Marvel comics #1

Marvel comics #1 DEFAULT

Indicia (transcription courtesy of Frank Motler): Vol.1, No.1, MARVEL COMICS, Oct., 1939 Published monthly by Timely Publications, publication office, 81 Spring St., Newark, N. J. Executive office, 330 W. 42nd St., New York, N. Y. Art and editorial by Funnies Incorporated, 45 W. 45th St., New York, N. Y. Application for entry as Second Class Matter pending at the Post Office at Newark, N. J. Yearly subscription in U. S. and Canada, $1.50; elsewhere $2.00. No actual person is named or delineated in this magazine. Copyright, 1939 by Timely Publications. Printed in U.S.A. Vol.1, No. 1, MARVEL COMICS, Nov., 1939 [The final repetition of the volume/issue/title number with the Nov. date is present only on the 2nd printing. Some but not all issues of the second printing reportedly had the October information at least partially blacked out.] According to Rip at the boards, the print runs were 80,000 on the October edition and 800,000 on the November edition.


Marvel Comics (1939) #1

Marvel Comics (1939) #1

Variant Covers of this Issue

Marvel Comics #1 Cover
Marvel Comics (1939) #1

The one that started it all, featuring the first appearances of both the the android Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner!

The one that started it all, featuring the first appearances of both the the android Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner!

Extended credits and info
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    Marvel Comics #1

    Timely // Marvel Comics

    Published October 1939

    What's Marvel Comics #1 worth in 2021?

    The mint condition value of Marvel Comics #1 is $1,260,000. This value is based on the highest CGC rated copy to sell at auction, 9.4 NM from the Windy City pedigree that sold in November 2019. A 9.0 listed as a Pay Copy has a February 2010 value of $227,050, a 6.0 from the Twilight pedigree has a December 2017 value of $215,000, and an unrestored 4.0 has an august 2015 value of $68,713.

    Why is this comic book valuable?

    Marvel Comics #1, published by Timely Comics in Novemver 1939, marks the first in a long line of superheroes that will win our hearts. Meet Ka-Zar, Human Torch, Masked Raider, Sub-Mariner, Jungle Terror, and more in this acton-packed Marvel/Timely introduction.

    Price Guide Report

    GD 2.0VG 4.0FN 6.0VF 8.0NM 9.4RECORD SALE!

    Sell Marvel Comics #1

    Journey Through the History of Marvel Comics (feat. Run the Jewels)

    Marvel Comics 1 torches record with $1.26M sale at auction

    If Professor X and Peter Parker sent their DNA to, they would find out their family history had a price tag: about $1.26 million.

    That's about how much the first comic book ever produced by Marvel, the magazine that spawned a generation of iconic superheroes and a later a billion-dollar movie empire, sold for at a public auction Thursday in Dallas.

    The rare copy of Marvel Comics No. 1 from 1939, which has been dubbed the "Big Bang of the Marvel Comics Superhero Universe," sold to an anonymous buyer, according to Heritage Auctions.

    The sale of the comic book set a world record for the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold at public auction, the auction house said.

    Ed Jaster, senior vice president at Heritage, calls it “a historic copy of a historic comic book.”

    Front of Marvel Comics No. 1 -- Heritage Auctions,

    “Without question, this is the granddaddy of all Marvel Comics, without which we would not have the characters and stories we enjoy in today’s comics and feature films,” Jaster said.

    Back of Marvel Comics No. 1 -- Heritage Auctions,


    The comic book was first published by Timely Comics, created by Martin Goodman, which later became Marvel. The issue features the first appearances of characters such as the Human Torch, Ka-Zar, Angel and the Sub-Mariner.


    Heritage says the comic book was first purchased at a newsstand by a Uniontown, Pennsylvania, mail carrier who made a practice of buying the first issue of comic books and magazines. Jaster says that since then, the issue has only changed owners a handful of times.

    The comic book is in near-mint condition with a rating of 9.4 out of 10, making it the best condition ever found, according to the auction company.

    But this wasn't the first time a Marvel comic book's sale topped a million dollars.

    The previous record for the most expensive Marvel comic ever sold was a 1962 issue featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man. It sold for a little more than $1 million in 2011, according to Reuters.

    In 2014, a copy of Action Comics No. 1, in which Superman made a first appearance, sold on eBay for $3.2 million, according to Wired.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



    #1 marvel comics

    Marvel Comics

    American comic book publisher

    This article is about the comic book company using this name starting in 1961. For the earlier comic book series, see Marvel Mystery Comics.

    Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company.

    Marvel was started in 1939 by Martin Goodman under a number of corporations and imprints but now known as Timely Comics,[3] and by 1951 had generally become known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel era began in 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. The Marvel brand, which had been used over the years, was solidified as the company's primary brand.

    Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, Ant-Man, the Wasp, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, She-Hulk, the Vision, the Falcon, the Winter Soldier, Ghost Rider, Blade, Daredevil, Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, the Punisher and Deadpool. Superhero teams exist such as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

    The Marvel universe also features well-known supervillains including Doctor Doom, Magneto, Thanos, Loki, Green Goblin, Kingpin, Red Skull, Ultron, the Mandarin, MODOK, Doctor Octopus, Kang, Dormammu, Venom and Galactus. Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places; many major characters are based in New York City.[4] Additionally, Marvel has published several licensed properties from other companies. This includes Star Wars comics twice from 1977 to 1986 and again since 2015.


    Timely Publications

    Main article: Timely Comics

    Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman created the company later known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939.[5][6] Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by then already highly popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he officially held the titles of editor, managing editor, and business manager, with Abraham Goodman (Martin's brother)[7] officially listed as publisher.[6]

    Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1 (cover dated Oct. 1939), included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' androidsuperhero the Human Torch, and the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-heroNamor the Sub-Mariner,[8] among other features.[5] The issue was a great success; it and a second printing the following month sold a combined nearly 900,000 copies.[9] While its contents came from an outside packager, Funnies, Inc.,[5] Timely had its own staff in place by the following year. The company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes,[10]Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941). It, too, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million.[9] Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc., beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941.[3][11]

    While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, and the Angel. Timely also published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper",[12][13] as well as a line of children's talking animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal.

