Spider-Man is a fictional superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 in the Silver Age of Comic Books, he appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as in a number of movies, television shows, video game adaptations set in the Marvel Universe. In the stories, Spider-Man is the alias of Peter Parker, an orphan raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City after his parents Richard and Mary Parker were killed in a plane crash. Lee and Ditko had the character deal with the struggles of adolescence and financial issues, accompanied him with many supporting characters, such as J. Jonah Jameson, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, romantic interests Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson, foes such as Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin and Venom, his origin story has him acquiring spider-related abilities after a bite from a radioactive spider. When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist.
The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a high school student from Queens behind Spider-Man's secret identity and with whose "self-obsessions with rejection and loneliness" young readers could relate. While Spider-Man had all the makings of a sidekick, unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man had no superhero mentor like Captain America and Batman. Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first and longest-lasting of, The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character developed from a shy, nerdy New York City high school student to troubled but outgoing college student, to married high school teacher to, in the late 2000s, a single freelance photographer. In the 2010s, he joins Marvel's flagship superhero team. Spider-Man's nemesis Doctor Octopus took on the identity for a story arc spanning 2012–2014, following a body swap plot in which Peter appears to die. Marvel has published books featuring alternate versions of Spider-Man, including Spider-Man 2099, which features the adventures of Miguel O'Hara, the Spider-Man of the future.
Miles is brought into mainstream continuity, where he works alongside Peter. Spider-Man is one of the commercially successful superheroes; as Marvel's flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in countless forms of media, including several animated and live action television series, syndicated newspaper comic strips, in a series of films. The character was first portrayed in live action by Danny Seagren in Spidey Super Stories, a The Electric Company skit which ran from 1974 to 1977. In films, Spider-Man has been portrayed by actors Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland. Reeve Carney starred as Spider-Man in the 2010 Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Spider-Man has been well received as a superhero and comic book character, he is ranked as one of the most popular and iconic comic book characters of all time. In 1962, with the success of the Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics editor and head writer Stan Lee was casting about for a new superhero idea, he said the idea for Spider-Man arose from a surge in teenage demand for comic books, the desire to create a character with whom teens could identify.
In his autobiography, Lee cites the non-superhuman pulp magazine crime fighter the Spider as a great influence, in a multitude of print and video interviews, Lee stated he was further inspired by seeing a spider climb up a wall—adding in his autobiography that he has told that story so he has become unsure of whether or not this is true. Although at the time teenage superheroes were given names ending with "boy", Lee says he chose "Spider-Man" because he wanted the character to age as the series progressed, moreover felt the name "Spider-Boy" would have made the character sound inferior to other superheroes. At that time Lee had to get only the consent of Marvel publisher Martin Goodman for the character's approval. In a 1986 interview, Lee described in detail his arguments to overcome Goodman's objections. Goodman agreed to a Spider-Man tryout in what Lee in numerous interviews recalled as what would be the final issue of the science-fiction and supernatural anthology series Amazing Adult Fantasy, renamed Amazing Fantasy for that single issue, #15.
In particular, Lee stated that the fact that it had been decided that Amazing Fantasy would be cancelled after issue #15 was the only reason Goodman allowed him to use Spider-Man. While this was indeed the final issue, its editorial page anticipated the comic continuing and that "The Spiderman... will appear every month in Amazing."Regardless, Lee received Goodman's approval for the name Spider-Man and the "ordinary teen" concept and approached artist Jack Kirby. As comics historian Greg Theakston recounts, Kirby told Lee about an unpublished character on which he had collaborated with Joe Simon in the 1950s, in which an orphaned boy living with an old couple finds a
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and widespread commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those featuring the superhero archetype. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the period from 1956 to circa 1970, was succeeded by the Bronze and Modern Ages; the popularity and circulation of comic books about superheroes had declined following World War II, comic books about horror and romance took larger shares of the market. However, controversy arose over alleged links between comic books and juvenile delinquency, focusing in particular on crime and horror titles. In 1954, publishers implemented the Comics Code Authority to regulate comic content. In the wake of these changes, publishers began introducing superhero stories again, a change that began with the introduction of a new version of DC Comics' The Flash in Showcase #4. In response to strong demand, DC began publishing more superhero titles including Justice League of America, which prompted Marvel Comics to follow suit beginning with The Fantastic Four #1.
