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Updated Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

Old 06-27-08, 06:06 AM
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Updated Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

I have been absent from the world of comics for quite a few years and would like to be refreshed with the past and present happenings in the Marvel Universe. Years ago the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe was published as a series. I am wondering if the series has been updated and in what format? Would it be published in the black and white books which contain several issues? This would be the format I prefer rather than buying each individual issue.

Thanks in advance for the advice and replies.

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Old 06-27-08, 10:36 AM
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There are black and white collections of the three sets of handbooks from the 80s and early 90s (the original from 1982-83, the Deluxe edition from 1985-88, and the Master Edition from 1990-93). These are straight reprints and are out of date.

Begining about 5 years ago, Marvel began putting out new handbooks. These are generally themed around a particular concept (Spider-Man handbook, X-Men handbook, Marvel Horror handbook) and are by no means comprehensive in terms of which characters are covered.

Honestly, your best bet in this day and age is Google. Most major characters have detailed wikipedia pages. Most minor characters have pages at the Marvel Handbook Appendix web page.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:03 AM
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Re: Updated Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

Does the Marvel Encyclopedia and Marvel Chronicle replace the concept of the Handbooks?
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Old 06-23-09, 04:46 PM
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Re: Updated Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
Does the Marvel Encyclopedia and Marvel Chronicle replace the concept of the Handbooks?
Are these the hardcover books that are sold in bookstores? I always thought they were for the more casual audience.

I collected some of the comic-sized ones, but because I don't follow the Marvel Universe except for trade format, there were too many spoilers, and stuff changed too quickly. They also started putting some entries into some of the TPBs, I'm not sure if it's to pad the page count or what (for instance, the latest Nova trade collected only 4 issues, a special that partially reprinted Nova #1, and handbook entries).

I also picked up some of the old Essential collections, but they are, of course, outdated, and it's hard to read so many entries.

I am perhaps the only one that actually liked the DC Who's Who binders... I thought it was a neat idea to be able to sort entries in a binder. Unfortunately, they were pretty expensive IIRC, and they stopped after a couple of years. Nowadays, the internet is the way to go, I'm surprised Marvel doesn't have an online Handbook.
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Old 06-23-09, 09:51 PM
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Re: Updated Handbook of the Marvel Universe?

I recently received as a gift the DC Encyclopedia and was really surprised on how complete and accurate it is. I think almost every character that has ever appeared on a DC comic book was featured. It is as good as those Who's Who that DC use to publish. Haven't checked if the Marvel one is similar, so that is why I was asking. Looking at the reviews, it appears that they do the job.
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