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Marvel Comics

This article is about the comic book company using this


name beginning in 1961. For the earlier comic book
series, see Marvel Mystery Comics.

Marvel Comics is the common name and primary im-


print of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Pub-
lishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, an American
publisher of comic books and related media. In 2009,
The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertain-
ment, Marvel Worldwides parent company.
Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by
the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas
Comics. Marvels modern incarnation dates from 1961,
the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four
and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack
Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others.
Marvel counts among its characters such well-known su-
perheroes as Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man,
Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange,
Ms. Marvel, Deadpool, Wolverine and Ant-Man, such
teams as the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the
Fantastic Four, the Defenders, and the X-Men, and an-
tagonists such as Doctor Doom, Red Skull, Green Gob-
lin, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, Thanos, Magneto and Loki.
Most of Marvels ctional characters operate in a single
reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), the rst comic from Marvel pre-
mirror real-life cities. Characters such as Spider-Man, cursor Timely Comics. Cover art by Frank R. Paul.
the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Daredevil and Doctor
Strange are based in New York City,[1][2] whereas the X-
Men have historically been based in Salem Center, New
Abraham Goodman ocially listed as publisher.[8]
York[3][4][5] and Hulks stories often have been set in the
American Southwest.[6] Timelys rst publication, Marvel Comics #1 (cover dated
Oct. 1939), included the rst appearance of Carl Bur-
gos' android superhero the Human Torch, and the rst
appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-
1 History Mariner,[9] among other features.[7] The issue was a great
success, with it and a second printing the following month
1.1 Timely Publications selling, combined, nearly 900,000 copies.[10] While its
contents came from an outside packager, Funnies, Inc.,[7]
Main article: Timely Comics Timely had its own sta in place by the following year.
Martin Goodman founded the company later known as The companys rst true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon,
Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in teamed with artist and emerging industry notable Jack
1939.[7][8] Martin Goodman, a pulp magazine publisher Kirby to create one of the rst patriotically themed
who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was ex- superheroes,[11] Captain America, in Captain America
panding into the emergingand by then already highly Comics #1 (March 1941). It, too, proved a hit, with
popularnew medium of comic books. Launching his sales of nearly one million.[10] Goodman formed Timely
new line from his existing companys oces at 330 West Comics, Inc., beginning with comics cover-dated April
42nd Street, New York City, he ocially held the titles 1941 or Spring 1941.[12][13]
of editor, managing editor, and business manager, with While no other Timely character would achieve the suc-

1
2 1 HISTORY

cess of these three characters, some notable heroes the Friendly Ghost) and Homer Hooper ( la Archie An-
many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon drews). Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive super-
appearances and ashbacksinclude the Whizzer, Miss heroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human
America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, and the Torch (art by Syd Shores and Dick Ayers, variously),
Angel. Timely also published one of humor cartoon- the Sub-Mariner (drawn and most stories written by Bill
ist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Everett), and Captain America (writer Stan Lee, artist
Pepper",[14][15] as well as a line of childrens funny-animal
John Romita Sr.). Atlas did not achieve any breakout
comics featuring popular characters like Super Rabbit hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiey be-
and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. cause it produced work quickly, cheaply, and at a passable
[25]
Goodman hired his wifes cousin, [16]
Stanley Lieber, quality.
as a general oce assistant in 1939.[17] When edi-
tor Simon left the company in late 1941,[18] Goodman
made Lieberby then writing pseudonymously as "Stan
Lee"interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee
kept for decades except for three years during his mili-
tary service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for
Timely, contributing to a number of dierent titles.
Goodmans business strategy involved having his various
magazines and comic books published by a number of
corporations all operating out of the same oce and with
the same sta.[13] One of these shell companies through
which Timely Comics was published was named Mar-
vel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55 (May
1944). As well, some comics covers, such as All Surprise
Comics #12 (Winter 194647), were labeled A Marvel
Magazine many years before Goodman would formally
adopt the name in 1961.[19]

1.2 Atlas Comics

Main article: Atlas Comics (1950s)

The post-war American comic market saw superheroes


falling out of fashion.[20] Goodmans comic book line
dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider
variety of genres than even Timely had published, featur-
ing horror, Westerns, humor, funny animal, mens adven- The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961). Cover art by Jack Kirby
ture-drama, giant monster, crime, and war comics, and (penciler) and unconrmed inker.
later adding jungle books, romance titles, espionage, and
even medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports.
1.3 Comic Code Authority
Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas
News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he During this time, the Comic Code Authority made its
owned,[21] on comics cover-dated November 1951 even debut in September 1954, spearheaded by German-
though another company, Kable News, continued to dis- American psychiatrist Fredrick Wortham. Wortham
tribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.[22] published the book Seduction of the Innocent in order to
This globe branding united a line put out by the same pub- force people to see that comics were impacting American
lisher, sta and freelancers through 59 shell companies, youth. He believed violent comics were causing children
from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications.[23] to be reckless and were turning them into delinquents.
Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of follow- In September 1954, comic book publishers got to-
ing popular trends in television and moviesWesterns gether to set up their own self-censorship organization
and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie the Comics Magazine Association of Americain or-
monsters another timeand even other comic books, der to appease audiences. The next month, the code
particularly the EC horror line.[24] Atlas also published was published, forcing comic book companies to send
a plethora of childrens and teen humor titles, includ- their comics to them in order to gain their seal of ap-
ing Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost ( la Casper proval. The stamp on the cover showed audiences that
1.5 Cadence Industries ownership 3

