Invincible #78 was a terrifying issue. Not just because Invincible caved and essentially gave Earth up to the Viltrumites, who will undoubtedly destroy it from inside. Not just because Mark’s mom beat on Omni-Man’s chest and somehow didn’t break her hands (how strong is she?) But because, after Mark had been gone for ten months, he returned, exhausted only to find that his longtime love Atom Eve is *gasp* fat.
Not scary fat, but certainly heavier than her previous self. Or any other female superhero ever.
This isn’t unheard of, though. In Umbrella Academy‘s “Dallas” arc, Spaceboy is revealed as a fatty. Two years of watching TV and eating chips’ll do that to a guy.
Generally speaking, though, overweight superheroes are as rare as an eloquent sentence from Muammar al-Gaddafi. Sure, there is the Blob, a B-list superhero at best, but that is about it. And the Blob is typically written and drawn as little more than a fat guy stereotype.
So, why is it that every superhero, regardless of publisher, is a perfect Adonis (not just Adonis blood, either; that’s right, Charlie. Went there.)?
Especially since more and more North Americans are overweight. If comics draw much of their inspiration from reality, shouldn’t there be a couple of men in tights with spare tires?
Granted, comics are escapist fiction, which means that people don’t want to see imperfect people in a world where everything seems so ideal. It would be like a super-heroine with small boobs – it would ruin the fantasy for some.
Perhaps superheroes are so ripped because whatever gives them their powers also beefs up their muscles. Or it requires a ton of energy to save the world, thereby burning off a ton of fat. Or they realized that, to become an efficient superhero, one needs to get in shape.
But really, most superheroes start off as ordinary people, usually scientists or some such. So they should at least have a paunch.
If Marvel and DC were to give an overweight superhero a chance, it could be the best move they ever made. Finally, readers may see a bit of themselves in their heroes, imperfect with the best of intentions. If a reader can relate to a superhero in even the slightest bit, it makes the read that much more engrossing.
Hell, it may even work as an impetus for weight loss. If a reader sees a superhero lose some weight and get in shape for the sake of fighting crime, they may take the same route.
Comics could be responsible for a healthier North America.
If nothing else, could the world please develop a Santa Claus-esque superhero?! The world has gone too damn long without.
Brace yourself, the following picture is huge (how appropriate).