Top positive review
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Very good but not perfect
on 22 January 2013
This book is a 400 page hardback with dustjacket (wraparound Alex Ross illustration), 12" x 10", and extremely heavy. Produced with DC's full cooperation (it is badged with the previous DC bullet and the text is by some well-known DC names), it is superbly presented. Packed with illustrations, it has more than 1,000 entries. I've been reading it for a month, and I'm only 280 pages through.
Now to the criticisms. It's not fair to criticise it for being immediately outdated by the DC Universe New 52 reboot. It is, perhaps, a little fairer to criticise it for being banjaxed by DC's past continuity inconsistencies - the Legion suffers here in particular (some characters have 4 origins recounted from different Legions reboots, all purporting to be in continuity). But even that I could deal with, although I feel the thing could have benefitted from a little explanation about DC's actions as a publisher with regard to its properties, rather than simply recounting entries from the point of view of current continuity. It is heavy on Infinite Crisis continuity, less so in kind of geometric de-progression as you go backwards. Very little silver age, slightly more golden age if only because of the number of characters whose origins date back that far.
But my real gripe is with the number of typographical errors. These range from format errors in entry headings (not consistently using bold or italics), to a variety of errors which should have been picked up at proofreading (missing words, extra words, sometimes missing lines), queries by the writers left in and not deleted, and a number of errors which would have been picked up had it been proofread by someone familiar with DC comics. It's not fair to say it's loaded with them, but there is at least one every few pages. Perhaps this is inevitable with a book this size.