now seems like the perfect time to talk about the new Official DC Superhero Cookbook. To do the honors, inaugural F.O.A.M.er Chris Franklin--who provided all the scans--will take us on a tour of the book and its Aqua-Munchies. Take it away, Earth-2 Chris!

In 1981 Warner Books released DC Super Heroes Super Healthy Cookbook. Full of super hero-inspired recipes, it caught my attention via an excerpt inserted in the July 14th 1981 issue of Woman’s Day, which my mother bought on occasion. Even though I never had the book proper, for years afterward, my mother would painstakingly make me Superman insignia burgers, with the yellow shield cut out of cheese, and the red "S" drawn with ketchup (using wax paper to squeeze it out, in the days before squeeze bottles).

Years later my wonderful wife gifted me a copy of the original book. It is chock-full of great, original art by comic veterans (and then DC staffers), Ross Andru and Dick Giordano. For the purposes of the Shrine, I'm said to report that Aquaman makes one token appearance in the volume, in a spread featuring most of the JLA in the finale of the book where Superman presents his team with a birthday cake. Poor Arthur didn’t even rate a dish to himself, when characters like Perry White and Commissioner Gordon did.
Flash-forward to the here and now, and the idea is revisited in The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook by Matthew Mead. This colorful tome features a bevy of classic style guide artwork by the ever-present Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (Praise Be His Name) and goes beyond the usual art offerings to showcase several pieces by Dick Giordano and even Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson! To the delight of toy enthusiasts like myself, recent DC action figures are displayed beside the dishes, most prominently, the Mego-like Retro-Action line by Mattel from a few years back.
And this time, the King of the Seven Seas get his due, with no less than five Aqua-related recipes! The bold and daring marine marvel starts his day off with Atlantis Cereal; stops by the Aquacave at noon for a Tuna Wrap (once again raising the question of whether or not he eats his finny friends); meets Mera at the palace for a dinner for two featuring Seven Seas Sauté; and finally, washes it all down with an Aquaman Ice Cream Float!
Amazingly, the secret to his archenemy’s never-ceasing energy is revealed by exposing the recipe to Black Manta Berry Blast! Manta manages to beat out nearly every other DC rogue, with the only other featured villain being the Joker himself!
Not to be left out, Aquaman’s Fire and Water companion, The Nuclear Man gets his own page showcasing Firestorm’s Roasted Corn Salad. Rob will be happy to know Captain Marvel only gets one recipe, a variation on a peanut-butter/banana sandwich. Coincidence, or a sly nod to the King’s supposed love of Captain Marvel, Jr.?
The back of the book features stencils and cut-outs to help decorate the dishes, and both the classic Aquaman and Firestorm logos are present.

This book is beautifully designed, and features the classic version of the characters, not a drop of angst in sight. To me, it’s worth it for the art alone, and some of the recipes look like a lot of fun to try with the kids. My treasured Superman burger is even included! I highly recommend picking this up to the diehard DC fan.

1 comment:

Russell said...

Going on my Christmas list! :-)