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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: What’s An OHOTMU?
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: What’s An OHOTMU?

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly show discussing and celebrating all things comic books. This week, host Amy Dallen was joined by guests B. Dave Walters and Hector Navarro to talk about handbooks, guides, and encyclopedias of your favorite comic book universes.

“The reason I know what I know [about comic books] is because of stuff like this,” said Hector.

“In the pre-internet age, this was the way to settle arguments,” B. Dave said. “This was it.”

While picking up a handbook may seem like a waste of money because comic book universes and characters change so frequently, Hector argued that an encyclopedic book is a priceless snapshot in time of that era’s comics, and will remain fascinating no matter how many years pass.

Hector brought an impressive collection of handbooks and guides, and here are a few the hosts chatted about if you’re looking to add a few to your own bookshelf.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, or OHOTMU, is the go-to collection of facts and stats about your favorite Marvel characters. The first handbook, edited and written by Mark Gruenwald, was created in 1982 as a series of comic book issues covering just about all of the significant characters and locations found in Marvel’s stories.

“It really set the template for any project like this,” said Hector.

(Marvel Comics)

Marvel Legacy: The 1960s-1990s

Written in the style of the Official Handbook, Marvel Legacy books are organized by decade, covering the storylines and events of those years. The books are strictly limited to those years, excluding any character developments or changes that came later.

“This must have been so hard!” said Amy. “This is impossible. I am excited.”

(Marvel Comics)

Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe

Marvel’s official handbook was matched by DC Comics in the Who’s Who comic books released in the 1908s. Released in single issues, from A to Z, characters and locations both popular and obscure were featured in its pages.

“[Entries] are written sometimes by the same people and they’re written the same way,” said Hector. “They’re not less [informational]. They’re like, ‘Here’s what happened to Eel O’Brian. He was trapped in a vat of chemicals,’ and you’re like, ‘Whoa, this is just as good as Batman!’ It equalizes everything across the board.”

(DC Comics)

Marvel Cinematic Universe Guidebook

Marvel Cinematic Universe Guidebook

Marvel movies have become so big and interconnected that even the Marvel Cinematic Universe has its own guidebooks. Organized by heroes and franchises, handbooks are available about everything MCU from Agent Carter to Thor.

“The Marvel Cinematic Universe, you cannot ignore it, because of how well they planned this thing,” Hector said.

(Marvel Comics)

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Character Guide and World Compendium

Fitting in everything He-Man and She-Ra into one book might seem like an impossible task, but Dark Horse Comics has done it. With over 4000 entries, this compendium covers characters, toys, cartoons, locations, and more.

“This thing is nuts,” Hector said. “They cover every iteration of Masters of the Universe.”

(Dark Horse Comics)

Amy, Hector, and B. Dave also chatted about and flipped through handbooks like the Official Handbook of the Invincible Universe, The Multiversity Guidebook, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, and The Defenders: Strange Heroes.

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel every Wednesday night to catch the next amazing episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Image: Geek & Sundry

Other Images: Marvel Comics

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