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.

The other day a reader of mine sent me a drawing that John Byrne had done for someone of the Marvel super hero and member of the X-Men, Wolverine. With it was a note 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 messed up continuity of Marvel Comics serves me right, he should be around 130 years old.

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 is the most accurate look to what I (It is my column with my opinion remember) think he should look like.

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 the 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 (Marvel & DC’s non-stop themes) 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 super heroes for the most part older than me. I knew I was getting older when I became older than Spider-Man. When I get older than Aunt May then I’m gonna really feel bad.

With Wolverine in that EXPERIENCED HERO category I would put these Marvel and DC characters in there. 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.

EXPERIENCED HEROES (40 years old or older)

  • Wolverine
  • Nick Fury
  • Wildcat
  • Captain America
  • Hal Jordan
  • Batman
  • Reed Richards
  • The Thing
  • The Sub-Mariner
  • Aquaman
  • Green Arrow
  • Professor X
  • The Punisher
  • Dr. Strange
  • Black Bolt
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Thor
  • Enlongated Man
  • Iron Man

Try and keep in mind, y’all. 40 is not that old. That still leaves the bulk of your Marvel and DC universe 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 40. I’d say he’s pretty much up to anything the bad guys throw at him.

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 ya. In my current 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 being who you’d rather face in the alley outside the bar? Josh Hartnett or Lee Marvin.

Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.

Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week

Beth Hammond
– rock singer / songwriter / actress

Every now and then you get somebody new in rock n’ roll that has something to say and ain’t afraid to say it loud or in a bluesy voice that will bring a strong man to his knees and make a young man tremble. Beth Hammond is that kinda singer.

She’s one of those grab you by the throat singers that won’t let go of you until she’s good and done with you. She’s got a real tight band that’ll remodel a club without use of a nail gun or a sledgehammer. They are that good. Beth is also starring in her first motion picture called ‘Divine Intervention’. Oh, before I forget? She also looks incredible. Of course you’ve got eyeballs. I’m sure you noticed.

Check out her music at her website or her official MySpace site at

Tell her Beau sent ya.

Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week

The Rat Patrol #2
Dell Comics 1966

When I was growing up there were loads of manly TV shows. The best of all of them was The Rat Patrol. You regular Knuckleheads have heard me toast this TV show of testosterone many a time here in this column. Well, during the 60s when The Rat Patrol was on TV there was also a comic book that went with all the other merchandising at the time. We may not have had all the technology of today, but we sure had a truckload of politically incorrect and manly toys.

The Rat Patrol was about a tight fourman group in Africa that were the ultimate pain in the Nazi’s ass. The had two jeeps with machine guns mounted on the back and they had 30 minutes and unlimited ammo to mess with equally dangerous Nazis. Along with it being a 30 minute action show it also showed the Germans as humans fighting a war and not so much cardboard bad guys. Yeah, they were the enemy, but they were also human making them the ultimate bad guys in a strange way.

Hollywood actor and real life real man, Christopher George was Sam Troy the leader of The Rat Patrol. With his cool bush hat and Thompson machine gun he was the guy every kid I ever played army with wanted to be. The first season of the TV series is out on DVD and I highly recommend it. Being a 30 minute show it was a showcase of fine writing and directing because it moved the story and the characters with the action. I’ve gotta say this show is a major influence in my own writing. The creator of the show was Tom Gries. He did a lot of TV work in the 60’s and also wrote and directed one of the best and manly westerns in the movies-Will Penny with Chuck Heston. Gries son, Jon Gries, was the kid in Will Penny, has been in lots of movies and TV. You may remember him as Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite.

The comic book was very much like the TV show as far as story and feel. Very good art and laid out for action story telling. The covers of the comic were usually photo covers with some art. I can still remember the day I saw this cover in the local supermarket in the spinner rack. It was late summer and I was stoked as I laid down my 12 cents for this one. I still have the comic as you can see and it’s in pretty good shape.

Check out the comic and the DVD set then get yourself a bush hat like Sam Troy and watch the ladies throw phone numbers at ya.

The Roundup

The unrelenting heat has finally started to let up. I spent this weekend poolside in the company of the sun, good music and cold beer. Played a little pool basketball and I have to say I have not lost my Geoff Petrie (Portland Trailblazers guard- 1970s) smooth touch on the long shot.

One of the books I’m reading right now is Guests Of The Ayatollah by Mark Bowden (Blackhawk Down). Guests of the Ayatollah chronicles the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by student militants, who held 66 American staffers hostage from November 1979 till January 1981, seizing this nation’s attention in the process. It’s an amazing look at what went on and the details of what our country was going through and how much things have changed. It is an excellent and interesting book.

I will see all of you next week and hope to hear from you as well. I do a pretty decent job answering all my email and I always look forward to seeing what’s on your mind.

Sea El Hombre!

Beau Smith
The Flying Fist Ranch
P.O. Box 706
Ceredo, WV. 25507

Prove your manhood by visiting Beau at the Flying Fists Forum!

About The Author

Beau Smith

Beau Smith is a writer for Comics Bulletin