Comic book character guides. I love ‘em.
Where else are you going to get the easy “411” on all of your favourite heroes and villains? Sure, there’s the internet. But the internet doesn’t necessarily look good (nor is it necessarily safe) sitting on top of your coffee table beside a hot cup of coffee. Me, I’m still in love with the tangible, flip-though pages that the physical medium of books and magazines allows. And, being an avid reader and writer, I can appreciate the amount of research someone needs to do in order to put a decent character guide together.
A quick history lesson: back in 1985, coinciding with the company’s universe-organizing series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics published the 26-issue monthly series, Who’s Who in the DC Universe. It was an encyclopedic series designed to give readers the info (histories, powers, weaknesses, blood-relatives and biographies) on every character in the comic book publisher’s oeuvre. It was a daunting task, to be sure, one that is still looked upon favorably by fans today.
Last July, DK Publishing released the hardback, 208-page, DC Comics The Ultimate Character Guide. Geared towards the pre-teen age group, author Brandon T. Snider, himself a huge fan of comics (you’d have to be to want to undertake something as imposing as a character guide), hit the ground running and the result is a beautiful book for old and (especially) new fans of DC’s comic book characters.
From Adam Strange – Galactic Champion to Zoom – The Reverse Flash, DC Comics The Ultimate Character Guide takes readers on a wonderful journey across the DC universes, it’s planets, dimensions and time periods. With character information on vital biological stats, bases of operation and historic anecdotes, no DC devotee will be unarmed when debating their fanboy and fangirl friends at comic shops, coffee spots, sleepovers or internet chat boards. Did you know that Aquaman was 6’1” tall? Did you know that the Huntress is <a-hem> 148 lbs. light (not that we speak of such things)? Did you know that the entity known as Parallax began life as a tiny insect on prehistoric earth or that the Amazons trained Supergirl in hand-to-hand combat?
These are just a few of the facts you’ll find in DC Comics The Ultimate Character Guide.
The best artists in the business fill each beautifully coloured page with iconic images of heroes and villains, known and unknown. The book is a valuable resource for any burgeoning fan – but may be confusing in a time where DC Comics has rebooted their entire line of comics. Here we have an authority that shows us where each character came from, albeit from a history that is different from the “New 52” that is the present day DC Comics universe. Still, it makes for a great, easy read into the histories of amazing characters and may very well get new readers of comic books interested in both back catalogues and future titles.
Pick up DC Comics The Ultimate Character Guide for your son, daughter or even for yourself. It definitely makes encyclopedic reading fun – and superhero fact generation aptly heroic!
Pick up your copy of DC Comics The Ultimate Character Guide here!