    Goodman hired his wife's 16-year-old cousin,[14] Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939.[15] When editor Simon left the company in late 1941,[16] Goodman made Lieber—by then writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely, contributing to a number of different titles.

    Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff.[3] One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55 (May 1944). As well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12 (Winter 1946–47), were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961.[17]

    Atlas Comics

    Main article: Atlas Comics (1950s)

    The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion.[18] Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than even Timely had published, featuring horror, Westerns, humor, talking animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster, crime, and war comics, and later adding jungle books, romance titles, espionage, and even medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports.

    Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned,[19] on comics cover-dated November 1951 even though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.[20] This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher, staff and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications.[21]

    Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and even other comic books, particularly the EChorror line.[22] Atlas also published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost (similar to Casper the Friendly Ghost) and Homer Hooper (à la Archie Andrews). Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch (art by Syd Shores and Dick Ayers, variously), the Sub-Mariner (drawn and most stories written by Bill Everett), and Captain America (writer Stan Lee, artist John Romita Sr.). Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work quickly, cheaply, and at a passable quality.[23]

    Marvel Comics

    The first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand were the science-fiction anthology Journey into Mystery #69 and the teen-humor title Patsy Walker #95 (both cover dated June 1961), which each displayed an "MC" box on its cover.[24] Then, in the wake of DC Comics' success in reviving superheroes in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly with the Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and other members of the team the Justice League of America, Marvel followed suit.[n 1]

    In 1961, writer-editor Stan Lee revolutionized superhero comics by introducing superheroes designed to appeal to older readers than the predominantly child audiences of the medium, thus ushering what Marvel later called the Marvel Age of Comics.[25] Modern Marvel's first superhero team, the titular stars of The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961),[26] broke convention with other comic book archetypes of the time by squabbling, holding grudges both deep and petty, and eschewing anonymity or secret identities in favor of celebrity status. Subsequently, Marvel comics developed a reputation for focusing on characterization and adult issues to a greater extent than most superhero comics before them, a quality which the new generation of older readers appreciated.[27] This applied to The Amazing Spider-Man title in particular, which turned out to be Marvel's most successful book. Its young hero suffered from self-doubt and mundane problems like any other teenager, something with which many readers could identify.[citation needed]

    Stan 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 of previous eras to better reflect the psychological spirit of their age.[28] Eschewing such comic book tropes as secret identities and even costumes at first, having a monster as one of the heroes, and having its characters bicker and complain in what was later called a "superheroes in the real world" approach, the series represented a change that proved to be a great success.[29]

    Marvel often presented flawed superheroes, freaks, and misfits—unlike the perfect, handsome, athletic heroes found in previous traditional comic books. Some Marvel heroes looked like villains and monsters such as the Hulk and the Thing. This naturalistic approach even extended into topical politics. Comics historian Mike Benton also noted:

    In the world of [rival DC Comics'] Superman comic books, communism did not exist. Superman rarely crossed national borders or involved himself in political disputes.[30] From 1962 to 1965, there were more communists [in Marvel Comics] than on the subscription list of Pravda. Communist agents attack Ant-Man in his laboratory, red henchmen jump the Fantastic Four on the moon, and Viet Cong guerrillas take potshots at Iron Man.[31]

    All these elements struck a chord with the older readers, including college-aged adults. In 1965, Spider-Man and the Hulk were both featured in Esquire magazine's list of 28 college campus heroes, alongside John F. Kennedy and Bob Dylan.[32] In 2009, writer Geoff Boucher reflected that,

    Superman and DC Comics instantly seemed like boring old Pat Boone; Marvel felt like The Beatles and the British Invasion. It was Kirby's artwork with its tension and psychedelia that made it perfect for the times—or was it Lee's bravado and melodrama, which was somehow insecure and brash at the same time?[33]

    In addition to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, Marvel began publishing further superhero titles featuring such heroes and antiheroes as the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, the Inhumans, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and the Silver Surfer, and such memorable antagonists as Doctor Doom, Magneto, Galactus, Loki, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus, all existing in a shared reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

    Marvel even lampooned itself and other comics companies in a parody comic, Not Brand Echh (a play on Marvel's dubbing of other companies as "Brand Echh", à la the then-common phrase "Brand X").[34]

    Originally, the company's publications were branded by a minuscule "Mc" on the upper right-hand corner of the covers. However, artist/writer Steve Ditko put a larger masthead picture of the title character of The Amazing Spider-Man on the upper left-hand corner on issue #2 that included the series' issue number and price. Lee appreciated the value of this visual motif and adapted it for the company's entire publishing line. This branding pattern, being typically either a full-body picture of the characters' solo titles or a collection of the main characters' faces in ensemble titles, would become standard for Marvel for decades.[35]

    Cadence Industries ownership

    In 1968, while selling 50 million comic books a year, company founder Goodman revised the constraining distribution arrangement with Independent News he had reached under duress during the Atlas years, allowing him now to release as many titles as demand warranted.[19] Late that year, he sold Marvel Comics and its parent company, Magazine Management, to the Perfect Film and Chemical Corporation, though he remained as publisher.[36] In 1969, Goodman finally ended his distribution deal with Independent by signing with Curtis Circulation Company.[19]

    In 1971, the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare approached Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee to do a comic book story about drug abuse. Lee agreed and wrote a three-part Spider-Man story portraying drug use as dangerous and unglamorous. However, the industry's self-censorship board, the Comics Code Authority, refused to approve the story because of the presence of narcotics, deeming the context of the story irrelevant. Lee, with Goodman's approval, published the story regardless in The Amazing Spider-Man #96–98 (May–July 1971), without the Comics Code seal. The market reacted well to the storyline, and the CCA subsequently revised the Code the same year.[37]

