Marvel Comics is the brand name and main brand of Marvel Worldwide Inc., formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, an American comic book publisher and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, the parent company of Marvel Worldwide.
Marvel began in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s, it was generally known as Atlas Comics. The Marvel brand began in 1961, the year the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others.
Marvel counts among his characters such well-known superheroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Wolverine, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and The Punisher, teams like The Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Inhumans and the Guards of the Galaxy, and supervillains, including Thanos, Doctor Doom, Magneto, Red Skull, Green Goblin, Ultron, Doctor Octopus, Loki, Galactus and Venom. Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a unique reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most places reflecting real-life places; many main characters are based in New York City