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Everybody’s Somebody’s Baby – Day One

Okay, so we had the Top 100 Marvel and DC Characters List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT hundred on the list. But what about those characters that were less supported? THEY have their fans, too, right? So this week, each day I’m going to take a look at some characters who made only ONE ballot – but were chosen FIRST on that ballot.

Enjoy!

The Blob – 10 points (1 first place vote)

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Frederick J. Dukes, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the pages of The X-Men, was always a bit of a joiner.

Magneto wants him on a team?

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SURE!!

Mystique is putting together a group?

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Count the Blob in!!

The government wants to hire them?

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Nice!

The…TOAD is putting together a team?

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Apparently the Blob is there!!

Professor X formed a team?!!?

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Okay…still, the Blob is there.

Wait…BANSHEE forms a team and the Blob is still there?!?

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Apparently (and yes, I understand the Blob was coerced to join Banshee’s team – it’s still funny!)

Sadly, the Blob was basically the only mutant to lose his powers after the House of M without getting them back.

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Here is why Mark Mills had the Blob numero uno on his list…

Out of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, why in God’s name would I pick the Blob? Frankly it’s not for anything that he’s actually done. Ever since his first appearance in X-Men #3 (the very same issue that Comic Book Guy compares to Marge Simpson’s breast implants), no two writers seem to agree on his power, his personality, or even his origin. Fred J. Dukes gains and loses super-strength when the story calls for it, alters his speech patterns for the purposes of the writer’s whims, and either was born with his powers (in non-mutant fashion) or developed them at puberty like the rest of the X-people.

But, if I hit the literary lottery and could write a book about any Marvel character, I’d pick the Blob. Just explaining his complete lack of continuity would be more entertaining than a lot of comics I could mention.

My irrational connection with Fred started back in 1996 at the World Fantasy Convention in Schaumburg, Illinois. As I was lounging about, drinking a beer, Neil Gaiman made his appearance, followed by an adoring entourage. I couldn’t help thinking that if Gaiman was a real-life equivalent to Dream/Morpheus, I’d have to be a fat loser like the Blob (the Kingpin being too snappy a dresser).

While Superman might represent a comic reader’s fantasy, the Blob is a sad reality: a slob who has had his ass handed to him by the X-Men, the Avengers, the Hulk, Spiderman, and Rom, but never gives up. . . except now due to House of M, apparently he has given up, powerless and possibly dead. But mark my words, even if he is really dead, that won’t stop the Blob! The Blob is the insane optimism of someone who doesn’t know when to quit.

The Blob is me.

The Blob is all of us.

Thanks, Mark!!

37 Comments

Cronin, on a Monday morning, you are the wind beneath my wings.

that’s great.

i love how stan lee blatantly rips of the tagline for the steve mcqueen movie :D

Great, interesting rationalization. Any fangirls feeling kindred spirits to Big Bertha of the Great Lake Avengers?

Almost makes me wish I had recognized the untapped goodness that is Blob and put him on my list…almost. My only memories of him are from the 90′s cartoon. Sadly, I’m probably more Blob than Superman, but I can live with that.

Awesome.

But, ahh, classic X-Men comics. It was the third issue, and already it boiled down to “Uh… let’s have ‘em fight a fat guy!”

I swear, the X-Men were born out of laziness, and transformed into the most popular and convoluted franchise ever. I really don’t get it, but thanks to Mark, I now get the simple, blubbery beauty of the Blob.

Isn’t there a Blob-like character who’s part of JMS’s new Squadron Supreme/Supreme Power universe? Can’t remember what the character’s name is though…

Damn shame they stopped making that comic by the way.

Blob has apparently not quite given up the ghost, as he appeared recently in X-Factor as a member of the X-Cell.

Any fangirls feeling kindred spirits to Big Bertha of the Great Lake Avengers?

A big fat woman with a hot supermodel inside of her?

I’d think there’d be a few :P

The Grey Hulk vs. Freedom Force issue was a great one– Hulk grabs a couple handfuls of Blob and starts moving backward, prompting “hey, wait, ow, that’s not how my power works!” complaints. Hulk’s view was basically: if you can’t be moved, then you stand right there for a while and let’s see how that works out for you when you and I are playing tug-of-war with your belly.

So, if the Blob’s been “de-mutantized,” what does that make him now? Is he a normal-sized guy, or just a big fat guy who’s no longer strong enough to move his own body weight?

suedenim – IIRC he was a thin guy with loads of excess skin tissue.

This is even better than the original list! Keep them coming, please.

DW

The Squadron Supreme character in question is called Shape.

Who the hell is on Banshee’s team????

What, you don’t recognize Bubble-gum Girl, The Haughty Blonde, or X-Military?

Banshee’s team had Blob, Avalanche, Husk and Jubilee. It wasn’t great, but it was probably the last time either of those last two characters were written with any reference to continuity. After that came Chuck Austen.

Also involved, but not on the cover, were Monet, Jamie Madrox (used as a one-man army), Sunpyre (Sunfire’s purported sister, who was on the X-Men for one mission and added to that story to get killed by Mystique), and one of the Lady Masterminds (being mind controlled into mind controlling Blob and Avalanche). Banshee was kind of crazy, but Archangel got to wear some neat suits.

Compared to the run that followed, those were good times.

Avalanche on the left. Lady mastermind on the right of Banshee….God knows who Bubblegum girl is! But she looks cool so I WANT HER ON AN X-TEAM RIGHT NOW!