    Goodman retired as publisher in 1972 and installed his son, Chip, as publisher.[38] Shortly thereafter, Lee succeeded him as publisher and also became Marvel's president[38] for a brief time.[39] During his time as president, he appointed his associate editor, prolific writer Roy Thomas, as editor-in-chief. Thomas added "Stan Lee Presents" to the opening page of each comic book.[38]

    A series of new editors-in-chief oversaw the company during another slow time for the industry. Once again, Marvel attempted to diversify, and with the updating of the Comics Code published titles themed to horror (The Tomb of Dracula), martial arts (Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu), sword-and-sorcery (Conan the Barbarian in 1970,[40]Red Sonja), satire (Howard the Duck) and science fiction (2001: A Space Odyssey, "Killraven" in Amazing Adventures, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, and, late in the decade, the long-running Star Wars series). Some of these were published in larger-format black and white magazines, under its Curtis Magazines imprint.

    Marvel was able to capitalize on its successful superhero comics of the previous decade by acquiring a new newsstand distributor and greatly expanding its comics line. Marvel pulled ahead of rival DC Comics in 1972, during a time when the price and format of the standard newsstand comic were in flux.[41] Goodman increased the price and size of Marvel's November 1971 cover-dated comics from 15 cents for 36 pages total to 25 cents for 52 pages. DC followed suit, but Marvel the following month dropped its comics to 20 cents for 36 pages, offering a lower-priced product with a higher distributor discount.[42]

    In 1973, Perfect Film and Chemical renamed itself as Cadence Industries and renamed Magazine Management as Marvel Comics Group.[43] Goodman, now disconnected from Marvel, set up a new company called Seaboard Periodicals in 1974, reviving Marvel's old Atlas name for a new Atlas Comics line, but this lasted only a year and a half.[44] In the mid-1970s a decline of the newsstand distribution network affected Marvel. Cult hits such as Howard the Duck fell victim to the distribution problems, with some titles reporting low sales when in fact the first specialty comic book stores resold them at a later date.[citation needed] But by the end of the decade, Marvel's fortunes were reviving, thanks to the rise of direct market distribution—selling through those same comics-specialty stores instead of newsstands.

    Marvel ventured into audio in 1975 with a radio series and a record, both had Stan Lee as narrator. The radio series was Fantastic Four. The record was Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of a Superhero concept album for music fans.[45]

    Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars#1 (May 1984). Cover art by Mike Zeckdepicting Captain America, Wolverine, Cyclops, Hawkeye, Rogue, She-Hulk, The Thing, Colossus, Monica Rambeau, Nightcrawler, Spider-Man, Human Torch, Hulk, Iron Man and Storm.[46]

    Marvel held its own comic book convention, Marvelcon '75, in spring 1975, and promised a Marvelcon '76. At the 1975 event, Stan Lee used a Fantastic Four panel discussion to announce that Jack Kirby, the artist co-creator of most of Marvel's signature characters, was returning to Marvel after having left in 1970 to work for rival DC Comics.[47] In October 1976, Marvel, which already licensed reprints in different countries, including the UK, created a superhero specifically for the British market. Captain Britain debuted exclusively in the UK, and later appeared in American comics.[48] During this time, Marvel and the Iowa-based Register and Tribune Syndicate launched a number of syndicated comic strips — The Amazing Spider-Man, Howard the Duck, Conan the Barbarian, and The Incredible Hulk. None of the strips lasted past 1982, except for The Amazing Spider-Man, which is still being published.

    In 1978, Jim Shooter became Marvel's editor-in-chief. Although a controversial personality, Shooter cured many of the procedural ills at Marvel, including repeatedly missed deadlines. During Shooter's 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.[49] Shooter brought Marvel into the rapidly evolving direct market,[50] institutionalized creator royalties, starting with the Epic Comics imprint for creator-owned material in 1982; introduced company-wide crossover story arcs with Contest of Champions and Secret Wars; and in 1986 launched the ultimately unsuccessful New Universe line to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Marvel Comics imprint. Star Comics, a children-oriented line differing from the regular Marvel titles, was briefly successful during this period.

    Marvel Entertainment Group ownership

    In 1986, Marvel's parent, Marvel Entertainment Group, 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's logo, circa 1990s.

    Marvel earned a great deal of money with their 1980s children's comics imprint Star Comics and they earned a great deal more money and worldwide success during the comic book boom of the early 1990s, launching the successful 2099 line of comics set in the future (Spider-Man 2099, etc.) and the creatively daring though commercially unsuccessful Razorline imprint of superhero comics created by novelist and filmmaker Clive Barker.[52][53] In 1990, Marvel began selling Marvel Universe Cards with trading card maker SkyBox International. These were collectible trading cards that featured the characters and events of the Marvel Universe. The 1990s saw the rise of variant covers, cover enhancements, swimsuit issues, and company-wide crossovers that affected the overall continuity of the Marvel Universe.

