Well its National Fast Food Day and in the world of comic books that can mean only one thing, Big Belly Burger. Brought to DC comics in June of 1988 by John Byrne, Big Belly Burger has been the ‘spot’ to gather in the DC Universe. Many fans of superheroes (but not comics) never heard of the place until John Diggle brought some to Oliver in the first season of Arrow. I thought to celebrate one of my top ranked holidays(National Fast Food Day), we could get everyone up to speed on our favorite comic book burger joint.
Big Belly Burger first appeared in Adventures of Superman #441 in June of 1988. It was created by writer John Byrne and its initial visuals by penciller Jerry Ordway. The food Chain “Bob’s Big Boy” served as an inspiration to the pair. In the DC Comics universes Big Belly Burgers is one of the largest fast-food chains in the United States. In comic continuity it was founded in Coast City in the 1950’s before establishing franchises nationwide. It’s history very much mirrors the rise of McDonald’s in the real world USA.
Big Belly Burger is well known for its fries, milkshakes but most importantly its massive hamburgers. The Big Belly Menu includes the Belly Buster, the Belly Bloater, and the masterful Cheesemeister Deluxe. Similar to other fast food chains, Big Belly has a mascot. A smiling, red-headed, bearded man with glasses said to be modeled after writer and editor Andy Helfer (although he looks like Byrne to me). He is often shown holding up burger over his head in a similar fashion to the previously mentioned Bob’s Big Boy. In 2008 DC Comics developed the large round logo many fans have come to know and it has remained so till today.
Besides being a favorite of island famish Oliver Queen and a staple of The Flash TV show, Big Belly has been a regular for several DC Comics characters. Big Belly has been part of more Superman stories then any other. This includes a rather famous battle with an animated Big Belly Mascot statue created by Mr. Mxyzptlk to having Jimmy Olsen and Perry White has billboard spokesmen. There is even a dubiously familiar “Employee of the Month” depicted just this year in Superman Vol. 3 #46 (checkout the pic, Nuff said!). In addition to Superman, Booster Gold, The Flash, Black Canary, Batgirl and Nightwing all have appeared in the store. Even Will Payton, a teenage version of Starman, was a one time employee of the chain.
In closing, I have one simple question. How do we not have a real chain? Or at least a gimmick store at a Warner Bros theme-park?!? Who wouldn’t want to share a booth with the likes of Barbara Gordon, Wally West or my favorite TV baddie, Lenard Snart. Come on DC/WB make it so!!