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.