It’s Superman like you’ve never seen him before…eating Japanese food.
As one of the most enduring characters in comic book history, Superman has gone through an uncountable number of exploits and adventures from the ludicrous to the tragic. There was that time he stepped into the ring with Muhammad Ali, as well as when he learned to shoot rainbows out his fingers.
And yet all this time we’ve never really – we mean really – dug deep into his diet and eating habits. Does he put a napkin on his lap? Is he a picky eater who always wants to alter menu items to his tastes? Does Earth’s yellow sun cause his gut bacteria to produce gas at a superhuman rate, thus producing farts that could fill entire stadiums?
Hopefully, an upcoming manga published in the manga magazine Evening and website Comic Days will answer some of these questions. Unlike Supes’ previous titles, this latest series will be a gourmet manga titled "Superman vs Food: Superman’s Meals of Solitude" (Superman vs Meshi: Superman No Hitori Meshi), written by Satoshi Miyakawa with art by Kai Kitago.
The series will follow the Man of Steel as he flies around Japan and samples its various regional cuisines faster that a regular gourmet manga character would on a speeding bullet train. He may have taken on Darkseid and Doomsday, but can he stomach octopus eggs or or talk a cook out of shaving their head when a hair is found in the food?
We shall see when the first installment hits stands on June 22 in Evening #14. Meanwhile, people online are abuzz with this looming new culinary adventure.
“Something feels off about a big muscly man holding a heap of rice.”
“He’s American, so let him try some of Japan’s delicious American food.”
“It’s Superman, but he’s doing stuff basically anyone can do.”
“Superman eats rice?!”
“Japanese food is good. He’s in for a treat.”
DC’s previous manga adaptations "Batman Justice Buster" and "One Operation Joker" were well-received and both have upcoming tankobon editions this summer. But a Superman gourmet manga is uncharted territory.
▼ The "One Operation Joker" tankobon will go on sale June 23.
The synopsis says that Superman will visit some chain restaurants, cook seasoned rice in an iron pot to make the dish called kamameshi with his heat rays, and form a Justice League with the ingredients of a tempura rice bowl.
We're not sure what that last one means, but we still have faith this could work. It’s already well-established that he could punch most people’s heads off before they even notice him, so it would be much more interesting to instead see how well Superman handles random complements about how he uses his chopsticks, or how he feels about getting charged for an appetizer that he never ordered.
Sources: PR Times, Hachima Kiko
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I look forward to reinterpretations of Superman, like Ta-Nehisi Coates upcoming version.
But why does so much Japanese media revolve around food? There can be an element of comedy but little dramatic tension.
One iconic element of the Superman mythos is the immigrant experience, an alien in the American countryside moving to the big city.
Having Superman relocate to Japan and navigating the socio-cultural norms here would be an instant read!
I watched the Donner version of Superman II the other day. Its partly a nostaglia trip for me, but I like it much more than the modern superhero flicks where its dark all the time. Margot Kidder was also fantastic.
Unless he's sponsored by JA, there is no way Superman is going to eat a heaped bowl of rice. He's far too ripped for masses of carbs. Lex Luthor is a far more worthy opponent than a tonkatsu.
The Japanese version of SuperMan is more soft and babyish for the location.
Leave it to Japan to make Superman look cuter, dreamy and boyish....
Actually the whole manga-aesthetic is not bad if this were a Superman junior type character and it could actually work for DC in European or maybe SE Asian markets.
What's next? A rainbow cape?
He was adopted and raised by a Texan family.
Superman might be a Krypton born American.