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Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery (The Hypersigil Trilogy #2)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,988 ratings  ·  172 reviews
Collected for the first time, an early classic from the ALL-STAR SUPERMAN team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, newly re-coloured.
Once he was Hero of the Beach... and of the Doom Patrol. Now Flex Mentallo, the Man of Muscle Mystery, returns to investigate the sinister dealings of his former comrade, The Fact, and a mysterious rock star whose connection to Flex may hold
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 4th 2012 by Vertigo (first published January 1st 2002)
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mark monday
who is this "Man of Muscle Mystery" - and when he flexes, does he change reality? what is reality? can you show me?

 photo flex-again_zps1e77eebf.jpg

what is a superhero? what is a person? what is a figment of the imagination if that figment is the projection of all we could be, all we can aspire to, all we can fail at, all that exists beyond our understanding? what is a jack-off fantasy template and what is a series of familiar moving images that provide us some small, temporary moments of comfort or satisfaction?

 photo FM1P13_zps79b1382e.jpg

can you be a
More than a review, this is my attempt to rationalize Grant Morrison's script of Flex Mentallo, so it's probably doomed to fail. This is not a resume of the plot of the comic page by page, but a post-construction I have dared to elaborate after reading the story three or four times, in different directions and from different angles. In my view, there is no other way to approach this work, due to the convoluted nature of the story.

Compared to Morrison's script, David Lynch's "Inland Empire" is p
Sam Quixote
A pop singer tries to commit suicide by overdosing on pills, meanwhile talking to the Samaritans on his Stingeray phone while waiting for death; a fictional golden age superhero called Flex Mentallo is out to find his long lost sidekick "the Fact" while saving the world; and reality and fictional, hyper-reality (remember you're reading Grant Morrison) collide as people and superheroes find out a deeper truth about the cosmos. Muscle mystery indeed!

Having recently read Morrison's nonfiction book
La Mala  ✌
"I've got a theory about comics, right? It all started back in the '30s and '40s..yeah. They called it the Golden Age (...) It was pretty simple then--Musclemen in costumes, idealized masculine figures (...) Homerotic wish-fullfillment...Then came the Silver Age, when superheroes were reinvented and that's when it started to go a it weird..."


Cuatro estrellas en esta reacción tras la primera lectura. En el futuro, seguramente volveré a leerlo

Es de esos comics que hay que releer para terminar de
Neon Snake
Worth more stars than will ever be available, this is the one; one of the most cogent and concise manifestos for living in the present that has ever been written (and so has been out of print for years, naturally).

The world is collapsing, global warming will destroy our future, religious fanatics will destroy our cities, capitalism and communism will destroy our economies, the oil shortage and water shortage will collapse the globe, bird flu will ravage our health and the despair of existence wi
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery is a book I've waited for for too long. The original mini-series, an unlikely spin-off centered on a minor character from the Doom Patrol, aired sometime in the late '90s. I was lucky enough to get all four issues of this incredible comic, but I'm overjoyed to see a hardbound edition of this underread series. It would have been out a lot sooner, but Charles Atlas sued, and even though you can't claim copyright protection against a parody, DC backed off. Obvio ...more
Zack Zildjan
4.5, 4.6...wait, 4.65 stars.

If you've taken certain psychedelic drugs, you kinda know what it's like when reading some of Grant Morrison's stranger stuff. "Does he have stuff that ISN'T strange?" you might ask yourself. No, no I guess he doesn't, but Flex Mentallo is among the strangest of the strange. Having come from the pages of Morrison's run on Doom Patrol, this is no surprise...however, this Flex mini-series takes it even further.

It's a comic book about, well, comic books. Sure
Keith Davis
"They bypassed the death of their reality by becoming fictional in ours" "We can save the world ... if I can just remember my magic word"

Flex Mentallo may not be Grant Morrison's best graphic novel, but it is the key to understanding the more cryptic and abstruse elements of his other work. So many of the themes that Morrison revisits again and again in works like Invisibles, the Filth, Marvel Boy, Final Crisis, even JLA and All-Star Superman, appear in Flex Mentallo in their most concise and I
Anthony Mathenia
Pop-star Wallace Sage may have taken a bottle of paracetamol or they may have been M&M's. He may or not be dying. Either way his mind is screwed. He lays down in an alley and phones a suicide hotline, not for help, but to talk about his life and comics and his life in comics. The four-page mini-series constitutes his ramblings that weave in and out of a story about a superhero he created named Flex Mentallo. The narrative is a surreal dose of metafiction peeking at how fiction invades our ow ...more
Morrison & Quitely. Let's see. It's got (1) the usual, brilliant & amazing Frank Quitely art, and (2) a par-for-the-course, "deep" & multi-layered Grant Morrison story with a bunch of quirky characters, Flex Mentallo himself being just one of many.

