By Hervé St-Louis
Marvel Comics' early business culture is Jewish. Like popular American film and publishing, Jewish promoters created a space apart from the old boy’s club. For years Marvel's publications tethered on the fringes of American culture. It published super heroes, westerns, romance, and horror comics. Marvel's breakthrough was in rebooting its super hero comics. It did so after noticing the success gained by dominant competitor National Comics Periodical or DC Comics.
Marvel Comics’ first attempt was the Fantastic Four. The first issue cover of Fantastic Four copied the layout of a Justice League comic book cover. Marvel did not rely on exchangeable cardboard characters. Instead it played with archetypes. The Fantastic Four were a dysfunctional family. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) was the father. Susan Richards (the Invisible Woman) was the mother. Ben Grimm (the Thing) and Johnny Storm (the Human Torch) were the sons.
But the genius displayed by Jack Kirby when he created these super heroes was not a lonely affair. Elsewhere other Marvel Comics creators created distinct characters to compete with DC Comics’ properties. Steve Ditko co-created, like Jack Kirby, Spider-man with Stan Lee. Spider-man was not even an adult yet called himself a man. He had money problems and had to learn the hard way what it meant to be a super hero. Unlike the DC Comics’ characters, he wasn’t a Silver Spoon. Every achievement, he earned on his own.
Before the end of the 1960s, the Marvel Comics’ breakthroughs were part of the American cultural landscape. Its comics participated in the contestation of authorities familiar with younger Postwar young Americans.
Marvel Comics created a robust and diverse fictional universe with a strong continuity. It achieved this with a creative mix of planets, aliens, mutants, and freak accidents. This pervasive universe endures quite well to this day.
Marvel Comics' existence was not easy. Unlike competitor DC Comics, it was not part of a large entertainment company until 2008. When Disney bought Marvel in 2008, the publisher had been near bankruptcy many times. Other firms had absorbed, resold, devalued Marvel several times. Marvel sold film licenses of its valuable properties to other firms under less favourable terms.
Marvel Comics is part of the dual competition like Coke and Pepsi in comics. Marvel, of course, was Pepsi, the upstart challenging the established brand. DC Comics, owned the best known super hero characters until Marvel's arrival. Marvel desires to have its super heroes with its own cinematic universe. In this joint venture by Marvel and other studios, it produces its own movies in a cohesive universe. Marvel likes to call itself the house of ideas.
March 4, 2021 - 22:56
I felt a bit underwhelmed from all the hype that accompanied it when it was first released as a monthly maxiseries.
August 8, 2018 - 21:53
With Disney's purchase of Fox it's financially okay to publish Fantastic Four stories again...but will they be any good?
August 1, 2018 - 23:20
Best ongoing Marvel Comics series right now.
June 27, 2018 - 23:49
The Hulk is back...as scarier than hell.
May 7, 2018 - 19:48
@jasonaaron ushers in the new Era of #AvengersAssemble with Ed McGuinness
January 5, 2018 - 02:16
"A Man Called X" begins along with with a new lease on life for Charles Xavier.
January 1, 2018 - 12:29
@Marvel presents X-Men: Grand Design #1, the beginning of Ed Piskor's condensing of decades of X-Men history in two issues (or 6?).
November 12, 2017 - 21:18
@Marvel @starwars present Star Wars #38, in which writer Kieron Gillen reunites with Salvador Larroca as the new creative team and the opening story arc picks up a "Rogue One" thread.
November 8, 2017 - 20:36
Meet the newest Mayor of New York City: Wilson Fisk. Oh, this is going to be good!
November 6, 2017 - 12:41
@Marvel presents Black Panther #166, the first Legacy issue of the series and Part 7 of the "Avengers of the New World" story arc.
October 24, 2017 - 20:04
@Marvel presents Spirits of Vengeance #1, in which Damian Hellstrom and Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider begin to gather a team that will get in the middle of war between Heaven and Hell,
October 16, 2017 - 20:48
@Marvel presents Falcon #1, the first issue in a new Legacy series, starring Captain America's former partner who was once also Captain America.
