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Bongo Comics’ Parody of Charles Atlas Ads – The Hold-Up That Made a Hero Out of Mac

A regular feature in Marvel comics was the Charles Atlas Dynamic Tension ads that promised to give you muscles that “men respect and women admire“. In Bongo Entertainment’s comic, Radioactive Man Issue #1 published in 1993, the back cover has a hilarious parody of Dynamic Tension.

Instead of “The Insult That Made a Man Out of Mac”, Bongo provides us with “The Hold-Up That Made a Hero Out of Mac”. The resemblance is of course deliberate, right down to Mac kicking a chair out of frustration and buying a muscle building book. But rather than getting a book on Dynamic Tension, you get a book on Dramatic Tension. Atlasman, not Charles Atlas, promises results… Not in 15 minutes a day, but in 15 years. Mac is amazed that it only took 15 years of constant training to achieve physical perfection!

Good thing the Bongo ad has a disclaimer! “I understand that if, after just 15 years, I am not completely satisfied with the results, it’s because I’ve outgrown my youthful fixations.”

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