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.
As the Golden Age of the 1940’s and 50’s gave way to the 1960’s, so did what had been Timely and Atlas Comics evolve into something more. Under the guidance of creators like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, the Marvel Universe emerged, bringing with it an explosion of heroes, villains and other concepts the likes of which had never been seen in the medium!
This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel heroes to debut during the 1960’s. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!
4. THE AVENGERS
First Appearance: AVENGERS (1963) #1
Why They’re #4: “It stands today as one of the greatest blunders of a super villain. Loki, the god of mischief and half-brother to the mighty Thor, sought to draw the thunder god into a web of evil by manipulating the Incredible Hulk against him. To Loki’s eternal surprise and chagrin, the gambit backfired by attracting the attention of several of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes—Iron Man, Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Thor and the Hulk—who came together as a single unit to nip his yearning for chaos in the bud. Afterward, the champions unanimously agreed to form the Avengers, a permanent team to combat those menaces that no one of them alone could tackle.” – Jim Beard
Digital Comics Spotlight: AVENGERS (1963) #4
3. THE X-MEN
First Appearance: X-MEN (1963) #1
Why They’re #3: “The revolutionary ideas unleashed in X-MEN #1 lived up to the cover's proclamation touting the ‘strangest super heroes of all.’ Unlike AVENGERS, which hit newsstands at the same time, X-MEN introduced totally new characters with a fresh take on the super hero origin story. These figures received their powers at birth, placing them one rung higher on the evolutionary ladder from their audience, a plot point that would become pertinent as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum in the 60’s. The X-Men also became modern Marvel's first teen team, a remarkable feat considering how few teenage super heroes existed at the time. Guided by a wheelchair-bound telepath and christened with the creepy-but-catchy team name, the fearsome five-some jumped into their first battle against the deadly Magneto, thus launching one of Marvel's most enduring franchises.” – Brett White
Digital Comics Spotlight: X-MEN (1963) #39
Come back tomorrow to see the final two entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75