Last week I wrote, at some length, concerning Avengers: Endgame, specifically "Thick Thor" ("Confessions of a Comic Book - The Ghost of Volstagg"), leaving me no room to write about what I really enjoyed about the movie: it’s strangely quiet moments. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the 45-minute third act battle scene. Just not as much as watching Tony Stark not only get the deadly, hyper-competitive Nebula to play paper football with him but admit she enjoyed it. Rocket holding hands with Nebula. Rocket and the Hulk riding in the back of a pickup truck. The Hulk wordlessly sharing his tacos with poor Scott Lang, or The Avengers having lunch at a diner, which as far as I’m concerned could have gone on for half an hour; I only wish we could have seen the Hulk ordering. And in retrospect yes, there does appear to be a surprising number of scenes about food in a superhero movie.
And, since I’ve sort of brought this back around to the subject of last week’s column, if you are of the standard size you might be unaware eating out while overweight always carries with it the risk someone will give you unsolicited input on your meal. The size of the portions, your food choices, their calorie count, fat content, etc., they're all considered open for public comment; no, it doesn't always happen, but it can. Especially if someone determines you are enjoying your food "too much,” especially if you're male when it's considered juvenile or even effeminate. So allow me to take a second to appreciate how the Hulk, who in Endgame is depicted as being quite the big eater, is allowed to enjoy his meal without having it remarked upon (i.e., there aren’t any “Are you going to finish that?” jokes). That doesn’t happen all that often in Hollywood movies.
The Hulk’s appetite certainly doesn't seem to have affected his appeal to women. In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos was the CGI character that a surprising number of people expressed interest in wanting to "get with:" Yes, The Internet Wants To Bone Thanos -- And We Kinda Get It? And for Endgame it's Professor Hulk: People are thirsting over "Hot Hulk" in Avengers: Endgame and they're not wrong, Yes, Professor Hulk in Avengers: Endgame Is Hot And Here's Why and Why Hot Hulk in 'Avengers: Endgame' Is the MCU's Crowning Achievement.
In that final piece, Thrillist Entertainment writers Esther Zuckerman and Emma Stefansky discuss the attractiveness of not only Professor Hulk but many of the men of the MCU, their verdict being that all of whom can “get it.” It’s worth reading because it can give men valuable insight into how women objectify male heroes and for those who this offends Stefansky points out the obvious; “Ogling has become as much a part of the fandom as obsessive theorizing is, coming to life in the form of slash fiction and breathless tweets.” And given the way male fans have historically objectified female heroes, hopefully, some will acquire the eerie sensation of what the shoe feels like once finally placed on the other foot.
I was also surprised by their reactions to "Dad Bod" Thor. While Zuckerman acknowledges it could be seen as demeaning and Stefansky admitted, "some of the cracks at his expense are cruel," neither believed his size in any way disqualified him from being considered "hot." Zuckerman especially didn't seem to mind, referring to Thor's fat suit as being a mere "pudgy little beer gut" and called him "a tall, blond Santa Claus." She also said:
"Thor may be a little softer in the belly, and that, compared to the Michelangelo-sculpted bod of his previous movies, may be treated as a joke, but he's never not handsome. In my mortal opinion, he looks more like a Norse god than he ever has. He's still paunchy when he uses the powers of Mjolnir to suit up in his battle armor at the end of the movie, and he looks great! All hail plump Thor, the portly inversion of Marvel's googly-eyed lionization of male hotness we deserve."
And while I couldn't find any other online examples of women relishing new Thor's form, when I Googled "Dad Bod" (something that didn't exist when I was a lad), I found it's a body type that a lot of women apparently do go for. Which I didn't know was a thing. If nothing else, this should answer the oft-asked question, "Do women actually like superheroes?" If this is any indication they do; they really, really do.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.