A number of important comics writers and artists contributed to the early part of the era, including writers Gardner Fox, John Broome, Robert Kanigher, artists Curt Swan, Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Steve Ditko, Mike Sekowsky, Gene Colan, Carmine Infantino, John Buscema, John Romita, Sr. By the end of the Silver Age, a new generation of talent had entered the field, including writers Denny O'Neil, Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas, Archie Goodwin, artists such as Neal Adams, Herb Trimpe, Jim Steranko, Barry Windsor-Smith. Silver Age comics have become collectible, with a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15, the debut of Spider-Man, selling for $1.1 million in 2011. Comics historian and movie producer Michael Uslan traces the origin of the "Silver Age" term to the letters column of Justice League of America #42, which went on sale December 9, 1965. Letter-writer Scott Taylor of Westport, wrote, "If you guys keep bringing back the heroes from the Golden Age, people 20 years from now will be calling this decade the Silver Sixties!"
According to Uslan, the natural hierarchy of gold-silver-bronze, as in Olympic medals, took hold. "Fans glommed onto this, refining it more directly into a Silver Age version of the Golden Age. Soon, it was in our vernacular, replacing such expressions as...'Second Heroic Age of Comics' or'The Modern Age' of comics. It wasn't long before dealers were... specifying it was a Golden Age comic for sale or a Silver Age comic for sale." Spanning World War II, when American comics provided cheap and disposable escapist entertainment that could be read and discarded by the troops, the Golden Age of comic books covered the late 1930s to the late 1940s. A number of major superheroes were created during this period, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Captain America. In subsequent years comics were blamed for a rise in juvenile crime statistics, although this rise was shown to be in direct proportion to population growth; when juvenile offenders admitted to reading comics, it was seized on as a common denominator.
The result was a decline in the comics industry. To address public concerns, in 1954 the Comics Code Authority was created to regulate and curb violence in comics, marking the start of a new era; the Silver Age began with the publication of DC Comics' Showcase #4, which introduced the modern version of the Flash. At the time, only three superheroes—Superman and Wonder Woman—were still published under their own titles. According to DC comics writer Will Jacobs, Superman was available in "great quantity, but little quality." Batman was doing better, but his comics were "lackluster" in comparison to his earlier "atmospheric adventures" of the 1940s, Wonder Woman, having lost her original writer and artist, was no longer "idiosyncratic" or "interesting." Jacobs describes the arrival of Showcase #4 on the newsstands as "begging to be bought," the cover featured an undulating film strip depicting the Flash running so fast that he had escaped from the frame. Editor Julius Schwartz, writer Gardner Fox, artist Carmine Infantino were some of the people behind the Flash's revitalization.
Robert Kanigher wrote the first stories of the revived Flash, John Broome was the writer of many of the earliest stories. With the success of Showcase #4, several other 1940s superheroes were reworked during Schwartz' tenure, including Green Lantern, the Atom, Hawkman, the Justice Society of America was reimagined as the Justice League of America; the DC artists responsible included Gil Kane and Joe Kubert. Only the characters' names remained the same. Schwartz, a lifelong science-fiction fan, was the inspiration for the re-imagined Green Lantern—the Golden Age character, railroad engineer Alan Scott, possessed a ring powered by a magical lantern, but his Silver Age replacement, test pilot Hal Jordan, had a ring powered by an alien battery and created by an intergalactic police force. In the mid-1960s, DC established that characters appearing in comics published prior to the Silver Age lived on a parallel Earth the company dubbed Earth-Two. Characters introduced in the Silver Age and onward lived on Earth-One.
