Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing house famous for creating notable characters such as Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and the X-Men. Marvel Comics and DC Comics have collaborated on several crossover projects together and also co-founded the intentionally short-lived Amalgam Comicsimprint.
Marvel Comics began life as "Timely Publications" in 1939, with comic books featuring Captain America, Namor the Sub-Mariner and an early version of the 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 -- 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 and the X-Men. 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, Captain America and the Hulk becoming regular features of the summer movie season.