The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains – Jon Morris
Every hero needs a villain. But not all villains are dangerous some are incompetent, comical, or just weird. In his follow-up to The League of Regrettable Superheroes, author Jon Morris presents over a hundred of the strangest, most stupefying supervillains to ever see print in comics. Meet D-list rogues like Brickbat (choice of weapon: poisonous bricks), Robbing Hood (steals from the poor to give to the rich), Swarm (a crook made of bees; Nazi bees), and many more. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains affectionately and hilariously profiles oddball criminals from the history of comics.
My thanks to Jamie at Quirk Books for my review copy.
Factual books talking about fictional stories are brilliant distractions. I have shelves of books which break down all 36 seasons of Doctor Who. Star Trek is also well represented as are volumes on Spider-man characters, every hero ever to be an Avenger, Batman through the years and even a Thunderbirds anthology. So when Quirk Books kindly let me review The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains I was like a kid in a sweet shop (or a reader locked in a bookshop).
Jon Morris has trawled the archives of comic book history to find us some of the more obscure villains to grace the pages of comic books. Spanning tales from the Golden Age (where there were a plethora of characters I confess I had never heard of). To modern times where there were signs some creative teams were rushing toward deadline and the inspiration-fairy had left them in the lurch. There are some weird and wonderful characters to read about and you can decide for yourself if you feel that some may be due a revival.
As with any of these collections I was instinctively drawn to the characters and stories that I recognised (and there were several). By comparing my own opinion on some of the Regrettable Villains against that of the author I could benchmark how fairly, or not, they are being treated. Overall I was very pleased with the outcome of that experiment as I seemed to be quite aligned to the author’s way of thinking for the most part.
Each Villain gets introduced, some of their history explained or the reason for their appearance outlined and we hear who they were pitted against. There are some dark and twisted creative minds at work in the comic book world, some of these crooks are seriously disturbed and I am not sure some of the stories would be agreed by editors these days.
Regrettable Super Villains isn’t the type of book I can sit and pour through in a single sitting or two. It was enjoyed over a few weeks as I dipped in and out of it and jumped from section to section. For a comic book fan it was sheer browsing pleasure, we need more books like this…these oddball weirdos must never be forgotten.
The Legion of Regrettable Super Villains is published by Quirk Books and is available now in gorgeous hardback and a digital version too. Copies ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legion-Regrettable-Supervillains-Oddball-Criminals/dp/1594749329/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495404300&sr=1-1&keywords=league+of+regrettable+supervillains