With comic books nearing their centennial, with the sheer volume of characters gracing the panels, there are bound to be a dud idea or a hundred. Morris compiled several into this compact volume, although he more generously refers to them as just “mishandled” or “ahead of their time”. A few of them could possibly be reworked and make it in today’s world, but not many.
Possibly Salvageable: Nelvana of the Northern Lights. (In fact, a dedicated few are working on a revival of this first Canadian heroine in comics.) Nelvana is tasked with protecting the First Peoples of the great white north.She has the usual superpowers – telepathy, invisibility and the like. Her sidekick brother roams by her side in the form of a mastiff.
No Hope of Salvation: The Eye. (Later renamed to Detective Eye, to encourage all the other disembodied eyes out there to shoot for the stars get a career.) Seriously, it’s a giant eye that floats about and gets other people to do its bidding, which is to solve crime. Can you imagine a more vulnerable superhero (other, than, like, The Testicles, or something)? Oh, you’re a giant eye that’s going to stop me from robbing a bank? Well, here’s pocket sand! or, a pointy stick! or conjunctivitis! And what about as The Eye ages and looses some of its vision? Who’s going to pop a contact in there? The Hands, two disembodied helpful hands?
Worst Ideas Have Worked: The Geek! Now, here me out. If it was done in a horror with a twist of black humor kind of way, I think it could work. After some hippies are beaten by a motorcycle gang, they wash their clothes off and hang them on some random ass mannequin that just happens to be by a river. Which, obviously, causes the mannequin to come to life and seek out vengeance for his bloody hippie friends. It’s just so absurd, it just might work, as long as it would keep the gore and camp and body count high.
Full of Fail: Skateman. Look, a roller derby superhero sounds like a great idea. But, in practice, do you know how hard it is to skate on concrete or asphalt? It sucks. I can’t imagine, as a superhero, you can call ahead and ask the bad guys to clean off the floor before you get roll over there. Furthermore, booty shorts and a durag are not enough protective gear to fight crime and hip check people. But when has basic human anatomy ever stopped a superhero?
The book is a fun little diversion into the land of misfits comics. However, and this could be because my copy is the Loot Crate edition, there were typos. I hope if Morris writes an expansion to the league, he inducts Grammarman into it.