One of the first rivals for the legendary X-Men was Fred Dukes, the mutant known as The Blob. In Uncanny X-Men #3, he was the third villain that the team faced following Magneto and The Vanisher. Just four issues later, Blob ended up as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and it is through his association with that team that he has remained one of the most consistent antagonists of the X-Men for over 50 years now. Blob has worked with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which then became Freedom Force for a time as they worked with the government in hunting down the outlaw X-Men. His powers made him one of the strongest villains to fight the X-Men, a giant body that was impervious to pain and was almost impossible to move.
Along the way, Blob made life tough for everyone from Captain America and Spider-Man to The Defenders, and few were able to take the big man down. However, things went south for Fred Dukes when M-Day stripped him of his powers and his strength. Luckily for him, the return of the Mutant Growth Hormone helped him regain his powers and he even began to smuggle it for a short time. Along the way, Blob has watched his body morph from an unstoppable force into a shapeshifting mass of flesh and eventually into an enhanced powerhouse once again for a time. With all the changes, here are 20 weird facts about The Blob's body.
20 HEALING FACTOR
One of the most common powers for mutants is the healing factor. Wolverine is the one mutant that is best-known for this power, but others such as Sabretooth also have healing factors, as well as non-mutants like Deadpool and Hulk. Of course, this means that if they are injured or in some cases lose a body part, they heal up and rejuvenate to full strength over time.
With that said, Blob's body is impervious to almost all damage, but even if someone does manage to injure him, Blob has a healing factor too. The way it works on Dukes is that his skin cells grow at an accelerated rate to replace themselves, which keeps him large and in charge.
19 BLOB IS IMPERVIOUS TO SKIN DISEASE
Thanks to the healing factor that speeds up cell regeneration, it also means that Fred Dukes is impervious to skin disease. If Blob does contract something, his skin cells will over time regenerate and healthy cells will replace the dead or diseased cells, keeping him relatively healthy.
This also helps him in other areas too. Blob has a similar ability to Wolverine in that he can drink a large amount of alcohol and not get inebriated. While Logan seems to have no limit to his drinking, Blob's healing factor is not that strong and he will eventually grow intoxicated, although it won't last long. This also works with poisons and drugs used against him as well.
18 TISSUES ABSORB IMPACT
From the start of his career, it was shown that Blob's skin is able to protect him from almost anything. In Uncanny X-Men #7, Magneto takes his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to the carnival to scout a new member in The Blob. The first thing that Magneto sees is the carnival putting on a show with Blob as the center of attention as a cannonball is fired into his body, not moving him or even seeming to make him flinch.
It was enough to impress Magneto, who immediately wanted him to join up with the Brotherhood. The way this works is that The Blob's fat tissues comprising his epidermis absorb the impact of everything from bullets, cannonballs and even torpedoes without causing any damage whatsoever.
17 HE CAN TRAP PROJECTILES
Not only can The Blob's skin withstand an attack and absorb the impact of projectiles and blows, it can also trap projectiles within the mounds on his body. This works because Blob can control his fat tissues and manipulate them in any way he desires. If someone shoots a cannonball into his stomach, he can not only absorb the impact, he can absorb the entire cannonball and trap it in his skin.
This especially comes in handy when someone tries to attack him physically. Someone could try to punch him, and he can trap their fist in the folds of his skin, keeping them from pulling it back and ultimately taking the fight out of them until he chooses to let him go. The only key here is that it takes his full concentration, so fighting the entire team of X-Men makes this skill negligible.
16 CAN'T BE PUNCTURED OR LACERATED
Blob's skin is so durable, it can't be punctured or lacerated. This is by most normal weapons, such as swords, daggers, knives and other blades. As a matter of fact, even when Blob lost his powers in Decimation: X-Men - The Day After, his skin was still so dense he couldn't cut through it.
There is one exception here. In Uncanny X-Men #225 when Blob was part of the government's Freedom Force (the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants tasked with arresting the X-Men), he lept onto Wolverine, sitting on him. This ended with Logan extended his claws into Blob's butt, which did cause some great pain -- so Adamantium is an exception to that rule.
15 NOT IMPERVIOUS TO ENERGY ATTACKS
While Blob's skin can withstand attacks from most projectiles, there is at least one weakness. Blob is vulnerable to energy attacks, such as when Cyclops uses his optic blasts against him. While Beast bounces right off him when he attacks and not even giant objects hurled by Colossus can upend him, Cyclops optic blasts have been known to take him off his feet.
