Superheroes and alcohol

As Launch Week for "Verbosity's Vengeance" winds down, I'm over at my pal Cecilia Dominic's Random Writings blog, talking about superheroes and drinking:
Batman is a fitness junkie who treats his body like a temple, Professor X is an abstemious aesthete. Superman is a workaholic and Captain America is a boy scout, but alcohol doesn't have any effect on either of them, anyway. Of heroes who DO drink, Thor's banquet hall mead quaffing is like a frat house joke, Wolverine's Molson-and-Canadian-Club boilermaker habit is just part of the tough guy rep he works to maintain, and Tony Stark's alcoholic boozing is a standard pillar of playboy excess. Each of them is a literary archetype of a different kind: moral repugnance ascribed to drinking and virtue ascribed to not-a-drop abstention. Where is the moderate, social drinking of the kind enjoyed by billions of people around the world every day?
And where does the Grammarian fit into this picture? What kind of libations does he indulge in? Pop on over and give it a read.

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  1. I'm afraid I'm in the abstemious camp Tony and my 1st novel looked deeply into the drink (sodden) culture of the British when they travel abroad on vacation that gave rise to our so called "Binge Culture" and lots of social problems over here in the UK. But in direct response to your post above, if they are super-heroes, they rise above the everyday person and the mundane, so they wouldn't just reflect the modest social drinking of the majority of people, but naturally gravitate towards either pole of abstension or glutton for alcohol.

    It's interesting what you say about the implicit moral judgement behind alcohol, but the US had that strange period of Prohibition which was all about moral uprightness, yet by advancing the influence of criminals and the corruption of politicians in the pockets of those criminals, it actually had a detrimental effect on the moral life of the country.

    Good luck with the book

    Marc Nash

    1. Even for heroes with a strong everyman streak (Spider-Man, for example), that aspect of normal life doesn't come up much, even when all the other parts of normal life (bills, relationships, etc.) do. It should be part of the landscape they inhabit when "off duty", but is it?


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