Flaws and Choices with Smoking in Comics
IS IT A NECESSARY FORM OF CENSORSHIP BY ELIMINATING SMOKING IN COMICS OR A MISSED OPPORTUNITY TO TEACH A LESSON?
“Hey Bub, want a cigar?” – Wolverine
First off, let me say I don’t condone smoking unless you are of legal age, but never has anyone walked up to me on the street and asked me that. Trust me, I’ve walked down a lot of awful streets. I bring this up because something is starting to bother me. Why can’t Wolverine have a cigar anymore? Yes I know Marvel issued a ban on smoking in comics, and Disney doesn’t allow smoking in it’s movies. But why can’t a character be flawed? Have we lost our own abilities to make a choice?
J. Jonah Jameson smoking a cigar never made me want to smoke a cigar. Watching Ben Grimm smoking a cigar never made me want to smoke a cigar. You get the picture. Now, I bet your saying, “Well smoking is bad, and our children shouldn’t see Super Heroes smoking cigarettes and cigars.” Well ok. That’s a great opinion. But when I read Spider-Man starting at 5 years of age, half of the characters in Marvel smoked. Hell, back then they sold candy gum cigarettes that blew sugar out of them to replicate smoke.
I’m sure at some point I asked my parents what Ben Ulrich was doing. My Mom probably said “It’s a cigarette. Don’t ever do it, it’s bad for you.” Too bad we rarely listen to our parents. Now a days some kids barely have interaction with their parents. Let us be honest here. If kids are looking up to heroes, then should heroes be flawed? Just like people in real life? A person who smokes cigarettes is not a monster just for smoking. Real life heroes can be flawed. We have alcohol consumption, drug use, racism, physical violence, murder, and any other possible crime in almost everything we read. Comics teach what is right and what is wrong every day. So why is smoking the most horrible thing banned from some comics?
Instead of ignoring the issue, take it head on. Have other characters berate the heroes into quitting. Don’t just make it disappear. We, as kids and adults deal with these issues night and day for our whole lives. As a kid who read comics, and related to so many situations with characters growing up, smoking was the least of my worries. Let’s face it kids have it harder every year. Comics can teach some kids more values and decision making than anyone in real life. Smoking in comics can be used in other ways to make a point. So let Wolverine have a cigar with his beer. Let people make their own decisions. Ignoring issues, doesn’t solve the problem.
THIS HAS BEEN DRUNKEN SPIDEY. UNTIL NEXT TIME, THROW ME A BEER.