This Sunday marks America's 234th Independence Day. If you live in the USA, then the 4th of July is a celebration of national independence. It's a good time for resting, relaxing, (enjoying some comics) and hosting a good old-fashioned barbecue. If you're anything like me, you might want to combine some of those activities in your head and imagine what it might be like to get superheroes together to celebrate.

With that picture in mind, we take a look at the fantastic fictional scenario for you, dear readers. Read on for the first-ever imagine ComicsAlliance 4th of July Superhero Barbecue!For the best possible barbecue, there are at least three important issues to address: the food team, the menu and the fireworks. I've taken the liberty of making this discussion open to any character from any universe, dead or alive.

Let's start with the food team. The easiest direction here is to focus on characters with flame-based powers, and there's no shortage of them. But why bother with someone like the Human Torch or Fire when there are so many more creative options?

The Midnighter

Think about this: Midnighter has the ability to see every possible outcome of a fight and proceed accordingly, enabling him to win every time. I see no reason why this power wouldn't apply to food preparation. We're dealing with a guy who's going to look at a raw beef patty and say, "I've already grilled you in my mind a million times, and you always turn out to be the perfect hamburger."


Firestorm brings a lot to the table from a grilling perspective. With his crazy powers, he can easily cook up some chow without even using a grill. Then again, he could just turn an old shoe into a delicious hot dog if he really wanted to. You'll also want to use him to make sure all your food is clean at the molecular level. But he needs to be on the BBQ team for one very important reason: he'll furnish your party with an endless supply of salt. Just keep him the hell away from your significant other.


I know this may be an unexpected choice. As the King of Atlantis, Aquaman doesn't really have a good reason to celebrate America's independence, to say nothing of the nation's historical pollution of the ocean. It may take some sweet-talking to get the guy to help out, but it's totally worth it, because Aquaman is currently able to telepathically control dead sealife.

People, he has the power to summon free seafood with his brain. I don't care if he's conflicted about it; I'm putting the guy to work.

Bwana Beast

Contemporary cuisine is all about fusion, so what could be better than a guy who can combine two animals? If Bwana Beast joins up, then "Chicken Fried Steak" goes from a confusing menu item to a real thing.

Ghost Rider

In all honesty, there isn't a really strong reason to have Ghost Rider on the guest list. He's hardly the type of guy you would want in a social setting. Sure, he can do some grilling with his hellfire, or even just hold a burger to his flaming skull. But let's just say that this barbecue is taking place on a beach, which is a totally reasonable thing to do, right? Now I have an excuse to remind you how much Ghost Rider looooooves going to the beach:

That's a real thing that happened. It was in the 1993 Marvel Swimsuit Special. To quote the caption: "You're showin' a little too" I'm about 99.9% sure that was intended as a Stan Lee-style pun as opposed to a naughty little double-entendre, which makes the whole thing that much more ridiculous. (Confession: I originally wrote "look at the penance stare on that guy" and then stared at my screen for twenty minutes, cried a little bit and forced myself to replace it).


In terms of the menu, there are two ways that you can go. On the relatively conventional end of things, we're lucky enough to have a few pretty decent comics cookbooks available. The 1997 "Mighty Marvel Superheoes' Cookbook" provides us with several barbecue-appropriate recipes, including Hulkburgers and Thor's Thunderburgers. Inexplicably, you'll also find a Liver Swiss sandwich in there, which is just liverwurst and Swiss cheese. It sounds awful, has nothing to do with superheroes, and it certainly has no place at this barbecue.

If you're not so into all of the heavy barbecue fare, then DC has you covered with the "Superheroes Super Healthy Cookbook". There you'll find leaner options like Perry White's Great Caesar's Salad, which you can top with one of Batman and Robin's Super Secret Salad Dressings, which also answers my question of what the Dynamic Duo do in the Bat-kitchen when they're not out solving crime.

While it may not be superhero-related, I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention the Achewood cookbooks. it goes without saying that if you want your barbecue to actually be a party, you really need to have Ray Smuckles and his crew attending. Crack open some hella crispy Stellas and grab a plate of Ray's Ruuude Chicken. Avoid Nice Pete at all costs.

The other menu option involves taking the term "superhero barbecue" as literally as possible. Yes, I'm saying what you think I'm saying. Let's put our hypothetical morality involving fictional people aside for a moment and acknowledge that there are a whole lot of characters out there that are nothing more than walking, talking animals. And you know what? They're probably delicious.

Someone like Bova is going to provide you with a whole lot of beef and she's from Wundagore Mountain, so she's clearly free-range and pretty high quality as far as genetics go. And if you want some DC beef, there's Ferdinand the Minotaur, but he's a chef, so you might want to put him at the grill instead. If you're looking for some wing action, Marvel's mutants offer several tasty options, including Angel and Beak. There was even a Morlock back in the day named Chickenwings!!! With a name like that, you're pretty much asking to be dinner. And let's not forget our dear friend Howard the Duck; with all of those cigars he chews on, he'd probably have a nice smoky taste to him.

If you get desperate, I recommend tracking down a good telepath and a couple of shapeshifters.


Last but not least, we have the fireworks. You'll mostly want to rely on people with light-based powers like Dazzler, Dr. Light (not the horrible one), Ray, and Jubilee. If you really want to take the show to the next level, then go for characters with illusion-based powers. Someone like Mastermind with totally get inside your head, and Mysterio was a special effects expert before turning to crime. If you can assemble a team like this, you'll end up with nothing short of the greatest fireworks display in human history. And in terms of music, I think we all know there's only one thing that really goes with what is really a laser light show, right?

Happy 4th of July, everybody!