    Marvel suffered a blow in early 1992, when seven of its most prized artists — Todd McFarlane (known for his work on Spider-Man), Jim Lee (X-Men), Rob Liefeld (X-Force), Marc Silvestri (Wolverine), Erik Larsen (The Amazing Spider-Man), Jim Valentino (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Whilce Portacio (Uncanny X-Men) — left to form Image Comics[54] in a deal brokered by Malibu Comics' owner Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.[55] Three years later, on November 3, 1994, Rosenberg sold Malibu to Marvel.[56][57][58] In purchasing Malibu, Marvel now owned leading standard for computer coloring of comic books that had been developed by Rosenberg,[59] and also integrated the Ultraverse line of comics and the Genesis Universe into Marvel's multiverse.[citation needed]

    In late 1994, Marvel acquired the comic book distributor Heroes World Distribution to use as its own exclusive distributor.[60] As the industry's other major publishers made exclusive distribution deals with other companies, the ripple effect resulted in the survival of only one other major distributor in North America, Diamond Comic Distributors Inc.[61][62] Then, by the middle of the decade, the industry had slumped, and in December 1996 MEG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[51] In early 1997, when Marvel's Heroes World endeavor failed, Diamond also forged an exclusive deal with Marvel[63]—giving the company its own section of its comics catalog Previews.[64]

    In 1996, Marvel had some of its titles participate in "Heroes Reborn", a crossover that allowed Marvel to relaunch some of its flagship characters such as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and outsource them to the studios of two of the former Marvel artists turned Image Comics founders, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld. The relaunched titles, which saw the characters transported to a parallel universe with a history distinct from the mainstream Marvel Universe, were a solid success amidst a generally struggling industry,[65] but Marvel discontinued the experiment after a one-year run and returned the characters to the Marvel Universe proper.[citation needed]

    Marvel Enterprises

    In 1997, Toy Biz bought Marvel Entertainment Group to end the bankruptcy, forming a new corporation, Marvel Enterprises.[51] With his business partner Avi Arad, publisher Bill Jemas, and editor-in-chief Bob Harras, Toy Biz co-owner Isaac Perlmutter helped stabilize the comics line.[66]

    In 1998, the company launched the imprint Marvel Knights, taking place just outside Marvel continuity with better production quality. The imprint was helmed by soon-to-become editor-in-chief Joe Quesada; it featured tough, gritty stories showcasing such characters as the Daredevil,[67] the Inhumans, and Black Panther.[citation needed]

    With the new millennium, Marvel Comics emerged from bankruptcy and again began diversifying its offerings. In 2001, Marvel withdrew from the Comics Code Authority and established its own Marvel Rating System for comics. The first 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). The company also created an alternate universe imprint, Ultimate Marvel, that allowed the company to reboot its major titles by revising and updating its characters to introduce to a new generation.[citation needed]

    Some of the company's properties were adapted into successful film franchises, such as the Men in Black movie series (which was based on a Malibu book), starting in 1997, the Blade movie series, starting in 1998, the X-Men movie series, starting in 2000, and the highest grossing series, Spider-Man, beginning in 2002.[68]

    Marvel's Conan the Barbarian title was canceled in 1993 after 275 issues, while the Savage Sword of Conan magazine had lasted 235 issues. Marvel published additional titles including miniseries until 2000 for a total of 650 issues. Conan was picked up by Dark Horse Comics three years later.[40]

    In a cross-promotion, the November 1, 2006, episode of the CBS soap opera The Guiding Light, titled "She's a Marvel", featured the character Harley Davidson Cooper (played by Beth Ehlers) as a superheroine named the Guiding Light.[69] The character's story continued in an eight-page backup feature, "A New Light", that appeared in several Marvel titles published November 1 and 8.[70] Also that year, Marvel created a wiki on its Web site.[71]

    In late 2007 the company launched Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, a digital archive of over 2,500 back issues available for viewing, for a monthly or annual subscription fee.[72] At the December 2007 the New York Anime Fest, the company announcement that Del Rey Manga would published two original English language Marvel manga books featuring the X-Men and Wolverine to hit the stands in spring 2009.[73]

    In 2009 Marvel Comics closed its Open Submissions Policy, in which the company had accepted unsolicited samples from aspiring comic book artists, saying the time-consuming review process had produced no suitably professional work.[74] The same year, the company commemorated its 70th anniversary, dating to its inception as Timely Comics, by issuing the one-shot Marvel Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 and a variety of other special issues.[75][76]

    Disney conglomerate unit (2009–present)

    On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced it would acquire Marvel Comics' parent corporation, Marvel Entertainment, for a cash and stock deal worth approximately $4 billion, which if necessary would be adjusted at closing, giving Marvel shareholders $30 and 0.745 Disney shares for each share of Marvel they owned.[77][78] As of 2008, Marvel and its major, longtime competitor DC Comics shared over 80% of the American comic-book market.[79]

    As of September 2010, Marvel switched its bookstore distribution company from Diamond Book Distributors to Hachette Distribution Services.[80] Marvel moved its office to the Sports Illustrated Building in October 2010.[81]

    Marvel relaunched the CrossGen imprint, owned by Disney Publishing Worldwide, in March 2011.[82] Marvel and Disney Publishing began jointly publishing Disney/Pixar Presents magazine that May.[83]

    Marvel discontinued its Marvel Adventures imprint in March 2012,[84] and replaced them with a line of two titles connected to the Marvel Universe TV block.[85] Also in March, Marvel announced its Marvel ReEvolution initiative that included Infinite Comics,[86] a line of digital comics, Marvel AR, a software application that provides an augmented reality experience to readers and Marvel NOW!, a relaunch of most of the company's major titles with different creative teams.[87][88] Marvel NOW! also saw the debut of new flagship titles including Uncanny Avengers and All-New X-Men.[89]

    In April 2013, Marvel and other Disney conglomerate components began announcing joint projects. With ABC, a Once Upon a Time graphic novel was announced for publication in September.[90] With Disney, Marvel announced in October 2013 that in January 2014 it would release its first title under their joint "Disney Kingdoms" imprint "Seekers of the Weird", a five-issue miniseries.[91] On January 3, 2014, fellow Disney subsidiary Lucasfilm announced that as of 2015, Star Wars comics would once again be published by Marvel.[92]

    Following the events of the company-wide crossover "Secret Wars" in 2015, a relaunched Marvel universe began in September 2015, called the All-New, All-Different Marvel.[93]

