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
The Thing is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is a founding member of the Fantastic Four; the Thing was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, he first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1. The character is known for his trademark rocky appearance, sense of humor, famous battle cry, "It's clobberin' time!" The Thing's speech patterns are loosely based on those of Jimmy Durante. Actor Michael Bailey Smith played Ben Grimm in The Fantastic Four film from 1994, Michael Chiklis portrayed the Thing in the 2005 film Fantastic Four and its 2007 sequel Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, while Jamie Bell acted the part in Fantastic Four. In 2011, IGN ranked the Thing 18th in the "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes", 23rd in their list of "The Top 50 Avengers" in 2012; the Thing was named Empire magazine's tenth of "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters" in 2008. Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The Fantastic Four #1.
Kirby modeled the character after himself. In addition to appearing in the Fantastic Four, the Thing has been the star of Marvel Two-in-One, Strange Tales, two incarnations of his own eponymous series, as well as numerous miniseries and one-shots; the Thing joined his Fantastic Four partner and frequent rival the Human Torch in #124 of Strange Tales, which featured solo adventures of the Human Torch and backup Doctor Strange stories. The change was intended to liven the comic through the always humorous chemistry between the Torch and the Thing, they were replaced in #135 with the "modern-day" version of Nick Fury, Agent of S. H. I. E. L. D. Who had been appearing in Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. After a 1973 try-out in two issues of Marvel Feature, the Thing starred in the long-running series Marvel Two-in-One. In each issue, Ben Grimm would team up with another character from the Marvel Universe an obscure or colorful character; the series helped to introduce characters from Marvel's lineup, by way of teaming up with the more recognizable Thing.
In 1992, Marvel reprinted four Two-in-One stories as a miniseries under the title The Adventures of the Thing. The series was cancelled after seven annuals to make way for a solo series; the cancellation of Marvel Two-in-One led to the Thing's first solo series, which ran for 36 issues. It was written by John Byrne and Mike Carlin; the series featured art by Ron Wilson and by Paul Neary. It elaborated on Ben Grimm's poor childhood on Yancy Street in its early issue, chronicled the Thing's foray into the world of professional wrestling, it featured a major storyline offshoot from Marvel's Secret Wars event, in which the Thing elects to remain on the Beyonder's Battleworld after discovering that the planet enables him to return to human form at will. A full third of the series' stories take place on Battleworld. In 2002, Marvel released The Thing: Freakshow, a four-issue miniseries written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Scott Kolins, in which the Thing travels across the United States by train, inadvertently stumbling on a deformed gypsy boy he once ridiculed as a teenager, now the super-strong main attraction of a troupe of traveling circus freaks.
He discovers a town full of alien Kree and Skrull warriors fighting over a Watcher infant. In 2003, Marvel released a four-issue miniseries written by Evan Dorkin and illustrated by Dean Haspiel, The Thing: Night Falls on Yancy Street; the story was more character-driven than the stories that feature the Thing. Tom Spurgeon found its outlook on relationships "depressing". After the success of the 2005 Fantastic Four feature film and events in the comics series that resulted in Grimm becoming a millionaire, the Thing was once again given his own series in 2005, The Thing, written by Dan Slott and penciled by Andrea Di Vito and Kieron Dwyer, it was canceled with issue #8 in 2006. The Thing was a member of The New Avengers, when that team debuted in their self-titled series in 2010, he appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010–2013 New Avengers series, from issue #1 through its final issue #34. Born on Yancy Street in New York City's Lower East Side, to a Jewish family, Benjamin Jacob "Ben" Grimm had an early life of poverty and hardship, shaping him into a tough, streetwise scrapper.
His older brother Daniel, whom Ben idolized, was killed in a street gang fight when Ben was eight years old. This portion of his own life is modeled on that of Jack Kirby, who grew up on tough Delancey Street, whose brother died when he was young, whose father was named Benjamin, and, named Jacob at birth. Following the death of his parents, Ben was raised by his Uncle Jake, he comes to lead the Yancy Street gang at one point. Excelling in football as a high school student, Ben received a full scholarship to Empire State University, where he first met his eventual lifelong friend in a teenaged genius named Reed Richards, as well as future enemy Victor von Doom. Despite their being from radically different backgrounds, science student Richards described to Grimm his dream of building a space rocket to explore the regions of space around Mars; the details of his life story have been modified over the decades. Prior to the stories published in the 1970s, after earning multiple advanced degrees in engineering, served in the United States Marine Corps as a test pilot during World War II
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
Iron Fist (comics)
Iron Fist is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Iron Fist first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15; the character is a practitioner of martial arts and the wielder of a mystical force known as the Iron Fist, which allows him to summon and focus his chi. He starred in his own solo series in the 1970s, shared the title Power Man and Iron Fist for several years with Luke Cage, partnering with Cage to form the superhero team Heroes for Hire; the character has starred in numerous solo titles since, including The Immortal Iron Fist, which expanded on his origin story and the history of the Iron Fist. Iron Fist has been adapted to appear in several animated television video games. Finn Jones portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe live-action television series Iron Fist, The Defenders, the second season of Luke Cage. Iron Fist, along with the previously-created Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, came from Marvel Comics during an American pop culture trend in the early to mid-1970s of martial arts heroes.
