"THE AVENGERS: Ultimate Guide to Earth's Mightiest Heroes!" by Scott Beatty, Alan Cowsill and Alastair Dougall, DK Publishing, $24.99, 200 pages (f)
"The Avengers" was one of the most successful movies of 2012, making record-breaking income and playing in theaters across the globe.
If you saw the movie, you may think you know something about the Avengers. But unless you've followed the comics for the past five decades, you really don't know anything. For example, what superheroes were founding members of the Avengers? If you don't know, you can find out by opening a new book titled "The Avengers: Ultimate Guide to Earth's Mightiest Heroes!" by DK Publishing.
According to the "Avengers Ultimate Guide," the first issue of the "Avengers" came out in September 1963. It lists the following superheroes as founding members: Iron Man, Thor, Ant-man, The Wasp and Hulk. Literally everything you wanted to know about earth's mightiest superheroes is found within this beautiful coffee table-style book. Each page is glossy, full color and the edges are dipped in silver trim.
DK breaks down the history of the Avengers by following a timeline from the beginning of the comic book's start to the present day. The book begins in the '60s and details the plot lines in serial fashion month after month. One of a million facts contained in the book: It was only 12 cents for the first Avengers comic book and the first villain was Loki, Thor's evil brother. The timeline continues to detail the major plots through 2012.
One of the most interesting things about "The Avengers" is all of the different heroes that have joined or helped out over the years. Did you know Spiderman joined the Avengers as a reserve member? One of Spiderman's foes, The Sandman, tried to become a member, claiming he had reformed himself but never was granted official status. How about members of the Fantastic Four? Did any of them join the Avengers? Yep, the book reveals! Mister Fantastic, She-Hulk, Human Torch and the Invisible Woman were all at one point Avengers.
And how about romance? Older Avengers fans will never forget the wedding between Scarlet Witch and the android called Vision. Eventually, Scarlet Witch used her hex power to create two imaginary children so her and Vision could be parents. Other fans remember with fondness the on-again-off-again romance between Black Widow and Hawkeye. Hawkeye even proposed marriage at one point but Black Widow backed out and declined. The drama is all detailed in the new DK guide.
A number of Avengers guides and encyclopedias have been published over the years, but for Avengers fans, this book is the most current and one of the most attractive. The artwork is amazing. If you don't own any of the previous incarnations, this book would be a worthy companion.
Ryan Morgenegg is a multimedia specialist for the Deseret News.