the comics were considered wholesome, entertaining, and nist agents attack Ant-Man in his laboratory,
educational.[26][27] red henchmen jump the Fantastic Four on the
moon, and Viet Cong guerrillas take potshots
at Iron Man.[34]
1.4 Marvel Comics
The rst modern comic books under the Marvel Comics All of these elements struck a chord with the older read-
brand were the science-ction anthology Journey into ers, such as college-aged adults, and they successfully
Mystery #69 and the teen-humor title Patsy Walker #95 gained in a way not seen before. In 1965, Spider-Man and
(both cover dated June 1961), which each displayed the Hulk were both featured in Esquire magazines list of
an MC box on its cover.[28] Then, in the wake of 28 college campus heroes, alongside John F. Kennedy and
DC Comics' success in reviving superheroes in the late Bob Dylan.[35] In 2009 writer Geo Boucher reected
1950s and early 1960s, particularly with the Flash, Green that, Superman and DC Comics instantly seemed like
Lantern, and other members of the team the Justice boring old Pat Boone; Marvel felt like The Beatles and the
League of America, Marvel followed suit.[n 1] British Invasion. It was Kirbys artwork with its tension
and psychedelia that made it perfect for the timesor was
In 1961, writer-editor Stan Lee revolutionized superhero it Lees bravado and melodrama, which was somehow in-
comics by introducing superheroes designed to appeal secure and brash at the same time?"[36]
to more older readers than the predominantly child au-
diences of the medium. Modern Marvels rst super- In addition to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, Mar-
hero team, the titular stars of The Fantastic Four #1 vel began publishing further superhero titles featuring
(Nov. 1961),[29] broke convention with other comic book such heroes and antiheroes as the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man,
archetypes of the time by squabbling, holding grudges Iron Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, the Inhumans, Black
both deep and petty, and eschewing anonymity or secret Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and the Silver
identities in favor of celebrity status. Subsequently, Mar- Surfer, and such memorable antagonists as Doctor Doom,
vel comics developed a reputation for focusing on charac- Magneto, Galactus, Loki, the Green Goblin, and Doctor
terization and adult issues to a greater extent than most su- Octopus, all existing in a shared reality known as the
perhero comics before them, a quality which the new gen- Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities
eration of older readers appreciated.[30] This applied to such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
The Amazing Spider-Man title in particular, which turned Marvel even lampooned itself and other comics compa-
out to be Marvels most successful book. Its young hero nies in a parody comic, Not Brand Echh (a play on Mar-
suered from self-doubt and mundane problems like any vels dubbing of other companies as Brand Echh, la
other teenager, something readers could identify with. the then-common phrase Brand X).[37]
Lee and freelance artist and eventual co-plotter Jack
Kirby's Fantastic Four originated in a Cold War culture
that led their creators to revise the superhero conventions
1.5 Cadence Industries ownership
of previous eras to better reect the psychological spirit
In 1968, while selling 50 million comic books a year,
of their age.[31] Eschewing such comic-book tropes as se-
company founder Goodman revised the constraining dis-
cret identities and even costumes at rst, having a mon-
tribution arrangement with Independent News he had
ster as one of the heroes, and having its characters bicker
reached under duress during the Atlas years, allowing him
and complain in what was later called a superheroes in
now to release as many titles as demand warranted.[21]
the real world approach, the series represented a change
Late that year he sold Marvel Comics and his other pub-
that proved to be a great success.[32]
lishing businesses to the Perfect Film and Chemical Cor-
Marvel often presented awed superheroes, freaks, and poration, which continued to group them as the sub-
mistsunlike the perfect, handsome, athletic heroes sidiary Magazine Management Company, with Good-
found in previous traditional comic books. Some Marvel man remaining as publisher.[38] In 1969, Goodman nally
heroes looked like villains and monsters such as the Hulk ended his distribution deal with Independent by signing
and the Thing. This naturalistic approach even extended with Curtis Circulation Company.[21]
into topical politics.
In 1971, the United States Department of Health, Educa-
Comics historian Mike Benton also noted: tion, and Welfare approached Marvel Comics editor-in-
chief Stan Lee to do a comic book story about drug abuse.
In the world of [rival DC Comics'] Lee agreed and wrote a three-part Spider-Man story por-
Superman comic books, communism did traying drug use as dangerous and unglamorous. How-
not exist. Superman rarely crossed na- ever, the industrys self-censorship board, the Comics
tional borders or involved himself in political Code Authority, refused to approve the story because of
disputes.[33] From 1962 to 1965, there were the presence of narcotics, deeming the context of the
more communists [in Marvel Comics] than story irrelevant. Lee, with Goodmans approval, pub-
on the subscription list of Pravda. Commu- lished the story regardless in The Amazing Spider-Man
4 1 HISTORY

