In Phat's audition tape for X-Force, Billy Bob was described as having the ideal background for any rock star or mutant. Living in an environment of ignorance and intolerance with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father led Billy-Bob to escape the trailer park and make the streets his home. He appeared to hang with rough gangster types and supposedly did things he wasn’t proud of, all the while having wild fluctuations in his weight. When tests came back that he carried the mark of the mutant, he began training himself to the point that he had amazing control over his skin and subcutaneous tissue.
When he was among five new members chosen to replace the recently annihilated X-Force team, Phat immediately started arguing with the intellectual recruit Vivisector (Myles), who chided him for his macho posturing. However, after a press release introducing the new team was interrupted by an attack from the original X-Force, angry over the use of their team name, Phat complimented the bookworm for kicking butt. [X-Force (1st series) #117]
Before the team went on their first mission to rescue a powerful mutant boy named Paco from a foreign nation, the members were allowed to go back and say goodbye to their loved ones. In the case of Phat, his parents turned out to be relatively normal. Billy Bob apologized to them for letting his agent greatly exaggerate his dysfunctional background and asked them to be proud of him. When the mission began, X-Force was teleported to the country of Bastrona by team member U-Go Girl (Edie). The streets were full of dancers and floats in a Carnival-like celebration and Phat exclaimed that the “chickens” could really shake it. Team member Bloke, an openly gay man, complimented the “roosters” as well, and this elicited a look of disgust from Phat.
When the mission quickly turned out to be a trap, Phat helped the others rescue their team leader Orphan (Guy) from the local military and was witness to Bloke protecting their informant/betrayer Diego at the cost of his own life. Bloke’s sacrifice and his dying words, that there would be one less of “his kind” to worry about, hit Phat surprisingly hard. In a rage, he used his powers to choke Diego nearly to death for his responsibility of killing Bloke. Orphan tried to reason with him to stop, as they still needed him, but Phat didn’t care about the mission anymore. This sparked a debate among the members of X-Force on whether killing Diego was the right thing to do, but ultimately it was decided that Diego would help them complete their mission before making that choice.
Using Diego’s information, Edie teleported the team to where Paco was being held. A fight ensued and Phat protected the unconscious boy from falling ceiling debris by greatly expanding his body. However, this move hurt Phat and took him out of the fight. Teammate Saint Anna tried to use her power of healing on Billy-Bob but took a bullet in the stomach shortly after the attempt. Phat woke up and caught her using his fat as a cushion, but he could do nothing else for her. Orphan was able to rescue Paco and ordered Edie to teleport the team to safety. Unfortunately, Phat had to witness yet another of his teammates perish when Saint Anna succumbed to her wounds, though this time he seemed more preoccupied with his upcoming Larry King interview and how great he thought Vivisector’s ferocious fighting had been.
Rather than hand over Paco to Coach, their team handler, to be brutally used, Orphan chose to hide Paco. This led to a conflict in which Phat, Vivisector and teammate Anarchist (Tike), backed up their leader in a fight against some reserve mutants Coach had on hand to “convince” Orphan to tell him where Paco was located. The fight ended with the Paco situation unresolved. [X-Force (1st series) #118-119]
New X-Force owner Spike Freeman decided to give some advice to Phat and Vivisector about raising their profile. His intentions were to cause more conflict within the team and thus he stoked jealousy in the two young men by pointing out that the three senior members Guy, Edie, and Tike were getting all of the attention while the public forgot about the other two members of the team. Freeman suggested causing more controversy and thus more media attention by having the two men make it seem like they were pitted directly against the other three members of the team. This manipulation quickly payed off for Freeman when Phat attacked Tike in the library for dissin’ his bro Myles. The incident repeated itself at a press conference when new prospective member the Spike insulted Tike in front of the media and Spike became the pairs’ new target in an attempt to gain attention.
Later at the pool, Billy-Bob and Myles confronted Tike on his obsession of keeping Spike off the team. Tike claimed he didn’t give a damn about the opinion of a white boy that wished he was black, but Phat countered that Tike sure acted like a black man that wished he was white. Tike responded by using his acid sweat to boil the pool, nearly starting a legitimate fight with Phat if not for the interruption of another prospective member, the time-stopping Lacuna.
