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The effect of Marvel Comics on popular culture in the twentieth century.

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Introduction

Basis for American culture is in the people. Everyone has been affected in some way or another by Marvel Comics, whether young or old. Marvel Comics has been a major cultural icon in the eyes of Americans and the rest of the world. The Marvel Universe is everywhere. It is part of our culture, part of our heritage, even part of our language. Catch phrases like the Thing's "It's Clobberin' Time!" or " Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man." And even the editorial comments " 'nuff said!" and "Excelsior!" During the 1970s and 80s run of television's "The Incredible Hulk," "Hulking out" became a slang term for losing control. And there's probably not a baby-boomer alive who can't sing at least part of the theme song from 1967"Spider-man" animated series. (Marvel: The Characters and their Universe) The company that would become known to the world as Marvel was formed in 1932 by a young (twenty-two year old) man named Martin Goodman. He started a publishing house to turn out pulp fiction magazines, an extremely popular form of entertainment in the early part of the century. Goodman published Marvel Science Stories, Marvel Tales, and the Red Circle. ...read more.

Middle

John Buscema was born in New York City in 1927, whose brother Sal would also make his debut as a Marvel artist. John Ramita was born in Brooklyn during the 1930's. Born four years before Ramita, Gene Colan was born a New York native. The 1950's were an awkward time for comic books in general. Marvel tried to revive such books as Captain America, Sub-Mariner, and the Human Torch. But to no success, it was a dying industry. To add more to the plate, the government was blaming comic books for every societal problem in the nation. "Things were extremely bad from '58 to '61," said artist Joe Sinnott, one of Marvels most accomplished inkers. Sinnott recalls what it was like, " We were doing monster books, you know, 'Gordo,' characters like that. It was a fun period but we weren't making much money at that point and they weren't all that popular. It was in '61 when the heroes came back and pulled us out of the doldrums." (Marvel: The Characters and their Universe) Not only was Marvel pulled from the doldrums, so was the entire comic industry. Catching up with DC comics was a large task. After their creation of the Justice League, Stan Lee had to come up with something fast. ...read more.

Conclusion

That would begin in the late 80's, which was another time of change for the company. In 1987 an entertainment company called New World; that same year Tom Defalco took over as editor and chief; replacing Jim Shooter bought Marvel. Marvel's fortunes at this time were greatly improved by the success of two movies, but ironically they were not Marvel Movies. Soon after the Fantastic Four, characters began booming out onto shelves. The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, and X-men just to name a few have really revived the comic industry. Spider man alone has become a major cultural icon among Americans. No one who worked on the first issue of The Fantastic Four forty years ago could have predicted that it was destined to change the direction of popular culture in the twentieth century. But the last panel of that first issue that says it all, "And so was born The Fantastic Four!! And from that moment on the world would never again be the same!!" Sources: 1. Mallory, Michael, Marvel: The Characters, and their Universe. New York: Marvel Characters Inc., 2002 2. Todd McFarlane, "Spider-man vs. Venom" Marvel Comics 1990: 298-300,315-317 3. David Micheline. "Spider-Man: Torment" Marvel Comics 1-5 4. http://tcn.cse.fav.edu/homepage/esp199/src/eric_s/index4.html The History of Marvel Comics, April, 1st 2004 5. http:// www.marvel. Com "About Marvel" March 28th 2004 ...read more.

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