Over the past few years, it has been almost impossible to avoid the resurgence of comic books. These “kids” books are anything but. The themes and artwork are more adult and even the name has changed with “graphic novel” now being the accepted term for a collection of multiple comics. And with The Avengers breaking one billion dollars in worldwide box office, the trend looks like it will continue for years to come. So now, let’s look at the Top Ten Cigar Smoking Comic Book Characters of all time.
10. Howard the Duck—Just making the cut at #10 is Howard the Duck, star of one of the worst comic book films in history. The 1986 movie may be the most well-known comic bomb, but it is still a guilty pleasure and is considered by many to be a cult classic.
9. Lobo—The hard-living, cigar-smoking, loudly swearing bounty hunter may not be as famous as most of the characters on this list. But all of that is poised to change now that a film version of the comic book character is in talks with none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson being considered for the role. (Although we have to agree with many bloggers that Danny Trejo of Machete fame would be perfect for the part.)
8. The Comedian—Alan Moore’s celebrated comic book, Watchmen, has become so synonymous with the graphic novel genre that it was included by Time Magazine on their list of the 100 Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century, the only comic book to be included along with literary luminaries such as John Steinbeck and William Faulkner. The Comedian, Moore’s dark anti-hero, chews his cigars throughout a retelling of history, including a stint as Richard Nixon’s personal hitman.
7. Perry White—What is it with newspaper editors and cigars? Both Perry White (of Superman) and our #6, J. Jonah Jameson (of Spiderman) chomp their cigars with style as they chew out employees Clark Kent and Peter Parker. Look for the new Superman film next year with Laurence Fishburne set to play the Man of Steel’s boss.
6. J. Jonah Jameson—Our second newspaper editor, Jameson gets a slight edge over his DC counterpart for one reason: actor J.K. Simmons’ awesome scene-stealing in the Sam Raimi Spiderman series.
5. Nick Fury—What comic book character could possibly endure being portrayed in film by David Hasselhoff only to bounce back and snag the legendary badness that is Samuel L. Jackson? Nick Fury has been a mainstay for decades, undergoing multiple tweaks to his character as the head of shield and the boss for the Avengers in this summer’s hit film.
4. Kingpin—Cigar smoking master villain the Kingpin has battled almost every character in the Marvel universe, most notably Spiderman and Daredevil. Check out the great Daredevil graphic novel Born Again penned by Sin City and 300 scribe Frank Miller.
3. Ben “The Thing” Grimm—When he isn’t clobbering super-villains like Doctor Doom with his partners in the Fantastic Four, the Thing can usually be seen relaxing with a good cigar. The rock monster that is Ben Grimm is definitely one of Stan Lee’s greatest creations. Skip the (largely forgettable)films with Michael Chiklis and hold out as a reboot of the series is almost sure to be on its way.
2. Hellboy—The Dark Horse comic demon has been one of the most acclaimed characters of the last decade, even featuring in two hit movies starring Ron Perlman as the paranormal investigator from Hell. Not only is Hellboy known for his cigars, but Pearlman himself is also a connoisseur of fine cigars in real life.
1. Wolverine—Perhaps one of the most iconic characters of all time, Wolverine has been featured in thousands of issues of comics, three X-Men movies, and now his own spin-off film series, all the while with a cigar comfortably nestled in the corner of his mouth. His cigars have almost become as famous as his adamantium claws, and they even help actor Hugh Jackman take on an aura of toughness in the films.
Cigars and comic book characters have a long history and there is no way that any list could be definitive. What’s your favorite comic book/cigar connection?