Four For 420: Our Favorite Psychedelic Comics

By Josh Wigler and Rick Marshall

There’s no denying that comic books are often strange — some might even say trippy.

In honor of April 20th, the day when everyone seems to have mind-altering moments on the brain, it seemed fitting to take a look at some of our favorite characters from the comic book world who have experimented with hallucinogenic and psychedelic drugs. While we certainly don’t advocate such activities, we can’t help but celebrate these comic-book moments that have varied from hilariously far-out to dangerously past the brink of insanity.

Read on for four of our favorite psychedelic, surreal and otherwise trippy comics and story arcs.

THE INVISIBLES: Pretty much anything and everything that Grant Morrison has ever written qualifies as “trippy” (if you haven’t read “Animal Man,” please get on that) but “The Invisibles” tops the charts even by his standards.

Widely seen as a major influence on “The Matrix,” Morrison’s “Invisibles” tells the story of a group of uniquely gifted men and women battling societal oppressors preventing the rest of civilization from experiencing the real world — a war where time travel, magic, and drug use number among the weapons of choice.

PREACHER — “DIXIE FRIED”: The entirety of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s “Preacher” is filled with jaw-dropping moments where you’ll find yourself saying: “Did that really just happen?”

Still, things go down a literally trippy path in the “Dixie Fried” story arc as Jesse Custer goes on a peyote trip to discover the true nature of Genesis, the holy baby with the voice of God that’s tied itself to Jesse’s core existence. The results are predictably wild.

SIN CITY — “HELL AND BACK”: Frank Miller’s seventh “Sin City” volume — titled “Hell and Back” — literally breaks the color barrier when the black-and-white adventures of ex-soldier Wallace turn red, white, blue and a whole host of other colors thanks to a forced drug experience.

With the assistance of hallucinated heroes such as Captain America, Leonidas from “300” and Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Wallace has to overcome his bad trip in order to regain his wits and rescue his lady.

SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING — “RITE OF SPRING”: Much like Grant Morrison, celebrated writer Alan Moore has always dabbled in the surreal and psychedelic when it comes to comics.

In issue of #34 of his acclaimed run on “Saga of the Swamp Thing,” the swamp-borne hero and his lady love, Abigail, get intimate in a very unique fashion. She eats one of the plants growing from his body and the two share a hallucinogenic coupling filled with crazy imagery and narrative.

Tell us some of the trippiest comic books you’ve ever read in the comments section and on Twitter!