Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Like a Rock

So, in the Marvel Universe of the 1960s, who do you think is the most manly man of them all? And no, I'm not talking about chiseled Tony Stark, or suave Stephen Strange, or even nabobitty Namor "I'm too sexy to wear shirts" McKenzie. No, I'm talking about who Stan Lee considered the manliest man of the time. And as far as Stan's concerned, there is only one choice: Mister Lee has a big man-crush on Rock Hudson.

Rock Hudson

Well, who wouldn't?

The former Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. was apparently a popular choice of the Marvel Age's architect of the written word. "Where's your proof?" you ask. "Show me some examples, Bully!" you demand. And you've forgotten to say "please," but what the heck. I'm nothing if not obliging, 'specially where there's comic book panels referring to Rock Hudson to be parceled out. Everybody wait patiently in line and you'll all get one, okay?

Tales of Suspense #39
Panel from Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)

Rock Hudson: geographically, he stands at a place within the area of dreaminess that is away from admiring girls on the beach, but with Tony Stark somewhere at a given point bisecting the line drawn between Rock himself and...look, I'm gonna have to draw a diagram to get this straight, so let me work on that while you move onto the next panel, okay?

Sure, nameless cameo-appearing beach bunnies in Tales of Suspense and Big Grey Clunky Armor may not suspect that historically, they might be barkin' up the wrong tree, vis-D-vis Monsieur Hudson, but hey, they are anonymous one-shot characters that will never appear again, unless it's in that big crowd scene in the Thor issue where our good-hearted Norse god decides to shake the hand, one by one, of everyone on Earth. Let's check in with a more regular denizen of the Marvel Universe, one who will eventually get to be played in the movies by Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes, folks, it's Margot Tenenbaum Pepper Potts herself! So, what do you think of Rock Hudson, Ms. Potts, keeping in mind your last name is "Potts"?

Tales of Suspense #45
Panel from Tales of Suspense #45 (September 1963)

Huh, well, sure, Pepper has a big infatuation on Hudson as well. But can she be the only second banana in the MU who thinks Rock has appeal? Nope!

ASM #43
Panel from Amazing Spider-Man #43 (December 1966)

When you keep in mind that Mary Jane Watson had only first met Peter Parker in the previous issue, well, that's a mighty strong infatuation at first striking-of-the-jackpot to ditch a date with Rock Hudson for Petey...oh, wait, she's telling a joke. I get it. Ha, Mary Jane! Ha!

Why, even in the letter columns of Marvel Comics, Stan can't stop thinkin' about Rock Hudson long enough, and he's gotta refer to him in an editorial reply. How do you think that makes the Hulk feel, Stan? So jealous he's trying to smash puny Hudson right through the letter. But Rock Hudson is invulnerable to the Green Goliath's powerhouse slams! That's because he's Rock Hudson!

Hulk #102
Letter from Incredible Hulk #102 (April 1968)

So there you go. If the Marvel Universe existed in the real world...and who says it doesn't...then the Sexiest Man Alive on the cover of Marvel People every year would have been Rock Hudson...a man so popular he has large yellow letters that follow him faithfully to point out his name to everyone. You know, I don't care who he liked to kiss...he's a sexy, handsome man. Rock Hudson, we salute you, you big beefsteak of manhood, you!

Rock Hudson

Also? He was Rock Quarry on The Flintstones. How cool is that?

Rock Quarry

1 comment:

MichaelRbn said...

Too lazy to look it up to confirm, but I think that Rock was the number one male box office star consistently during the 60s (and Doris Day was the number one female), so Stan's numerous references weren't that unusual. I also vaguely recall a lot of DC references to Rock as the standard of male hotness during those years.

Regardless, another great post made even greater by the inclusion of the Flintstones version of Rock. I'm a sucker for all of those, especially Ann-Margrock and Stony Curtis.