Marvel Plot Points

A fan site for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game by Margaret Weis Productions

Book Review: Captain America, The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger

Captain America Ultimate Guide cover

Face front, true believers! DK was kind enough to send us a copy of the new Captain America, The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger by Matt Forbeck, and this is a beautiful piece of work.

I’ve collected a lot of Marvel Guides over the years, including the Marvel Encyclopedias. DK always makes great, informative books, so I figured this would be no exception. They kicked things off right with a great piece of art (the one seen above), and silver gilding on the pages. I do love feeling of gilded pages opening for the first time. Mmmm.

Stan Lee writes a great foreword to the book, providing full credit to the titans of the Golden Age Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for the creation of the hero. The book then dives into the origin of the hero, both within Earth-616 as well as our own. Each page is packed with information, with fantastic artwork from throughout Cap’s history. The book goes into the history of Timely Comics, as well as showing a piece of prose written by Stan Lee himself in Captain America Comics #3, Lee’s first work for Timely, as well as his first time using his Nom De Plume.

2677627-captainamericacomics01One of the great things about the book is its use of Key Issue pages. The book breaks down an important moment in the character’s life, giving background on the issue, key characters, writers and artists, as well as artwork from the issue.

Gorgeous multi-page spreads detailing characters, costumes, allies, girlfriends, an extensive timeline, and decade-by-decade breakdowns bring the book to life. Forbeck’s research was truly extensive here. I’d have to imagine he’s read every issue of Captain America and The Avengers, based on the level of detail he gets into here. Plotlines nearly forgotten to time are dredged up, and every story is given its due. The book advances to just prior to last summer’s Secret Wars. I look forward to seeing an update to the book once this current Captain America storyline has come to its conclusion and the “Hail heard ’round the world” has been explained.

I received this book almost a month ago, and I’m still pouring over it, finding new things inside. The book is just chock-full of so many good bits of pictures and text. I’m really surprised that a book of this depth and caliber goes for only $25 bucks (cheaper on Amazon, but seriously guys, go get it at your local comic shop. Help them keep the lights on). It’s so detailed, is of such high production quality, is hardback, and is nice and thick, and is still only that price? Well done, DK. Well done, Matt Forbeck. You’ve done the Marvel fandom proud.

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About Mark

Mark is a military veteran, game designer, a believer in the oxford comma, and an all-around nerd.

One comment on “Book Review: Captain America, The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger

  1. Bl00dwerK
    June 6, 2016

    Seeing a Hydra logo next to Cap is funny!

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2016 by in Review.

All images and names of characters and locations, unless expressly stated and are ™ & © Marvel & Subs. Used without permission.

Heroic Roleplaying & the Cortex Plus system ™ Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

This website is a work of fandom and is not intended to profit from or infringe on the rights of Marvel or Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd.

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