Marvel Vehicles Owner’s Workshop Manual by Alex Irvine (book review)

In many respects, I would have thought Haynes would have covered the Marvel Universe before now but finally we have the ‘Marvel Vehicles Owner’s Workshop Manual’, with material from the US Insights Edition. It might not show you how to repair them but you can see the inner workings and how much of Iron Man’s repulsor technology was used in SHIELD and Avengers vehicles. If anything, it’s more surprising that Hydra or AIM didn’t use the opportunity to get under Shellhead’s mechanised armour.


Seeing the variety of X-planes that the X-Men have used, the only one that is missed out is that of the air-jet that they had acquired from the Living Pharoah. Granted they didn’t use it much and probably a minor detail and mothballed somewhere so it’s a mote point.

The Avengers’ Quinjet has always been well renowned and even appears in the recent film and the ‘Agents Of SHIELD’ TV series, albeit with an added invisibility function. The one thing that is missed out is just where it got its name from?

For all of these vehicles, there is little disclosure of fuel and, as with the X-planes, where they refuelled in mid-air. Considering that their Blackbirds are essentially modified SR-71s before they had Shi-ar alien tech added, they would still have needed fuel planes. Unlike the selection of supernatural motorbikes that were run on hellfire which fortunately didn’t need a petrol station to refuel from. Thor’s chariot just relies on a couple of large goats

Much of the extra dialogue comes from Nick Fury and Cyclops, although there are snippets from Spider-Man, the Punisher, Rocket Racoon and…er…Deadpool.

There is quite a selection of pictures included. My two full page favourites are those of the Green Goblin and Hobgoblin. There are comicbook panels showing usage and none of it looks like padding.

Although these cutaways are not as detailed as released back in the 1980s with the various Marvel Universe Handbooks these will be enough for younger comic fans to enjoy the illustrations and grow into the text. The fact that I’ve been raking my brains as to what was missed out, especially when several alien vessels have been included, and still pondering at least shows some area of completeness.

I do hope that Haynes and Insights see this particular handbook as a means to cover over aspects of the Marvel Universe. It would be great to see the various buildings and technology covered, let alone mechanised armour and cyborgs that populate their reality.

GF Willmetts

December 2014

(pub: Haynes. 159 page illustrated large hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-85733-792-4)

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