Blob is also vulnerable to mental attacks, as both Jean Grey and Psylocke have been able to throw him off his game, allowing the physically stronger members of the X-Men to take him off his feet. Professor X was also able to manipulate his mind in Uncanny X-Men #3 to make him forget meeting the team at all.
14 IMPERVIOUS TO FIRE AND HEAT
In Uncanny X-Men #3, when the X-Men first meet The Blob, he does what he can to impress Jean Grey. This included him pulling a stake of fire out of a gas furnace and putting the flame out with his hand. He did this to prove that nothing can hurt him -- not even fire.
This was proven to an even greater extent when the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants distracted the X-Men as they attempted to assassinate Professor X so Mystique could "rescue" Rogue. In Uncanny X-Men #178, Pyro was using his fire powers to try to attack but had it reversed into Blob thanks to Nightcrawler's teleporting. However, Blob just shrugged it off and emphasized that nothing could hurt him.
13 IMPERVIOUS TO THE COLD
From the very first appearance of The Blob in Uncanny X-Men #3, he proved to be impervious to cold. When Professor X insisted that he try out for the X-Men, the other members of the team were not happy about it. Blob was arrogant and believed he was better than every member of the mutant team. He was then asked to prove his skills against the members of the X-Men.
Ice-Man created a giant block of ice around the bare foot of The Blob. Fred then responded by shattering the ice by just vibrating his foot. In Uncanny X-Men #7, Ice-Man completely froze Blob and he shattered out of that as well. With the regeneration of cells and lack of pain, Blob is impervious to frostbite.
12 BODY CREATES GRAVITATIONAL FIELD
One of the biggest reasons that nothing seems to move The Blob is because his body creates its own gravitational field and pretty much attaches his feet to the ground. This was shown in the early pages of Uncanny X-Men. In issue #7, Jean Grey tried to lift Blob to throw him but his feet appeared to stick to the ground itself so that not even Jean's power could budge him.
This remains in effect as long as Blob is in contact with the ground. According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Blob can actually extend the gravity field beneath his feet to over five feet in diameter and the only way to move him is to destroy the ground beneath him and move it with him.
11 BLOB COULD ACTUALLY SHAPE SHIFT
Onslaught and Sledge worked with Fred Dukes and helped him develop a new power. This was the power to mass shift his body -- basically shapeshifting. This wasn't the ability to change his body into specific shapes like Mystique could do, but was instead the ability to extend the size of his limbs.
This first occurred in X-Force #52. In order to make sure that the Nimrod Sentinel research program was really shut down, Siryn, Meltdown and Domino went to the former research facility and found The Blob waiting on them. He was massive, and as he referred to it "cranked up." He could make his fists giant and could stretch his limbs similar to the powers of Reed Richards.
10 BODY ALWAYS REVERTS TO ORIGINAL SHAPE
While The Blob's body is impervious to almost everything that strikes it, there is always the chance that the impact of something will distort his skin. Of course, Blob can catch things like a cannonball or a missile in his skin but after it is shot back out, the skin immediately reverts to its original shape.
When Blob developed the ability to shapeshift thanks to Onslaught, he could stretch out his skin and make it larger than life, but it always reverted back to its natural shape. This is mostly due to the regeneration of cells always taking place and his increased healing factor. In recent comics, this remained true with the Mutant Growth Hormone, which immediately reverted his body back to full strength upon injection.
9 CAN'T CONTROL SKIN IF DISTRACTED
One interesting thing about Blob's body is that he is unable to control the elasticity of his skin if he is distracted, and luckily, it doesn't take much to get his mind off his current task. This has been the case since the beginning and is actually a pretty easy way for the X-Men to beat The Blob in battle.
Blob has proven that he can capture as many as two X-Men in his body, while others bounce off him, but all it takes is a good blast from Cyclops or a distraction from Professor X and Blob loses his focus and his grip on any enemy he was previously fighting. In Amazing Adventures #13, Blob actually said that he can't keep his balance and control his powers if he isn't prepared.
8 BLOB'S BODY CAN RECOIL PROJECTILES
The very first appearance of The Blob came in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #3, where he worked at a carnival and Professor X sent the X-Men out to try to see if he wanted to join their team. As Cyclops watched, he saw Blob as one of the carnival attractions. At one point, he was shot with a number of bullets but his body trapped them all in the flaps of his skin.
