Can Spider-Man Get Drunk? | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources

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Today, we look at what happens when Spider-Man gets drunk.

In Comic Book Questions Answered, I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Doug F. wrote in to ask whether Spider-Man's healing abilities affect his ability to get drunk. So, basically, can Spider-Man get drunk and what happens when he does?

Luckily for Doug, I actually covered Spider-Man's history with drinking pretty extensively a few years back, so I know just the stuff for this one.

MARVEL's CURRENT STANCE ON SPIDER-MAN GETTING DRUNK

In recent years, Marvel has made an explicit point to not show Spider-Man or Peter Parker imbibing in alcohol. In Amazing Spider-Man #658 (in a back-up story by Rob Williams, Lee Garbett, Alejandro Sicat and Fabio D'Auria), Spidey literally drinks MILK at a bar with Ghost Rider...

Similarly, in Wolverine #74 (by Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert, Mark Farmer, Edgar Delgado, Morry Hollowell and Paul Mounts), Spider-Man visits Wolverine in a bar and despite the comic book being essentially Marvel's equivalent of an R-rated book, Spidey specifically chooses not to drink at the bar...

Going further, as I noted in a Comic Book Legends Revealed in 2018:

In the contract that Marvel made with Sony for the Spider-Man movies, part of the deal insisted that Spider-Man never drink a beer.

And Paul Scheer told the Hollywood Reporter that when he tried to have Spider-Man drink a beer in a Spider-Man/Deadpool issue that he wrote, Marvel told him that Spider-Man could not drink a beer.

In Amazing Spider-Man #601 (by Mark Waid, Mario Alberti and Andres Mossa), we see that Peter got drunk at Aunt May's wedding (and ends up sleeping with his roommate, Michelle Gonzales)...

...but it was all psychosomatic, as the champagne was non-alcoholic.

Okay, so the CURRENT position at Marvel is pretty clearly that Spider-Man doesn't drink. What about the past, though?

SPIDER-MAN'S HISTORY WITH DRINKING

When it comes to Spider-Man (either as Peter Parker or as Spider-Man) drinking alcohol, there has only been one flat out instance of Peter actively choosing to drink alcohol in "official" continuity, which was in Amazing Spider-Man #51 (by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna), where Peter is celebrating Mary Jane's return to his life...

He also drank in the out-of-continuity Tangled Web series (in Tangled Web: The Thousand #2 by Garth Ennis, John McCrea, James Hodgkins and Steve Buccellato)...

In addition, in the back-up about Ben Reilly's time when he first came to life and went off on his own (reprinted in Spider-Man: The Lost Years #0), one of the first things he did was to get wasted off of beer (in this story by Howard Mackie, J.M. DeMatteis, John Romita Jr and Joe Rubinstein)....

Note how Ben even mentions how Peter DOESN'T drink, though...

He did ORDER a beer in Marvel Team-Up #75 (by Ralph Macchio, Chris Claremont and John Byrne), but he did not drink it...

Peter APPEARS to be drinking a beer with Ben Reilly in Spider-Man Unlimited #12 (by Evan Skolnick, Steve Geiger, Paris Karounos, Steven Butler, Randy Emberlin, Derek Fisher, Scott Hanna and Al Milgrom)...

but the letter column of the next issue reveals that it was ROOT beer that they were drinking (sure they were).

So yeah, Peter really doesn't drink...on PURPOSE, that is.

WHEN SPIDER-MAN GOT DRUNK

The one time we got to see an actual drunk Spider-Man was in Web of Spider-Man #38 (by Fabian Nicieza, Alex Saviuk and Keith Williams). This was a weird period in the history of Web of Spider-Man. The previous creative team of David Michelinie, Marc Silvestri and Kyle Baker had dropped the series and Michelinie was moved over to the main Amazing Spider-Man series and Web of Spider-Man just went with a variety of writers for most of 1988, with Peter David having the closest that they came to a "regular" gig on the series before Gerry Conway (who had taken over Spectacular Spider-Man earlier in 1988) became the writer on both Web and Spectacular Spider-Man with Web of Spider-Man #47.

Anyhow, in Web of Spider-Man #38, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson Parker are having their first big party at their apartment, which is the apartment Peter had been living in for a number of years at this point (they soon move into their own new place early in Michelinie and Todd McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man run).

Throughout the party, Peter is enjoying the fruit punch that his wife made...

Big mistake, Peter!

Peter is called into action when his buddy, Harry Osborn, calls him to let him know that Harry just saw the Hobgoblin in action. However, right off the bat (pun unintended, but Spider-Man DOES make a very late 1980s New York baseball reference here), Spider-Man has some issues, as he actually MISSES with his webs!

He runs into the Hobgoblin and MISSES AGAIN!

Things get worse when the drunken Spider-Man lands on a nearby car and they even get to hear Spidey's drunken belches...

Luckily, Spider-Man ends up messing with Hobgoblin's cybernetic glider control and Hobgoblin is taken off to the races and Spider-Man successfully uses his own drunken misadventures to sell photos to J. Jonah Jameson of drunk Spidey in action. Peter returns to the party so he could find out who spiked the punch and it turns out that it is the husband of his annoying landlady! Peter leans into it...

Very funny stuff from Nicieza and now we know what would happen if Spider-Man were ever to get drunk (really, it's a lot like when he gets sick, as he has done some crazy stuff over the years when he was suffering from the flu, like once literally robbing a jewelry store because he felt that Gwen Stacy deserved something nice for her birthday! The featured image is actually from one of the times that Peter got sick).

Thanks for the question, Doug! If anyone else has a comic book question, feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com.

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About The Author

Brian Cronin (15025 Articles Published)

CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over a dozen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you'd like to see featured at brianc@cbr.com!

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