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Off My Mind: Superheroes and Alcohol

The two could have disastrous results.

Drinking is something that should only be done responsibly and in moderation. Every once in a while, people partake in the occasional drink to unwind or perhaps in a social setting. We've all seen individuals have a few drinks too many, whether it was a friend, family member, on TV or maybe even yourself. What happens when those few too many lead to bad choices and serious consequences?
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. 
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Posted by Zaber

Matt is drunk? Wow.
Posted by Man of Lengend

great article 


Posted by Eyz

Oh man, that Wolverine panel is priceless! XD

Posted by Soldier zero

Actually Carol Danvers did some pretty stupid thing while drunk, among the others she tried to blast a Kree base into pieces, which almost caused a nuclear meltdown, marginally avoided by the rest of the Avengers

@Eyz said:

" Oh man, that Wolverine panel is priceless! XD "

Personally I found that panel pretty sad, if I rember right it was from the last issue of Joss Whendon run on the X-Men (when Kitty fused herself with the Skrull missile), Logan drunk himself into stupor and tried to cut Jubilee to ribbons, only because she was trying to keep him sane... as a I said sad.
Posted by NightFang
@Man of Lengend said:
" great article "
Posted by dementedtheclown

Thought Wolverine couldn't get drunk.

Edited by chalkshark

It generally flies under the radar, but one of the finest examples of alcohol negatively impacting a hero is an old Avengers story arc, wherein the Masters of Evil lay siege to Avengers Mansion. To take out Hercules, Baron Zemo sends the Wrecker ( I think), in his civilian guise, out to buddy up to Hercules at a local watering hole, & get him dead stinking drunk. Returning to the mansion, Hercules is intercepted by Captain America & The Wasp, & they explain that an ambush is waiting for any Avenger that walks through the door. Hercules refuses to back off, & charges the mansion, forcing Captain America & the Wasp to do the same. Despite his alcohol impairment, Hercules still puts up one hell of a fight, but is eventually overwhelmed & beaten near to death. Captain America also falls into the villains hands, on account of Hercules' rash actions. Only the Wasp escapes.  Hercules spends the rest of the adventure in the hospital, & at one point, it's even believed that he died. A subsequent story arc finds the Gods of Olympus retrieving Hercules' comatose body from the hospital & then exacting vengeance upon the Avengers for allowing the demigod to come to such a state. It's only when Hercules regains consciousness & reveals that he, alone, is responsible for the ills that befell him, that Zeus backs off & the Avengers are exonerated in the eyes of the Olympian deities.
Of course, Hercules is still a heavy drinker, so no real lesson was imparted upon him. 

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

That picture with Supes and the bottle of bourbon sure does take me back.  Yes, he may have been under the influence of synthetic kryptonite when he drank but it still shows how bad things can get if superheroes go into wanton drinking binges.

Posted by KRYPTON

Don't forget about Ghost Rider



Posted by PowerHerc


If a superhero gets super-drunk; he might get his super-ass kicked like Hercules did by the Masters of Evil in Avengers #274.

 



 






 

Posted by Mutant God

Didnt Superman get drunk in Smallville just a few episodes ago
Posted by Superguy0009e

look, heroes need to be as responsible as we are when we drink.....or something terrible could happen *cough cough Machine man vs Iron man cough cough*

Posted by arrowfan237

They obviously go to s.h.a.a .(Super.Hero.Alcoholic.Anonymous)
Posted by Paracelsus

Wow-if a "normal" person behind the wheel of a car can be dangerous when "over the legal limit", then the idea of a "soused" superhero is beyond terrifying! Fortunately, apart from Tony Stark or  Ms.Marvel, most Marvel heroes/heroines are pretty much tee-total(pace Captain America whose alter-ego' Steve Rogers's father had a "drinking problem" causing him to have an aversion to "demon rum" ever since) or at least confine their drinking to "off duty" hours(pace Thor and his odd flagon of mead).

Terry

Posted by Gambit1024
@KRYPTON : What issue is that from?
Posted by ThaMessenger07

With all they go through in there lives a drink may be nice once in a while. Still most Heroes shouldn't even be able to get drunk due to there metabolisms. The ones that can should indeed be cautious. 

