Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing house famous for creating notable characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers, Hulk, Thor, the X-Men, Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Fantastic Four, the Defenders, the Inhumans, Wolverine, Deadpool, Gambit, Phoenix, Storm, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Silver Surfer, Daredevil, Elektra, the Punisher, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Blade, Ant-Man and the Wasp, the Thing, the Human Torch, , Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, the Vision, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, the Winter Soldier, Falcon, and many other characters. Marvel's most well-known villains include the Green Goblin, Red Skull, Loki, Thanos, Ultron, Kang the Conqueror, Galactus, Magneto, Apocalypse, Juggernaut, Sabretooth, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Mystique, the Abomination, Baron Zemo, HYDRA, A.I.M., the Hand, Maximus, Annihilus, the Sentinels, Kingpin, Bullseye, Kilgrave, Ronan the Accuser etc. Marvel Comics and DC Comics have collaborated on several crossover projects together and also co-founded the intentionally short-lived Amalgam Comics imprint.
Marvel Comics began life as "Timely Publications" in 1939, with comic books featuring Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner and an early version of Human Torch. Legendary comics writer Stan Lee was hired as an office assistant in 1939. Within two years, the 19-year-old Lee was promoted to editor of the Marvel Comics line, a post that he would keep until 1972.
Everything changed in 1961, when Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby ushered in "The Marvel Age of Comics" by creating The Fantastic Four which brought a new style of superhero comic that focused on the characters' internal drama as well as their heroic adventures. The style was a huge success, and the Lee/Kirby team went on to create the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Mighty Thor, the X-Men, the Avengers, and the Inhumans, The prolific Lee worked with artist Steve Ditko to create Marvel's greatest success story, Spider-Man. Stan Lee's Marvel revolution extended beyond the characters and storylines to the way in which comic books engaged the readership and built a sense of community between fans and creators.
Marvel Comics have been translated all over the world, and in many languages, most notably in Europe (Arédit and Marvel France imprints) and Québec, Canada (Éditions Héritage).
Today, Marvel's heroes are blockbuster stars on the silver screen; with Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, Wolverine, Deadpool, Captain America, the Hulk, the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and numerous others becoming regular features of the summer movie season. Additionally, heroes like the Defenders, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Runaways, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, the Punisher and others have found success on the small screen.
Most of Marvel's superheroes and super villains usually operate or were born in cities or countries (whether they be real or fictional) these locations are:
- New York City: The home of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Defenders, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Punisher, Moon Knight, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, the Morlocks, Venom, Kingpin, Sandman, Lizard, Electro, Green Goblin, Black Cat, Vulture, Scorpion, Doctor Octopus and many other superheroes and super villains as well as regular citizens. Some heroes such as Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Black Cat operate in a specific area of NYC while others like Moon Knight and Punisher are based throughout the city regardless of borough/area.
- Westchester County: The home of the X-Men.
- Wakanda: The home country of the Black Panther (the ruler of the country) and his female royal bodyguards the Dora Milaje as well as T'Challa's enemies M'Baku, Erik Killmonger, and White Wolf.
- Russia: The home country of Black Widow, Colossus, Magik, Winter Guard, Kraven the Hunter, the Chameleon, and Yelena Belova.
- Latveria: The home country of Doctor Doom.
- Attilan: The home city and capital of the Inhuman Royal Family.
- Asgard: One of the Ten Realms in the universe. Home to the Asgardians, Thor, Loki, Odin, the Enchantress, Hela, and Valkyrie.
- London, United Kingdom: The home of Captain Britain, Blade, Excalibur, and the Black Knight.
- Canada: The home country of Alpha Flight, Wolverine, Deadpool, Sabretooth and the Weapon X program.
- Germany: The home country of the Red Skull, Nightcrawler, and Mystique.
- Los Angeles: The home city of the Runaways, Robbie Reyes, Jubilee, and one-time home of Moon Knight.
- New Orleans: The home city of Gambit.
- Caldecott County, Mississippi: The birthplace of Rogue.
- Kenya: The home country of Storm.
- Japan: The home country of the Silver Samurai, Sunfire, and Big Hero 6.
- Symkaria: The home country of Silver Sable
- Australia: The home country of Bishop.
- Knowhere: The occasional home of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Hala: The home planet of the Kree Empire and Ronan the Accuser.
- Skrullos: The home planet of the Skrull Empire.
- Staff of Marvel Comics
- Comics produced by Marvel
- Characters introduced by Marvel
- The Mainstream Marvel Universe
- The Ultimate Marvel Universe
- Imprints of Marvel Comics