FOR DECADES, obnoxious nerds such as myself have fought one of the stupidest fights in the world: Marvel vs. DC.
In years past, this inane argument was about which comic book company was best: While Marvel sells Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Avengers, DC offers Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Justice League. Once, these shameful, squeaky-voiced debates about funny books were held in hole-in-the-wall comics shops—but now, in 2016, when costumed superheroes dominate the entire pop culture landscape, the same humiliating fight is happening everywhere, from Hollywood boardrooms to couches where couples squabble over Jessica Jones vs. The Flash.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand," Abraham Lincoln declared in 1858, shortly before holding aloft his Merry Marvel Marching Society membership card. ("For, upon judicious examination, we find the gentleman called 'Spider-Man' is, in truth, the everyman," Lincoln added.) We have been divided for too long; let us settle, for once and for all, which is better: Marvel or DC.
And sure, why not: Because this is the Mercury's Eat & Drink Guide, let's do so by comparing and contrasting two authoritative texts: 1977's Stan Lee Presents the Mighty Marvel Superheroes' Cookbook and 1981's DC Superheroes Super Healthy Cookbook.
"Hulk's Sloppy Joe" vs. "Wonder Woman's Natural Soda Pop"
If you ever wanted to see Hulk lustily staring at a sloppy joe and saying, "UMMMM..." the Mighty Marvel Superheroes' Cookbook has you covered. Hulk's recipe, by the way, consists entirely of "1 can sloppy joe mixture," "4 frankfurter rolls," and "mustard." Hulk is an idiot. MEANWHILE... Wonder Woman's "Paradise Pop" comes from a "secret stream" on Paradise Island! "Imagine," she promises, "a soda pop with no sugar and no chemicals at all." Sounds great, Wonder Woman! Oh. Wait. If you can't go to Paradise Island, Wonder Woman says you can make Paradise Pop with "1 can frozen fruit juice concentrate" and some "carbonated water." Huh.
WINNER: NEITHER, BOTH ARE TERRIBLE
"Iron Man's Splendid Split Pea Soup" vs. "Green Arrow's Fruit Snacks"
Back before Robert Downey Jr. made him cool, Iron Man was just a giant tool clanking around in a giant tool suit. Who liked split pea soup. Split pea soup is gross, and Iron Man's recipe—"1 can condensed split pea soup" and "1 soup can water"—is also gross. MEANWHILE... Green Arrow offers a fruit kebob with apple, pineapple, banana, orange, and melon! Even better, here's how Green Arrow makes those kebabs: He lines up five visibly terrified children and makes them balance fruit on their heads while he shoots it with an arrow. That is a way cooler way to make snacks than pouring condensed soup into a pot.
WINNER: GREEN ARROW, FOR RISKING CHILDRENS' LIVES WHENEVER HE'S HUNGRY
"Thor's Cabbage Rolls" vs. "Perry White's Great Caesar's Salad"
"Verily, here is a taste that doth please the gods!" Thor proclaims, holding up a plate of what appear to be turds wrapped in cabbage. Crammed with ground beef, rice, and eggs, these cabbage rolls are both disgusting and a pain in the ass to make. Thor probably has Asgard's servants make them for him, so what does he care? Fuck you, Thor, you elitist bastard. MEANWHILE, ON EARTH... Clark Kent's editor at the Daily Planet likes to shout "GREAT CAESAR!" a lot, so here we have it: Perry White's Great Caesar's Salad, which is a normal Caesar salad except for "little Daily Planet emblems" that White has painstakingly crafted from cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes held together with toothpicks. ("Don't eat the toothpicks!" White shouts at Jimmy Olsen.)
WINNER: PERRY WHITE, SO LONG AS JIMMY OLSEN DOESN'T DIE FROM EATING A TOOTHPICK
"Daredevil's Food Cake" vs. "Batman and Robin's Secret Salad Dressings"
Spoiler: Daredevil's Food Cake is just normal devil's food cake. (You can tell because Daredevil's ingredients include "1 package devil's food cake mix.") Still, Daredevil's heightened sense of taste means it's probably pretty good, even if the visual presentation is a bit lacking. MEANWHILE... Sure, the phrase "Batman and Robin's Secret Salad Dressings" sounds like bat-code for "semen"—but actually, these are just normal salad dressings Batman and Robin secretly make together in the Batcave! Wait. That made it sound like semen again.
WINNER: DAREDEVIL, WHOSE DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE IS THE DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE FOR ANYONE WHO ENJOYS WATCHING EXCRUCIATINGLY GRUESOME VIOLENCE ON NETFLIX
"Sub-Mariner's Submarine" vs. "The Joker's Crack-a-Joke Popcorn"
At last! Two sinister villains face off in a battle for the ages, and they've brought... oh. A... sandwich and some... popcorn. Okay, so let's judge this on how the parties involved sell their recipes! "Think you've had enough of my corny jokes, Batman?" the Joker cackles. "Well, this one may be corny... but the joke will be on you!" (He then throws a popcorn ball at Batman and Robin.) MEANWHILE... All that the lame Sub-Mariner can offer is, "Whet your appetite!" Sub-Mariner is lame.
WINNER: THE JOKER, EVEN THOUGH HIS POPCORN IS PROBABLY POISON
"Captain America's Americana Hero" vs. "Superman's Super Delicious Still Nutritious Party Cake"
Look, it should be pretty easy to beat any dumb cake that bills itself as "still nutritious." Apparently no one told this to Captain America, who infuriatingly encourages children to use SWISS cheese on his "Americana Hero." Hey, Captain America! Maybe try supporting American cheese every once in a while, you fucking hypocrite.
WINNER: SUPERMAN, WHO DOES NOT BETRAY HIS COUNTRY