Big Bertha (comics)

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Big Bertha

Art by Paul Pelletier, Rick Magyar and Will Quintana
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance West Coast Avengers vol. 2 #46 (July, 1989)
Created by John Byrne (writer and artist)
In-story information
Alter ego Ashley Crawford
Species Human Mutant
Team affiliations Great Lakes Avengers
Abilities Ability to alter size and mass of her body
Superhuman strength and durability
Skilled pilot

Big Bertha (Ashley Crawford) is a fictional character, a superheroine appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics, notably as a member of the Great Lakes Avengers. The character was created by John Byrne and first appeared in West Coast Avengers vol. 2 #46 (July 1989).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Not a lot is known of Bertha's life before she responded to Mr. Immortal's advertisement for a hero team, the team would become the Great Lakes Avengers. It was revealed in the G.L.A. mini-series that Ashley is in fact a mutant.

When not using her powers, Ashley is a proverbial 'big fish in a small pond', being the most famous fashion model in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her hometown. Although offers have come her way numerous times for more prospective opportunities, she has declined them all, choosing to stay in Milwaukee with the team she considers family.

Bertha was with the rest of the Great Lakes Avengers when the team first encountered Hawkeye and Mockingbird.[1] With the team, she then assisted Hawkeye and the West Coast Avengers against "That Which Endures."[2] They also assisted Mockingbird in a holding action against Terminus.[3]

Civil War/The Initiative[edit]

Ashley is one of the registered superheroes who join the Avengers Initiative following the Superhuman Civil War.[4]

In an attempt to evict Deadpool from their Initiative-sponsored headquarters, Big Bertha agrees on one date. Confusion reigns as she appears for the date in her slim form. After saving lives in a dockside all-you-can-eat restaurant Bertha realizes that Deadpool was only attracted to her large form. She lectures him, telling of her experiences of only being valued for her looks in her slim form. In response, Deadpool removes his mask revealing his cancer-scarred face. Bertha promptly vomits in the parking lot, much to Deadpool's chagrin. Bertha's colleagues manage to evict Deadpool.[5]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Big Bertha has the ability to make herself super strong and durable (to the point of being bullet-proof) by becoming extraordinarily obese. She can also purge most fat from her body through vomiting to take on a slimmer appearance.[6]

In addition to her mutant powers, Ashley is also a skilled pilot of conventional jet aircraft.

In other media[edit]



  1. ^ West Coast Avengers #46
  2. ^ West Coast Avengers #48-49
  3. ^ Avengers Annual #19
  4. ^ Avengers: The Initiative #1 Character Map
  5. ^ Deadpool GLI Summer Fun Spectacular #1 (2007)
  6. ^ GLA #2

External links[edit]