    Marvel Legacy was the company's Fall 2017 relaunch branding, which began that September. Books released as part of that initiative featured lenticular variant covers that required comic book stores to double their regular issue order to be able to order the variants. The owner of two Comix Experience stores complained about requiring retailers purchase an excess of copies featuring the regular cover that they would not be able to sell in order to acquire the more sought-after variant. Marvel responded to these complaints by rescinding these ordering requirements on newer series, but maintained it on more long-running titles like Invincible Iron Man. As a result, and at least 70 other comic book stores boycotted these variant covers.[94] Despite the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Logan, Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters, none of those characters' titles featured in the top 10 sales and the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series was cancelled.[95] Conan Properties International announced on January 12, 2018 that Conan would return to Marvel in early 2019.[40]

    On March 1, 2019, Serial Box, a digital book platform, announced a partnership with Marvel, in which they would publish new and original stories tied to a number of Marvel's popular franchises.[96]

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, from March to May 2020, Marvel and its distributor Diamond Comic Distributors stopped producing and releasing new comic books.[97][98][99]

    On March 25, 2021, Marvel Comics announced that they planned to shift their direct market distribution for monthly comics and graphic novels from Diamond Comic Distributors to Penguin Random House. The change was scheduled to start on October 1, 2021, in a multi-year partnership. The arrangement would still allow stores the option to order comics from Diamond, but Diamond would be acting as a wholesaler rather than distributor.[1]




    Marvel's chief editor originally held the title of "editor". This head editor's title later became "editor-in-chief". Joe Simon was the company's first true chief-editor, with publisher Martin Goodman, who had served as titular editor only and outsourced editorial operations.

    In 1994 Marvel briefly abolished the position of editor-in-chief, replacing Tom DeFalco with five group editors-in-chief. As Carl Potts described the 1990s editorial arrangement:

    In the early '90s, Marvel had so many titles that there were three Executive Editors, each overseeing approximately 1/3 of the line. Bob Budiansky was the third Executive Editor [following the previously appointed Mark Gruenwald and Potts]. We all answered to Editor-in-Chief Tom DeFalco and Publisher Mike Hobson. All three Executive Editors decided not to add our names to the already crowded credits on the Marvel titles. Therefore it wasn't easy for readers to tell which titles were produced by which Executive Editor … In late '94, Marvel reorganized into a number of different publishing divisions, each with its own Editor-in-Chief.[105]

    Marvel reinstated the overall editor-in-chief position in 1995 with Bob Harras.

    Executive Editors

    Originally called associate editor when Marvel's chief editor just carried the title of editor, the title of the next highest editorial position became executive editor under the chief editor title of editor-in-chief. The title of associate editor later was revived under the editor-in-chief as an editorial position in charge of few titles under the direction of an editor and without an assistant editor.

    Associate Editor
    Executive Editor
    • Tom DeFalco, 1987
    • Mark Gruenwald, 1987–1994, senior editor: 1995–1996
    • Carl Potts, in charge of Epic Comics 1989–1994,[105] 1995–1996
    • Bob Budiansky, early '90s – 1994[105]
    • Bobbie Chase, 1995–2001
    • Tom Brevoort, 2007–2011[108]
    • Axel Alonso, 2010 – January 2011[109]


    Parent corporation


    Located in New York City, Marvel has had successive headquarters:




    Market share

    In 2017, Marvel held a 38.30% share of the comics market, compared to its competitor DC Comics' 33.93%.[112] By comparison, the companies respectively held 33.50% and 30.33% shares in 2013, and 40.81% and 29.94% shares in 2008.[113]

    Marvel characters in other media

    Marvel characters and stories have been adapted to many other media. Some of these adaptations were produced by Marvel Comics and its sister company, Marvel Studios, while others were produced by companies licensing Marvel material.


    In June 1993, Marvel issued its collectable caps for milk caps game under the Hero Caps brand.[114] In 2014, the Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers Japanese TV series was launched together with a collectible game called Bachicombat, a game similar to the milk caps game, by Bandai.[115]

    Collectible card games

    The RPG industry brought the development of the collectible card game (CCG) in the early 1990s which there were soon Marvel characters were featured in CCG of their own starting in 1995 with Fleer's OverPower (1995–1999). Later collectible card game were:



    Main article: List of Marvel RPG supplements

    TSR published the pen-and-paper role-playing gameMarvel Super Heroes in 1984. TSR then released in 1998 the Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game which used a different system, the card-based SAGA system, than their first game. In 2003 Marvel Publishing published its own role-playing game, the Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game, that used a diceless stone pool system.[118] In 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 its house Cortex Plus RPG system.[119]

    Video games

    Main article: Marvel Games

    Video games based on Marvel characters go back to 1984 and the Atari game, Spider-Man. Since then several dozen video games have been released and all have been produces by outside licensees. In 2014, Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes was released that brought Marvel characters to the existing Disney sandbox video game.


    Main article: List of films based on Marvel Comics

    Main article: Marvel Cinematic Universe

    Main article: List of Marvel Cinematic Universe films

    As of the start of September 2015, films based on Marvel's properties represent the highest-grossing U.S. franchise, having grossed over $7.7 billion [120] as part of a worldwide gross of over $18 billion. As of May 2019 the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has grossed over $22 billion.

    Live shows

    Prose novels

    Main articles: Marvel Books and Marvel Press

    Marvel first licensed two prose novels to Bantam Books, who printed The Avengers Battle the Earth Wrecker by Otto Binder (1967) and Captain America: The Great Gold Steal by Ted White (1968). Various publishers took up the licenses from 1978 to 2002. Also, with the various licensed films being released beginning in 1997, various publishers put out movie novelizations.[121] In 2003, following publication of the prose young adult novelMary Jane, starring Mary Jane Watson from the Spider-Man mythos, Marvel announced the formation of the publishing imprintMarvel Press.[122] However, Marvel moved back to licensing with Pocket Books from 2005 to 2008.[121] With few books issued under the imprint, Marvel and Disney Books Group relaunched Marvel Press in 2011 with the Marvel Origin Storybooks line.[123]

    Television programs

    Main article: List of television series based on Marvel Comics

    Many television series, both live-action and animated, have based their productions on Marvel Comics characters. These include series for popular characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, the Punisher, the Defenders, S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Deadpool, Legion, and others. Additionally, a handful of television movies, usually also pilots, based on Marvel Comics characters have been made.