The two realities were separated by a vib
Thor (Marvel Comics)
Thor is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, based on the Norse deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder who possesses the enchanted hammer, which grants him the ability to fly and manipulate weather amongst his other superhuman attributes. Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, penciller-plotter Jack Kirby, he has starred in several ongoing series and limited series, is a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers, appearing in each volume of that series. The character has appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, video games, clothing and trading cards; the character was first portrayed in live action by Eric Allan Kramer in the 1988 television movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor Odinson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, will reprise his role in Avengers: Endgame in 2019.
Additionally, archival footage of Hemsworth as Thor was used in the episodes "Pilot" and "The Well" of Marvel's Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D. Thor placed 14th on IGN's list of "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" in 2011, first in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012; the Marvel Comics superhero Thor debuted in the science fiction/fantasy anthology title Journey into Mystery #83, was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, penciller-plotter Jack Kirby. A different version of the mythological Thor had appeared in Venus #12–13. Lee in 2002 described Thor's genesis early in the Marvel pantheon, following the creation of the Hulk: ow do you make someone stronger than the strongest person? It came to me: Don't make him human — make him a god. I decided readers were pretty familiar with the Greek and Roman gods, it might be fun to delve into the old Norse legends... Besides, I pictured Norse gods looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, battle clubs....
Journey into Mystery needed a shot in the arm, so I picked Thor... to headline the book. After writing an outline depicting the story and the characters I had in mind, I asked my brother, Larry, to write the script because I didn't have time....and it was only natural for me to assign the penciling to Jack Kirby... In a 1984 interview Kirby said "I did a version of Thor for D. C. in the fifties before I did him for Marvel. I created Thor at Marvel because I was forever enamored of legends, why I knew about Balder and Odin. I tried to update Thor and put him into a superhero costume, but he was still Thor." The story was included in Tales of the Unexpected #16, from 1957. And in a 1992 interview, Kirby said " knew the Thor legends well, but I wanted to modernize them. I felt that might be a new thing for comics, taking the old legends and modernizing them."Subsequent stories of the 13-page feature "The Mighty Thor" continued to be plotted by Lee, were variously scripted by Lieber or by Robert Bernstein, working under the pseudonym "R. Berns".
Various artists penciled the feature, including Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott, Don Heck, Al Hartley. With Journey into Mystery #101, the series began a long and definitive run by writer and co-plotter Lee and penciler and co-plotter Kirby that lasted until the by-then-retitled Thor #179. Lee and Kirby included Thor in The Avengers #1 as a founding member of the superhero team; the character has since appeared in every subsequent volume of the series. The five-page featurette "Tales of Asgard" was added in Journey into Mystery #97, followed by "The Mighty Thor" becoming the dominant cover logo with issue #104; the feature itself expanded to 18 pages in #105, which eliminated the remaining anthological story from each issue. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "the adventures of Thor were transformed from stories about a strange-looking superhero into a spectacular saga." Artist Chic Stone, who inked several early Thor stories, observed that "Kirby could just lead you through all these different worlds.
The readers would follow him anywhere."Journey into Mystery was retitled Thor with issue #126. "Tales of Asgard" was replaced by a five-page featurette starring the Inhumans from #146–152, after which featurettes were dropped and the Thor stories expanded to Marvel's then-standard 20-page length. Marvel filed for a trademark for "The Mighty Thor" in 1967 and the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the registration in 1970. After Kirby left the title, Neal Adams penciled issues #180–181. John Buscema became the regular artist the following issue. Buscema continued to draw the book without interruption until #278. Lee stopped scripting soon after Kirby left, during Buscema's long stint on the book, the stories were written by Gerry Conway, Len Wein, or Roy Thomas. Thomas continued to write the title after Buscema's departure, working much of the time with the artist Keith Pollard. Following Thomas's tenure, Thor had a changing creative team. In the mid-1970s
Captain America is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 from Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics. Captain America was designed as a patriotic supersoldier who fought the Axis powers of World War II and was Timely Comics' most popular character during the wartime period; the popularity of superheroes waned following the war and the Captain America comic book was discontinued in 1950, with a short-lived revival in 1953. Since Marvel Comics revived the character in 1964, Captain America has remained in publication; the character wears a costume bearing an American flag motif, he utilizes a nearly indestructible shield which he throws as a projectile. Captain America is the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a frail young man enhanced to the peak of human perfection by an experimental serum to aid the United States government's efforts in World War II.
