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Marvel Chronicle Hardcover – November 3, 2008

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Sanderson is a comics historian and critic, who was Marvel's first official archivist. He is the author of DK's best selling X-Men: The Ultimate Guide and co-author of DK's The Marvel Encyclopedia and Marvel Chronicle. Peter was also one of the main writers of the first four versions of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Matthew Manning has written numerous comics for a variety of publishers, including Marvel and DC. His work has appeared in the pages of The Batman Strikes!, Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century, Justice League Adventures, Spider-Man Unlimited, Looney Tunes, and Marvel Romance Redux. For DK, he has penned Wolverine: Inside the World of the Living Weapon, the updated versions of Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide and Hulk: The Incredible Guide, the children's reader Marvel Heroes: Greatest Battles, and contributed to Marvel Chronicle. Manning currently resides in Brooklyn with his wife Dorothy, and a collection of comics much too large for any normal-size apartment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: DK; Box edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756641233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756641238
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1.5 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on April 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We tend to think of myths as being in the past, ancient stories of gods and heroes that not only entertain but give us insight into the times. Even today, however, mythologies are created, and rarely better than in the world of comic books, where iconic characters leap off the pages and take on a life of their own. Of these comic book universes, two stand out above the rest: DC and Marvel.

Most people probably consider DC to be significantly older, with the late 1930s appearances of Superman and Batman kicking off its heyday. Marvel - or at least an early incarnation of it - would not be much younger, with Marvel Comics #1 appearing in 1939. The Marvel Chronicle is a coffee-table sort of history of this company, from its humble origins to its rise to prominence in the 1960s to today (or at least mid-2008).

The Marvel Chronicle is a year-by-year (and often month-by-month) history of Marvel, filled with lots of old excerpts from various books. The 1930s and 1940s would have some superhero comics (the Sub-Mariner would be in the first book, along with an early version of the Human Torch). The focus, however would be on books for kids and quite a few WWII heroes, most notably Captain America.

Superheroes would peter out by the 1950s, when romance, horror and western comics became the big thing. For a while, these would be creative, but the paranoid Frederick Wertham would bring about the Comics Code and drain away much of what made the comic books so good; a self-censorship worse than even existed in the movie industry would reduce the comics to a bland mildness.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Capital One on March 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one good read on Marvel history from the begining. I have been reading Marvel comics from the begining, I am now 61 years of age, this is the book you want to read if you really want to know what it was like to read Marvel from month to month and how as a kid getting that 12 cents to buy are comics was a big joy and that all we needed to have fun in reading as kids.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karl Janssen on February 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This beautiful coffee table tome dissects the hallowed history of Marvel Comics into a year by year chronology. Each year gets four pages (or sometimes six, during the glory years) in which the major events of the year are summarized. Selected issues of comics are featured in the order of their release dates. The first appearances of characters, from the most famous heroes to some rather obscure villains, are highlighted, as well as major plot events and multiple-title crossovers. Each year ends with a list of that year's news events, including mention of a few movies released at the time.

Marvel Chronicle is published by Dorling-Kindersley (DK), a company that produces heavily illustrated coffee table books on every imaginable subject. The writing of the book is by various authors, and is really quite good. Complex plots are pithily summarized in a fun and attention-grabbing way. The book features loads of beautiful art from the Marvel archives, but the design of the book is 100% DK: tiny hard-to-read type, made even more hard-to-read by busy, screened backgrounds, and heaven forbid a quarter inch of white space should be showing on any page. The book also suffers from poor proofreading. You'll find one typographical error on almost every two-page spread, as well as a few factual errors (Charlton Heston did not star in Spartacus, and the Abomination did not make his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man).

Nevertheless, Marvel Chronicle is a stunning piece of memorabilia for the Marvel fan. As a guide to the continuity of the Marvel Universe, however, it is sketchy and intermittent at best. This book is first and foremost a business history.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christine Dunn on January 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a really good product for those that are into comic books. What I found interesting is that every year, they give comic book information (what came out, what went away) plus it also gives you some history on what was happening in the world at that time. Great pictures, very informative!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By gojoe15 on February 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent change of pace. Most books on the history of comics tackle things from a character-by-character or genre-by-genre approach. I found the chronological approach of this book to be very interesting and fresh. The early history is very intriguing. (Who knew we owed so much to Ziggy Pig and Millie the Model for keeping the company afloat long enough for the Fantastic Four to come around?) Of course, the graphics are great as well, as are the non-comics historical tidbits. Fantastic book!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Wagner on December 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I don't think that most fams look at comics in term of year-to-year ,but rather the lives of the characters. This book covers both the characters and the comics themselves. A different history/encyclopedia for Marvel fans.It had the added bonus for me of being able to immediately look up the years when I did not read comics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B Levert on February 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was a gift for my boyfriend who is absolutely obsessed with comic books, and he was amazed with it.
The front cover has a great cutout in the shape of an M, the inside has pull outs in black and white and colour, overall its a great gift for any memorabilia.
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