    Theme parks

    Marvel has licensed its characters for theme parks and attractions, including Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure[124] in Orlando, Florida, which includes rides based on their iconic characters and costumed performers, as well as The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride cloned from Islands of Adventure to Universal Studios Japan.[125]

    Years after Disney purchased Marvel in late 2009, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts plans on creating original Marvel attractions at their theme parks,[126][127] with Hong Kong Disneyland becoming the first Disney theme park to feature a Marvel attraction.[128][129] Due to the licensing agreement with Universal Studios, signed prior to Disney's purchase of Marvel, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disney Resort are barred from having Marvel characters in their parks.[130] However, this only includes characters that Universal is currently using, other characters in their "families" (X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, etc.), and the villains associated with said characters.[124] This clause has allowed Walt Disney World to have meet and greets, merchandise, attractions and more with other Marvel characters not associated with the characters at Islands of Adventures, such as Star-Lord and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy.[131][132]


    Disney Kingdoms

    Marvel Worldwide with Disney announced in October 2013 that in January 2014 it would release its first comic book title under their joint Disney Kingdoms imprint Seekers of the Weird, a five-issue miniseries inspired by a never built Disneyland attraction Museum of the Weird.[91] Marvel's Disney Kingdoms imprint has since released comic adaptations of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad,[133]Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room,[134] The Haunted Mansion,[135] two series on Figment[136][137] based on Journey Into Imagination.


    See more


    1. ^Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of DC Comics (then known as National Periodical Publications) bragged about DC's success with the Justice League (which had debuted in The Brave and the Bold #28 [February 1960] before going on to its own title) to publisherMartin Goodman (whose holdings included the nascent Marvel Comics) during a game of golf. However, film producer and comics historian Michael Uslan partly debunked the story in a letter published in Alter Ego #43 (December 2004), pp. 43–44

      Irwin said he never played golf with Goodman, so the story is untrue. I heard this story more than a couple of times while sitting in the lunchroom at DC's 909 Third Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza office as Sol Harrison and [production chief] Jack Adler were schmoozing with some of us … who worked for DC during our college summers.... [T]he way I heard the story from Sol was that Goodman was playing with one of the heads of Independent News, not DC Comics (though DC owned Independent News). … As the distributor of DC Comics, this man certainly knew all the sales figures and was in the best position to tell this tidbit to Goodman. … Of course, Goodman would want to be playing golf with this fellow and be in his good graces. … Sol worked closely with Independent News' top management over the decades and would have gotten this story straight from the horse's mouth.

      Goodman, a publishing trend-follower aware of the JLA's strong sales, confirmably directed his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes. According to Lee in Origins of Marvel Comics (Simon and Schuster/Fireside Books, 1974), p. 16: "Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The [sic] Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes. … ' If the Justice League is selling ', spoke he, 'why don't we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'"


