DK, out now
A guide to the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe – with hundreds of stickers…
Aimed squarely at the children’s market, this paperback has a dozen or so spreads introducing the various heroes (who are basically the original line-up from the 1960s with the notable exception of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men) and then their key villains (so Dormammu is there for Doctor Strange, Loki for Thor etc.). You can then put together a portrait of the early Avengers who’ve not appeared so far (enter Hawkeye, the Black Widow, Vision and Quicksilver) followed by the Masters of Evil who’ve tried to annihilate the Avengers. Next up are the more recent Avenging teams as well as other superhero groups such as the Guardians of the Galaxy (recent version), countered with a further set of villains. A set of bases for both sides follows (so Oscorp and Stark Tower are there).
The next batch of pages gives a complete spread to Iron Man and those around him (although somehow War Machine has become James Rhodey!), followed by a spread on Ultron, and then one on SHIELD, which includes Sharon Carter, Phil Coulson and Daisy Johnson (comics version rather than TV). After that comes sections on peculiar powers (such as Hank Pym’s “antsy abilities”!), sinister skills (Klaw’s “nasty noise”) and then awesome weapons – which includes Doc Ock’s arms. After a battleground spread which looks as if Zack Snyder’s already been to town, the spreads conclude with some famous battles, and a few menaces from outer space.
And there are stickers. Lots and lots and lots of stickers – more than enough to recreate many, many issues of Marvel over the years.
Effectively set to tie in with Captain America: Civil War, this book concentrates purely on those Marvel heroes who are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – so Spidey is in here, courtesy of the deal with Sony, but no Wolverine, Deadpool, Ghost Rider etc. For young readers, it’s a glimpse into the larger world of the Marvel universe beyond the feature films – and one that I’m sure they’ll love.
Verdict: The Marvel Universe seen through the prism of the MCU with enough stickers to keep any child happy – and any fridge covered. 7/10