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The Periodic Table Of Marvel Book Review

“The Periodic Table Of Marvel” is a fun twist on the character encyclopedia.

Written by Melanie Scott (who also provides an intro), “The Periodic Table Of Marvel” is a new DK Books release that initially seems like a gimmicky spin on a character encyclopedia, but turns out to be a rather in depth exploration of the vast Marvel character library. The book is divided into 7 categories (each with their own offshoots) in which the characters are classified- Radioactivity (Spider-Man, Hulk, Daredevil  to name a few), Evolutionary Anomalies (Mutants like Wolverine), Interstellar Energies (Captain Marvel, Venom, etc.), Chemical Reactions (ala Captain America and Ant-Man), Synthetic Life (such as Vision and Ultron) , Peak Humans (Iron Man, Hawkeye and the like) and Extra Dimensional Forces that include Thor, Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch. Each character entry is accompanied by comic book panel images along with the character’s real name, powers, first comic appearance and a written piece that explores the character’s history and their relation to the category ala Flint Marko coming into contact with radioactive chemical waste which turns him into Sandman.

There’s no shortage of character encyclopedias these days, but “The Periodic Table Of Marvel” deserves credit for showcasing something different. Not only does the book delve into the science based aspects of the characters, but it also helps classify them for young readers. Yes, it’s all entirely fiction, but there’s something really engaging about seeing pouring over categories that tell how the heroes and villains got their powers be it the Fantastic 4 developing their powers from cosmic rays, Namor being born with them, a character coming into contact with a symbiote (Venom), robots, or just a regular human with skills like Kate Bishop. It should be noted that organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D. and teams like the Inhumans are also touched upon here.

As one might expect, premiere characters like Spider-Man, Captain America and Thor get the most ink but it’s nice to see lesser known characters like Madame Web (who is soon to be getting her own movie), Battlestar, Summoner, Phya-Vell, Union Jack, Super-Adaptoid, and Spinneret getting ink as well. There’s also a section where characters like Quake, Hazmat, Nuke, Gambit and M.O.D.O.K. get named dropped. Why they don’t have their own entries I have no idea.

In standard character encyclopedia fashion, there’s a wealth of information displayed within these pages. Did you know Nick Fury took an Infinity Serum? Were you aware that Stilt-Man can reach the height of 300 feet? Have you heard Anti-Cap’s real name is unknown? There’s so much to absorb about Marvel comics history here.

Overall Thoughts: “The Periodic Table Of Marvel” is another winner from DK Books. Whether you are a Marvel fan or want to learn more about Marvel Comics lore, this book is for you.

February 3, 2022 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , ,

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