When I’m not being a comics geek, I’m a basketball geek. I go over statistics and box scores all the time; it’s how you can win arguments on how awesome Pete Maravich was without being alive during his hey-day. Thanks to books/series like Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Who’s Who in the DC Universe, fanboys everywhere can scientifically compare their favorite comic book characters.
These books are the holy grail of comic book trivia. Characters’ height, family origins, where they went to college, how much they can bench press, pretty much anything you would ever want to know about your favorite comic book characters.
During the trading card mania that gripped the United States in the 1990s, there were several card sets devoted to comics. Many of them had statistics on the back of them, quantifiying how strong Thor was and the like.
Kids today have it so easy. They can just go online and hit up Wikipedia and find this stuff out. But back in the day, you would hoard your Handbooks and Who’s Who‘s and your cards just in the event you needed to tell someone why Captain Atom could beat up Thanos.