In the meantime, Edie was set to guest host the Larry King Show later that night. Billy-Bob and Myles proceeded to get very drunk prior to showing up for a team interview at the studio. During Edie’s interview with Spike, tensions were raised when Tike confronted the man for his constant insults. Before, things could escalate between the two, Phat and Vivisector busted through the studio backdrop, drunk and looking to steal the spotlight from everyone. This led to the studio audience being endangered, but the entire incident was resolved when Lacuna used her time stopping powers to strip the whole team down to their underwear. With the team embarrassed, Phat tried to be a gentleman by using his fat to shield Edie’s nudity. Afterwards, Tike decided to try to gain favor with the two scene-crashers and hung out with them for a night of rolling dice at the casino. Finally, Billy-Bob and Myles were excited to hear that they would be publicly reprimanded for their outrageous behavior. [X-Force (1st series) #121-122]
One day, when cameraman Doop accidentally pulled the team into an inner dimension within himself, the team members were confronted with some of their worst fears. In the case of Phat, he seemed to be running from a mob of African-Americans. Whether this was a fear that they were angry with him for appropriating their culture or perhaps that he harbored secret racism was unclear. Phat was also on hand when a parade in X-Force’s honor was attacked by a mutant terrorist group, and he continued to participate in the missions the team was assigned. [X-Force (1st series) #123-125, Brotherhood #9]
When Guy’s decision to hide Paco came back to haunt him, Billy-Bob and Myles sided with Tike in refusing a mission into space to protect their leader’s reputation. Ultimately, they were outvoted and on the shuttle ride up to the space station, Spike attacked the two of them for holding hands. An embarrassed Phat was hesitant to reveal the truth, but Myles admitted to the team that Billy-Bob and he had special feelings for each other. Spike wanted to know if they would be protecting the team or their special feelings, but Phat pointed out that Guy and Edie weren’t being questioned for the same situation.
Despite the conflict, the team readied themselves to take on the shape-shifting artificial mutants on the space station. After an initial failure, the team regrouped on the shuttle minus Spike, who had betrayed them to the enemy. On their second attempt, the enemies had all disguised themselves as Spike and one of them pierced Phat in the shoulder with a spiked projectile. As he fell to the ground, Billy-Bob reflected on whether he and Myles were truly together and if he truly was a latent homosexual. While he knew the answer, he was not ready to share it with anybody. Myles certainly showed genuine concern for him as he lay in pain, however. The team was soon ambushed by the CIA and the three senior members were forced to teleport blindly to an escape pod hurtling away. A patched up Phat helped the rest of the team take down the CIA agents and demand that they get back their teammates. However, a reformed Spike convinced them it was a lost cause and they should leave. [X-Force (1st series) #126-127]
When their doomed teammates seemed to have reversed their course, it was a slowly healing Phat that noticed that Spike seemed apprehensive about returning to the space station to rescue them. When it turned out that the three members had used a six-sided die roll to determine who could not return in the two man space craft, Phat revealed that Tike must have manipulated the die like he had when gambling in order to purposely lose. Luckily they were able to save Tike after all, but the team then lost Edie when it was revealed that Spike had been a disguised enemy, as Phat had suspected. [X-Force (1st series) #128]
Phat mourned the loss with the rest of his teammates and still had her on his mind even after he and Myles became physical for the first time. The two did not seem to have completely worked out what was happening between them and when a reporter from the gay press asked Billy-Bob if he and Myles were more than just friends, he exploded into a homophobic rant. Back at the headquarters, Myles confronted him on this, angrily wanting to know why Billy-Bob didn’t want people to know about them. The plan was to use their relationship as a way to gain more attention, but Billy-Bob countered that he agreed with that plan when they were just pretending. [X-Force (1st series) #129]
Phat’s uneasiness with his feelings continued even after X-Force re-branded as X-Statix. All of the members were showering after a mission when Billy-Bob freaked out that Myles was looking at him. Myles angrily denied it and said he was sick of Phat trying to shove his newly discovered heterosexuality down their throats. Soon after, while on a mission, Phat could not seem to use his powers, and he questioned if this normality was just a passing phase. Later that night, Myles claimed to know from where Billy-Bob’s issue stemmed. He explained that Billy-Bob was denying his true desires and he needed to accept himself to regain control of his abilities. [X-Statix #1-2]
