Believing himself a freak following the manifestation of his mutant nature, Fred Dukes used his newfound abilities as a carnival performer, earning him the nickname “the Blob.” Detecting Dukes’s mutant status, Charles Xavier sent his X-Men to invite Dukes to meet with him and he accepted, mostly due to an attraction to the beautiful young X-Man Jean Grey. While visiting the X-Men’s mansion home, Dukes was invited to join the team; but he arrogantly refused, believing himself superior to them. Xavier decided to wipe the knowledge of the X-Men from Dukes’ mind, but Dukes escaped back to the carnival, took it over, and led his fellow performers to attack the X-Men. They were defeated, and Xavier wiped their memories of the incident as well as the Blob’s knowledge of the X-Men.
Later, Magneto offered Dukes membership in his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. A blow to the head restored Dukes’s memories of the X-Men and he accepted Magneto’s offer, joining the Brotherhood in attacking the X-Men; however, during the battle, Magneto sent a barrage of torpedoes at the X-Men, not caring that Dukes was in the way. Uninjured but feeling betrayed, Dukes quit the Brotherhood and returned to the carnival. Dukes subsequently met fellow mutant Unus the Untouchable, and under subliminal commands from Xavier’s enemy Lucifer, the pair attempted to frame the X-Men as thieves. The duo became fast friends and went on to join Factor Three, an organization that sought world conquest; but the X-Men soon convinced the Blob and his teammates that their leader, the Mutant Master, was merely using them, and the two groups joined forces to unmask him as an extraterrestrial subversive before the defeated Mutant Master killed himself.
Soon after, the Blob was among those mutants captured by Larry Trask’s giant robotic Sentinels, but was freed after the X-Men defeated them. Reforming the Brotherhood with Unus and Mastermind, they were contacted by the power-dampening mutant Krueger, who had captured some X-Men and was hoping to sell them to the Brotherhood. Dukes had Mastermind create illusory money to fool Krueger, and sought revenge on the X-Men by trapping them in an illusory circus; however, the ruse collapsed after Krueger arrived to confront the Brotherhood over their treachery, and the X-Men defeated the villains. Escaping custody, Blob’s Brotherhood next attempted to fool the Beast into believing he had killed Iron Man, thus manipulating him into joining them. After realizing the truth, the Beast single-handedly defeated them.
Dukes briefly reformed Factor Three, and used information stolen from Xavier’s computers in the hopes of recruiting more mutants. They kidnapped young mutant Sonny Baredo (the future Humus Sapien), though the Blob and others soon left him behind with the Ogre. Subsequently, Dukes, his mutant teammates and other mutants were captured by the subversive Secret Empire. Ultimately, they were freed by the combined efforts of the X-Men, Captain America, and the Falcon. Following Magneto’s return, Dukes rejoined the Brotherhood and aided Magneto in an attempted world takeover using Magneto’s creation, a being with unlimited power dubbed “Alpha the Ultimate Mutant,” but they were opposed by Xavier and the Defenders. Alpha ultimately turned on the Brotherhood, regressing them to infancy. Later restored to adulthood by Eric the Red of the alien Shi’ar, Dukes and the Brotherhood fought the Champions of Los Angeles but were defeated.
Dukes then briefly joined a band of super-criminals posing as the Defenders during the heroes’ “Defender for a Day” recruitment drive, but they were defeated by a Defenders team led by Hercules. Later, Dukes was freed from prison by the shape-shifting mutant terrorist Mystique and joined her reorganized Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in an attempted assassination of Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kelly, which was thwarted by the X-Men. Mystique’s Brotherhood next attacked the Avengers, but again met with defeat. Dukes then joined Unus in battling the Hulk and subsequently witnessed Unus’ apparent death, which sent Dukes on a grief-stricken rampage that was quelled by Spider-Man and the Black Cat. After Mystique had the U.S. government pardon the Brotherhood for their crimes in exchange for becoming federal agents as Freedom Force, their first mission was to capture Magneto. Subsequent missions saw Freedom Force opposing the X-Men, X-Factor, the Avengers, the New Mutants, Daredevil, the Grip, the Reavers, the Hulk, and Firestar. During this time, Dukes also helped train replacement Captain America (John Walker), who subsequently accompanied Freedom Force in opposing the Resistants.
