Big Belly Burger
|Big Belly Burger|
|First appearance||Adventures of Superman Vol. 1 #441 (June 1988)|
|Type of business||Restaurants|
Big Belly Burger is a fictional fast food restaurant chain in the DC Comics universe. It has appeared in a number of comic book titles and stories, as well as on the television programs Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl.
Big Belly Burger was created by writer John Byrne in the comic book Adventures of Superman in June 1988. The fast food chain was given its initial visual appearance by penciller Jerry Ordway. The restaurant was inspired by Bob's Big Boy, a real-world chain of restaurants.
In DC Comics publications, Big Belly Burger is said to be one of the largest fast-food chains in the United States. Founded in Coast City in the 1950s, various stories establish that the chain is now worldwide. Big Belly Burger is well-known in the DC Comics universe for its French fries, milkshakes, and large hamburgers. Its signature menu items include three burgers: the Belly Buster, the Belly Bloater, the Belly Flop, and the Cheesemeister Deluxe.[a] Its signature milkshake is the "Chocorrific", although it also sells a strawberry-banana shake. Desserts sold include apple pie and a "Drizzle Doodle" (whose exact composition is not defined). The restaurant is depicted as also selling a hot dogs egg salad sandwiches, chicken sliders, fish sandwiches, and breakfast items. The chain's products include "value" combination meals (main item, side, and drink) and "Jolly Meals", a child's meal that comes in a box with an action figure. The "Smiley Meal" is a similar boxed meal including a burger, fries, and cookie.
The Big Belly Burger mascot is a smiling, bearded, red-haired man with glasses (modeled on comic book writer and editor Andy Helfer). The mascot is often depicted holding aloft a plate on which a large hamburger rests. Variations of the mascot also appear, such as a mascot with an upraised arm and no plate. Beginning about 2008, a Big Belly Burger logo began to be depicted in DC Comics. This logo consists of a large red circle with a heavy black border, a smaller white smiley off-center at the top of the red circle, and two three-fingered cartoonish hands (one in the red circle, one opposite the smiley at the top of the red circle). The image looks like a rotund, smiling person patting a fat stomach and giving a thumb's up. Big Belly Burger also has a catchphrase, "It's Belly Belly good" (a play on the words "very very good"). The slogan "Big Choices, Big Value, Big Belly!" has also been used.
All Big Belly Burgers have a drive-through. Some Big Belly Burger locations are depicted in the comics as having a "Playplace", an area where small children can play on jungle gym equipment and slides. At least one has a jukebox.
Various stories also establish that Big Belly Burger enjoys widespread brand awareness, and only O'Shaughnessy's (a fictional fast food chain with an Irish theme which also appears in DC Comics) may have more locations and be better known by the public.
Big Belly Burger has appeared more often in Superman comics than in any other DC Comics publication. One notable appearance was in a 1990 story in which the villainous magical imp Mr. Mxyzptlk animated a Big Belly Burger mascot statue and used it to fight Superman. In 1999, Superman characters Jimmy Olsen and Perry White were depicted in an advertisement for the fast food chain:[b]
Jimmy Olsen: You'd better hustle with those Big Belly Burgers, Mr. White.
Perry White: Great Caesar's Ghost! I'm grilling as fast as I can, Olsen... and don't call me Chef!"
In January 2016, Jimmy Olsen mentions that the first time he and Clark Kent spent time together was at a Big Belly Burger, and that he had his first interview with Superman at the same restaurant after the meal. A background image in the same issue of Superman shows a Big Belly Burger "Employee of the Month" named Stan, who bears a strong resemblance to legendary comic book writer, editor, and publisher Stan Lee.
The superhero Booster Gold was once depicted as working (for a brief time) at a Big Belly Burger. He also is depicted appearing in Big Belly Burger television advertisements, and a Big Belly Burger sticker appeared on Booster Gold's coffin along with other corporate sponsors (including Soder Cola, Cap's Hobby Shoppe, EZ Caskets, Guardian Cigarettes, Lit Beer, Pep Cereals, and Vertigo Comics).
Son of Vulcan
Big Belly Burger made two appearances in the Son of Vulcan limited series comic book. The first issue of the publication depicted Big Belly Burger as the location where 14-year-old orphan Miguel "Mikey" Devante worked when he met the superhero Vulcan and received his powers from him. The fictional restaurant appeared again in the limited series' final issue, after Devante defeated a group of supervillains.
Will Payton, the teenage version of the superhero Starman, is depicted as a Big Belly Burger employee in a 1989 story, and the DC Comics alien Nix Uotan is depicted working at Big Belly Burger during his exile on Earth in a 2008 story. The superheroine Skyrocket of the superhero group Power Company also was depicted working at a Big Belly Burger in order to earn money prior to becoming a hero-for-hire in a 2002 tale. Captain Marvel ate Big Belly Burger at almost every meal during his time with the Justice League.
In other media
- Big Belly Burger is regularly featured in first and second seasons of the television series Arrow, and occasionally thereafter. Big Belly Burger made its first appearance in the third episode of the first season, when John Diggle brought Oliver Queen and Tommy Merlyn to the restaurant after they were beaten by Max Fuller's henchmen. Diggle's sister in law, Carly, is a waitress there. It makes another major appearance when Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Felicity Smoak meet at the Big Belly Burger where Carly works as they plot to capture a jewel thief known as The Dodger. A Big Belly Burger is where The Canary first appeared in the second season premiere episode. Felicity Smoak announced toward the end of the second season that she's no longer patronizing the restaurant: "No Big Belly Burger, though; it's giving me a big belly."
