Flex Mentallo to be Republished in Fall 2011

DC has just announced that Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Flex Mentallo will finally be collected and published as a deluxe hardcover in the fall:

If youre a fan of Grant Morrison (and who isnt?), youll be stoked to know that FLEX MENTALLO will be published in book form this year. This marks the first time the four-issue mini-series written by Morrison and illustrated by artist Frank Quitely is being collected. FLEX MENTALLO sprang out of Grants mind bending and infamous run on DOOM PATROL.

Pick up this beautiful Deluxe Edition hardcover with bonus material this Fall.

The story was one of the first collaborations between Morrison and Quitely but has never been republished due to a lawsuit by Charles Atlas Ltd. Flex Mentallo’s origin story is a parody of Atlas’s famous “The Insult That Made a Man Out of Mac” ad that ran in comics in the 60s and 70s, and the character bears an undeniable resemblance to Atlas (c.f. the photo of Atlas [in this article][3] and the pinup of Flex Mentallo in this one). The case was dismissed but DC decided not to reprint the series, until today. ([More info on the case, including Jim Shooter’s afadavit, here][4], and on its decision not to reprint it here.)

Flex Mentallo is important not just because it’s an early collaboration between Morrison and Quitely, who’d go on to reinvent the X-Men, Superman, and Batman, but because it is an amazing commentary on comics themselves and states many of the themes of fiction vs. reality that Morrison has continued to play with his many of his works. It takes a tour of comics from their fun origins through the zany silver age to the dark 80s and toward Morrison’s idea of the future of comics, which he’s attempted to realize in his Batman work and others. Many have called it one of the greatest short series ever published, up their with Watchmen. Greg Burgas takes a stab at explaining why here.

Flex Mentallo interior art

The real question, since I own the originally copies (and even had them bound into a hardcover), is whether I’ll need to buy the series again in this deluxe format with bonus material. (Answer: yes.)