August 24, 2015
Several examples have been collected and described in Jon Morris' The League of Regrettable Superheroes: Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History from Quirk Books, a great history of those character who might not have been popular....but who had a great spark of genius to them.
Arranged in an encyclopedic format, Morris' book focuses on three distinct - and the usual - eras of comics (Golden Age/Silver Age/Modern). However, The League of Regrettable Superheroes does something very few books like this would do - treat the characters with a modicum with respect.
(And yes, there are obligatory references to Fletcher Hanks, thank you very much)
One of the only complaints I have about the book is that it's a relatively easy read...but that's much of the point of The League of Regrettable Superheroes. There's a charm and a lightness of touch that makes this one of the more enjoyable aspects of the book. (Oh, and if you're expecting rehashes of Morris' blog Gone and Forgotten....you would be mistaken.)
But if you're looking for a great end-of summer read that provides some insight into some....not-quite-wannabes, or even a serious effort to look at some of the more esoteric characters in comics, my suggestion is to check out The League of Regrettable Superheroes.
You'll thank me later.