Review of Captain America – The Ultimate Guide to the First Avenger by Matt Forbeck

Eat Vibranium 

I’m a big fan of Captain America, I have the entire collection on DVD-ROM and have read them (no minor task mind you) so when I saw that DK was publishing a definitive guide to Cap, I put it immediately on my wish list.  Even better, it was written by Matt Forbeck, a fellow gaming author and comrade in arms.

DK has published some awesome books covering comic books. Their encyclopedias for DC and Marvel are must-haves if you are running a superhero RPG or are just a fan.  This book falls in the same category, concentrating on Captain America starting with the WWII era books up to the present.  I hope that DK is planning more of these hero-cetric books having read this one cover-to-cover.

The very early material interested me the most – the pre-Marvel days when Captain America was punching out Adolph Hitler. There was some material there I was not familiar with (these early works are not in my collection).  Matt did an awesome job of bringing this forward for a new generation.

As you read this book you come to grips that Captain America, Bucky, and Red Skull have been rebooted more times than the James Bond franchise.  A lot of people have picked up the shield over the years and I had forgotten that until I dove into this book.  Forbeck does an outstanding job of walking you through all of the incarnations of this fantastic hero.  I love the summery write-ups of key issues as well.

From a writer’s perspective, I have to applaud Matt’s work here.  For those of you that have never written a book like this, with lead articles and a number of sidebars, it is a lot of logistical work.  Been there – done that.  Forbeck’s prose is tight and there’s a lot of consistency here which I’ll attribute to him (though I’m sure his editor played a role).  Writing a tome like this is not an easy undertaking and keeping it organized had to be a big chore.  Of course we all benefited from it.

I purchased it as a hard copy book so my grandson Trenton could enjoy it.  He took two nights of reading time to flip through every richly illustrated page.  It passed his muster and mine from a reading perspective.  There’s a lot of material here and the stories are all very interesting.  We get all of Cap’s allies and enemies detailed out, as well as how they have morphed over the decades.

I give this five out of five stars if you are a Cap fan.  If not, this will get you up to speed pretty quick.  Pick it up and enjoy!

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