Mandrake

Today’s Daily Jocks ad, for an offer featuring BCNÜ underwear (in this case an Atletico Sports Brief), showing the model alluringly posed on sheepskin:

(#1)

The same model, in a similar but darker pose, in a Grip Retro Brief:

(#2)

My caption:

Man-Dragon

He chose the name Mandrake,
His conventionally handsome veneer
Concealing a magical, dangerous
Creature, the taste of whose body drove
Men into delirium. Posing as an
Underwear model, he transformed
Men into beasts.

Background: on mandrakes, from Wikipedia:

A mandrake is the root of a plant, historically derived either from plants of the genus Mandragora [roughly ‘man-dragon’, in the nightshade or potato family, Solanaceae] found in the Mediterranean region, or from other species, such as Bryonia alba, the English mandrake, which have similar properties. The plants from which the root is obtained are also called “mandrakes”. Mediterranean mandrakes are perennial herbaceous plants with ovate leaves arranged in a rosette, a thick upright root, often branched, and bell-shaped flowers followed by yellow or orange berries. … They are very variable perennial herbaceous plants with long thick roots (often branched) and almost no stem. The leaves are borne in a basal rosette, and are very variable in size and shape, with a maximum length of 45 cm (18 in). They are usually either elliptical in shape or wider towards the end (obovate), with varying degrees of hairiness.

Because mandrakes contain deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids and the shape of their roots often resembles human figures [and allegedly shriek when pulled from the ground], they have been associated with a variety of superstitious practices throughout history. They have long been used in magic rituals, today also in contemporary pagan traditions such as Wicca and Odinism.

One species:

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And Mandrake the Magician, again from Wikipedia:

Mandrake the Magician is a syndicated newspaper comic strip, created by Lee Falk (before he created The Phantom). Mandrake began publication on June 11, 1934. Phil Davis soon took over as the strip’s illustrator, while Falk continued to script. The strip is distributed by King Features Syndicate.

Mandrake, along with the Phantom Magician in Mel Graff’s The Adventures of Patsy, are regarded by comics historians as the first superheroes of comics. Comics historian Don Markstein writes, “Some people say Mandrake the Magician, who started in 1934, was comics’ first superhero.”

Davis worked on the strip until his death in 1964, when Falk recruited current artist Fred Fredericks. With Falk’s death in 1999, Fredericks became both writer and artist. The Sunday Mandrake strip ended December 29, 2002.

Mandrake is a magician whose work is based on an unusually fast hypnotic technique. As noted in captions, when Mandrake “gestures hypnotically”, his subjects see illusions, and Mandrake has used this technique against a variety of villains including gangsters, mad scientists, extraterrestrials, and characters from other dimensions. At various times in the comic strip, Mandrake has also demonstrated other powers, including turning invisible, shapeshifting, levitation, and teleportation. His hat, cloak and wand, passed down from his father Theron, possess great magical properties which in time Mandrake learns how to use. Although Mandrake publicly works as a stage magician, he spends much of his time fighting criminals and combatting supernatural entities. Mandrake lives in Xanadu, a high-tech mansion atop a mountain in New York State. Xanadu’s features include closed circuit TV; a sectional road which divides in half; and vertical iron gates.

Lothar is Mandrake’s best friend and crimefighting companion. Mandrake first met Lothar during his travels in Africa. Lothar was “Prince of the Seven Nations”, a mighty federation of jungle tribes; but forbore to become king and instead followed Mandrake on his world travels. Lothar is often referred to as “the strongest man in the world”, with the exception of Hojo — Mandrake’s chef and secret chief of Inter Intel. Lothar is invulnerable to any weapon forged by man, impervious to heat, cold and possesses the stamina of a thousand men. He also cannot be harmed by magic directly (fire bolts, force bolts, spell incantations). He can lift an elephant by one hand easily.

Mandrake and Lothar:

(#4)

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