Brett Carson is Mr. Muscles, a costumed strongman who begins "Man Vs. Beast!" hanging out at the Zoo showing off for the adoring crowds. The best I can tell by this issue, somehow Mr. Muscles makes a living by running a gym full of "pupils", wrestling, and, well, appearing at Zoos, apparently.
But not everyone is a fan. Meet the most embittered Zookeeper in comics:
Mister Muscles dazzles the crowd with such feats as: balancing himself on one thumb! Lifting weights on barbells! 81 whole knee-bends! The exhibition climaxes as Mr. Muscles meets his greatest challenge yet; a big bald lard ass climbing a ladder to cannon ball our hapless roid-case:
HOORAY MR. MUSCLES!!! Of course, the fat guy tumbles down the ladder to a shuddering heap on the cement below, dislocating several vertebrae, but who cares, he’s just some fat fuck! MR. MUSCLES!!! Every day is a rippling, glistening, corded holiday with Mr. Muscles around!
That evening, the worlds mightiest physical culturist instructs his pupils:
"Now, the trick is to let them know you're really trying to kick the drugs, but you need to sell these candy bars so you can go to the drug retreat at Disney World. Then you won't be stuck here and tempted back to drugs. We talked about what IMPLY means, Right?
Class: (mumbles agreement)
Mr. Muscles: Right! So you all gotta IMPLY that if they DON'T buy enough candy bars, you might be back! For money to steal from them! For drugs!! "
Give the man credit though, when he gets an emergency call from the zoo, he immediately jumps out the window. I'd like to see "the Fuzz" match that level of service:
Published by Charlton Comics, Mr. Muscles took over issues 22 and 23 of the defunct Blue Beetle series, so don't be fooled into thinking that Mr. Muscles lasted 23 issues! Charlton did this sort of numbering trick all the time to avoid paying mailing fees related to starting up a new title. So they might start out with Combat Action for issues 1-7, change to Western Action for issues 8-13, and morph to Undersea Romance Western for issues 14-24, before wrapping up the run with, say, Captain Atom's Tomb of Terror for issues 25 and 26. Modern readers will be heartened to know that Marvel has made great strides in challenging Charlton’s position as King of the fucked-up numbering mountain in recent years.
In other news, yes, an apparently nude "Kid Muscles" has just jumped into the Roadster....
I have no words for the TIGER MUSCLE ZOO ACTION that follows:
Then it turns out that the wicked Zoo Keeper was just jealous of Mr. Muscles! He was all skinny, and Mr.Muscles was all strong, and it just made him want to turn tigers loose on one guy and try to shoot another guy!
Then Mr. Muscles tells the inspring tale of how he overcame polio to perfect his body and strove for years to regain his mobility, then later to resemble a giant greased cauliflower. All is forgiven as our Don Knotts-esque Zooman becomes a physical and moral exemplar, rippling with muscles and mental clarity. I like to think that he went back to work at the zoo wearing just the wrestling shorts and his "Zoo Caretaker" cap.