Yes, it's clever. Yes, it's pretty. But it also feels a lot like a Charlie Kaufman screenplay. You know the guy. He wrote "Being John Malkovich", "Adaptation", and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Quite the mind bender.

Timelines get
Alysson Bessani
This is not only a comic book, but an enigma posed by Grant Morrison. I read this book twice and probably I'll read it again, because there is always more to learn in its multi-layered structure. I will not give 5 stars to this book only because the story is so "strange", and the way it is told does not make the life easier for the reader.
About the art: it is superb! Quietly nailed it completely… probably one of his best works.
Steven Matview
The Morrison/Quitely team is pretty hard to beat, with masterpieces like WE3, New X-Men and All Star Superman under their belt.

Their first collaboration together found the duo taking that one ad you saw in EVERY SINGLE COMIC BOOK in the 70s and 80s and giving it the superhero treatment.

Wait, no. Not that one. The OTHER ad that was in every comic.

There we go.

“Flex Mentallo” the book is a spinoff from Morrison’s quirky Doom Patrol series and is based on the aforementioned iconic Charles Atlas ads.
Aaron Williams

Can you be the hero in your own story? After reading Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery, I believe you can be.

Wonderful, heart breaking, thoughtful, inspiring, brave, personal, passionate, disgusting, beautiful, loving, questions, answers, facts

The Fact is: you need to experience this book

When I read Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery I got the strong inclination that it was made as a very personal and thoughtful study on many aspects of life. Put simply the story is about a man who was
Kevin Wright
Flex Mentallo is a pivotal work, not only to Grant Morrison's oeuvre, but also to the entire corpus of modern comics. More than just a parody/homage to the various eras of comic book history (and their varying modes of expression), Flex Mentallo is a synthesis of superhero history married to Morrison's unique vision for its future. It's a blisteringly fast-paced philosophical treatise where Morrison most fully and directly (if that's a word that can be applied to Morrison) explores his multi-fac ...more
This is definitely a book I want to go back and read again. It took me about halfway through the 2nd (of 3) issues to realize what the book was doing, as is Morrison's usual effect. At first the book read as just a weirdo, metaphysical story about an obscure, borderline parody superhero investigating a bunch of other borderline parody superhero stuff, and I had no idea if I was supposed to be laughing or not. But then for some reason it finally clicked, and I realized this was not a parody, but ...more
As a fan of Grant Morrison, especially his collaborations with Frank Quitely, I was very excited to read this book. Mr. Morrison writes two types of stories, 1) superhero stories based in the essential aspects of the heroic journey and mythology, and 2)weird ass freak outs. This one fits mostly in the latter category. I have enjoyed both types of his stories. They always make you think and do things with characters that I have seldom if ever seen done before. To that extent, I was fine reading a ...more
It's really weird how, on a story level, Flex Mentallo is so completely simplistic that it borders on "and it was all a dream" -- in other words, Nothing Makes Sense and That's Fine Because The Magic Of Imagination.