Damn. Beaten to the punch. But Bubblegum girl ain’t Jubes, is it? SAY IT AIN’T SO!?!?!?!?

Blob is pretty bad ass, he’s taking a punch from Hercules and Wonder Man all while Iron Man is shooting lasers at him on that Avengers cover…that is awesome

suedenim said:
“So, if the Blob’s been “de-mutantized,” what does that make him now? Is he a normal-sized guy, or just a big fat guy who’s no longer strong enough to move his own body weight?”

When he showed up in Generation M, he was a small, skinny guy with his skin just hanging off of him. Like a liposuction gone horribly wrong…

Notice on that Avengers Annual cover whoch Avenger isn’t taking ANY crap from the Brotherhood. Hawkeye! He shot Avalanche in the chest! One arrow, one shot, one punctured lung. Who’s next.

Dude!

Blob had some nice moments as a prank caller in Ultimate X-Men (maybe in the Millar issues? I forget).

This is an absolutely adorable idea, Brian! Way to go above and beyond.

Any fangirls feeling kindred spirits to Big Bertha of the Great Lake Avengers?

If I’m understanding this correctly, Bertha is a distinct case inasmuch as she can turn back into a ‘hot supermodel’ whenever she wants. Which, no, probably doesn’t help the identification factor any.

Personally, I’m over here wishing I could be just like Oracle, myself. (‘Cepting of course the paraplegia thing.)

Yeah, this looks like it’ll be enjoyable. The Blob is one of those characters that will never go away because he has a simple, distinct visual and writers seem to have a really nostalgic love for him.

Viva la Blob!

The Blob is all of us.

It would take ALL of us to equal him.

[...] Brian Cronin graciously set up a feature for one-pick wonders to have their moment in the sun, so here’s my fairly maudlin defense of the Blob. May induce diabetes for so many reasons. [...]

Not only do I like Hawkeye assassinating Avalanche on the Avengers cover, but it’s also fun seeing Captain America whipping his shield at a blind lady’s head.

She’ll probably dodge it ’cause of her precognition but it’s still a funny visual.

Blob is a classic. Good pick.

Look at Destiny’s face.

She ain’t dodging that one.

While the original Big Bertha was pure joke, Dan Slott’s version of Big Bertha in the modern GLA comics is more worth identifying with than most other superheroines.

For one thing, she’s not a female knock-off of some other male hero; she has an identity that’s completely her own. She works as part of a superhero team, which appeals to the sense of “communal ethics” and teamwork most women have. More interestingly, she’s a woman who could be stunningly beautiful who chooses to make herself ugly on purpose– which becomes a source of tremendous power and personal freedom. That’s a really fascinating way to invert everything society tells women about how they should regard and value their personal appearance. Likewise, her decision to keep staying with the GLA instead of moving to the West Coast to further her career is moving and admirable in a bittersweet sort of way.

While her status as a gag character would probably turn off some people from identifying with her, I tend to have an easier time investing in characters who invite me to laugh with (and at) the silly things they do, especially if they resemble the silly things that most people end up doing. I’ll put it this way: when I got on a kick of showing superhero books to some feminist friends, one of the titles I picked was GLA, because of Big Bertha. And they rather liked it!

The last Blob story I read was Avengers 312. During the acts of vengence storyline for whatever reason Pyro, Avalance, and the Blob decide to fight some Avengers. Anyway Hank Pym blasts Blob with some of his shrinking gas and The Blob becomes like one inch tall and falls through the earth. Pym then says he might go all the way to the center of the earth wha?!?!?. Anybody know if they bothered to explain how The Blob got out of that one.

Spiral was on Freedom Force with him at the time, I believe. She probably ‘ported him out.

Good theory on Spiral, I don’t remeber if they said were she was. It seems like Mystique was mourning Destiny or something but no idea on the other members.

More interestingly, she’s a woman who could be stunningly beautiful who chooses to make herself ugly on purpose– which becomes a source of tremendous power and personal freedom. That’s a really fascinating way to invert everything society tells women about how they should regard and value their personal appearance.

You’re right, it is. But it would be a whole lot more fascinating and/or effective if the change were permanent, a la the Blob.
Bertha may temporarily allow herself to become ugly, as a means of gaining power – but it’s no major sacrifice, since her ‘real self’ is still the stunningly beautiful woman. I suspect she’s much more of a mental mold-breaker from the male readers’ perspective than the females.

Also, de-powered flabby skinny Blob is really creepy.

Bertha doesn’t have to stay ugly, no, but that’s kind of the power-fantasy appeal from a female POV. We all like dressing down in jeans and t-shirts and doing what we want, but then get worried about other people seeing us “without our make-up on”. Bertha can run around in public in the grungiest way possible, smashing up trucks and whatnot, and yet still pretty herself up and play a more typical social role as necessary. Sort of like how Batman can beat up as many people as he wants without getting charged for assault, because at the end of the day he can take his bat-jammies off and be a totally average white WASPy dude with tons of social advantages.

I’m sure she’s a mold-breaker for men, if only because she’s an overweight woman in comics who isn’t a villainess. Even most villainesses are sort of beautiful , if only because it doesn’t occur to most artists to draw anything else! I don’t think that necessarily means she has 0 feminist appeal, though, at least as written by Dan Slott. Since he makes it fairly clear that the “fat” Bertha is what she values as her real self, and the skinny one is more or less a convenience.

The Blob, to me, is the Blob from the “Pryde of the X-Men” pilot cartoon.

“No vone kin moof da Blob!”

“I wouldn’t dream of trying” BAMF

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