Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can Superman Get Drunk?

Or at least get buzzed? Can he?

Or does he occasionally share a drink with us just to make us feel good? You know, so he won't be the "downer" who chooses a Diet Coke at the bar?


  1. I think it's ridiculous that him having a beer is even an issue. He's over 21.

    DC can have Wendy and Marvin being gruesomely mauled to death by an evil Wonder Dog in Teen Titans, but Superman having a beer with his dad, not driving, and being over 21 is too adult???


    When did Clark Kent become a Mormon?

  2. Anonymous10:27 AM

    Im assuming that if he can suck up poison gas and eat plutonium he can't be affected by alcohol.
    It would be funny though if he drank something nasty like battery acid and got buzzed

  3. Anonymous10:34 AM

    How many beers before he has to break the seal on his super bladder?

  4. touche.

    i doubt it, but of course if he is ingesting it, it's going right to his blood stream, so maybe?

    wolverine can't get drunk.

  5. superman is straight edge yo.

  6. Anonymous11:12 AM

    You know, the first time they mentioned that Wolverine couldn't get drunk, I thought it was kind of interesting.

    But it got kind of old after awhile. Actually, what got kind of old was him acting like he was drunk.

    The first time I read about it, they did a good job with it. Don't rememember who the writer was, but he tore something up or said something off color. Someone said, "Man. He's drunk as a skunk!" or something to that effect, and I remember Storm said, "He can't get drunk," and it was, like, this deep, winking message. The readers knew he couldn't get drunk, because it was established. He was acting like he was drunk, which the readers knew was wrong, and then the writer acknowledged it. It was well done.

    But it got so weird when he was acting drunk and hitting on women on a plane. Don't remember, now, if it was part of the Avengers, or Secret War, but it was creepy.

  7. According to Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, alcohol has no effect on him.

    Written for adults... marketed for children...

    I'm beginning to see how this gets people into trouble.

  8. There is something about Superman having a beer that just seems wrong. I think they should embrace the whole boy scout thing.

  9. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Could be apple juice in that bottle.

  10. I'm surprised he doesn't drink more; he's a journalist, after all.

  11. Superman Returns: Don't Clark and Jimmy partake in beer swilling at a classy Metropolis bar, tended by the Jimmy Olson from 50 years ago?

    Superman 3: Angry, dirty Superman takes a shot of Johnny Walker Red (or was it Black?), flicks peanuts at bottles and then melts the mirror.

    Of course, this is in the movies. Maybe in the comics he just enjoys the taste of malted hops and barley.

  12. "Can Superman get drunk?"

    Only on the Romulan ale!

    sorry I couldn't resist.

  13. I imagine his metabolism would break down the alcohol with little worry about getting drunk, though if he consumed enough of it...

  14. Come on, it's probably just a bottle of root beer.

  15. Superman can drink, but he can't get drunk, I'm going to say. Except sometimes he goes to the like, Thanagarian Battlebrew that Hawkgirl gave him, or whatever, that he keeps in the Fortress.

  16. I think this is supposed to be a take on Sprecher's:,vintage-sprecher-black,1487911.html

  17. I think an interesting question is whether or not Superman should drink or not. I like to think that he's like a doctor, on call. If he's drunk, something might go wrong, or if he has alcohol in his system, it might cause a tremor or something.

    Does he know that sharing a beer with his dad is for the most part okay? Sure. But he doesn't want to take that chance.

  18. Actually, it does look like a root beer.

    What's wrong with Mormons? They are about as American as apple pie, baseball, and Mom.

  19. If the commenters actually looked at the linked pic they will see that it is in fact root beer. Superman does not drink. Bibbo schooled him on that point sometime soon after Man Of Steel. Role model and all that. Additionally, Kryptonians were (pre-crisis anyways, not sure about now) physiologically incapable of inhaling smoke, so don't be getting any other ideas.

  20. Didn't Byrne's post-crisis Superman drink champagne? I mean, come on, he's Superman....I doubt he's gonna get taken down by a bottle of Jack Daniels.

