Saturday, December 9, 2017

The League Of Regrettable Heroes (2015) by Jon Morris

The League Of Regrettable Superheroes (2015) by Jon Morris: Jon Morris of the Gone&Forgotten blog does a terrific balancing act here, mocking and celebrating in equal measure some of the goofiest super-heroes in the history of American comic books. 

While the Golden Age (1938-1954) supplies such non-luminaries as the Red Bee, The Black Dwarf, and Doctor Hormone, the book also presents some of the most ridiculous heroes from other eras. 

AKA X-Poochie
The mullet-ridden, EXTREME 1990's provides such unfortunate decisions as Marvel's Adam X-the-Extreme (probably not coming to a Marvel movie any time soon, though there's always Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!) and Ravage 2099 (don't ask). 

Earlier decades gave us Marvel truck-driving hero U.S. 1 and DC's dadaistically ridiculous 'New Look' Blackhawks and the Metamorpho-wannabe Ultra the Multi-Alien.

CTE forced an early retirement
Those were the days.

Most of these heroes had fairly short runs, demonstrating that the marketplace sometimes knows what it's doing. Some are absurdly offensive (Mr. Muscles conquers polio by working out a lot). Some are awesome and recognized as such (Joe Simon's Prez got a terrific return appearance in Neil Gaiman's Sandman in the early 1990's). 

Some have even moved into the mainstream (Steve Ditko's hilarious Squirrel Girl). Some are truly screwed-up product advertisements (Marvel's NFL Superpro, who really deserved a crossover with Marvel's Kickers, Inc., a team of crime-fighting professional football players). 

There's now a second volume of this focusing on goofy super-villains. I'll have to pick that up. In any case, hours of fun and education make this Highly Recommended.

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