Illustration of superhero of meat in an Italian deli

Answer: Antipasta

Spaghetti is one of the most universally loved comfort foods. It's warm, full of carbs, and can be topped to taste with any combination of sauce, veggies, meats, and cheeses. Spaghetti is also relatively cheap and simple to make, even for those without Italian heritage. Who could hate spaghetti? His archenemy Antipasta, that's who!

Explanation for the kids (and bad puns)

Antipasto sounds like anti-pasta or against pasta, so it's not too much of a stretch to think it sounds like some sort of supervillain with a grudge against pasta. In reality, antipasto (plural antipasti) is the Italian name for appetizers. The Latin derivation literally means before (anti) the meal (pastus). What people usually think of is similar to French charcuterie, consisting of cured meats, cheeses, and vegetables in oil or vinegar. When I was a kid, it was often just a simple tray with slices of Italian ham, salami, provolone, mozzarella, romano, and olives. Other times we ate it more like a meal as antipasto salad with romaine lettuce.

When I first started on this illustration, I imagined his lair and secret identity would revolve around an Italian deli. He would wear a cape of meat and have a Batman-like utility belt of dried salami. He'd also look vaguely like a Roman with lettuce for his gladiator skirt (I looked it up: Pteruges). Why the grudge against spaghetti and pasta in general? Simple jealously for the main course that stole his spotlight...