Marvel has been around since 1939 and with it some of the most iconic superheroes that have ever been created!
With Captain America's 75th Anniversary coming up next year I thought it would be fun to do some digging and find out just how old the Marvel heroes actually are!
Captain America - 74
As you can see from the cover of Cap's first appearance comic, he was written to be a political instrument. In this issue he confronts and beats up Adolf Hitler. The premise was "teased" in Captain America: The First Avenger when the military was using Rogers purely to entertain the country they had a man come out on stage dressed as Hitler and Cap punched him!
Fantastic Four - 54
The Fantastic Four were the first superhero team created by Stan Lee, and with their surprise success helped to convince Lee to stick it out with comic books.
Ant-Man - 53
Originally Hank Pym was just a scientist experimenting with shrinking technology when these ants dragged him away. The issue sold so well that eight months later Stan Lee brought him back this time as Ant-Man, leader of the ants!
Spider-Man - 53
With the surge of interest in comics among teens Stan Lee wanted to create a character that they could relate to, a hero with amazing powers but also regular teenage problems. He went with the powers of a spider simply because there was a spider climbing the wall in his office as he was bouncing ideas.
Incredible Hulk - 53
Lee was well aware that readers fell in love with a hero that was less than perfect, so he decided to draw from iconic characters such as Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and others to influence the Hulk's beginnings.
Thor - 53
Stan Lee was enamored with legends, so he knew all about the Norse Gods. When the time he created the Marvel version of Thor he was struggling with how to create a man stronger than the Hulk, then he realized: Don't make him human, make him a God!
Iron Man - 52
Stan Lee wanted to create a rich genius charater, but someone with a huge weakness underneath the armor that made him fragile so he gave Tony the shrapnel stuck in his heart.
The Avengers - 52
Originally the Avengers came together because the head of Marvel approached Stan Lee and suggested they put together a superhero team because it was working so well for their rival DC! Lee brought together heroes that were already established against a foe that was already established - Loki, similar to what brought them together in the film, however this team consisted of Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp and Ant-Man. The roster changed almost immediately though; by the second issue Ant-Man had become Giant-Man and Hulk had left. In the fourth issue they found, revived and took in Captain America who would become the established leader.
Stan Lee knew he couldn't keep creating heroes that were bit by spiders, or hit by gamma rays so he decided to create heroes and villains that were born with their powers and created the mutants! In this first comic so many iconic characters were introduced: Professor Xavier, Magneto, Iceman, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast and Angel.
Daredevil - 51
Lee has said that issue #47 of Daredevil where Murdock defends a blind Vietnam veteran against a framing was the highlight of his career.
Black Panther - 49
Panther first appeared alongside the Fantastic Four, and came back as a frequent recurring character. He also appeared alongside Captain America around the same time. It's interesting to note that decades later he and wife Storm from the X-Men became co-leaders of the Fantastic Four when Reed and Sue took a temporary sabbatical.
Captain Marvel/Ms Marvel - 47
Danvers originally appears as an air force pilot who comes in contact with Captain Marvel, an alien. She doesn't become Ms Marvel until much later when he rescues her from an explosion of a Kree weapon which turns her into a Human-Kree hybrid, and she makes a debut as Ms Marvel in 1977.
Wolverine - 41
Yes. Wolverine originally appeared in the Hulk's solo comic! He appeared in the final panel on Hulk #180 as a lead in to his full appearance in #181 where the Canadian government had sent him to stop the Hulk's rampage. It was several years later that he officially joined the rebooted X-Men!