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

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 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

Review

"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 (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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By RSC on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has everything that a comic collector and historian would love. It details everything that is remotely significant and worth documenting on an annual basis. Artwork is definitely a big plus as well.
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Format: Hardcover
I received my copy of the DC Chronicle as a twenty-fourth birthday gift from my second family in Dover, England alongside the adjoining Marvel Chronicle. Because I have a little more familiarity with DC Comics rather than the work of Marvel, I decided to start reading the DC Chronicle first. I admit that I probably do not totally understand the finer metaphysics of comic book lore, but I am definitely getting there after reading this volume. The Chronicle is presented marvellously with year-by-year information on comic book history, film adaptations, animated works, and television serials alongside real-world events pertaining to that particular year. It details the many origins, crossovers, character/team debuts and major storylines that permeate through the DC Universe to this very day, as well as examining behind the scenes' editors and writers.
Reading this chronicle has definitely expanded my knowledge, passion and interest in comic book fantasy and has made me see in a new light what goes behind the production of our favourite characters and events. One of the things that struck me was how long it took for Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster to frame the character of Superman to the one who debuted in 1938 as Kal-L of Krypton(-Two). All the subsequent reimagining over the years have resulted because of this stellar character who is arguably at the centre of the DC Universe and Multiverse that we are still exploring to this day.
I highly recommend this Chronicle, alongside its Marvel counterpart in actuality, as they both provide such thesis on everything surrounding these iconic comic book `giants' that you can't help opening up your mind to the intricate web of DC's foundations and everlasting legacy.
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