    That said, he could always play off his tolerance for alcohol by mentioning he used to play football...and then just wink, implying football players tend to party a lot.

  21. What's wrong with Mormons? My family all are Mormons. Want me to give you a list? LOL

  22. Anonymous3:18 PM

    Didn't realize until I went to LITG that there was really some kind of issue around this. Amazing.

    As John Byrne says about the All Star Batman and Robin gaffe, "There's an irony here. A friend who works up at DC was telling me just a week or so ago of a conversation he'd had with an editor. This editor expressed his concern that "comicbook swearing" (%@$!) was being used in the dialog of characters like Superman. Since "we all know what that shorthand means" the editor thought it inappropriate that it should even be implied that Superman, or any other superhero, would use the words that could not actually be printed.

    "Meanwhile, just a few doors down the hall, this book
    [ASBAR] had been coming out for more than a year."

  23. It looks to me like the bottle even says "root beer" at the bottom of the label, but I can't quite make it out. At the very least, "beer" is off center for some reason.

  24. aboynamedart: "I'm surprised he doesn't drink more; he's a journalist, after all."

    Amen to that.

  25. Are people actually bitching about this?




  26. Speaking as someone who doesn't drink, I'm slightly bothered by the implication that Superman "should" drink, and that it's somehow a flaw in his character that makes him a "downer". Gee, so sorry that my choice of beverage makes you question your lifestyle. :)

  27. Greyman24, I think the instance you're referring to is Uncanny X-men Annual #11 with Chris Claremont writing and Alan Davis doing the art (sad that I know this, isn't it?). And yeah, in that case, it worked pretty well. I've not seen any of the attempts to duplicate it (unless I was reading one of them), so I can't speak to those.

    As for the debate on Sups have a beer, I don't see what the issue would be from an ethical standpoint. Alcohol isn't evil or wrong, only the abuse of it. I just think it comes across a bit out-of-character given how Superman/Clark Kent is, but I could be way off on that since I've never really cared for the Superman comic books.

  28. I know there was a post-crisis issue from 1990 or something where Clark and Pete and Lana go to some New Year's party when they're in high school and there's a whole heavy-handed message about drunk driving in it. But there's a scene at the party where it's clear everyone has been pounding beers all night. Lana and Pete are hammered (not kidding) and Clark is all, "What? Am I supposed to be feeling something here? Because, um, this is lame."

    So, there's some documentation of his inability to get drunk on Earth booze, for what it's worth.

    As for whether or not he should drink at all, I think Superman probably shouldn't hit the bars, but Clark can drink a beer if he wants. He should, actually, to keep up his disguise.

  29. Anonymous12:02 AM

    I wouldn't be able to really say if Superman could get drunk, who knows how much alcohol really effects Kryptonians before we get to stuff like how his body breaks it down considering his lungs have been able to take in poison gas.
    As for Superman drinking, it's a nice little thing in the midwest when a son can speak to his father man to man over a drink as equals rather then just father and son. :)

  30. No Superman can't get drunk... however the man likes to ride ye white lady.

  31. 1. I don't think a single beer would effect Superman. Hell, I don't think 1,000 beers would get Superman drunk. It isn't like he's slamming back a six-pack of Pale Kryptonite Ale or anything.

    2. It's one beer. Christ. Get over it people. Also, I don't think little Billy is going to start knocking back Budweiser in the school cafeteria because of one tiny image on a comic book cover.

  32. Maybe he just really enjoys the taste of a cold frosty beer. I know I do, and I don't drink to get drunk or buzzed. I just enjoy the taste of different types of beer, and like trying them whenever I can.

  33. Anonymous11:04 AM

    As far as the image itself, I see what the artist intended. It's a piece of Americana. Father and Son leaning against a split-rail fence while Mother and Daughter-in-Law look on from the porch. Dad and Son sharing a beer and talking about...anything. Politics. Sports.

