The League of Ordinary Looking Superheroes, by J. D. Winston

Just for today, I’m taking a break from terrible books in order to celebrate quality humor.

“Woohoo, funny shit!”

You bet, Jo. Now, here are the three things we can all agree are hilarious.




Seriously. After I saw those three things, I could not stop laughing. Good times.



“The things that happen in those movies are all awful and horrible, and not funny in the slightest.”

Oh, sure they are, and I can prove it.


If you read this hideously anti-funny book I’m about to review… your bar for humor will be set so low that you’ll watch the morning news about government corruption and cop killings, and you’ll piss your pants laughing.

“So if you were to see something genuinely funny then, your head would explode?”

Pretty much, yeah.

“Let’s try it out. I’ll put on some Lewis Black and George Carlin, and–“


Hey guys. They're superheroes. Doing funny things superheroes do. See, it's parody. It totally works out. I'm the lovechild of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Chicks in bookstores should claw at me to yank my pants off. They don't, but they should. Fuck you if you think otherwise.

What page/chapter I survived until: If you can get to chapter 2, you’re braver than I am.

Boredom: 420 out of 500 video game breaks

Needless Description: 283 out of 500 meditative epiphanies on a petunia

Cruddy Metaphors: Thankfully, 0 out of 500 cats on the hot tin penis of my soul

Thematically, Just Plain Wrong: Thankfully, out of 500 skinheads setting endangered rhinos on fire

NEW RATING, INSPIRED BY THIS BOOK: Trial by Grammar and Spelling: 450 out of 500 ded heretix on da wheelz of fiya lol

The gist of it: Over-the-top superhero parody. Over-the-top, that is, in the sense that it boils over in your pot and the foam goes into the stove and you have to get a new stove and the guy at the stove store is a suburban albino orangutan who talks down to you from his gigantic gut and cheats you out of  your beer money for a gobshite electric range.

You may deny the existence of this book. That’s understandable. I tried looking elsewhere for some kind of explanation of the nature of this ebook, but I found nothing. I don’t know anything about the author or the publisher, other than a derelict blogspot site. But you can find it on Amazon here.

“See, he’s not crazy!”

Don’t lie to the audience, Jo.

Anyway. The first chapter opens up with a cab ride where some lady is going to a superhero insurance agency. You’d think with a book about superheroes, even a parody book about superheroes, we’d begin with some action. Y’know, because there’s a reason you’re not reading a comic book, but a book book. But fuck that, let’s talk about insurance for a while.

Third paragraph from the beginning, we’ve got “their” instead of “there.”

This is the first page in print length. Hell, this is the first page on my Kindle. And already I want to write a big fat red “F” and a “see me after class” on the e-ink screen. But then I’d have to buy another Kindle.

“I can do that for you if you like.”


“Why you gotta be so mean, Hellbrarian? I’m not a bad book.”

True, I am a poor judge of women.

“Too bad you’re not reviewing any of them, it might make you a better person.”

…hey, there’s an idea! Maybe I should have challenged the Poorly Written Female Character Devil instead of the Literary Devil. Then I’d get to “examine” and “review” all the well-endowed sparkly fairy princess Mary-Sues I wanted.

Hey there cutie, how about we cut to an awkward, failed attempt at erotica?

“That would be cool, except for the fact that you’ve nearly activated the off-topic alarm by now.”

And what happens if I activate it?

“The off-topic squid-rhinoceros-demon gets to marry you.”

I’m not entirely off-topic, though. You can tell that some of these characters were created not so much for parody, but to make the author’s crotch feel good. Take this passage:

“While Silicone Girl had a skintight outfit that covered her torso, Ancient Relic Woman had a costume that consisted of nothing more than a bikini. The bikini was little more then three strips of metal. One was wrapped around her chest and covered her nipples. The second was wrapped around her waist and served as a support for the third, which covered her crotch. It left little of her 32G-20-34 frame to the imagination.

“Damn, she’s hot.”

The author would like to agree with you on that account. Why do we have to know her measurements anyway? Then, we get into a quasi-feminist discussion for pretty much the rest of the chapter on superhero breasts.

That was where I had to close the kindle window before I shot the poor device – and it would have been out of self-defense. After skimming through the rest, I’ve decided that book relies entirely on over-exaggerated bullshit to be funny.

Which brings me to the conclusion that this book was written by a teenager, and published by his uncle or something.

In which case, I’d hate to hurt the poor guy’s feelings, as he’s just starting out. Jo, take a letter.

“Can’t you write an email?”

Hey, there’s a better idea, you can write it.


Sorry, still reeling from Colters’ Wife and its side effects of temporary sexism. Bear with me.

All right, here it is:

Dear J. D. Winston / whomever else it may concern:

The Hellbrarian and his intern express their deepest apologies for reviewing your / Mr. Winston’s book, which, unfortunately, was on the prehistoric-beast scale of shitty.

Here in the Library of Agony, we know that a young author has to start out somewhere before he becomes a truly great author. If my review has at all tarnished your / Mr. Winston’s reputation, we suggest that you / Mr. Winston change your / his pen name to “J-Slick Dee Dubya” for future projects.

However, if you / Mr. Winston are / is not a young author, you / he don’t /doesn’t have a bloody fuckin’ excuse.


Hellbrarian – Prisoner of Literary Satan

Joanna Barton – Intern

Next up: I know I said a romance last time, so I’ll do another romance next time for sure.

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