Finally, the lawsuit has been settled. Or at least to the point of DC and Vertigo being allowed to reprint the four part mini series by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, Flex Mentallo. This was a weird, eefed up trip. If I am correct, this was the very first collaboration between Morrison and Quietly, and it stands up to a lot of the other stuff they’ve done through the ages. All Star Superman, We3 and a miriad of others, Morrison and Quietly might be comics greatest tag team. And with San Diego Comic Con this week, there’s so much a buzz about what’s next? Can comic’s creative dynamic duo out do themselves again? It’s very possible. And fans couldn’t ask for anything less.
Flex Mentallo was originally released in the mid 1990′s under DC Comic’s creator owned imprint, Vertigo. The same label made famous by Neil Gaiman’s series of the Sandman and his Endless saga; Alan Moore’s legendary Swamp Thing saga, their venture in Hewlet and Martin’s Tankgirl, with two mini series of the drunken Australian, kangaroo loving, profanity laden fun. Shortly after it was released, the estate of leopard print wearing strongman, Charles Atlas sued DC and the book was never reprinted in a trade paper back. Amidst a lot of law suits DC is currently wading through, they were able to FINALLY get the book reprinted in a hardcover, dust jacket, deluxe edition. And, even though I never read the comics when they first came out, at the mention by my regular comic’s pusher man, swayed me to plunk down the money for this amazing story.
Not loaded down with a ton of dvd like extras, Flex Mentallo gives you the original four issue mini series, complete with covers and sweet pull quotes from the book. The extras, as I mentioned, weren’t that many, but included some cover concepts, page layouts and final, inked and lettered pages straight from the drawing board of Frank Quietly.
The story is nothing short of amazing, in how crazy and flipped it is. Are super heroes real? Did we all just make them up and then forget about them shortly there after? Was it from a lack of need, or was it just our own hubris that made the supers disappear? Apparently they all went underground to “adult” super hero clubs. But where did the Legion of Legions go? And with the city in peril from bomb throwing super villains, who comes out of the shadows? Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery.
Possibly the best part of the entire book, and believe me the contents are bold and truly worth your time and money, is the introduction. A fictional account of the creation and history of Flex Mentallo, complete with Golden and Silver Age breakdowns. It was a trip to read, and I think it really made the book itself that much more enjoyable. Morrison’s writing unveils his sick and twisted mind. And I certainly don’t mean that in a bad way. And Quietly’s artwork, is something to behold. He has been so sickeningly consistent with his style, that unless you look at the publishing date, you’d never know this book is almost twenty years old. I gotta pull short of saying I loved this book, only because it was the first time I’ve read it. And I know there’s gonna be a ton of things I’ll pick up on the second and third and forth times I crack this open.
In this day and age, where all of us have to make every dollar count, Flex Mentallo is something worth your hard earned cash. While I am a huge proponent of supporting the little guys, the indie creators, it is the creators you support by handing over your money to the person who sells you the goods. And in that, if there’s something out there that doesn’t strike your fancy, put it back. Cause you vote with your wallets. And if there’s something on your pull list that you buy, just cause you think you should, believe me, there’s something else in that catalog or in the local’s or small press bin that is worthy of your spending dollar. That being said, I am in no way trying to trounce Flex Mentallo. I am very glad I listened to my comics pusher and bought the book. It’s a great read and I know you’ll enjoy it. Especially if muscle bound men clad in leopard trunks is your thing. Morrison and Quiety have yet to disappoint.
So, where does Flex Mentallo rate in the arena of the Hardcore Review? I’ll take you back two years to a Ring of Honor even called “Richards vs Daniels.” And that may have been the main event, and believe me, it was a five star match, but I’m going with the other main event match. Colt Cabana and Steve Corino had been embroiled in a bitter feud. And once you go so far, there’s only one match that can end that feud completely. Cause once you say the words, “I quit,” you have handed over of your soul to your opponent. And most, if not all “I Quit” matches end the feud at hand. And Cabana and Corino did not disappoint. This match had everything, including a straight jacketed Kevin Steen. Complete with a broken beer bottle to Corino’s arm, shredding his skin. Cabana was finally able to get the win, by using a broken piece of table and using the broken edge against Corino’s thoroughly scarred forehead. Corino screamed like a stuck pig, “I QUIT!”