2008-04-08

Smoke 'em if Ya Got 'em.

Smoking Superheroes is not an unusual thing. Nick Fury, Wolverine and Ben Grimm all light up at various times, but back in the more sophisticated 40's, our heroes were more likely to puff on a pipe than a stogie. I wandered through Jules Feiffer's, The Great Comic Book Heroes and came up with a few panels of Golden Age tobacco promoters.








Let's start off with none other than dignified Bruce Wayne in his smoking smoking-jacket, who is not above afflicting his ward, Dick with second hand smoke.



Of course, young Robin had other problems than mere smoke inhalation to worry about, such as being bound up every issue.








I'm certain the Human Torch is immune to the dangers of inhaling deeply, considering he's an android and all, but can the same be said for his sidekick, Toro?


Perhaps he's okay because he was a flamer himself, but how about the second-hand smoke from the evil Hag? Lots of bad guys sucked back on a fag, but you had to be extra evil to be a woman-smoker.






The Flash is a pretty fast runner for a guy who takes a smoke-break all the time. But I'd recommend that smoking, clumsiness and chemicals do not mix!






Before Hawkman would garb up, he always took the time for a nice relaxing smoooth one.








Ages ago, I once presented Fred & Barney lighting up, but it was unceremoniously yanked by the fine folks at YouTube. Fortunately it's back up again and I can represent it for you:



In the 40's, ads for cigarettes in comic strip form were quite the norm as our friends over at Stupid Comics show us a few Smokin' ads for smooth-smoking aficionados.

Of course Japan was not immune to its idols smoking cigarettes, as this Legend of the Golden Bat explains. Japan's first superhero was 黄金 バット (Ogon batto, also known as Phantoma), dating as far back as 1930. Here are a few more pictures of
Golden Bat cigarettes and a nifty 1966 rendition of him as portrayed by Sonny Chiba!



And the animated version came along a year later:



Also in the 60's, we had 8-Man who got his enhanced strength from lighting up!



Thank goodness, all that smoking madness has subsided over here as more and more non-smoking sections are outnumbering the smoking. But for those who still need their fix, may I suggest you go to your local supermarket/candy store where one can still purchase Candy Cigarettes. Thanks to Orion brand cigarettes, Little Bobdog can keep on puffing in cola or soda flavours! He sure looks happy!

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