If you follow video game movies at all then you should be well aware of the name Uwe Boll. He’s the “visionary” director who gave the world such instant cinema classics as BloodRayne, Far Cry, Alone in the Dark, House of the Dead and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (sarcasm alert!).
But even with all of those horrible films, Boll does have a couple of decent ones to his credit: Heart of America, Tunnel Rats, Final Storm and most recently, Max Schmeling. Even though Boll actually has the ability to produce a decent film, he continues to poke the hornet’s nest with controversial films like Postal, Rampage and Auschwitz.
Uwe Boll’s latest film idea is catching a lot of grief in the movie world right now and it’s probably well deserved. Next up for Dr. Boll is a story about an overweight female superhero called…wait for it…Blubberella! Here is the official synopsis released by his studio, Boll-Ag:
The first female fat superhero … She will kick major ass – with her major ass … All the BLOODRAYNE fans will love that movie!
At first I was considering railing on Boll like everybody else is doing – the man arguably deserves it – but then I thought “Why shouldn’t there be a portly male or female superhero?”
Let me just say that I don’t in any way think Uwe Boll is some champion of social criticism trying to bring the disease of obesity to the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist; he pretty much showed his intentions toward Blubberella with the “with her major ass” comment. However, I do think he has accidentally stumbled upon a topic that not many people discuss or even think about.
Overweight, portly, obese, or fat – no matter what word is used to describe people of a larger girth, the fact remains that there are only two mainstream overweight comic book characters and they are villains, one of which was slapped with a condescending name – The Blob and The Kingpin.
Comic book writers and publications like to think of themselves as champions of social issues – saving the environment, discussing gay issues, abortion, and political corruption – but they are skipping over a large portion of the population (no pun intended). There are male, female, children, black, white, Chinese, blind, deaf, gay, Christian, Hindu and Muslim superheroes but there aren’t really any overweight superheroes.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 74% (!) of America’s population in 2008 was overweight, with half of those people considered obese and 6% considered extremely obese. With a current U.S. population of over 307 million, that’s over 220 million American people that aren’t being represented fairly in comic books. That number would jump significantly if the world population were to be included. With the way comic book publications like to tap into every market, you would think this would have been addressed by now.When an overweight character is shown in a comic book, they are represented as the lovable buffoon or the hapless sidekick that gets in the way. There are very few instances where they shown to have any real insight or are helpful in bad situations.
A couple of years ago, the SyFy channel ran a show called Who Wants to be a Superhero? and on it was a female superhero named “Fat Momma.” At first Fat Momma appeared to be a parody of herself and her weight – her name was synonymous with a common put down and she wore donuts on her belt which she ate to give her super strength. However, as the show progressed the audience got a better look at why there could be and should be an overweight superhero.
Stan Lee was impressed with her character as well because even with failing a few of the physical challenges, Fat Momma finished as one of the top two finalists.
In the comic book universe where people can fly, stretch themselves, shoot lasers from their eyes, have blades in their arms and can read people’s minds, would it be that hard for readers to accept an overweight superhero beating up bad guys? Of course the outfits would have to be modified because honestly, no one wants to see something like this:
Do you think it’s time to see a proper overweight superhero in comics?
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