Writer/co-creator Roy Thomas wrote in a text piece in Marvel Premiere #15 that Iron Fist's origin and creation owe much to the Bill Everett character, John Aman, the Amazing-Man, created in 1939. Thomas wrote that he and artist/co-creator Gil Kane had...started "Iron Fist" because I'd seen my first kung fu movie before a Bruce Lee one came out, it had a thing called "the ceremony of the Iron Fist" in it. I thought, a good name, we had Master of Kung Fu going, but I thought, "Maybe a superhero called Iron Fist though we had Iron Man, would be a good idea." Stan liked the name, so I got hold of Gil and he brought in his Amazing Man influences, we designed the character together... Debuting in a story written by Thomas and pencilled by Kane in the umbrella title Marvel Premiere #15–25, he was written successively by Len Wein, Doug Moench, Tony Isabella, Chris Claremont, with art by successive pencillers Larry Hama, Arvell Jones, Pat Broderick, and, in some of his earliest professional work, John Byrne.
As the Marvel Premiere issues had established a considerable readership for the character, following this run, Iron Fist was spun off into the solo series Iron Fist, which ran 15 issues. The solo series was pencilled by Byrne. A subplot involving the Steel Serpent left unresolved by the cancellation of the series was wrapped up in issues #63–64 of Marvel Team-Up. To rescue the character from cancellation, Marvel paired Iron Fist with another character, no longer popular enough to sustain his own series, Luke Cage; the two characters were partnered in a three-part story in Cage's series Power Man #48–50. The title of the series changed to Power Man and Iron Fist with issue #50, although the indicia did not reflect this change until issue #67. Iron Fist co-starred in the series until the final issue. Writer Jim Owsley commented, "Fist's death was senseless and shocking and unforeseen, it took the readers' heads clean off. And, to this day, people are mad about it. Forgetting, it seems, that you were supposed to be mad, that death is senseless and Fist's death was supposed to be senseless, or that this is a comic book."Iron Fist was revived half a decade in Namor, the Sub-Mariner #21–25, a story which revealed that the character killed in Power Man and Iron Fist #125 was a doppelganger.
The story was both written and drawn by Byrne, who found the manner of Iron Fist's death objectionable and commented, "In one of those amazing examples of Marvel serendipity, it turned out to be easy not only to resurrect Danny, but to make it seem like, the plan all along." Iron Fist became a starring character in the anthology series Marvel Comics Presents, featuring in three multi-part story arcs and four one-shot stories in 1992 and 1993. Two solo miniseries followed: Iron Fist #1–2, by writer James Felder and penciller Robert Brown. Around this time, he was among the ensemble of the group series Heroes for Hire which ran 19 issues. Following a four-issue miniseries by writer Jay Faerber and penciller Jamal Igle, Iron Fist: Wolverine, co-starring the X-Men character Wolverine and cover-billed as Iron Fist/Wolverine: The Return of K'un Lun, came another solo miniseries, Iron Fist vol. 4 #1–6, by writer Jim Mullaney and penciller Kevin Lau. The first issue of a new ongoing series, The Immortal Iron Fist, by co-writers Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction and primary artist David Aja, premiered with a January 2007 cover-date.
