Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel 's modern name dates from 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and many others. Marvel includes well-known characters such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, Thor, the Silver Surfer, She-Hulk, Daredevil and Ghost Rider, such teams as the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men, and villians such as Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Kingpin, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Loki, Thanos, Hydra and the Red Skull. Most of Marvel 's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities. Characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Daredevil and Dr. Strange are based in New York City, whereas the X-Men have historically been based in Salem Center, New York and the Hulk 's stories often have been set in the American Southwest.
Martin Goodman founded the company later known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, a pulp magazine publisher who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by then already highly popular—new medium of comic books. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman 's comic book line dropped them...
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...s 70th anniversary, dating to its inception as Timely Comics, by issuing the one-shot Marvel Mystery Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1 and a variety of other special issues.
Disney conglomerate unit On August 31, 2009, The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Comics ' parent corporation, Marvel Entertainment, for $4 billion or $4.2 billion, As of September 2010, Marvel switched its bookstores distribution company from Diamond Book Distributors to Hachette Distribution Services.
Marvel relaunched the CrossGen imprint, owned by Disney Publishing Worldwide, in March 2011. Marvel and Disney Publishing began jointly publishing Disney/Pixar Presents magazine that May. As of September 2015, films based on Marvel 's properties represent the highest-grossing U.S. franchise, having grossed over $7.7 billion as part of a worldwide gross of over $18 billion.
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