Doom Patrol 4: Musclebound

doom patrol volume 4 musclebound cover grant morrison
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Flex Mentallo, Pentagon story

Some of the individual issues are not as strong, generic enemies, hard for newcomers

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Doom Patrol (Volume 2)

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Grant Morrison

Artist:  Richard Case/Steve Yeowell/Mike Dringenberg/Vice Giarrano/Jamie Hewlett/Rian Hughes/Michael S. Kane/Duncan Fegredo/Brian Bolland/Paul Grist/Simon Bisley

# of Issues:  9

Release Date:   2006

doom patrol #42 cover flex mentallo

Doom Patrol (2) #42

Reprints Doom Patrol (2) #42-50 (March 1991-December 1991).  Why is the Pentagon a pentagon?  The Doom Patrol and their new ally Flex Mentallo (the Hero of the Beach) set out to find the answer to that question and discover a horror that could destroy the world.  Plus, the Doom Patrol finds themselves facing their enemies the New New New Brotherhood of Dada who have their own plans for Earth.

Written by Grant Morrison, Doom Patrol Volume 4:  Musclebound was part of Grant Morrison’s critically acclaimed run on Doom Patrol (before it officially became a Vertigo title).  Follows the events of Doom Patrol Volume 3:  Down Paradise Way, the collection features art by Richard Case, Steve Yeowell, Mike Dringenberg, Vice Giarrano, Jamie Hewlett, Rian Hughes, Michael S. Kane, Duncan Fegredo, Brian Bolland, Paul Grist, and Simon Bisley.  The issues in the collection were also included in Doom Patrol Omnibus and Doom Patrol—Book 2.

This book has the fun Flex Mentallo storyline which drew some controversy due to copywrite debates.  The character was based off the classic Charles Atlas ad with “The Insult that made a Man out of Mac” in which the 98 lb. weakling gets strong with the help of Charles Atlas.  Here, the story continues his adventures after the famous ad as “The Man of Muscle Mystery” with “Hero of the Beach” powers at his disposal.  The unusual concept for the character alone helped make Doom Patrol one of the most interesting comics of the early ’90s.

doom patrol #46 cover review

Doom Patrol (2) #46

The Ant Farm and Pentagon storyline is the best storyline in the book and maybe my favorite in Morrison’s run.  I was real fan of Morrison’s work here and on Animal Man.  Its weirdness is just why Doom Patrol and the out-and-out odd stories worked.  With the great flashback art for Charles Atlas and the mystery of the Pentagon, Doom Patrol Volume 4:  Musclebound is fun looking and a fun read.

The enemies of the Doom Patrol stories do run together a bit, but it is good to see the Brotherhood of Dada back (collected in Doom Patrol Volume 2:  The Painting that Ate Paris) even if only Mr. Nobody was the only returning character from the “team”.  The events Doom Patrol (2) #50 (December 1991) set up the story for the next book.

Doom Patrol Volume 4:  Musclebound really can’t be picked up by someone who hasn’t read Doom Patrol.  It would be a challenge to figure out what is going on, so previous volumes would be advised.  Definitely check this out however…You can be the Hero of the Beach!  Doom Patrol Volume 4:  Muscle Bound is followed by Doom Patrol Volume 5:  Magic Bus.

Related Links:

Doom Patrol Volume 1:  Crawling from the Wreckage

Doom Patrol Volume 2:  The Painting that Ate Paris

Doom Patrol Volume 3:  Down Paradise Way

Doom Patrol Volume 5:  Magic Bus

Doom Patrol Volume 6:  Planet Love

Flex Mentallo:  Man of Muscle Mystery

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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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