Marvel has been one of the biggest staples in the entertainment industry for nearly 80 years now, with many characters growing into pop culture. With generations of kids growing up with the likes of Captain America and The Hulk, it's no wonder the stories are still hugely popular and never fail to entertain. The craziest thing about it is that we haven't even scratched the surface with all the characters Marvel has in its back pocket. They smash the box office every summer, whether it's Spider-Man or The Avengers, and give us the story we've been looking for all year.
The one mistake we often make in this new era of Marvel is focusing on what's coming next all the time. And really, who can blame us? They come out with hit after hit. Yet, any company that's been around for 80 years is bound to have some stories to tell. Never mind some of the stand-out people that helped create and grow the company. It's the storied past of Marvel that people seem to forget, especially the new generation. And it's a sad fact, because for every story they tell on screen, there's another one about how they got there.
Sometimes it's the creators that make the story so great, and many of these stories highlight that fact. So strap in, and get ready to remember all of the things that we've all forgotten about Marvel over the years.
25 Marvel's Forgotten Characters
Marvel has made a few great choices in the past that have lead to their massive success. Some of those include creating the most iconic characters that can be found in cinema today.
Little did you know that they used to have even more, with the likes of the Transformers crew, Conan the Barbarian, and Godzilla!
Marvel has had the rights to all of these characters at some point or another before they were eventually bought off and phased out of the Marvel universe. With the money they're making now, it wouldn't be a shock to see all three in the next Avengers.
24 Eminem... And The Punisher?
That's right, the real Slim Shady has appeared in a special offshoot of The Punisher series. Now, as far as cool points go, they probably couldn't have done more than getting Eminem and The Punisher to team up. Especially back in 2009, having one of the biggest rappers on planet Earth in your comic book was a big feat. Surprisingly, they didn't jump the shark, and kept Eminem within his own renegade self, sporting a machete. Teaming up with the Punisher and using his signature attitude, he only had some minor physical enhancements to take down the bad guy. What more could you expect from a Punisher comic?
23 Friendly Neighbourhood Pop Star
The King of Pop that we all loved, Michael Jackson, evidently was a huge fan of Marvel Comics, specifically Spider-Man. He was also friends with Marvel legend Stan Lee and expressed a lot of interest in buying the company.
He believed it was the only way he would get to play the role of Spider-Man.
He didn't end up purchasing the company, and it sounded like Stan Lee was at least a little relieved, stating that "Michael was not a great businessman." Though, he admits that he would have made a very good Spider-Man.
22 The Fan Who Created Venom
Randy Schueller was a fan of the Spider-Man comic books and Marvel held a contest for budding writers and artists. Randy Schueller entered this contest with a jet black Spider-Man costume complete with a red emblem. He then received a phone call from the Chief editor Jim Shooster who ended up paying him 220 dollars for the design. He also got an offer to develop a story to go along with the design which ended up falling through. This black suit eventually became the symbiote Venom, Spider-Man's nemesis and the next star the Marvel Universe.
21 Marvel's Model, Samuel L. Jackson
Mark Miller and Bryan Hitch both worked on The Ultimates for Marvel comics and began slowly changing Nick Fury to look like Samuel L. Jackson. It was kept between the two of them, and even the actor had no clue he was slowly becoming Nick Fury.
They took inspiration from Colin Powell, who was a four-star general in the U.S. military and of Jamaican descent.
At the time, they had no clue the character would end up in a high-end production, but when Samuel L. Jackson saw the character, he called Marvel and they gave him a 9 movie deal.
20 Deadpool Is A Parody Of DC's Deathstroke
The character we all know and love these days thanks to Ryan Reynolds was once nothing but a design. Deadpool's co-creators, Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, came up with the idea in 1990 and immediately knew the similarity was uncanny. DC had a character who used all the same weapons, worked a similar job, and was named Deathstroke. Here's what put the nail in the coffin and took away the little plausible deniability they had: they named him Wade Wilson, compared to Deathstroke's Slade Wilson. Not to mention Liefeld was a self-admitted fan of The New Teen Titans, the comic book in which Deathstroke debuted in.
19 Black Panther Got A Brand New Name
The now mega-success that is the Black Panther character has existed since 1966. Through those 52 years, many things have happened, from wars to civil rights movements. One of those movements was the Black Panther Party, a controversial civil rights group that was involved in questionable practices.
