DK Books, out now
A fully illustrated guide to the Marvel Universe…
This isn’t the book you’d go to for detailed accounts the history of the Marvel Universe(s) of the last 80 years plus – that’s what the Encyclopaedia and the various title specific books are for – but as an overview, this is going to be hard to beat. Each spread is comprised of various box outs, mostly regarding the fiction although a few are “Behind the Panels”, which give tantalising snippets of information about the heroes, villains, teams and events of the Marvel Universe.
If your primary inroad to Marvel is the movies then you’re going to learn a lot from this book; similarly if you’ve not kept up to speed on recent events then there are some shocks in store. Some of the odder corners of the Marvel Universe are on display – the Pet Avengers (Hairball, Lockjaw, Throg, Redwing, Ms Lion, Lockheed and Zabu) and the Great Lakes Avengers get their due – and each part is illustrated with dynamic art from across the ages.
It’s the sort of book to dip into rather than try to absorb in one sitting, and is highly likely to get you heading to your nearest comic book online depository to catch up with the stories you’ve missed!
Verdict: An enjoyable fun guide. 9/10