As this goes live I’ll be on my way back into exile in the North of England as today is the last day of my holiday from the office. Anyway, I don’t know how many of you guys might have picked up the Hellblazer collections but I hunkered down to read volume 7 last night and got a rare genuine laugh out loud moment.
Constantine woke up from a dry keen sojourn and realised that it was his 40th birthday! The issue focussed around a group of his misfit friends who decided to throw him a surprise birthday party. One of them made the mistake of assuming that since they’d had a few interactions that Constantine and the Swamp thing are friends and invited the big guy along.
After some confusion, Swamp Thing left but before he left he turned the weedy (hah!) little cannabis plant owned by one of the party goers into the veritable forest you see in the picture attached as a birthday present.
That issue was published under the vertigo imprint in ’93 and l sent a message to the other admins saying that you wouldn’t see a story like this today.
Not so! Gary was quick to refer me to a story penned by Kevin Smith “The Widening Gyre” wherein the Floronic man used Poison Ivy to develop and distribute a high strength marijuana product across Gotham. However, I could be wrong but I think that this story was published around the same period.
New X-Men dealt with the drug issue by inventing kick, an addictive power booster that actually turned out to be synthesised by their enemy, sublime. The synthetic (and temporary) power drug, Mutant Growth Hormone (MGH), has also done the rounds for a while and pushes the drugs are bad, mmkay, message home to all the readers out there.
It seems that writers have used substance abuse to push that message for a good while but Hellblazer remains the only example I can think of where no negative consequences were implied or shown. They all just had a good time (although they did leave Constantine’s girlfriend’s flat in rather a mess).
The issue was written by master of controversy, Garth Ennis but do you think he was promoting a ‘marijuana is actually fine, mmkay?’ message or just having a bit of fun? regardless of my and your own personal views, do you think I’m right in saying that you wouldn’t get a story such as this without showing any negative consequences to those involved today?
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