Off My Mind: Superheroes and Alcohol
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.
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
" 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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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".
" 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.
" @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.
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 "
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.
" @JonesDeini said: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." 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. "
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