Author:Mark Gruenwald, Peter Sanderson/Various
These two books are the definitive history of the respective universes up to the dates of these volumes. The original issues were published 1985-1988 for the Marvel book and 1985-1989 for the DC.
The Marvel volume collects issues 1-20 of the original run. 1-15 take you from the Abomination to Zzzax and appendices, 16-20 are the Marvel Book of the Dead (yes occasionally Comic Book characters die, in fact 5 issues worth). The DC volume is from the Definitive Directory 1-26, an update from 1987 1-5, a further update from 88 1-4 and all the annuals from 1989.
Both books use a similar layout, usually a single page for the character but extra pages for the more important ones. Also there are maps,diagrams and charts of Buildings,Islands, Countries and Weapons. With each description you get the vital statistics of the character, height, weight, powers, strength, nationality, criminal status, first appearance, current whereabouts. And then a potted history, usually a few paragraphs but running to several pages for the more important characters.
Both volumes are beautifully bound and printed with fantastic illustrations and contributions by some of the biggest names in the business. Kirby, Ditko, Miller, » Continue Reading.