It may not be surprising, even if it is disappointing, that there aren’t a lot of fat or even simply larger superheroes. Overweight characters is one area of representation that superhero stories have never done well, being much happier to cast them as villains than heroes. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but it does require a bit of deep-diving and clever definitions to find them. Yet find them I did, so now I present to you 25 fat superheroes.
Note: The term ‘fat’ is used as reference to the characters having a larger than average size, mostly in terms of their body-fat index. The term is not intended as ever being derogatory, even if a few characters on this list treat it that way.
1. Fatman the Human Flying Saucer
What do you do when you lose the rights to your biggest character in a copyright suit with DC? You create Fatman the Human Flying Saucer! Or at least that’s what creators C. C. Beck and Otto Binder did after Beck was forced to cancel his popular character Captain Marvel.
Was the story about an overweight man who is given a chocolate drink by a shapeshifting alien that grants him the power to turn into a flying saucer and takes on a teenage sidekick who can turn into a robot the right choice? Given Fatman only lasted three issues, it seems not. However, they did give us one of, if not the first, fat superhero, so good on them.
2. Big Bertha
One of the very few women to make this list, Big Bertha is also a character whose fat is her superpower. First appearing in West Coast Avengers Vol 2 #46, as a member of the Great Lakes Avengers, Big Bertha has super strength but also the ability to increase or decrease her density as her civilian life is spent as a thin model in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Whether the fact her powers involve her becoming obese is good representation or not is up for debate, however Big Bertha is also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, aircraft pilot, and card player.
3. Red Guardian (MCU)
The Red Guardian of the comics is not traditionally fat, though when Marvel Studios put together the Black Widow film they decided to make him an aging and out-of-shape former Soviet hero played by David Harbour they created a beloved character.
We’ve seen little of Red Guardian so far, having only appeared in a single film so far though is set to appear in the Thunderbolts film, but while most of what we’ve seen of him has been a joke we have also seen him be tender and loving. One of the saddest things about the MCU now is that we’re unlikely to ever see Red Guardian meet his self-proclaimed ‘adversary’ and ‘contemporary’ Captain America.
Fierce fighter, loyal friend, loving father, voluminous. Volstagg of the Warriors Three (alongside Fandral and Hogun) is one of Asgard’s greatest fighters, even if he is often derided by ally and enemy alike for his size. First appearing in Journey into Mystery #119, Volstagg has long remained one of Thor’s greatest friends and is always willing to fight alongside him. Though often the subject of jokes, his character makes him one of the most genuine and stalwart heroes around.
5. Blob (Age of X-Man)
So, yeah, Blob is a big X-Men villain. He’s been a big X-Men villain for most of his existence, and is in many ways the prototypical fat supervillain. Yet there are moments where it isn’t quite so, most notably during the Age of X-Man event. Given X-Man’s weird cultish and dictatorial rule in his new world, Blob’s role as head of his police for the X-Tremists does somewhat question whether Blob still counts as a superhero here, but given his kind nature and pure desire to do good I say he does.
Writer Leah Williams even stated she removed his more villainous qualities for the story to highlight how we view overweight characters. During the event he also develops a relationship with fellow X-Tremist Psylocke, which goes against X-Man’s rules against relationships and is incredibly sweet and heart-warming.
6. Spider-Man (Earth X)
Not a whole lot to say about Earth X Spider-Man. He was Spider-Man, but after having his secret identity revealed to the world he retired, settled down, and started a family. That would have been the end if the Skrull didn’t turn his daughter into a slave and force him back into action, a bit heavier than the last time. Otherwise he’s much the same Spider-Man, if a little bit off-put that he was forced to don a costume once more.
7. Zephyr aka Faith Herbert
One of the only heroes on this list (one of the only fat superheroes at all) to be created with the intent of creating good representation, Zephyr (Faith Herbert) first appeared in Harbinger #1 from Valiant Comics as part of their universe. It’s not an understatement to say that Zephyr is also very popular, given that her limited-run solo series ‘Faith’ sold out five times. With the ability to fly, and also fly others with her, Zephyr’s desire to be a superhero and help others makes her one of the truest heroes on this list.
8. Bouncing Boy
While he may not have the most creative name, Bouncing Boy also has a rather dumb origin as he received his powers from drinking a super plastic formula that he thought was pop. So now he has the ability to inflate himself with air and, well, bounce around.
Though this origin does a bit of a disservice to Bouncing Boy on the whole, for while he may largely provide comedic relief he is also a long-standing member of the Legion of Superheroes and has survived numerous DC reboots to stay with the team in some capacity.
