Review: Golden Age of DC Comics, 1935-1956

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Impressive cover, right? I was so excited when I saw this series on Amazon. I know Paul Levitz’s work and I hoped this would be everything I’ve come to expect from him. And in one way, it is. But only because I’ve read most of it before. Let me explain.

Lesson number one for me here is to ALWAYS click the “show more” in61fK6bDqf4L._SY300_ the book description. I read the first paragraph and was sold. The book arrived yesterday, and I anxiously tore into the package. The cover is, as mentioned, impressive. I opened the book and began eagerly scanning the pages, and that is when it hit me. These images seemed really, really familiar to me. At that moment I did not have time to investigate further because I needed to head out the door for an appointment, but as soon as I returned, I pulled up the coffee tabel, went to my “laptop” desk, and grabbed my copy (all 18 pounds of it) of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking also by Paul Levitz. I placed both books on the coffee table (takes a fairly stable table to hold them both) and began a page by page comparison.

To be fair, The Golden Age of DC Comics, 1935-1956 has an awesome interview by Paul Levitz with Joe Kubert. Beyond that, however, the books are very, very similar. The text portion is often reduced somewhat from the 75 Years version, but most of the pictures are the same. To change things up a bit, they have taken smaller pictures from 75 Years and enlarged them in The Golden Age and vice versa. Had I clicked the “show more” under the description on Amazon, I would have read “Expanded from the Eisner Award–winning XL book, 75 Years of DC Comics . . . .” I probably still would have been sold because it states that it is expanded, and in one way, I guess it is because it does have the interview with Joe Kubert. Other than that, however, I’ve notice more reductions, at least in the text, than expansions.

I currently have the other two, The Silver Age of DC Comics and The Bronze Age of DC Comics, on pre-order. Whether or not I will keep them on pre-order is yet to be determined. There are several reasons a person might wish to order these books: 1) if they have not bought 75 Years of DC Comics, 2) you don’t wish to spend $130+ on the larger book, 3) you’re not sure how you would handle a 720 page book that weighs in just over 18 pounds and is 15.6 x 3.5 x 11.4 inches big. While The Golden Age is a large book at 400 pages, 5.5 pounds, and 12.8 x 1.7 x 9.4 inches large, it’s still a LOT more reasonable to handle than 75 Years. I’m also hoping that as I continue to look through the book, I’ll notice further additions of images not included in 75 Years. If I do, then yes, I’ll keep the other two on order. And even if I don’t, I have to admit that handling this book is much easier than trying to deal with 75 Years.

If you own 75 Years and decide to buy The Golden Age, please do not be disappointed that much of the content is the same. Go in knowing that and you’re sure to love The Golden Age as much as 75 Years.

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