Comic fans out there should be familiar with the name of Grant Morrison. He’s one of the top writers in the biz right now, and my personal favorite.
His works with DC and Marvel and other companies have spanned for several decades now, and most of his stuff has been released and re-released in nice collections over the years. Most of his stuff, except for one exception that sticks out like a sore thumb.
Back in the early 90’s DC gave Morrison one of their series, Doom Patrol, to do with as he pleased. As well as constructing a run that will be forever remembered by fans of the series and the writer he also created a plethora of new characters. One of those characters was Flex Mentallo, the man of muscle mystery. The characters was based on those old Charles Atlas, Hero of the Beach comic ads that featured a young man gaining massive muscles, beating the bully, and getting the girl.
A few years after his run on the Doom Patrol comic Morrison and good friend and collaborator, Frank Quitely, put together a four issue mini-series that focused on the character, and took an interesting existential look at comics. This series has been hailed as a holy grail among comics, and has been called to be one of Morrison’s best, however it has never been collected.
The reason was, that back when DC and Vertigo were trying to put together a collection of the series they were attacked with a lawsuit from the creators of the original Charles Atlas adverts. While DC came out of that lawsuit positively by showing that the character was a parody and by law did not infringe on copyright, they still never collected the series, and it became a lost gem in the comic world. The issues now go for up to $50 each online.
Recently, however, Grant Morrison was asked at a convention if the series would ever be collected, and he responded that he was sure it would. This wouldn’t be a big deal, however every other time he’d been asked he responded with a negative and called it a day. Comic fans and fans of Morrison, Quitely, and Flex had their hopes raised, but would it be to no avail? There was no news of a collection, and nobody could really confirm it.
Until just now. Just today (January 4th, as I write this), DC and Vertigo announced that this fall the four issue series would finally be collected in a Deluxe Edition Hardcover (which means it’s oversized, for those unaware), and will include bonus material! We have no word yet on what that material will be, but anything is good, and quite honestly they could ship it with nothing but the issues and I wouldn’t mind at all.
Anyhow, look out for this collection when it hits stores sometime this fall. I’m going to make a guess that the book will cost $20-$25, just for future reference.