Marvel comics story. 1: 1939
The company that we know today as Marvel was born in OCTOBER 1939 under the name of Timely Comics. Numberless comics publisher started up this same year. Like timely, all started from nothing. All tryed to take one share of the Superman spoil. Until that, comics publishing had been a marginal and unfruitful occupation, a printer hobby. With the coming of Superman in june of the former year and his ashtonishing success, jackpot dreams went to light little company creators' nights.

Created by Bill Everett for another publisher, Submariner is the oldest of Marvel Comic, six months older than the company itself. It is not a human being but an atlante, member of an amphibious humanoids race living on oceans bottom and being humanity enemies. He was the first super-hero-anti-hero, the first "bad" hero. It is the same character than today, but his temper has since been improved. On the contrary, Human Torch, of Carl Burgos, had nothing to do with the character who is called his name today. Even more original than Submariner,he was even not living. It was a machine, an android. He was the first robot hero of comics history.


Jack Kirby in 1941.
If all the publishers that started this year and the next one dreamt to win the jackpot as did Superman, only two realy hit a comparable popularity. One was Facwett, with their Superman-like Captain Marvel. And Timely was the second one. But not with Human Torche, nor Submariner. The character who would launch the company to the top was CAPTAIN AMERICA. When he created Captain America in December 40, jack KIRBYwas in spit of his 24 years an old hand... according to the criterions of this time. Indeed, he was in comic book since 1938, you may as well say prehistory, before what he did comic strip and before again animated cartoon, as inbetweener on Popeye and Betty Boop. After Captain America, he would do again one or two little things, but I think that you are aware. No?
Intrinsicaly, the character of Captain America was althoug far away to have the originality of the two former ones. It was, if I may say so, an ordinary superhuman one, with regular super-strength, usual colored suite and traditional secret identity. What distinguished him from others and made his success, was his cause. Captain America, indeed, wasn't a (super) justiciary but a (super) soldier. At once, his success carried after him legion of imitators, as many as superman's ones. It rained US-this Yankee-that and other Captain Thingamabob.

A Schomburg: Human Torch, his partner
Toro (in the kittle) and the friend Adolphe.
Captain America was but the last stage of the policy sketched by Human Torch, Submariner and others. All of them, long before America went to war fought nazis. Super heroes of this time were, all thing considered very differents from nowadays ones and quiet less interesting. There was no super villain and no fantasy. It was common war comics. With, at most, a ludicrous suite for heroes. And purely folklore powers, that they neglicted in the heat of the moment, on the benefite of machine gun or bazooka.



April 39 SUBMARINER (Motion Picture Funnies 1)
October 39
HUMAN TORCH, Ka Zar the blond tarzan , Angel , a flying man (Marvel Comics 1)
Fiery Mask; Monako the magician (Daring Comics 1)
November 39 Phantom Bullet; Laughing Mask, a Creeper precursor (Daring 2)
January 40Electro, the robot (Marvel 4) Purple Mask [ex-Laughing]; Phantom Reporter (Daring 3)
Flexo, the rubber robot man; Dynamic Man, the beams shooter
Dakor the magician; Blue Blaze a Blue Beetle's twin (Mystic Comics 1)
February 40Invisible Man (Mystic 2)
March 40the Falcon (Daring5) Blue diamond (Marvel 7)
April 40 Hercule, the strong guy
May 40 Red Raven the winged man ; Mercury; Human Top; Eternal Brain (Red Raven1)
June 40 Marvel Boy (Daring 6) Black Widow; Thin Man, Mr Fantastic precursor (Mystic 4)
the "Gyro Gearloose" Terry Vance & his monkey assistant (Marvel 10)
July 40 Black Marvel; Terror; Super Slave, the genie in the bracelet (Mystic 5)
August 40 Toro, the Human Torch junior (Human torch 2) Challenger; the Destroyer (Mystic 6)
October 40 the Vision (Marvel 13) Davey & the demon (Mystic 7)
December 40 CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY, a Captain America junior (Captain America 1)
January 41 Thunderer [ex-Black Marvel]; Fin the amphibian man; Captain Daring;
Silver Scorpion, the super heroine(Daring 7)
March 41 Citizen V (Daring 8)
June 41 the Patriot (Marvel 21)
August 41 Whizzer, the super fast one ;the Defender; Jack Frost, the IceMan-like; Young Avengers
Rockman, king of the subterranean world; Major Liberty and his ghost allies (USA1)
Summer 41 ALL WINNERS SQUAD, team = Captain America + Human torch + Submariner +
the Destroyer + Whizzer (All Winners 1)
Young Allies team = Bucky + toro + kid warriors (Young Allies 1)
November 41 Captain Terror (USA2)
December 41 Jimmy Jupiter, the "slider" in bizarre worlds (Marvel 28)
April 42 4th Musketer,the ghost (Comedy 9)
Summer 42 Victory Boys, team of super heroes kids; American Avenger;
Roko, the Captain Marvel plagiarism (USA 5)
Winter 42 Miss Fury (Miss Fury 1)
February 43 Captain Wonder; Subbie, the Submariner junior (kid komics 1)
October 43 Miss America, the female Captain america (Marvel 49)
Fall 46 BLONDE PHANTOM thecostumed detective (All Select Comics 11)
April 47 Namora, the female Submariner (Marvel 82)
December 47 Golden Girl, the substitute of Bucky(Captain america 66)



Everybody knows the characters introduced by Marvel from 1961: Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-men...But between? After the end of the golden age (in 46, according to me) and before the begining of the silver age in 61? Did Marvel hibernate? You'd rather think it fold back around two or three comics? Those big monsters stories, one western or two perhaps?
From 1947 to August 61 (Fantastic Four 1) Marvel launched 200 new titles.




All pictures on this page are © Marvel characters inc. All characters mentioned are ® Marvel characters inc. All rights reserved. (Superman, Batman and Captain Marvel are ® DC Comics, All rights reserved) The page itself and the text inside it are © Gerard Courtial 2000, All rights reserved.