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Comic Conversations: Flex Mentallo and a Love of Superheroes and Comic Books

This week's release of Flex Mentallo has me talking about what I love in this week's comics.

 

I bought quite a lot of comics this week but let me start with:

"Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery" by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

I was able to get the individual issues of "Flex Mentallo" a few years ago on eBay since this is the first time it has been collected since it originally came out 15 years ago.

Flex Mentallo bears more than a passing resemblance to the character from the "Insult the Made a Man out of Mac" Charles Atlas ad that used to run in old comic books right down to the words "HERO OF THE BEACH" hovering over his head. Because of this, DC didn't want to reprint the series just in case the Charles Atlas people took legal action.

What this is really about is a love of comic books and superheroes. In this, Flex is the last pure and decent superhero in the world and he came to life from the imagination of a boy named Wally Sage.

"Flex Mentallo" was a reaction to the 'post-Watchmen/post-Dark Knight Returns' comic industry that felt the need to make every superhero 'realistic' and every series 'grim and gritty.'

"What happened to the good old days? The heroes and villains, the team-ups and dream-ups? Seems to rain all the time these days. Never seems to get light." - Flex Mentallo

A lot of the ideas Grant Morrison first expressed here he's come back to in later works and especially his non-fiction semi-autobiographical history of comics Supergods. He seems to love the idea of superheroes being able to save people even though they're fictional and how maybe they're trying to become real as our world becomes more science fictional all the time.

"Before it was a bomb, the bomb was an idea."

He's even taken things from this book, like the idea of shrinking superheroes using that ability to shrink small enough to reach into another universe to save people from a doomed universe. What it really comes down to, an idea I'd like to see in more comics, is that superheroes are all here to save us.

"Only a bitter adolescent boy could confuse realism with pessimism."

So the rest of this article is just going to be about what I loved in each comic I bought this week.

 

"Action Comics #8" by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, Brad Walker, Rick Bryant and Bob McLeod

I love Superman saving the city by being more clever than the Collector of Worlds and Superman getting the key to the city while the mayor has a really fake grin on his face. I just want to see a translation of the Kryptonese Superman was speaking while hanging out in his new Fortress of Solitude.

 

"Detective Comics #8" by Tony Daniel

I love the way Tony Daniel draws Batman. I like the way he portrays him as a really big guy. This is a change from the way he drew Batman back during Batman RIP. It's a style change that I like.

 

"Batwing #8" by Judd Winick and Dustin Nguyen

I straight up love Dustin Nguyen's artwork and have for years. I also loved the flashback about Batwing aka David Zavimbe when he was a boy with his brother.

 

"OMAC #8" by Dan Didio and Keith Giffen

I just loved this whole issue and the whole series. I hope Kevin Kho shows up again in the future.

 

"Men of War #8" by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Tom Derenick

I loved seeing Frankenstein fight in World War II and I especially loved the pin-up art on the side of Frankenstein's plane of the Bride of Frankenstein posing on a bomb.

 

"Justice League International #8" by Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti

I loved the surprise appearance of OMAC and the promise of more OMAC next month.

 

"Animal Man #8" by Jeff Lemire, Steve Pugh and Travel Foreman

I love how creepifying and morbid Jeff Lemire manages to keep this book month after month.

 

"Swamp Thing #8" by Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy

I loved that Scott Snyder wrote nearly 10 pages of fight scenes with this new Swamp Thing. It looked incredible.

 

"Stormwatch #8" by Paul Jenkins, Ignacio Calero and Daniel Hor

I love Jenny Quantum and her revenge on Midnighter at the end of the book.

 

"The Amazing Spider-Man #683" by Dan Slott and Stefano Caselli

All of it. I loved all of it. I can't wait for the next issue with Doc Ock's master plan using the Sinister Six.

 

"Daredevil #10.1" by Mark Waid and Khoi Pham

I loved the fighting between the supercrime syndicates over their Omegadrive and Daredevil just wanting the bad guys to get on with their plans.

 

"Avengers vs. X-Men #1" by Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Matt Fraction and John Romita Jr.

Despite all those fantastic creators written above here, what I really loved about "AvsX #1" was the digital only short that came with it by Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen about how Nova got to Earth. They did some incredibly unique and new ways of handling comics for tablets and I'm glad I got to read it and hope they do more.

 

"Fatale #4" by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

Like I said about "Animal Man," only there are no superheroes around to save anybody.

 

So that's it for this week. Next week, at , I'll be getting a lot of the comics I've talked about here before and a brand new Green Lantern series based on the new cartoon (which I've been enjoying).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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