Near the end of the war, he was trapped in ice and survived in suspended animation until he was revived in the present day. Although Captain America struggles to maintain his ideals as a man out of his time with its modern realities, he remains a respected figure in his community which includes becoming the long-time leader of the Avengers. Captain America was the first Marvel Comics character to appear in media outside comics with the release of the 1944 movie serial, Captain America. Since the character has been featured in other films and television series. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character is portrayed by Chris Evans in Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame. Captain America is ranked sixth on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" in 2011, second in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012, second in their "Top 25 best Marvel superheroes" list in 2014.
In 1940, writer Joe Simon conceived the idea for Captain America and made a sketch of the character in costume. "I wrote the name'Super American' at the bottom of the page," Simon said in his autobiography, decided: No, it didn't work. There were too many "Supers" around. "Captain America" had a good sound to it. There weren't a lot of captains in comics, it was as easy as that. The boy companion was named Bucky, after my friend Bucky Pierson, a star on our high school basketball team. Simon recalled in his autobiography that Timely Comics publisher Martin Goodman gave him the go-ahead and directed that a Captain America solo comic book series be published as soon as possible. Needing to fill a full comic with one character's stories, Simon did not believe that his regular creative partner, artist Jack Kirby, could handle the workload alone: I didn't have a lot of objections to putting a crew on the first issue... There were two young artists from Connecticut. Al Avison and Al Gabriele worked together and were quite successful in adapting their individual styles to each other.
Their work was not too far from Kirby's. If they worked on it, if one inker tied the three styles together, I believed the final product would emerge as quite uniform; the two Als were eager to join in on the new Captain America book. "You're still number one, Jack," I assured him. "It's just a matter of a quick deadline for the first issue." "I'll make the deadline," Jack promised. "I'll pencil it myself and make the deadline." I hadn't expected this kind of reaction... but I acceded to Kirby's wishes and, it turned out, was lucky that I did. There might have been two Als, but there was only one Jack Kirby... I wrote the first Captain America book with penciled lettering right on the drawing boards, with rough sketches for figures and backgrounds. Kirby did his thing, building the muscular anatomy, adding ideas and popping up the action as only he could, he tightened up the penciled drawings, adding detailed backgrounds and figures." Al Lieberman would ink that first issue, lettered by Simon and Kirby's regular letterer, Howard Ferguson.
Simon said. We wanted to have our say too." Captain America Comics #1 — cover-dated March 1941 and on sale December 20, 1940, a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but a full year into World War II — showed the protagonist punching Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. While most readers responded favorably to the comic, some took objection. Simon noted, "When the first issue came out we got a lot of... hate mail. Some people opposed what Cap stood for." The threats, which included menacing groups of people loitering out on the street outside of the offices, proved so serious that police protection was posted with New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia contacting Simon and Kirby to give his support. Though preceded as a "patriotically themed superhero" by MLJ's The Shield, Captain America became the most prominent and enduring of that wave of superheroes introduced in American comic books prior to and during World War II, as evidenced by the unusual move at the time of premiering the character in his own title instead of an anthology title first.
This popularity drew the attention and a complaint from MLJ that the character's triangular
Watchmen is a science fiction American comic book limited series by the British creative team of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins. It was published by DC Comics in 1986 and 1987, collected in a single volume edition in 1987. Watchmen originated from a story proposal Moore submitted to DC featuring superhero characters that the company had acquired from Charlton Comics; as Moore's proposed story would have left many of the characters unusable for future stories, managing editor Dick Giordano convinced Moore to create original characters instead. Moore used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to deconstruct and satirize the superhero concept. Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate break-in was never exposed. In 1985, the country is edging toward World War III with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government.