Duane Swierczynski took over the series from issue #17. Iron Fist's appearances outside his own title include three Iron Fist stories in Marvel's black-and-white comics magazine The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #10, an additional story co-starring the Sons of the Tiger in issue #18, a six-part serial, "The Living Weapon", in #19–24, he made guest appearances in such titles as Marvel Two-in-One, Marvel Team-Up, the Submariner series Namor, Black Panther, Daredevil. Iron Fist appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010–2013 New Avengers series, from issue #1 through its final issue, #34. In 2014 Iron Fist was given new life and set to star in a new 12-issue comic book series
Wrecking Crew (comics)
The Wrecking Crew is a team of four fictional supervillains—Bulldozer, Piledriver and the Wrecker—appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. While not featured on the cover, the Wrecking Crew's first appearance is in The Defenders vol. 1, #17 in November 1974. The Wrecking Crew are formed when Dirk Garthwaite—the Wrecker—is approached by Dr. Eliot Franklin in prison and asked to retrieve a gamma bomb Franklin had designed, with the intent of ransoming New York for millions of dollars; the Wrecker had been a violent criminal who demolished crime scenes with his crowbar, but gained his power when he was mistaken for Loki and given godly powers by the Norn Queen. Garthwaite manages to retrieve his enchanted crowbar, during a lightning storm tells Franklin and fellow prisoners Henry Camp and Brian Calusky to grip the weapon simultaneously. A lightning bolt strikes the crowbar and transforms the four men into the Wrecking Crew, they promptly escape from prison and in the course of searching for the gamma bomb are defeated by the Defenders and Luke Cage.
Over the years the Wrecking Crew have followed a familiar cycle—escape prison and subsequently lose to superheroes, return to prison. The Wrecking Crew have battled the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Fist, the Runaways, Spider-Man, the Sub-Mariner, the Thing, Doctor Strange, Alpha Flight, She-Hulk, X-Men and their main foe, Thor; when the Wrecking Crew first battle Thor, they are confident. Thor, infuriated by the fact that one of the Wrecker's offensives has killed an innocent bystander, defeats them all in moments and critically injures the Wrecker. Thunderball escapes and several weeks recovers the Wrecker's crowbar, goes on to form his own gang before being defeated by Spider-Man; the team is chosen by the being known as the Beyonder to participate in the Secret Wars against a team of select superheroes. The Wrecking Crew's most notorious act was to participate in the near-fatal beating of the hero Hercules during a siege of Avengers Mansion by the supervillain team the Masters of Evil.
With Thor's assistance, Hercules confronts the Wrecking Crew and defeats them, restoring his confidence in himself. The Wrecking Crew was imprisoned in the Raft. During the Civil War event, the Wrecking Crew is forced to join the team the Thunderbolts or face additional jail time, they escape to Canada to avoid the Superhuman Registration Act. The Wrecking Crew's most despicable act is murdering nearly everyone inside a Canadian bar, due to an "annoying" cell phone ringtone, they join forces with the mythical Great Beasts and battle the superhero team Omega Flight. After being defeated by Omega Flight, they are imprisoned in a jail in Manitoba but manage to escape and return to the United States where they are recruited to join the Hood's crime syndicate; the Wrecking Crew were hired by Jigsaw to kill the Punisher during Jigsaw's revenge plot against Frank Castle. However, before Wrecker can deliver the final blow, he is defeated by the Rhino, who owed Frank a favor after Castle spared his life.
During the Secret Invasion storyline, the Wrecking Crew are among the many supervillains who rejoined the Hood's crime syndicate and attacked an invading Skrull force. During the "Search for Tony Stark" arc, The Wrecking Crew rejoin Hood's gang as they attack Castle Doom. Bulldozer — Marci Camp is the daughter of Henry Camp, the original Bulldozer, who inherited the villain's powers as well as his training, she now works alongside her father the original Bulldozer. Bulldozer — Bulldozer has an armored metal helmet and fights by ramming his victims head-first. Piledriver — Piledriver fights with his oversized pile-driving fists. Thunderball — Thunderball is the thinker on the team and wields a huge demolition ball on a chain. Wrecker — The team's leader wields an indestructible crowbar with magical properties, he both hates the Thunder God, Thor. Excavator — The teenage son of Piledriver and a temporary member. Excavator wielded an enchanted shovel that broke in his first battle when he smashed it over Molly Hayes' head.
In Marvel Zombies vs the Army of Darkness, Thunderball is seen fighting Daredevil, whom he defeats with the help of Ash Williams. Thunderball is attempting to fight off several zombies, including infected versions of Wrecker and Bulldozer; the Punisher comes upon the scene and shoots Thunderball dead directs his attention to the zombies. The remaining members of the Wrecking Crew are subsequently among the zombies who attack and infect the Punisher; the Wrecking Crew appear in Ultimate Spider-Man as a clean-up crew for super-human battles, as employees of Damage Control. They briefly appear in Ultimate Hulk Annual fighting Zarda after gaining the weapons and costumes of their mainstream counterparts and seizing the Flatiron Building, it is as yet unknown how or why they acquired their weapons and powers nor the change in their behavior. The Wrecking Crew have a brief appearance in the last issue of JLA/Avengers as a part of Krona's army, being single-handedly taken down by Wonder Woman; the Wrecking Crew first appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "To Err is Superhuman" with Wrecker voiced by Charlie Adler, Bulldozer voiced by Roger Rose, Piledriver voiced by Travis Willingham, Thunderball voiced by Alimi Ballard.
