One of the reasons why comic books and comic book movies are so successful is that they provide a mirror into the real world. That seems like an incredible statement given the extreme powers, body shapes, and, well, tights… But comic book heroes, like their mythological predecessors, are often archetypes of various human personalities. When they are defeated, it’s often an all-too real problem that brought them down. This allows us to look at them with compassion and also reflect on our own lives. Here are two superheroes who struggled with addiction as major plot points:
Ironman: Demon in a Bottle
Tony Stark’s Ironman is more popular than ever. He’s a bit of an antihero because he’s a goodguy, but he’s not always a good guy and that makes him someone we can relate to. In Demon in a Bottle, a bold series often called one of the best Ironman stories, we learned that Tony Stark’s kryptonite is alcohol.
Writer Bob Layton explained ” [It’s] just [that in] that particular issue, alcoholism was the bad guy. Instead of Doctor Doom or somebody like that, it was the bottle. That was our villain of the month. And that’s really the way we treated it.”
Ironman’s issues with alcohol and recovery have since become a major recurring part of his storyline.
Although the drug Bruce Wayne’s Batman became addicted to is fictional, the problems it caused him struck some close to home. There had been many comics where Batman had shown his ability to resist intoxication to various drugs. With venom, however, we saw something different. After failing to save a life, Batman struggles with his failure. He refuses to admit that sometimes we lose some. He gets a super-steroid known as venom which he uses it recreationally.
It warps him, twists him. Eventually he forces himself into detox and the Bat has to fight his biggest demons alone in a cave. Like the aforementioned Ironman series, Batman: Venom is well respected because it shows the human side of a superhero.
The Real World
These fictional stories can help us see that irregardless of the tech and brains of Ironman and Batman even they can be brought down by addiction. If it can happen to them, it can happen to us too.
Be the hero in your own story and if you are in need of some help: go get it. Learn about alcohol and drug detox centers by calling (855) 441-2449.