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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Book Of The Month: The League Of Regrettable Superheroes


The chances are, if you're reading HeroPress, you have a more than passing interest in comic book superheroes. You probably also have a slightly quirky sense of humour and an appreciation of the absurd.

All this makes The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes From Comic Book History, by Jon Morris, the perfect reading material for you.

Due to be published in the UK on Tuesday (June 2), the book grew out of Jon's long-running blog, Gone & Forgotten, that has been cataloguing failed superheroes, oddballs and freaks from the pages of eight decades of comics.

A gorgeously illustrated, 250-page hardback, overflowing with original comic book art, every hero profiled in this "top 100 rundown" earns at least a double-page spread.

The text details the character's 'real world' origins, as well as his 'in-universe' story, delivered in a style that is both self-deprecating and celebratory.

From the camp to the crass, the League includes the ridiculous and the well-intentioned, as well as embracing short-lived characters that have tried to ride the coattails of certain fads or gimmicks.

Broken down into three distinct comic book ages - The Golden Age (1938-1949); The Silver Age (1950 - 1969); and The Modern Age (1970 - present) - the book is a mix of characters that are well-known to comic book readers (such as Fantomah, B'wana Beast, Dial H for Hero, Legion of Super-Pets, Man-Wolf, ROM and Squirrel Girl) and the truly obscure (e.g. the Captain Marvel who isn't the one you're thinking of, Music Master, Doctor Hormone, Gunmaster, The Ferret, The Straw Man, Dynamite Thor, Atoman etc).

Initially I wasn't sure about the inclusion of characters like Squirrel Girl and Thunderbunny that were deliberately written as quirky - as opposed to those that were written straight but turned out, to modern sensibilities at least, to be a bit strange.

But then this book isn't aimed at just geeky comic book readers, but also at those who are only recently embracing the concept of superheroes thanks to the avalanche of caped and costumed characters parading across the big and small screen these days.

A great book for dipping in to, rather than necessarily ploughing through from start to finish.

The League of Regrettable Superheroes is ideal bedtime (or toilet) reading material, that can be opened at a random page whenever you have a moment and want to lose yourself in some truly bizarre superheroic exploits.

2 comments:

  1. Dr Hormon3, Dr Hormone, Dr Hormone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think that only works for Bloody Mary (or Candyman).

      Delete

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