However, what he did next was impressive as he expanded his chest and all the bullet shells flew out of his skin. While he just popped the bullets out in that issue, this power of "projectile redirection" allows him to effectively fire objects back at half the speed they hit him with.
7 BLOB'S BODY REBOUNDS ATTACKS
While Blob's body can trap objects and then recoil to shoot them back at a target, his skin also has the power to act as a sort of human trampoline. If a hero such as The Beast launches at The Blob, his skin allows him to absorb the blow so even a super-powered attack does no damage. His gravitational force allows him to remain planted on the ground, so the blow does not move him.
However, this added power allows him to use his skin to cause The Beast to basically bounce off him. Much like how Blob can shoot a bullet back at half the speed it hits him, he will also send someone like Beast flying back at that same proportion like a trampoline. This also works for missiles that can hit him and then bounce back at the shooter.
6 BODY MASS PROVIDES SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH
Much like many other mutants, the genetic mutation for The Blob also increases his muscle mass and strength. While the appearance of Blob is a giant man, the fact is that the large mounds of fat are solid and durable. While large, he is deceptively strong and very fast as well.
According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, The Blob has a superhuman strength level of "4" and he can lift up to five tons. While this does not match up to the strongest members of The X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, it was still more than basic mutants. He lost that strength after M-Day but gained it back when injected with doses of MGH.
5 BLOB CAN STILL BE CONCUSSED
The Blob hasn't always fought just the X-Men. In Daredevil #269, Freedom Force was sent to a small Midwestern town to find a young girl who happened to be an unregistered mutant. However, it wasn't the X-Men or X-Force who was there to save her -- it was Daredevil.
Blob and Pyro were the two sent to bring in the little girl, a telekinetic. Matt Murdoch happened to be in town and overheard Pyro figure out where she was. In his job protecting her, he told her to bring down a Church bell on Blob. It worked, as the bell crashed down onto his head and, unlike the invulnerability of the rest of his body, it caused damage to his head and knocked him out.
4 HIS EYES, EARS, NOSE AND MOUTH ARE VULNERABLE
While Blob's skin can suffer no damage, that does not make him impervious to all attacks. When fighting the X-Men in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #7, The Beast threw a mound of dirt into the face of Dukes, blinding him and causing him to let go of both he and Angel. As this proves, Blob's eyes are vulnerable to attacks.
Not only are his eyes vulnerable, but his mouth, nose and ears are also vulnerable to attack and do not provide the same protection as the rest of the skin on his body. He can suffer injuries if attacked in those spots, as well as suffer blindness when dirt or smoke flies into his eyes.
3 NERVE ENDINGS DON'T SEND PAIN MESSAGES
While cannonballs and missiles and bullets can strike The Blob and do no damage, one might wonder if the stronger of these items cause him any pain at all. According to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, the Blob's nerve endings do not relay any pain perception to his brain -- which means even if Blob suffers a powerful strike that should injure him, he won't know he is hurt.
This is something that some writers have chosen to ignore though. In Uncanny X-Men #225, Wolverine extended his claws into Duke's bottom and he screamed in pain -- which means that the nerve endings worked in that case. With that said, Blob is supposed to be immune to pain unless the specific writer chooses to ignore that fact.
2 M-DAY CHANGED EVERYTHING
In Generation M #3, reporter Sally Floyd was working on a story about someone killing the mutants who lost their powers when she met Fred Dukes. As The Blob, Dukes was large, and while he looked fat, his skin was durable and he was a formidable mutant fighter. When he showed himself to Sally in this issue, his body had developed giant fat folds that hung from him.
As Fred said, he was now "Blob lite" and joked that he has half the fat he used to have but "none of the flavor." While most mutants who lost their powers just reverted to normal humans, Blob was a very sad case. As Decimation: X-Men - The Day After showed, since his powers included massive mounds of flesh, it all turned to flab after M Day.
1 BLOB NEEDS MGH TO KEEP POWERS NOW
After the events of M-Day, Blob lost all his mutant powers. His durable, gigantic body morphed into one where the fat skin fell in folds of fat from his body. He soon was able to get in better shape by exercise and started to make a better life for himself. However, when the Mutant Growth Hormone was re-developed to allow former mutants to regain their powers, he jumped at it.
This came with a cost. As shown in Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #20, Fred Dukes revealed that not only did he now need MGH in order to regain his powers as The Blob but it was also highly addictive, which put him almost at the mercy of someone like Mystique who held the power to supply the MGH.