Marvel Comics

company that publishes comic books and related media

Marvel Comics is an American comic book company that makes "superhero" comic books. Marvel was started in 1939 by Martin Goodman as Timely Comics, and by 1951 had generally become known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee,[1] Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko[2] and many others. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company bought Marvel for US$4 billion. Its top rival is DC Comics (the publications of Superman and Wonder Woman).

Marvel Comics logo introduced in 2024.

The company is known for featuring such well-known superheroes such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Black Widow, Thor, Hulk, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel; as well as popular superhero teams including the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The universe also features well-known supervillains such as Doctor Doom, Magneto, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Loki, Ultron, Thanos, Kang the Conqueror, Venom, and Galactus. The majority of its publications take place within the fictional Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places; many major characters are based in New York City. Additionally, Marvel has published several licensed properties from other companies. This includes Star Wars comics twice from 1977 to 1986 and again since 2015.

Marvel Comics has adapted its characters to different forms of media, including action figures, animated and live-action movies, animated and live-action television series, and video games, which have made them even more popular.



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.



Located in New York City, Marvel has had successive headquarters:

  • In the McGraw-Hill Building, where it originated as Timely Comics in 1939.
  • In suite 1401 of the Empire State Building.
  • At 635 Madison Avenue (the actual location, though the comic books' indicia listed the owner creating-company's address of 625 Madison Ave.)
  • 575 Madison Avenue.
  • 387 Park Avenue South.
  • 10 East 40th Street.
  • 417 Fifth Avenue.
  • A 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) space at 135 W. 50th Street.


  1. Rapoport, Michael (2021-02-20). "How Much of the Marvel Universe Did Stan Lee Really Create?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  2. Couch, Andy Lewis,Aaron; Lewis, Andy; Couch, Aaron (2018-07-06). "Steve Ditko, Spider-Man Co-Creator and Legendary Comics Artist, Dies at 90". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-05-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)