[Another thread in our Morrison Reading Project.]
I have to say at the outset that this is one of the Holy Grails of comics for me (as it is for a lot of other people). It has long been reputed to be some of Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely's best work, but a planned trade paperback collection was shelved years ago due to a Charles Atlas lawsuit. Here it is at last, and I must say I didn't quite believe it until I held it in my hands. The hardcover Deluxe Edition opens with "Flex Time," an essay outlining the fictional history of the character Flex Mentallo. A bit of research revealed this to be a reprint of the text material included in issues #2 and #4 (see The Annotated Flex Mentallo for this and much more). The four-issue miniseries is reprinted complete with the full original covers. A sensible approach, given that the trade dress was an integral part of the design.The book is rounded out by 15 pages of Quitely's sketches and pinups.
The series was completely recolored, and radically so. Tom McCraw's original color palette was considerably brighter than the subdued one employed by new colorist Peter Doherty. It's similar to the recoloring done on the earliest issues in The Absolute Sandman. I know the rationale there was to restore the colors to what was originally intended, but have been unable to find an official explanation for the recoloring here. I own only issue #3 of the original issues, but even a cursory look reveals dramatic differences. Here is a gallery of "before and after" images.