One of the best-known comic book companies in the world, Marvel Comics began as Timely Comics in 1939, first producing Motion Picture Funnies Weekly which introduced the Sub-Mariner. Later that year, Marvel Comics #1, featuring the original Human Torch, was released, and numerous other heroes, such as Captain America, emerged over the next few years. Marvel became Atlas in the 1950s, shifting away from superheroes to romance, horror/monster, and western comics. In 1961, however, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made a shot at superheroes again, inspired by the recent character revivals at competitor DC Comics. The Fantastic Four were born, and soon other new heroes were introduced, including Iron Man, the Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, the Amazing Spider-Man, the X-Men, and many more. Marvel's mix of action with humanized, even troubled characters made them very appealing to young people, particularly teenagers. Marvel is now one of the top two comic book companies, its characters spun off into animated series, video games, and most recently, a series of popular live-action films (beginning with 2000's X-Men).
- Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (1939) and all subsequent Timely, Atlas and Marvel comics (excluding those that are explicitly non-canon)
The Marvel and DC universes are totally separate realities which have crossed over several times, most notably in DC vs. Marvel and JLA/Avengers. Marvel and DC were fused together into the Amalgam universe, which now exists separately from either of its parents. Marvel contains versions of Dracula, Doc Savage, Fu Manchu, Conan the Barbarian, Godzilla and others, but it contains too many other incompatible elements to be part of the Wold Newton Universe that those characters are also connected to.
- Marvel Directory
- The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
- The Unofficial Chronology to the Marvel Universe
- Marvel: The Lost Generation
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