Posted by InnerVenom123
@dementedtheclown said:
" Thought Wolverine couldn't get drunk. "
He does get drunk, but his healing factor makes it go by fast (he goes from wasted to having a hangover to sober in a few minutes).
Posted by War Killer

Drinking, no matter in what way or from is irresponsible. I don't support drinking whatsoever, but for a character like Iron Man I find his alcoholism one of the most interesting parts of his character, not because he drank, but because of how he has overcome that addiction and is now a better man because of it; seeing him take responsibility for his actions and seeing him struggle with the demon in the bottle and coming out on top, I mean looking back during Civil War, probably one of the most interesting scenes to me was when Tony was about to take a drink and Sue Storm slaps the drink out of his hand, or when he was talking to Steve and he goes back to all the times he's been drunk and has almost killed someone, I mean for all the villains and super-powered maniacs he's faced, to me the deepest and most emotional stories aren't the ones where the hero is fighting against some big time super-villain, but instead are in a battle with their own personal demons. It's those kind of stories that I think impact us, the readers, the most.

Posted by UnosInfinitos

Wait, doesn't Tony operate the suit at least partially buzzed of full on wasted?

Posted by darkwolverineUSMC

That's why I love comicvine, it brings up good topics. Im surprised that through all the turbulance in spidey'slife he didn't turn into a total wino. Many characters enjoy a after battle drink, but what if one did take it too far?
Posted by GraveSp
@KRYPTON : Spiderman is such a kill joy.  
Posted by mesosteros
@Mutant God: Yeah but it was an enchanted bottle by Zatanna. Which I think also answers the question: "can Superman get stoned?". BTW Power Girl said Guy Gardner once gave her an alien rocket fuel to drink and that she got tipsy. Hilarious stuff. I love the Power Girl comics.
Posted by cmaprice

I'm surprised you didn't feature Hancock. Heh.

Posted by ImperiousRix

I'm all for a superhero getting drunk because, hey, at the end of the day most are still human beings that need to unwind.  Most of the time, comics do a good job showing the consequences of drinking too much or drinking at inappropriate times.

Posted by DKing_CiCADA

I dont know  about you guys , but after a hard day of fighting villains and saving the world I would want to sit relax and have a cold one

Posted by Radread

 I take it as this: Hercules and Thor were born during a time that drinking was the norm. Matt Murdock and Hal Jordan are adults and Peter Parker has talked about how drinking backfires on him. Sounds like your average guys to me.

Posted by Massagingmytemples

I'm drinking Jack Daniels while reading this piece.

"Let's drink till we can't feel feelings anymore."

                          - Peter Griffin

Posted by Kairan1979

There is a comic book After the Cape (Image) devoted to the deagradation of the superhero because of the alcohol problems. I think it covered all the bases (superhero career, job and his duties of the husband and father).

Posted by Paracelsus

Wolverine at least has a fast healing ability(I remember an X-men story where Kitty Pryde tries to smoke his cigar and gets all sick- he reminds her that she doesn't have a fast healing ability as he does)so he's unlikely to get drunk but the others have no such excuse. To quote the then First Lady Nancy Reagan, most heroes just "SAY NO!" to booze,smoking n- never mind mind altering drugs!

Terry

Posted by JonesDeini

Meh, let'em drink. Hell, with all the stuff that they deal with they've earned it.

Just a side note, I'm sooo sick of Marvel using alcoholism to add "depth" to their characters. It worked ONE TIME with Tony and since then they've gone crazy with it. It's almost as lame as using sexual abuse or rape to give a female character "development".  

Posted by Billy Batson

Cheers!

