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Off My Mind: Superheroes and Alcohol
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
The two could have disastrous results.
Again, the key is being responsible. For normal people that might have had too much to drink, they might vomit or pass out. Unfortunately there are times when they say or do things they wouldn't normally do. Worst case scenario involves those too many drinks and the person doing something completely irresponsible, like get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
What happens when super-powered individuals drink? Drinking and trying to control a motor vehicle can easily be avoided. Drinking and having potentially deadly superpowers wouldn't be so easy to avoid for them. "With great power comes great responsibility." Does that cross over to superheroes needing to be really careful when it comes to alcohol? == TEASER ==
A lot of characters these days have some sort of healing factor. This wasn't always the case but has become a convenient way to explain how Spider-Man can be cut and bruised in one issue and completely healed in the next issue or other title. Having a healing factor means alcohol will have less of an effect. When Wolverine goes drinking, he drinks a lot. Rarely do you see Wolverine even a little bit tipsy.
Other characters, while having incredible superhuman abilities, may not have an above normal resistance to alcohol. Tony Stark is usually the first that comes to mind. He didn't just drink casually, he was an alcoholic. In the regular series his drinking really became serious at a point when he was still wearing the Iron Man armor but eventually he lost everything. He ended up on the streets and almost died. Luckily for others, he didn't drink and operate his suit too often (something that his Ultimate Universe counterpart does these days). If we had a drunk Iron Man, what happens if he flew into an office building or into traffic? He could be trying to shoot a villain with his repulser rays but accidentally hit an innocent if his vision was blurred or if his coordination was off.
Carol Danvers is another character that developed a drinking problem. Her body could be a deadly weapon. I don't recall her making any deadly mistakes while drinking. She seemed to prefer drinking alone and passing out.
Imagine someone like Superman could get drunk. Sure it'd be almost impossible with his superhuman attributes. He could drink gallons of beer and show no effect. But what if there was something strange reaction between the alcohol and his Kryptonian physiology? Heck, what if he drank out of a glass that had tiny traces of Kryptonite in it, for the sake of argument? Superman has been seen doing some jerky things (more so in the Golden and Silver Age comics). A drunk Superman would end in disaster. We can assume that Superman is constantly holding back his strength. Shaking someone's hand or even tapping them on the shoulder requires complete control and concentration. Superman also has his other abilities such as flight, heat vision, super breath, etc that could easily destroy a city if not used with sober level headed thinking.
Does it fall on superheroes to avoid just avoid drinking? Alcohol lowers people inhibitions. People often do foolish things or get really angry. Many heroes can be considered weapons of mass destruction. Adding alcohol to the equation could be disastrous and deadly. It might be best if they just avoided drinking altogether. Alcohol is not a necessity. If a character feels they really need that one drink, there's clearly a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.