The Avengers #4 (March 1964), with (from left to right), the


Wasp, Giant-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and (inset) Howard the Duck #8 (Jan. 1977). Cover art by Gene Colan and
the Sub-Mariner. Cover art by Jack Kirby and George Roussos. Steve Leialoha

#9698 (MayJuly 1971), without the Comics Code seal. panding its comics line. Marvel pulled ahead of rival DC
The market reacted well to the storyline, and the CCA Comics in 1972, during a time when the price and format
subsequently revised the Code the same year.[39] of the standard newsstand comic were in ux.[42] Good-
Goodman retired as publisher in 1972 and installed man increased the price and size of Marvels November
1971 cover-dated comics from 15 cents for 36 pages to-
his son, Chip, as publisher,[40] Shortly thereafter, Lee
succeeded him as publisher and also became Marvels tal to 25 cents for 52 pages. DC followed suit, but Marvel
the following month dropped its comics to 20 cents for 36
president[40] for a brief time.[41] During his time as pres-
ident, he appointed as editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, who pages, oering a lower-priced product with a higher dis-
tributor discount.[43]
added Stan Lee Presents to the opening page of each
comic book.[40] Goodman, now disconnected from Marvel, set up a new
A series of new editors-in-chief oversaw the company company called Seaboard Periodicals in 1974, reviving
during another slow time for the industry. Once again, Marvels old Atlas name for a new Atlas [44]
Comics line, but
Marvel attempted to diversify, and with the updating this lasted only a year and a half. In the mid-1970s
of the Comics Code achieved moderate to strong suc- a decline of the newsstand distribution network aected
cess with titles themed to horror (The Tomb of Dracula), Marvel. Cult hits such as Howard the Duck fell victim to
martial arts, (Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu), sword- the distribution problems, with some titles reporting low
and-sorcery (Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja), satire sales when in fact the rst specialty comic book stores
(Howard the Duck) and science ction (2001: A Space resold them at a later date. But by the end of the decade,
Odyssey, "Killraven" in Amazing Adventures, Battlestar Marvels fortunes were reviving, thanks to the rise of
Galactica, Star Trek, and, late in the decade, the long- direct market distributionselling through those same
running Star Wars series). Some of these were published comics-specialty stores instead of newsstands.
in larger-format black and white magazines, under its Marvel held its own comic book convention, Marvelcon
Curtis Magazines imprint. Marvel was able to capitalize '75, in spring 1975, and promised a Marvelcon '76. At
on its successful superhero comics of the previous decade the 1975 event, Stan Lee used a Fantastic Four panel dis-
by acquiring a new newsstand distributor and greatly ex- cussion to announce that Jack Kirby, the artist co-creator
1.6 Marvel Entertainment Group ownership 5

of most of Marvels signature characters, was returning DC scored critical and sales victories[50] with titles and
to Marvel after having left in 1970 to work for rival DC limited series such as Watchmen, Batman: The Dark
Comics.[45] In October 1976, Marvel, which already li- Knight Returns, Crisis on Innite Earths, Byrnes revamp
censed reprints in dierent countries, including the UK, of Superman, and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing.
created a superhero specically for the British market.
Captain Britain debuted exclusively in the UK, and later
appeared in American comics.[46] 1.6 Marvel Entertainment Group owner-
ship
In 1986, Marvels parent, Marvel Entertainment Group
(MEG), was sold to New World Entertainment, which
within three years sold it to MacAndrews and Forbes,
owned by Revlon executive Ronald Perelman in 1989. In
1991 Perelman took MEG public. Following the rapid
rise of this stock, Perelman issued a series of junk bonds
that he used to acquire other entertainment companies,
secured by MEG stock.[51]

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1 (May 1984). Cover art by


Mike Zeck.[47]

In 1978, Jim Shooter became Marvels editor-in-chief.