The Wrecking Crew appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes with Wrecker voiced by JB Blanc, Bulldozer voiced by James C. Mathis III, Piledriver
American comic book
An American comic book is a thin periodical originating in the United States 32 pages, containing comics content. While the form originated in 1933, American comic books first gained popularity after the 1938 publication of Action Comics, which included the debut of the superhero Superman; this was followed by a superhero boom that lasted until the end of World War II. After the war, while superheroes were marginalized, the comic book industry expanded and genres such as horror, science fiction and romance became popular; the 1950s saw a gradual decline, due to a shift away from print media in the wake of television and the impact of the Comics Code Authority. The late 1950s and the 1960s saw a superhero revival and superheroes remain the dominant character archetype in the 21st century; some fans collect comic books. Some have sold for more than US $1 million. Comic shops cater to fans, selling comic books, plastic sleeves and cardboard backing to protect the comic books. An American comic book is known as a floppy comic.
It is thin and stapled, unlike traditional books. American comic books are one of the three major comic book schools globally, along with Japanese manga and the Franco-Belgian comic books; the typical size and page count of comics have varied over the decades trending toward smaller formats and fewer pages. In recent decades, standard comics have been about 6.625 inches × 10.25 inches, 32 pages long. While comics can be the work of a single creator, the labor of making them is divided between a number of specialists. There may be a separate writer and artist, or there may be separate artists for the characters and backgrounds. In superhero comic books, the art may be divided between: a writer, who creates the stories. A penciller, who lays out the artwork in pencil. An inker, who finishes the artwork in ink. A colorist, who adds color to the comics a letterer, who adds the captions and speech balloons; the process begins with the creator coming up with an idea or concept working it into a plot and story, finalizing the preliminary writing with a script.
After the art production, letters are placed on the page and an editor may have the final say before the comic is sent to the printer. The creative team, the writers and artists, may work with a comic book publisher for help with marketing and other logistics. A distributor like Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest in the U. S. helps to distribute the finished product to retailers. Another part of the process involved in successful comics is the interaction between the readers/fans and the creator. Fan art and letters to the editor were printed in the back of the book until the early 21st century when various Internet forms started to replace them. Comic specialty stores did help encourage several waves of independently-produced comics, beginning in the mid-1970s; some of the early example of these - referred to as "independent" or "alternative" comics - such as Big Apple Comix, continued somewhat in the tradition of underground comics, while others, such as Star Reach, resembled the output of mainstream publishers in format and genre but were published by smaller artist-owned ventures or by a single artist.
The "small press" scene continued to grow and diversify, with a number of small publishers in the 1990s changing the format and distribution of their books to more resemble non-comics publishing. The "minicomics" form, an informal version of self-publishing, arose in the 1980s and became popular among artists in the 1990s, despite reaching an more limited audience than the small presses; the development of the modern American comic book happened in stages. Publishers had collected comic strips in hardcover book form as early as 1842, with The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck, a collection of English-language newspaper inserts published in Europe as the 1837 book Histoire de M. Vieux Bois by Rodolphe Töpffer; the G. W. Dillingham Company published the first known proto-comic-book magazine in the U. S; the Yellow Kid in McFadden's Flats, in 1897. A hardcover book, it reprinted material—primarily the October 18, 1896 to January 10, 1897 sequence titled "McFadden's Row of Flats"—from cartoonist Richard F. Outcault's newspaper comic strip Hogan's Alley, starring the Yellow Kid.
The 196-page, square-bound, black-and-white publication, which includes introductory text by E. W. Townsend, measured 5×7 inches and sold for 50 cents; the neologism "comic book" appears on the back cover. Despite the publication of a series of related Hearst comics soon afterward, the first monthly proto-comic book, Embee Distributing Company's Comic Monthly, did not appear until 1922. Produced in an 8½-by-9-inch format, it reprinted black-and-white newspaper comic strips and lasted a year. In 1929, Dell Publishing published The Funnies, described by the Library of Congress as "a short-lived newspaper tabloid insert" and not to be confused with Dell's 1936 comic-book series of the same name. Historian Ron Goulart describes the 16-page, four-color periodical as "more a Sunday comic section without the rest of the newspaper than a true comic book, but it did offer all original material and was sold on newsstands". The Funnies ran for 36 issues, published Saturdays through October 16, 1930. In 1933, salesperson Maxwell Gaines, sales manager Harry I.
