Thursday, March 29, 2012
FLEX MENTALLO: THE MUSCLE, THE MYTH, THE MYSTERY
Since DC has finally come around to putting out a big ol' collection of Flex Mentallo's comic book appearances, it's time the true story of Flex can be told. Seeing as I'm not the best storyteller, I'm going to doll out the bare facts of the case as I've overheard them told to many a fanboy who came-a-looking for that quirky as heck Morrison & Quitely team up.
Way back in the early days of DC's Vertigo line of "mature" comics, Grant Morrison and Richard Case were working on a kooky little series by the name of DOOM PATROL and they came up with a muscle-man superhero who went by the name of "Flex Mentallo" who's appearance and schtick was an obvious call back to the Charles Atlas ads of comics everywhere. You know--"don't get sand kicked in your face", "put on twenty pounds of muscle and win the girl" type ads which were one way Charles Atlas earned his money while also spreading the good word on exercise and self-esteem.
Anywho, a few years later, Morrison teamed up with the uniquely skilled Frank Quitely to produce a four issue mininseries entitled FLEX MENTALLO focusing on Flex trying to solve a case, perhaps his most important case!?! Anyway, it was ordered as most Vertigo books were, at a lower number than your average superhero stuff and was a very successful critical hit. Thing is, Charles Atlas didn't much care for it, thought it was infringing on his own trademarked and copyrighted material. And so--shape of a lawsuit!
And that, in short, is why we haven't seen this story reprinted in all these years, even with all the demand that is out there for it as it is one of Morrison's better works (in this writer's opinion) DC hasn't dared put it out there due to the costliness of lawyers and their schtick--legal fees!
But now, finally, DC has stepped up and given "THE MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY" his own deluxe treatment! This humble comic book shop recommends it to readers old and young, fat and skinny, rich and poor, for it is, in it's own strange way, a tribute to comic books and the hold they have over their readers...
Now I can't be too sure about all the facts as I am but a humble brick and mortar building wrapped around a whole mess of comicy books, but I can point you to the right places to look for your answers here 'pon this internetwork of computers. Check out the following links for some real in depth knowledge about the character, series and Mr. Charles Atlas...
THE ANNOTATED FLEX MENTALLO
COMICS FOR SERIOUS
CBR: GOOD COMICS