Microbe has the rather unusual ability to communicate with germs and other microscopic organisms, and found a way to use this ability as a superhero with the New Warriors. As a teenager Microbe’s father was working on a cure for numerous diseases and seemed to have found success, only for it to turn out to be Microbe’s mutant power causing the results.
As any good father does the man then disowned his child, leaving him alone until the superhero Night Thrasher adopted him. Both were killed in the Stamford Incident that led to the Superhero Civil War, because his whole life had to be a tragedy.
10. Nite Owl II
I’m not sure about you, but when I’m thinking of fat superheroes the second Nite Owl from Watchmen isn’t the first name that comes to mind, but he certainly belongs here. Much like Earth X Spider-Man, Nite Owl II gained a bit of weight after retiring (though being more forced into it in his case). Daniel Dreiberg has a bit of a beer gut when he decides he needs to put his costume back on.
Given it’s Alan Moore writing, his weight isn’t treated as a joke but as a commentary, intending to look something like a middle-age Clark Kent out of his costume.
11. Thor (MCU)
There’s a good chance this is the most well known entry on this list, and because of that possibly also the most controversial. Not many people particularly enjoyed Thor’s gained weight in Avengers Endgame, or the personality shift that went along with it. As a result of trauma following their loss at the hands of Thanos and a failure to bring back all the lives lost in Infinity War, Thor essentially retired from everything except for video games and beer.
Thor fully embraced his heroic nature again by the end of Endgame, but until then the film is not particularly kind with the fat jokes levelled against him. Thankfully for those not too happy with the chance he loses the weight quickly in Thor Love and Thunder.
12. Fat Fury
So, this one is a little complicated. First appearing in Forbidden Worlds #73, Herbie Popnecker is a rather unattractive young man with an insane amount of powers, including being irresistible to women and being more powerful than Satan. However, he wouldn’t become the Fat Fury Herbie #8, seven years after his debut, after, despite all his powers, failing superhero school so donning a costume himself.
The part where this gets complicated is the fact that the Fat Fury only has the powers that Herbie had at the time he first donned the costume, and this even means that he is never the Fat Fury if he travels back in time. He’s certainly a strange one on this list.
The Brown Hornet was a cartoon within the cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, beloved by the titular character, that eventually got a cartoon of its own. Stinger is the sidekick of the Brown Hornet that the show, that is based off the show within the show, is named after.
Did I make that more complicated than it had to be? Yes, because there isn’t much at all to say here. Stinger is a rather typical bumbling fat supporting character, though does have the notable mention of being one of only two fat African-American superheroes I could find for this list.
14. Mr Incredible
Once again we enter the tried and true ‘retired from superheroics only to gain some weight before they have to pull on the costume once more’ narrative, and it seems to work. Mr Incredible was forced to retire from being a superhero and settled down with his wife Elasti-Girl to raise a family, yet he was never able to shake the itch.
When the opportunity arises he squeezes his larger body back into a costume and gets himself into trouble. The Incredibles is an incredibly well written film, and it is good to see that while there are jokes about his weight they are few and more focused on the idea of him trying to relive his younger years. He does lose the weight as the film goes along, but at the start he is a great piece of representation.
15. The Blimp
Part of DC’s parody team the Inferior Five, The Blimp has the ability to fly but only when he has a tail wind to propel him (so it’s really more floating, if we’re being honest). The Inferior Five didn’t have a great history after their first series was cancelled, largely only getting sporadic cameo appearances.
Even their 2019 limited series reboot was cut from 12 to 6 issues and then had a long hiatus before the final two issues only being released digitally. Given that The Blimp somehow never escaped the orbit of his team-mates, he too has suffered a sad fate of irrelevance.
16. Green Hornet (2011 Film)
The incredibly stylish, as to be expected from Michel Gondry, 2011 film of the Green Hornet placed Seth Rogen into the titular role, and in doing so gave us a Green Hornet to make this list. Surprisingly, while the film may dip into the stereotype of making the fat character bumbling and inept, it is largely respectful of his weight and never really makes a joke specifically about it.
While it is certainly not a film for all Green Hornet fans, and not everybody is a fan of Rogen or his sense of humour, one cannot deny that it does a good job of giving us a decent overweight hero.
17. Captain Underpants
The titular hero of the children’s illustrated books by Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants is another interesting addition to this list. Initially he is simply an alter-ego of Mr Krupp, after fourth-graders George and Harold hypnotise their ill-tempered principal to become the hero from their homemade comics at the snap of fingers (and to turn back when soaked in water).
