A giant sized book that attempts to present a history of DC Comics from its beginnings as National Allied Publications in 1934, through its change to Detective Comics in 1937, right up to the year of publication (the last entry is Batman #700, August 2010). It's not just an encyclopaedic list of characters; it also gives an insight into the company and its various imprints, TV and film endeavours alongside real life events that clearly influenced the consciousness of the comics' creators of the era. It's an ambitious undertaking that has no choice but to hurry over certain things, otherwise it'd be bigger than the coffee table it sits on.
It's split into chapters, one for each year, that offer memorable quotes, an overview of events, creator profiles and an extensive timeline of the complicated DC Universe. Each page is awash with colourful illustrations and faithful reproductions of original cover art. It's a treasure trove of information. I admit I skipped over some of the character entries. As with most reference books, not every entry appeals to every reader.
It's an attractive package housed in a very sturdy slip case, with two unique lithographs by Ryan Sook that some folks will likely want to frame and hang to better appreciate their beauty. Unless you're the type of person that buys this kind of thing as an investment, thereby negating its very purpose, to be read, then you’ll maybe find yourself returning to it time and again. I know I have.
4 history lessons from men in tights out of 5