Entertainment

Tony Stark’s drinking, Hulk’s anger issues: Scientists track superheroes’ health

e_hawkeye_injured_12152021
Jeremy Renner as a banged-up Clint Barton in “Hawkeye” — Marvel Studios/Chuck Zlotnick

With superheroes everywhere on the big and small screens these days, a group of Australian scientists wanted to analyze what health issues they might have if they were real. 

Yes, this was a legitimate study from the University of Queensland of the long-term health effects of Avenging, that was just published in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally lets its hair down for its annual Christmas issue.

Incidentally, Hawkeye examines Clint Barton’s hero-related hearing loss and PTSD, and characters in Spider-Man: No Way Home exchange superheroic wear-and-tear stories — though spoiler etiquette dictates we can’t reveal who does the griping.

For the study, researchers watched 24 Marvel Studios films released between 2008 to 2021, and found superheroes, “regularly engage in physical activity and exercise…and they exhibit a high degree of social cohesion and connectedness, both associated with a reduced risk of dementia.”

In other word, the Avengers assembling was good for staving off dementia, as well as foes from another dimension.

The MCU’s heroes, “also show a positive or optimistic mindset, as well as psychological resilience and a sense of purpose, all of which have been associated with healthy aging.”

“With the exception of Thor and Iron Man, the superheroes do not drink heavily or smoke,” either, the report details. 

That said, Thor is a 1,500-plus-year-old Asguardian, so he’s got a cheat when it comes to longevity — though Spider-Man’s yoga-like flexibility, and Black Panther’s vegetarianism can also help us mere mortals. 
 

However, there were some caveats: Hulk’s excess weight and prone to fits of becoming an enormous green rage monster shouldn’t be emulated, and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow’s childhood trauma could have affected her later in life — that is, if she didn’t pitch herself off a cliff in a world-saving sacrifice for the Soul Stone in Avengers: Endgame.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.