The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History
Product DescriptionMeet one hundred of the strangest superheroes ever to see print, complete with backstories, vintage art, and colorful commentary.
You know about Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, but have you heard of Doll Man, Doctor Hormone, or Spider Queen? So prepare yourself for such not-ready-for-prime-time heroes as Bee Man (Batman, but with bees), the Clown (circus-themed crimebuster), the Eye (a giant, floating eyeball; just accept it), and many other oddballs and oddities. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The League of Regrettable Superheroes will appeal to die-hard comics fans, casual comics readers, and anyone who enjoys peering into the stranger corners of pop culture.
- The League of Regrettable Superheroes Half Baked Heroes from Comic Book History
Top ReviewsNothing regrettable about purchasing this excellent book
by Hermgerm (5 out of 5 stars)
June 12, 2015
A beautifully produced book filled with vintage material about superheroes who were destined to fail. After reading it I checked out the author's blog, and I must admit - Jon Morris is a pretty funny guy. However, this book is only 90% humor. There's a lot of relevance here as well, and every article on each of the poor unfortunate characters Jon showcases has been meticulously researched. Hence, the end result is a product filled with useful facts that can be read either encyclopedia style by selecting individual entries, or by adopting a more story-centric approach by starting from the Golden Age and working upwards through The Silver Age and into the Modern. Each hero's biography paints a complete picture of his/her history and a short analysis of why he/she may be deemed regrettable. The main character art of each entry is stunning, but the real highlight for me was the short one-page strips accompanying each superheroes' well-written history. The overall look and feel of the book exudes charm and is a true pleasure to read. Most of the weirdest and zaniest creations spotlighted came from The Golden Age, but there are a fair number of entries from other eras too. My favorite Golden Age mishaps featured within are, among others, Stardust the Super Wizard, Speed Centaur, Kangaroo Man, The Puppeteer, Fantomah, Bozo the Robot and Doctor Hormone. Oh, and how could I forget Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, the very first invisible superheroine? The Silver Age is also ripe for the picking, with entries like B'Wana Beast (Love him!) and the classic Legion of Super-Pets. For the Modern Age I need only utter a single name: Thunderbunny! But the list goes on and on, and each page is as entertaining as the next. A worthy read, and a bang-for-your-buck purchase indeed.
Completely unique and entertaining
by MARK YERGER (5 out of 5 stars)
June 11, 2015
Completely unique and entertaining. Firstly the book is beautifully produced with cleanly printed and fully rendered pages and reproductions of the original comics. Along with Jon Morris' well researched and at times laugh out loud funny analysis, makes this a great addition for collectors or casual comics fans. Much of the book is dedicated to the emerging golden age of comics, where we are introduced to the likes of "Bozo the Ironman" and "Captain Tootsie." The profiles range from the utterly ridiculous; "Dr. Hormone" to the poorly conceived rip offs, "Nature Boy" to the what might have been had the sold more copies; "Captain Science." Morris notes that the downfall of many of these was economic and not always the pure silliness of the product. Honestly, some beloved legendary characters such as Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and Plastic Man easily could have wound up in this book had the been scraped by their publishers. Great Book overall!!
Look! Down In the Gutter! It's Absurd! It's Insane! No, It's...
by Autumn M. (5 out of 5 stars)
October 3, 2019
The League of Regrettable Superheroes! Featuring strange superheroes like:
- The Bouncer (Your Favorite Pinup), who is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. In a purple toga. Let's hope he's wearing underwear.
- The Clown, jolly alter ego of police commissioner Nick Nolan.
- Dr. Hormone. He'll pump you up.
- The Eye, a giant floating eyeball, just go with it. No it doesn't detach/attach itself to a giant face.
- Speed Centaur. The name speaks for itself.
- Captain Marvel. The one who says "Shazam!" NO! The one who's a woman? NO! It's the one who's body splits apart and can throw a punch a mile away. Literally.
- Peacemaker, who is anything but.
