COMMUTER ACROSS the country are being given a chance to pick up some of the world’s most memorable comics this week.
“The real success of Marvel Comics comes from the fact that those flights of imagination always have one foot rooted in reality” – Professor Chris Murray
Reprints featuring some of the world’s most famous Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Hulk and Iron Man and more with hundreds of comic books being left on tubes, trains and buses nationwide to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics and the influence its stories have had on popular culture.
Issues for people to find and read include reprinted copies of Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962) which introduced the world to Spider-Man for the first time; Fantastic Four #52 (1966) which introduced Black Panther into the Marvel Universe; Astonishing X-Men #51 (2012) which marked the first same-sex marriage in mainstream comics; Captain Marvel #14 (2013) which includes the first cameo appearance of Kamala Khan, who would become Marvel’s first Muslim female Super Hero to lead her own series; and Spider-Woman #1 (2015) which follows Jessica Drew as she balances her responsibilities as a parent by day, and her duties as the Super Hero Spider-Woman by night.
The initiative aims to introduce new audiences to the origins of the characters and stories that have influenced pop culture and will see hundreds of comics distributed on public transport in London, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow and Cardiff.
The grass-roots movement Books on the Underground are distributing the comics and has rebranded to Comic Books on the Underground for the activity.
Professor Chris Murray, a comic books lecturer at the University of Dundee, comments: “Marvel Comics has been a cultural phenomenon for 80 years, introducing us to relatable heroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk who, despite being outsiders, always did the right thing. Through its characters like the X-Men and Black Panther it has helped fight prejudice, and has always strived for equality. Its epic storytelling long rivalled blockbuster films until its superheroism hit the big screen itself to dominate the cultural landscape like never before.
“The real success of Marvel Comics comes from the fact that those flights of imagination always have one foot rooted in reality, and for 80 years readers have been inspired to imagine and fight for a better world alongside their heroes.”
Mike Stagg, SVP Marvel Franchise EMEA for The Walt Disney Company concludes: “Taking stock at moments like this allows us to recognise just what an amazing 80 years of story-telling we have had the privilege of being part of. We are honoured to have had the opportunity to share these with fans around the world, through our comics, merchandise, films, games and TV and have been inspired in all the ways in which ouR fans have embraced us. And yet it feels like we have only just got started, so here’s to another 80 years!”
10 INFLUENTIAL MARVEL COMICS COMMUTERS MAY FIND:
1) Fantastic Four #1, 1961
The Fantastic Four spring to action as a team for the first time. As they learn how to control their new found powers, will it be enough to stop the fury of the Mole Man?
2) Amazing Fantasy #15, 1962
High-school student Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and makes his Marvel Universe debut as the iconic Spider-Man we know today!
3) Fantastic Four #52, 1966
Introducing the sensational Black Panther! T’Challa makes his debut as the king of Wakanda, and puts the Fantastic Four’s skills to the test.
4) Ms. Marvel #1, 1977
Carol Danvers takes flight as Ms. Marvel! This comic introduces the Super Hero we now know as Captain Marvel, a hero who paved the way for a long line of female Super Heroes at Marvel Comics and beyond.
5) Iron Man #172, 1983
As Stark International faces a take-over, this issue sheds light on Tony Stark’s struggle with alcoholism, a real-world issue that not even Super Heroes can fight without help.
6) New Warriors #1, 1990
A new band of heroes emerge! With an impressive roster and an even more impressive threat, what adventures will the team get themselves into?
7) Alpha Flight #106, 1992
In a ground-breaking comic book moment, Northstar comes out as gay.
8) Astonishing X-Men #51, 2012
Twenty years after coming out in Alpha Flight, Northstar marries his long-term partner Kyle in the first mainstream comics same-sex marriage.
9) Captain Marvel #14, 2013
The first cameo appearance of Kamala Khan, who went on to become the first Muslim female Super Hero to headline her own comic as Ms. Marvel in 2014.
10) Spider-Woman #1, 2015
This comic kicks off the story of Jessica Drew as she balances her responsibilities as a parent by day, and her duties as the Super Hero Spider-Woman by night, in a show of strength and solidarity to mums everywhere juggling the demands of motherhood, work and other obligations.