Character » Butterball appears in 54 issues.

    Butterball is a former recruit to the Initiative, and is presently a part-time student of the Avenger's Academy. He is completely invulnerable to every kind of physical attack, but remains in the poor physical condition he was in when his mutation first manifested itself.

    Short summary describing this character.

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    Impossible Romance
    Impossible Romance

    While employed as a fry cook in Morganton, North Carolina, Emery Schuab was recruited into the Initiative, a superhero program created to assist registered mutants in controlling their powers and improving their skills. Knowing a lot about superheroes, he had named himself Boulder, but was referred to as Butterball by his drill sergeant Taskmaster because of his physical condition and quickly discovered ineptitude. Despite being considered below average in intelligence and agility, Butterball was a very dedicated trainee, participating in all exercised with enthusiaam but despite all his hard work, he was unable to become stronger, his mutation preventing him from even breaking into a sweat, his physical condition and lack of strength failing to improve completely/

    During this time he was approached by fellow trainee Sunstreak who indicated an interest in him romantically. Because of his invulnerability, she determined he should be able to withstand physical contact with her despite her mutation of heat generation which prevented her from having relationships of a romantic nature. Unfortunately, his power of invulnerability extended to physical sensation as well, leaving him frustrated and disappointed.


    Butterball is a Marvel character created by Christos N. Gage and Steve Uy. His first appeared in Avenger: The Initiative #13

    Character Evolution

    Emery Schuab went from living at home with his mom working as a fry cook to training with other mutant registrants, hoping to achieve fame and respect as a superhero. During his stay, the discovery his mutation prevented him from engaging in sexual activities due to Emery's inability to become physically stimulated, humiliated and frustrated him. Nicknamed Butterball, his simple-mindedness and inability to become physically fit prevented him from joining any task force and he was washed out of the program. When Norman Osborne took control of SHIELD and transformed it into HAMMER, he utilized Emery's physical appearance as an "everyman" to appeal to the masses, encouraging unregistered mutants to come forward. Due to Emery's indestructibility and below average intellect, he was put on the front lines of a battle against an alien race who had taken over a mutant prison but the experience changed him as he witnessed several deaths of his fellow team-mates. Convinced to work for Commander Steve Rogers, he assisted in the efforts to defeat Osborne and halt mutant registration and ended up in the newly situated Avengers Academy where he remains.

    Major Story Arcs

    The Initiative

    After the end of the Civil War, Emery Schaub became an initiate of the super hero program and was brought to Camp Hammond for training. While there, Butterball was involved in an altercation involving the Serpent Society who were hired to kill Taskmaster. Easily ambushed, he was taken hostage by Mr. Hyde, King Cobra, Mauler and Firebrand who threatened to kill the young man with a ray-fun. The Initiative members ignored the threat, aware Butterball could not be harmed and soon the fight turned to their favour.

    The next day Emery was told by War Machine and Criti Noll II (posing as Hank Pym) that he will washout off the program, informing Butterball he could get work in rescue or similar which would not requite strong offensive powers. Before he leaves Taskmaster and the Constrictor take a picture of them on the ground with Emery standing tall over them, depicting themselves as defeated villains and Butterball as a hero to keep as memento. When Emery gets home (where he lives with his mother), he tells her through his tears he had the best time of his life.

    Shadow Initiative

    Hero at Last
    Hero at Last

    When Norman Osborn took over the Initiative, he made Taskmaster the boss with the Hood in charge of recruiting. The Negative Zone prison (42) had been taken over by a group of aliens led by Blastaar. Hood suggested that the Initiative wear down the enemy with washouts, incompetent super-villains, and anti-Osborn members (effectively, using them as cannon fodder). Taskmaster agreed and set this team up as the new Shadow Initiative. under the command of Henry Peter Gyrich. Many of Butterball's team mates perished in the assault, Slaughter Boy, Johnny Guitar and Firearms in particular along with half of sub-team Heavy Mettle's members. H.A.M.M.E.R manages to retake with facility with help from Hardball, a prison inmate. Due to Emery's underwhelming physical appearance, Osborn decided to use his image for propaganda purposes to encourage registration amongst the mutant and superhuman community.


    Evading guards patrolling H.A.M.M.E.R. headquarters, Penance managed to convince Butterball, Batwing and Bengal into helping the Avengers Resistance. Norman Osborn is defeated and Butterball and Batwing created their own superteam based out of Emery's hometown, tasked to replace incarcerated U-Foes.

    Fear Itself

    Commander Steve Rogers informs Prodigy of the unknown meteors that have fallen from the heavens and mass panic is on the horizon. Rogers asks Prodigy to gather heroes on a volunteer basis to help keep the peace and lead a new Initiative where there is no forced conscription or registration. Prodigy agrees to become the leader of the new Initiative and most of the former Initiative members including Butterball gather in Washington DC. After the first Avengers Academy gets destroyed, Butterball is seen attending the new academy set up at the old headquarters of the West Coast Avengers.

    Avengers vs X Men

    Avengers Academy
    Avengers Academy

    Butterball eventually became part of the Avengers Academy student body. Emery has been involved in the escape of the detained Utopian mutants (under the pretense of a fight) and also helped prevent the Phoenix powered Emma Frost from destroying Juston Seyfert's reformed Sentinel in her quest to destroy all Sentinels on Earth.

    Powers & Abilities

    Butterball is virtually invulnerable to mental and physical attacks although he can still be be mind controlled. He remains in the physical state he was in when he got his powers, which happens to be fairly weak. He is incapable of experiencing physical sensation and incapable of becoming tired having unlimited stamina. Butterball also appears to have either a learning or communication disability.


    • Citizenship: American
    • Marital Status: Single
    • Occupation: Part-time student and former fry cook
    • Gender: Male
    • Height: 5'7"
    • Weight: 202 lbs (92kg)
    • Eyes: Blue
    • Hair: Brown

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