- Rainbow Boy, able to bend light with his bare hands and leave a rainbow trail that would put any little pony or care bear to shame.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. Intrigued? No? Well get this book anyway. You'll laugh, you'll groan, then you'll buy its followups: "The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains" and "The League of Regrettable Sidekicks". Buy them so that Jon Morris will get rich and publish more books on these oddballs of comics.
Trivia and humor for the most casual comics readers
by P. Ryan Anthony (3 out of 5 stars)
May 1, 2016
THE LEAGUE OF REGRETTABLE SUPERHEROES is an amusing little book, and that's probably the best thing I can say about it. Author Jon Morris is not devoid of wit, and some of his observations are laugh-out-loud funny. I read the book straight through really quickly for that reason. However, it's a really lightweight tome that's not really for knowledgeable comics fans. I've read a lot of comics offline and on, I've read many books about comics, and I've frequented blogs that focus on obscure and forgotten comic stories, so I was familiar with a lot of the characters Morris included. As with other books that cover similar material, I rather expected there to be some example stories included with the entries instead of just panels and single pages. So this book is more like a selective encyclopedia, though funnier. Also, I discovered at the end that Morris gathered most of his material online, which made me respect him and his book a bit less. I don't think one should do all one's research on the internet, but perhaps that's unique to me. At any rate, I can recommend this book to very casual comics fans and people interested in a few chuckles with their pop culture trivia.
Humorous book about some more unusual would be comic book superheroes
by iiiireader (5 out of 5 stars)
April 24, 2017
I found this book after recently purchasing this author's book about regrettable super villains. I was so taken with that book, I bought this one and then immediately picked up more of them to give as gifts. It is perfect for anyone who likes comics or wants a walk down comic book memory lane along with some laughs and chuckles. I especially like having the two books as it provides a more complete look at the failed comics since 1938.
The book is broken into three parts: The Golden Age, The Silver Age and The Modern Age. The Golden Age spans the years 1938 through 1949. The Silver Age covers 1950 through 1969. Finally, The Modern Age is from 1970 through the present (i.e., when the book was published 2017.)
As with the villains book, most of the regrettable superheroes are from the Golden Age. One that especially caught my eye was Captain Tootsie - he looked so familiar! When reading the blurb, I discovered why. Apparently, he was based on Captain Marvel. A big difference was that Captain Tootsie was powered by a steady stream of Tootsie roll candies (aha! That explains the name.) Kind of like Popeye but with with sugary teeth pulling candy instead of spinach. What kid would object to that?
I have a few comics that I have kept through my life and I have many from the collections my children amassed during their childhood. While the comics featured in this book are not part of my collection, I am really enjoying reading about the humorous history behind the genre.
It's Also-Ran Man! And Trite Woman!
by Allen Smalling,Top Contributor: Classical Music (5 out of 5 stars)
July 4, 2019
They say nothing succeeds like success, but then it's also true that nothing inspires more bad imitations than success. This handsome, colorful and well-researched book will be fun for anyone who knows much of anything about comic-book superheroes, and should charm most comics devotees. THE LEAGUE OF REGRETTABLE SUPERHEROES is helpfully arranged into Gold, Silver and modern Eras, and the contents aren't made-up parodies, either: they were genuine (if often genuinely derivative) attempts to cash in on the superhero boom that kicked off with genuine classics like Siegel and Schuster's SUPERMAN in the late Thirties. This book will remind the disillusioned that technique is much more easily taught than genius, but also that the public can spot a turkey a mile away, as most of these characters were, for the most part, very short-lived. Highly recommended.
A very good read, and extremely durable binding!
by David Henna (5 out of 5 stars)
June 3, 2016
I loved this book because I'm 72 years old and I vididly recall some of the listed characters such as the lovely Moon Girl who I was in love with
when I was six years old! Thanks to the free site, Comics Book Plus, I could see many of the obsolete characters as they actually looked in the Golden Age of comic books. One of the most interesting was the Bouncer, a super-hero who went around wearing a dress! But he was not a cross-dresser. The dress was just how men dressed in ancient Greek, his origin, and he cold fight with the best of them, usually whacking crooks.
