Overweight Superheroes

Is lean and muscular the only physiological type for a superhero? Are there overweight superheroes? What does this say about our concept of heroes? Is there a need for different body types as heroes?

  • could also talk about the plus-sized superhero named Faith, who recently has come out with a comic - and what that shows for the future of comics and how we are broadened into a way to show different physiological superheroes. – scole 8 years ago
  • See, the amount of strength required to perform heroics need to reflect what the viewers believe to be the ideal body type for such strenuous actions. Here's an example that might be on the extreme side: You have three guys. One is morbidly obese, one is anorexic, and one is average built. You ask all three of them to lift at least 50 pounds worth of baggage with one hand only. Who do you think can lift the 50 pounds without the problem? The morbidly obese guy who look like he could have a heart attack any moment? The anorexic guy who look like the wind can blow him away? Or the average built guy who hasn't been to the gym but eats a balanced meal every day? Yes, there are cases when a person is deceptively strong even if he/she doesn't show much muscle. But if you are specifically looking for the anatomical errors, you can look up the infamous Captain America's torso portion or Spider-Woman's pose on comic book covers. – ADYang 8 years ago
  • Even if an argument is made about "realism," it's worth noting the large diversity among people who are "in shape" (there was a photo floating around the Internet a while ago highlighting the different body types of Olympic athletes that seems relevant.) Heroes today are drawn with extremely defined muscles, and that level of leanness is rarely healthy, and not really necessary for a hero defined by strength. There's also a trend of making characters with entirely non-physical abilities extremely muscular; check our how Magneto looks in the comics. – bbctol 8 years ago
  • Wow, I've never before thought of this. Anyone wanting to write on this should not forget Mr. Incredible!! – Tony13 8 years ago
  • I think the hardest part to get such a super hero popularized in the franchise is that none already exist and those who flock to the new marvel movies etc. are doing so for childhood memories. Even Hulk and The Thing aren't plus sized, they are just hugely muscular. The only memory I have is of a (literally) obese x-men mutant from a tv show who was a bad guy. Will the best way to approach introducing a plus sized be to create a new one or re-shape (punny) an older hero? With all the current gender bending and race changing going on in current Marvel movies would this be acceptable? – Slaidey 8 years ago
  • When I offered this topic, I was thinking on my days of playing D&D, and that there was a role for every Archetype, and each archetype had a stereotypic body type. The thin "anorexic" wizard, the paunchy "obese" clerical healer, the muscular warrior, etc. Each body type was honored as having a particular strength within the context of group work. When I looked at comic superheroes, yes they do have superhero groups, but they almost all have the muscular body type. – DrTestani 8 years ago

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