Review: The DC Comics Encyclopedia

dc-comics-encBy Alan Cowsill, Alex Irvine, Steve Korte, Matt Manning, Stephen Wiacek, Sven Wilson with Scott Beatty, Robert Greenberger, Phil Jiminez, Nick Jones, Dan Wallace

DK, out now

The definitive guide to the DC Universe…

A bold claim on the cover of this huge tome from DK would seem to be justified – at least as things stand at present. The problem of course with any such book is that it’s charting the history of an organic universe, with dozens of new stories appearing each month, all of which in some way – major or minor – impact on the characters described herein. (If they don’t, then something’s gone wrong!) It means these are a snapshot to an extent, but the vast majority will stand for some time to come.

Every entry is illustrated and the book is alphabetical for the most part, although exigencies of design mean that the major characters, to whom one or more spreads are devoted, don’t necessarily fall in strict order (Catwoman, for example, comes between “Challengers of the Unknown” and “Charybois”) so it’s worth checking either side of where you expect it to be! The entries focus primarily on the characters as they are now, although someone like Miss Martian, who at the time of writing the Encyclopedia had only appeared as a picture on computer files post-Flashpoint, gets an entry that deals with their earlier appearances. On the Record boxes also chronicle previous incarnations’ exploits, as well as referencing Classic Stories.

For those who have become confused by the many alternate versions of the DC characters, this will hopefully help set them straight, and it’ll be an invaluable resource for those who are trying to find the roots of the characters when they appear on large or small screens.

Verdict: Another highly useful and well-produced volume. 9/10

Paul Simpson

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