Kid Eternity was another hero I enjoyed, and he still pops up now an then in the DC Universe. His Schtick was being dead ahead of his time and being able to recall ghosts of famous people to help him fight crime.
I really enjoyed reading this book from cover to cover, one hero at a time!
Okinwan Ace, author of Sex Changers of Tedawnis
A legion of comic erudition and humor
by C. Derick Varn,Top Contributor: Graphic Novels (5 out of 5 stars)
January 25, 2016
Morris's "League of Regrettable Superheroes" is exploration of the flukes of the superhero genre, and this breaks things down into the nice explorations of vices and would-bes of the various comic book ages. Since the book focuses primarily on the super-heros with brief shelf-lives, you don't need to dig down into massive mythologies or character inconsistencies or revisions of character history or alternate universes. Or, not as much as in more standard and long-running superhero fair.
Each character has, at least, a two page spread. A cover or panel is given as well as brief bio. Morris is not laugh at loud funny, but he is humorous without being snarky or pedantic. In the spirit of early comic books, there are few cute puns. The current break down is the Golden Age with 44 heroes; The Silver Age with 26 heroes; and The Modern Age with 30 heroes. The Golden Age has similar themes from comics publishers run amok, and the discussion actually gives you a insight into the early history of comics. The collapse of the "Bronze Age" and the "1980s-early 2000s" is probably a thematic mistake: the "Edgy" "adult" (teen vision of adult prurience and violence) and the bronze age attempt at more psychologically realistic and socially conscious heroes are actually quite different in their vices.
One of the interesting things discussed in subtext of Morris' book is that not only are some of the more interesting superheroes more or less flops, but that superhero comics often go out of favor. For example, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Morris mentions that superheroes were often in serial movies in theaters, but that superhero comics declined in popularity very quickly thereafter. Conversely, the early 1990s were an unusual prolix and profitable time for comics, but it collapsed out from under the industry and basically only related properties keep the current industry afloat. Indeed, we live in an age where superhero comic properties dominate the movies and popular culture, but superhero comic books are on the wane. This is something Morris does not discuss directly but hints at in his erudition about the medium.
The book is beautiful and well-laid out, the heroes range from hilarious to the vices of their age, and Morris shows his power as a subtle writer of pop culture and an academic of comics. In age of Geek and nerd dominance, this a refreshing reminder of its silliness.
by Red 5 (5 out of 5 stars)
October 16, 2017
I literally fell out of my chair laughing reading this book!It profiles "stupor-heroes"as I call them thru each period of comic books.Alongside each page e you'll find out who created the character,in which comic he or she debuted as well as a FUNNY comment !One of my favorites is tone about "The Bouncer!"His headquarters aims listed as "Bouncy Castle"-not REALLY-but wouldn't it have been great!?A superhero team"s headquarters is "a clubhouse that's magically near wherever they need to be!"If you love comics or just want a million laughs this is the book for you!!!
Nothing truly laugh-out-loud funny, but lots of head scratching odd entries
by Graveyard Dave (5 out of 5 stars)
July 12, 2015
Nothing truly laugh-out-loud funny, but lots of head scratching odd entries. And the entries are both painstakingly researched and lovingly restored to their former, uh, 'Glory.' A very accessibly priced hardcover book, done in beautiful (and not incorrectly aligned and blurry, as the originals often were) crisp colors on fine paper stock, and weighing it at a few pages above 250, I can't see how you can go wrong by purchasing this book. A truly delightful peek at many long-forgotten and cringe-worthy super heroes, super heroines, and some unclassifiable robots, vampires, animals, and other absurdities that someone, at some time, said; "Hey, yeah! That IS a good idea - let's run with it!" Oh, and the one thing that groups most of these characters together - a loyalty to the Allies in WWII! "Come on, fellas - let's go overthrow Tojo!"
A fine book, indeed.
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