There are a few key elements to a comic-book superheromost critically, superhuman powers. Maybe that's why chefs and wine experts, with their exceptional tasting abilities, are inspiring comic-book creators. These include Yuko and Shin Kibayashi (pen name: Tadashi Agi), who write Japan's "The Drops of God" comic, and Marvel Comics, creators of Spider-Man and X-Men.
For Marvel, the comic books reflect two passions: the publishing staff's own restaurant obsession (they have an in-house eating club called "FOOMFoodies of Ol' Marvel"), and the affection that so many (young, male) chefs feel for comic books.
Chris Cosentino: Wolverine's Chef Sidekick
"Chefs have become cultural icons, not unlike comic-book heroes and villains, and food crosses over to everything," observes chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto. Cosentino recently fulfilled a childhood dream by writing his own Marvel comic. He appears in it as an offal-centric chef who helps Wolverine hunt down a mutant who butchers humanspun intended.
Eli Kirshtein: A Top Chef Superhero
In "Spider-Man: A Meal to Die For," former Top Chef contestant Eli Kirshtein brandishes his kitchen knives as he teams up with Spider-Man to fight Mysterio.
A Young Wine Supertaster
In "The Drops of God," a popular Japanese series, the son of a famed wine critic must find and taste 12 God-sent wines to inherit his father's estate. An English-language version comes out this month.
This isn't Marvel's only foray into food; look for a follow-up next summer of 1977's The Mighty Marvel Superheroes' Cookbook, with more than 50 dishes from chefs.