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Saving the world, one superhero at a time

China Daily Asia | Updated: 2017-06-20 11:04

Saving the world, one superhero at a time

Cover of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking [Photo/Courtesy of Taschen]

For countless comic-book fans around the world, DC Comics remains one of the format's holy names alongside Marvel. Established in 1934 as National Allied Publications, in February 1935 founder Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson debuted New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine – a tabloid-sized comic book of all-new material in an era when the majority of comics were castoffs from the newspaper strips. In the latter half of the 1930s, the name (and the size) evolved, creating the famed titles Adventure Comics, Detective Comics and Action Comics. DC was headquartered in Manhattan for more than 80 years, though in 2015 it upped stakes and relocated to Burbank, California.

In 1935, the American publisher has long been associated with its two most popular – and oldest – characters: Superman and Batman. However, DC has created numerous other famed superheroes and superheroines with whom you may be familiar, including Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. These names have either already been brought to the big screen, or are in the process of making their movie debuts in the next year or two.

As its long-time fans have grown up and new fans have joined the fray, DC's top two world-savers have been supported by growing audiences around the world for decades. According to Box Office Mojo, Superman's first major film in 1978 brought in more than $300 million at the global box office, while the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ranked the seventh highest-grossing film last year, marking a new record for the Superman franchise with a take of more than $873 million worldwide. As for Batman, 2008's The Dark Knight still leads the pack at more than $1 billion globally.

Celebrating DC's 75th anniversary in 2010, art-book publisher Taschen released Paul Levitz's stunning oversized volume 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Long out of print, what's claimed to be the "single most comprehensive book on DC Comics" – and indeed, Levitz worked in a variety of roles at DC for 38 years – has received the re-edition treatment.

This time around, the rich content of the massive original, which won the Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Comics-Related Book of the Year, is presented in a more compact hardcover form. Generously measuring 25cm by 34.2cm, it features 720 pages with more than 2,000 original full-colour images. Multilingual translations in German, French or Spanish will also be available. This is one tome you’ll want on your shelf for life.

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