Although a controversial personality, Shooter cured many
of the procedural ills at Marvel, including repeatedly
missed deadlines. During Shooters nine-year tenure as
editor-in-chief, Chris Claremont and John Byrne's run on
the Uncanny X-Men and Frank Miller's run on Daredevil
became critical and commercial successes.[48] Shooter
brought Marvel into the rapidly evolving direct mar-
Spider-Man #1, later renamed Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Au-
ket,[49] institutionalized creator royalties, starting with
gust 1990; second printing). Cover art by Todd McFarlane.
the Epic Comics imprint for creator-owned material in
1982; introduced company-wide crossover story arcs Marvel earned a great deal of money and recognition dur-
with Contest of Champions and Secret Wars; and in 1986 ing the comic book boom of the early 1990s, launch-
launched the ultimately unsuccessful New Universe line ing the successful 2099 line of comics set in the fu-
to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Marvel ture (Spider-Man 2099, etc.) and the creatively daring
Comics imprint. Star Comics, a children-oriented line though commercially unsuccessful Razorline imprint of
diering from the regular Marvel titles, was briey suc-
superhero comics created by novelist and lmmaker Clive
cessful during this period. Barker.[52][53] In 1990, Marvel began selling Marvel Uni-
Despite Marvels successes in the early 1980s, it lost verse Cards with trading card maker SkyBox Interna-
ground to rival DC in the latter half of the decade as tional. These were collectible trading cards that featured
many former Marvel stars defected to the competitor. the characters and events of the Marvel Universe. The
6 1 HISTORY

1990s saw the rise of variant covers, cover enhancements, relaunch some of its agship characters such as the
swimsuit issues, and company-wide crossovers that af- Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and outsource them to
fected the overall continuity of the ctional Marvel Uni- the studios of two of the former Marvel artists turned Im-
verse age Comics founders, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. The re-
Marvel suered a blow in early 1992, when seven launched titles, which saw the characters transported to
of its most prized artists Todd McFarlane (known a parallel universe with a history distinct from the main-
for his work on Spider-Man), Jim Lee (X-Men), stream Marvel Universe, were a solid success amidst a
Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine), generally struggling industry,[67] but Marvel discontin-
ued the experiment after a one-year run and returned the
Erik Larsen (The Amazing Spider-Man), Jim Valentino
(Guardians of the Galaxy), and Whilce Portacio left characters to the Marvel Universe proper.
to form Image Comics[54] in a deal brokered by Malibu
Comics' owner Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.[55] Three years
later Rosenberg sold Malibu to Marvel on November 1.7 Marvel Enterprises
3, 1994,[55][56][57][58][58][59][60] who acquired the then-
leading standard for computer coloring of comic books In 1997, Toy Biz and MEG merged to end the
(developed by Rosenberg) in the process,[61] but also bankruptcy, forming a new corporation, Marvel Enter-
integrating the Genesis Universe (Earth-1136) and the prises.[51] With his business partner Avi Arad, publisher
Ultraverse (Earth-93060) into Marvels multiverse. Bill Jemas, and editor-in-chief Bob Harras, Toy Biz
co-owner Isaac Perlmutter helped stabilize the comics
line.[68]
In 1998, the company launched the imprint Marvel
Knights, taking place just outside Marvel continuity with
better production qualtity. The imprint was helmed by
soon-to-become editor-in-chief Joe Quesada; it featured
tough, gritty stories showcasing such characters as the
Daredevil,[69] Inhumans and Black Panther.
With the new millennium, Marvel Comics emerged from
bankruptcy and again began diversifying its oerings.
In 2001, Marvel withdrew from the Comics Code Au-
thority and established its own Marvel Rating System for
comics. The rst title from this era to not have the code
was X-Force #119 (October 2001). Marvel also created
new imprints, such as MAX (an explicit-content line)
and Marvel Adventures (developed for child audiences).
In addition, the company created an alternate universe
imprint, Ultimate Marvel, that allowed the company to
reboot its major titles by revising and updating its char-
acters to introduce to a new generation.
Some of its characters have been turned into successful
lm franchises, such as the Men in Black movie series,
Marvels logo, circa 1990s starting in 1997, Blade movie series, starting in 1998, X-
Men movie series, starting in 2000, and the highest gross-
In late 1994, Marvel acquired the comic book distribu- ing series Spider-Man, beginning in 2002.[70]
tor Heroes World Distribution to use as its own exclu-
sive distributor.[62] As the industrys other major pub- In a cross-promotion, the November 1, 2006, episode of
lishers made exclusive distribution deals with other com- the CBS soap opera The Guiding Light, titled Shes a
panies, the ripple eect resulted in the survival of only Marvel, featured the character Harley Davidson Cooper
one other major distributor in North America, Diamond (played by Beth [71]
Ehlers) as a superheroine named the
Comic Distributors Inc. [63][64]
Then, by the middle of the Guiding Light. The characters story continued in an
decade, the industry had slumped, and in December 1996 eight-page backup feature, A New Light, that appeared
MEG led for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [51]
In in several Marvel titles published November 1 and 8.[72]
[73]
early 1997, when Marvels Heroes World endeavor failed, Also that year, Marvel created a wiki on its Web site.
Diamond also forged an exclusive deal with Marvel[65] In late 2007 the company launched Marvel Digital
giving the company its own section of its comics catalog Comics Unlimited, a digital archive of over 2,500 back
Previews.[66] issues available for viewing, for a monthly or annual sub-
[74]
In 1996, Marvel had some of its titles participate in scription fee.
"Heroes Reborn", a crossover that allowed Marvel to In 2009 Marvel Comics closed its Open Submissions Pol-
7

