This summer, two blockbuster comic book movies hit the screens, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Where there’s a hugely popular franchise movie, you’ll normally find some tie-in books, and the very best of these tie-ins are usually produced by DK books.
Who are the books for?
If you like comic books, DC or Marvel, you should find much to love about these books. They contain a comprehensive amount of information and history about the two characters, all backed up with great artwork. Whether you’re a comic book dabbler or an avid follower, there’s something here for everyone. If, like me, you are a relative novice in comic book lore, the books are invaluable. They give you a grounding in all the storylines and legends that surround two of the genre’s most abiding heroes.
Why will I like them?
I’ve been a slavish devotee to DK books for nearly three decades now. Whilst other students spent their money down at the Student Union, I used to save my money to buy their encyclopedias. Possibly, I should have gotten out more.
Why did I like them? Their masterful use of photos and text created visually appealing books crammed full of information. And so it is with these Wonder Woman and Spider-Man titles.
Both are well laid out, starting with timelines, origin stories, and overriding characteristics of the two heroes. There then follows a chronological history of the characters’ comic-book journey from their inception to the present day. The books deal only with the comic book versions of the characters. There are no references to the films.
As well as being laid out chronologically, the books are arranged along thematic lines too. There are many pages devoted to “key comics”—seminal issues of the comic. There is also focus on things like villains, friends and family, and crossover team-ups.
The Wonder Woman book is particularly fine. Possibly because it is a wholly new book, the design and layout feel very fresh and accessible. There’s a swirling ribbon timeline at the start of the book that lays out, in a pictorial and easy-to-absorb fashion, the history of Wonder Woman through her various eras.
By contrast, the revised and updated Spider-Man has a text heavy timeline: informative, but not as visually appealing. Nevertheless, Spider-Man is still a fine book, filled with all manner of web-assisted antics.
Dorling Kindersley has this type of book down to an art form these days and these two are no exception. Filled with information and gorgeous pictures, they form an enduring history of two of comic book history’s most beloved characters.
If you’re after more Wonder Woman books don’t to check out this Stack Overflow post by Melissa Rininger.
Disclaimer: I received copies of these books to write this review.