The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement. Creatively, the focus of Watchmen is on its structure. Gibbons used a nine-panel grid layout throughout the series and added recurring symbols such as a blood-stained smiley face. All but the last issue feature supplemental fictional documents that add to the series' backstory, the narrative is intertwined with that of another story, an in-story pirate comic titled Tales of the Black Freighter, which one of the characters reads. Structured at times as a nonlinear narrative, the story skips through space and plot. In the same manner, entire scenes and dialogue have parallels with others through synchronicity and repeated imagery. A commercial success, Watchmen has received critical acclaim both in the comics and mainstream press. Watchmen was recognized in Time's List of the 100 Best Novels as one of the best English language novels published since 1923.
In a retrospective review, the BBC's Nicholas Barber described it as "the moment comic books grew up". After a number of attempts to adapt the series into a feature film, director Zack Snyder's Watchmen was released in 2009. A video game series, Watchmen: The End Is Nigh, was released in the same year to coincide with the film's release. DC Comics published Before Watchmen, a series of nine prequel miniseries in 2012, Doomsday Clock, a 12-issue limited series, a sequel to the original series that premiered in 2017, both without Moore's or Gibbons' involvement. Watchmen, created by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, first appeared in the 1985 issue of DC Spotlight, the 50th anniversary special, it was published as a 12-issue maxiseries from DC Comics, cover-dated September 1986 to October 1987. It was subsequently collected in 1987 as a DC Comics trade paperback that has had at least 24 printings as of March 2017. In February 1988, DC published a limited-edition, slipcased hardcover volume, produced by Graphitti Design, that contained 48 pages of bonus material, including the original proposal and concept art.
In 2005, DC released Absolute Watchmen, an oversized slipcased hardcover edition of the series in DC's Absolute Edition format. Assembled under the supervision of Dave Gibbons, Absolute Watchmen included the Graphitti materials, as well as restored and recolored art by John Higgins; that December DC published a new printing of Watchmen issue #1 at the original 1986 cover price of $1.50 as part of its "Millennium Edition" line. In 2012, DC published Before Watchmen a series of nine prequel miniseries, with various creative teams producing the characters' early adventures set before the events of the original series. In the 2016 one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth Special, numerous symbols and visual references to Watchmen, such as the blood-splattered smiley face, the dialogue between Doctor Manhattan and Ozymandias in the last issue of Watchmen is shown. Further Watchmen imagery was added in the DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 second printing, which featured an update to Gary Frank's cover, better revealing the outstretched hand of Doctor Manhattan in the top right corner.
Doctor Manhattan appeared in the 2017 four-part DC miniseries The Button serving as a direct sequel to both DC Universe Rebirth and the 2011 storyline "Flashpoint". Manhattan reappears in the 2017–18 twelve-part sequel series Doomsday Clock. In 1983, DC Comics acquired a line of characters from Charlton Comics. During that period, writer Alan Moore contemplated writing a story that featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp, as he had done in his Miracleman series in the early 1980s. Moore reasoned that MLJ Comics' Mighty Crusaders might be available for such a project, so he devised a murder mystery plot which would begin with the discovery of the body of the Shield in a harbour; the writer felt it did not matter which set of characters he used, as long as readers recognized them "so it would have the shock and surprise value when you saw what the reality of these characters was". Moore used this premise and crafted a proposal featuring the Charlton characters titled Who Killed the Peacemaker, submitted the unsolicited proposal to DC managing editor Dick Giordano.
Giordano was receptive to the proposal, but opposed the idea of using the Charlton characters for the story. Moore said, "DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional." Instead, Giordano persuaded Moore to continue with new characters. Moore had believed that original characters would not provide emotional resonan
Charlton Comics was an American comic book publishing company that existed from 1945 to 1986, having begun under a different name in 1944. It was based in Connecticut; the comic-book line was a division of Charlton Publications, which published magazines, puzzle books and books. It had its own distribution company. Charlton Comics published a wide variety of genres, including crime, science fiction, horror and romance comics, as well as funny animal and superhero titles; the company was known for its low-budget practices using unpublished material acquired from defunct companies and paying comics creators among the lowest rates in the industry. Charlton Comics were the last of the American comics to raise their price from ten cents to 12 cents in 1962, it was unique among comic book companies in that it controlled all areas of publishing - from editorial to printing to distribution - rather than working with outside printers and distributors as did most other publishers. It did so under one roof at its Derby headquarters.