icy, in which the company had accepted unsolicited sam- In April 2013, Marvel and other Disney conglomer-
ples from aspiring comic book artists, saying the time- ate components began announcing joint projects. With
consuming review process had produced no suitably pro- ABC, a Once Upon a Time graphic novel was announced
fessional work.[75] The same year, the company com- for publication in September.[90] With Disney, Mar-
memorated its 70th anniversary, dating to its inception vel announced in October 2013 that in January 2014
as Timely Comics, by issuing the one-shot Marvel Mys- it would release its rst title under their joint Disney
tery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 and a variety of Kingdoms imprint Seekers of the Weird, a ve-issue
other special issues.[76][77] miniseries.[79] On January 3, 2014, fellow Disney sub-
sidiary Lucaslm Limited, LLC announced that as of
2015, Star Wars comics would once again be published
1.8 Disney conglomerate unit (2009 by Marvel.[91]
present) Following the events of the company-wide crossover
Secret Wars in 2015, a relaunched Marvel universe be-
gan in September 2015, called the All-New, All-Dierent
Marvel.[92]

2 Ocers
Michael Z. Hobson, Executive Vice President,
Publishing[93] Group vice-president, publishing
(1986)[94]

Stan Lee, executive vice president & publisher


(1986)[94]

Joseph Calamari, executive vice president (1986)[94]


Writers of Marvel titles in the 2010s include (seated left to right)
Ed Brubaker, Christos Gage, Matt Fraction and Brian Michael Jim Shooter, vice president and Editor-in-Chief
Bendis. (1986)[94]

On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company an-


nounced a deal to acquire Marvel Comics parent cor- 2.1 Publishers
poration, Marvel Entertainment, for $4 billion[78] or
$4.2 billion,[79] with Marvel shareholders to receive $30 Abraham Goodman 1939[8] ?
and 0.745 Disney shares for each share of Marvel they
own.[78] As of 2008, Marvel and its major, longtime Martin Goodman ? 1972[40]
competitor DC Comics shared over 80% of the Ameri-
can comic-book market.[80] As of September 2010, Mar- Charles Chip Goodman 1972[40]
vel switched its bookstores distribution company from
Stan Lee 1972 October 1996[40][41][93]
Diamond Book Distributors to Hachette Distribution Ser-
vices.[81] Shirrel Rhoades October 1996 October 1998[93]
Marvel relaunched the CrossGen imprint, owned by
Disney Publishing Worldwide, in March 2011.[82] Mar- Winston Fowlkes February 1998 November
vel and Disney Publishing began jointly publishing Dis- 1999[93]
ney/Pixar Presents magazine that May.[83]
Bill Jemas February 2000 2003[93]
Marvel discontinued its Marvel Adventures imprint in
March 2012,[84] and replaced them with a line of two ti- Dan Buckley 2003present[95]
[85]
tles connected to the Marvel Universe TV block. Also
in March, Marvel announced its Marvel ReEvolution ini-
tiative that included Innite Comics,[86] a line of digital 2.2 Editors-in-chief
comics, Marvel AR, an application software that provides
an augmented reality experience to readers and Marvel Marvels chief editor originally held the title of editor.
NOW!, a relaunch of most of the companys major titles This head editors title later became editor-in-chief.
with dierent creative teams.[87][88] Marvel NOW! also Joe Simon was the companys rst true chief-editor, with
saw the debut of new agship titles including Uncanny publisher Martin Goodman, who had served as titular ed-
Avengers and All-New X-Men.[89] itor only and outsourced editorial operations.
8 5 MARKET SHARE

In 1994 Marvel briey abolished the position of editor- 3 Ownership


in-chief, replacing Tom DeFalco with ve group editors-
in-chief. As Carl Potts described the 1990s editorial ar-
Martin Goodman (193919611968)
rangement:

