DC Comics Encyclopedia All-New Edition

Image of DC Comics Encyclopedia All-New Edition: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe
Release Date: 
October 24, 2016
DK Adult
Reviewed by: 

will . . . fire the imaginations of emerging writers, readers, and movie buffs.”

Nothing in your wildest imagination can prepare you for this comprehensive book of superheroes. The new oversized, eye-popping, built-to-last-a-lifetime beast of a book called The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe (all-new edition) is on the loose, and it’s blowing the fantasy loving minds of old and young readers alike.

It gives readers the scoop on over 1,100 well-known, well-loved, or even well-hated DC characters. But a big part of this book’s charm is that it also gives the scoop on virtually unknown or barely memorable characters who were perhaps not quite sinister enough to earn a place in readers’ memories. And yet, memorable or forgettable, each character’s real name, debut date, and personal stats (i.e., height, weight, eye color, powers, allies and enemies) is spelled out for any inquiring mind that “wants to know.”

There are the beloved superheroes like Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, and detestable, bile-conjuring supervillains like Joker, Anarky, Brainiac, and Harley Quinn. There are, as mentioned, a host of unknown good and bad guys who are just waiting for the right storyline that will catapult them to fame and notoriety, like Man-bat, the Inferior Five, Mad Harriet, and Professor Ivo, to name a few. 

For people of color who love a good (or bad!) hero that looks like them, there is Amadeus Arkham, the expert in psychiatry; Black Lightning the nocturnal vigilante; the dangerously sexy Cyborg and his manly implants; Fatality (aka, Yrra Cynril) the Star Sapphire; and Gloss, aka Xiang Po, who was chosen to become one of the immortal Guardians of the Universe.

The DC Comics Encyclopedia is one amazing book. It’s an A to Z encyclopedia, so readers should have just as much fun browsing through the stats and storylines of unknowns as they would looking up long-time favorites.

The opening TOC (table of contents) lists the page location of each letter of the alphabet so that readers can take a shortcut and search for their favorite heroes by first name. There is a brief but detailed history of the DC Universe timeline that moves chronologically through the DC timeline (1938 through 2016), explaining the Golden Age of DC, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, and so forth. There is also a handy 17-page Roll Call summary of characters at the end of the book to offer readers an at-a-glance overview of what’s contained inside these amazing pages.

This is a multilayered, multifaceted book about DC characters and all the friends, enemies, and extraordinary powers in their universe. It is written and illustrated by what is said to be some of the most talented writers and illustrators in the business, and its sturdy design, brilliant colors, lovely layout and comprehensive content easily render it the collector’s item of a lifetime.

It can be used for all sorts of things, like luring reluctant teen readers and reinforcing the mechanical skills children and teens (and some adults!) need to be able to successfully use encyclopedias and other literary guides. It can cement the bonds between generations or just serve as a great conversation-starter on the family coffee table. The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe also can—and will—fire the imaginations of emerging writers, readers, and movie buffs.