How well do you think you know Marvel Comics? We have a encyclopedic knowledge of the comics, the subsequent action figures, we watch the TV shows and flock to the cinema in droves to see our favorite superhumans in action. But what of Marvel's obscure intricacies?
But if someone where to turn around to you and ask why Wolverine had hair on his arms when out of costume, but in costume he was as smooth as the dolphin... would you be able to explain? That fact blew my mind!
Join me now as I ponder the strange retractability of Wolverine's arm hairs and nine other weird and wonderful facts about the all powerful multimedia behemoth that is Marvel Comics.
Are you strapped in tightly? No photography please...
10 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Marvel
1. Michael Jackson is Spider-Man!
In the late '90s, the King of Pop, who was a huge comic book fan, met with Stan Lee and Peter Paul of Stan Lee Media to see if he could purchase Marvel Comics, with a view to playing the web-slinger on the big screen.
From 1976 to 1996, Marvel had trademarked the word "Zombie," but come '96 they realized it was too difficult to enforce the trademark.
3. The Hindenburg Disaster
Marvel founder Martin Goodman was supposed to be honeymooning aboard the ill-fated Hindenburg airship, but due to the only available seats left not being up to his satisfaction, his wife and he decided to fly by plane instead. Lucky...
4. Superhero For Sale
Back in the '80s, Marvel's then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter bought the idea for Spider-Man's black costume from a fan for $220! He offered the fan the chance to write the comic, but unfortunately that didn't quite work out.
5. Mystique Silenced
Back in 1981, Mystique had a lover in Irene Adler, or Destiny as some of you may remember her. Both characters were originally meant to be the biological parents of Nightcrawler, but thanks to Comics Code Authority and Marvel policies, the relationship was rendered prohibited and they left as friends.
Fun Fact: Destiny shares her name with Sherlock Holmes' running love interest Irene Adler! So... (FAN THEORY) does this mean that Sherlock Holmes is Mystique?
6. Beware The Werewolf!
From 1954 to 1971, the Comics Code Authority forbid Marvel from publishing comics with werewolves involved, to make comics more kid friendly and cut down on violence, etc. Marvel found a fairly peculiar way around this ruling by creating the were-pterodactyl Sauron, who debuted in X-Men No. 60 in 1969.
7. Optimus Prime: The First Avenger
Marvel had a major hand in the creation of The Transformers. In the '80s, Hasbro had just bought the rights to robots that transformed into vehicles from Japanese company Takara, but had no idea how to market them. Enter Jim Shooter and Marvel writers Denny O’Neil and Bob Budiansky, who came up with a treatment containing the history of the robots, Optimus Prime and Megatron respectively.
8. Human Tax
Marvel somehow managed to get around a ridiculous tax placed upon figurines that resemble humans, by insisting the figures resemble mutants! Brilliant!
9. House Martin, Bannerman To House Marvel
Back in the '60s, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin was a huge Marvel fan, and was a frequent addition in their fan columns.
10. Furious Plagiarism
Back in 2000, when Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch recreated Nick Fury in Marvel's "Ultimates" universe, they modeled his visage on the legendary Samuel L. Jackson's without his consent. When Jackson saw how close Fury resembled him, he contacted Marvel about it and landed a job!
So... how well did you guys do?
Let me know in the comments, and let's get some more crazy trivia going!