Bending Steel

Modernity and the American Superhero

Author:  Aldo J. Regalado

Published By: University Press of Mississippi

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                When I saw the advertisement for Bending Steel: Modernity and the American Superhero by Aldo J. Regalado, I was intrigued.  I love comic books and I thought it would be nice to see how history and culture created some of the most famous of the comic book superheroes out there.  I couldn’t wait to read this book.

                When I first started reading this book, I found it interesting.  I even thought I would enjoy one of the college courses on comics that the author teaches.  As I read further, I realized that the introduction basically told all of the points of the book, chapter by chapter.  I wondered why the author would reveal so much in the introduction.  In fact, the intro seemed to be something one would submit to a book company as a summary of the book you might want to get published. 

                Unfortunately, the more I read, the more disenchanted I was becoming with Bending Steel.  The book reads like a college thesis written with an idea towards impressing a professor with the overuse of large, pretentious verbiage rather than layman’s terms to get the point across to the readers.  I was expecting to read a book about the cultural and societal influences on the creation of comic book superheroes like Superman.  What I got was a college dissertation dating back to the 1700s, long before comic books or superheroes were a gleam in anybody’s eyes. 

                I was bored with Bending Steel long before Chapter 1 ended and done with it by Chapter 2.  Bending Steel is just not the book it was touted to be and I couldn’t get myself interested in it enough to bother finishing it.  A complete waste of time that I wouldn’t recommend spending hard earned money on.


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