Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Splendid Physique of Wednesday!

You thought Sinistro, Boy Fiend was the cat's pajamas? Well, of course you did. But let's not overlook Mr. Muscles!

So, how does one go about creating a comic character as bitchin' as Mr. Muscles? Believe it or don't, the character came from Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel in 1956, which just goes to show no one bats a thousand.

Jim Norman is not only a he-man, but he narrates his own dialogue. "You can get away with that if you are manly enough," says Adam Barnett on his insanely awesome blog.

Although you might have noticed from yesterday's post that there was a Mr. Muscles #22 and #23, this is because of more Charlton Comics wacky numbering system. In this case, they just took over the numbering from the canceled (sob!) Blue Beetle series and tried to give the title some instant cred. It didn't work, of course, and the title was canceled after the next issue.

The origin of the character was that he contracted polio, and through sheer dedication and force of will, became a perfect physical specimen. Because people can do that. That's why only weak-willed and morally flawed people ever get sick and die.

And if you didn't like him....

.... that's right, you were just jealous of his splendid physique.

This guy isn't the same character that appeared in the hilarious Hero Hotline decades later, by the way. But he did have perhaps the most disturbing sidekick ever:

That's right... make way for Kid Muscles!

I suppose he was meant to be a role model for you flabby kids, but we all know that comic book geeks prefer to bypass years of sweaty workouts in favor of magic lightning and powerful rings given to us by dying space aliens.

Anyway, people also had some sort of weird awe of Kid Muscles' physique (excuse me... splendid physique) as well:

I'm not going to lie to you. Reading this was disturbing on many levels. Captain America is low-key compared to this thing.

Seriously, is this a character description, or a personals ad on Craigslist?:

The scary thing is, I just know I have to read the next issue to see how all this turns out. See you tomorrow!


AndyDecker said...

So there was a forerunner to Grant Morrison´s Flex Mentallo "the Man of Muscle Mystery"? Who would have thought.

David said...

Well at least we don't have to worry about annoying girlfriends like Lois Lane or Vicki Vale. No time for romance when the hero's in love with himself.

I'd write him off as a self-absorbed creep if he wasn't so gosh-darn perfect, with those finely honed muscles and that full head of glossy blond hair...NO! Must remember...I like girls...I like girls...

Gene Phillips said...

In fairness, the homoerotic vibe is somewhat compromised by the presence of a "Miss Muscles" who also appears in #22, according to TOONOPEDIA.

Sounds hot to me. Can Adam and his scanner be prevailed upon--?

D.B. Echo said...

Alan Moore adapted the characters of Watchmen from the old Charlton comics - Nite Owl = Blue Beetle, Rorschach = The Question, etc. Ozymandias is said to be based on the character Thunderbolt, though he seems to have quite a bit in common with Mr. Muscles!

SallyP said...

Whoa! Is that your muscle bulging, or are you just happy to see me?

Really, I'm SO ashamed of myself.

Allergy said...

I'll have to grab a copy off of eBay or something. I really can't get enough at looking of drawings of people doing exercises.

LissBirds said...

"I'll tell you wy I hate you! I hate your splendid physique!" is perhaps one of THE greatest lines in all of comics history. Kudos goes to that guy for saying out loud what all villains are thinking to themselves when fighting superheroes.

Anonymous said...

That KID MUSCLES is really hot!! Who
wouldn't want to tangle with HIS bulging muscles??!!

Anonymous said...

Adam: Thanks for a great website! And thanks for the photo of KID
MUSCLES in hot pursuit of the bad guy
who gave Mr. Muscles a soda with a
mickey in order to sabotage his wrestling debut. If you have the time, please post the comic panels in which KID MUSCLES deals with the
stooge working for the crooked wrestling promoter. Thanks again for your hard work and interesting commentary!