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Marvel's New York City: The five best places to get a slice of pizza

Don't be like Luke Cage. Show your pizza some respect.

Lucky the Pizza Dog #1
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Every city in America has its own unique customs when it comes to pizza. How it’s made, how it’s served, how it’s eaten – from Chicago to St. Louis to Detroit, the humble slice is an expression in miniature of the city itself. That goes double for the wide, crispy slices of New York City, and quadruply so for the New York City depicted in the Marvel Universe.

In Marvel Comics, New York City is where all the action is. By virtue of the comics having been written there for the publisher’s formative years and their credo of depicting “the world outside your window,” New York provides the backdrop for the greatest heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe. Which means they also struggle with the rent, the traffic, the subway, and the fight about pizza. Not just where the best pizza is, but what the best way is to eat it. In New York, the takes come as hot as the pizza itself, and the opinions are like rat traps: everybody’s got one.

Power Man and Iron Fist #108
Image credit: Marvel Comics

So, before you judge Luke Cage for the above behavior in 1984’s Power Man and Iron Fist #108, just remember that in New York… well, okay. We won’t make excuses. This is some genuinely weird behavior. Is that slice pink? We’re going to choose to interpret that as an artistic shading license, and not a preference for pink pizza. Who wrote this? This feels like a Priest script. Hang on, we’ll check. Bear with us.

Yep. It’s a Priest. And the colorist is Bob Sharen, if you feel like sending him your questions. We know we have some. Wherever Cage went to get that slice, and whatever weird ritual he’s enacting to make it taste, presumably, not pink, it’s not where we’d recommend going for an authentic New York slice if you find yourself in the Marvel version of New York City. As for our real recommendations, we sent our guides through the burroughs and across decades of publishing to find the best pizza experiences you can have in Marvelous NYC.

Pizza Fantastico

Untold Tales of Spider-Man '96
Image credit: Marvel Comics

Formerly known as Pepe’s Pizza until Untold Tales of Spider-Man '96 #1, Pizza Fantastico enjoys a reputation for a high class of celebrity clientele. How high? When Spider-Man had the opportunity to take Invisible Girl out on a date, he took her to Pepe’s. Their pizza time was cut short by a perennially jealous Namor the Sub-Mariner, leading to a fight that was only brooked by the intervention of the entire Fantastic Four. The imbroglio brought so much attention to Pepe’s that the owner renamed his restaurant in honor of his saviors.

SHIELD Pizza Parlor

Marvel Two-In-One #26
Image credit: Marvel Comics

As any cliche organized crime movie will demonstrate, pizza shops make excellent fronts for clandestine operations. That doesn’t just go for the bad guys, either: sometimes, the heroes have to keep their doings secret too. In 1977’s Marvel Two-In-One #26, we discover that SHIELD has a secret base right in New York City hidden under a pizza parlor they own and operate. Which means the next time you go out for a slice, you could have it served to you by an Agent of SHIELD. As part of their job. They’re saving the world every week from threats you can’t even imagine, so remember to tip generously.

The only question is, what would SHIELD stand for under its cover as a pizza shop? Don’t worry, we’ve got this one, because our writers are geniuses: “Slices Hot In Every Last Delivery.”

Joe’s Pizza

Joe's Pizza, Spider-Man 2
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Joe’s is so good, Spider-Man has been spotted stealing the delivery guy’s pizzas. Some Spider-Man 2 eyewitness sightings aside, Spider-Man himself is rumored to run pies for Joe’s as a side hustle. We always figured he had to do something to keep himself in webshooter fluid. The best part is that it absolutely guarantees your pizza will arrive in 29 minutes or less, unless Rhino attacks or something. But that’s true of any pizza delivery in Marvel’s New York; part of the cost of living there is your odd supervillain attack. But 9 times out of 10, a Joe’s Pizza will be there faster than you can sing “Funiculì, Funiculà.”

Pizza Poppa

Pizza Poppa
Image credit: Marvel Studios

One of the most unique pizza destinations in Marvel’s New York, as seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is predicated on an innovative twist on an old classic. You may be drawn to the “Pizza Poppa” vendor of Earth-838 by the fact that he looks disarmingly like Ash from the Evil Dead movies. But stop for a bite and you’ll discover a cheesy, saucy, bready popper to put in your mouth like a bite-sized pizza ball. It’s not for everybody in the multiverse, but his presence is a great way to orient yourself if you happen to be lost in the grand continuum of realities.

Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back – and Pizza Poppa always gets paid.

Pizza Guy

Lucky the Pizza Dog #1
Image credit: Marvel Comics

All right, Pizza Guy is more of a chain restaurant than a destination spot, but it is the favorite pizza of New York’s most famous pizza lover – no, not Luke Cage. We’re talking about someone with slightly better pizza manners here: Hawkeye’s best friend, Lucky the Pizza Dog.

Most shots of Lucky enjoying pizza in the 2012 Hawkeye series by Matt Fraction and David Aja obscure any particular brand (and we checked), but in 2012’s Lucky the Pizza Dog #1 solo issue, Lucky makes his preferences known when he steals Kate Bishop’s phone to pick up a Pizza Guy order himself. You can’t keep a Pizza Dog waiting.

Getting a slice of pizza is an indelible part of the New York experience, and that goes doubly so for Marvel’s New York. Where else can you get stuck in line behind Doctor Strange, have your order taken by Nick Fury, delivered by Spider-Man, or shared with Hawkeye’s dog? Just think twice before you go all Luke Cage on your pizza in public, or you’re going to get weird looks. Well, maybe try it once. Stupider things have led to an origin story.

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Alex Jaffe avatar
Alex Jaffe: Alex Jaffe is a columnist for DC Comics, answering reader-submitted questions about the minutiae of comic book history. He also hosts the Insert Credit podcast, where he's been asking the smartest people in video games the weirdest questions he can think of since 2012. ReedPOP is Alex's place to write about Star Wars, his "vacation universe" away from DC, but he may be persuaded to occasionally broach other topics. A powerful leg kick makes this goon the meanest guy in the gang.
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