It’s Word Wednesday again, bringing with it my second mid-week video book review. This week, as a special treat for all of you who enjoyed the first Word Wednesday, I have two videos for your delectation.
It’s clash of the superheroes, Marvel vs DC, brought to you by purveyors of fine tomes, DK books.
In the red corner, we have the Marvel Ultimate Guide. A gorgeous slipcased book, heavy enough to bust a Hulk with. Like previous DK superhero books I’ve reviewed, this is a joy for novices and experts alike. The book has more information about Marvel comics than I ever knew existed.
The book contains all the usual suspects—Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor—but many of the lesser known characters too. Ulysses Bloodstone, anyone? Traveling through time, since Marvel’s inception, the guide examines both popular series and series I’d never heard of. It does all of this with the clarity of layout and text that we’ve come to expect from DK.
Ultimate Marvel is an absolute delight of a book. It is the perfect present for Marvel fans and comes in at a very reasonable RRP of $40 (£35). It’s currently available in the US, here, at a great discount. UK readers can get a chunky saving here, too.
Staring at Ultimate Marvel menacingly from the blue, bat-filled corner, is DC Justice League: The Ultimate Guide, possibly wishing it had brought its mates along. It’s a more slender volume, being focused exclusively on the Justice League, but this Ultimate Guide is still a great book.
Once again, the book is laid out in a timeline style, with chapter sections devoted to each epoch within the timeline. Again, layout, pictures, and text are vibrant, engaging, and informative. The book starts from the beginnings of the League in the early ’60s right up to the modern rebirth strand in 2016, and 2017’s fight against the Suicide Squad.
Probably the greatest commendation I can give Justice League: The Ultimate Guide is to describe its consumption by my 8-year-old. I keep describing him as a reluctant reader, but I think I may have to stop after amassing a body of evidence to the contrary. He LOVED this book. He sat for three nights in a row and read this book cover to cover. I’ve never seen him so absorbed or sit still for so long.
Whatever your affiliation, Marvel or DC, you’ll be able to agree that both these books are excellent at laying out the key components of a comic book legacy. It’s worth mentioning again at this point, that the DK books contain no reference to any on-screen portrayals of either franchise. These are both only pen and ink encyclopedias and both of the highest order.
That’s it for this week, do tune in for next week’s Word Wednesday when I’ll be looking at a book with something geeky to say for every day of the year.
Disclaimer: I received review copies of both books to write this review.