Issue 42, "Musclebound: the Secret Origin of Flex Mentallo"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: Mike Dringenberg
Inker: Doug Hazlewood

written by William Sherman (, edited by Robert Kelly (

Sara Furness is showing the Chief and Josh around Danny the Street. Danny is recovering from the recent battle, growing new windows and generally recuperating. Flex Mentallo is with them, and relates his origin. In a story copied from comic-book ads, Flex was a beach weakling until he sent away for a book called "Muscle Mystery for You". His muscle training gave him all kinds of psychic powers. When he flexed, a halo of words reading "Hero of the Beach" appeared behind him.

He became a crimefighter, joining forces with a particularly silly collection of other heroes. He once gave an autograph to a young Wally Sage. Strangely, all of their adventures seemed to involve the color green; even more strangely, the Chief has never heard of Flex or his friends.

Soon after he began seeing Dolores Watson, Flex was approached by a reporter named Norman Grindstone, who seemed to have stumbled upon a government conspiracy involving Flight 19 and the disappearance of Harry Christmas, the secrets somehow centering around the Pentagon. He showed Flex what he had found, and disappeared soon after. Flex attempted to use his power to turn the Pentagon into a circle by sitting in his room and flexing at full power, but he failed. He entered the Pentagon, and was met by the Men from NOWHERE. He looked into the tear in one's sleeve and was sent to the Tearoom of Despair, where he lost his mind. He became a drifter and eventually settled on Danny the Street. When the Men from NOWHERE arrived in Issue 36, his memory returned, but his powers are gone.

The Chief decides to make Danny the new Doom Patrol headquarters, and somewhere the Men from NOWHERE are training Dolores for a mission.

written by William Sherman

p. 5-6: this refers to the real bodybuilder ads to be found in comic books a few years ago. Charles Atlas, I think.

p. 11: "Revolution 9" by the Beatles, from _The Beatles_ (the "white album").

p. 12: Is "the Fact" a reference to the real character "the Question"?

p. 17: That's Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo" falling out of bed. Richard Nixon is shown twice. Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" is shown in negative; what's the other painting? My literary bias is showing...

p. 20: The poetry is from Lucy Clifford's book _Anyhow Stories_, which is also the title of the next issue (contributed by Adam Stephanides []).

Thanks to 'caitlin at studentsandteachers dot org' for identifying and suggesting a replacement for the out-of-date Richard Nixon link.

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