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

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Vertigo; Deluxe edition (April 4, 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Comment 21 of 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer 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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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Awhile ago I learned an important lesson about stories written by Grant Morrison. I have to read them at least twice before making a judgment. A second reading doesn't always raise my score but in this case it improved my enjoyment immensely. I wrote an entire review of Flex Mentallo giving it a more than decent but less than spectacular four stars. Perhaps what hurt the initial reading most was that it was not at all what I expected. With the satirical covers and a main actor dressing like a character from an ad half a century old I expected humor and the book isn't funny. There are a few humorous parts but Morrison wasn't going for humor. My second issue was that this was yet another attempt (albeit one of his earliest) at transcending into some new level of comic writing rather than just mellowing out and producing a story.

But here's the thing, on a second run through I started to consider the possibility that maybe on this occasion Grant Morrison was successful. Maybe what I was reading was one of the best comics I have ever read; one that might even break into my top 10 list that includes comics like Watchmen, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Kingdom Come. I am so reflexively put off by Morrison's endless attempts at creating a mystical reading experience, an experience that often contains more gibberish than enlightenment that I couldn't see clearly. I absolutely love this book. I've seriously enjoyed other books by Morrison (and despised others) but this one perhaps more than any other really struck home.

Flex Mentallo was created by Morrison way back in 1990 appearing first in the Doom Patrol and then in his own four issue mini-series which is collected here.
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