October 2, 2017 - 23:07
@Marvel presents Marvel Legacy #1, in which Marvel... whatever, man, whatever.
October 1, 2017 - 15:06
@Marvel presents Generations: Sam Wilson Captain America & Steve Rogers Captain America #1, the final issue of "Generations" and the best.
September 29, 2017 - 19:40
@Marvel presents Generations: Miles Morales Spider-Man & Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 (“The Spiders”), in which Miles learns what it means for Parker.
September 22, 2017 - 12:50
@Marvel presents Generations: Ms. Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1, in which Kamala Khan travels back in time and meets her idol, Carol Danvers, who does not know here... and does not want her help.
September 17, 2017 - 12:09
@Marvel @starwars present Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #1, which begins during the final moments of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
September 15, 2017 - 11:40
@Marvel presents Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1, in which Mar-Vell meets Carol Danvers, but he does not remember her.
September 11, 2017 - 12:24
@Marvel presents Generations: Iron Man & Ironheart #1, in which Riri Williams travels to the future, strange because some think this fictional character is the reason Marvel will not have a future.
September 4, 2017 - 20:18
@Marvel @starwars present Star Wars: Mace Windu #1, which is set shortly after the beginning of The Clone Wars and finds Mace Windu on an Outer Rim world.
September 1, 2017 - 19:07
@Marvel presents Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 in which the old meets the new on an island full of killers and killer marksmen.
August 25, 2017 - 20:45
@Marvel presents Generations: The Unworthy Thor & The Mighty Thor #1, a tale of two Thors, one unworthy and the other mighty.
August 24, 2017 - 19:49
@Marvel presents Star Wars: Rogue One – Cassian & K-2SO Special #1 or when Cassian met K-2SO, the tale of how an Imperial droid became Rebel Alliance property.
August 18, 2017 - 21:48
@Marvel presents Generations: Wolverine & All-New Wolverine #1, in which Wolverine meets a mysterious young woman who is like him.
August 15, 2017 - 21:42
Russians, Congressmen, love, and politics. Oh, yeah.
August 11, 2017 - 06:32
@Marvel presents Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1, in which young Jean Grey meets The Phoenix and two people start to ask uncomfortable questions.
August 4, 2017 - 05:57
@Marvel presents Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk #1, the first issue of its 10-issue "Generations," and the focus is on two Hulks - classic and totally awesome.
July 9, 2017 - 21:55
@Marvel presents Defenders #1, in which Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist come together to take on an old villain with new kick-ass powers.
July 5, 2017 - 23:27
Daredevil by Charles Soule is the best mainstream superhero comic book being written right now.
June 29, 2017 - 14:54
@Marvel presents Darth Vader #1, it second comic book starring everyone's "favorite" Sith Lord, focusing on the beginning of his Sith Lord career.
April 8, 2017 - 18:37
The progressive era is over at Marvel Comics.
February 25, 2017 - 13:05
@Marvel @jrome58 present The Unstoppable Wasp #2, in which Nadia, the Unstoppable Wasp begins to search for the first members of G.I.R.L.
January 8, 2017 - 21:33
Don't call her She-Hulk anymore. Jennifer Walters is now the angst ridden HULK, but will she become as boring as her cousin Bruce did and eventually get written out of existence too?
January 6, 2017 - 10:42
@nickspencer My review of this comic could be considered a political act
August 14, 2016 - 20:16
@jasonaaron misses with @Marvel’s Star Wars #21 like a stormtrooper shooting at a bantha, despite his talents. #starwars
July 7, 2016 - 01:23
Charles Soule continues his take on the never ending war of ideals between Marvel Comics' Punisher and Daredevil.
June 10, 2016 - 14:58
Daredevil confronts Elektra who wants to kill him for having kidnapped her daughter
May 30, 2016 - 14:16
So @nickspencer’s #captainamericanothydra sucks. It still has SOME use…besides #memorialday2016 bonfire fuel…
May 29, 2016 - 22:38
@nickspencer's Captain America is an Aryan symbol. Why be surprised?
October 9, 2015 - 00:58
Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo gear up Doctor Strange for his upcoming movie appearance.