    I mean...isn't that the American Way that Superman is supposed to be defending?

  34. Man, that Gary Frank sure can draw!

    After closely inspecting the artwork in question, I've come to believe the beverage is in fact root beer. But I also think Superman's Kryptonian physiology renders him immune to the effects of alcohol. If he wanted to quaff Milwaukee's entire output and then do tequila shots all century, he probably wouldn't get so much as a buzz.

    At the same time, perhaps in his Clark Kent guise he stikes me as generally a teatotaler, only indulging in celebratory champagne or the occasional glass of wine in order to "blend in." Although I suppose an argument could be made that part of his Clark Kentness is to good-naturedly tell people he doesn't drink, perhaps even with a claim that it goes right to his head or some other self-deprecating excuse.

    I imagine Lois and some of her hard-drinking journalist friends probably mocked him behind his back when they first learned of this, never knowing he could hear them with his super-hearing, a sly smile on his lips because the joke's really on them.

    Plus, it'd be a great excuse to hold in reserve sometime while at a party when a cataclysm on the other side of the world or in space breaks out. Take a drink, pretend to pass out, then make his exit when friends dump him on an out-of-the-way sofa somewhere.

    "Say... where's Clark?"

    "That lightweight? Took one drink and fell asleep! We stuck him in the guest room."

    Whereas in uniform as Superman, I have this feeling he never drinks alcohol because of his role model for kids status. In fact, you rarely if ever see the costumed Superman imbibing or ingesting anything, except that one time Curt Swan drew him eating the depowered kryptonite.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. Not that I personally have anything against boozing it up, but I just don't see Superman as someone who indulges in our human vices. Just our human virtues.

  35. Interesting note I remember from an old issue of Secret Origins: The Flash can't get drunk. He metabolizes the alcohol too quickly. One would assume Superman probably has the same "problem."

    As to whether Superman drinks for pleasure: without the opportunity to get at least a buzz out of it, most alcoholic drinks aren't nearly so appealing. (Wine culture wouldn't exist if it weren't a culturally elite method of getting blotto.) If he drinks, it's probably only when someone he knows well has a drink to make them feel more comfortable. A beer with his dad, entirely possible.

    But most of the time, I get the feeling he just drinks root beer.


  37. If ya look closely at that picutre, it looks like it does say "Root Beer" on the label.

  38. * It's not root beer. If the intention was that this was root beer, the art would have clearly indicated that. But no, it clearly indicates "~~~~ Beer". (Root, Dark, Lite, Ultra, Near,...) At best, you can say that the intent is to give an out. (Which DC took by zapping the bottle completely.) If they truly wanted to make it clear, they would have labelled it "Soda".

    * Does it help the character's image to imply that he never drinks under any circumstances? (Rather, to hid ethan he ever drinks, a subtly different thing -- not that he's a teetotaler but that if he drinks, he hides it.) Or does it help the character to imply that he has common, Midwestern values including (whether he can get tipsy or not, or even likes the taste) recognizing the value of the social interactions attached to casual familial beverage consumption? Hmmm.

  39. Clark doesn't seem the type to get drunk. I'm sure he has a beer while watching the game or a glass of wine with dinner every now and again, but he just doesn't seem the lush type to me.

    But now I'm trying to remember if it's fanon or canon that Steve Rogers doesn't drink...

  40. Root beer or just plain beer, DC has settled the issue because evidently the new cover has a clumsy past-up job and the bottle now simply reads "Soda Pop."

    So there you have it, the official word- Not only doesn't Superman imbibe spirits, but the Kents are so cheap they drink generic carbonated soft drinks from the local discount club store.

  41. If you took Earth alcohol and placed it on Krypton (or in Kandor or anyplace with a red sun), how would it affect Kryptonians? Might it have a different effect on Earthlings visiting Kandor?

    Conversely, is there an equivalent of alcohol in the Kryptonian universe, and what would its effects be on people in worlds with yellow suns?