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The League of Regrettable Superheroes:…

The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book…

by Jon Morris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Comic Book History (Book 1)

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1511679,164 (3.93)5



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fun read, but one I found easier to swallow in small chunks over an extended period to help mitigate the unceasing onslaught of wackiness. It wasn’t necessary to be familiar with all the “regrettable” characters featured. (Those I was familiar with made me embarrassedly question the depths of my own enjoyment back when I was originally reading their comic adventures.) Eventually, the characters’ origins, eccentricities, and motivations all began to run together in my mind. Thankfully, the regular bits of snark doled out by author Jon Morris were finely balanced enough with the absurdity of the subject to keep me reading. ( )
  bcooper | Jan 22, 2016 |
A cute read, perfect for stocking stuffers, comic fans, and those who aren't apt to pick up books. This little book contains summaries, pictures and quotes from the comic book industries most "regrettable" superheroes. As the introduction states, "We call these second-tier (or lower) superheroes "regrettable," but it's important to remember that none of thesecharacters are inherently bad. Sometimes, the only factor that kept them from succeeding was bad timing, an unstable marketplace, or merely being lost in the crowd."Author Jon Morris explores some of the truly odd, overlooked, and underappreciated superheroes that are now largely forgotten. That cast includes: Doctor Hormone, Lady Satan, Rainbow Boy, Thunderbunny, and more. A quirky, quick, enjoyable read. ( )
  ecataldi | Nov 26, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Morris has put together a compendium of weird and failed superhero characters from the across the 75 year history of the genre. Some of these characters are just unfortunate attempts to cash in on a trend like Skateman, NFL Superpro, and US 1 the trucker superhero. Others border on outsider art like Fletcher Hanks intensely odd creations Fantomah and Stardust the Super Wizard, or Madame Fatal the cross-dressing crime fighter. Some appear to be self-conscious parody like Squirrel Girl and Fatman the Human Flying Saucer. The saddest entries are the attempts by once great creators to catch lightening in a bottle again, like Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Funnyman who fights crime with clown props.

It is easy to mock these oddball attempts at superheroes, but I can't help but think that if Spider-Man had been cancelled back in 1962 his concept would seem just as bizarre as the Red Bee or the Ferret.

Disclaimer: review copy provided by LibraryThing.
  strangefate | Oct 25, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I’m not a comics expert, but I have a great affinity for reading about comic books of years past. One of my favorite aspects of reading about these books is the often well-intentioned but ridiculous missteps that have occurred, such as an entry in the Superman universe that Glen Weldon gleefully (and affectionately) recounts on the NPR site where Jimmy Olsen travels back in time and starts a Beatles craze in ancient Judea. “The League of Regrettable Superheroes” by Jon Morris is dedicated to celebrating the wacky hijinks and preposterous storylines of yesteryear. However, rather than focusing on the missteps of well-known series, Morris’s book focuses on lesser-known and less-successful superheroes. Some have dubious origins (Captain Tootsie, a superhero/advertisement for Tootsie Rolls) while others seem to have been designed to take advantage of a trend popular at the time (Morris points out that Magicman, which debuted in 1965, was an attempt to cash in on shows like “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie”). In almost all cases, the superheroes are indeed regrettable, but Morris has palpable fondness for them even as he acknowledges how ridiculous and ill-conceived they are.

The entries are organized into three parts – The Golden Age (1938 – 1949), the Silver Age (1950 –1969, a time that Glen Weldon refers to as The Crazypants Years), and the Modern Age (1970 – present day). Most entries are two pages in length, with a page dedicated to humorously and wryly describing the superhero and the other page featuring lavish color pictures from the comics (a few entries have four-page spreads, with the extra pages consisting mostly of pictures). As a sidebar, Morris includes a few quick facts on each hero, such as the creator and the debut info, as well as some snarky commentary (for instance, The Conqueror’s sidebar includes “Last seen: Moving inexorably toward Berlin”). While the setup might frustrate those who want further information, the format works very well for readers who want a general overview of the comics without too much minutiae to bog down the proceedings. Additionally, the use of full-color pictures throughout the book (in fact, all of the pictures are printed in color – Quirk does not skimp on the printing or layout) provide further insight into the heroes, as Morris wisely uses his subjects’ inherent insanity and inanity to speak for themselves. These features also make “The League of Regrettable Superheroes” perfect as a quirky and fun coffee-table book.

In short, if you are looking for a serious and in-depth examination of failed comic book characters, then “The League of Regrettable Superheroes” might not be for you. However, it is perfect if you want an entertaining, approachable, and amusing look at unsuccessful or inept attempts at finding the next Superman or Batman. ( )
  sweeks1980 | Oct 21, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A fun book about regrettable super hero's. Some if them are regrettable in name, others in their powers (I'm looking at you, Dr. Hormone). A lot of them are rather generic designed to be a copy cat of a more popular super hero.

As for the writing - it is well researched, well written. The author makes a point of explaining the characters within the time they are written. A few of these superheroes would have actually been interesting if a bit more time was involved in creating the backstory.

All in all, A good book on lesser known, often forgotten, always odd, superhero's. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Oct 19, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jon Morrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
O'Donnell, TimothyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mom and Pop, and their house stuffed to the rafters with comic books.
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Contemporary culture has embraced superheroes in a major way.
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