10 Must Know Facts About Marvel

10 Must-Know Marvel Facts NUMBER 10: MARVEL ILLUMINATI First referenced in July 2005, the Marvel Illuminati are a group of superheroes who were united by Iron Man to secretly work behind the scenes of the Marvel Universe Members have included Professor X, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and numerous others

Iron Man initially proposed a government of superheroes, but the other members refused, saying that to overtly interfere in politics could increase anti-hero sentiment Instead, it was agreed that the Illuminati would discuss events and plan in secret, for example within the Civil War and the Secret Invasion storylines Sources: Marvel, New Avengers: Illuminati, Comic Book Resources NUMBER 9: SAFE SEX SPIDER-MAN In 1976 sexual health organization Planned Parenthood collaborated with Marvel in an effort to reach out to the comic book generation ‘The Amazing Spider-Man vs

The Prodigy’ centered around an alien villain who encouraged teenagers to have unprotected sex, so he could abduct their children for use as child laborers on his home planet Spider-Man exposed and defeated the sinister villain and the story concluded with a poster detailing sexual health advice Sources: The Mary Sue, Comic Vine, Dangerous Minds NUMBER 8: MARVEL-OUS ANIMALS The Marvel Universe is part of a wider multiverse, which includes numerous alternate versions of Earth On Earth-8311, many Marvel characters take animal form

In 1983 Marvel released Peter Porker, The Spectacular Spider-Ham, which followed the adventures of an injustice-fighting pig/spider hybrid The Spider-Ham series also saw the introduction of other animal parodies of our favorite Marvel characters For example, Captain AmeriCat, Deerdevil and Nick Furry, Agent of SHE

EP Sources: Time, Comics Alliance NUMBER 7: COPYRIGHTING Between 1975 and 1996 Marvel owned the rights to the word ‘zombie’ They trademarked the term after publishing Tale of the Zombie in 1973, however it was far too difficult to enforce the copyright

In the mid-1990s, small publisher Cup O Java Studios released a comic entitled ‘A World Without Superheroes’ Both Marvel and DC took the Cup O Java founder to court and legally forced the comic to stop using the term ‘superhero’ Sources: Comic Book Resources, A World Without Superheroes, Blastr NUMBER 6: DC AND MARVEL CROSSOVERS Although often seen as arch-enemies, DC Comics and Marvel have occasionally collaborated They even created the Amalgam Universe together, filled with combined and merged characters

These have included Dark Claw – a mixture of Batman and Wolverine, Iron Lantern – a cross between Iron Man and Green Lantern, and Super Soldier – Superman meets Captain America There was even a crossover series published in 1996 called DC vs Marvel Comics, which saw various characters from the different publications battle out for supremacy Sources: Chicago Tribune, Superherohypre, Screenrant NUMBER 5: MICHAEL JACKSON TRIED TO BUY MARVEL Driven by the desire to star in a Spider-Man film, Michael Jackson tried to buy Marvel in the late 1990s… he even had Stan Lee on side

Jackson was a huge fan of Spider-Man and knew the only way he could be cast was to buy the then-struggling company and produce a film himself However, there was bad blood between Stan Lee and Marvel co-owner Ike Perlmutter Perlmutter was suspicious that Lee was trying to take over the company using Jackson as a frontman, so he escalated the asking price to $1 billion As this was far more than Marvel was worth at the time, Jackson was forced to (moon) walk away Sources: Comics Alliance, Movie Pilot, MTV

NUMBER 4: MARVEL COURT CASE Marvel was involved in a high-profile court case in 2003, which officially determined that many of its characters were not human Because humanoid action figures were taxed almost twice as much as other types of toy, it was in Marvel’s financial interest to claim that its characters were not human The case generated a strong backlash from fans, because a common theme in the comics was mutant characters – such as the X-Men – trying to prove their humanity Sources: Law and the Multiverse, Leagle, US Courts NUMBER 3: STAN LEE’S CAMEOS As of February 2016, Stan Lee has made 28 cameos in Marvel movies, from an oblivious librarian in The Amazing Spider-Man to a psychiatric patient in Thor: The Dark World

As these 28 films made a total of $64 billion at the domestic box office, this technically makes the 93-year-old the third highest grossing actor of all time, behind only Samuel L Jackson and Transformers voice star Frank Welker Sources: Business Insider, The Numbers NUMBER 2: THE EVOLUTION OF MARVEL Since Marvel began in 1939, then known as Timely Productions, its characters have transformed considerably from their original conceptions

For example, the Hulk was initially meant to be gray When illustrators realized that green ink kept a more consistent color in print, they decided to use that instead Iron Man has also changed over the years, with early appearances showing Tony Stark regularly needing to plug himself into a wall outlet to charge his suit Sources: What Culture, Complex, Marvel NUMBER 1: DI ANOTHER DAY In 2003 Marvel Comics announced its shocking plans to publish a five-part series called ‘Di Another Day’, which would star a resurrected Diana The Princess of Wales as a mutant superhero

Commenting on the public’s fascination with Princess Diana, writer Peter Milligan said that ‘the strange power she exerts from beyond the grave’ makes her ideal hero material A Buckingham Palace spokesperson disagreed, arguing that that comic was just a cheap attempt to cash in on Diana’s untimely death Sources: New York Post, The Guardian, Toonzone

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