Charles Atlas ads were a frequent feature in Marvel comic books of the 1970s. In the ad Atlas, who is proclaimed as the “World’s No. 1 Body Builder“, claims he can make the reader into a real “HE-MAN” in just 15 minutes a day.
He proceeds to reveal his magic formula of Dynamic Tension that will provide you with a suit of “rock-hard SOLID MUSCLE” before you know it. All the reader has to do is send 10 cents along with their name and address to receive their 32-page Dynamic Tension book.
Along the right side of the ad is the (in)famous comic strip, The Insult That Made a Man out of ‘Mac’. Mac is at the beach and gets sand kicked in his face by a typical bully, who is then called a ‘little boy’ by his friend (or romantic interest?) Grace. Out of frustration Mac purchases Charles Atlas’ book and builds muscle in a short timeframe. He returns to the beach, punches the bully, and is lauded as a “real man after all“.
Charles Atlas, originally Angelo Siciliano, was born in 1892 and moved from Cosenza, Italy to New York, USA in 1904. He claimed his inspiration for Dynamic Tension came from seeing a lion at a zoo, which was strong and muscular, but evidently didn’t exercise with with gym equipment.