Comic strips & superheroes with a tendency to drink

Mama Duck:
[sniffing Duffy's breath] Daffy, have you been drinking?
Duffy Duck:
[offenden] Me drinking? Me drinking? [drunkenly] Yes! [Mrs.Daffy hits him with a rolling pin]

Duffy Duck together with Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny are characters introduced by the Looney Tunes series, simultaneously with Merrie Melodies, a partner series, starting from 1930 until 1968. Warner Bros produced these American animated comedy short films and they created a worldwide sensation that spans till nowadays. The Looney Tunes franchise has achieved worldwide recognition and success, expanding to encompass numerous forms of media such as television shows, feature films, comic books, music albums, video games, and amusement park rides.

The characters from the franchise are highly recognizable and have even made cameo appearances in various other media forms. Bugs Bunny, one of the franchise’s most popular characters, is widely considered a cultural icon and has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to its widespread popularity, many of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies films have received critical acclaim. They are considered among the best-animated cartoons of all time, with five of them having earned Academy Awards.

While many of us may vividly recall Wile E. Coyote’s comical falls off of cliffs and Bugs Bunny’s escapes from the bumbling Elmer Fudd, it’s important to note that classic American cartoons often featured depictions of drinking and drunkenness. These instances were prevalent throughout the cartoon canon, despite perhaps not being as immediately memorable as some of the more iconic scenes. In the 1928 cartoon film “Whoa Whoopee,” Felix the Cat drinks heavily at the Whoopee Club before driving home drunk, while his frustrated wife waits for him. This kind of behavior was a recurring theme in cartoons, and by the 1940s, Daffy Duck had replaced Felix as the character most likely to have a drinking problem, often serving as a contrast to the soberer, but yet sometimes also inebriated, Bugs Bunny.

Disney also incorporated quite a few scenes of characters drinking heavy alcohol into their feature films. In the movie Dumbo (1941), Dumbo and his rodent companion consume Champagne-contaminated water from the circus bucket in the movie, resulting in them witnessing an array of bizarre and unsettling visions involving pink elephants that undergo trippy shapeshifting and forming a massive elephant with multiple heads, resembling a surreal musical orchestra.

Beginning in the 1980s, there has been a tightening of rules governing the depiction of alcohol in children’s television and films, resulting in a shift away from drinking-related content in new cartoons and the editing of such scenes from classic works. However, this was not the case in comic books. In another American media and entertainment company, Marvel, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Disney Company since 2009, one can find vivid depictions of superheroes battling with a bottle, or two.

Who doesn’t know The Thing, the Sandman, the Spider-Man, Wolverine, the X-Men, the Iron Man, the Black Panther, and Elektra? These are only a few of Marvel’s superheroes, the list is very big and we will lose our focus. Some of them binge on alcohol, and some do not really.

Matt Murdock for example enjoys a few drinks with his friend Foggy at Josie’s Bar. Daredevil, a Marvel comic appeared first time in April 1964. Later, it became a film, actually, various forms of media were created with this character. Matt was a blind superhero who bared great responsibilities, which explains why he would make sure to call a taxi to drive his companions back home if there was excessive alcohol drinking involved. What a noble guy, right?

Other characters like Ben Grimm, known as The Thing, surely understand the value of socializing over drinks with his friends, as it’s the only opportunity he feels completely at ease and able to unwind. He takes care to ensure that anyone sharing a few drinks with him feels equally at ease, if not more so. Grimm’s approach to alcohol is also positive, as he believes in consuming just enough to create a positive atmosphere without going overboard, at least most of the time.

Wonder Woman, an Amazonian girl shares exactly the same feelings with The Thing. Despite spending her days battling villains, using her lasso to extract the truth from wrongdoers, and defending Earth from attacks by rogue deities, Wonder Woman certainly recognizes the value of taking a moment to relax and have a drink or two!

Hellboy, during his travels through Mexico in the 1950s, acquired a liking for tequila and, while consorting with ghost pirates, he also imbibed rum. He even managed to persuade the occasionally serious Abe Sapien to join him in drinking on a few occasions. Another example of a superhero is Thor, the God of Thunder, who comes from a culture of drinking in Asgard. It is well-known that Asgardians know how to get drunk.

Jessica Jones indulges in drinking whenever she desires, following in the footsteps of other superheroes such as Iron Man, Wolverine, and Captain Marvel, who are seldom seen without a drink. Despite her regular consumption, she has developed a remarkable tolerance to alcohol, but this doesn’t make her impervious to its effects. Both in the television series as well as in comics, Jessica is renowned for her struggles with alcoholism, as drinking is a coping mechanism to manage her trauma. In the comics, she only manages to quit drinking after the birth of her daughter. Although the superhero detective is highly resilient, her abilities do not include a rapid healing factor capable of countering the effects of alcohol.

Last but not least Wolverine is another character who enjoys drinking on his own. Wolverine is a mutant possessing animal-like senses, heightened physical capabilities, a formidable regenerative ability, commonly referred to as a healing factor, and three retractable claws on each hand. He has been featured as a member of various superhero groups, including the X-Men, X-Force, Alpha Flight, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers.

To be fair, some of Marvel’s characters are really unable to get intoxicated hence they do not drink, some instances are The Flash and Captain America. Alcohol immunity, healing factors, or enhanced metabolic rates make it hard for these Superheroes to become inebriated.

Unmasking the Drink of Choice for Superheroes