Fully updated to include the recent ‘Rebirth’, this mammoth tome opens with a brief timeline of DC history, from Golden Age to Modern Age (taking in the Dark Age and Flashpoint) and concluding at the aforementioned Rebirth. From here on in, we have an exhaustive A-Z of characters and organisations, all fully-illustrated in glorious colour. We get some great little titbits from a basic profile (when they first appeared, current iteration, real identity, height, weight, eye and hair colour, and where they are based, as well as most regular foes) to brief synopsis of their origin and bio. Naturally, some characters - the more well-known - are serviced better than others, with the likes of the Joker, Nightwing, Blue Beetle, and those ‘also-rans’ Batman and the Man of Steel. With so much information to pack in, there’s not enough room to cover every aspect of each entry, but there’s enough information to get most people up to speed - particularly with the lesser-known heroes and villains. Just don’t expect to be able to blag your way through a conversation with a die-hard DC reader.
For the even more obscure characters, there’s a ‘Roll Call’ towards the end of the book, which gives a very brief outline for the likes of Wild Dog, Sobek, Black Bison, and Angle Man. You won’t know their height or weight, or what colour underwear they prefer (actually that’s something missing from main profiles, let’s hope this is rectified in the next update), but it’s a great reference point should for newcomers and old fans alike.
The DC Comics Encyclopedia is a beautifully laid out and illustrated book, which any fan would be proud to have on their shelves and it would no doubt hardly leave the coffee table. Well worth checking out to broaden your DC comic knowledge.
DC COMICS ENCYCLOPEDIA - THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO THE CHARACTERS OF THE DC UNIVERSE / AUTHOR: MATTHEW K MANNING / PUBLISHER: DK PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 28TH