Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics is an American company that publishes comic books and related media.
Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950's had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel's modern incarnation dates from 1961, the year that the company launched Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others such as Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America, X-Men, Thor, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and many more.
In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide's parent company, for $4.24 billion.
Marvel began publishing further superhero titles in the 60's and 70's featuring such heroes and antiheroes as the Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, and Daredevil, and such memorable antagonists as Doctor Doom, Magneto, Galactus, the Green Goblin, and Doctor Octopus. Lee and Steve Ditko generated the most successful new series in The Amazing Spider-Man.