Marvel Chronicle

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Press:DK ADULT (November 1, 2008) DK; Box edition (November 1, 2008)
Publication Date:2008
Author Name:Tom DeFalco,Peter Sanderson,Tom Brevoort
Pages:352 pages


Dig into the archives of Marvel Comics with this massive compendium. 
Every iconic hero and villain of the Marvel Comics Universe is chronologically catalogued in this lush celebration of Marvel's seventy year history including Spider-Man, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and hundreds more.
Exerpts from Marvel Chronicle(Click on images for larger version)


Comics & Graphic Novels,Biographies & History Graphic Novels,Graphic Novels,Media Tie-In,Superheroes

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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     Truly a great and spectacular book to read of learning about the historical moments of the Marvel Comics book universe of yesteryear after yesteryear.
  •     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. It chronicles the evolution of the Marvel corporation, and details all the varied strategies it employed to increase readership, capture market share, and rake in the dollars. The narrative is refreshingly unapologetic in the way it juxtaposes Marvel's classic story lines and timeless characters with all the silly crap, the outdated trends, the weird toy and TV tie-ins, and the just plain what-were-they-thinkings. The most fascinating part of the book is the early days, the `40s and `50s, when the company was known as Timely Comics. Back then superheroes were few (Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch), but Timely glutted the market with books of every conceivable genre: romance, western, horror, sci-fi, funny animals, and Archie-esque teen comedy. The change that came in the early 1960's was truly amazing. With the exception of Wolverine and the aforementioned trio of superheroes, all of the great Marvel characters were created within the span of less than two years. The X-Men and the Avengers debuted in the same month! The creative output of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and company staggers the mind.This book brought back great memories of the days when I used to go to the drug store after school and scan the comic racks. Once the book passes the mid-'90s mark, however, my interest waned. My friends and I used to scoff at DC Comics for their parallel universes and "infinite earths." Around the turn of the 21st century, however, Marvel fell victim to the same idiocy. Now every creator wants to be a revisionist, every story line attempts to reinvent the wheel, and every new issue must bear a number 1. Marvel Chronicle ends on an ironic note, as the company's recent output shows them turning more and more away from the venerable history so triumphantly celebrated in this book.
  •     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!
  •     Nice chronology.
  •     This Chronicle has everything that is worth documenting on an annual basis. It is a must have and keeper for the collector, historian, and comic book collector.
  •     As a fan of Marvel comics, I was very excited to read this book. I read most of my comics back in the 80's and have lost track with what's happened in the Marvel universe since...
  •     Got this as a gift for someone that was in love with Marvel. This was great for him & for those just getting into comics and not knowing much.
  •     Awesome book with a lot of data from Marvel Comics and the Comic Universe in general. It has really nice graphics and text, I'd totally recommend it for begginers and pros...
  •     Definatly a Must for any marvel fan. details of how your favorite characters came around even tells if they're linked to one another
  •     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.
  •     I have many art books of Marvel and DC, this book (Marvel Chronicle) is a very good book for any Marvel fan.
  •     I bought this as a gift for a comic book lover. They loved it and I would recommend this item.
  •     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.
  •     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.The 1960s were when Marvel hit it big, first with the Fantastic Four and then a bevy of other characters: Spider-Man, the Hulk, Iron Man, the Avengers, Thor, the X-Men and Daredevil all leading the way. With the talents of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko leading the way, Marvel became the creative leaders in the comic book world. DC would take a long time to catch up to Marvel in terms of strong story writing.The 1970s and 1980s would see other characters come and go. The X-Men, once one of the least successful superhero comics, would rise to prominence in the 1980s. By the 1990s, however, Marvel was no longer a leader but a follower. Chasing trends like the speculative boom, the grim-and-gritty antiheroes and the Image-approach of style-over-substance would harm Marvel as much as it helped it, eventually leading to a bankruptcy. The turn of the century, however, would result in a bit of a renaissance, with the comic books now being supported by a string of successful movies (particularly adaptations of Spider-Man, X-Men and Iron Man).The Marvel Chronicle captures this whole history, and though published by Marvel, it doesn't hold back from some of the darker moments in its existence (though for the most part, these are downplayed). It is not a beach read (it's too big and unwieldy) but it's thoroughly entertaining. Even if you're a long-time Marvel fan (like I've been), this book is worth picking up.
  •     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!!!
  •     I havent read it yet but I am a tru comice fan and will enjoy reading about the marvel history

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