Wildenberg, owner George Janosik of the Waterbury, Connecticut company Eastern Color Printing—which printed, among other things, Sunday-paper comic-strip sections – produced Funnies on Parade as a way to keep their presses running. Like The Funnies, but only eight pages, this appeared as a newsprint magazine
The Fantastic Four is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The group debuted in The Fantastic Four #1, which helped to usher in a new level of realism in the medium; the Fantastic Four was the first superhero team created by editor/co-plotter Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, who developed a collaborative approach to creating comics with this title that they would use from on. The four individuals traditionally associated with the Fantastic Four, who gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space, are Mister Fantastic, a scientific genius and the leader of the group, who can stretch his body into incredible lengths and shapes. Since their original 1961 introduction, the Fantastic Four have been portrayed as a somewhat dysfunctional, yet loving, family. Breaking convention with other comic book archetypes of the time, they would squabble and hold grudges both deep and petty and eschewed anonymity or secret identities in favor of celebrity status.
The team is well known for its recurring encounters with characters such as the villainous monarch Doctor Doom, the Kree Empire's ruthless and tyrannical enforcer Ronan the Accuser, the planet-devouring Galactus, ruler of the Negative Zone, the sea-dwelling prince Namor, the spacefaring Silver Surfer, the Skrull warrior Kl'rt. The Fantastic Four have been adapted into other media, including four animated series and four live-action films. Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, longtime magazine and comic book publisher Martin Goodman was playing golf with either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of rival company DC Comics known as National Periodical Publications, that the top executive bragged about DC's success with the new superhero team the Justice League of America. While film producer and comics historian Michael Uslan has debunked the particulars of that story, Goodman, a publishing trend-follower, aware of the JLA's strong sales, did direct his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes.
According to Lee, writing in 1974, "Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes....'If the Justice League is selling', spoke he,'why don't we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'"Lee, who had served as editor-in-chief and art director of Marvel Comics and its predecessor companies, Timely Comics and Atlas Comics, for two decades, found that the medium had become creatively restrictive. Determined "to carve a real career for myself in the nowhere world of comic books", Lee concluded that, "For just this once, I would do the type of story I myself would enjoy reading.... And the characters would be the kind of characters I could relate to: they'd be flesh and blood, they'd have their faults and foibles, they'd be fallible and feisty, — most important of all — inside their colorful, costumed booties they'd still have feet of clay."Lee said he created a synopsis for the first Fantastic Four story that he gave to penciller Jack Kirby, who drew the entire story.
Kirby turned in his penciled art pages to Lee, who captions. This approach to creating comics, which became known as the "Marvel Method", worked so well for Lee and Kirby that they used it from on. Kirby recalled events somewhat differently. Challenged with Lee's version of events in a 1990 interview, Kirby responded: "I would say that's an outright lie", although the interviewer, Gary Groth, notes that this statement needs to be viewed with caution. Kirby claims he came up with the idea for the Fantastic Four in Marvel's offices, that Lee had added the dialogue after the story had been pencilled. Kirby sought to establish, more credibly and on numerous occasions, that the visual elements of the strip were his conceptions, he pointed to a team he had created for rival publisher DC Comics in the 1950s, the Challengers of the Unknown. "f you notice the uniforms, they're the same... I always give them a skintight uniform with a belt... the Challengers and the FF have a minimum of decoration. And of course, the Thing's skin is a kind of decoration, breaking up the monotony of the blue uniform."
The chest insignia of a "4" within a circle, was designed by Lee. The characters wear no uniforms in the first two issues. Given the conflicting statements, outside commentators have found it hard to identify with precise detail who created the Fantastic Four. Although Stan Lee's typed synopsis for the Fantastic Four exists, Earl Wells, writing in The Comics Journal, points out that its existence does not assert its place in the creation: "e have no way of knowing of whether Lee wrote the synopsis after a discussion with Kirby in which Kirby supplied most of the ideas". Comics historian R. C. Harvey believes that the Fantastic Four was a furtherance of the work Kirby had been doing and so "more Kirby's creations than Lee's", but Harvey notes that the Marvel Method of collabora