Beauology 101: “Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.” ~George Bernard Shaw

Beau Smith Spanking The Sock Monkey "How You Like Me Now?"

Beau Spanking The Sock Monkey “How You Like Me Now?”

by Beau Smith

This week I’m going deep into an area that I usually don’t delve into. One that makes me a little nutty when I read or hear others talking about it in heated discussions. This topic falls into the “Who is stronger, The Hulk or Superman” area. What some folks call “Fanboy Talk”.

It’s not a bad thing as long as you remember that these are fictional characters and not real folk, although some of us have been reading about these characters so long that they feel like “real” people.

The other day, a reader of mine sent me a copy of a drawing that John Byrne had done of the Marvel superhero and member of the X-Men, Wolverine. With it was a note saying that he really liked the drawing….BUT….he mentioned that Byrne had made Wolverine look old.

At first I didn’t think much of it, then it kinda hit me….Wolverine IS old. I’m not sure of his exact age, but if memory and the always changing continuity of Marvel Comics serves me right, he should be around 130 years old. (I’m sure someone reading this knows the correct age to the day.)

He does age, we’ve known that from day one and even today Marvel mentions that in his stories. So we know he’s not immortal. I looked at this drawing by John Byrne and thought that this look is the most accurate according to what I (It is my column with my opinion, remember) think he should look like.

He has a bit of a receding hair line, rough, weathered face, powerful looking, yet you can tell that he is only around 5’ 4” inches tall. I’ve seen other renditions of Wolverine in the pages of various X-Men books by the “Pretty Boy” artists, meaning the ones that draw everyone like it was central casting for today’s Orlando Bloom Hollywood. Most of them draw Wolverine like he was 25 years old. Being a writer that respects the characters that I work on and what others have laid out before me, I feel that Wolverine is one of those characters that heads the category of “EXPERIENCED HERO”.

That’s a category for heroes with time, life experiences, and lessons under their belt. The guys that in a crisis or war will be the one that others look up to and will take charge without flinching. If we had to nail down an age on these kinda heroes, I would put them in the 40 and above age bracket in looks and experience.

When I was growing up, I always looked at the superheroes for the most part as being older than me. I knew I was getting older when I became older than Spider-Man. When I get older than Aunt May, I’m gonna really feel bad.

With Wolverine in that EXPERIENCED HERO category, I would put these Marvel and DC characters in there as well. Please remember, these are just MY opinions and I am not trying to provoke your inner fanboy into a primal scream or convert you over to Al Qaeda. I may have also forgotten someone on your list, so keep that in mind before you get your Spider-Man underoos in a wad. (Not that you could ever truly be mad at me.)

EXPERIENCED HEROES (40 years old or older)


Doc Savage

Doc Savage
Nick Fury


Captain America
Hal Jordan
Reed Richards
The Thing
The Sub-Mariner
Green Arrow
Professor X
The Punisher
Dr. Strange
Black Bolt
Ms. Marvel
Iron Man
Jonah Hex

Try and keep in mind, 40 is not THAT old. That still leaves the bulk of your Marvel and DC universes under 40. Also keep in mind that most of these characters have super powers so being 40 or older doesn’t affect them the same way it does you or your mom and dad. This is the world of make believe so regular things are a bit askew.

If you wanna look at the “in-between” field of entertainment, TV, remember that Kiefer Sutherland/Jack Bauer is over 40. I’d say he’s pretty much up to anything the bad guys throw at him. (Especially after last week’s episode where he donned that cool black war mask.)

Cobb: Off The Leash

Cobb: Off The Leash

So just because you’re somewhere between the ages of 17 and 25,don’t think every fictional character should be your age. You’re getting older every day and the next thing you know you’ll be older than Spider-Man, Captain America, and even Aunt May. It ain’t pretty when the pretty leaves you. In my IDW creator owned comic book, Cobb: Off The Leash, I purposely made Cobb 42 years old to prove this point.

So next time somebody tells you that a character is “too old” to be doing that, you think really hard before you chime in with whatever lingo the brain dead, self absorbed, OC lovin’ morons on The Real World are saying when they get excited and discover they can count all five fingers on their hand.

Also think about who you’d rather face in the alley outside the bar….



Josh Hartnett


or Lee Marvin.

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.

Your old amigo,

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch


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