But on a page-by-page level, WHAT IN HOLY HELL. This book is absolute insane-pants and I have no idea how a human being wrote it. Like, I have no idea how Grant Morrison is continually able to turn utter cockaboo rambling brainpuke into these cogent sequences of scenes and character a
Apr 24, 2012 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
The 1996 popular four issue series languished, uncollected for over 15 years. Inspired by the long-running Charles Atlas "The Insult that made a Man out of Mac" comic book advertisements, the Charles Atlas company filed a trademark infringement suit. The suit was eventually thrown out citing fair use in a parody. Flex Mentallo, refugee from another reality, fights crime using "muscle mystery." He can affect reality by flexing his muscles. Suddenly other elements from Mentallo's homeworld pop up, ...more
Jamahl Bennier
This story is amazing. A man takes too many drugs to kill himself, and while he waits for death he talks on the phone about comics. Sounds weird... you have no idea. The story weaves in and out of reality, making you question what is real. The symbolism is clever. Definitely needs a second read. Trippy. Prepare to be intoxicated.
I'm not sure what exactly happened in this story or what I was supposed to take from it, but I do love how it was executed. This is some of Grant Morrison's most indulgently obtuse writing, but it still carries the whimsy and charm of everything he does. Add Frank Quitely's fantastic art to the mix, and you've got a deliciously frustrating tale of alternate universe superheroes, wish fulfillment zaniness, and good ol' drug-fueled paranoia. After a while I gave up on trying to pick up the layered ...more
While I've read already several works from Morrison I always found them interesting, clearly above average, but failed to see anything as exceptional as his fanbase is claiming...

...until I've read Flex Mentallo. Absolutely fantastic meditation on the history of comics and the very personal psychological impact on personality formation and maturing into a fully formed (even enlightened perhaps) being. The story line is Escher-like, can't be collapsed without loss (= with explaining everything) i
Flex Mentallo, like many comics penned by Grant Morrison, is a comic about comics. The story weaves between the titular character's journey to find another comic character to save the world and a comic author - very obviously based on Morrison himself - struggling to tell his story before his demise. The two stories intersect, become one, separate entirely. The interweaving of the two is interesting enough that even if you've grown tired of Morrison's ability to only tell one kind of story (admi ...more
Flex Mentallo is a short and sweet Grant Morrison story. It get's very non-linear quickly, and the line between fiction and non-fiction, and infinite parallel universes, quickly breaks down. If you are into this standard kind of apocalyptic, mindwarping from Morrison, I bet you'll enjoy the read. Flex Mentallo is one of Morrison's "hypersigil" stories, meaning that he designed the story for magical effect of one kind or another. Hypersigils and other occult oriented arts are fascinating to me, a ...more
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 Gran
A side benefit of closing out the storage unit is finding stuff I meant to read and finally getting around to it (the downside is the trashing, donating, selling end of things is so damn time consuming).

I've wondered why so many people have raved about Morrison's Flex Mentallo, and I think the reason I would tell a comics fan to read it is simply this. In many ways this is a love letter to fans. Both the good and bad parts of comic fans, how they are portrayed, perceived, and growing up. There w
Drown Hollum
I love Grant Morrison's work, and am usually first at bat to defend whatever insane thing he's up to that has everybody up in a tizzy. With that credential, I figured I owed it to myself to finally read Flex Mentallo, following its most recent printing. Flex Mentallo is powerful in the areas of theme and concept, but lacking in the fields of character and narrative. Like most of Morrison's work, it can be an incredibly difficult story to follow, but seemingly even more-so than the usual fare, wi ...more
Simon Chadwick
Finally, after a rather lengthy disagreement with a certain third party, Flex Mentallo’s story has made it into paperback. Combining the talents of two of comicdom’s behemoths, this is an outlandish, bold, head-spinning and utterly distinct tale born from Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol.

Flex Mentallo is the only superhero in town. A massively-muscled he-man wearing little more than his leopard-print shorts and leather boots, he assists ordinary folk and the police with his astounding muscle-flexi
Oliver Bateman
How do I review the comic that saved my life? I don't know, but I'll say this: Flex Mentallo is one of the greatest works about the power of imagination, of positive thinking, of hope in the face of despair. No other piece of "spandex" literature compares. Not anything of Moore's. Not anything of Eisner's. Not anything of Miller's. Even Clowes never got this close. Crumb managed it a few times, and I suppose Feiffer's Tollbooth illustrations, Barks' Duck stories, Peanuts, Thimble Theatre, Little ...more
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Scottish comic book author Grant Morrison is known for culture-jamming and the constant reinvention of his work. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and countercultural leanings in his runs on titles including DC Comics' Animal Man, Batman, JLA, The Invisibles, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Doom Patrol, and Marvel Comics' New X-Men and Fantastic Four. Many of these are controversial, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Hypersigil Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Invisibles
  • The Filth

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