The origins of what we call the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually go back to 1939, when Martin Goodman, the owner of a small magazine company, published his first comic book, hoping to follow in the success of the recently created Superman. This first comic book was entitled simply Marvel Comics. It contained several stories featuring superheroes like the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner, but a western hero called the Masked Ranger and a Tarzan-like jungle hero named Ka-Zar. A year after that first issue, Goodman would publish the first issue featuring a character named Captain America. Goodman's company, under the name of Timely Comics, would go on to publish over 1200 individual comic book issues over the next decade with the help of a young editor named Stan Lee.
After the end of World War 2, superheroes would fall out of fashion and Timely would branch out into other genres such as wacky humor, funny animals, teen humor, romance, detective stories and westerns. During the 40s, the writers and artists would create over 300 different characters for the company, some more successful than others. This book takes a look at every issue published (or as many as could be found) and every character created during the 40s. It examines which characters were featured in each issue, how the magazines changed through the decade and how the characters evolved (if at all). It looks at how the events and the culture of the 40s affected the stories and the characters and, sometimes, the comic book industry itself.
This book is for those comic book enthusiasts who want to explore the early years of not only the superheroes like Captain America and the Sub-Mariner but also such characters as Patsy Walker, the Two-Gun Kid, Millie the Model and even Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal, who may not be well-known now but, in their time, sold millions of comic books!