Parent corporation
In the early '90s, Marvel had so many titles
that there were three Executive Editors, each
overseeing approximately 1/3 of the line. Bob Magazine Management Co. (19681973)
Budiansky was the third Executive Editor [fol-
lowing the previously appointed Mark Gruen- Cadence Industries (19731986)
wald and Potts]. We all answered to Editor-in-
Chief Tom DeFalco and Publisher Mike Hob- Marvel Entertainment Group (19861998)
son. All three Executive Editors decided not to
add our names to the already crowded credits Marvel Enterprises
on the Marvel titles. Therefore it wasn't easy
for readers to tell which titles were produced Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (19982005)
by which Executive Editor In late '94, Mar- Marvel Entertainment, Inc (20052009)
vel reorganized into a number of dierent pub-
lishing divisions, each with its own Editor-in- Marvel Entertainment, LLC (2009present, a
Chief.[96] wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney
Company)
Marvel reinstated the overall editor-in-chief position in
1995 with Bob Harras.
4 Oces
2.3 Executive Editor Located in New York City, Marvel has had successive
headquarters:
Originally called associate editor when Marvels chief ed-
itor just carried the title of editor, the title of the next
highest editorial position became executive editor under in the McGraw-Hill Building,[8][100] where it origi-
the chief editor title of editor-in-chief. The title of as- nated as Timely Comics in 1939
sociate editor later was revived under the editor-in-chief
as an editorial position in charge of few titles under the in suite 1401 of the Empire State Building[100]
direction of an editor and without an assistant editor.
at 635 Madison Avenue (the actual location, though
the comic books indicia listed the parent publishing-
Associate Editor companys address of 625 Madison Ave.)[100]

Chris Claremont ?1976 575 Madison Avenue;[100]

Jim Shooter January 5, 1976 January 2, 1978[97] 387 Park Avenue South[100]

Executive Editor 10 East 40th Street[100]

417 Fifth Avenue[100]


Tom DeFalco 1987
a 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2 ) space at 135 W.
Mark Gruenwald 19871994, senior editor 1995 50th Street[101][102]
1996

Carl Potts Epic 19891994,[96] 1995


5 Market share
Bob Budiansky early '90s 1994[96]

Bobbie Chase 19952001 In August 2016, Marvel held a 30.78% share of the
comics market, compared to its competitor DC Comics'
Tom Brevoort 2007present[98] 39.27% share.[103] By comparison, the companies re-
spectively held 33.50% and 30.33% shares in 2013, and
Axel Alonso 2010 January 2011[99] 40.81% and 29.94% shares in 2008.[104]
6.2 Films 9

6 Marvel characters in other media Video games based on Marvel characters go back to 1984
and the Atari game, Spider-Man. Since then several
Marvel characters and stories have been adapted to many dozen video games have been released and all have been
other media. Some of these adaptations were produced produced by outside licensees. In 2014, Disney Innity
by Marvel Comics and its sister company, Marvel Stu- 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes was released that brought Mar-
dios, while others were produced by companies licensing vel characters to the existing Disney sandbox video game.
Marvel material.
6.2 Films
6.1 Games
Main article: List of lms based on Marvel Comics
In June 1993, Marvel issued its collectable caps for milk
caps game under the Hero Caps brand.[105] In 2014, As of the start of September 2015, lms based on Mar-
the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Japanese TV se- vels properties represent the highest-grossing U.S. fran-
ries was launched together with a collectible game called chise, having grossed over $7.7 billion [109] as part of a
Bachicombat, a game similar to the milk caps game, by worldwide gross of over $18 billion.
Bandai.[106]

6.3 Live shows


6.1.1 Collectible card
The Marvel Experience (2014)
The RPG industry brought the development of the
Collectible card game (CCG) in the early 1990s which Marvel Universe Live! (2014) live arena show
there were soon Marvel characters were featured in CCG Spider-Man Live! (20022003)
of their own starting in 1995 with Fleer's OverPower
(19951999). Later collectible card game were: Spider-Man: Turn O the Dark (20112014) a
Broadway musical
Marvel Superstars (2010?) Upper Deck Company
ReCharge Collectible Card Game (2001? ) Mar- 6.4 Prose novels
vel
Main articles: Marvel Books and Marvel Press
Vs. System (20042009, 2014) Upper Deck Com-
pany
Marvel rst licensed two prose novels to Bantam Books,
X-Men Trading Card Game (2000?) Wizards of who printed The Avengers Battle the Earth Wrecker by
the Coast Otto Binder (1967) and Captain America: The Great
Gold Steal by Ted White (1968). Various publishers
6.1.2 Role-playing took up the licenses from 1978 to 2002. Also, with
the various licensed lms being released beginning in
Main article: List of Marvel RPG supplements 1997, various publishers put out movie novelizations.[110]
In 2003, following publication of the prose young adult
novel Mary Jane, starring Mary Jane Watson from the
TSR published the pen-and-paper role-playing game Spider-Man mythos, Marvel announced the formation of
Marvel Super Heroes in 1984. TSR then released in 1998
the publishing imprint Marvel Press.[111] However, Mar-
the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game which used vel moved back to licensing with Pocket Books from
a dierent system, the card-based SAGA system, than
2005 to 2008.[110] With few books issued under the im-
their rst game. In 2003 Marvel Publishing published print, Marvel and Disney Books Group relaunched Mar-
its own role-playing game, the Marvel Universe Roleplay-
vel Press in 2011 with the Marvel Origin Storybooks
ing Game, that used a diceless stone pool system.[107] In line.[112]
August 2011 Margaret Weis Productions announced it
was developing a tabletop role-playing game based on the
Marvel universe, set for release in February 2012 using 6.5 Television programs
its house Cortex Plus RPG system.[108]
Main article: List of television series based on Marvel
Comics
6.1.3 Video games

