Marvel Comics has a very interesting history.  Marvel started as Timely Comics in 1939 by Martin Goodman, Jack Kirby, and Joe Simon.  They had two superheros: the Sub-mariner and the Human Torch.  Both were relatively successful, and in 1941, Timely introduced Captain America to the comic book world.  Cap comics sold extremely well during World War II, but following the end of the war, comic book sales fell drastically.  Timely Comics was forced to shut it’s doors, but reopened in 1952 as Atlas Comics.  Goodman sold the new Atlas comics at newsstands until 1956, when business got big enough to hire a distributor.  Stan Lee was hired during this time.  In the late 50’s and early 60’s, DC Comics’ Justice League was flying off shelves, and Atlas- now know as Marvel Comics- decided to follow suit with the Kirby and Lee’s creation of the Fantastic Four and a reboot of the Human Torch.  The Fantastic Four  shot Kirby and Lee to the top of the comic book world, and they were the most powerful duo in the industry.  They created so many wonderful comic book heroes: Spider-man, the X-men, Daredevil, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Sergeant Fury, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and so many more.  After years of success, Kirby left Marvel, and Stan Lee was in charge.  However, for decades after, legal battles raged between Lee’s Marvel and Kirby because Kirby thought he was treated unfairly after leaving the company, and accused them of stealing his ideas and artwork.  There was a lot more to all the legal battles, but I didn’t get that far in the reading because the article is really long.

The road to the top of the superhero kingdom has not been an easy one for Marvel.


CC BY-SA 4.0 History of Marvel (Gale Research) by Joey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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1 Comment
  1. Abbi 2 years ago

    As you know, I’m quite a marvel fan myself. I would really like to know more about the legal battles between Kirby and Lee and how they played out in the end.

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