All year long on Marvel.com, we’re celebrating Marvel’s 75th anniversary, and to fully appreciate the scope of that history, you need to go back to where it all began.
In 1939, Timely Comics entered the Golden Age of comics with MARVEL COMICS #1, debuting the Sub-Mariner and original Human Torch among other soon-to-be-stars and others who would be quickly forgotten. Over the next decade-plus, what would later become the Marvel Universe expanded with dozens of characters making their mark or falling by the wayside.
This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel characters to debut during the Golden Age. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!
First Appearance: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1
Why He’s #2: “This legendary leader made his debut in spring 1941 on a cover depicting the star-spangled super hero knocking Hitler out cold. With that patriotic punch, Captain America took charge of the fight against the Nazis and their global menace. Beneath the blue chainmail, however beat the heart of a man once deemed unfit for service. Uncle Sam's best brains used science to strengthen Steve Rogers' body to match the stalwart champion that resided within his frail frame. Alongside his sidekick, Bucky, and his super powered allies, the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch, this Sentinel of Liberty fought for freedom all across the world.” – Brett White
Digital Comics Spotlight: CAPTAIN AMERICA 65TH ANNIVERSARY #1
NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER
First Appearance: MARVEL COMICS #1
Why He’s #1: “In every way, Namor the Sub-Mariner qualifies as a true original. He existed before the X-Men, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and Captain America. He emerged as one of comics' first superhumans, one of the first anti-heroes, and the very first character to boast the classic super-power trifecta of strength, speed and flight, even before that distinguished character in the cape.
“Namor made his first published appearance in MARVEL COMICS #1 in a story by writer-artist Bill Everett. The same issue introduced the world to the original Human Torch, but Sub-Mariner's story had also appeared in a giveaway comic that never got distributed, so technically he's Marvel's oldest hero.
“In what we might now call the Mighty Marvel Manner, Namor has never been a typical hero. The half-human, half-Atlantean ‘Avenging Son’ remains arrogant, belligerent, and about as likely to team up with Doctor Doom as to fight alongside the FF. From the 30’s and through every decade since he's fought in every corner of the Marvel Universe as Avenger, a Defender, an Invader, an X-Man, and as part of both the secretive Illuminati and the manipulative Cabal. You could say the Marvel Universe was built on his broad shoulders.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comics Spotlight: SUB-MARINER: THE DEPTHS #1
Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75