Super Size My Superman and Batman, Fat Super Heroes to the Rescue
Two major things occurred to me during the past week. My beloved grandmother passed and my three children along with my estranged wife Lena came from Florida to visit me. My grandma served the disabled during her too short life of 73 years. Her husband, my grandfather, was blind afflicted with the degenerate disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. Three of her six children also have the disease including my father. RP as it is more commonly referred to is the same disease Las Vegas developer Steve Wynn has as well as former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown has.
After the funeral and burial I got home and peeled off my suit. I took a cleansing shower and thought about a lot of things while I lathered. I came out of the bathroom with a sense of purpose and began to tidy up the apartment. I attacked my forgotten closest with vigor and as I made my way to its long hidden bottom I dug out the “Box”. Formally the Nike shoe box housed a pair of Air Jordan’s but the 1990’s and Rob Liefeld’s brilliant comic book artwork changed that. The newest tenants, my favorite comic book issues quickly took up residence. The Air Jordans were relegated to underneath the bed status, ultra worn. I was a high energy kid, super active and peculiar…but alas I digress that is a story for another post.
As I opened the box for the first time in over ten years the overwhelming and invigorating feeling of comforting nostalgia surrounded me. It brought me back to a time before my kids, a time before Lena. A time when all that mattered to me was playing football and comic books. A time when grandma Concetta was a physically strong mother and her double baked lasagna was legendary. Flipping through the comics three things struck me. First the great artwork, second the awesomely unique physiques portrayed as the ideal and how far my body was currently from attaining my dream super hero shape. I decided that I would give each of my kids two comic books to enjoy, the perfect gift to greet them with as I had to pick them up from the airport in less than two hours.
My house cleaning session ran overtime with all the nostalgic day dreaming. I picked out six comics and grabbed the car keys and proceeded on my journey to New York’s LaGuardia airport. My one and only goal was to pick up my three angels, the sole people in my corner. My ex on the other hand I was determined to be cordial with, but not too nice. It is always a balancing act and test of my will for she can be my Kryptonite.
Which leads me right into the thinking I did during the 40 minute drive from the Bronx to Queens. I thought about the comics and the physiques the super heroes were depicted has having. None of the superheroes were fat! This perplexed me. If Superman was so omnipotent why couldn’t he get away with a lil’ bulge? Belly fat would not have diminished his status. Superman’s powers were so extraordinary even in the realm of super heroes that he could get away with being out of shape. Furthermore I am willing to wager that if he actually existed he probably would be fat! Come on think about it, flight, X-ray vision, super strength, super speed…these powers are innate and have nothing to do with his body mass index! How cool would a chubby Superman be? Maybe a fat Superman would be more inclined to grow a handle bar mustache to boot or is that wishful thinking on my part? Picture it Superman with a Budweiser in one hand kicking villains around like rag dolls. Super man could rock a baggier suit ala Babe Ruth style.
A fat Superman will no doubt lead comic book buffs to ask: what if a Fat Batman existed? A portly Batman battling The Joker as villainous goons mock Gotham’s vigilant guardian: “Hey FAT MAN!” And then “POW!” right in the kisser Penguin you met your caloric match. Batman might get stuck in the bat mobile, so maybe a Hummer style make over to his wheels might be appropriate. I can envision major advertising campaigns by America’s favorite fast food companies featuring the chunky super heroes. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s all competing to get a fat super hero to sign a contact to endorse a Big Mac, Whopper or Frosty. A fat Wolverine would be the Domino’s or Pizza Hut leading man with each one of his adamantium claws piercing through hot cheesy pies.
A definite no-no with our fat version of super heroes is of course Spidey.
Everyone’s favorite web-slinger Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man couldn’t be a 300 pound super hero for practical reasons. Spider-Man might need to be rescued himself if he ever became wedged between two buildings. Get the Crisco, Fat Spider-Man’s butt is breaking multiple city decency codes.
Fat super heroes would give the heavier youngster hope and confidence. National Football League linemen are big boned and they look super hero-ish….so why not in comic books, cartoons, and movies? The NFL has found a role for the rounder male why not Marvel or DC comics next? We definitely need flabbier Super Heroes. If not for the kids at least for me…it would make reaching my goal all the more easier.
As I approached the arrival gate I could hear my kids before I could see them. My stomach fluttered with the excitement of their presence and I smelled the pages of the comics for the last time.
I dedicate this post to my kids who inspire me to be a super dad even though I always fall short and to the loving memory of my Grandmother who was a true Super Hero.
See links below regarding RP:
*Images courtesy of Power House Health Club