- Big Belly Burger is also regularly featured in the television series The Flash. The restaurant makes its first appearance in the show's premiere episode, and in another episode The Flash locates a villain after being told the attack is occurring near a Big Belly Burger. The series depicts the Flash as needing to eat a large amount of food to replenish the energy expended by running. In the episode "Revenge of the Rogues", the hero is shown having eaten several hundred Big Belly Burger hamburgers (whose wrappings lie in a pile next to him). Eobard Thawne mentions that he's a fan of Big Belly Burger in the season one finale. He's seen later in the same episode eating a Big Belly Burger hamburger, drink, and fries. Hunter Zolomon of Earth-Two (posing as Jay Garrick) remarks that every Earth in the Multiverse has a Big Belly Burger. A Big Belly Burger meal is one of the first things Harrison Wells of Earth-2 asks for when he meets the Flash.
- Big Belly Burger appears in Powerless.
- Kara brings a serving of Big Belly Burgers to Lena Luthor in the Supergirl episode "Fallout."
- Big Belly Burger is referenced in the DC Universe Online free-to-play action combat massive multiplayer online game. It is a four-part "Franchise Briefing" (e.g., information about a business appearing in the DC Universe Online) that can be found in the Little Bohemia and Chinatown districts of Metropolis and in the Burnley and Diamond Districts of Gotham. Players may also collect five types of cookies (such as the Big Belly Dinner Mint Cookie, the Big Belly HappyTime Meal Cookie, or the Choco-brand Big Belly Cookie Bits), and receive a secret message as well as a piece of alien technology.
- Big Belly Burger appears in the Batman: Arkham Origins video game. There are billboards throughout the city advertising the restaurant. Discarded burger wrappers and drinks appear in the game in the Gotham City Police Department.
- In the LEGO Dimensions video game, Green Arrow tells Homer Simpson that he'll take him to Big Belly Burger if Homer helps him track down Hank Scorpio.
Six Flags Parks
- In all four versions of Justice League: Battle for Metropolis, signs advertising Big Belly Burger can be seen in the final subway chase scene.
- Versions of Big Belly Burger are now open in two Six Flags Parks (Discovery Kingdom at Vallejo, California, and Magic Mountain in Valencia, California)
- This is apparently the cheeseburger which Deadman craves.
- The advertisement plays off the running gag in Superman comics in which Jimmy calls White "Chief" in reference to White's role as editor of the Daily Planet newspaper, after which White consistently orders Olsen to never call him that again.
- Adventures of Superman Vol. 1 #441 (June 1988).
- Flash Vol. 4 #32 (August 2014).
- Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Five#17 (July 2016).
- Adventures of Superman Vol. 1 #564 (February 1999); Superman Vol. 2 #36 (October 1989).
- Nightwing Vol. 2 #104 (April 2005).
- Showcase '95 #10 (November 1995).
- The Power of Shazam! #16 (July 1996).
- Superman Vol. 2 #59 (September 1991).
- Justice League Dark #19 (June 2013).
- Action Comics Vol. 1 #973 (April 2017).
- Justice League Vol. 2 #20 (July 2013).
- Brightest Day #7 (October 2010).
- Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #30 (July 2014).
- Formerly Known as the Justice League #1 (September 2003).
- Black Canary Vol. 3 #1 (September 2007).
- Impulse #50 (July 1999).
- Byrne, John (September 5, 2008). "Unexpected Byrne references". Byrne Robotics. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
- Adventures of Superman Vol. 2 #480 (July 1991).
- Justice League Spectacular #1 (April 1992).
- Final Crisis #3 (September 2008).
- Adventures of Superman Vol. 2 #463 (February 1990).
- Superman Vol. 2 #92 (August 1994).
- Superman Secret Files and Origins #2 (May 1999).
- Superman Vol. 3 #46 (January 2016).
- JLA Classified #6 (June 2005).
- 52 #4 (May 2006).
- 52 #18 (September 2006).
- Son of Vulcan Vol. 2 #1 (August 2005).
- Son of Vulcan Vol. 2 #6 (January 2006).
- Starman #16 (November 1989).
- Power Company #1 (April 2002).
- The Power of Shazam! #22 (January 1997).
- Guggenheim, Marc; Kreisberg, Andrew (October 24, 2012). "Lone Gunmen". Arrow. Season 1. Episode 3. The CW.
- Schwartz, Beth (February 20, 2013). "Dodger". Arrow. Season 1. Episode 15. The CW.
- Kreisberg, Andrew; Guggenheim, Marc (October 9, 2013). "City of Heroes". Arrow. Season 2. Episode 1. The CW.
- Mericle, Wendy; Schwartz, Beth (April 23, 2014). "Seeing Red". Arrow. Season 2. Episode 20. The CW.
- Kreisberg, Andrew; Johns, Geoff (October 7, 2014). "Pilot". The Flash. Season 1. Episode 1. The CW.
- Schapker, Alison; Godfree, Grainne (October 21, 2014). "Things You Can't Outrun". The Flash. Season 1. Episode 3. The CW.
- Wu, Kai Yu; Geoff, Johns (January 20, 2015). "Revenge of the Rogues". The Flash. Season 1. Episode 10. The CW.
- Stanton, Gabrielle; Kreisberg, Andrew (May 19, 2015). "Fast Enough". The Flash. Season 1. Episode 23. The CW.
- Meiojas, Julian; Walczak, Katherine (October 20, 2015). "Family of Rogues". The Flash. Season 2. Episode 3. The CW.
- Sokolowski, Ben; Godfree, Grainne (November 3, 2015). "The Darkness and the Light". The Flash. Season 2. Episode 5. The CW.