After a disastrous Middle East clash with the Arabic super-team Desert Sword, Dukes and his teammate Pyro were captured by Iraqi military forces and served for a time as the personal bodyguards of the Iraqi commander until the Toad arranged for their release. Dukes and Pyro agreed to join the Toad's new Brotherhood. Following defeats at the hands of X-Force and X-Factor, Freedom Force’s replacement as the government’s sanctioned mutant team, the Brotherhood sought to capture the mutant Portal but were opposed by Darkhawk, Sleepwalker, and Spider-Man. Overlooked for recruitment into Magneto’s Acolytes, Dukes and the Brotherhood accompanied Pyro, who had contracted the deadly Legacy Virus, to the island home of Jonathan Chambers, a.k.a. Empyrean, a mutant who drained the energy expended by those dying of the Virus to ease their pain. Dukes and the Brotherhood were subsequently duped by Empyrean into stealing a time machine created by the X-Man Beast to allow Empyrean to travel back in time and release the Legacy Virus earlier; however, the X-Men intervened and Empyrean was instead sent back to the prehistoric age.
Dukes was subsequently approached by the psionic being Onslaught, who augmented his powers in exchange for his servitude. Teaming up with the power-copying Mimic, Dukes battled the female members of X-Force but was defeated by Meltdown, who threatened to explode a plasma ball inside his body. After Onslaught was defeated, both Dukes and the Mimic offered their services to the “favor trader” Sledge, who in turn granted them better control of their abilities.
After a clash with the mutant mercenary Maverick, Dukes formed a new Brotherhood consisting of himself, Mimic, Post, and Toad. On the run from the nanite-mutated computer Cerebro, Blob’s Brotherhood broke Xavier out of a government facility so he could train them to better oppose Cerebro. After helping the X-Men against Cerebro, Blob’s Brotherhood was recruited by Mystique to recover the head of X-51, the Machine Man. After that failed mission, Dukes attempted to hijack an armored car on his own but was defeated by Spider-Man. Mystique then assumed leadership of the Brotherhood, and sent them to attempt another assassination of Kelly, but they again failed due to the intervention of the X-Men and a dying Pyro, who sacrificed himself to save Kelly.
He subsequently joined the army of mutants Magneto was amassing on the island nation of Genosha, but they were defeated by the X-Men. Later, Dukes and his former teammate Avalanche were among those mutants forcibly recruited into the paramilitary X-Corps group, led by former X-Man Banshee, until it disbanded following infiltration by Mystique. After he was overlooked for a new Brotherhood formed by Magneto’s former Acolyte Exodus, an aimless Dukes consulted psychologist Sean Garrison, who convinced him to be true to himself. Believing that “truth” lay in opposing the X-Men, Dukes went to the Xavier Institute only to find the X-Men absent. He attacked nonetheless, but was defeated by the students and taken into custody.
When the world was restored to normal after the Scarlet Witch’s House of M|reality warp, Dukes was horrified to discover that he had been stripped of his mutant powers, resulting in tremendous folds of skin hanging loosely off his frame. Distraught, Dukes attempted suicide by cutting his throat with a knife; but due to his excess skin, he was unable to get the blade close enough.
Someone that resembles the Blob was apprehended by the Thunderbolts and was seen in the Folding Castle Detention Quadrant.
Blob later resurfaces as a member of the X-Cell, a group of depowered mutants who attack Mutant Town in defiance of the Decimation. After mistakenly getting into a fight with Rictor and Multiple Man and getting in a cheap shot on Rictor, he stole a car. With fellow X-Cell member, Fatale, he attempted to flee, eventually hitting an open manhole (left open earlier in the day by Strong Guy and Wolfsbane) and causing the car to crash leaving Blob hanging from the car. When both of them ran afoul of Marrow, Blob was thrown from the car.