DC Comics Character Encyclopedia – New Edition Review

DC Comics Character Encyclopedia review

Back when True North Bricks began, one of my earliest reviews was the first edition of the DC Comics Character Encyclopedia. While entertaining for an AFOL returning to the hobby and DC Comics fan, I had some issues with the book. Firstly, it was organized chronologically and not by character. Additionally, it relied heavily on sets to fill pages as opposed to focusing on Minifigures. Finally, the first edition was already out of date when it hit store shelves. However, you acquired an exclusive minifig. The new edition fixes some of these issues and offers a new exclusive Minifigure. Does that make it worth $28.99 CAD? Today, we take a closer look to find out.

NOTE: if you prefer a video review, use the video player at the end of the article, or click here to go watch the review on YouTube.

Cover art for both editions of the DC Comics Character Encyclopedia.
DC Comic Character Encyclopedia second edition (left) and first edition (right) cover art.

Let me begin with a simple truth: I bought the new edition of this book for the exclusive Val Zod Superman minifig. In fact, I bought the first edition mostly for Pirate Batman. What can I say? I am sucker for exclusive minifigs. Do I like one minifig more than the other? No, they are both fun. Each one has nice, dual-sided torso printing and front leg printing. However, neither one has dual molded legs. As such, the print on the front does not extend around the sides or back. Additionally, Pirate Batman has a doubled-sided face whereas Val Zod does not. However, that makes sense for Val Zod given his hairpiece leaves the back of his head exposed. You’ll note the cape is also different in the images below. Batman’s features the two neck attachment loops. Conversely, Val Zod’s cape only has one.

I shamelessly bought both editions of this book for the exclusive Minifigures.

Interestingly, the second edition of the DC Comics Character Encyclopedia features new Minifigure packaging. In the past, book covers made the minifig visible through plastic blister packaging. However, the second edition comes only with an image of Val Zod on the cover. The minifig arrives disassembled behind a cardboard flap in the inside cover. A sticker seal covers the flap to prevent tampering. This option is certainly more environmentally friendly. Additionally, if you remove the minifig from your book, you no longer have a blank space in the cover. The sticker comes off neatly as well. Consequently, you don’t have to worry about damaging the inside cover.

The organization of the book certainly improved over the first edition. I did not like the chronological organization of the original. It meant flipping through page after page to see all the variants of one particular character. In the new edition, the characters are still not alphabetically organized in true encyclopedic form. However, the arrangement follows categories. Therefore, all Superman characters in one section, all Batman heroes in another, etc. Variants of each character are also clumped together, making comparison easier. On top of that, the new edition relies much less on sets to fill its pages. Considering this is a Minifigure encyclopedia, too much of the first edition focused on sets.

The new edition is organized better than the original.

Speaking of Minifigure variants, there are few missing… or at least not clearly visible. For example, Aquaman. Three versions of Aquaman appear in the new edition. Each gets its own page. However, there are presently six different versions of the Minifigure. If you look closely at the small images on each page, you can actually pick out all six if you know what you are looking for. I would rather see clear pictures of each that allow design comparisons. If you did not already know there are two versions of the Jason Momoa Aquaman, you’d be hard pressed to figure it out using this book. Aquaman is but one example of this throughout the volume.

Otherwise, the new edition is not markedly different from first. The text remains largely unchanged. For example, in the Superboy excerpt below. The layout varies a little, however the text is virtually identical. With that said, the new edition includes updates where necessary. For example, Supergirl. A new, limited edition Supergirl Minifigure arrived in 2020. Consequently, she replaces previous information provided in the first edition. Of course, this sort of rehashing of text is expected from one edition to another. The new edition also contain six more years of Minifigures than the first.

Much of the content remains the same between the first and second editions.

One of my biggest contentious issues with DK LEGO® books is that they are almost always out of date before they hit store shelves. In the information age we live in, reference books just cannot keep up with the internet. However, the new edition of the DC Comics Character Encyclopedia is actually up to date. At least, it is for now. This is the first DK book I have acquired that is not out of date on purchase. Obviously, that will not last. But for now, the book includes entries from 2006 all the way through the recent Robert Pattinson Batman sets.

The new edition is actually up to date… for now.

The set gallery from the first edition was removed in the new version.

One aspect from the first edition that I miss is the set gallery. Yes, I know, I said before the first edition relied too heavily on sets. However, I really liked the box art section at the back. It was out of place for a Minifigure encyclopedia, but it was fun to have. Perhaps DK should include it in the next set encyclopedia they produce? Otherwise, I think the new edition is an improvement over the first. It flows better, for sure. Additionally, Val Zod is an amazing Minifigure for DC Comics and Superman fans. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,

-Tom

Note: if you are thinking of acquiring the new DC Comics Character Encyclopedia, consider using our affiliate links below. Making a purchase using these links earns True North Bricks a small commission at no extra cost to you. That helps keep our content free. You can buy the new edition at:

Additionally, the first edition is still available at Chapters and Indigo if you want Pirate Batman 😉

Watch this review on YouTube!

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The new edition rehashes a lot of information from the first, starting at the front page.