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DC Comics Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle Hardcover – October 18, 2010

33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In 1938, DC Comics set the template for the nascent comic-book business when it introduced Superman, creating the superhero genre that would dominate the medium for most of the next seven decades. This lavish, slipcased volume traces the company’s long history, which mirrors the trajectory of the entire industry: after starting out in the mid-1930s with black-and-white publications that emulated newspaper comic strips, DC was in the forefront of the ascendance of superheroes in the 1940s. Tastes shifted the following decade, and DC moved into the same genres as other publishers: horror, war, westerns, and romance. Superheroes bounced back in a big way in the 1960s—led by DC’s revival of its most popular characters, such as the Flash and Green Lantern—and they’ve constituted the bulk of the company’s roster ever since. The book’s colorful, chronological rundown showcases a dozen or so key titles from each year, reproducing the cover and detailing the issue’s significance. No matter when their comics-reading youth occurred, anyone who ever loved comics, from baby boomers to millennials, will enjoy this nostalgia-laden tome. --Gordon Flagg

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"This is truly a must-have for anyone who reads or collects the DC Universe." – New Orleans Advocate
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing; Slp edition (September 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756667429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756667429
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1.5 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #580,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By joe on October 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a diehard DC fan and always love these company retrospective books detailing the history, but I've always been slightly disappointed with them because they would either focus too heavily on Superman and Batman (for good reason admittedly) and seemingly reduce the other characters to little more then footnotes OR they would spend way too much time on the characters (again mainly Bat's and Supes) achievements in other media such as television and films. Well not so with this book thankfully. While obviously Superman and Batman and all their respective milestones are well represented, all the other major and minor heroes, villains, teams, story lines, series, imprints and series, obscure or legendary are included in well written detailed entries in an easy to follow year by year, month by month layout. The films and tv shows are all mentioned, thankfully in little sidebars that don't take the focus off of the comics that made DC in the first place. Of course with a publishing history that spans 75 years and counting, across varied genres, it's almost inevitable that a few things would get left out. But this book does a good job of being comprehensive, covering all the important moments and many others in an illustrious history. So for all DC fan's or general comic history buffs, this is as good a way as any to celebrate DC's 75th (other then reading the actual comics that is!)
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By caj on October 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Although I haven't finished reading this cover to cover, I have to say that this is one of the most thorough historical books I've ever seen dedicated to comics. It literally goes year by year and showcases all the highlights that took place in DC Comics' long history. It's complete with issue covers, writers & artists, and sufficient details of the comic or event.

Almost every significant character introduction or change is covered, spotlighting Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Justice League, Legion of Super Heroes, Justice Society, Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Sandman, Jonah Hex, and many more.

The only omission I've seen was the death of the pocket universe Superboy in Legion of Super Heroes, which was a pretty big deal. But every other event I can think of in my years of reading DC Comics is addressed here.

This brought back some amazing memories for me. Nice book and nice presentation.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Radkins on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When a publishing company as prolific as DC publishes a "Year by Year" chronicle, there's certain to be a lot left out for brevity's sake. To DC's credit, though, this book hits an overwhelming majority of high points in their evolution from the '30s to the current catalog, and the book does so by including some really stunning covers and inside illustrations.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cunning Linguist on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In case you couldn't tell by the sterling silver Green Lantern ring on my right hand, I am a DC Comics diehard. Still, despite my weekly trips to the comic store nowadays, there is so much rich DC Universe history that I've missed out on. This tome is the ideal resource that I've been waiting for.

The rebirth of The Spectre in 1974 (Adventure Comics #431), the great race between Superman and Flash in August 1967 (Superman #199) and even The Wizard of Oz DC/Marvel crossover in the '70s. Just a sampling of the famous and the obscure moments of DC mythos that intersect in this single volume.

This well written, comprehensive book proudly presents 75 years of DC's legacy. Visually and contextually, I am very, very pleased with this item, and any comics fan (expert or novice) will cherish it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Just what it says - a year by year review. And boy, do they review the years! A great book, nicely designed, with dozens of covers I've never seen... and I'm a hardcore DC fan going way back! (and I love that they've actually photoshopped these covers to look the way they did when they came out, instead of just sticking in a scan of any ratty version they could lay their hands on.) A very nice overview of the history of the company that any DC fan will LOVE. Highest recommendation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Keith Correia on September 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The chronicle is the perfect way to review the history of a comic book company. The company is known by its characters so what better way to tell its history than to show when its characters first appeared and when major events happened in their books. As a nice little bonus, each year also tells what was going on in the "real world." For instance, Superman first appeared 75 years ago in 1938. This was also the same year as Orson Welles famous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast. This is a very good book for any serious fan of comic books.
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Format: Hardcover
If you like comics, and want to become an expert, but don't access to hundreds of comics books to account for DC's decades of history, then this is the book for you. Even if you have read hundreds of books, this will still serve as a nice recap, and it will probably introduce you to many more interesting characters and storylines. Before I read this book, there were a few specific characters and ideas I wanted to read about. After reading this, I see how rich DC's history is, and I now want to read things I was never interested in before, like Teen Titans, Identity Crisis, V for Vendetta, Animal Man, and Sandman.

Some other reviews have said how they're glad it's not too Batman or Superman centered. In fact, I think Batman received a little less than he should have since Under the Hood (return of Jason Todd), Monster Men (first meeting with Hugo Strange), and the Man Who Laughs (first meeting with Joker) were all left out completely, not even getting a mention. Some other notable storylines, like the popular Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity, were reduced to a sentence. Overall, though, the book does a very good job of touching most major and minor events in DC's history.

If there are certain books you're planning on reading, but haven't yet, then when you reach their section in this book, skip it. This book tells a full history, so there are plenty of spoilers. Most of the time this is good because you want to learn as much as you can, but if you know you're reading a book soon, then just gloss over that area, and return once you're finished with the book you had wanted to read.

This book starts with DC's early days in the 1930s and it goes all the way to 2010. For me, I found that this book was most interesting from 1980 onwards.
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