Once they had gained popularity for all the wrong reasons and were considered a threat to internal security, the writers decided to change the characters name to remove any association with the group. This was even laid out in the comic book, but only lasted five months before changing back to the Black Panther, as he stated that he was an individual and not a stereotype.
18 Combining DC And Marvel
As much as everyone loved the Marvel and DC comics as individual universes with their own unique characters, every kid had a fantasy of them having a mashup. DC and Marvel actually gave us the combined universe with Amalgam comics.
This was a fusion of their most popular characters, such as Darkclaw, who was a Wolverine and Batman hybrid.
They also had Supersoldier, made up of Superman and Captain America. Although a strange storyline to follow, both the universes became living entities known as the brothers who combined, leaving the characters within to find a way to restore the two universes.
17 Captain Marvel, Use It Or Lose It
As confusing as it is, both Marvel and DC Comics have a character named Captain Marvel. A third company named Fawcett comics actually created the character in 1939 when the actual Marvel comics had literally just been founded. It was his powers that got him in trouble with DC, who sued, saying that he was too much like their star superhero Superman. DC ended up buying Fawcett comics and taking all the characters along with it. Throughout all this, Marvel had its rise and had trademarked Captain Marvel for their own superhero and left DC with a character whose name they couldn't even use. Now Marvel has to keep up the trademark as DC wait in the sidelines waiting for them to slip up.
16 Mario Puzo Tried To Write For Marvel
One of the greatest stories in cinematic history, the Godfather movies had a great writer to back them in Mario Puzo. Long before Puzo was a novelist, he worked for Marvels publisher writing men's adventure articles, something that he loved doing.
He even thought about giving up on the idea of writing a book.
He managed to ask Stan Lee if he could have his shot at writing a comic script, to which Lee agreed. Unfortunately, he couldn't follow through, saying it was much too difficult and that he could write a novel in the time it would take. All this before managing to successfully write the scripts for the Superman movies later in life.
15 Spider-Man's Wedding In Real Life
There was a time in the Spider-Man story where Peter finally marries Mary Jane Watson. Needless to say, this was a big deal to the fans and creators of the comic. They decided to celebrate this event by holding a wedding ceremony for the two with actors playing Spider-Man and Mary Jane. This was topped off by Stan Lee officiating the ceremony, and a gang of other Marvel characters in attendance. All of this took place at Shea Stadium in New York City, and the outfits and fashion were all designed by Willi Smith, who was one of the most prominent fashion designers at the time.
14 The Severed Tribute To Star Wars
Star Wars and Marvel have never managed to cross paths on their journeys through our cosmos, and Kevin Feige wasn't happy about that. Being the president of Marvel Studios, he decided to take it into his own hands and give us an Easter egg throughout phase 2 of the Marvel universe.
Through the six movies, we have seen an arm get taken off in every single one.
This is to pay homage to the pile of limbs that were left behind in the Star Wars franchise. From the lovable Groot down to a Loki illusion, we have seen the pattern repeat itself in honor of Luke Skywalker's right hand.
13 Even Heroes Need Help
When a 4-year-old fan of Marvel Comics decided that he didn't want to wear his hearing aids because none of the heroes in the comics did, his mother wrote a letter to Marvel simply asking if any superheroes had worn hearing aids. With luck, Hawkeye had been temporarily deafened, and so was wearing a small hearing device. The team then went above and beyond the call of action by creating a whole superhero called "The Blue Ear." They then sent the artwork to Anthony, letting him know that even superheroes need a little help sometimes.
12 Promoting Civil Rights Before Their Time
While some of us miss a few things if they aren't spelled out, it was hard to miss the hinted-at relationship between Mystique and Destiny. They had even adopted a child together, who turned out to be Rogue.
Now, while the relationship was happening in the comics, the Comics Code Authority prevented Marvel from being able to say that they were a couple.
It wasn't until later on that were they able to confirm that they were romantically involved. This was one of the first gay couples to be displayed in the comic book medium.
11 DC Through Stan Lee's Eyes
Even if you're a casual fan of Marvel, you will have heard the name Stan Lee. He has made all of your favorite Marvel characters, from The Incredible Hulk to the X-Men. He had done that much for the company that he eventually ended up becoming chairman of Marvel and is now inducted into the Fantasy Hall of Fame. Yet, all the characters he is known and loved for have not been his only works. He also wrote comics for DC, in which he re-imagined some of their most iconic characters with a Stan Lee version, including Superman and Batman.
10 Superhero Clean Up Crew
Did you ever wonder what happens to all these cities that get absolutely destroyed in these epic battles? Well, Marvel thought of that too.