Main article: List of video games based on Marvel Many television series, both live-action and animated,
Comics have based their productions on Marvel Comics charac-
ters. These include multiple series for popular characters
10 9 NOTES

such as Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men. Addition- Marvel Age/Adventures
ally, a handful of television movies, usually also pilots,
based on Marvel Comics characters have been made. Marvel Books

Marvel Edge
6.6 Theme parks Marvel Knights

Marvel has licensed[113] its characters for theme-parks Marvel Illustrated


and attractions, including at the Universal Orlando Re-
sort's Islands of Adventure, in Orlando, Florida, which Marvel Mangaverse
includes rides based on their iconic characters and cos- Marvel Music
tumed performers.[114]
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans on creating origi- Marvel Next
nal Marvel attractions at their theme parks,[115][116] with Marvel Noir
Hong Kong Disneyland becoming the rst Disney theme
park to feature a Marvel attraction.[117][118] Due to the li- Marvel UK
censing agreement with Universal Studios, signed prior
to Disneys purchase of Marvel, Walt Disney World and Marvel Frontier
Tokyo Disney are barred from having Marvel charac- MAX
ters in their parks.[119] However, this only includes char-
acters Universal is currently using, other characters in MC2
their families (X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.),
and the villains associated with said characters.[113] This New Universe
clause has allowed Walt Disney World to have meet
Paramount Comics (co-owned with Viacom's
and greets, merchandise, attractions and more with other
Paramount Pictures)
Marvel characters not associated with the characters at Is-
lands of Adventures, such as Star-Lord and Gamora from Razorline
Guardians of the Galaxy[120][121] as well as Baymax and
Hiro from Big Hero 6.[122] Soleil

Star Comics

7 Imprints Tsunami

Ultimate Comics
Disney Kingdoms[79]
Marvel Comics
Marvel Press, joint imprint with Disney Books
8 See also
Group
List of magazines released by Marvel Comics in the
Icon Comics (creator owned) 1970s
Innite Comics Panini Comics

Soleil Productions
7.1 Defunct
Amalgam Comics 9 Notes
CrossGen
[1] Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, either Jack
Curtis Magazines/Marvel Magazine Group Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of DC Comics (then known
as National Periodical Publications) bragged about DCs
Marvel Monsters Group success with the Justice League (which had debuted in
The Brave and the Bold #28 [February 1960] before going
Epic Comics (creator owned) (19822004) on to its own title) to publisher Martin Goodman (whose
Malibu Comics (19941997) holdings included the nascent Marvel Comics) during a
game of golf.
Marvel 2099 (19921998) However, lm producer and comics historian Michael Us-
lan partly debunked the story in a letter published in Alter
Marvel Absurd Ego #43 (December 2004), pp. 4344
11