Posted by jcj145
@JonesDeini said:
" Meh, let'em drink. Hell, with all the stuff that they deal with they've earned it. "
 Definitely agree
Posted by dvorak
@JonesDeini said:
" Meh, let'em drink. Hell, with all the stuff that they deal with they've earned it. Just a side note, I'm sooo sick of Marvel using alcoholism to add "depth" to their characters. It worked ONE TIME with Tony and since then they've gone crazy with it. It's almost as lame as using sexual abuse or rape to give a female character "development".   "
I totally agree. Maybe there was original value at the start, but they branched into realism with these sort of story developments and it just halted there. There's not many other things that happen to heroes, other than losing family members. This is definitely one of the blind spots in most super hero writing.
Posted by daredevil21134

When Frank Miller wrote Matt in Born Again he said he dosen't drink@Zaber said:

" Matt is drunk? Wow. "
But Ann Nocenti obviously didn't follow Frank Miller I hated that issue it was stupid
Posted by THEBlaqueBasterd
@Soldier zero: his (rather unfortunate) way of coping with the loss perhaps
Posted by Soldier zero
@THEBlaqueBasterd said:
" @Soldier zero: his (rather unfortunate) way of coping with the loss perhaps "
Ok, try to look this way: Logan has a pretty strong fatherly instinct toward the various X-Kids, the two he's most close with are Kitty and Jubilee. So his reaction to the loss of the first is getting drunk and trying to gut thee other when she came around to get him back on his feets. Myabe I'm losing something here, but it really seem a big WTF.
Posted by Silver Knight75

I would hate to see someone with super speed getting drunk. There would be human-shaped craters all over the place

Posted by jordama

I keep thinking of the panel that has Banshee drinking water from a wine bottle, hoping Jesus will change it for her.

Posted by G-Man

Someone on Facebook listed some characters they wanted to see drinking. One was Ms. Marvel. I wanted to use this image but it didn't "fit" in the article.



Staff
Posted by Journey Into Chaos

NO KIDDING!
Posted by Gangrenedsunday

In a  bar  at  30th  floor of  a  building  a  very drunk  man  says  " I 'm going for a ride "  then  throws himself out  the window .  3 minutes  later  he returned  through the same  window .  Another  customer  asks  " Damn how  you  do that ? "  drunk  man  replied  "It's  a  magical  beer  you drink and  then you  can  fly  ... "  the  two  men  drink  their magic beer,  and the 2nd  man  throws himself  out the window  and  crashed  on  the  floor below  ground  30 .  Then  the  bartender  says  " Damn , Superman,  you're  really dumb   when  you're  drunk "    

Posted by MrCipher

All I can say is...NO DRINKING AND FLYING! :)

Posted by The Avenging Angel

This topic came up once in an issue of Spider-Man (I don't recall what issue). Peter had gone to a party and had some punch, not knowing it'd been spiked. Later he had to change and fight some super villian and his drunkeness completely threw off his sense of balance and agility. I remember him saying that between having to fight the villian and web-swinging around Manhattan he barely made in through the night alive and so he VOWED to never drink again.

Posted by Emperormeister734

this pretty much all of the marvel heroes alley every beer guzzled down  on them

Posted by JonesDeini
@dvorak said:
" @JonesDeini said:
" Meh, let'em drink. Hell, with all the stuff that they deal with they've earned it. Just a side note, I'm sooo sick of Marvel using alcoholism to add "depth" to their characters. It worked ONE TIME with Tony and since then they've gone crazy with it. It's almost as lame as using sexual abuse or rape to give a female character "development".   "
I totally agree. Maybe there was original value at the start, but they branched into realism with these sort of story developments and it just halted there. There's not many other things that happen to heroes, other than losing family members. This is definitely one of the blind spots in most super hero writing. "
Totally agree, they should take a hint from Alan Moore. Everybody in Watchmen had a personality issue that felt organic and wasn't handled in a contrived manner. 
Posted by WadeWilson

well it depends on what superhero, I mean if superman gets drunk we would have an intoxicated flyer and thats no good, but when a guy like deadpool or hercules get drunk, only awesomeness can happen

Posted by blur1528
@Gambit1024:  Its the newest Amazing Spider-man, #658. It has a team-up in the back of it that is about eight pages.
Posted by Gambit1024
@blur1528: Damn, I wanted to buy it but it was sold out :/
Posted by EganTheVile1

Heh, remember when Spider-Man got black-out drunk and slept with his room-mate after Aunt May married JJJ's dad? Good stuff.

Posted by TDK_1997

Wolverine can't get drunk

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