A Superhero-Themed Cocktail Party

A costume cocktail party, complete with “super” foods and magical elixirs

From October 13th through 16th, geeks and superheroes from a range of mediums — comic books, television, anime, video games, toys, books, and the silver screen — descended on Gotham City (err, New York City) in celebration of Comic Con, the largest pop culture event on the East Coast, and one of a series of conventions that bring together the greatest names in the business. The Anaheim convention is next, in March, and then San Diego in July. Can't wait a couple of months to put on that bodysuit? Then read on...

Didn't make it this year, or those looking for an excuse to test out that new costume for Halloween, bring a little bit of Comic Con to your own home and host a superhero party. Even if it’s been at least 20 years since you last donned a spandex unitard and claimed you were going to save the world, you know you want to do it again.



Instead of using a superhero-themed invite, opt for images from vintage comic books for the invitation. When hosting a group of superheroes, there is the potential for serious ego conflicts — like sitting Batman, Superman, and Captain America within elbow’s distance from each other? Not a good idea, so stick with a cocktail party style get-together. Ask guests to come dressed as their favorite superhero for a chance to win a series of best dressed awards. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Andertoons)


Setting the Scene:

To ensure superheroes have plenty of space to flex their muscles, clear away the furniture when setting the scene. Be inspired by the bright colors of old comic books when setting the table, using colors like vivid yellow, cobalt blue, fire-engine red, and grassy green. Then create a playlist featuring songs from all your favorite superhero movies like Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, and more. 



• No costume party is complete without a costume contest. As you can’t really pit Wonder Woman, Batman, and Iron Man together to see who is the strongest (who is to decide?), instead award honors to the best-dressed partygoer in each superhero category (Best Batman, Best Hulk, etc.). Award copies of vintage comic books to the winners to take home. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Port of San Diego)

• Test superheroes' superpowers by setting up mini rebounders or a large trampoline and challenge heroes to see how high they can “fly.”

• It’s only natural for She-Ra to want to challenge Superman to a contest of strength. Set up a card table in the corner for an arm-wrestling contest. Create a ladder of guests so that by the end of the night, a “strongest” hero is named.



Upon arrival, invite guests to customize their own (alcoholic) elixir. Set up a bar with a simple collection of clear beverages, like prosecco, vodka, gin, soda water, tonic water, and lemon/lime soda. Freeze a variety of juices and nectars, like cranberry, grape, orange, tomato, etc., in ice-cube-sized portions, and allow guests to pick their own super juice to enjoy. And for a Crash! Boom! effect, set out a bowl of Pop Rocks to add an exploding effect to each cocktail.

Or create a signature cocktail inspired by your favorite superhero. Here are some fun ones to try



In order to muster their superpowers, superheroes need super food. Be inspired by the recipes in the 1977 Marvel Superheroes’ Cookbook, or some of our favorites, below.

• Even if Popeye isn’t at the party, offer an iron-rich “muscle-building” spinach dip or bite-sized spanakopita. And everyone will love bacon cups filled with baked beans.  

• For super X-ray vision, carrots are a must. Serve with a garlicky hummus to ward off bad spirits. Then drizzle mini black bean cakes with a sour cream sauce to resemble spider webs.  

• If Superman is going to be there, kryptonite is a must. Place small bowls of rock candy and spicy bar nuts around as snacks. And no superhero will turn down meat. Set out a selection of charcuterie, cheeses, and these prosciutto rolls that are easy to enjoy in one bite. 

• Many consider chocolate to be the ultimate superpower-inducing food. Set out a variety of chocolates to try, or baked something rich and delicious like super-fudgy brownies or these chocolate cupcakes with a kick. Use white frosting and a toothpick to create a spiderweb design on top — just draw two concentric circles, and a dot for the middle, then draw the toothpick out like legs on a spider. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/aforestfrolic)