Certain days carry meaning for individual sub-cultures, and today, April 20th is one of those days for the world of marijuana. To celebrate on their behalf, we decided to take a look at five heroes whose identities are inextricably linked to their "chemical enhancements."
<b>First Time</b>: <b>Spectacular Spider-Man #64</b> March, 1982<br> <b>Drug of Choice</b>: A synthetic Heroin<br> <b>Still Using</b>? This particular pair of teens had an injection forced upon them by Simon Marshall, working for the villain Silvermane. Rather than getting addicted or even sick, they got superpowers. Like you do. For some reason, in Marvel's recent years, they thought <i>maybe</i> this wasn't the best message, that heroin gives you superpowers, and decided to alter their origin slightly. See, it turns out that Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen were actually mutants, and the trauma of the injection activated their powers. It was just a really happy coincidence that he had dark powers and her light powers calmed him. So remember kids, you will only get superpowers from synthetic heroin if you're already secretly a mutant teenager whose powers haven't activated and you happen upon another mutant teenager whose powers haven't activated who gets injected at the same time.
<b>First Time</b>: <b>Marijuanaman HC</b> 4/20, 2011<br> <b>Drug of Choice</b>: Um, he wears it on his costume. And in his name. Come on, people, this one isn't rocket science.<br> <b>Still Using</b>? Most definitely, man. However, don't be too quick to judge this alien hero. While the name and costume certainly suggest a drug-fueled adventure, this hero is more than just an inspiration for some reefer madness, as is detailed in his first adventure from Image Comics.
<b>First Time</b>: <b>The Flash #112</b> May, 1960<br> <b>Drug of Choice</b>: Gingold<br> <b>Still Using</b>? Ralph Dibny apparently <i>does</i> have superpowers, he just needs his drug to bring them out, in regular dosing. "But it's an extract, it's natural!" is likely heard anytime he's trying to justify it. Ralph isn't using gingold anymore, not because he kicked the habit, but because he died, killed by Neron while he was apparently trying to resurrect his wife Sue (though that was a ploy), who was killed by their dear friend Jean Loring. We won't get into what happened to Sue before that, but the two of them are now ghost detectives, and he doesn't need drugs to be in that form.
<b>First Time</b>: <b>Adventure Comics #48</b> March, 1940<br> <b>Drug of Choice</b>: Miraclo, a "miraculous vitamin"<br> <b>Still Using</b>? Rex Tyler, the first Hourman, used a pill of his own engineering to give himself superpowers one hour at a time. What's a dad to do with a crippling addiction, but pass it on to his son? Yup, that's what Rex did, and now Rick is the Miraclo-enhanced hero. He has dealt with the addictive properties of it before, and now feels that with a patch instead of a pill and the love of his wife, fellow superhero Jesse "Quick," he can keep control. You know, until the next time, when he's addicted and sick again.
<b>First Time</b>: <b>Green Lantern vol 2 #85</b>, Sep, 1971<br> <b>Drug of Choice</b>: Heroin<br> <b>Still Using</b>? OK, so this one has nothing to do with his abilities, and may be a bit of a low blow. But then, it has also been inextricably linked to the character. After almost 40 years off the smack, having dealt with the death of his daughter, and also dealing with the loss of his arm which left "flesh-eating nannies" at the stump that the combined knowledge of Mr. Terrific, Batman, Doc Mid-Nite, Cyborg, all the magic using members of the JLA, and probably even some time travelers who happened to be around couldn't seem to find a way to beat, he decided to turn back to drugs. Seriously. Oh, and there's an incident with a dead cat that's probably best left alone.