You’ve been stacking up on those beloved comic books making a superhero library of your own. You love them like you love the greatest things in your life and you’ve met the characters years before you’ve even met your current friends. You remember the exact moment when you were introduced to that wonderful world of comics and even more, you remember the very first comic book you bought with your own money.
So, just for you, comic book lover, here are some random and interesting facts about Marvel Comics:
The company started in 1939 by Martin Goodman, New York magazine publisher, by the name of Atlas. It wasn’t until 1969 that the name Marvel appeared and made its debut with Amazing Adventures 3.
Unusual writers: Marvel’s UK division had an interesting addition in 1975. Neil Tennant, Pet Shop Boys singer, worked for the company for two years. His job was to Anglicize the American spelling and make it Britain-friendly. Another task was to indicate when the superheroines were wearing too little (you big comic ruiner!) and needed to be redrawn to appear more decent looking.
Mario Puzo, known for writing the glorious Godfather found comics to be a daunting thing to write. He just couldn’t do it! He wrote for a men’s adventure magazine at the same publisher as Marvel. One day, low on cash, Puzo asked Lee if he could give it a go at comic writing but ended up saying “I could write a novel in the time it would take me to figure out this damn thing out”. Turn out, in spite of his struggle, he eventually came around the comic world and wrote the screenplay for the first two Superman movies.
You know how they’ve told you (very mistakenly!) that comics will rot your mind? Well, that’s a whole lot of silly-talk. However, there’s a story that sort of backs that argument up, but it’s more fun than anything else. In the 118th issue of New X-Men the word sex was concealed at least 18 times in the drawings of protest signs, tree branches, bottles of whisky and even a lawn! Ethan Van Sciver, the artist said he did it for fun and because Marvel was “annoying him”. Funny turn of events is that Fredic Wertham, a well-known psychologist has a whole rant about this subject and how comics were polluting the American youth.
In the 127 Iron Man issue, Tony Stark’s butler Jarvis quits after Stark verbally abuses him while under the influence of alcohol. The letter of resignation was published. Turns out that someone had switched the word “Marvel” for “Avengers” and actually published Dave Cockrum’s own letter of resignation. Three issues later somebody clarified the mistake but the damage was done.
What did you just say?
We now live in a world where the undead are super popular. Yet, there was a time when the word Zombie was only reserved for a few movies and comics. Marvel wanted to trademark the word Zombie in the use of comic book titles in 1973. The whole thing took two years and by that time, Tale of the Zombie was almost over. In 1996 Marvel lost the trademark and won it back for “Marvel Zombies”. They also took the patent for “Super Hero”, two words.
Smash that spider!
Martin Goodman told Stan Lee that Spiderman would never work because people were afraid of spiders and would not want to read about them. Little did he know what was coming!