Two things I enjoy are comics and food, which is why I’ve combined my interests into Comic Kitchen. The series creates a three-course menu around a superhero and highlights unique dishes. African food features some of the most distinctive flavours in the world. It’s a special kind of cuisine that has a rich amount of heritage. A superhero who represents the strength of Africa is Storm. Dining at Blue Nile Café in Manchester inspired me to come up with a menu for her. Each dish packs a tremendous amount of flavour and tells the story of the former Queen of Wakanda. Continue reading “Comic Kitchen: Storm”
Comic Kitchen specialises in pairing unique food with a superhero, and a cuisine that has its own identity is South African cooking. From the way its presented, to the spices involved, South African food is delicious. I’m pleased to present a team up with Manchester restaurant Chakalaka and the South African superhero, Jubulile Van Scotter. Having been bonded to a symbiote, Jubulile knows what it means to be dining for two. Her menu is made up of traditional South African dishes that are full of zest and flavour.
With the release of Black Panther, it’s offered a window into the world of ethnic superheroes and demonstrated that they deserve to be recognised as important characters. It’s inspired me to look into other heroes of colour, such as DC’s Vixen, who represents and African perspective that spans generations. She was intended to be DC’s first African female superhero to appear in her own ongoing series, though it was cancelled during the DC Implosion of 1978. Despite this, Vixen went on to become an integral member of the Justice League. The character also received her own TV series within the Arrow verse, which displayed her relevance to a modern audience. With the ability to harness the powers of the animal kingdom, Vixen is an intriguing superhero that’s worth looking into.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for a good ten years now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Over the years, it’s produced some great films, with many coming with certain expectations. But I’d argue that none of them have come with the amount of expectation Black Panther has in terms of representation. After all, it’s the first time a black superhero has been presented on such a grand stage. Black Panther is an important cultural character to many comic fans, and I’m happy to say the film delivers in every way possible. There’s a great story, complex characters, awesome action scenes and plenty of word building that sets Black Panther apart from other superhero films.
As a superhero of colour, Black Panther is one of the most significant characters in the Marvel Universe. In anticipation for the film, I decided to learn more about T’Challa and his world by buying Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book One. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze, the graphic novel features T’Challa trying to keep his kingdom from falling apart. Wakanda has lost faith in its king and rebel factions are looking to take control of the people and usurp Black Panther’s position. The graphic novel features themes of political anger, race and identity, which makes it a relevant story for today’s political climate.
The Pop Culture Playlist tells the story of a superhero or villain through music. With a film on the way and an established presence in comics, Black Panther seems like an appropriate choice. As King of Wakanda, T’Challa has a responsibility to his people and the history of the animal that he represents. Black Panther is a symbol of Africa and his warrior spirit makes him one of the most courageous superheroes in comics. Here are ten tracks that describe T’Challa’s journey.
“Ororo Munroe. Storm. Goddess-queen-teacher-leader of mutantkind. She stood up for the underdogs, despite what everyone said. Then she suffered the terrible consequences. But she endured and was redeemed. And now she returns in triumph. Not a bad story. But what really makes it sing is how she gives up that glory. Like Cincinnatus turning his back on the crown and returning to the farm after the war. She could be riding a hurricane, ruling a nation. But instead, she answers her emails, teaches her classes, chairs a plagiarism hearing, and most exciting of all…checks up on the mould problem.”
Some of my favourite stories involve strong female protagonists who are relatable and down to earth. Storm: Bring The Thunder ticks all the right boxes, as it follows Storm on a journey to clear her name after she’s framed for a crime she didn’t commit. The graphic novel is written by Greg Pak with art duties handled by Victor Ibanez and Neil Edwards. There are themes of friendship, cultural identity and female spirit all wrapped up into a compelling story.