Superheroes have always been popular among teenagers. Paper comic books were atop this wave of popularity before television shows, movies, or Internet threads about these superheroes were even available. Comic book fans revered these paperbacks as more than just stories. The comics actually delved into social, societal, and political thresholds, reflecting the state of the times they were released. Ever since first hitting the market, Marvel comic books have enjoyed a position at the top comic world. And, Marvel continues to be the biggest publisher of comics today.
Marvel’s history goes as far back as October 1939 when Martin Goodman commissioned Lloyd Jacquet’s company to publish the first comic book for Marvel. Incidentally, the book was entitled Marvel Comics #1. Marvel sold more than 80,000 copies of its inaugural issue. Seeing the success of its experiment with comics, especially the popularity of its first superhero Human Torch, Marvel introduced its second superhero-Captain America-in 1941.
World War II marked the end of what became known as the “Golden Age” of comic books. Marvel Comics responded to a precipitous decline in the popularity of superhero books, featuring characters such as Captain America, by introducing a new range of humorous books based around characters such as Super Rabbit.
However, the start of Vietnam War revived interest in comic superheroes. This forced Marvel into designing four new superheroes that teamed up as “The Fantastic Four” in the eponymous Marvel comic books. Marvel followed it up with other characters such as X-Men, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Hulk, and the immortalized Spider-Man. These characters are etched into the minds of generations of teenagers and continue to form the basis of several Hollywood blockbusters.
Marvel comics were educational as well as entertaining. Look at them closely and you should notice how they incorporated important issues into their story lines. Drug abuse is a good example of this. Because of this technique, many educators promoted these comics for student use.
Collectors pay a huge price for old comics, even millions of dollars for the rare issues in pristine condition. Ask your grandparents and parents if they have a fortune tucked in a drawer that contains the nostalgic stuff from their childhood. Even the government recognizes the immense influence of superhero comics on pop culture. In 2007, commemorative stamps featuring superhero comic characters were released.