ICYMI | DC’s WHO’S WHO Arrives on Digital
The classic encyclopedic compendium gets the digital treatment and helps to save countless amount of shelf space by providing fans with a directory to comic’s biggest players!
Feeling nostalgic yet? You will be once you deep dive into Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe released on DC’s and digital comics reader app. The full 26-issue initial run released in 1984 of the encyclopedic tome coincided with the publishing giant’s 50th Anniversary and was a invaluable companion piece to the world-changing Crisis on Infinite Earths maxi-seres which would ultimately redefine and arguably alter many of the guide’s inaugural entires.
Imagine the task set upon by creatives to catalog and chronicle the various histories and power sets of an immeasurable cast of characters that had been accumulating for more than 50 years. That was the mission faced by the editors, writers and illustrators of the Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe. In 1982 Marvel Comics had led the way with their itemization of their cast of characters with the 15-issue Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. With a much more profound publishing history, DC had a Golden Age as well as a Silver Age to invest in.
Over the course of its 26-issue releases Who’s Who alphabetically detailed both major and minor characters from the DC multiverse, including Golden Age characters like the Superman of Earth-2 and the full roster of the All-Star Squadron, alongside their Silver Age counterparts including The Flash and more contemporary heroes like Nightwing the original Silver Age Robin. Who’s Who ran consecutively as Marv Wolfman and George Pérez begun the huge undertaking of redefining and streamlining the DC Universe in the now classic Crisis on Infinite Earths event.
Many of the heroes and villains populating the DC multiverse would inevitably become affected by the outcome of the earths-shattering event which resulted in a single DC Comics universe with a more historically fertile landscape. Some of the larger characters in the pantheon including Superman and especially Wonder Woman would be significantly affected and were among the first “revised” entries within the original volume to reflect the conclusion of the Crisis. Future installments of Who’s Who would more accurately define major arcs and changes to the timeline.
From A to Z
An answer to the competitors massively indexed and popular Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe the two editions differed dramatically in their presentation of the material. Who’s Who attempted to incapsulate the individual entry to one page, even for its biggest players, while also elegantly adorning the entry with pin-up style artwork by the industries biggest names. It wasn’t uncommon for the most devoted fans to single out their favorite entries and pin them to their wall. Later installments of Who’s Who followed the same format.
Who’s Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe (1985 - 1987) all 26-issues are available for digital download via the DC comics reader app at $1.99 per issue from DC Comics.