Victor Rhodes / Reporter
Marvel Comics is celebrating 75 years as a comic book publisher and entertainment business.
Marvel began life as Timely Comics in 1939 and was founded by Martin Goodman. He is known for creating Marvel Comics No. 1, which debuted in October 1939 and saw the first appearances of android superhero Human Torch (not to be confused with Fantastic Four Human Torch) and anti-hero Namor. The company later rebranded as Marvel Comics and created iconic superheroes such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron-Man, Hulk, Daredevil, The Avengers and Fantastic Four.
Marvel characters have been through many changes in the past 75 years.
For example, Steve Rogers (Captain America) has been de-aged and replaced by Falcon. Peter Parker no longer works at the Daily Bugle, but now runs his own company and teaches mutants at Jean Grey School of Mutants.
Marvel has had its share of highs and lows, but is now stronger than ever.
Multimillionaire playboy Tony Stark, who wore a metal suit and called himself Iron Man, helped kickstart the studio’s cinematic universe known as “Phase 1.” “Phase 1” includes Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Avengers.
Marvel recently announced “Phase 3” with new and returning characters. Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and The InHumans will all make their feature film debut.
The Marvel franchise became the second film franchise with Harry Potter films holding the top spot.
However, Sony’s Spider-Man film is facing problems, while Fox is receiving negative reactions over its Fantastic Four reboot.
Besides film, Marvel premiered “Agents of Shield” on ABC. The show, created by Joss Whedon, follows Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and other agents investigating HYDRA whereabouts. It also connects with Marvel’s cinematic universe.
Marvel began releasing its comic books on its online platform called Marvel Unlimited. Marvel Unlimited is accessible from desktop, smart phones and tablets. Print editions now include free redeemable digital codes.
The Walt Disney Co. purchased Marvel Comics in 2009, making them a major partner for the House of Mouse.
During their anniversary celebration, ABC aired “Marvel: 75 years, From Pulp to Pop!” and announced a summer 2015 comic book event called Battleworld.
Fans should check out Marvel Comics’ current titles and look forward to what they have in store.