Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 9/10

Love Quitely's art and the character

Story tries too hard to be weird like a lot of Morrison's work

 
Comic Info

Comic Name:  Flex Mentallo

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Frank Quitely

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2012

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Flex Mentallo #3

Reprints Flex Mentallo #1-4 (June 1996-September 1996).  Flex Mentallo is out to save the world!  It appears that the end of days could be coming as the situation on Earth grows worse and worse.  When Flex learns of a group called the Faculty X, he learns that another of Wally Sage’s creations called the Fact could have escaped into reality like him.  Flex must find the Fact to stop a cataclysm and to restore balance as Wally Sage finds himself in a crisis of reality at the same time.

Written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely, Flex Mentallo:  Man of Muscle Mystery collects the four issue mini-series from 1996 which had the subtitle of “After the ‘Fact’”.  The series was collected in a deluxe hardback edition with supplemental material and a fake background introduction on the Flex Mentallo character.

I was a big fan of Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol (and Animal Man for that matter).  The best part of Doom Patrol was the introduction of a character named Flex Mentallo in Doom Patrol (Volume 2) #35 (August 1990).  The character was a parody of the classic comic book advertisement for Charles Atlas which had the “98 lbs. weakling” Mac becoming the “Hero of the Beach”.  Unfortunately by the time Flex Mentallo was released, Charles Atlas’ brand had realized they didn’t like Flex Mentallo’s sense of humor and this prevented Flex Mentallo from being collected for years (and outrageous prices on this mini-series).  As a result, I never got to read it until recently.

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Flex Mentallo #4

I have to say that I’m about 70%—30% on Grant Morrison’s writing.  The 70% that I like is rather enjoyable and the 30% I don’t like feels like it is trying too hard.  Flex Mentallo really walks this line.  I love the character and the ideas of the character, but the story feels like gibberish through most of it.  The Doom Patrol:  Musclebound storyline wasn’t quite logical, but it held on enough that it felt like a real rounded story.  Flex Mentallo feels like it has a beginning and end, but the middle is a bit tough to wade through at points.

The story is aided by Frank Quitely’s great art.  I love his version of Flex and the comic is just fun to look at.  The special edition has a number of bonus sketches and the art is bright and remastered.  If you are a fan of Quitely’s style, it is a must.

Flex Mentallo:  Man of Muscle Mystery is not a book for everyone.  Overall, I enjoyed it despite its fallacies, but I’m bias to the character and its conception.  I do wish that Flex would return to be the Hero of the Beach once more, and I’d definitely be willing to venture down another strange road with this character…I just need it tone down a bit.

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Related Links:

Doom Patrol 1:  Crawling from the Wreckage

Doom Patrol 2:  The Painting that Ate Paris

Doom Patrol 3:  Down Paradise Way

Doom Patrol 4:  Musclebound

Doom Patrol 5:  Magic Bus

Doom Patrol 6:  Planet Love

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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