    1. ^ abSchedeen, Jesse (March 25, 2021). "Marvel Comics Shifts to New Distributor in Industry-Rattling Move - IGN". IGN. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
    2. ^"Hachette - Our Clients". Archived from the original on September 11, 2017. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
    3. ^ abcDaniels, Les (1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York: Harry N. Abrams. pp. 27 & 32–33. ISBN .
    4. ^Sanderson, Peter (November 20, 2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. Gallery Books.
    5. ^ abcPostal indicia in issue, per Marvel Comics #1 [1st printing] (October 1939)Archived November 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database: "Vol.1, No.1, MARVEL COMICS, Oct, 1939 Published monthly by Timely Publications, ... Art and editorial by Funnies Incorporated..."
    6. ^ abcdePer statement of ownership, dated October 2, 1939, published in Marvel Mystery Comics #4 (Feb. 1940), p. 40; reprinted in Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 1 (Marvel Comics, 2004, ISBN 0-7851-1609-5), p. 239
    7. ^Bell, Blake; Vassallo, Michael J. (2013). The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire. Fantagraphics Books. p. 299. ISBN .
    8. ^Writer-artist Bill Everett's Sub-Mariner had actually been created for an undistributed movie-theater giveaway comic, Motion Picture Funnies Weekly earlier that year, with the previously unseen, eight-page original story expanded by four pages for Marvel Comics #1.
    9. ^ abPer researcher Keif Fromm, Alter Ego #49, p. 4 (caption), Marvel Comics #1, cover-dated October 1939, quickly sold out 80,000 copies, prompting Goodman to produce a second printing, cover-dated November 1939. The latter appears identical except for a black bar over the October date in the inside front-cover indicia, and the November date added at the end. That sold approximately 800,000 copies—a large figure in the market of that time. Also per Fromm, the first issue of Captain America Comics sold nearly one million copies.
    10. ^Goulart, Ron (2000). Comic book culture: an illustrated history. Collectors Press, Inc. p. 173. ISBN .. Preceding Captain America were MLJ Comics' the Shield and Fawcett Comics' Minute-Man.
    11. ^"Marvel : Timely Publications (Indicia Publisher)"Archived January 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database. "This is the original business name under which Martin Goodman began publishing comics in 1939. It was used on all issues up to and including those cover-dated March 1941 or Winter 1940–1941, spanning the period from Marvel Comics #1 to Captain America Comics #1. It was replaced by Timely Comics, Inc. starting with all issues cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941."
    12. ^"GCD :: Story Search Results". Archived from the original on December 11, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2007.
    13. ^A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics. Smithsonian Institution/Harry N. Abrams. 1981.
    14. ^Lee, Stan; Mair, George (2002). Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Fireside Books. p. 22. ISBN .
    15. ^Simon, Joe; with Simon, Jim (1990). The Comic Book Makers. Crestwood/II Publications. p. 208. ISBN .
    16. ^Simon, Joe (2011). Joe Simon: My Life in Comics. London, UK: Titan Books. pp. 113–114. ISBN .
    17. ^Cover, All Surprise Comics #12Archived June 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database
    18. ^Wright, Bradford W. (2001). Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 57. ISBN .
    19. ^ abc"Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc.". International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 10. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale / St. James Press, via 1995. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
    20. ^Marvel : Atlas [wireframe globe] (Brand)Archived January 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database
    21. ^"Marvel Indicia Publishers". Grand Comics Database. Archived from the original on December 8, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
    22. ^Per Les Daniels in Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics, pp. 67–68: "The success of EC had a definite influence on Marvel. As Stan Lee recalls, 'Martin Goodman would say, "Stan, let's do a different kind of book," and it was usually based on how the competition was doing. When we found that EC's horror books were doing well, for instance, we published a lot of horror books'".
    23. ^Boatz, Darrel L. (December 1988). "Stan Lee". Comics Interview (64). Fictioneer Books. pp. 15–16.
    24. ^Marvel : MC (Brand)Archived March 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at the Grand Comics Database.
    25. ^The Marvel Legacy of Jack Kirby. Marvel. 2015. p. 50. ISBN .
    26. ^"Fantastic Four". Grand Comics Database. Archived from the original on March 15, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
    27. ^Roberts, Randy; Olson, James S. (1998). American Experiences: Readings in American History: Since 1865 (4 ed.). Addison–Wesley. p. 317. ISBN .
    28. ^Genter, Robert (2007). "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility': Cold War Culture and the Birth of Marvel Comics". The Journal of Popular Culture. 40 (6): 953–978. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5931.2007.00480.x.
    29. ^Comics historian Greg Theakston has suggested that the decision to include monsters and initially to distance the new breed of superheroes from costumes was a conscious one, and born of necessity. Since DC distributed Marvel's output at the time, Theakston theorizes that, "Goodman and Lee decided to keep their superhero line looking as much like their horror line as they possibly could," downplaying "the fact that [Marvel] was now creating heroes" with the effect that they ventured "into deeper waters, where DC had never considered going". See Ro, pp. 87–88
    30. ^Benton, Mike (1991). Superhero Comics of the Silver Age: The Illustrated History. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. p. 35. ISBN .
    31. ^Benton, p. 38.
    32. ^Howe, Sean (2012). Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. New York, NY: HarperCollins. p. 4. ISBN .
    33. ^Boucher, Geoff (September 25, 2009). "Jack Kirby, the abandoned hero of Marvel's grand Hollywood adventure, and his family's quest". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
    34. ^"The Real Brand X". Time. October 31, 1960. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
    35. ^"Branding Failure: The Rise and Fall of Marvel's Corner Box Art". YouTube. ComicTropes. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
    36. ^Daniels, Les (September 1991). Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics, Harry N Abrams. p. 139.
    37. ^Nyberg, Amy Kiste (1994). Seal of Approval: The Origins and History of the Comics Code. University Press of Mississippi. p. 170. ISBN .
    38. ^ abcdefRo, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 179.
    39. ^ abLee, Mair, p. 5.
    40. ^ abcWickline, Dan (January 12, 2018). "Conan the Barbarian Returns to Marvel Comics - Bleeding Cool News". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
    41. ^Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 451. ISBN .
    42. ^Daniels, Marvel, pp.154–155
    43. ^Rhoades, Shirrel (2008). A Complete History of American Comic Books. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing. p. 103. ISBN .
    44. ^Cooke, Jon B. (December 2011). "Vengeance, Incorporated: A history of the short-lived comics publisher Atlas/Seaboard". Comic Book Artist. No. 16. TwoMorrows Publishing. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
    45. ^McMillan, Graeme (December 5, 2017). "Marvel Partners With Stitcher for Scripted 'Wolverine' Podcast". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
    46. ^Both pencils and inks per UHBMCC; GCD remains uncertain on inker.
    47. ^Bullpen Bulletins: "The King is Back! 'Nuff Said!", in Marvel Comics cover dated October 1975, including Fantastic Four #163
    48. ^Specific series- and issue-dates in article are collectively per GCD and other databases given under References
    49. ^Howe, Sean (August 20, 2014). "After His Public Downfall, Sin City's Frank Miller Is Back (And Not Sorry)". Wired. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
    50. ^"Marvel Focuses On Direct Sales". The Comics Journal (59): 11–12. October 1980.
    51. ^ abc"Marvel Reaches Agreement to Emerge from Bankruptcy". The New York Times. July 11, 1997. p. D3. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
    52. ^"Clive Barker official site: Comics". November 28, 1999. Archived from the original on May 13, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
    53. ^"Independent Heroes from the USA: Clive Barker's Razorline". Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
    54. ^"Bye Bye Marvel; Here Comes Image: Portacio, Claremont, Liefeld, Jim Lee Join McFarlane's New Imprint at Malibu". The Comics Journal (48): 11–12. February 1992.
    55. ^Mulligan, Thomas S. (February 19, 1992). "Holy Plot Twist : Marvel Comics' Parent Sees Artists Defect to Rival Malibu, Stock Dive". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
    56. ^Ehrenreich, Ben (November 11, 2007). "PHENOMENON; Comic Genius?". The New York Times magazine. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
    57. ^Reynolds, Eric. "The Rumors are True: Marvel Buys Malibu," The Comics Journal #173 (December 1994), pp. 29–33.
    58. ^"News!" Indy magazine #8 (1994), p. 7.
    59. ^"Scott Rosenberg". Wizard World. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
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    61. ^Rozanski, Chuck (n.d.). "Diamond Ended Up With 50% of the Comics Market". Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
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    64. ^Duin, Steve and Richardson, Mike (ed.s) "Diamond Comic Distributors" in Comics Between the Panels (Dark Horse Publishing, 1998) ISBN 1-56971-344-8, p. 125-126
    65. ^Miller, John Jackson. "Capital Sale Tops Turbulent Year: The Top 10 Comics News Stories of 1996". CBGXtra. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
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    Today in Marvel History: MARVEL COMICS #1 is Released!