They had a construction company made in the comic books whose sole job was to clean up after the mess of the superheroes.
They were called "Damage Control," which is an ideal name that serves as a solid explanation as to why the city looks pristine every time we go back to another boss fight. If not for them, they'd be fighting in a pile of rubble. At least Marvel tries to fill in its plot holes.
9 Marvel Gamed The Action Figure System
In a distant time, 2003 to be exact, dolls and toys had a few big distinctions between them. One of these was the fact that dolls had a higher export tax on them. You might be wondering what the difference is. Well, a toy shows a nonhuman creature, while a doll shows a human. Marvel had to argue that their characters were not human and shouldn't be subject to the higher tax rate, and they won. While they used to be separate, nowadays they have just combined and made it the same for both.
8 Copycat Companies
Two known characters that made their on page debut in 1971 only weeks apart from each other bear striking similarities.
The creator of Swamp Thing even contributed to the second issue of Marvel's Man-Thing.
The creators of each being's roommates at the time were a little skeptical as to what was going on, but neither company pursued legal action. Both creatures had another monster to worry about. Heap was a Hillman Periodicals creation who came about in 1942. So, both companies put down their weapons and let this one be, in case Hillman's came knocking at the door.
7 Marvel's Out Of Commission Dalek Hunter
Abslom Daak was a very popular character in the Marvel's UK office due to them having the copyrights to the Daleks. He was a criminal that had a long list of crimes to answer for, and was given a choice between getting vaporized and being sent to wipe out the Daleks. This was a fairly easy choice, especially after they ended the love of his life. He also has the second highest Dalek count, only next to Doctor Who himself. Ever since they lost the rights to the Daleks, it has left Abslom twiddling his thumbs.
6 Improvised Lines For Thor
The "He's a friend from work" line was one of the better comedic lines in Thor: Ragnarok. Much of the film was improvised anyway, thanks to comedy director Taika Waititi, so it shouldn't be of great shock that that line was improvised. The way it came to be, though, is a story. A Make-a-Wish child who was visiting the set came up and told them to put that in. Luckily, that line lends itself to the film's lighter style as compared to the previous films. Now he has his stamp on a Marvel film forever.
5 Two Heroes, One Origin
If you know the origin stories of both Daredevil and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then you will know how identical they really are. Daredevil saves a blind man from a speeding car, which results in a canister of radioactive material spraying his face and turning him blind in the process. Now, TMNT has the exact same situation happen, except now that canister bounces down and falls into the sewers of New York, creating the fun-loving Turtles we all know today. It helps that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the creators of TMNT, confirm they were huge fans of Daredevil.
4 Transformers Characters, Marvel Creator
Bob Budiansky was a writer and artist for Marvel Comics for years, but the little-known fact is that while he was working as an editor he was offered to turn the successful robot toy characters into twenty-six characters. For Budiansky, this was an opportunity to show off his writing chops, as he was mostly known as an artist at the time. Little did he know that these kids toys would become one of the most successful franchises in history. He even created the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron.
3 Kenneth Choi Plays The Family
Kenneth Choi played Jim Morita, one of the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger, back in 2011. He now also plays Principal Morita in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Presumably, this is a descendant of his first character in Captain America, meaning he plays both the grandfather and grandson in the same universe. No wonder Captain America is still played in the school, even after his criminal status. Wouldn't you if he was a family friend? Mini Morita probably knew him as Uncle America and played a long distance game of catch on a Saturday.
2 Marvel Almost Took Over DC
The two giants of comic books have been going at it for years, though both companies have gone through highs and lows. In 1984, it was DC that was struggling and Warner Bros was looking to cut the dead weight and sell. They thought bad management was the cause, and wanted to sell to Marvel because they were succeeding. Marvel declined the offer because they thought it was the characters themselves that people weren't interested in. We all came this close to there not even being a competition, with Marvel dictating all your favorite characters.
1 Darth Vader, I Am Your Father
Jack Kirby, who created Dr. Doom, among many other contributions to Marvel, has influenced a huge number of artists and storytellers since he began. On top of that, he made the biggest villain in the DC universe, Darkseid. Comic fans have been talking about Dr. Doom for years, though, because Darth Vader has a striking resemblance to him. Kirby felt so strongly he even wrote about it in the Fantastic Four comics indirectly, saying Darth Vader was taken from him. It hasn't escaped Kirby that they are constantly referencing the dark side either, literally his biggest villain's name.