Monday, 21 May 2012
Review: The Marvel Encyclopedia & The DC Comics Encyclopedia
Last Monday I promised to write a few posts about some of the great books out there that are great for kids who seen and loved Avengers Assemble. I managed to get a review of the stunning The Avengers - The Ultimate Guide To Earth's Mightiest Heroes! from Dorling Kindersley, before I was buried in final GCSE and A Level coursework marking, moderating and packing up to send off to the exam board. Now that I've finally got room to breathe I wanted to highlight a couple of other gems from Dorling Kindersley that superhero fans will adore: The DC Comics Encyclopedia and The Marvel Encyclopedia.
Both books are encyclopedias that I received last year for my birthday, each one focusing on the respective characters from Marvel and DC and both are simply stunning volumes. In both the characters are listed alphabteically, with major characters like Spiderman and Batman being given several double page spreads, whilst the much lesser known characters are given much briefer entries. Some of the major 'events' through the history of these comics, such as Infinite Crisis and Civil War are also afforded their own spreads, providing the reader with even more background information.
Just as with The Avengers - The Ultimate Guide To Earth's Mightiest Heroes! it is the artwork that immediately grabs your attention with these books, and I couldn't help but rifle through their pages, feasting my eyes on the stunning imagery. After this I was left with a dilemma - to start reading through alphabetically or to jump straight to my favourite characters' entries. I finally decided on starting from the beginning and working though page by page, but this didn't last long and I found myself jumping backwards and forwards, first of all reading about favourites such as Batman and Iron Man, and then jumping to other characters who were referenced in these larger entries.
Both of these books were published a few years ago, so naturally, being encyclopedias of comic characters that are still being written about, they are already somewhat out of date. However, this also means that you can currently purchase them for about £10 less than their £30 price tag and they are well worth every penny. Both are updated editions of books that had been first published some years earlier, and given the current massive popularity of DC and Marvel I would not be surprised to see these given another update some time in the future.
As I mentioned earlier, I think superhero fans of all ages, boys and girls, will love these books and spend hours and hours poring through them. We have both books in the school library and they are almost as popular as our copies of Ripley's Believe It Or Not and The Guinness Book of Records.