The company was formed by John Santangelo, Sr. and Ed Levy in 1940 as T. W. O. Charles Company, named after the co-founders' two sons, both named Charles, became Charlton Publications in 1945. In 1931, Italian immigrant John Santangelo, Sr. a bricklayer who had started a construction business in White Plains, New York, five years earlier, began what became a successful business publishing song-lyric magazines out of nearby Yonkers, New York. Operating in violation of copyright laws, however, he was sentenced in 1934 to a year and a day at New Haven County Jail in New Haven, near Derby, Connecticut where he and his wife by lived. In jail, he met Waterbury, attorney Ed Levy, with whom he began legitimate publishing in 1935, acquiring permissions to reproduce lyrics in such magazines as Hit Parade and Song Hits. Santangelo and Levy opened a printing plant in Waterbury the following year, in 1940 founded the T. W. O. Charles Company moving its headquarters to Derby; the company's first comic book was Yellowjacket, an anthology of superhero and horror stories launched September 1944 under the imprint Frank Comunale Publications, with Ed Levy listed as publisher.
Zoo Funnies was published under the imprint Children Comics Publishing. Another imprint was Frank Publications. Following the adoption of the Charlton Comics name in 1946, the company over the next five years acquired material from freelance editor and comics packager Al Fago. Charlton additionally published Merry Comics, Cowboy Western, the Western title Tim McCoy, Pictorial Love Stories. In 1951, when Al Fago began as an in-house editor, Charlton hired a staff of artists that included its future managing editor, Dick Giordano. Others who would work with Charlton included; the primary writer was the remarkably prolific Joe Gill. The company began a wide expansion of its comics line, which would include notoriously gory horror comics. In 1954–55, it acquired a stable of comic book properties from the defunct Superior Comics, Mainline Publications, St. John Publications, most Fawcett Publications, shutting down its Fawcett Comics division. Charlton continued publishing two of Fawcett's horror books—This Magazine Is Haunted and Strange Suspense Stories—initially using unpublished material from Fawcett's inventory.
Artistic chores were handed to Ditko, whose moody, individualistic touch came to dominate Charlton's supernatural line. Beset by the circulation slump that swept the industry towards the end of the 1950s, Haunted struggled for another two years, published bi-monthly until May 1958. Strange Suspense Stories ran longer, lasting well into the 1960s before giving up the ghost in 1965. Charlton published a wide line of romance titles after it acquired the Fawcett line, which included the romance comics Sweethearts, Romantic Secrets, Romantic Story. Sweethearts was the comic world's first monthly romance title, Charlton continued publishing it until 1973. Charlton had launched its first original romance title in 1951, True Life Secrets, but that series only lasted until 1956. Charlton picked up a number of Western titles from the defunct Fawcett Comics line, including Gabby Hayes Western, Lash LaRue Western, Monte Hale Western, Rocky Lane Western. Six-Gun Heroes, Tex Ritter Western, Tom Mix Western, Western Hero.
Al Fago left in the mid-1950s, was succeeded by his assistant, Pat Masulli, who remained in the position for ten years. Masulli oversaw a plethora of new romance titles, including the long-running I Love You, Sweetheart Diary, Brides in Love, My Secret Life, Just Married. Superheroes were a minor part of the company. At the beginning, Charlton's main characters were Yellowjacket, not to be confused with the Marvel character, Diana the Huntress. In the mid-1950s, Charlton published a Blue Beetle title with new and reprinted stories, in 1956, several short-lived titles written by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel, such as Mr. Muscles and Nature Boy, the Joe Gill-created Zaza the Mystic; the company's most noteworthy period was during the'silver age' of comic books, which had begun with DC C
Iron Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was co-created by writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby; the character made his first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39, received his own title in Iron Man #1. A wealthy American business magnate and ingenious scientist, Anthony Edward "Tony" Stark suffers a severe chest injury during a kidnapping; when his captors attempt to force him to build a weapon of mass destruction, he instead creates a powered suit of armor to save his life and escape captivity. Stark develops his suit, adding weapons and other technological devices he designed through his company, Stark Industries, he uses successive versions to protect the world as Iron Man. Although at first concealing his true identity, Stark declared that he was, in fact, Iron Man in a public announcement. Iron Man was a vehicle for Stan Lee to explore Cold War themes the role of American technology and industry in the fight against communism.
