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Marvel Encyclopedia Hardcover – October 5, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"This fully updated edition, the first in more than five years, profiles over 1,200 Marvel characters and includes entries on the many teams, superheroes, and storylines." –'s blog, Geekdad

"[A] must for comic book nerds" – The Denver Post

"[An] awesome addition to your Marvel library" – Agents of Geek

"[This book contains] every entry imaginable with just enough detail to enlighten but not overwhelm." –'s Geek Dad blog

"[T]his coffee table volume is incredibly beautiful and presented in ways that online searching can't quite match." –

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. Daniel Wallace is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters as well as a dozen more books that explore the underpinnings of the Star Wars universe, such as Star Wars: The Essential Atlas and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. He is a regular contributor to Star Wars Insider magazine and assembled the questions used in the Star Wars Trivial Pursuit game. In addition to his contributions to the galaxy far, far away, he has written for universes including Indiana Jones, Smallville, Supernatural, DC Comics, and Marvel Comics, with books including The Marvel Encyclopedia, The DC Comics Chronicle, and The Art of Superman Returns. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: DK Publishing; Revised edition (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756655307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756655303
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 1.4 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Daniel Wallace is a comic book expert, sci-fi sage, and lifelong geek. Author or co-author of more than two dozen books including The Jedi Path, Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History, Iron Man Manual, Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman, and the New York Times bestselling Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters, his specialty is exploring the underpinnings of popular fictional universes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 133 people found the following review helpful By F. wheeler on October 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i think some of these reviews shouldnt be on this page. these reviews apply to the first edition that had serious flaws. this is the updated and expanded version that was released oct 2009. these reviews are from the book that was released in 2006. they actually have the same reviews listed under the older version that was flawed.

when i brought this book, there were no reviews for it yet. i purchased this book the second day it was released in oct 2009.
i think amazon does this book a disservice by applying the same reviews to this book. it misleads people into thinking it has major flaws.

if you look at the titles it clearly says "updated and expanded version". maybe amazon used the review to imply it is a hot commodity(and it is), but by having the same outdated reviews for a book that was revised in 2009 seems a little self defeating and manipulative at the same time. being as though the reviews by some of the people are complaints about the older version.

even with the flaws, if you read the reviews below, you will see that many people also enjoyed the book. the only complaints came from hardcore geeky fans(no disrespect). most were somewhat minor, like the info for a few characters being off. but the artwork and lay-out is beautiful. and these complaints are fixed in this version, and thats why the complaints dont apply.

i think everyone will enjoy this book. as an artist who enjoys creating my own comic book characters and superheroes, the action poses are a tremendous reference for my characters. that was the main reason i bought this massive book. page after page of action poses and fight scenes. im not a hardcore collector at all! i enjoy comics but i dont live and die by them.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By ziffel66 on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
NOTE: This review is for the NEW and UPDATED Marvel Encyclopedia. When I wrote this review, the new version's reviews were separate from the previous version. Since then, Amazon has combined the reviews, and this is a shame, because the updated version corrects most if not all of the problems found in the previous version. /END NOTE

I received this book on it's release day, as I was very excited about it, and wanted it as quickly as possible. I was not disappointed! The book is 400 pages on high quality, glossy print, with brilliant artwork, and color that pops off the page.

The book is meant as a reference, and includes basically every Marvel character ever created with a short bio for some, and up to 4 pages for the Marvel superstars like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Wolverine.

I have the DC Encyclopedia as well, and it's great too, but the text is so small. The Marvel 2009 (Updated & Expanded) Encyclopedia improves this greatly with a font that's at least 2 sizes bigger for all entries, and many lead-in paragraphs include even larger fonts. This was a huge relief to my older eyes.

The encyclopedia includes more than just A to Z entries for heroes and villains, it also has entries for Marvel events, such as the Civil War. Non-American Marvel characters are included as well, including UK hero Captain Britain, and Alpha Flight, a Canadian team.

Extremely thorough, giant glossy pages, incredible artwork, and excellent layout (with a highly readable font) make this a masterwork, and a must-have for any Marvel fan. Amazon's price makes it a no-brainer.

The only drawback? Get your arms ready, this thing weighs 5.5 pounds!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By UpDownAllAround on June 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would love to be able to afford the A-Z series by MARVEL, but it's just waaaay too many volumes and waaaay too expensive. I've got my kids hooked on MARVEL and superheros in general. This book gives them just enough info about each character in the MARVEL universe to answer questions and gives a visual rendering of each so they can identify them... great purchase!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Arameth5k on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want all the quick info you could handle about Marvel super-heroes and villains...then this is the book for you! If you want to catch up on all things in the Marvel Universe because you have been away for a few years...then this is the book for you! If you are just starting out on reading Marvel Comics and want to know more...then get this book! It's full of vast knowledge on every key player in the Marvel Universe! It details their first appearance and quick rundown of their history! It even focuses on all your favorite teams and events! From past to present! However.....

If you own the first edition of 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'....DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOOK! Don't get me wrong, for first time buyers...this is a fantastic book!!! I recommend it for all super hero & villain lovers!!!! This is a must have in your comic book kingdom!

I own the first incarnation of the 'Marvel Encyclopedia' and really like that book. When I saw there was an 'UPDATED & EXPANDED' edition out...I had to have it! To my misfortune, it is THE EXACT SAME BOOK! The publisher's are just milking your wallet! Now, hear me out on this...

First: If you have the first one, save your money! It uses the EXACT same illustrations and descriptions as the first. They didn't even attempt to update the artwork. Pathetic really.

Second: If you have the first one, save your money! The only thing they really added was more pages to catalog the "Big Events" in the Marvel Universe in the past couple of years. Including the 'Civil War', 'Secret Invasion' and such. The ONLY place you'll find newer artwork.

Third (...and final): If you have the first one, save your money! It's really....REALLY....not worth paying for the same book twice.
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