Irwin said he never played golf with [8] Per statement of ownership, dated October 2, 1939, pub-
Goodman, so the story is untrue. I heard lished in Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb. 1940), p. 40;
this story more than a couple of times while reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel
sitting in the lunchroom at DCs 909 Third Comics Volume 1 (Marvel Comics, 2004, ISBN 0-7851-
Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza oce as 1609-5), p. 239
Sol Harrison and [production chief] Jack
Adler were schmoozing with some of us [9] Writer-artist Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner had actually
who worked for DC during our college been created for an undistributed movie-theater giveaway
summers.... [T]he way I heard the story comic, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly earlier that year,
from Sol was that Goodman was playing with with the previously unseen, eight-page original story ex-
one of the heads of Independent News, not panded by four pages for Marvel Comics #1.
DC Comics (though DC owned Independent
[10] Per researcher Keif Fromm, Alter Ego #49, p. 4 (caption),
News). As the distributor of DC Comics,
Marvel Comics #1, cover-dated October 1939, quickly
this man certainly knew all the sales gures
sold out 80,000 copies, prompting Goodman to produce a
and was in the best position to tell this tid-
second printing, cover-dated November 1939. The latter
bit to Goodman. Of course, Goodman
appears identical except for a black bar over the October
would want to be playing golf with this fel-
date in the inside front-cover indicia, and the November
low and be in his good graces. Sol worked
date added at the end. That sold approximately 800,000
closely with Independent News top manage-
copiesa large gure in the market of that time. Also
ment over the decades and would have gotten
per Fromm, the rst issue of Captain America Comics sold
this story straight from the horses mouth.
nearly one million copies.
Goodman, a publishing trend-follower aware of the JLAs [11] Goulart, Ron (2000). Comic book culture: an illustrated
strong sales, conrmably directed his comics editor, Stan history. Collectors Press, Inc. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-
Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of su- 888054-38-5.. Preceding Captain America were MLJ
perheroes. According to Lee in Origins of Marvel Comics Comics' the Shield and Fawcett Comics' Minute-Man.
(Simon and Schuster/Fireside Books, 1974), p. 16: Mar-
tin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles pub- [12] Marvel : Timely Publications (Indicia Publisher)" at the
lished by National Comics seemed to be selling better than Grand Comics Database. This is the original business
most. It was a book called The [sic] Justice League of name under which Martin Goodman began publishing
America and it was composed of a team of superheroes. comics in 1939. It was used on all issues up to and includ-
' If the Justice League is selling ', spoke he, 'why don't ing those cover-dated March 1941 or Winter 19401941,
we put out a comic book that features a team of super- spanning the period from Marvel Comics #1 to Captain
heroes?'" America Comics #1. It was replaced by Timely Comics,
Inc. starting with all issues cover-dated April 1941 or
Spring 1941.
10 References [13] Daniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of
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[1] Sanderson, Peter (November 20, 2007). The Marvel Abrams. pp. 27, 3233. ISBN 0-8109-3821-9. Timely
Comics Guide to New York City. Gallery Books. Publications became the name under which Goodman rst
published a comic book line. He eventually created a
[2] 8 Real & Fictional Addresses of Superheroes in New number of companies to publish comics but Timely
York City. Dorkly. April 27, 2011. was the name by which Goodmans Golden Age comics
were known. . . . Marvel wasn't always Marvel; in the
[3] Claremont, Chris (w), Byrne, John (a), Austin, Terry early 1940s the company was known as Timely Comics....
(i). Elegy. The Uncanny X-Men #138 (October 1980).
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15

11 Further reading
Lupo, Dick; Thompson, Don (1997). All in Color
for a Dime. Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-
498-5.

George, Milo (2001). Jack Kirby: The TCJ Inter-


views. Fantagraphics Books, Inc. ISBN 1-56097-
434-6.

Howe, Sean (2012). Marvel Comics: the Untold


Story. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-199210-0.

Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks,


Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. Basic
Books,. ISBN 0-465-03657-0.
Steranko, James. The Steranko History of Comics.
1. ISBN 0-517-50188-0.

12 External links
Ocial website

Vassallo, Michael J. (2005). A Timely Talk with


Allen Bellman. Comicartville.com. p. 2. Archived
from the original on November 25, 2009..
16 13 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES

13 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses


13.1 Text
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ZOW, Haakon, Zannah, Emperor, Andres, Lee M, Conti, Ntnon, Reddi, Ike9898, Michael Reiter, WhisperToMe, Wik, DJ Clayworth,
Morwen, SEWilco, Jerzy, Michael Rawdon, Astronautics~enwiki, Misterrick, Lowellian, Postdlf, Dmadeo, Timrollpickering, Sunray,
UtherSRG, Dmn, DocWatson42, Netoholic, HangingCurve, Peruvianllama, Curps, Gamaliel, Rookkey, Niteowlneils, Guanaco, Chow-
bok, Manuel Anastcio, Garth 187, Joizashmo, Alex Cohn, Oneiros, Bodnotbod, Salvadors, Oknazevad, Marine 69-71, MakeRocket-
GoNow, CyclopsScott, Donar~enwiki, Trevor MacInnis, Metahacker, Running, Freakofnurture, SoM, Maestro25, Discospinster, Rich
Farmbrough, Datura~enwiki, ThomasK, Thematicunity, Ratatosk~enwiki, Martpol, Paul August, Bender235, ESkog, Pc13, Darkone,
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jim, Clarkbhm, Dungodung, Thanos6, Frank101, Alansohn, Dcomings, Dethtron5000, DrBat, Fritz Saalfeld, Mailer diablo, Roadrun-
ner3000, InShaneee, DreamGuy, Brown Shoes22, Crablogger, Deacon of Pndapetzim, RainbowOfLight, Mikeo, Ianblair23, Drbrezn-
jev, Markaci, Chrysaor, RyanGerbil10, Dismas, Dtobias, Boothy443, Jerey O. Gustafson, Woohookitty, Joeyconnick, Dr Archeville,
WadeSimMiser, Uris, NormanEinstein, TotoBaggins, Pictureuploader, Bad Graphics Ghost, Alcoved id, Stefanomione, Marvelvsdc, Kim
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