    Marvel Mystery Comics

    American comic book series

    Marvel Mystery Comics (first issue titled simply Marvel Comics) is an American comic book series published during the 1930s–1940s period known to fans and historians as the Golden Age of Comic Books. It was the first publication of Marvel Comics' predecessor, Timely Comics, a division of Timely Publications.

    Publication history[edit]

    Premiere issue: Marvel Comics #1[edit]

    In 1939, pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman expanded into the newly emerging comic book field by buying content from comics packager Funnies, Inc.

    On August 31, 1939, his first effort, Marvel Comics #1 (cover-dated Oct. 1939), from his company Timely Publications, was published.[1] This featured the first appearances of writer-artist Carl Burgos' androidsuperhero, the Human Torch, Paul Gustavson's costumed detective the Angel, and the first generally available appearance of Bill Everett's mutantanti-heroNamor the Sub-Mariner. [2] The Sub-Mariner was created for the unpublished movie-theater giveaway comic Motion Picture Funnies Weekly earlier that year, with the eight-page original story now expanded by four pages. Also included were Al Anders' Western hero the Masked Raider (Jim Gardley), canceled after appearing in the first twelve issues; the jungle lord feature, "The Adventures of Ka-Zar the Great," with Ben Thompson beginning a five-issue adaptation of the story "King of Fang and Claw" by Bob Byrd (pseudonym of Martin Goodman) in Goodman's pulp magazine Ka-Zar #1 (Oct. 1936);[3] the non-continuing-character story "Jungle Terror," featuring an adventurer named Ken Masters and Professor John Roberts, written by the quirkily named Tohm Dixon;[4] "Now I'll Tell One", five single-panel, black-and-white gag cartoons by Fred Schwab, on the inside front cover; and a two-page prose story by Ray Gill, "Burning Rubber", about auto racing.[2] A painted cover by veteran science fiction pulp artist Frank R. Paul featured the Human Torch,[2] looking much different than in the interior story.

    That initial magazine quickly sold out 80,000 copies, prompting Goodman to produce a second printing, cover-dated November 1939 and identical except for a black bar in the inside-front-cover indicia over the October date, and the November date added at the end. That sold approximately 800,000 copies.[5] With a hit on his hands, Goodman began assembling an in-house staff, hiring Funnies, Inc. writer-artist Joe Simon as editor. Simon brought along his collaborator, artist Jack Kirby, followed by artist Syd Shores.

    As Marvel Mystery Comics[edit]

    The Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner would continue to star in the long-running title even after receiving their own solo comic-book series shortly afterward. The Angel, who was featured on the covers of issues #2–3, would appear in every issue through #79 (Dec. 1946).[6]

    Other characters introduced in the title include the aviator the American Ace (#2, Dec. 1939), with part one of his origin reprinted, like the first part of the Sub-Mariner's, from Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1; the private detective the Ferret (Leslie Lenrow) by writer Stockbridge Winslow and artist Irwin Hasen (issues 4-9, February 1940-July 1940); and writer-artist Steve Dahlman's robot hero Electro, the Marvel of the Age (appearing in every issue from #4–19, Feb. 1940 – May 1941). Issue #13 saw the first appearance of the Vision, the inspiration for the same-name Marvel Comics superhero created in 1968. The original Vision appeared in solo stories through Marvel Mystery Comics #48.[6] Also featured in the title was Terry Vance, The School Boy Sleuth by Ray Gill and Bob Oksner (debuting in issue #10, August 1940 until #57, July 1944, as well as appearing in the first two issues of the revived Mystic Comics shortly thereafter).

    As Marvel Tales[edit]

    In 1949, with the popularity of superheroes having waned, the book was converted into the horror anthology Marvel Tales from issue #93–159 (Aug. 1949 – Aug. 1957), when it ceased publication.[7] Marvel published a different series of the same name in the 1960s, primarily reprinting Spider-Man stories.


    • Marvel Comics #1 (50th anniversary edition; reprints #1, 1990; ISBN 0-87135-729-1)
    • Marvel Comics #1: 70th Anniversary Edition (reprints #1 with modern coloring, 2009)
    • Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus (Marvel Comics #1; Marvel Mystery Comics #2–12)
    • Golden Age Marvel Comics Omnibus Vol. 2 (Marvel Mystery Comics #13-24)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 1 (Marvel Comics #1, Marvel Mystery Comics #2–4)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 2 (Marvel Mystery Comics #5–8)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 3 (Marvel Mystery Comics #9–12)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 4 (Marvel Mystery Comics #13–16)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 5 (Marvel Mystery Comics #17–20)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 6 (Marvel Mystery Comics #21–24)
    • Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Vol. 7 (Marvel Mystery Comics #25-28)

    See also[edit]


    1. ^"Marvel Comics (1939) #1". Marvel Comics. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
    2. ^ abcMarvel Comics #1 at the Grand Comics Database
    3. ^Ka-Zar at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 21, 2011. The Ka-Zar here, who would appear in every issue through Marvel Mystery Comics #27 (Jan. 1942) is unrelated to the Marvel Comics jungle lord Ka-Zar introduced in The X-Men #10 (March 1965).
    4. ^Marvel Masterworks: Golden Age Marvel Comics Volume 1 (Marvel, 2004) ISBN 0-7851-1609-5, as given in the contents page and as signed on the first page of the story, reprinted on pp. 46–51
    5. ^Per researcher Keif Fromm, Alter Ego #49, p. 4 (caption)
    6. ^ abMarvel Mystery Comics at the Grand Comics Database
    7. ^Marvel Tales (Marvel, 1949 Series) at the Grand Comics Database

    External links[edit]


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