He does later gain actual superpowers such as strength, flight, and the ability to pull unlimited underwear from his utility waistband. As the book series nears the end he appears less and less until he is completely depowered and erased from existence in the 12th book.
18. Fat Cobra
One of the Immortal Weapons, alongside the more well known Iron Fist, Fat Cobra was born in one of the seven legendary capital cities of Heaven to pig farmers. Sadly his mother died in childbirth, and his father could not afford to feed his appetite so he was left at an orphanage, which too struggled until he was banished from the city completely. While Fat Cobra may not be a big flashy superhero in a cape, he has certainly earned the title with his time fighting Nazis and even the Ku Klux Klan.
19. Fat Momma
Fat Momma is the superhero identity of Nell Wilson for the show ‘Who Wants to Be a Superhero?’ She also had a short series from Esteem Comics so she definitely counts. After eating a donut injected with a chemical cocktail, Fat Momma is able to increase her size by five times when she becomes enraged and she also gains a host of other powers after eating a donut. Fat Momma might just be the most legitimately fun hero on this list, and she well deserves it.
20. Iron Man (What If…?)
So we go from perhaps the most fun hero on the list to what is almost certainly the least. A lot of these characters have fun made of their weight, or even exist purely as a joke, yet somehow none of them manage to be quite as mean-spirited as this What If…? story about Tony Stark developing an eating problem instead of a drinking problem.
You can read it all there if you want, but if you choose to skip it you aren’t missing anything. Some will likely find it funny, or at the very least not see any issue with it, but honestly any humour in it is killed by just how mean it continues to be in each panel.
21. The Coon
Is Cartman’s alter-ego of the Coon a hero? That will surely be a divisive question, though he certainly thinks he is even if he most certainly takes a more villainous turn as the story-line unfolds. But given that the South Park creation is a satire of superhero films like The Dark Knight and Watchmen I’ll still include him here. The Coon is only really interested in the limelight though, and willing to go to some extremes to keep it. In a lot of ways he really shows that the line between superhero vigilante and criminal is pretty damn thin.
22. Mermaid Man
The very much Adam West Batman inspired hero from Spongebob Squarepants is most definitely not in the greatest shape. Getting on in years Mermaid Man’s physique has become far more rounded as his mind has deteriorated a bit. Having received his aquatic-themed superpowers from eating radioactive popcorn, along with sidekick Barnacle Boy the heroes are some of the only human inhabitants of Bikini Bottom and as a result of their local heroics are honoured through TV shows, comics, and toys.
Part of the duo Bluntman and Chronic, superhero characters of a comic series in the View Askewniverse based upon the characters of Jay and Silent Bob within said universe, Chronic is rather obviously a heavily weed-themed superhero. At one point in the real life comics based upon the characters Chronic even contemplates quitting as he feels he has become a mere sidekick, but only stays because he realises that Bluntman has all of the weed.
The origin here is pretty simple, Jay and Silent Bob win the lottery so decide to become superheroes and Bob creates gadgets for the pair to use, so there is not Bluntman and Chronic without Chronic.
24. Fat Gum
Having the power of ‘Fat Absorption’, Taishiro Toyomitsu from My Hero Academia is able to use his fat to absorb the impact of collisions, much like Blob mentioned earlier in the list (even if I never mentioned it there). However this isn’t the end of his powers, or ‘quirk’ as it is known in the show. On top of this Fat Gum is also able to carry passengers along inside his fat with an ability called Fataxi, and he can even convert his fat into muscle and exert devastating kinetic force. This last power makes him skinnier, though only for a short time before he’s back to his rotund form.
Are the Transformers superheroes? Can a robot even be fat? Yes. Okay, let’s justify this. Firstly, the Transformers are really just Superman’s origin on a bunch of robots, dying planet and arrive on Earth with powers greater than exist there. For the latter, Ratchet is round and proud and that’s all that matters.
Originally the best civilian engineer on Cybertron, the war that engulfed the planet impacted Ratchet deeply and turned him bitter and cynical. Ratchet doesn’t have much time for heroes, seeing them as nothing more than a casualty waiting to happen. Still, he recognises something special in Optimus Prime and is willing to follow the leader, even if he continues to grumble along the way.
What do you think of these Fat Superheroes?
Are any of these fat superheroes your favourites? Are there any you think were missed but deserving of the list?
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