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Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, April 10, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Deluxe edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401232213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401232214
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A compelling work by one of the best writers of the modern era...Grant Morrison at his metaphysical prime."--iFanboy

"Morrison and Quitely have the magic touch that makes any book they collaborate on stand out form the rest."-MTV's Splash Page

"The Paul McCartney/John Lennon of comics."--Nashville City Paper

"Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely might be the the best one-two punch in comics"--Toronto Metro News

About the Author

Grant Morrison has been working with DC Comics for twenty years, after beginning this American comics career with acclaimed runs on ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL. Since then, he has written such best-selling series as JLA, BATMAN and New X-Men, as well as creator-owned titles as THE INVISIBLES, SEAGUY, THE FILTH, WE3 AND JOE THE BARBARIAN. Morrison has also expanded the borders of the DC Universe in the award-winning pages of SEVEN SOLDIERS, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, FINAL CRISIS and BATMAN, INCORPORATED, and he currently reinventing the Man of Steel in the all-new ACTION COMICS. 

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Customer Reviews

Great, smart, fun stuff which has aged quite well.
Steven L. Solomon
Get this book, OWN IT, because this is the kind of work that you will read once and again and again and again, and then again and again.
Bruno Marisi
Well now the book is finally released and for those who have heard of it and wanted to read it for so long, the wait is over.
Kortick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Joe Kenney on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Flex Mentallo" was supposed to be released as a trade paperback in 1998 or so, but humorless men in suits who represented the Charles Atlas Company put a stop to that. Why? It's a sad, pathetic story. Flex, a character wholly created by Morrison, made his first appearance in Morrison's joyously avant garde "Doom Patrol" series (I believe it was in issue #35; I'm too lazy to dig out the issue to confirm). When he first appeared, Flex looked more like Alan Moore than a hulking he-man: bearded, grimy, wrapped up in a dirty trench coat. Eventually he realized who he was: "The Man of Muscle Mystery," and regained his normal appearance - basically, he was the spitting image of Charles Atlas, complete with leopard-skin trunks.

Flex's origin is also a hilarious parody of those old Charles Atlas funnybook advertisements. You know: skinny dweeb gets picked on by beach bully, sends away for a muscle-building manual. Only the manual Flex received taught him all sorts of esoteric uses for his muscles; now, each muscle was capable of a different power. For example, flexing his bicep might result in an earthquake, flexing his lats might allow him to see the future. And just to really hammer home the Atlas parody, every time Flex strikes his "hero pose," the words "Hero of the Beach" float above him: the exact same slogan that hovered above the character in the Charles Atlas ads.

The issues of "Doom Patrol" with Flex didn't cause any trouble, and this series, published about 5 years later, didn't either. So what happened? Apparently, an overzealous fan brought the "Flex Mentallo" series to the attention of Charles Atlas Company representatives, more out of a "hey, you guys might think this is funny" attitude than anything else.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "k1ng_m0b" on July 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Flex Mentallo, in one sense, was a spin-off of Grant Morrison's work on the Doom Patrol. In another, it was a compression of his entire five-year run on the Invisibles shot through a superhero comic.
People who aren't intimately familiar with comic book mythos might be a bit confused, if not outright lost, by the sheer volume of references that give this book a lot of its kick. However, there is still a damn good tale about madness, death, isolation, love, magick, the people we could have been and the people we were.
The fact that Morrison manages to cram this into four short comic books is a testament not only to his skill as a writer, but also to the power of the medium.
Of course, that's all a moot point, because due to copyright issues, this trade will probably never be published. Still, if you can find the individual issues, they are well worth it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bruno Marisi on April 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review will focus on the edition of the book itself rather than the work of Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, you can find many great reviews about the story itself right here in Amazon. I'll just say that both artists shine so much in this volume that you will suffer of temporarily blindness after reading it, only to then gain a 4th dimensional vision of what Super-Heroes and Ideas are about.

Fortunately, this book is quite a "Deluxe" edition, as DC/Vertigo applied the Fables Deluxe series standard of quality:

- The paper stock is glossy and heavy weight and the printing quality is great.
- The book features a full-color printed hardback under the dustjacket (unlike the rest of DC/Vertigo HCs that have just a shamelessly dark grey presentation. That's right, dark grey, not even true black).
- It's a solid glued binding book. Of course I would have liked a sewn one, but given that this is a slim volume and there's almost no gutter loss, I can totally live with the glued binding.

Other good things to consider:

- The dustjacket features a new illustration by Frank Quitely, really beautiful.
- The original comics were re-coloured for the ocasion. I'm usually against re-colouring, but in this case I'm happy with the results. The original comics were presented in a typical mid-nineties digital colouring fashion that hasn't aged that well. The new colouring is a great enhancement that respects the original intent, but with a much better use of the tools.
- We get a 14-pages section of extras at the end of the book, with sketches and original artwork by Quitely.
- We also get a 4-pages prologue which was previously featured in issues #2 and #4 of the original series as a 2-part article section.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Princess Wuffles on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Grant Morrison is that rare breed of creative genius who not only reminds us here of how good he is at what he does, but who also reminds us why we seek out such things in the first place. Flex Mentallo is yet another such work in his impressive bibliography.

Don't let the man in leopard-print trunks on the cover fool you, this is heady, deep-thinking, transcendent literature about the power of stories and the endurance of ideas and truths in the guise of a muscle-bound, cosmic detective story. Flex reminds us what a hero is, and what heroes are for, while the over-arching narrative reminds us why humans have always looked to and created such figures. This is a book that may well change the way you look at comics and super heroes. Morrison's absolute command of the medium, as laid down in gorgeous, evocative, ink by Frank Quitely, is on full display here.

This is a book about what it means to be human, and what it means to wish for something greater. Oh, and it's funny, too. The introduction to this collected edition sets a perfect tone with its examination of the history of our titular hero and the men who shepherded him from a great idea to a great character and finally into the Hero of the Beach, who comes full circle as a force of myth. This is a comic about comics and super heroes, but more than that it's a cracking good read on the power of the comic book form and why we need heroes.

If you like Flex, you would do well to check out Morrison's run on Doom Patrol, wherein the pages of which our hero made his triumphant debut and introduced the power of Muscle Mystery.
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