Phat decided that it was time to return home, as he was no use to the team without his powers. He was bemused that even though he bought a huge house for his parents and sister, they still chose to live in their old trailer parked in the back yard, as they preferred being in close quarters to each other rather than having separate bedrooms. To top it off, his family was tired of dealing with all the press and fans that constantly came around, and suggested that Billy-Bob leave. He was pretty upset that his own family claimed that he no longer belonged with them, so he tried to feel better by heading to the bar and buying all of his old friends drinks. However, when he shared his problem that he couldn’t access his mutant power anymore, they gave in to their desires to beat him up for being too rich, a mutant, and possibly gay. [X-Statix #3]
Having nowhere else to go, Phat went back to X-Statix headquarters, but he had no desire to help out with the current problems the team was facing. However, after he and Myles had a long conversation, they realized that they were both homosexual but not in fact attracted to each other. With this self-realization, Phat was able to access his powers again and rejoined X-Statix in time to help rescue Guy on his solo mission to stop an ultra powerful reality-warping mutant named Arnie. During the ensuing fight Phat admitted that he was more into the bruthas, which was not a surprise to Tike. The mission ended when Arnie was told that he could join X-Statix, of which he was a huge fan. This led to the entire team pretending that Arnie was a valued member and also that they all liked each other enough to spend their down time together. The charade eventually ended when Guy convinced Lacuna to stage an assassination of Arnie to look like heart failure. [X-Statix #4-5]
This incident led to Guy leaving the team and Anarchist becoming the new leader of X-Statix. Phat then helped the team take down an inter-dimensional being that everyone thought was a mentally cracked Guy in disguise. Ultimately, Guy came back to the team and Phat sided with the others in choosing Anarchist as the new permanent team leader. Things returned to a relative normal for the team after that, and a movie was even being made about X-Statix. In the early footage of the movie, Phat admired how well they used digital effects to replicate his powers, even if the story and characters were fairly inaccurate to reality. Additionally, Phat and the other male members of X-Statix got to enjoy the fun of their fame in a short adventure reminiscent of the Beatles’ a Hard’s Day Night. [X-Statix #6-9, X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #41]
Phat kept a bit of a lower profile on the team, but did warn his old lover Myles that he should be careful not to fall in love with their new straight teammate El Guapo. Myles angrily denied it, but then made Phat promise to knock some sense into him if he started to do anything embarrassing. Phat had a continued background presence when the resurrected pop-star Henrietta Hunter became the focus of the team, but did once tell Spider-man to back off from trying to steal X-Statix’s spotlight during a mission. However, when Henrietta started becoming too much of a threat to all of the other team members’ fame, Phat agreed that she must die. Despite this resolution, the team backed off their decision and Phat even instinctively protected Henrietta by deflecting a missile aimed for her. This missile hit El Guapo instead, blowing off his legs and making Myles despondent. Tike even accused Phat of having the hots for her or being part of her large gay following.
Soon, all of the drama was a moot point, as a villain named Mr. Code enacted a plan that led to Henrietta’s death. Upon Mr. Code’s subsequent death, his body self-destructed in an explosion of great proportions. The entire team may have perished if Phat had not jumped onto the body and massively expanded himself to absorb the blast, cracking his own bones and blowing off his foot with the effort.
Unfortunately, Billy-Bob did not survive this heroic action and Myles appropriately wept at the death of his first love. Even Tike mourned the wannabe black man that was white and comforted Myles. The team buried Phat’s enormous remains in a massive coffin. The funeral was attended by warring factions of fans both claiming Phat for their cause of gay rights vs fat activism. In one last freak occurrence, Phat’s blown off foot returned from orbit to smash in Dead Girl’s skull as she was testing out a mysterious death curse, but luckily she couldn't become more dead. [X-Statix #11-18]
Phat would be missed, but ultimately his team did not last much longer than him. However, just before his death, Doop took a genetic sample of Billy-Bob and had created a daughter. Phatty grew up to be a plus size model and eventually joined a new team of former and new X-Statix members, including her father’s former lover Vivisector. [Giant-Size X-Statix #1]