Subsequent re-imaginings of Iron Man have transitioned from Cold War motifs to contemporary matters of the time. Throughout most of the character's publication history, Iron Man has been a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers and has been featured in several incarnations of his own various comic book series. Iron Man has been adapted for several animated TV films; the Marvel Cinematic Universe character is portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the live action film Iron Man, a critical and box office success. Downey, who received much acclaim for his performance, reprised the role in a cameo in The Incredible Hulk, two Iron Man sequels Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War and will do so again in Avengers: Endgame in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iron Man was ranked 12th on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes" in 2011, third in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012. Iron Man's Marvel Comics premiere in Tales of Suspense #39 was a collaboration among editor and story-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, story-artist Don Heck, cover-artist and character-designer Jack Kirby.
In 1963, Lee had been toying with the idea of a businessman superhero. He wanted to create the "quintessential capitalist", a character that would go against the spirit of the times and Marvel's readership. Lee said, I think, it was the height of the Cold War. The readers, the young readers, if there was one thing they hated, it was war, it was the military... So I got a hero, he was a weapons manufacturer, he was providing weapons for the Army, he was rich, he was an industrialist... I thought it would be fun to take the kind of character that nobody would like, none of our readers would like, shove him down their throats and make them like him... And he became popular, he set out to make the new character a wealthy, glamorous ladies' man, but one with a secret that would plague and torment him as well. Writer Gerry Conway said, "Here you have this character, who on the outside is invulnerable, I mean, just can't be touched, but inside is a wounded figure. Stan made it much an in-your-face wound, you know, his heart was broken, you know broken.
But there's a metaphor going on there. And that's, I think, what made that character interesting." Lee based this playboy's looks and personality on Howard Hughes, explaining, "Howard Hughes was one of the most colorful men of our time. He was an inventor, an adventurer, a multi-billionaire, a ladies' man and a nutcase." "Without being crazy, he was Howard Hughes," Lee said. While Lee intended to write the story himself, a minor deadline emergency forced him to hand over the premiere issue to Lieber, who fleshed out the story; the art was split between Heck. "He designed the costume," Heck said of Kirby, ``. The covers were always done first, but I created the look of the characters, like Tony Stark and his secretary Pepper Potts." In a 1990 interview, when asked if he had "a specific model for Tony Stark and the other characters?", Heck replied "No, I would be thinking more along the lines of some characters I like, which would be the same kind of characters that Alex Toth liked, an Errol Flynn type."
Iron Man first appeared in 13- to 18-page stories in Tales of Suspense, which featured anthology science fiction and supernatural stories. The character's original costume was a bulky gray armored suit, replaced by a golden version in the second story, it was redesigned as sleeker, red-and-golden armor in issue #48 by that issue's interior artist, Steve Ditko, although Kirby drew it on the cover. As Heck recalled in 1985, "he second costume, the red and yellow one, was designed by Steve Ditko. I found it easier than drawing that bulky old thing; the earlier design, the robot-looking one, was more Kirbyish."In his premiere, Iron Man was an anti-communist hero, defeating various Vietnamese agents. Lee regretted this early focus. Throughout the character's comic book series, technological advancement and national defense were constant themes for Iron Man, but issues developed Stark into a more complex and vulnerable character as they depicted his battle with alcoholism and other personal difficulties.
From issue #59 to its final issue #99, the anthological science-fictio