Sean Beckwith: An illustrated debate |

Sean Beckwith: An illustrated debate

One of the best aspects of being a real comic book fan is the arguments they create. Who’s the better detective: Batman or Dare Devil? (Batman.) Who’s the better underwater hero: Namor the Sub-Mariner or Aquaman? (Trick question, they both suck.) If you had to pick one power, what would it be? (Spidey abilities or Wolverine’s regeneration.) Marvel versus DC, who wins? (Marvel, unequivocally.)

You can be a fan of superheroes without having flipped through amazingly illustrated pages, but it certainly helps to have Comic Book Guy-level knowledge to back up your positions.

Some people have superhero fatigue due to the endless stream and popularity of the Marvel universe movies — and some DC flicks, most notably Batman. However, for those of us who grew up drawing Spider-Man and Wolverine in the margins of school notebooks, the theater takeover is worth reveling in.

It’s a credit to the hard work of many in the field of comic books, but none more than the godfather, Stan Lee. While his legacy for Marvel Comics — and who created what — is complicated, the outpouring of love for Lee, who died Monday, is remarkable.

Instead of an ode to the man, like so many popping up on the internet, here’s a hypothetical list of which Marvel heroes would ski or snowboard. In the spirit of an early opening to ski season and the culture of comic books created by Lee, it seems appropriate.


We’ll start off easy because nothing says entitled skier better than entitled leader of the X-Men. Allegedly orphaned at an early age while living in Alaska, Scott Summers spent some time at an orphanage in Omaha, Nebraska, before being taken in by Professor X as a teenager and moving to upstate New York. Ski weekends in Vermont were definitely on the agenda.

Captain America

The WWII vet theoretically could’ve spent time with the 10th Mountain Division, and for the sake of this debate, I’m going to say he did. That and the fact that snowboards weren’t invented yet means he’s absolutely a skier.

Jean Grey

Skier. See: Summers, Scott, her longtime boyfriend and eventual husband.


Snowboarder. When people picture Peter Parker, they think nerdy outcast, which is accurate, but he skateboarded in “The Amazing Spider-Man” movies. Because he’s my favorite superhero and I also snowboard, I’m just going to assume he’s a snowboarder (and ignore how bad those movies were).


My affinity for Logan wants me to give him the same Spider-Man treatment, but he’s incredibly old. Also, he doesn’t get tired. That skillset, coupled with a short fuse, makes for a perfect backcountry skier, outscaling and skiing peaks in very remote areas.


Being from the South, some part of me thinks she’s skied in jeans before.

Human Torch

Even though the Fantastic Four were left out of the MCU because Fox attained their rights and ran the quartet’s spaceship into the ground, we do have a clip of Chris “Johnny Storm” Evans — before he was Captain America — snowboarding. It may be the only redeemable part of those movies solely because I can use it to make my point.

Black Widow

One can only assume the Russians included the biathlon as part of her training. I’ve made this point before, but the only logical reason to know how to cross-county ski and shoot targets is because you’re an assassin, which she is.

Iron Man

Upper class and rich but with a rebellious streak? I can’t separate Tony Stark from Robert Downey Jr. enough to picture him on a snowboard. Plus, a young RDJ definitely looks like the kind of guy who’d challenge Stan Darsh to a ski race.

Rapid fire to end it: Jubilee, talented Asian American gymnast from Cali, definitely snowboards; Storm too classy not to ski; Silver Surfer is already on a board; Gambit snowboards but not very well; Bruce Banner definitely skis, but “Hulk snowboards”; the acrobatic Beast snowboards; Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman ski; Elektra skis, preferably on her home continent of Europe; Venom — specifically Tom Hardy’s iteration — snowboards; and Professor X probably skied before his accident but absolutely crushes adaptive skiing.

Enjoy the slopes and … EXCELSIOR!

The Lit Life is going biweekly after this week because Sean Beckwith will be writing another biweekly column with the esteemed Ben Welch for The Aspen Times Weekly. Reach Sean at

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