Well, you can finally give up that hunt for those missing issues of the long out of print Flex Mentallo: over on the Vertigo Graphic Content blog, the publisher announced that sometime in Fall 2010 we'll be getting a deluxe hardcover edition of the book, including the original coloring and all 4 covers from the original miniseries.
The four-issue miniseries was written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely, spinning the character out of an arc of the then Morrison-penned Doom Patrol. Typical of Morrison's superhero fiction, the character had an element of deconstruction about him, seemingly spinning the character's very origin out of the types of ads you'd find between the pages of an earlier era of comics:
When Flex was still a "mac" instead of a "man", he was bullied a lot while on the beach. Tired of being scrawny, he was approached by a man with a TV for a head and smoked three cigarinos at a time. He gave Flex a coupon to fill out to get a body building book, "Muscle Mystery for You". The instructions in the book turned Flex into the muscled strongman he is now, and he learned that when he flexed one type of muscle, he could alter reality. As he did, his "Hero Halo" appeared over him, which read "Hero of the Beach". After this, he decided to become a crimefighter and dressed in wrestling boots and leopard-skin trunks. [Via Wikipedia]
Unfortunately, the book has been out of the print and the character out of circulation for years due to litigation with famed bodybuilder Charles Atlas, who saw Flex Mentallo as an appropriation of him image. It remains to be seen what, if any developments, have occurred allowing DC/Vertigo to republish the work.
This has been a pretty good few months of fans of Morrison's work in collected editions with All-Star Superman receiving a deluxe edition late last year and the killer talking animal book, We3--which is pretty terrific and downright heartbreaking--getting its own hardcover edition this June.
We'll keep you up to date on further details about the release as they become available.